NGC: Raising the Roof on Blue Force Tracker I-Kits
Feb 23/09: Northrop Grumman announces that the U.S. Army has increased the ceiling for its Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below (FBCB2 – and see video) contract by $574 million. Under this contract modification, Northrop Grumman will provide FBCB2-Blue Force Tracking installation kits, cables, and related hardware, which will allow inclusion of the new in-line KGV-72 encryption device.
Program management, engineering and supply chain management are performed in Carson, CA, with the final kits packaged and shipped from Huntsville, AL. To date, the company has received 34 delivery orders under this indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract, which runs through March 2011. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command contract modification brings the 6-year contract’s new ceiling to $908 million.
FBCB2 is more commonly known to the public as “Blue Force Tracker,” though that is only part of a system designed to enable a diverse array of communications, in addition to showing the positions of friendly forces and detected enemies. DID has covered Blue Force Tracker and its profound implications for land warfare before, along with related contracts for computers and back-end services. Northrop Grumman was awarded its first FBCB2 development contract in January 1995. Since then, the Army has fielded more than 50,000 FBCB2 systems, installed in about 45 different military vehicles and aircraft. A new version is under development by Northrop Grumman, and this Joint Capabilities Release will provide faster updating, as well as compatibility between Army and USMC systems.