Boeing Delivers Initial JTRS Cluster 1 Units to FCS
DID has covered the JTRS systems program’s difficulties, including the threatened cancellation of JTRS Cluster 1 back in 2005. Now Boeing Co. and teammates BAE Systems, Rockwell Collins and Northrop Grumman have delivered the first 7 Joint Tactical Radio System Cluster 1 (JTRS C1) radios, as scheduled, to the U.S. Army’s $120+ billion Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. The Cluster 1 radios are designed to provide networking capabilities to the battlefield. They provide the warfighter with new, secure capabilities, which include the transmission/receipt of real-time information – both voice and text, the ability to stream live video and audio, draw and share maps, conduct Net-Meetings and use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
Note that this is not deployment equipment. Rather, the 50 or so radios to be delivered by mid-summer will begin replacing computer emulators in other FCS projects, so contractors can start testing the passage of information through the radios. Some of the radios will also be used in support of FCS experimentation activities later this year, providing crucial user feedback.
When asked about the current state of the JTRS Cluster 1 program, Boeing responded to DID:
“Boeing’s JTRS C1 team is prepared to support the government’s ‘go forward’ plan for the program. This is, and always has been, about placing this transformational communications system in the hands of the warfighter as quickly as possible. We look forward to working with the Department of Defense to make that happen.”
In other words, The Joint Program Executive Office (JPEO) is continuing its review of all JTRS programs, and is still working on a ‘go forward’ plan for Cluster 1. A final decision awaits, and additional inquiries can be addressed to the JPEO’s public affairs officer Steve Davis at 619-524-3432.
The JTRS software-defined radios contain support infrastructure for the operation of Software Communication Architecture (SCA) compliant waveforms. The initial waveform set includes the single-channel ground air radio system waveform and the Wideband Networking Waveform-increment 1 (WNW), which uses common Internet Protocol-based networking concepts, as well as new mobile ad-hoc networking technology to integrate voice, video and data communications. The JTRS units provided to FCS are upgradeable. Operational software and waveform upgrades will be provided in the future as they become available. See DID’s in-depth focus article re: JTRS Cluster 1 for more information.