JTRS Program to Continue After Restructuring

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The USA’s troubled Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program was meant to be a centerpiece of US military transformation that would enable units to communicate seamlessly via equipment that would use software-defined electronics to “translate” different communications waveforms. JTRS was scheduled to be part of many new US systems, from updated MIDS/Link 16 terminals in aircraft to remote control of the NETFIRES “missile in a box” to a key role in the $100+ billion Future Combat Systems program. Etc. Etc. Instead, the program went through many tribulations. The resulting technical difficulties were formidable, made more so by rising requirements demands from the US military. Eventually, the difficulties forced delays that affected combat commanders, led to rising costs, and finally created a breakdown. Boeing’s Cluster 1 program was put on notice for potential cancellation in April 2005, and subsequent reports have predicted that JTRS would be scaled back or even broken up entirely. It now appears that the predictions of a scaled back restructuring were correct… C4SI Journal reports that the JTRS program has been restructured to reduce costs and risks, creating a family of interoperable software radios that are less capable than originally planned, but more affordable and more deliverable […]

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