Tactical Radios and Communications Systems

Article excerpt

The Joint Tactical Terminal (JTT) provides the joint warfighter with seamless, near real-time tactical intelligence, targeting and situational awareness information. It provides the critical data link to battle managers, intelligence centers, air defense, fire support and aviation nodes across all services. JTT allows Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and other agency users to exploit current intelligence broadcast networks, including the tactical reconnaissance intelligence exchange system, tactical information broadcast system, tactical related applications data dissemination system, tactical data information exchange system-B, secondary imagery dissemination system and the evolving integrated broadcast service architecture.

In addition to receiving intelligence data, the system's transmit capability allows for data-provider and/or relay functions. The JTT is available in various configurations, ranging from eight to 12 receive channels and zero to four transmit channels. The JTT can be integrated into systems on vehicles, aircraft, ships and fixed sites. Also, the smaller, lighter JTT briefcase (JTT-B) is a four-channel receive variant and is available as a stand-alone system or can be integrated on various platforms.

A contract was awarded in FY 1997 for 132 JTT/common integrated broadcast service modules with the option in FY 1998 for 95 JTTs and the option in FY 1999 for 85 standard JTTs with another 16 stand-alone briefcase variants. There was an option award in the fourth quarter of PY 2000 for an additional 43 JTT-Bs. JTT deliveries started in FY 2000.

PEO, Command, Control and Communications, Tactical (C^sup 3^T) also coordinates development and fielding of the radio products that form the heart of the Tactical Internet. The Enhanced Position Location Reporting System (EPLRS) provides data distribution and position/navigation services in near real time for the warfighter at brigade and below in support of the battlefield functional areas and the FBCB^sup 2^ program. Manufactured by Raytheon Systems Company, the EPLRS system consists of a net control station and EPLRS user units that can be variously configured for manpack, vehicular or airborne platforms. The EPLRS net control station is undergoing a configuration and performance upgrade that converts the network management scheme from a centralized mode to a decentralized mode and increases the throughput capability. The new net control station is called the EPLRS net manager (ENM).

The Near-Term Data Radio System (NTDRS) supports the upper portion of the Tactical Internet by providing the command-center-to-command-center data communications backbone for the Army's digitized division. The NTDR is the Army data communication backbone for platoon to brigade. It is one of the five major elements that will provide a seamless digital communication capability throughout the fighting force for the digital battlefield of the 21st century. The appliqué used with the NTDR will support battle command information requirements. The NTDR interface, with routing devices such as the Internet controller (INC) and tactical multinet gateway (TMG) and other devices, will support routing. It interfaces with other networks, such as SINCGARS, EPLRS and MSE TPN, as well as mobile platforms, and interoperates with external command and control systems through routers. NTDR will satisfy the future digital radio (FDR) requirement.

The NTDR system consists of a radio with ancillary support items, including antennas, an installation kit and a network management terminal, if required. NTDR is an information system that is the data transport communications system serving data terminals resident at brigade and below, but also has application at higher echelon units operating within the brigade area. The NTDR is a secret high system. The NTDR is capable of supporting a brigade community of computers and networks that communicate using the Internet protocol suite (IPS). …