Boeing Wideband Networking Waveform, Apache Demonstrate Future Force Interoperability
Two Boeing programs, the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW) and the AH-64 Apache, participated in a successful integrated capabilities event this summer at the U.S. Army's C4ISR On-The-Move (OTM) Event 09 at Fort Dix, N.J.
For the first time during this large-scale exercise, Boeing flew a WNW-equipped Apache helicopter and demonstrated the Army's concept for networking the Future Force by transmitting data, voice and video communications between air and ground forces.
During the technology demonstration, Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Surrogate Radios operating WNW Version 3.1a were installed on an AH-64 Apache, an airship, several High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, and at a Tactical Operations Center. The WNW served as a key component of an interoperable network of airborne, mobile and stationary nodes, across which it seamlessly transmitted data.
Boeing-developed network management software monitored the WNW network and was interoperable with the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Network Operations Manager system.
Information distributed over the WNW included streaming video, situational awareness, spot reports about simulated enemy forces, imagery, and free text (similar to instant messaging).
"Boeing's long commitment to developing network-centric systems for the warfighter was on full display during this year's OTM event," said Mike Bernabe, director of Boeing Advanced Network and Space Systems. "This exercise demonstrated the network capability of the Wideband Networking Waveform, as well as the critical role that the net-enabled Apache Block III will play in the Army's Future Force network as the world's premier fully networked attack helicopter."
The event took place from June through September at C4ISR OTM Event 09, which was conducted by the Product Manager, C4ISR On-The-Move of the Communications and Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center under the Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command.
The Army awarded Boeing the first Apache Block III contract in June 2005. In accordance with contractual milestones, Boeing plans to deliver the first production AH-64D Apache Block III in October 2011.
Boeing develops the WNW under contract to the Joint Program Executive Office JTRS Network Enterprise Domain. WNW is nearing completion and formal testing will begin later this year.
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