Digital Battlespace

LandWarNet 2011: LM readies miniature COTM technology

25th August 2011 - 15:50 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Lockheed Martin is in the final stages of developing a 'miniaturised' version of its Communications-On-The-Move (COTM) technology with a view to submitting it for testing with the US Army next year, Shephard has been told.

According to Lockheed Martin senior programme manager Steven Frith, the downsized COTM system will receive TRL Level 7 in the next month or two. Unable to detail specific size and weight savings in relation to the larger system, Frith said it would provide 'significant savings in weight and reduction in power'.

Lockheed Martin's solution is described as being a 'network in a box' and can be used to extend the network at the tactical edge of the battlefield. A company spokesperson said: 'It is completely scalable and provides SATCOM connectivity and can push various types of broadband data, such as satellite imagery down to small, company-level units that lack wideband connections'. It can also enable the Enhanced Position Location Reporting System; Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System and UHF\VHF line of sight.

Having undergone its first test with armed forces at the Joint User Interoperability Coalition Exercise (JUICE) in Hawaii in July, Frith said he hoped to enter the system for the army's Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) in April/May next year.

'If the government selects the system, we will take it to NIE which, I think, will have heavy focus on comms-on-the-move technology. It is a key request,' he told Shephard while describing various urgent operational requirements to have come out of Afghanistan for such a system.

Earlier in the day, commander of US Special Operations Command Adm William McRaven had enforced how important such technology was to his forces, especially in the realm of conducting video teleconferences while on the move.

There are a number of other COTM capabilities currently being developed including ITT's Global Network On the Move-Active Distribution (GNOMAD) system which is already understood to have been deployed to theatre in order to fill the gaps in Beyond Line of Sight capability for battalion levels and below.

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