UK MoD expands Bowman capabilities
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is improving its counter improvised explosive device (IED) capabilities with the awarding of three contracts worth £33 million to General Dynamics UK (GDUK) for its Bowman tactical C4I system.
Awarded on 31 January, the contracts will help Bowman users in Afghanistan increase their ability to counter the IED threat though information sharing, according to a statement released by GDUK.
The three contracts will improve: connectivity between forward operating bases (FOB) and patrol bases (PB); tactical situational awareness (Tac SA); and shared situational awareness (SSA).
The original contract to provide Bowman was won by GDUK in 2001. The system was first fielded in 2004, and achieved initial operating capability in 2006.
Under one of the new contracts, a Modular Dismounted Operations Room C4I capability will be introduced and will be called M-DOR.
This contract is a response to user demand for a capability that provides similar levels of communication available in FOBs to troops operating in difficult locations.
‘This system will, for the first time, enable British personnel on the ground to establish a PB with similar levels of VHF, HF, and high capacity radios (HCDR) to an FOB,’ according to the release.
The company said the new capability will be a lightweight, transportable, modular system that allows rapid and simple deployment of a range of C4I capabilities, including the ability to communicate the location of IEDs using secure data. Also included in the contract is ‘an enhanced’ HCDR radio, which will increase levels of user data throughput, according to the statement.
A Tac SA solution will be delivered as part of the second contract, which will enable commanders to collect and report on patrol activity, so that IED information can be shared and exploited, using the new M-DOR platform. According to GDUK, the system will comprise new laptops, associated servers, ‘plus an accreditable physical and electrical connection between Bowman and the tactical ground reporting infrastructure’.
The third capability will provide SSA interoperability between Bowman and other in-theatre communications and information systems (CIS). SSA will be able to move between Bowman and CIS, giving the ability to see common operational picture on a single terminal and the commanders access to all relevant information in one place.
By Shephard staff
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