Boeing team wins $2 billion first phase for radio system

The Boeing Co. announced June 24 that the Army's Communications-Electronics Command has selected its team as the system engineering contractor to develop the Joint Tactical Radio System, a new communications system to serve as the foundation for all future Defense Department tactical radios.

The baseline value of the contract plus options could exceed $2 billion for the initial system development and demonstration and low-rate initial production phases of the program, referred to as Cluster 1 and scheduled to last up to six years.

Principal team members include TRW Inc., Cleveland; BAE Systems, Farnborough, U.K.; Harris Corp., Melbourne, Fla.; and Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In separate press releases, Harris said it expects to earn $500 million on the JTRS Cluster 1 contract, and Rockwell Collins said its initial contract award would be worth $110 million.

The JTRS is a family of software reprogrammable radios, based on an open communications architecture, that will provide U.S. commanders and warfighters with significantly improved simultaneous voice, video and data communications capabilities for varied mission requirements.

Cluster 1 is the first procurement of a number of clusters for JTRS and consists of Army, Air Force Tactical Air Control Party and Marine Corps ground radios, as well as Army rotary wing aircraft radios, and includes the development of a new wideband networking waveform.

The Boeing team is responsible for the design and integration of JTRS architecture, the development of many JTRS-compliant waveforms and of two qualified hardware production sources for more than 10,000 ground vehicular and airborne systems.

Future production quantities are expected to exceed 100,000 units; full-rate production is expected to commence in 2007 and to continue for 12 years, bringing the total program value to possibly $7 billion.

About the Authors

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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