Boeing eyes network-centric market

The modernized Apache helicopter, featuring new technologies such as the Joint Tactical Radio System and Wideband Network Waveform, is key to the Army's integrated battle-space concept.

Boeing Corp.

Boeing Co. aims to capture half of the $200 billion the Pentagon is expected to spend on network-centric operations during the next 10 years, a Boeing official said.

Over the last four years, Boeing has increased its take of that business to $7 billion a year, up from $1 billion annually, said Roger Roberts, senior vice president of Boeing's Space and Intelligence Systems division.

Last year, Chicago-based Boeing and Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego won a $15 billion contract to begin work on the Future Combat Systems program, a networked system that links soldiers with both manned and unmanned ground and air platforms and sensors.

In January, Boeing won a $472 million contract from the Air Force to lead a team in developing the space-based Transformational Communications Milsatcom system. This system incorporates laser communications, next-generation processors and routers, Internet protocol, information assurance, network management and other technologies into an architecture that is compatible with future and legacy space and ground network systems.

Among its other network-centric operations projects, Boeing is also part of a team lead by Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp. that is competing for the Navy's Mobile User Objective System, a new, narrowband tactical satellite communications system.

Roberts said he also expects Boeing to be one of two prime contractors selected this spring to compete for a classified, wideband communications relay satellite that will use laser technology to move data in space at more than 100 gigabits per second.

Boeing is also eyeing the Air Force and Navy components of the Joint Tactical Radio System, which Roberts said would be competed this year.

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