Boeing embarks on $139M Army combat team modernization

Upgrades include unmanned systems, ground sensors and network integration kits

The Army has awarded a $138.7 million contract to Boeing Co. to outfit the first brigade combat team with networked gear designed to improve intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities (ISR) on the battlefield.

Under the contract, Boeing and subcontractor Science Applications International Corp. will develop and field Increment 1 of the Army’s Brigade Combat Team Modernization program, company officials said Feb. 25. The agreement also covers associated systems engineering and program management support.

Increment 1 calls for low-rate initial production of the networked capabilities to be fielded for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armored Division. Operational test and evaluation is scheduled to begin in 2011.

The ISR capabilities scheduled to be fielded are:

  • Small unmanned ground vehicle system to conduct reconnaissance missions in dangerous or difficult situations such as entering buildings, caves or tunnels.
  • Class I unmanned aerial vehicle that soldiers can position in a hover mode to observe activity while also providing target acquisition.
  • Unattended ground sensors to detect, locate, classify and identify targets.
  • Network integration kits that host communications systems and battlefield command software facilitating the transfer of sensor and communications data.

Boeing, of Chicago, ranks No. 2 on Washington Technology's 2009 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

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

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