PATRIOT upgrades step closer to net-centric
October 4, 2007
WHITE SANDS, N.M. - On Sept. 26, industry developers demonstrated to military leaders the near-term PATRIOT communications enhancements that will leverage full capabilities of organic GRC 245 radios.
Developers said the goal is for pinpointed technology insertions to help PATRIOT adapt to ongoing Department of Defense-wide upgrades. Air defense artillery is transforming its separate-systems platform to a component-based network-centric Integrated Air Missile Defense System of Systems.
"This [network] allows us to talk across the Army and talk across the joint world," said Daniel Montgomery, corporate lead executive, Northrop Grumman Corporation. "Now we're getting into the Internet Protocol networks so that we can share data across a joint environment."
Montgomery is a retired brigadier general who served as the Army's senior acquisition executive for air and missile defense systems in his most current military assignment before retiring.
Enhancements to the PATRIOT include satellite and terrestrial communication configurations, expanded bandwidth recognized by routers, and IP connectivity on the IAMD SoS, said Chief Warrant Officer Stu Chaffey, action officer for PATRIOT systems engineering, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Capabilities Manager-Lower Tier.
"From a force operations standpoint, there's a lot of new capability just with the additional bandwidth that the 245 radio gives us," said Chaffey.
Anywhere within a PATRIOT architecture, users can establish a voice over IP phones, conduct video teleconferencing, and add air defense integration boxes, along with several other possibilities that can be done because of the extra bandwidth, said Chaffey.
Transforming the PATRIOT into a net-centric type of network design will allow it to go into an IP world where users can literally plug and fight, said James Coleman, a sales engineer for Data Path.
"You'd plug into some sort of communications element and be in the net," said Coleman. "So the shooters and sensors would have the data from the net to deal with."
"You could use any weapon, any sensor, with one battle management command and control battle system," said Derrick Copeland, president of Applied Data Trends.
Col. Roberto Delgado, director, TRADOC, Capabilities Manager-Lower Tier, said the PATRIOT enhancements are in direct support of operational requirements like force protection, and are geared to support the warfighter.
"We can save the lives of those we're defending and of those who are trying to do their job and return home safely," said Montgomery.