ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (June 8, 2015) -- The Army has received approval to proceed to full-rate production, or FRP, and fielding of its mobile tactical communications network backbone, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, or WIN-T, Increment 2.
The approval was the result of a Defense Acquisition Board, or DAB, review of the program conducted in May.
Obtaining the FRP decision means that the program has been deemed mature, has met all its basic requirements and reduced its risk to the point, where the program can proceed with fielding for the duration of the program lifecycle. The FRP decision enables the program office to procure and field the capability to all remaining Army units, which are projected to receive WIN-T Increment 2 through FY2028.
"In support of Operation Enduring Freedom [OEF], divisions and brigade combat teams, deploying to Afghanistan, have utilized WIN-T Increment 2 capabilities to provide connectivity while on the move in remote areas, support regional advise and assist missions and to provide vital network reach back connectivity in a variety of missions," said Col. Ed Swanson, project manager WIN-T. "With this Defense Department decision, we can proceed into full-rate production, fielding WIN-T Increment 2 in accordance with Army staff prioritization."
WIN-T Increment 2 is a critical part of the Army's tactical network modernization strategy and the backbone of its network capability sets. Combat vehicles integrated with WIN-T Increment 2 provide the on-the-move communications, mission command and situational awareness, which commanders need to lead from anywhere on the battlefield.
WIN-T Increment 2 enables deployed Soldiers, down to the company level operating in remote and challenging terrain, to maintain voice, video and data communications while on patrol, with connectivity rivaling, which is found in a stationary command post.
To best support unique operational requirements, WIN-T Increment 2 has been integrated onto different platforms including mine-resistant, ambush-protected, or MRAPs, high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle, or HMMWVs, and Stryker platforms.
To date, the Army has fielded WIN-T Increment 2 capability to 12 brigade combat teams and four division headquarters, from the 10th Mountain Division, 82nd Airborne Division, 101st Airborne Division, 2nd Infantry Division, and the 1st Armored Division.
U.S. Soldiers have already deployed with and utilized the system in Afghanistan, where commanders referred to it as their "digital guardian angel." As fixed network infrastructure was dismantled and forward operating bases closed down during retrograde operations, security force assistance brigades were still able to conduct their missions and effectively communicate by employing the satellite and terrestrial communication and mission command capabilities of WIN-T Increment 2.
The program will continue to improve, enhance and simplify WIN-T Increment 2 capability through technical refreshment and engineering change proposals.