ST. LOUIS, 4 Jan. 2009. Boeing [NYSE: BA] officials announced that Increment 1 of the U.S. Army's Brigade Combat Team Modernization program was approved to begin Low-Rate Initial Production early in 2010 as a result of the Milestone C production review by the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB).
A key element of the Army's Brigade Combat Team Modernization program, Increment 1 will provide soldiers with enhanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as increased survivability and lethality. Initial capabilities include:
- a small unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), which is capable of reconnaissance missions in dangerous or difficult situations such as entering buildings, caves, and tunnels;
- Class I unmanned air vehicle (UAV), which is a small, soldier-operated UAV that can hover for reconnaissance and surveillance while providing target acquisition;
- unattended ground sensors that are multi-mode surveillance sensors for target detection, location, and classification, with an imaging capability for identification;
- non-line-of-sight launch system, which is an unmanned missile system capable of extended range targeting and precision attack; and a
- network integration kit – an integrated computer system that hosts the latest communications and radio systems and battle command software, providing the initial network connectivity needed to transfer sensor and communication data.
As the prime contractor, Boeing, along with Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) [NYSE: SAI], is responsible for the development and production of Increment 1. The capabilities are planned to be fielded to Infantry Brigade Combat Teams beginning in 2011.
The DAB Milestone C review culminated an series of reviews by the Department of Defense and the Army, as well as a testing cycle of Increment 1 capabilities. The Army and its industry partners also conducted numerous design and production capability reviews in preparation for the Milestone C review.
"The decision to enter initial production demonstrates Boeing's commitment to develop and field the types of networked capabilities and technologies that our warfighters need today in Afghanistan," says Dennis Muilenburg, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "Boeing and our partners look forward to delivering the initial set of equipment to the Army."