By J.R. Wilson
SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Army Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation Command (STRICOM) in Orlando, Fla., has awarded a $40 million, three-year contract to Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) in San Diego for a new voice and data communications system for the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, Calif.
In the first of three phases, SAIC is to deliver a commercially based Observer Controller Communications Subsystem (OCCS) within 16 months. In two subsequent phases, the company and its team will replace the cellular phone-based Range Data Measurement Subsystem (RDMS) with a new system based on the same communication modules used in the OCCS.
"SAIC will be helping replace two separate communications systems at the NTC with one integrated voice and data system," notes John Garcia, vice president of Range Instrumentation Systems Operation. "SAIC developed the original NTC Instrumentation System in the 1980s and this contract allows us to continue providing the NTC with the latest available technology to serve their training requirements."
Using the Tetrapol digital trunked radio system produced by EADS Defense and Security Networks (EDSN), headquartered in France, SAIC will provide 3000 voice radios for use by NTC Observer/Controllers, maintenance personnel and emergency services personnel. Users also will be able to transmit and receive digital messages using laptops and other data devices.
Phases 2 and 3 of the contract will provide a digital data communications link and GPS positioning for up to 2500 NTC exercise participants, including dismounted infantry, tanks, tactical vehicles, and helicopters. The system initially will be able to handle as many as 5,500 voice and data users, with expansion to 10,000 users in the future.