General Dynamics to deliver handheld device prototype to enhance battlefield situational awareness

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., 21 March 2011. General Dynamics C4 Systems won from the U.S. Army a $2.3 million contract to provide a prototype, handheld battle command capability that will improve network connectivity and command, control, and situational awareness for dismounted soldiers and Marines as part of the U.S. Army's Joint Battle Command – Platform (JBC-P) Handheld program.

Mar 21st, 2011

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., 21 March 2011. General Dynamics C4 Systems won from the U.S. Army a $2.3 million contract to provide a prototype, handheld battle command capability that will improve network connectivity and command, control, and situational awareness for dismounted soldiers and Marines as part of the U.S. Army's Joint Battle Command – Platform (JBC-P) Handheld program.

One of several Joint Battle Command initiatives, JBC-P Handheld Battle Command (HBC) is focused on delivering handheld devices that communicate over government-furnished communication networks. The devices provide dismounted warfighters enhanced battlefield awareness, such as via maps and real-time position location information.

For its prototype design, General Dynamics will provide the rugged, eight-ounce GD300 tactical computer that hosts an application-friendly operating system. The handheld prototype will provide dismounted users with situational awareness of events, people, and structures, as well as chat and text capabilities. The GD300 also delivers position location information and access to popular military software “apps,” such as the Tactical Intelligence Ground Reporting (TIGR) system. When the system is connected to a networked device, such as the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) Rifleman radio (AN/PRC-154) or the Iridium satellite communications handset, users can make voice, video, or data contact with others in close proximity or miles apart.

"This win brings our vision of 'every soldier connected to the network' closer to reality. With the capabilities of the rugged GD300, combined with mission command applications like TIGR, soldiers and Marines will have the information they need to accomplish their mission more effectively," explains Kevin Merrigan, vice president of Battle Management Systems for General Dynamics C4 Systems.

Initial deliveries are scheduled for September 2011, when General Dynamics expects to deliver 40 prototype handheld devices for user evaluation and feedback.

During the second phase of the program, up to 250 JBC-P interoperable handheld devices may be purchased as part a contract option.

The Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. is the contracting authority for the handheld device development effort. General Dynamics C4 Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics.

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