Air Force chooses Black Diamond to provide rugged computers for battlefield air controllers
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 10 July 2015. U.S. Air Force close air support control experts are looking to Black Diamond Advanced Technologies LLC in Chandler, Ariz., to provide rugged computers to help battlefield-deployed ground controllers guide attack jets accurately to their targets.
Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center's Battlefield Airmen Branch at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, announced a $48.1 million contract to Black Diamond last week for the Battlefield Airmen Operational Control System (OCS).
Black Diamond experts will provide operational control system hardware, attrition assets, and software integration support for the OCS. The company designs the Forward Air Control - Utility Suite for this purpose.
The OCS is to be based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components, and will help ground controllers direct attack aircraft to their targets.
The Air Force wants Windows 7-based computing, data and power distribution, and cable that are compatible with the Harris AN/PRC-152A and AN/PRC-117G radios, Rockwell-Collins DAGR GPS receiver, L-3 TacROVER-p radio, Raytheon Microlight radio, shoulder-mounted military-grade GPS receivers, and the Vectronix PLRF-15C pocket laser range finder.
The OCS must get its power from a commonly available BA-5590, BB-2590, or conformal battery, or available AC/DC external power, which can operate the system and recharge internal batteries. The OCS vest should be MOLLE compatible and adaptable to an Eagle, CRYE, or BAE RBAV vest, as well as to a military backpack.
The system should have processor power with a PassMark rating -- not CPU mark -- of 750 to 1000; 7-inch diagonal screen size; can be a tablet or a two-piece computer with separate display and processor; and must weigh less than 10 pounds, not including the vest and battery.
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Black Diamond's Forward Air Control - Utility Suite is designed to help control close air support aircraft and joint fires accurately and safely to their targets. It send and receive a variety of messages from 9-lines to friendly points, and maintain awareness of friendly forces, and helps attack aircraft deliver precision strikes while on the move.
It can display full-motion video, and is interoperable with military PRC-117G, PRC-148, and PRC-152, offers mapping capability, and enables the joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) to deliver fires to the battlefield from virtually any asset available, company officials say.
On this contract Black Diamond will do the work in Chandler, Ariz., and should be finished by November 2020. For more information contact the Black Diamond Advanced Technology online at http://bdatech.com, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at www.wpafb.af.mil/aflcmc.