Blue Force Tracking Research is Part of Network Modernisation Effort
On 3 April Hughes Network Systems announced it has been awarded a two-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) by the US Army for the third phase of the Blue Force Tracking (BFT-3) programme.
Under the agreement, Hughes and other industry participants will conduct research studies to deliver a series of recommendations for modernising the BFT system architecture to improve interoperability and resilience as part of an open system architecture consortium working to achieve more flexible network tracking of friendly force locations. Hughes will present recommendations to bolster operational resilience, with an emphasis on maintaining communications in contested environments.
“We look forward to providing a unique perspective to the effort as one of the world’s largest commercial suppliers of satellite communications equipment and services. As a case in point, our advanced waveform technology has led to key breakthroughs in overcoming system jamming, which paired with prototypes of a Flexible Modem Interface (FMI) for military terminals, makes Hughes a natural fit to support the Army’s objectives,” observed Hughes’ Vice President and General Manager of Defense and Intelligence Systems, Rick Lober. “This contract represents great progress in the military’s efforts to achieve greater interoperability across communications platforms [….] We look forward to working closely with the Army in their effort to upgrade the critical system technology that protects our warfighters and allies.”
Consortium results under the CRADA will include modular network architecture recommendations for the Army to integrate various military and commercial networks and services using new standardised interfaces. This approach is expected to foster innovation through increased competition, eliminating single-vendor dependence on closed networks and yielding truly best-in-class technology solutions for the military.
The final CRADA reports are expected to precede competitive procurements of the next generation BFT system around 2020-2021.