The WIN-T system is described in Army documents as
“a single integrating framework creating a network of networks,” replacing the existing Tri-Service Tactical
Communications/Mobile Subscriber Equipment. It would
provide “reliable, secure and seamless video, data, imagery
and voice” communications, the documents said.
It is expected to be a vital element of the Army’s massive Future Combat Force program to provide a new generation of networked combat and reconnaissance systems.
The key focus of the Army program, as with M2C2,
is to support command and control on the move. The
Army has added an emphasis on using commercial, off-the-shelf technologies and reducing the size and weight
of the communications equipment.
A full-rate production decision originally was
expected to be made last year. But the schedule has
slipped and the program restructured. It now is broken
into four increments.
Limited fielding to Army units of Increment 1 —
described as networking at halt — has started.
A $921 million contract to continue development of
Increments 2 and 3 was awarded in September 2007.
General Dynamics is the primary contractor and
Lockheed Martin is the principal subcontractor.
A production contract for Increment 2 — initial networking on the move — is expected to be awarded this
year and begin fielding in 2010. It would provide high-bandwidth, on-the-move communications and network management down to the company level, the
Army documents said, allowing commanders to maintain situational awareness, receive critical and timely
information and pass on operational orders while on
Increment 3 would expand those capabilities by
using unmanned aerial vehicles and provide full networking on the move.
Increment 4 would enable highly protected satellite
communications on the move using the Transformation
Fielding of the full WIN-T system now is expected in
2013. But the Pentagon decided in December to scrap the
$18 billion Transformational Satellite program and seek
contracts on a scaled-down system. That could delay full
implementation of Increment 4. ■