Top U.S. Army officials clarified that the service’s ongoing integrated tactical network modernization will not seek a new network but will look at commercially-available technologies to expand connectivity for units battalion and below, C4ISRnet reported Monday.
“We’re not replacing anything,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Baer, Army's ITN product manager. “What we’re doing is we’re basically taking program of record and we’re looking at injecting commercial off-the-shelf items to see where we can enhance or improve our capabilities.”
The Army hopes technologies such as radios, tablets and satellite communications provide a shared understanding throughout a unit. One technology the service considers is an Android device strapped to soldiers’ chests that would allow them to access a shared photo or map for situational awareness in the field. Baer and other Army officials expect to continue experiments to develop new concepts and systems for the ITN.
“It gives us an opportunity to keep up with industry and tweak things as we go, with user feedback and also inject capabilities depending on what the unit has [and] what the unit’s missions are,” Baer said.