Friday, June 4, 2010

WIN-T: US Army’s Connection to the GIG

As the Army’s tactical portion of the USA’s Global Information Grid (GIG) network, WIN-T is designed to help deployed forces tap into that grid and its databases, collectors, and connections to national agencies. At present, this requires multiple private networks, or outright forward deployment of representatives from the agencies in question.

Win-T Increment One was formerly known as the Joint Network Node. It provides Internet capability to a small platoon on the ground, which can now communicate with the rest of the world. 

The node consists of vehicles and shipping containers (the Joint Network Node, the Battalion Command Post Node, the Ku SATCOM trailer and the Hub Node) equipped with systems that provide voice over IP, dynamic IP, videoconferencing and access to the military’s classified and unclassified networks…

Incremental Change

Increment One of WIN-T provides soldiers access to the GIG while stationary. Increment One is being used by more than half of the Army worldwide, including troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to prime contractor General Dynamics.

Increment Two, which General Dynamics is also under contract to provide, will enable soldiers to communicate on the move using satellite and radio communication links. 

Increment Three provides increased network reliability and capacity, smaller and more tightly integrated communications and networking gear. Increment Four, the last of the WIN-T developmental program elements, is a pending contract award.

General Dynamics C4 Systems leads a WIN-T team that includes Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Harris Corporation, L-3 communications, Juniper Networks and CISCO Systems

Contracts and Key Events

May 13/10: General Dynamics C4 Systems announces a $12.4 million contract modification to develop a line-of-sight communications payload for the Extended Range/Multi-purpose (ER/MP) UAV to serve as a node on the WIN-T Increment 3 network. The WIN-T communications payload will use the Highband Networking Waveform (HNW) to serve as a radio repeater while the UAS is in flight. This capability will be useful in an urban environment or on rugged terrain where there are barriers to ground communication.
April 5/10: General Dynamics C4 Systems in Taunton, MA received a $164 million firm-fixed-price contract for WIN-T Increment 2 low-rate production, urgent 1st order, for the procurement of equipment for 3 brigade combat teams, 1 division headquarters, 4 regional hub nodes, and one base equipment complement to support the initial operational test and evaluation for WIN-T Increment 2 for program manager, WIN-T.

Work is to be performed in Taunton, MA with an estimated completion date of June 30/10. The CECOM Acquisition Center at Fort Monmouth, NJ manages the contract (W15PT-10-D-C007).

June 5/09: General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies receives a $119 million modification to an existing delivery order (W15P7T-06-D-L219) to provide satellite communications earth terminals and support services for Increment One of the US Army’s WIN-T program.

Under the contract, General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies will provide 293 satellite transportable terminals (STT), 6 unit hub SATCOM trucks (UHST) and 534 Ka-band upgrade kits and spares. 

General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies’ work is being performed under an existing World Wide Satellite Systems delivery order, managed by the WIN-T program manager’s Commercial Satellite Terminal Program in Ft. Monmouth, NJ. This modification to the existing delivery order brings the contract’s total value to $378 million for 956 STTs and 17 UHSTs, which represent approximately half of the hardware quantities available on the 4-year program.

April 6/09: General Dynamics announces that the US Army’s 4th Brigade – 2nd Infantry Division in Fort Lewis, WA, and 3rd Infantry Division in Fort Stewart, GA completed a limited user test of WIN-T Increment 2. A General Dynamics-led team supported the testing, during which soldiers from the 2 units planned and executed multiple missions, sharing command and control information from the command post down to the company level using WIN-T.

March 4/09: A General Dynamics-led team completes a developmental testing of the WIN-T Increment 2 on-the-move broadband networking capability. The test included building and operating a network comprising more than 35 network nodes. In a tactical environment, a network this size would support an Army division and associated brigade, battalion and company elements.

Nov 3/08: General Dynamics C4 Systems announces delivery of the first WIN-T Increment 1 equipment to the US Army. Increment 1 builds on the former Joint Network Node-Network (JNN) and provides soldiers with a high-capacity communications network when they are stopped.

On schedule deliveries of WIN-T Increment 1 to the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) at Ft. Lewis, WA, includes networking hubs, network management suites and network nodes. The equipment serves battalion, brigade and division/corps command posts and Expeditionary Signal Battalions.

This article can be found in its original entirety here

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