The Pentagon's next-gen radio program may be in rotten shape. But there's some good news in battlefield comms: the new wireless network for frontline soldiers may be deployed earlier than expected, says Defense News. Parts of it, anyway.
The Army envisions Warfighter Information Network Tactical (WIN-T) as a communication system that will help troops on the battlefield plug into the Pentagons information networks through satellite, airborne and terrestrial links, even while they are on the move.[WIN-T will be able to hop between a whole heap of cellular and satellite connections, contractor General Dynamics promises. Admins can design networks on the fly, based on what the terrain is like, which signals are available, and who's using the most bandwidth. --ed.]The initial plan for WIN-T saw delivery [of network ground stations] beginning in 2009, but operations in Iraq and Afghanistan led the Army to ask the team to look at speeding that up, said Bill Weiss, vice president for tactical networks at General Dynamics C4 Systems.The testing convinced General Dynamics that WIN-T can provide immediate benefit to soldiers and be ready as early as 2007, Weiss said. November testing [of the system] included live communications and simulated traffic fed into the system, according to a Dec. 1 Army news release.