In my opinion we need to start utilizing more commercial off the shelf (COTS) solutions for today's war fighter. This is especially true when dealing with IT solutions. Gone are the days when a large system integrator (Lockheed, L3, SAIC...take your pick) puts out a meaningful technology solution that is relevant at the end of a multi-year deliverable. I saw this first hand when Naval Special Warfare paid L3 to develop a recon lap top system that was irrelevant and outdated when delivered.
And at 25k a piece we ended up with an expensive and bulky system that could be easily replaced at Radio Shack or the Apple store with off the shelf technology that was better and only a fraction of the cost.
I'm glad to see the direction SOCOM is heading with this May RFI outlined below. -Brandon
"USSOCOM is requesting industry comment on its ability to provide a non-developmental, personal role radio-like capability with as many of the attributes identified in the RFI Attachment. The requirement is for such device to be available in 4th Qtr FY 11. Consequently, the technological maturity of this radio cannot be waived.".....
From a source at INPUT:
"According to a Nextgov article, SOCOM said it is looking to acquire a nondevelopmental radio for team members with a range of just over a mile. Requirements include the capacity to plug-and-play with Android devices through a USB or serial port and also to run on either a Windows or Android operating system."