The U.S. Army is developing a new family of rugged, vehicle-mounted computers able to offer soldiers an improved digital display and the ability to interchange different software packages as needed, according to Army officials.
Called the Mounted Family of Computer Systems, the new computers range from tablets to 12-, 15- or 17-inch displays. The tablets are ruggedized and operate on a 25-foot cable so as to be able to move around within a vehicle or even go outside as needed.
"The vision here is to have a single tactical computer for Army vehicles that will run multiple applications," Dominic Satili, deputy product manager for Blue Force Tracking, assigned to Project Manager Joint Battle Command-Platform, said in a statement. "This standardizes the type of computer and at the same time creates a family of different sizes that adjusts to the mission."
Among other things, the computers will run Joint Battle Command – Platform, a new force-tracking technology able to provide a digital moving map displays, chat and messaging functions and combat-relevant position location information. Essentially, friendly and enemy force location information appear as graphic displays or icons imposed over a moving digital map.
This technology, which also includes the Marine Corps, is a force-tracking system designed to provide the next-generation Blue-Force Tracking capability.
In June, the Army’s Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical, awarded a three-year, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for production and development of the new computers to Florida-based DRS Tactical Systems Inc., the Army website says.