Pentagon preparing to fight in degraded communications environment

According to a press release, the Pentagon has awarded L3 Technologies a contract to “explore technologies enabling cooperative engagement in degraded communication environments for the next generation of munitions.”

L3 Technologies Inc., Communications Systems-West, Salt Lake City, Utah, has been awarded a $9,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to explore technologies enabling cooperative engagement in degraded communication environments for the next generation of munitions.  Work will be performed in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is expected to be complete by January 2025. This contract is the result of a competitive acquisition and two bids were received. Fiscal 2017 research and development funds in the amount of $1,680,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.

Analyst Comment: It appears as though the Pentagon expects its ground forces will at some time in the not-too-distant future find themselves fighting in an environment where communications will be degraded, either by natural elements (underground/tunnels) or electronic warfare and jamming. Developing new technologies to overcome these obstacles is necessary so troops can call for fires, guide smart weapons, and so forth. This is most likely due to concerns about fighting a war in Europe, where military leaders widely acknowledge Russian electronic warfare and jamming capabilities will post significant challenges to U.S. forces.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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