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Army to Hold Tests for Communications Network Update

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The U.S. Army plans to field-test new technologies as part of an effort to update the service’s network of tactical communications systems, National Defense Magazine reported Friday.

Col. Rob Ryan, deputy director of the service’s network cross-functional team, said the effort will deliver on a phased, frequentative process over time. The Army will add new technologies every two years.

“There’s no shot clock in how we do this because what is your iPhone going to look like in 2030? You don’t know how [you are] going to communicate in 2030,” he told defense news.

The network CFT leads this modernization effort, which according to another official, aims to field technologies across six brigade combat teams yearly starting fiscal 2023.

Col. Garth Winterle, who manages projects on tactical radios and integrated tactical network, said the Army will begin with four BCTs in fiscal 2021 and add one team per year until fiscal 2023.

Winterle added that the effort would use indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts to pursue the initial fielding phase.

Soldiers have submitted input to help leadership determine and shape communications systems of the future.