EADS has equipped Allied forces in the
Balkans with an Interim Forces Tracking System (IFTS), which monitors
the position of all units operated under Allied forces command in
Kosovo and the Balkans (Bosnia Herzegovina and the former Yugoslavian
republic of Macedonia). Apat from unit tracking, the system
facilitates emergency messaging and establishment of real-time common
situational picture for all levels of command. EADS Defence and
Communications Systems is supplying the system under a €13 million
contract with NATO Consultation Command and Control Agency (NC3A).
This deployment will enable NATO to field-test the system which is
destined to equip all units under NATO command in its theatres of
the central server is installed at the KFOR command post in Pristina.
This server can track up to 600 vehicles equipped with rugged data
terminals, transmitting GPS locations over secured TETRAPOL radio
channels. The TETRAPOL network first deployed in year 2000 already
covers over 90% of the Kosovo area of operation. To support BFT, the
network will undergo significant enhancements, including the
introduction of data transmission functions, and an increased number
of communication channels.
The information system is based on [email protected], a derivative of the SIR
(System d’Information Régimentaire) already deployed by the French
Army. [email protected] enables a vehicle to transmit and receive geographical
location of vehicles in their vicinity, as well as receiving
geographical tactical information such as prohibited or dangerous
zones, as well as free-text and form-based messages.
The system generates specific displays for different levels of
command, including HQ, command and vehicle levels. The system uses PCs
at headquarter level, touch-screen terminals for vehicular
applications and PDAs for dismounted users. At HQ, BFT provides
monitoring of all vehicle's locations over a large area (operation
theater) map. At the brigade or battalion command level, the system
generates the relevant subsets of the HQ view, focusing on the local
area of operation, utilizing larger scale maps. At the vehicle level,
the system provides a local, vehicle centered view of the immediate
area, showing neighboring vehicles. The system supports several
messaging standards, including FRAGOs, SITREP and can rapidly generate
alerts indicating accidents, attacks and other emergencies.
BFT supports a wide range of communications means supported by QoS
policies to ensure rapid delivery of high priority transmissions. The
network is controlled by buit-in switch capable of integrating
tactical VHF communications, as well as satellite communications,
commercial networks including PMR and COTS based networks such as WiFi,
WiMAX etc. The system can utilize secured communications with "over
the air" key management service. Each unit can be deactivated or
"killed" by remote control, denying access by unauthorized users to
network resources or classified data stored on captured units.