The FBCB2 system provides software and hardware tools
that supporting battle command and near-real-time brigade level
situational pictures, down to the individual soldier, single platform
level. The system integrates over 1,000 subscriber sets covering the
brigade's entire area of interest, including Bradley or Stryker combat
vehicles, M-1A2 tanks, AH-64D, OH-58D and Black Hawk helicopters,
artillery and combat support elements etc. The system's coverage
extends far beyond the line of sight and visual communications ranges
provided by previous C2 systems. The system relies on advanced
communications devices, which integrate position navigation and
reporting capability (such as GPS integrated SINCGARS or EPLRS).
Subscribers also embed some battlefield identification capability
(such as BCIS Blue Force Tracking
facilities deployed during OIF) to generate instant alerts on
instances where engagement between friendly forces is at risk.
FBCB2 is designed to support commanders at lower
echelons with real-time situational awareness, target identification
and graphical combat area displays. The system's situational
awareness component displays the geographical location of all
weapons, platforms, soldiers, command posts and other facilities
based on actual locations reported automatically by the system's
subscribers in near-real time. The system is used in conjunction
with the Army’s Tactical Internet (TI) seamless Internet and legacy
Army Tactical Command and Controls System (ATTCS) to link to the
Army Battle Command Systems (ABCS). Operating at division level and
above, ABCS collects information from both the operation center and
the individual units, processes a common operational picture (COP)
and disseminates it through FBCB2 computers to all levels of
command, thus improved situational awareness, coordination and
combined operations and support.
subscribers automatically post their position and status messages, via
wireless or satellite radios, to nearby subscribers as well as to
central hubs at the brigade's Command Post. The information is
transmitted over wireless and secured internet, which enables every
member of the network receiving relevant information on nearby
friendly forces, and creates common, constantly updated digital maps
of the battlespace, shared by all the combat echelons below or above
the brigade, as well as nearby forces or joint forces. This common
picture displays positions and details about enemy forces, and
specific targets, friendly and own forces, logistics information etc.
FBCB2 is designed to operate with current systems, and is fully
functional with relatively slow wireless data modems and narrowband
links. To support such operation the system relies on a number of
common messages, and the delivery of textual messages.
DRS's FBCB2 appliqué V-4 terminals consist of rugged
computers and hard disk drives, display units, keyboard units. The
current configuration uses upgraded processor units with one gigabyte
(GB) of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM).
DRS started the delivery of FBCB2 hardware under low rate production
of 9,000 sets in 2001. By June 2004 the program moved into full rate
production under a five year $100 million US Army contract. DRS
received the latest $45.5 milliom order in October 2005, for the
supply of more than 5,500 sets to be delivered through 2006. Systems
are installed on M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and M2A3 Bradley
Fighting Vehicles, to support the Army’s Blue Force Tracking
requirements, which include beyond line-of-sight reporting and
tracking, as well as significant improvements in vertical and
horizontal information integration for incorporation into the Army’s
overall battlefield visualization efforts.
DRS Technologies, Inc. received an additional US$19 million
order for FBCB2 hardware. This contract adds 1,700 Appliqué Computer
Systems and peripheral equipment to already supplied 25,000 FBCB2
systems already deployed with the U.S. Army.