Boeing Defense, Space & Security2008-12-19 11:11:08

Boeing Makes Network-Centric Advances in 2008

Significant milestones in major network systems programs --like the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS), the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system and the SBInet component of the Department of Homeland Security's Secure Border Initiative -- added up to a successful 2008 for the network-centric information-sharing technologies business at Boeing.

"We continue to provide our diverse customer base with networked solutions from across The Boeing Company," said Nan Bouchard, vice president and general manager of Boeing C3 Networks. "Successful implementation of many of these systems in operational modes provides increased mission effectiveness for our customers and a solid foundation for future growth in Boeing's networked systems business."
The following are some of Boeing's network-centric highlights from the year:
Boeing made several advances with its network-enabled, complex, large-scale "system of systems" solutions such as FCS, GMD and SBInet. FCS, during the U.S. Air Force-led Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment 2008, enabled situational awareness among ground and air assets and called for joint network fires to engage a target. Using data gathered from multiple sensors, GMD successfully tracked and intercepted a target warhead in the most challenging test of the system to date. Boeing also received full government acceptance of its SBInet security solution demonstration, Project 28, which networks cameras, radars, sensors and communications along 28 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Boeing also opened a new experimentation center in Suffolk, Va., bringing its full modeling, simulation, analysis and experimentation capability to government customers in the high-tech Hampton Roads, Va., area. Suffolk joined Boeing's network of experimentation centers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Boeing achieved several space and ground communications milestones critical for network-centric operations. The company's first Wideband Global SATCOM satellite became operational, supporting the government's transformational communications architecture. Boeing and the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Program Executive Office, Joint Tactical Radio System demonstrated how software-defined Ground Mobile Radios are able to operate with one another in a tactical operational environment. And the ability to link military ground, air and space assets took a step closer to reality with the delivery of Boeing's next-generation Family of Advanced Beyond line-of-sight Terminals prototype.

Boeing has also been network-enabling aircraft, improving situational awareness for the warfighter. The AH-64D Apache Block III helicopter, with its network-centric communications capabilities, completed its first flight, while Boeing delivered the first U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler to the fleet. The EA-18G integrates the capabilities of the most advanced Airborne Electronic Attack system with the advanced weapons, sensors and communications systems found on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. In addition, Boeing integrated network-centric capabilities into two operational U.S. Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft for Empire Challenge 2008, a joint military exercise.

Two acquisitions, Federated Software Group and Tapestry Solutions, will help Boeing provide its customers with network-centric logistics through integrated command and control, data fusion, and logistics- and knowledge-management products and services. Project Alpine, an Integrated Live, Virtual and Constructive proof-of-concept training demonstration linking real and simulated F-15E aircraft, won the Outstanding Achievement in Modeling & Simulation award from the National Training and Simulation Association.

Boeing Phantom Works, a division of Boeing Engineering, Operations & Technology, participated in company demonstrations that showed how Network-Enabled Operations can support the Federal Aviation Administration's Next-Generation Air Transportation System by enabling different systems from different agencies to talk with one another.

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