$2.4 billion makes a better military radio

CDC Systems UK has been awarded a $2.4 billion (£1.7 billion) contract by the UK MoD as the prime contractor for the Bowman communications system.

CDC Systems UK, a business unit of General Dynamics, has been awarded a $2.4 billion (£1.7 billion) contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) as the prime contractor for the Bowman communications system – a secure digital voice and data communications system that will be based on Internet protocol.

CDC Systems UK was formed by General Dynamics to provide dedicated, co-located and single-point management for the Bowman programme. It will be based in South East Wales, creating or sustaining approximately 1,600 jobs countrywide.

The system will be operational within 24 months; all 18,000 army vehicles will be equipped and all 60,000 service personnel will be trained on the Bowman system by October 2007.

Bowman replaces a system that is now 25 years old – and it will be the largest defence communications programme in the UK in over 50 years. Bowman will include the deployment of approximately 50,000 radios, 25,000 terminals and more than 8,000 local area systems.

CDC Systems UK has established a team of companies to help out with the programme including Computing Devices Canada, Computing Devices Company Hastings, and General Dynamics Communication Systems (all units of General Dynamics), ITT Defence Systems, Harris Systems, BAE Systems, BAE Systems IFS, Command Systems, Litton Industries, Alvis Vehicles, Roush Technologies, Westland, EADS, Syntegra, HVR, and Computer Sciences.

In addition to the Bowman contract, General Dynamics will fund a new Army communications research and development centre in the UK.

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