Raytheon BBN Technologies said work on a prototype system will be conducted under a $5.5 million award.
"There simply are not enough human translators available to meet the Army's needs, and previous translation devices have restricted users to a selection of canned phrases," said Prem Natarajan, head of the speech, language and multimedia processing unit at Raytheon BBN Technologies.
"The Machine Foreign Language Translation Systems program offers the promise of a complete communications solution for unrestricted speech and text across a variety of platforms -- from server-based systems to portable units for mobile use."
Raytheon BBN Technologies said the system would enable speech-to-speech translation, document translation and text-to-text translation.
Under the award, the company will develop software architecture for the system in portable, mobile and net-enabled configurations.