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Companies demo enhanced global communications for military

An enhanced military global communications service has been demonstrated by Exelis and Iridium in partnership with the Defense Information Systems Agency.

By
Richard Tomkins
A mockup of a Motorola satellite for Iridium. Image by Eric Long/ National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
A mockup of a Motorola satellite for Iridium. Image by Eric Long/ National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 22 (UPI) -- A new global reach push-to-talk voice and data communications capability for the Defense Information Systems Agency has been developed by two U.S. companies.

The capability for DISA's Distributed Tactical Communication System, or DTCS, is from Exelis and Iridium and was demonstrated recently in partnership with the agency's Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services program office.

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Exelis said that in the demonstration their system connected users in regions across the globe -- multiple radios deployed within each region simultaneously connected with those nearby as well as with others thousands of miles away.

Once deployed, the result will be a global services capability for command and control through inter-theater, on-the-move communications between distributed tactical units and multiple echelons of command.

"This successful demonstration is the first step in a major capability evolution for DTCS," said Mark Adams, vice president and general manager of the Exelis specialty applications business. "We remain committed to DISA's goal of providing DTCS users with more powerful communication tools and an improved overall user experience, regardless of global location."

Specifics of the system were not detailed, but Exelis said it leverages currently technology, software enhancements and DISA communications infrastructure.

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"Industry has worked closely with the U.S. government to rapidly develop these new DTCS Global Services capabilities," said Scott Scheimreif, executive vice president for government programs at Iridium. "In an era of declining budgets, leveraging Iridium's global satellite network has enabled the Department of Defense to deploy advanced technology with specialized capabilities for the warfighter at a fraction of the cost and schedule of typical military systems."

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