Wednesday, July 29, 2009

South Korea to develop a cutting-edge digital command-and-control

South Korea will begin developing a cutting-edge digital command-and-control and sensor-to-shooter battlefield system fit for a network-centric environment next year, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) here announced July 28.The plan was approved by an arms procurement decision-making committee presided over by Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee, the agency said in a news release. The development of the Tactical Information Communication Network (TICN) will be completed by 2012, following two years of exploratory development from 2007 to 2008, with the investment of about 181 billion won ($146 million), said Yoon Chang-oak, chief of the agency's tactical communication and control business department. About 4.8 trillion won ($3.8 billion) will be spent over the following eight years to produce and deploy the TICN, replacing the South Korean Army's SPIDER communications system, Yoon said.

TICN is a future tactical military communication information system that will enable precise command and control and decision-making by unifying the diversified military communication network and conveying a broad array of battlefield information in real time. It is designed to advance into a high-speed, large-capacity, long-distance wireless relay transmission system."For the TICN development, we'll make the most of the made-in-Korea WiBro technology and other indigenous state-of-the-art information technologies with the help of local communications systems developers," Yoon said.The SPIDER system can only transmit still images and voice data, but TICN will allow for the integrated transmission of video, image and voice data at more than 10 times the current speed, he added.

The agency will open a bid for the TICN development project in August and sign contracts with final bidders by the end of December, Yoon noted. According to DAPA sources, companies that participated in the exploratory development phase, such as Samsung Thales, LIG Nex1 and Huneed Technologies, will likely be selected as preferred bidders for the full-scale development phase again. The TICN exploratory development was overseen by the state-funded Agency for Defense Development. The network system consists of five subsystems, including High Capacity Trunk Radio (HCTR), Tactical Multi-band and Multi-role Radio (TMMR) and Network Management System (NMS).Samsung Thales was a main developer of TICN, taking charge of the development of NMS and two other subsystems. LIG Nex1 was in charge of TMMR, while Huneed was a main contractor for HCTR.


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