UK to Simplify Bowman Radio Systems

14 May 2009 (Last Updated May 14th, 2009 18:30)

The UK military's tactical communications and data system, known as Bowman, will undergo a series of upgrades to make the technology simpler for troops to use. Other upgrades include enhanced battle planning tools, a more stable and robust tactical internet and improved situational awa

The UK military's tactical communications and data system, known as Bowman, will undergo a series of upgrades to make the technology simpler for troops to use.

Other upgrades include enhanced battle planning tools, a more stable and robust tactical internet and improved situational awareness.

The Bowman system has been developed and integrated by General Dynamics UK into over 13,000 British Army vehicles, together with headquarters, ships and helicopters.

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies said that Bowman, which has been used successfully in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a step change from the old days of analogue radios and manual code books.

"Upgrading the technology will put us at the vanguard of military communications capability. It allows us to adapt constantly to technological advances and the evolving demands of life on operations," Davies said.

The latest planned upgrade, known as BCIP5, will be fielded as a software and hardware upgrade across the army's vehicle and man-portable radio fleets.

Bowman's secure radio communications have been used on operations since 2005, together with a basic data capability.

The Ministry of Defence is also purchasing an additional 3,400 radios in order to meet the demands of current operations and their associated training needs.

BCIP5 is already rolling out to Royal Navy ships, the Royal Marines, the RAF regiment and specialist army signals units.