AAI, Overwatch and ViaSat to Showcase FASTCOM(TM) at Empire Challenge 11
Demonstration Highlights Expeditionary Cellular Network's Full Motion Video Capability
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz., May 26, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Overwatch, businesses of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, along with ViaSat Inc., are showcasing the Forward Airborne Secure Transmissions and Communications (FASTCOM) system during Empire Challenge 11, a joint and international intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance interoperability demonstration sponsored by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense, Intelligence and hosted by the U.S. Joint Forces Command. Sponsored by the U.S. Army Brigade Modernization Command, AAI UAS, Overwatch and ViaSat will demonstrate the FASTCOM secure battlefield cellular network at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., each day from May 23 to June 3, 2011.
Empire Challenge 11 is the first public FASTCOM system demonstration incorporating an aircraft. The FASTCOM system can be powered by unmanned aircraft such as AAI's Shadow® Tactical UAS, manned aircraft, an aerostat or a ground vehicle equipped with AAI-developed tactical pods, ViaSat's communications suite, and Overwatch's all-source
Creating a secure, mobile cellular network for up to 100 simultaneous users, the FASTCOM system's all-IP (Internet Protocol) network-in-a-box enables voice, data and imagery communications at the tactical edge, satellite communications connectivity among multiple networks, and backhaul across the battlefield.
Empire Challenge 11 also will showcase how users in a FASTCOM network can download and display full motion video right from their smartphones or tablet computers. Applications demonstrated within the network include Overwatch's SoldierEyes(TM) and Cloudwave. SoldierEyes provides tactical responders access to advanced analytical, collaboration and investigative tools via their smartphone devices, while Cloudwave allows users to operate needed applications from their local machines in low-connectivity scenarios and reconnect to the networked application when able. In addition, the team is working on integration and certification of ViaSat
"FASTCOM is a highly expeditionary system that creates flexible, secure battlefield communications networks, regardless of the surrounding environment or lack of infrastructure," says Vice President, Ground Control Technologies Bill Irby of AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems. "We can give dismounted warfighters valuable connectivity and situational awareness directly from their commercial smartphones and
"Commercial technologies are transforming military communications by combining FASTCOM with a new generation of high-capacity satellites going into service this year, offering better battlefield connectivity, lowering the cost of capacity and enabling new, innovative tools," said Vice President, ViaSat Government Systems Division Jerry Goodwin. "ViaSat's secure smartphone technology, using standard commercial phones together with FASTCOM, provides a rich information environment for every soldier on the battlefield."
"We're connecting the warfighter on the tactical edge to a spectrum of information that greatly enhances situational awareness," says Overwatch Vice President, Business Development & Strategy Jon Percy. "No matter the location or the circumstances, dismounted warfighters will retain both access to data and the ability to develop it into actionable information."
AAI Corporation and its indirect wholly owned subsidiaries Aerosonde Pty Ltd and ESL Defence Limited design, produce and support industry-leading aerospace and defense products and services, including unmanned aircraft and ground control technologies; high-fidelity training and simulation systems; automated aerospace test and maintenance equipment; armament systems; and logistical, engineering, supply chain and operational support services. AAI Corporation is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available at www.aaicorp.com.
Overwatch, a strategic business of Textron Systems Advanced Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, is the leading provider of integrated intelligence software solutions and services as well as robust satellite communications systems for today's U.S. and international defense and intelligence communities. For the past 20 years, Overwatch's intelligence solutions have supported decision makers, counter-terrorism analysts, warfighters and first responders by providing proven tools that simplify the integration, analysis and exploitation of intelligence in order to present a complete operational picture and accelerate the time-to-decision. More information is available at www.overwatch.com.
About ViaSat Inc.
ViaSat produces innovative satellite and other digital communication products that enable fast, secure, and efficient communications to virtually any location. The company provides networking products and managed network services for enterprise IP applications; network-centric military communications and encryption technologies and products to the U.S. government; gateway and customer-premises equipment for consumer and mobile satellite broadband services; and owns WildBlue, the premier Ka-band satellite broadband service provider. More information is available at www.viasat.com.
About Enterprise PCS
Enterprise PCS (EPCS) provides on-premise cellular systems deploying wireless voice, data and messaging services to end users and resellers utilizing licensed Federal Communications Commission wireless spectrum in the United States and U.S. Possessions. More information is available at www.enterprisepcs.com.
About Textron Systems
Textron Systems has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for more than 50 years. Known for its unmanned aircraft systems, advanced marine craft, armored vehicles, intelligent battlefield and surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, precision smart weapons, piston engines, test and training systems, and total life cycle sustainment services, Textron Systems includes the following businesses: AAI Logistics & Technical Services, AAI Test & Training, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Advanced Systems, Aerosonde, ESL Defence, Lycoming Engines, Medical Numerics, Overwatch, Textron Defense Systems and Textron Marine & Land Systems. More information is available at www.textronsystems.com.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textron.com.
Doug Wilburne, 401-457-2288
Textron Systems Corporation
Sharon Corona, 410-628-3184
David Sylvestre, 401-457-2362