Each student is required to read a journal article on issues addressing a contracting issue. This article must be different than your first article submission. The journals must be research oriented, such as those found in http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/periodicals/dodelecj.htm or related journals. This means the article should cite references and have a bibliography at the end of the article. After reading the article, you should prepare a one-page single-spaced abstract of the article and provide the abstract, not the entire article, to the professor. At the beginning of your abstract please include the bibliographic citation, also in reasonably correct APA format. Your abstract should be succinctly written in a descriptive and informative manner and not exceed one single-spaced type written page.
The Joint Tactical Radio System and the Army’s
Future Combat System: Issues for Congress
Nov 17, 2005
The Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) is a vital piece of the Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) transformation. This work gives an overall feel for how the JTRS program is progressing and outlines a scope of background, current issues, recent congressional actions and issues Congress needs to address. JTRS is being developed to replace 25-30 legacy radio systems and to ensure all military services and platforms can communicate via voice, data, and video through all levels of command. Its development is broken down into five clusters or phases. The article is designed to concentrate on cluster one and five. The report lists several concerns that are hampering JTRS development. The developmental concerns include size and weight constraints, line of sight range limitations, security issues, interoperability with legacy systems, cluster one stop work order, and feasible alternatives. The writing shows that to meet current range requirements the system has to incorporate larger and heavier pieces. This causes the program to not meet size and weight requirements. Since the JTRS is a software based system there are issues related to security. The JTRS utilizes software based encryption which makes it vulnerable to hackers. A need exists to allow JTRS to communicate with legacy systems, but JTRS has not shown this ability. In order to become interoperable with legacy systems the size and weight of hardware must go up and again this hurts the associated requirement. The overall inability to meet size and weight requirements has become an enormous stumbling block for cluster one and five progression. As a matter of fact, due to these concerns, Cluster One received a stop work order on April 25, 2005 from the Department of Defense. There are current alternatives to JTRS, but they do not meet full operational requirements of the JTRS program. These alternatives could still be looked at as solutions if JTRS does not make significant progress. The Army has pushed to experiment with JTRS radios within their units basically from formations down to the soldier level. The main intent of the experiment is to test JTRS interoperability with other FCS components. The JTRS program is restructuring management of all clusters to allow usable capabilities to the field while still working to resolve other long term goal to field an interoperable software defined radio. The report explains how program budgeting is a major cause for concern as well. The Government Accountability Office estimates JTRS cluster one to cost $15.6 billion to develop and acquire 100,000 cluster one radios and $8.5 billion to develop and acquire 300,000 cluster five radios. The Army only requested $156.7 million for fiscal year 2006. This has caused major concerns related to cost growth. Recent congressional actions include approval for full funding of JTRS waveform development from the House Appropriations Committee. The work listed a table to show all Appropriations Committees recommended JTRS program adjustments as well. The report finalized by listing issues for Congress to review. These included cluster one viability concerns, JTRS security issues, and to review JTRS alternatives.