General Dynamics UK is the Prime
Contractor and Systems Integrator for Bowman, the tactical C4I
system for the British armed forces. Bowman delivers a step change
in capability over the Clansman family of radios through its
security, data capability, reliability and resilience against
Electronic Warfare (EW) attack.
Bowman provides an
Automatic Position Location, Navigation and Reporting system which
gives Situational Awareness to units throughout the digitised
structure. The friendly forces picture can be configured to update
unit and vehicle positions automatically. The tactical picture is
shown on map displays on a variety of purpose-built data terminals –
handheld, portable, vehicle or desk mounted. Key armoured fighting
vehicles (AFVs) are fitted with specialised equipments tailored to
each vehicle type to facilitate use of the APLNR capability in the
specific environment of an AFV.
The Common Battlefield Applications Toolset (ComBAT) provides the main
C2 interfaces for users of the Bowman system. This provides mechanisms
for messaging, reports and returns. Battle Management capabilities
include support for planning functions.
APACHE - BOWMAN CONNECTIVITY (ABC)
ABC is an addition to the Bowman programme which provides secure voice
and data communications between the British Army’s attack helicopter
and its related land-based operational units.
General Dynamics UK’s solution delivers this additional capability
through an innovative mechanism, saving the MOD hundreds of millions
of pounds, by adapting some of the Bowman Network Access Units to
provide an integrated communications network with previously
under-utilised facilities within
BOWMAN IN SERVICE
12 Mechanised Brigade was the first brigade to be converted to
Bowman and successfully completed a six month operational tour in Iraq
– OP TELIC 6 – in November 2005. 7 Armoured Brigade followed on OP
TELIC 7, taking its Bowman-equipped Warriors and Challenger 2 tanks.
Bowman has received favourable reports from the User on operations.
Conversion of the 3 Commando Brigade and its supporting Amphibious
Task Group is complete and Littoral ISD has been declared.
The Royal Signals is playing a major role in the introduction into
service of Bowman.
The programme involves conversion of up to 15,700 land vehicles, 141
naval vessels, and 60 helicopters (mainly Chinook and Merlin), with
training for some 75,000 service personnel. Contracts worth £2.4
billion were placed with General Dynamics UK, in 2001 for Bowman and
in 2002 for the Combat Infrastructure Programme (CIP). Around 45,000
Personal Role Radios, 47,000 manpack and vehicle radios, and 26,000
computer terminals are being acquired.
The system is being designed to provide, in conjunction with
Ptarmigan, Cormorant, and in time (probably from about 2011 onward)
Falcon, integrated digital communications network across the whole