RESTON, Va., May 1, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- The first Secure Wireless Local Area Network (SWLAN) radio ever deployed during wartime has made combat communications in an urban environment easier and more secure. The radio was developed and fielded by a team led by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) for the U.S. Army.
Newly upgraded SWLAN radios, known as SWLAN AN/VRC-106, installed in Stryker Brigade Combat Team Three (SBCT-3) vehicles, have been used during operations in Iraq since August 2005 -- the first combat deployment for this type of technology in U.S. history.
SWLAN radios are designed to be more mobile and easier to use than conventional secure communications systems, which rely on extensive cabling, making setup time-intensive and cumbersome. SWLAN radios combine commercial-off-the-shelf equipment with National Security Agency-approved encryption capabilities and are intended to establish local area networks among Tactical Operations Center (TOC) vehicles used for battlefield command and control.
Recently, the Army has innovatively used the radios to extend the Department of Defense's Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET) to urban locations, which are separated by, in some cases, more than one kilometer. The SIPRNET is the backbone of U.S. military classified communications.
SWLAN radios provide encrypted Ethernet communications at five megabytes per second over a one-kilometer radius and support simultaneous operations at the 2.4 and 4.4 gigahertz bands, with multiple non-overlapping channels. Built for affordability and reliability in a tough combat environment, the SWLAN commercial-off-the-shelf architecture supports future user needs and system upgrades.
The radio system was developed and fielded by a team led by Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector. Team members include General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale, Ariz., which builds the radio; Northrop Grumman's Information Technology sector in Lakewood, Wash., which provides all SWLAN training, installation and fielding support for all U.S. Army Stryker teams; and Carley Corporation in Orlando, Fla., which develops training materials.
Northrop Grumman has fielded 140 SWLAN radios to-date, 37 of which are with SBCT-3 in Iraq. The Northrop Grumman team is building another 90 radios, with the first units scheduled for delivery in July. Final units are scheduled for January 2007. The Army expects to complete the definition of follow-on technical requirements for the next generation of SWLAN later this year.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With approximately 125,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
CONTACT: Janis Lamar Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (703) 345-7046 Janis.Lamar@ngc.com