January 10, 2012

Contract Award: Comtech to support U.S. Army's Movement Tracking System and Blue-Force Tracking programs

News Report

As announced in a recent press release, Comtech Telecommunications received multiple orders totaling $16.6 million to support the U.S. Army's Movement Tracking System ("MTS") and Blue-Force Tracking-1 ("BFT-1") programs. These orders were placed under the auspices of the BFT program office and brought the total orders received to-date under Comtech's $384.0 million BFT-1 contract to $378.2 million.

The first order for $12.0 million included the supply of MT-2012 mobile satellite transceivers to support the MTS program and MT-2011 mobile satellite transceivers to support the BFT-1 program.

The second order was for the continued supply of satellite bandwidth, satellite network operations, engineering services and program management to support the MTS program for the period January 1, 2012 through March 31, 2012.

Pricing for the second order has not yet been finalized with the U.S. Army and related funding cannot exceed $4.0 million. Additional orders aggregating approximately $0.6 million primarily related to engineering services to develop an operational interface between the MTS network and a standard FBCB2 protocol currently being used by the BFT-1 system.

The Technology

The MT-2012 is the newest member of Comtech Mobile Datacom’s packet data network, providing near real-time satellite-enhanced communications services.

The need for increased functionality led to the development of the MT-2012 which integrates GB GRAM (Ground-Based GPS Receiver Application Module) military GPS and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology with their own specific antennas within a rugged metal housing designed to withstand the rigors of the battlefield environment. An RFID interrogator provides Total Asset Visibility (TAV) by interrogating RF tags attached to cargo containers and reporting data back to headquarters over the satellite link. The addition of a 512K buffer allows the MT-2012 to accept large data dumps for packetized transmission over the satellite. The MT-2012 joins the MT-2011 as the solution of choice for over-the-horizon, on-the-move (OTH/OTM) missions under battlefield conditions, operating anywhere in the world over commercial satellite systems to track mobile assets and provide two-way communications.

The United States Army’s Movement Tracking System (MTS) provides two-way text messaging and position reporting between mobile and fixed assets.

MTS Movement Tracking System

MTS can operate anywhere in the world giving over-the-horizon communications to vehicles on the move. Messages are transmitted via commercial satellites in near real-time, and vehicle locations are displayed on computers with NGA maps. All messages are encrypted end-to-end, including sender and recipient addresses for information security purposes. MTS operates over a variety of geostationary satellites and is designed to transition automatically from one satellite system to another, as required.

Comtech Mobile Datacom Corporation was awarded the MTS contract in 1999. Comtech has designed a spread-spectrum, packet-switched data network that uses state-of-the-art modulation techniques and short burst transmissions. This provides low probability of intercept/detect characteristics to reduce the likelihood that hostile forces can determine the sender’s position or intercept other intelligence. To meet changing mission requirements, Comtech Mobile Datacom developed an enhanced Movement Tracking System (MTS) designated the MTS Plus. The MTS Plus provides In-Transit Visibility (ITV) of units deployed in the battlefield as well as visibility of units providing tactical and logistics support. The MTS Plus also incorporates additional safety features and durability improvements.


Fred Kornberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of Comtech Telecommunications Corp., said, "We are pleased to receive these orders which provide for the uninterrupted delivery of MTS services to the U.S. Army and which continues our long standing support of the MTS and BFT-1 programs. We also believe the receipt of additional hardware orders demonstrates the ongoing importance of the U.S. Army's BFT-1 and MTS satellite tracking communication systems which currently support deployed U.S. forces worldwide."

References: Comtech (1,2,3)

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