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In the battlefield, communication is an important aspect of warfare; it is one of the key variables that determine whether an operation is a success or a failure.
The purpose of this report is to give a good understanding as to why the Warfighter Information Network is a good choice to when it comes to the communication aspect of the Mechanized Mobile Tank. It will give detailed information of the systems parts and what it can do for the tank.
Our mechanized mobile tank (MMT) will handle various operations and must be well informed of the current situation of the battlefield, which includes knowing where to go at all times, what are its current objectives and changes that can and will happen in the heat of battle and report all of the information gathered back to its main base. In order to succeed in its operation, it must have a constant and quick form of communication in order to carry out its job.
The solution towards this problem is to incorporate or use as its main form of communication, the Warfighter Information Network - Tactical (WIN-T).
This report will go over the basic information about the WIN-T and why it is the best option to use for the communications system of the MMT. It will go over the four basic increments of the WIN-T, giving a detail of each one and what it does for the MMT.
The WIN-T is the newest, most mobile and fastest communication network for the Army to this date. This network is comprised of four sections called "Increments". Each network has the job of providing information to and from the battlefield from all angles and views, incorporating information received from single or multiple battalions, to information received from an orbiting satellite. To be effective in the battlefield, the WIN-T is also capable of being self healing where as to one particular node has been lost and such, the existing nodes will be able to take up the lost nodes job and continue on until it able to be picked back up. The WIN-T is the next step in battlefield communications where it is to incorporate the idealism of a mobile communication system. Current communications are currently in the form of a stop and talk deal. Where a small group of soldiers; units, battalions or otherwise, would have to stop and set up communications with their main base of operations in order to get updated or receive new orders. The WIN-T is to be a dynamic system where changes are made on the fly, and missions can be changed according to the information received and rapidly transmitted to the proper battalions.
Increment one is the main node that the other three increments revolve around. It is the main "base of operations" for the network, handling information coming in and out of the battlefield. It has the job of basically translating the information coming from the other increments and giving the desired or necessary information to the required increment. It is currently is a semi stationary shelter that only moves when it needs to. It is in terms it is the basic "headquarters" of the WIN-T. Increment one is the Joint Network Node (JNN) but with added capabilities; what used to be itself now became increment one. " 'The Joint Network Node is a Joint-compatible communications package that allows the Warfighter to use advanced networking capabilities, retain interoperability with current force systems, and keep in step with future networks. The JNN provides a suite of voice, video, and data communication tools designed to meet the needs of Division, Brigadeand Battalion Command Post structures. It is a rapidly deployable, early-entry system housed in an S-250 shelter and mounted on an ECV HMMWV for roll on/roll off mobility.' "  The MMT is designed to be an offensive and defensive weapon in the battlefield and can be adaptable to what is needed. It can serve as the central node if needed. Although it will not support any of the offensive capabilities, it will be able to serve as the semi-mobile headquarters for any operations.
Increment Two is the initial mobility of the WIN-T. Increment Two's mobility relies on the units that work under it. It consists of communications from groups of individual units ranging from battalions down to companies. Increment two has the capabilities of taking the job of increment one should the need arise. This is what makes the WIN-T system self-healing where it can still operate even without the central node and continue on. Although increment one is the main core of the network, increment two would provide the most information and be the main focus of the entire network. Battalions, squads and other battlefield units are able to access the network to provide critical information to all other units in the field or send information back to increment one.
Being that increment two will be on the battlefield in the majority basis, one of the main problems of increment two is being able to keep a constant signal to all the units. A stationary unit would naturally receive more data speeds; 1 megabyte per second, while moving units could reach up to; 128 kilobytes per second. The solution to the contact signal problem would include a two waveform communications system. The two waveforms would consist of the Line of Sight (LOS) communication and SATCOM; communications through the use of a satellite. Line of Sight is what the term says; being able to see the other unit while being able to keep a visual on them. To ensure that the unit in a group or located far off is still within communication, the system will automatically switch to SATCOM when the LOS signal is lost and keep the unit in check. SATCOM would primarily be used as the backup communications just when ever LOS signal is lost. Army Col. William "Chuck" Hoppe describes it as " 'if you're on a line-of-sight link and you're moving, and you drop down into a valley and the person you had line of sight with is on the other side of the valley, you lose that line-of-sight link, you're out of the network. [With] Increment 2, you've got HNW and NCW on the same vehicle. We're constantly sampling the quality of the link. If that link quality starts to deteriorate, the system automatically sets up a satcom link and cuts you over to satcom. ...So you never drop out of the network even though you've dropped down in the valley. And then as you come back out of the valley and you re-establish that line of sight, it breaks down the satellite link and puts you back on the terrestrial link. That is the trick.' "  This is the vital communication that the MMT needs in order to carry out its job. With a steady flow of communication speeds, having the SATCOM as a secondary form of communication should it loose regular contact and be able to adjust its operations on the fly, the MMT will be fully capable of staying on the job at all times until its mission is completed or otherwise directed.
Increment three is the full mobility aspect of the WIN-T. This increment will feature support from aerial units such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Just like increment two, it will also be self-healing and be able to take on the capabilities that increment one and two have. "Additionally Increment 3 is aligned with Future Combat Systems (FCS) and introduces embedded JC4ISR radios into the FCS platforms. Increment 3 addresses the size, weight, power, and cooling requirements for systems to be hosted in FCS vehicles."
Increment four is referred to as the protected satellite communication. This increment is as of now not readably available due to the lack of tested and funds. It is to be a constant and high speed protected communication system. Increment four is the Transformational Satellite Communications system which deals with what was previously mentioned about the protected satellite communications. Its job was to connect the military branches such as the Department of Defense, the Air Force and such but unfortunately, due to budget costs it was terminated. Nevertheless, increment four stays as the next part of the WIN-T should a viable communications system be introduced.
In conclusion, the Warfighter Information Network - Tactical provides the optimal assurance of keeping the MMT in tune with the battlefield. With the WIN-T, the gun tank will be able to perform all of its duties successfully and be able to adapt to the current situation provided by the information received from it or from external nodes; such as nearby battalions or aerial units. Although the WIN-T system is young at this time, it is a highly adaptable communication system that allows all forms of information gathering and management systems, to fit in and provide more power to WIN-T.
- "Warfighter Information Network - Tactical (WIN-T) Accelerating the Transformation," http://www.gdc4s.com/content/detail.cfm?item=538ca0ca-4675-4291-84e8-bf047859281f Accessed October 5, 2009.
- "Warfighter Information Network - Tactical: 'It's real, it's here and it works,'" http://www.army.mil/-news/2009/07/28/25076-warfighter-information-network-tactical-its-real-its-here-and-it-works/ Accessed September 30, 2009.
- "WIN-T Ushers in new dawn for battlefield communications," http://defensesystems.com/Articles/2009/05/06/PEO-Interview-Hoppe.aspx?Page=4 Accessed October 12, 2009.
- "WIN-T Ushers in new dawn for battlefield communications," http://defensesystems.com/Articles/2009/05/06/PEO-Interview-Hoppe.aspx Accessed September 30, 2009.
- "Department of Defense Global Information Grid Architectural Vision," http://www.defenselink.mil/cio-nii/docs/GIGArchVision.pdf Accessed October 5, 2009.
- "Joint Network Node," http://www.gdc4s.com/content/detail.cfm?item=127f5244-7751-4b2a-827c-6572eb4132Af6 Accessed October 10, 2009.