L3Harris recently completed a large-scale field demonstration of the newly developed ANW2D waveform in Queensland, Australia at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).
Over five days, significant mountain ranges, and steep canyons, the L3Harris team tested the ANW2D waveform for data capacity, scalability, and its ability to handle voice and data across an extended network. The objective – demonstrate to the Australian Army that the ANW2D waveform is field-ready to perform as a key asset in their future battlefield network, the LAND 200-2 Tactical Communications Network (TCN).
“The digitalization of the TCN offers us that advantage and similarly when we get into weapons integration of the battle management system that the TCN enables [it]is a real game-changer,” said Colonel Deane Limmer, Director, Land Command, Communications, and Control Program, Australian Army. “The TCN becomes the glue in which we connect broader land capability.”
The demonstration involved 25 Australian Army Mercedes G-Wagon 6×6 vehicles, kitted out with AN/PRC-158 radios, and utilizing a customer developed data analysis tool. During each activity serial, the vehicles were both mobile and static, simulating three combat teams and enabling the Army to test performance against six technical objectives: scalability, waveform ID performance, waveform queue management, capacity, network leave/join times and quality of service. In total, the technical objectives gave the Army a “real world” assessment of the ANW2D waveform’s performance.
“I think the collaboration working together with the ADF and companies, and in this case, L3Harris, is critical to the success of the program,” said Alan Callaghan, President and Managing Director, L3Harris Communications Australia. “We relish the opportunity such as the field exercises where we get with the end-users and we can both sort of investigate and address issues and challenges as a team which is what it should all be about – being one team.”
More than 20 L3Harris Australia employees provided radio installation, operation, training, and field support. The Australian Army involved more than 40 uniformed and civilian personnel to provide logistics and direct technical support. Working together over 10 days, numerous exercises simulated realistic deployment patterns.
The combination of static and mobile nodes spread across a wide area, with varying terrain, stretched the network. The field activity successfully demonstrated the adaptability of the ANW2D waveform in different deployment scenarios and capabilities, such as simultaneous voice and data.
While no doubt there will be similar exercises as the Australian Army builds its future battlefield network, the field demonstration provided the Army with validation that the ANW2D waveform will perform as expected and demonstrated exceptional cooperation between L3Harris and the L200-2 Project Office. In a continuous pursuit of excellence, the demonstration also yielded helpful technical data and other takeaways that L3Harris will use to refine the L200-2 TCN.
“Digitizing the army is a very difficult thing to do…certainly the TCN tactical communications networks are at the heart of that challenge and certainly it is the core enabler for taking the next step in the Army’s digitization journey,” Limmer said.