General Dynamics named MoD networking supplier

Listen out for Listener

toy soldier

The Ministry of Defence has announced the supplier for a project to boost its networking capabilities.

General Dynamics UK has been selected as a preferred bidder for the assessment phase of the programme to deliver networked information systems to the UK's armed forces. The final contract will be awarded in September 2007.

The programme, known as Listener, will integrate UK intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance systems, with its allies in the United States and Nato. Under the groundbreaking project, data will be automatically fused and create intelligence for commanders to act upon.

A 10 month assessment phase will concentrate on defining the system solution reducing risk in preparation for full development, scheduled for 2009.

General Dynamics UK said that it will be evaluating a number of technology options during the assessment, including elements of the United States' network centric collaborative targeting capability.

The company's team for Listener will be led by a business unit based in Hastings and will incorporate EADS UK, Systems Consultants Services, Vega Group, Marshall Solutions and General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.

Kable defence analyst Chris Pennell said on 31 July 2007: "This is a key win for GD, We estimate that the MoD will spend £469m on the ICT elements of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance programmes in 2007/08, of which the Listener project will be a key component.

"While this is certainly a key area for investment by the MoD, the size of the task should not be underestimated. Past events in both Iraq and Afghanistan show how much work there is still to be done on developing interoperability between coalition forces."

Dr Sandy Wilson, president and managing director of General Dynamics UK, said that his company had the expertise to deal with the complex sensor fusion, networking and systems integration of Listener.

"We are delighted to have been down-selected for the Listener AP and to have the opportunity to demonstrate our innovative approach to the MoD," he said.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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