SiliconFreak -> Marine Corps Unveils High-Tech Humvee -- For SP ! (9/11/2005 11:39:24 AM)
BELLOWS AIR FORCE STATION, Hawaii - The Marine Corps on Thursday unveiled new Humvee-mounted technology to allow troops in the field to communicate with each other, their commanders, and even headquarters hundreds of miles away — all while driving over 30 miles per hour.
Experts say the advanced satellite and wireless technology, developed in large part by Hawaii contractors, will save Marine lives in battle.
It will also enable troops to communicate in areas where natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and last year's giant tsunami in Southeast Asia wiped out local infrastructure.
"Having been a commander myself as part of the initial invasion into Iraq and the seizure of Baghdad, I can see how important this capability would be," said Col. Steven Hummer, the commander of Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe.
On the road to Baghdad, Hummer said his team had to stop periodically, set up satellite communications antennas, and log on to download e-mail and make tactical telephone calls.
The new technology would allow Marines to do all of the above while moving.
The equipment, dubbed the "Mobile Modular Command & Control" or M2C2, would enable war zone commanders to see where their troops are heading and how close they are to the enemy.
Commanders could also use it to decide to move forward, pull out, or call in air and artillery support.
Hummer said other branches of the military have also expressed interest in using the system, he said.
At a prototype demonstration on Marine Corps training ground, troops in a tent and aboard the Humvee sent "chat" messages to each other over a wireless connection protected by encryption codes.
Honolulu-based Pacific Technologies served as the primary contractor for the M2C2. It brought in Raytheon, a Massachusetts-based major military contractor, for integration support.
Hawaii companies Oceanit and Akimeka worked on the antennas while Referentia helped with the network management software.
Sen. Daniel Inouye, a ranking member on the Defense Appropriations Committee, secured $5 million in seed money for the project for the 2003 and 2004 fiscal years.
Inouye, D-Hawaii, hoped to help build his state's high-technology base with the funds. This coincided with the needs of the Marines, who had been asking for technology similar to the M2C2 since 2001.
"We had a meeting of the minds and were able to do this program," said John Moniz, the project's program officer with the Office of Naval Research.
Moniz praised the caliber of high-technology companies in Hawaii, where tourism has long been the mainstay industry and high-technology has been a small sector.
"I am pleasantly surprised at the quality of the work being done out here," Moniz said. "It's almost untapped — don't get me wrong, these companies have done defense work and industry work. But I'm surprised at the quality of work and innovation we've been getting from them. Especially on the technology side."
Marines that have been testing out the new system in Hawaii say they like it.
"It's phenomenal," said Sgt. Joseph Grossman, the team leader of a group testing a newly outfitted Humvee. "It'll give a lot of benefits, basically being able to leapfrog ahead without dropping any kind of communications with the rear."
It is not clear how many Marine Humvees will be outfitted with the M2C2 or how much it will cost to install the system on each one. The equipment aboard each prototype cost about $1 million, but the Marines already own some of the machines used and so wouldn't necessarily need to buy all of it new, Moniz said.
Producing more of the M2C2 systems could also lower purchasing costs.
The Marines will test two of the high-technology Humvees next month at a base in Twentynine Palms, Calif.
The area's hot mountainous desert is expected to provide an optimal environment to test the vehicle in some of the more extreme conditions Marines must function in.
Source : YahooNews
So SP, what do you think? Maybe you need to buy this new Hummer afterall....to be able to MOVE while using communication devices (and not like now....when I always think that you ran out of gas or that something is wrong with your car, when I drive by and see your Hummer standing at the most unusual places...just to later see that you just use your sattelite phone....[8D][:D][:)])