General Dynamics-built Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 Soldier Network Extension (SNE) proves successful in helping a US Army field artillery team increase their communications reach and by improving their call-for-fire response time.
The Soldier Network Extension(SNE) supported call-for-fire mission 'threads' during the Development Test 2 and Network Integration Evaluation 15.1 that took place in October and November last year.
Prior to the SNE, forward observers and fire support officers relied on legacy line-of-site (LOS) radios to transmit calls for fire and counter fire at the far-edges of a mission area.
During the tests, soldiers with the 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment (4/27), 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, used the SNE's satellite communications capability to accomplish their mission.
In a recent story published by the Army, Capt. Sean Williams, a battery commander with the 4/27 said, "Before, we were constrained by terrestrial location systems; since this is a satellite-based system, there is much greater range to digitally call for fire and process fires missions on the battlefield."
Line-of-sight radios only work when one radio can locate another radio using line-of-sight, which makes communications very difficult when soldiers work in mountainous or remote locations.
With the SNE, artillery soldiers use satellite communications to exchange information from any location within the Brigade's mission area.
"Every day, digital-savvy soldiers discover new capabilities using the SNE", said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics Mission Systems.
"With recent improvements that make the SNE easier to learn and use, soldiers find creative ways to increase their mission effectiveness while improving their safety," Marzilli added.
Updates to the SNE include reducing the steps and the time needed to power-up and power-down the system by half, making trouble-shooting tools more intuitive and streamlining the soldier's graphical interface to look more like the electronic devices they use at home.
The SNE also extends the reach of the WIN-T secure communications backbone network to the company level and, for the first time, dismounted soldiers equipped with the AN/PRC-154A Rifleman radios can reach the WIN-T Increment 2 network via the AN/PRC-155 two-channel Manpack radio.