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5G, LEO satellites dominate US Army plans for next ITN iteration

Incorporation of 5G mobile networking technologies and low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite capabilities into US Army operations are expected to dominate development work on the service’s next iteration of its Integrated Tactical Network (ITN), the head of the army’s Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, and Communications - Tactical (PEO C3T) said.

PEO C3T chief Army Brigadier General Robert Collins broadly outlined the service’s upcoming objectives and preliminary requirements for Capability Set 25 of the ITN. Brig Gen Collins assumed command of the PEO C3T directorate from Army Lieutenant General David Bassett in June after Lt Gen Bassett assumed command of the Defense Contract Management Agency.

As the former programme executive officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors (IEW&S), Brig Gen Collins oversaw programme development for ITN technologies included in Capability Set 21 and the upcoming Capability Set 23 (ITN updates are delivered every two years, which is why there is no Capability Set 22). Given the army’s work on the previous ITN capability sets, “[Capability Set] 25 is the natural follow-on”, to that work, Brig Gen. Collins said on 18 August, using the shorthand for Capability Set 25.

“We anticipate at that time, a lot of the [LEO] investments we have made there will be available and also the opportunity to incorporate 5G,” into advanced army communication and networking technologies, as part of ITN development and experimentation during Capability Set 25, Brig Gen Collins said during a microelectronics symposium sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

US Army units with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment conduct soldier review exercises on communication elements in Capability Set 21 of the army’s ITN. The ITN technologies in Capability Set 25 will focus mainly on cloud networking, LEO satellite integration, and 5G.  (US Army )

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