Army Enlists GD and Iridium To Build Battlefield Handheld

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General Dynamics C4 Systems of Scottsdale, Ariz., said March 18 it won a $2.3 million U.S. Army contract to build a prototype handheld battle command system that gives dismounted soldiers and Marines the ability to securely communicate, share information and collaborate while on the move.

General Dynamics is partnering with mobile satellite services firm Iridium Communications of McLean, Va., on the prototype system, a GD3000 body-worn tactical computer that weighs around 225 grams and hosts an app-friendly operating system.

When connected to a networked device, such as the military’s Joint Tactical Radio System Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit Rifleman radio or Iridium satellite telephone handset, the GD3000 will be able to make voice, video or data contact with other users in close proximity or kilometers apart, General Dynamics said in a press release.

The contract, which calls for General Dynamics to deliver 40 prototype devices in September, was awarded under the Army’s Joint Battle Command-Platform Handheld Program. Work will be done in Scottsdale and Fort Wayne, Ind.