Thursday, January 06, 2005
Wind-Up Radios (06.01.2004)

Another example of the equipment failures that seem to dog the British Army on a regular basis these days. The Bowman radio system, already panned for its shortcomings, has been put into service, without addressing these failures:

Bowman is a key component of the British Army's implementation of network-centric warfare, Network Enabled Capability, and is alleged by the MoD to have 'entered service' in March 2004. However, it began a slow rollout in July, and is fairly generally felt to have been pushed into service in order to meet Government targets, rather than because it was ready, as such. The estimated cost of £1.9 billion is probably on the low side, and last year it was subject to a series of unfavourable news reports (particularly in the Telegraph, alongside numerous Parliamentary questions.

This includes a wearable radio, also known as the two kilogram wristwatch. Adam Ingram, Defence Forces Minister, has promised that it will improve, as a basic platform for upgrades. With the MOD's procurement record, probably not.


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