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Jordan seeks C4ISR upgrade

Oct. 30, 2006 - 03:45AM   |  
By Paul Richfield   |   Comments
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Jordan is planning a comprehensive upgrade of its national C4ISR and air defense infrastructure with U.S.-sourced equipment and services. Northrop Grumman was named as the prime contractor for the deal, which could be worth up to $450 million if all options are exercised.

The proposed sale which is subject to congressional approval includes a C4ISR system upgrade tailored to Jordan's military services and civilian agencies, with new communications equipment and updates to older hardware. Jordan also wants an upgraded air defense system offering real-time command-and-control capability.

According to the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the major components of the acquisition are commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software that has been exported previously to other U.S. allies.

"This is only at the request phase, so the specific details of the purchase have not been made public," said Charles Taylor, a DSCA spokesman. "The next step is to look at the proposal and ensure that the technology mentioned is approved for export to Jordan then it goes to Congress for approval."

DSCA documents indicate that Jordan is looking to improve its ability to obtain, analyze and transmit intelligence data and logistical information through various levels of military and civilian authority.

Planned communications upgrades include facility modifications, along with logistic and technical support. The proposed deal with Northrop Grumman includes the construction of a facility in Jordan for maintenance and training, as well as a modeling and simulation center.

Jordan's microwave and fiber-optic networks used in "long haul communications" will also be upgraded, along with "last mile communications" linking the long haul segment to the user. In addition, Northrop Grumman will provide wireless communications for mobile forces, radios for all commands and "tactical wired" communications at the company and platoon levels.

The air defense upgrade will be built around "third generation" air defense software, DSCA documents stated, along with an "industry standard" operating system with open architecture, COTS hardware and software, and improved work stations and voice switches.

DSCA said the proposed sale will not affect the "basic military balance" in the region, nor will it contain any offset agreements.

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