WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army has selected Persistent Systems to develop a secure communications network that can transmit information in real time and can help coordinate Manned and Unmanned Teaming operations, according to a Feb. 11 press release from the company.
Under the 14-month-long contract, Persistent Systems will provide “a robust, secure, and high-throughput communications network” for robotic and other autonomous systems during Manned-Unmanned Teaming operations (MUM-T), which combine intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions with traditional combat support operations.
The contract was worth $5 million. Brian Soles, vice president of business development for Persistent Systems said "it’s very plausible for [the U.S. Army] to have these manned-unmanned teaming relationships in the future.”
Such a network will allow the Army to continue with its next-generation Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle that can link up with as many as four unmanned remote combat vehicles, according to the release.
Persistent Systems has already developed a computer-like network, the MPU5, able to create secure networks anywhere without relying on a vulnerable central node, while keeping teams connected in real time, according to the company. The Army has been evaluating the MPU5 for over a year while testing it with remote combat vehicles.