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AUSA 2011: JTRS GMR Future in Doubt

With rumors swirling around the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2011 Annual Meeting and Exposition about the possible termination of the four-channel Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Ground Mobile Radio (GMR) program representatives indicate that no official word has been received.

According to Col. Gregory Fields, program manager for JTRS GMR, Frank Kendall, principal deputy under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology & logistics, is supposed to sign a memo back to Congress as part of the certification under the Nunn-McCurdy process. That signature had been expected on Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, but had still not occurred as of Wednesday, Oct.12.

“So we’re still on the fence here as to know exactly what’s going to happen,” he said.

He added that if the four-channel JTRS GMR program was terminated there was a good chance that a new program direction would focus on a two-channel JTRS GMR radio, which he outlined as “low-cost, reduced SWAP [size, weight and power.”

“We’ve been looking at that concurrently with the Nunn-McCurdy process,” he said. “In fact, they’ve used a lot of our information to help them come up with a decision. But we still think that the requirement is still valid.”

He added that the letter back to Congress would likely be accompanied by some sort of Acquisition Decision Memorandum that would provide firm program guidance.

“The decision is still pending until Mr. Kendall makes the final decision,” he said. “And as I understand it, that’s going to be Friday [Oct.14].”

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...