Battlefield management systems provide accurate real-time information to military unit for effective decision making. These systems integrate information acquisition and processing to improve control and command of a military unit. Battlefield management systems (BMS) enable absolute situational awareness by efficiently displaying vital data to the field commander. This system offer integrated COP (common operating picture) with the help of collaborative planning tools. This helps tactical commanders to take knowledge based and responsive decisions and implement highly efficient control over operations in fluid and dynamic battlefield.
The BMS aid soldiers in performing their tasks by displaying the command and control (C2) information related to different plan overlays, enemy troops, own troops and terrain features. In order to provide such data BMS consist of highly advanced hardware components and enhanced software. The main building blocks for battlefield management systems are a computer and touch screen. Keyboard is also incorporated in order to enter textual information into the BMS. BMS stations are connected to global positioning system receiver to obtain information regarding the present location. Sensors such as laser range finder can also incorporated in order to enhance the performance. BMS employ combat net radio communication for the distribution of information. However, LAN (local area network) and wireless LAN can also be used in more static environments.
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Foremost component in success of military operation is the capability to translate intelligence data into an information benefit that can be leveraged on the combat zone. In such a case BMS enable evaluation, real-time situational awareness and planning and eases implementation and orders of executive actions. It provides accurate information, virtual reconnaissance, flexible communications and dynamic situational awareness to the battlefield. It also improves operational tempo, intelligence surveillance, co-ordination, navigation, logistics management and alerts.
BMS is highly mobile tactical control and command information system. It is integrated with decision making tools, weapon platforms and sensors. It also includes hand-held or wearable information systems with individual commander or soldiers and vehicle mounted information system. These are integrated via data enabled communication networks. BMS include several platforms such as air, land and naval platforms. Battlefield management systems consists of different subsystems including networking system and infrastructure-less communication, database server, application server, relational database management system, compute platforms, integrated GIS and GPS embedded systems. Trackers used in BMS are handheld systems provide individual dismounted soldiers accurate communication, precise information and tools to execute particular mission. Integrator used in BMS is a configuration that offers functionality of tracker with the extension of numerous operator capabilities and sensors. It has a server and several connected workstations. Integrator can be design for mobile and fixed applications.
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Rising need to reduce friendly fire, improve military troop efficiency and security of military troops worldwide are some of the factors supporting the growth of BMS market. However, development of battlefield management systems offers several challenges in terms of interoperability, training, functionality, man machine interface, data communication and training.
Some of the major players in battlefield management systems market include Rockwell Collins, Inc., General Dynamics Corporation, Saab Group, Harris Corporation, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications Corporation, Thales Group and Exelis Inc. among others.