WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army’s Network Cross-Functional Team released a solicitation outlining capabilities it’s interested in acquiring as part of future tactical network tools.
The broad agency announcement was posted last week on beta.sam.gov. It lays out future research areas the Army’s tactical network modernization team made up of the NetworkCFT and Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical, wants to explore as part of future capability sets — new network tools it’s delivering every two years.
“The Network-CFT is focused on integration of tactical network efforts and ensures disciplined innovation as it works with speed and precision,” the announcement read. “The Network-CFT is conducting experimentations and demonstrations of proven joint and special operations solutions, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology, and Non-developmental items (NDIs) with operational units to inform future requirements.”
The tactical network modernization team is seeking technology that aligns with its four lines of effort for upgrading the network: unified network; common operating environment; joint interoperability/coalition accessible; and command post mobility and survivability.
All proposed technologies must be at a technology readiness level of six, the announcement read, meaning they’re ready to be demonstrated as a prototype in an environment similar to the field.
For the unified network effort, the Network CFT-PEO C3T team are seeking “available, reliable and resilient network that ensures seamless connectivity in any operationally contested environment.” Capability Set ’23, the next iteration of tactical network tools, is focused on increasing network capacity and reducing latency. Unified network includes capabilities such as advanced waveforms to improve resiliency.
The common operating environment line of effort “is interested in the means of ensuring a simple and intuitive single-mission command suite that is easily operated and maintained by Soldier.”
The joint interoperability/coalition accessible team is looking for tools that can “more effectively” interact, both technically and operationally, with joint and coalition partners.
The final line of effort, command post mobility and survivability, is interested in means of improving the “deployability, reliability, mobility and survivability” of command posts. The Army’s current vision for future command posts are those that can be quickly set up and torn down, while also having low electromagnetic signatures to avoid detection by adversaries.
“Certainly, any time that you adopt a lot of commercial technologies you start to look at how your signature is on the battlespace, so I really look to industry and how they can bring some of their best ideas and technologies for how we can potentially do spectrum obscuration, as well as decoys so we can minimize our footprint on the battlefield,” said Brig. Gen. Rob Collins, commanding general of PEO C3T.
The Army’s announcement is valid through the end of October 2025.
Andrew Eversden covers all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. He previously reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.