Annex A (continued)
BOWMAN will provide a secure, robust, tactical
data and voice communications system in support of land, littoral
and air manoeuvre operations, to replace the Clansman combat radio
and some of the HQ infrastructure element of the Ptarmigan trunk
communication system. It will be a key enabler of network-enabled
capability and also play a major role in the MoD's Command and
Battlespace Management initiative under which it will be progressively
integrated with specialist applications.
General Dynamics UK Ltd (GD UK), formerly known
as Computing Devices Canada (CDC), was awarded the BOWMAN supply
and support contract on 13 September 2001. At the end of 2002,
the contract was extended to enhance the system's operational
planning and control capabilities, and additional information
services, as well as procuring specialist applications for key
armoured fighting vehicles. The MoD is working in close partnership
with GD UK and its sub-contractors to achieve the target in service
date (ISD) of March 2004.
BOWMAN is required to provide a secure combat
communications system for the Army and elements of the other Services,
in support of land and littoral operations. It will serve as the
primary means of voice and data communication for tactical level
operationscharacterised by mobility and undertaken by numerous
individual fighting platforms and dismounted combatantsand
will be based on radio communications that can operate without
relying on fixed infrastructure. The BOWMAN system will be made
up of: a number of radio communications sub-systems that are connected
to provide a tactical internet; a range of computers that provide
messaging, situation awareness and management information; a local
area sub-system that interconnects data terminals and voice users
within a vehicle or group of vehicles forming a deployed divisional,
brigade or battlegroup headquarters; and connections to trunk,
satellite and strategic communications systems. It will have a
capability for fast data communications and connections with external
networks, and excellent voice and slower data transfer. As well
as being man-portable, BOWMAN will be an integral part of the
communications fit of major equipments such as the Challenger
2 Main Battle Tank, helicopters such as Merlin, and warships,
This breadth of requirement was developed over
the extended BOWMAN programme between 1988 and 1997. Reviews in
1999 and 2000 confirmed that the current scope is both appropriate
The scope for trade-offs was identified within
the User Requirement Document, in terms of cost, capability and
time, across the requirements spectrum, from total numbers of
radios to the level of integration that would be provided for
different platforms. Some detailed reductions in functionality
were agreed, and ruggedized off-the-shelf, rather than bespoke,
computer terminals will be used. The delivery of capability will
be staged: elements of the system that are assessed to require
prolonged development to reduce risk will be delivered after the
ISD. However, the GD UK plan shows a rapid programme through to
completion of deliveries in 2007.
On current plans, BOWMAN equipment will be fitted
to some 20,000 vehicles, 139 naval vessels (including five capital
ships) and 239 aircraft, and some 75,000 Service personnel will
be trained to use it. Around 48,000 radios (excluding the Personal
Role) and 26,000 computer terminals will be procured.
Strategic Defence Review
The Strategic Defence Review highlighted the
importance of effective command, control and communication systems,
and confirmed the requirement for BOWMAN. The New Chapter noted
that through BOWMAN the MoD is already investing in the network
element of network-enabled capability, and is also developing
specialist applications to collate, fuse, analyse and control
the distribution of information.
As the primary means of communication at the
tactical level for land operations, BOWMAN will be used across
the spectrum of conflict, for all missions and at all scales of
deployment. BOWMAN will be central to the command and control,
and therefore the effective deployment, of forces used for military
tasks ranging from disaster relief to regional conflict.
Equipment to be Replaced and ISD
BOWMAN will replace the Clansman family of combat
radios in service since the 1970s. It will also replace those
elements of the Ptarmigan trunk communication system within vehicle
borne tactical headquarters at divisional, brigade and battlegroup
The ISD, as approved at Main Gate, is March
2004. This is defined as the date when a brigade HQ and two battlegroups
are equipped and capable of deploying on other operations. The
Clansman family of combat radios and the relevant elements of
Ptarmigan will be progressively removed from service over the
period 2003-07, as BOWMAN is deployed.
It has been possible, however, to plan for the
early delivery of a small but significant operational capability
that had previously been tied to the delivery of the whole system.
Through the application of Smart Acquisition principles, the Personal
Role Radio, a short range, non-secure tactical radio for use at
section level, is being delivered in advance of the main BOWMAN
system. Early deliveries were made in late 2001 to troops deploying
for Exercise Saif Sareea and on operations in Afghanistan. ISD
was declared on 29 January 2002, two months earlier than the formal
target of March 2002. Over 30,000 of the 45,000 equipments ordered
have been delivered.
Initial work on BOWMAN was conducted by two
consortia that undertook Phase 2 Feasibility Study and PD1 work.
Following completion of PD1 in late 1996, the competing consortia
announced their intention to form a joint venture company, known
as Archer Communications Systems Ltd (ACSL), to bid for the BOWMAN
supply contract. This resulted in a review of the procurement
options open to the MoD, namely continuing with either one of
the consortia, continuing with ACSL, or finding a new prime systems
integrator. A revised, single source, procurement strategy for
BOWMAN and the remainder of the risk reduction work was approved
in March 1997, and a risk reduction contract was placed with ACSL
in August 1997.
Assessment of ACSL's final bid showed it as
unable to meet the minimum performance requirements and the decision
was taken to remove preferred supplier status from the Company
and to launch a fresh competition. A pre-qualification questionnaire
exercise was conducted resulting in the selection of three potential
prime contractors: CDC, Thales and TRW. Bids for the BOWMAN supply
and support contract were received from each of the potential
prime contractors on 7 February 2001. The evaluation process assessed
the performance, programme management, commercial, and risk areas
of the bids, with the main emphasis being on delivering the relevant
BOWMAN criteria at the ISD with a viable and affordable programme.
The three month assessment and clarification period concluded
that CDC offered the best value for money solution to the BOWMAN
requirement, together with high confidence of delivering an early
ISD. The results of the assessment phase informed the Main Gate
submission in June 2001. Preferred supplier status was awarded
to GD UK (as CDC had become) and final negotiations resulted in
the signature of a firm price contract on 13 September 2001.
Although providing for the procurement of VHF
air radios, the BOWMAN approval explicitly precluded their integration
onto the Attack Helicopter (AH). Concerns about the operational
constraints imposed on AH by the lack of secure data and more
flexible secure voice connectivity were expressed in late 2001,
and GD UK was invited to undertake risk reduction work associated
with a secure data solution. Approval was given in March 2003
to extend the BOWMAN contract to procure a secure data capability
between BOWMAN users and AH, and to undertake an assessment of
providing a secure voice rebroadcast capability. Fielded coincident
with 16 Air Assault Brigade's conversion to BOWMAN, this will
be an interim capability until an AH Capability Sustainment Package
is introduced in 2012.
Alternative Acquisition Options
The options of upgrading Clansman or procuring
an austere off-the-shelf solution were examined at the time of
the review of procurement options in 1997 but were not considered
to be cost-effective for meeting the requirement. A number of
alternative technical options were examined, as was the validity
of the basic approach to BOWMAN in the light of rapid developments
in the mobile communications field. This analysis demonstrated
that the BOWMAN approach was best able to meet the military requirement
and could lead to a robust solution.
The sophistication and cost of BOWMAN will limit
the market for the total system but there will be scope for supplying
elements in a number of countries: those where VHF and HF radios
bought from the selected BOWMAN suppliers are already operated
and that might seek an upgrade using elements of the BOWMAN system;
and, those that wish to improve their capability at brigade level
There has, however, been a notable success with
the Personal Role Radio. The US Marine Corps procured 5,000 of
these radios in February 2003 for deployment to the Gulf.
In its bid, GD UK offered to secure around 1,600
jobs (90% of the work content) across the UK in design, development,
manufacture and project management. GD UK has based its BOWMAN
HQ in South Wales and plans, at the peak, to create or sustain
over 2,000 jobs across the UK on this project. Major UK sub-contractors
include ITT Defence Ltd, Westland Helicopters Ltd and AEA Technology.
There will be significant technology transfer to the UK, and MoD
will hold appropriate intellectual property rights, available
for use by other companies working on linked projects. Industry
has committed itself to maintaining development and production
facilities in the UK.
Smart Acquisition has given the MoD scope to
deal with BOWMAN in a controlled and managed way. The freedom
to trade requirements in search of a more cost-effective solution
enabled "fallback" options to be identified in case
the ACSL bid failed. The results of these studies revealed that
there were realistic alternatives to ACSL that could be rapidly
pursued. The MoD was, therefore, able to re-open the competition
in search of value for money rather than stopping the entire programme
and starting from scratch, delaying BOWMAN even further. The Prime
Contract with GD UK incorporates Smart Acquisition principles,
in partnering, incentives and a shared data environment.
We have been able to adopt an incremental acquisition
approach and have delivered the Personal Role Radio element of
the programme ahead of the main BOWMAN system.
Following signature of the BOWMAN Supply and
Support contract in September 2001, this project is currently
in demonstration and manufacture.
Milestones and Costs
Key milestones now in prospect for this project
|Conversion of the first unit (an infantry battalion)
|In Service Date||March 2004
|First Army Brigade achieves warfighting operational readiness
|3 Commando Brigade achieves warfighting operational readiness
|16 Air Assault Brigade achieves warfighting operational readiness
|End of BOWMAN conversion programme||2007
On a full resource basis the acquisition costs of BOWMAN
are estimated to be £2.419 billion, excluding long term support.
Costs incurred to 31 March 2003 are estimated to be some £751
million. The expected cost of procuring the secure data capability
between BOWMAN users and AH on a full resource basis is roughly
£37 million excluding long term support, together with £0.3
million for the secure voice rebroadcast capability assessment.
The BOWMAN supply and support contract encompasses the provision
of initial spares and facilities to support operations that will
be supplied with the prime equipment and installations, contractor
support to ensure sustainability of the deployed system for five
years, and reprovisioning activity. The level of support required
is being determined using integrated logistics support principles.
The importance of reliability and spares availability, and their
impact on equipment sustainability, is reflected in the contract.
The use of existing spares and equipment, where appropriate, was
mandated. Training is being addressed under a tri-Service training
needs analysis that will recommend training methodologies and
The programme to convert fighting platforms and formations
to operate BOWMAN is a major task that will be carried out over
a total of five years, including a three year period of main conversion.
For the main customer, the Army, conversion will be undertaken
as each operational unit, principally a brigade, enters its training
year within the Formation Readiness Cycle. The BOWMAN Fielding
Plan addresses the requirement to provide support to both the
new system and that being replaced, and parallel BOWMAN and Clansman
training will be needed at certain locations.
Front Line, Storage and Reserves
In accordance with the principles of whole fleet management,
BOWMAN equipment that is not assigned to the front line will be
held in reserve, although there will be no formal war reserve.
Spares to support BOWMAN will be held in storage, under arrangements
still to be decided.
National interoperability for land operations will be achieved
as all elements of the three Services that take part in the land
or littoral battle will be equipped with BOWMAN. International
interoperability will be achieved through the implementation of
all endorsed NATO Standards applicable to the operating environment.
To achieve secure interoperability, BOWMAN mandates the endorsed
NATO applique unit to meet NATO encryption interoperability standards.
Disposal of Equipment to be Replaced
Disposal Services Agency will consider the most appropriate
disposal route (sale or scrap) for Clansman equipment that is
no longer required. Relevant parts of Ptarmigan will be retained
as spares to support the Ptarmigan elements remaining in service.
BOWMAN is planned to be in service for at least 25 years.
In late 2002 the BOWMAN prime contract was extended to procure
a set of common software tools to aid the planning and control
of operations, and additional information services to enable the
concurrent operation of other specialist applications. Together
with a project to provide an integrated digital commander's terminal
to optimise the fightability of armoured fighting vehicles, these
are known as CIP and will be introduced into service concurrently
with BOWMAN. Giving this work to the BOWMAN Prime Contractor,
with its comprehensive understanding of the requirement, minimises
technical risk, avoids duplication of effort, aligns the programmes,
and achieves significant economies of scale. In keeping with Smart
Acquisition principles, the initial CIP design will be modular
and extensible allowing the incremental integration of further
specialist applications and the exploitation of new technologies
downstream. In the short term, specialist applications to provide
digitised artillery fire control, air defence command and control,
and nuclear, biological and chemical defence warning and reporting
will be integrated with CIP, and additional applications will
be rolled out progressively over the next decade. The expected
cost of procuring CIP, excluding long term support, is £358
million (cash at outturn prices).
The Future Rapid Effects System (FRES) is the generic name
for the capability being sought to enhance the deployability of
Land Forces, providing significant improvements to the time and
effect that can be brought to bear through improvements in mobility,
lethality and a reduced logistics footprint. It is currently anticipated
that the capability will be provided by a system of medium weight
armoured vehicles that will replace the existing FV430 series,
CVR(T) series, Saxon and potentially in the longer term some elements
of the Warrior and CR2 force. FRES will be an integral element
of any future network enabled force.
FRES has not yet passed the Initial Gate investment decision.
This is currently planned for Spring 2003.
FRES will be required to provide a capability to deploy an
effective, combined arms land based force between the two existing
extremes of heavy armour (slow to arrive and with a large footprint)
and light forces (quick strategic deployment but limited endurance
FRES must be able to be deployed quickly with minimal logistical
support in agile combined-arms force packages to engage in missions
across the spectrum of conflict from war-fighting to peacekeeping
and be able to achieve knowledge superiority via organic and inorganic
assets through network-enabled capability.
Components of the FRES capability are expected to include
Protected Mobility, Mobility Support, Indirect Fire Support and
Control, Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Scout, Direct Engagement,
Engineer and Logistical Support and Communications.
FRES will be the first Land combat vehicle system able to
exploit fully the capabilities of Command and Battlespace Management
(CBM). It will have a Network-Enabled Capability (NEC) that will
allow FRES to enhance joint force situational awareness, sensor-shooter
links, flexible reorganising, agility and effects based planning.
This will result in improved control, targeting precision and
time sensitivity, rapidity of effect and force protection.
The scope for trade-offs in terms of cost, capability and
time across the requirements spectrum from the total numbers to
the levels of capability provided by each component will be explored
during the assessment phase of the programme and the development
of the User Requirement document.
The final size of the force will be determined during the
assessment phase and any trade-off decisions that are made.
Strategic Defence Review
In articulating the need for a UK defence capability to project
power rapidly world-wide, the Strategic Defence Review (SDR) and
subsequent New Chapter (NC) work made specific reference to FRES.
Paragraph 51 of Section 2 of the New Chapter (Countering Terrorism
Abroad) set out strategic context for the requirement. It stated
that as part of our move towards more rapidly deployable forces,
we are also pursuing the concept of a Future Rapid Effect System,
a family of air-transportable medium-weight armoured vehicles.
FRES will provide a significant enhancement to the UK's military
capability providing improvements to the mobility and lethality
of medium weight forces and the time that this can be brought
Equipment to be Replaced and In-Service Date
In addition to providing a new rapid effect capability, FRES
will provide a replacement for CVR(T), SAXON and FV430. The ISD
has still to be finalised. The planning assumption is for the
end of the decade.
The Department is currently considering the Acquisition approach
for the Assessment and future phases of the programme. It is planned
to submit the Initial Gate Business Case for approval in Spring
No decisions have yet been taken on systems designs that
will impact on crewing. These issues will be addressed during
the forthcoming Assessment Phase.
Alternative Procurement Options
A range of alternate procurement options will be considered
during the Assessment Phase. These will include extending the
life and enhancing the capability of the current in service armoured
Industrial issues related to the programme will be taken
into account in the Initial Gate investment decision.
It is not currently planned to enter into a formal collaborative
programme at system level for the Assessment Phase. However, opportunities
for collaborating on sub-systems and sharing information on technologies
and requirements will be explored during the Assessment Phase
and the scope for future collaboration assessed prior to the Main
Gate investment decision.
FRES will seek to exploit Smart Acquisition initiatives and
to identify and pursue additional opportunities to introduce new
or revised practices to deliver the FRES capability faster, cheaper
Whilst the programme is at an embryonic stage we would expect
the capability offered by FRES to attract interest from potential
export customers, based on the export success of some of the systems
it is planned to replace.
Milestones and Costs
Major programme milestones will be agreed as part of the
Initial Gate Investment decision that is currently planned for
Costs are yet to be fully established, but could be in the
region of £6 billion. This estimate includes provision for
a planned programme of technology upgrades throughout the life
of the fleet.
A key requirement of FRES is the need to sustain operations
of extended duration and operate over long lines of communication
with limited transport assets. This will necessitate high levels
of operational availability, and significantly reduced logistic
demands. It will need to be frugal in its consumption of fuels,
oils, road gear (tracks or tyres) and technical spares in comparison
with the current in service equipment. It must be reliable and
easy to maintain and service. The anticipated improvements in
efficiency will contribute to speed of deployment and reduce the
Development of the support strategy for the system will be
a key element of the work to be conducted during the Assessment
FRES will be required to integrate fully with a wide range
of battlefield assets to enable the delivery of joint effects.
It will also be expected to support joint operations with NATO
allies. Achievement of interoperability requirements will be a
factor to be addressed during the Assessment Phase.
In-Service Life and Further Development
FRES is expected to be in service for some 30 years. The
ability of potential solutions to accommodate incremental enhancements
to upgrade the capability by exploiting new technologies in response
to changing threats will be a key consideration for the Assessment