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Armed Forces: Bowman

Volume 691: debated on Monday 16 April 2007

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What plans they have to reduce the weight of the Bowman personal radio set to that specified by the Army for full portability by soldiers operating on foot. [HL2936]

Work is continuing to determine how best to improve the portability of the Bowman VHF manpack radio, with the current focus on the ancillaries (such as batteries, cabling and carrying system).

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What steps are being taken to reduce the time taken for the Bowman radio set to “drop in” for inter-crew communications in Army vehicles. [HL2937]

The next increment of Bowman combat infrastructure and platform (CIP) capability, due to be fielded next year, is expected to reduce the time taken for the Bowman radio set to “drop in” for inter-crew communications. This improvement will be verified during testing and trialling of the increment.

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What steps they are taking to reduce the time taken for data terminals on Bowman radio sets to become operational after switch-on. [HL2938]

The Ministry of Defence is working to reduce the total time for data terminals attached to Bowman radio sets to become operational after switch-on. This is being achieved by reducing initialisation time, developing best practice standard operating procedures and delivering appropriate initialisation training.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the free channel search and the frequency-hop option on VHF on the Bowman military radio system are proving satisfactory. [HL2939]

The frequency-hopping capability afforded by the Bowman VHF radio has been satisfactorily demonstrated. The free channel search mode has been demonstrated within the constraints on use typical to this form of frequency agility.

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What plans they have to prevent the Bowman Army radio system from interfering with the electronic counter-measures carried on Army vehicles. [HL2940]

The Ministry of Defence does not comment on the detail of electronic counter-measures (ECM) capability in order to safeguard the security of our Armed Forces. The interoperability of all systems that operate within the electromagnetic spectrum is an issue under constant review. The ECM capability fielded is world leading.

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What has been the total cost to date of the Bowman military radio system. [HL2941]

The forecast cost to the department for the delivery of the Bowman military radio system under existing contracts, as reported in the Major Projects Report 2006, is £2.017 billion.