The Apache has an effective communications capability, including some connectivity with the Bowman network, allowing secure communication with key force elements. Decisions on full integration of this platform into the Bowman network will be made in time for Apache's mid-life upgrade.
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether the Ministry of Defence envisages a future operational capability being developed beyond, or in conjunction with, the Bowman combat infrastructure platform programme 5 as a result of the coalition blue force situational awareness demonstrator. [HL3201]
Following the success of the coalition blue force situational awareness demonstrator in showing it was technically possible to exchange tactical situational awareness data generated by the Bowman combat infrastructure platform system with United States systems, we expect that future enhancements of Bowman CIP capability will address the requirement to exchange coalition blue force situational awareness information.
The Bowman radio system will only be received by units that require it for overseas operations or training purposes.
Some 35,500 personnel and 137 units have gone through the full Bowman conversion package to date. In addition, 17 units have received Bowman urgent operational requirement (UOR) training. Bowman UOR training is specific Bowman training provided to units that are due to deploy to a Bowman-equipped theatre prior to their programmed full conversion to Bowman. The course provides units with the relevant training and expertise for deployment on that specific operation.
12 Mechanised Brigade are currently deployed to Afghanistan and all its units have completed the full Bowman conversion and training programme; 19 Light Brigade, which is currently deployed to Iraq, has received Bowman UOR training with the exception of the Second Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment and 1 Squadron from the Queen's Royal Lancers, both of which have received full Bowman conversion.