After 10 years in service FBCB2 is still useful but the current version of Blue Force Tracker (BFT), the core element of the system takes minutes to refresh friendly force position locations. JCR will solve that by fielding a new transceiver (BFT-2) and network upgrade, capable of updating friendly positions in seconds. Other new JCR features and functions include a commercial joint mapping tool kit; Type 1 encryption for relaying classified information; and an over-the-air “self descriptive situational awareness” (SDSA) capability. SDSA will eliminate inflexible fixed databases – one of the biggest complaints of the old system – and allow FBCB2-equipped units to change task organizations in the field to meet new mission requirements. The new FBCB2 also enables live streaming ‘picture in picture’ to be integrated on the display; it also provides for color marking of specific elements – a unit formation or vehicles in a convoy, obtaining better situational awareness in complex situations, where multiple friendly forces clutter the screen.
Future JCR releases will provide additional services including open office file transfers, image downloads, chat and instant messaging. Furthermore, the new system architecture is based on modular, reusable, upgradable and interoperable elements of the ‘Battle Command Product Line’ (BCPL) architecture developed by Northrop Grumman to extend the system through all users – combat command, aviation, dismounted soldiers, logistics and fires.