BOWMAN in the Desert

#1
Are they planning on using Bowman in Iraq. From experiance I know that a Nokia won't work! As I left there did not seem to be much stripping of the Clansman kit.
 
#2
Not sure, am sure some bored soldiers from BAS can inform the wider world.

Not a cynic, but it probably won't work if they have it over there! :?
 
#3
Maybe.

Had a look at the proposed fit for an LR this week. Jesus, where does me kettle go?
 
#4
That will probably put a power spike in the veh which will destroy everything and crash the data system.

The whole thing is ARRSE :evil:

We get it next year. Bring back the smoke signals, plastic cups and bit of string.
 

Captain_Crusty

War Hero
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#5
goatbagthedruid said:
We get it next year. Bring back the smoke signals, plastic cups and bit of string.
I'm going to nominate you as the RSO....
 
#7
12 Mechanized Brigade in May:

http://www.soldiermagazine.co.uk/mag/update3.htm

Troops enthusiastic about deploying with state-of-the-art
comms system


THE first Bowman-equipped troops set off for Iraq this month in what will be the biggest and most high-profile deployment of the hi-tech radio system to date.

Bowman-equipped Land Rovers and Saxons with 12 Mechanized Brigade units, including the 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, will be at the forefront of the move.

Although Warrior armoured fighting vehicles and Challenger 2 tanks will continue to use the Clansman radio, Iraq-bound signallers have told Soldier they are eager to use Bowman as it beats Clansman hands down.

The new system offers secure voice comms for the first time and makes the Batco wallet – previously used to encode all radio messages – a thing of the past.

It also provides good quality voice communications, eliminating hissing “white noise”, as well as improved range and automatic frequency selection.

Bowman’s GPS tracking or “situational awareness” system will also be used to keep track of brigade-level vehicle convoys.

It is hoped the GPS system, which tracks every Bowman-equipped soldier and vehicle on the battlefield and marks them on a constantly updated digital map, will be used widely on future operations.

Computer glitches have meant that the Bowman’s e-mail-like data transfer system will not be used at all during 1 R Anglian’s deployment.

Capt Mark Nicholas, the regimental signals officer, said: “We were the first regiment to use Bowman and know the system is up to the job in Iraq. The secure communications side of Bowman beats the old Clansman system hands down, while the situational awareness element and data transfer will put it in a league of its own.”

Meanwhile, troops from Support Company, Welsh Guards, helped rescue two hostages held south of the Iraqi town of Al Uzayr. The men, both lorry drivers, were kidnapped by armed men while driving on the Route Six motorway.

The gunmen demanded a ransom but released the hostages and fled empty- handed after the Iraqi Police Service and Welsh Guards closed in on them.

Troops from the 1st Battalion, Scots Guards uncovered a major arms cache hidden in a house in northern Basra. The find included a mortar, heavy machine-gun, RPG warheads, mines, grenades and thousands of small-arms rounds.

LSgt Derek Hood, who led the search team, said: “All of us are over the moon. The search was painstaking, over six hours, and to find so many munitions, all in working order, was just what we trained for. It’s a great result.”

British troops have taken command of Camp Smitty in As Samawaha, the capital of Southern Iraq’s Al Muthana province. Until last month a Dutch battalion was responsible for the area.
http://www.janes.com/defence/news/jdw/jdw050411_2_n.shtml

Bowman on way to Iraq amid tenability doubts

By Tony Skinner JDW Staff Reporter
London

As the British Army's 12 Mechanised Brigade deploys to Iraq this month equipped for the first time with a core Bowman tactical communication capability, doubts linger about the tenability of the system.

Plans to install the Bowman system in the brigade's Challenger 2 main battle tanks and Warrior infantry combat vehicles in time for it to take over responsibility of Operation 'Telic' on 6 May were abandoned after problems with the reliability of the system's in-vehicle intercom.

Now an industry source close to the £1.9 billion (US$3.4 billion) Bowman project has revealed that the weight and size of the high-capacity data radio have also created major issues. Prime contractor General Dynamics (GD) UK has been attempting to install the system in the first batches of 4 x 4 Panther multipurpose light vehicles (MLVs) and Terrier combat engineer vehicles (CEVs) for the British Army.

The source said the amount of equipment going into the vehicles to convert them to the Bowman system was creating problems and concerns had been raised about the heat that the system generates. "There is more equipment going in than is being taken out," he said. "That has made the platform conversion far more complicated than first thought."

201 of 550 words

[End of non-subscriber extract.]
http://www.bnp.org.uk/columnists/brimstone2.php?leeId=12

Reasons for not modernising Army kit

The question needed to be asked is this - were British troops in Iraq deliberately starved of new equipment for party political reasons over the last few years for fear of information leaking out that the British Army were to join the European Union Rapid Reaction Force? Were Bowman radio sets not provided to the troops in Iraq, because fitting them to the old vehicles used by the British Army in Iraq that were going to be made obsolete in the near future, would have been a waste of money in the governments minds? Were the troops not given the new Future Rapid Effects System (FRES) equipment before the Iraq War because to do so would have revealed the plans of the Labour Government to sell out the British Army after the Iraq War?

Was this a war being fought ‘on the cheap’ by the Labour Government before they laid out the cash for the updated equipment needed to bring the British Army up to European Union Rapid Reaction Force specifications?
 
#8
The first 2 articles highlight what is wrong and unconstruuctive about the BOWMAN debate. Yes, its got a history of faults, and a many cock-ups, but it's a hugely ambitious undertaking and anyone with the faintest understanding of the task should not be surprised by the difficulties faced. The bad press, and bad reputation, of the Project is not helped by feeble attempts to gloss over the numerous (but not surprising) flaws.

Soldier Mag could do better. I doubt there is a reader of the magazine who does not understand (or at least does no know) of BOWMAN's flaws - why, therefore, resort to positive spin? A house mag should be the forum of honest opinion about what these problems are, and what is being done to rectify them.

As for the BNP article..... Well it won't alter my voting intentions. Check out the author - doesn't take much to get a law degree these days does it.

Anyone care to comment on the viability of a brigade with 2 different (and barely compatible) comms systems?
 
#9
Hear Hear Whitewash - having been part of a BOWTAG I think I'm as qualified as any to pass comment.

The radios are good and work well with ranges at least as good as Clansman, in 99% of cases better.

The problems with the system lie in the passage of data. This is where we were in the early 80's with the worlds first mobile phone network - Ptarmigan.

This is cutting edge kit - state of the art digital comms. Its so new that when it goes down even the geeks don't know why coz they were suprised it worked in the first place!! This is the worlds first mobile serverless internet working over CNR.

Even the yanks haven't got this and it cost them the GDP of two small african countries to get FBCB2 to where it is now - about two years ahead of BOWMAN, but on kit that is now 10yrs old. In the next few years BOWMAN will become one of the most adanced systems on the planet.

To answer the question above, BOWMAN is fully compatible with clansman in the Fixed Freq insecure mode, effectively giving the same level of comms that we have now wiht clansman.

Folks - give it a chance
 
#10
theloggie said:
To answer the question above, BOWMAN is fully compatible with clansman in the Fixed Freq insecure mode, effectively giving the same level of comms that we have now wiht clansman.
That was really my point - by defaulting to the lowest common denominator - FF insecure, are we not foregoing the advantages of Bowman? Or can we work as a split formation and still make partial advantage of it?
 
#11
Theres no reason why at Coy level to BG you can't have secure - unless you've got heavy A with your group.

At BG level you could have a split Comd net working secure to the Inf and Insecure to the Cav but I really wouldn't recommend it!

Until they sort the intercom prob out C2 is going to be a bit of a mare!
 
#12
theloggie said:
Hear Hear Whitewash - having been part of a BOWTAG I think I'm as qualified as any to pass comment.

The radios are good and work well with ranges at least as good as Clansman, in 99% of cases better.
Can't be any worse can it??
 
#13
Having been involved in all things Bowman for the last 2 yrs I echo Whitewash and the loggie. Bowman is light years ahead of Clansman both in capability and realiability. :D

Bowman has been deployed 'overseas' since the end of last year and will continue to be. Although limited to secure voice and positional awareness (with some situational awareness) this is still vastly superior to Clansman. Its true that the data capability and CIP is not ready yet but that will come with time.

Bowman is fully compatible with Clansman in both insecure and secure working (the later by using specific eqpt which I am not going to go into on the internet!) :wink:

The futures bright, the future is BOWMAN, get used to it.
 
#14
Quick question, I've heard lots of good and bad things about Bowman, one of the main worries is the amount of room it takes up. So can anyone tell me if when a long wheel base land rover is fitted with the equiv to a 353 and a HF is there still room for 2 on top cover?? If not then we could be in a spot of bother in Iraq....
 
#15
As a basic user here's my view. Bowman voice is very good. It has good range and not having to bugger about with BATCO is a real plus. The data sucks at the moment, you have to be plugged into a LAS to get all the info that is being sent. It does take up a lot of room in the wagons. All FFRs are supposed to have trailers now because you can't fit any kit in the back and some bright spark has said the speed limit for FFRs is 40mph. On the whole it's not that bad but it's going to take some time to iron out all the teething problems.
 
#16
whitewash said:
The first 2 articles highlight what is wrong and unconstruuctive about the BOWMAN debate. Yes, its got a history of faults, and a many c***-ups, but it's a hugely ambitious undertaking and anyone with the faintest understanding of the task should not be surprised by the difficulties faced. The bad press, and bad reputation, of the Project is not helped by feeble attempts to gloss over the numerous (but not surprising) flaws.

Soldier Mag could do better. I doubt there is a reader of the magazine who does not understand (or at least does no know) of BOWMAN's flaws - why, therefore, resort to positive spin? A house mag should be the forum of honest opinion about what these problems are, and what is being done to rectify them.

As for the BNP article..... Well it won't alter my voting intentions. Check out the author - doesn't take much to get a law degree these days does it.

Anyone care to comment on the viability of a brigade with 2 different (and barely compatible) comms systems?
3 items were selected for balanced dedate, I do not support the comments as I am now out of the loop.

It was the spin in Soldier Mag that also surprised me.
I only included the BNP article for comment.

I know that systems have to be rugged to withstand service life, but with modern micro electrics, why is Bowman larger and heaver than Clansman?
 
#17
There is a major problem with BOWMAN for IRAQ. You cannot have top cover in a Landrover with Bowman fitted (for security reasons the hard/soft tops have to stay on and the top cover will be exposed to too much radiation. Thus all the 7 Bde landrovers now fitted to deploy on TELIC 7 cannot go and they have to find others. There are also major issues with operators in the back of them, transmitting fries the signaller. The Driver and commander of the LR are OK.

BOWMAN is hediously delayed and the situation is getting worse. ISD for new engineer tanks now delayed by at least 18 months due to BOWMAN fitting problems.
 
#18
I heard a rumour last week that all the RSigs rovers are being trading in for Pinz's. It came from quite a reliable source too. If it's true then they might be doing it with the whole fleet. Anyone know anything about it?
 
#19
Crikey short fuze, Not looking forward to going out in November with my troop then.......
Luckily we here at Wimbish won't have it for a few more years.... I wonder what the solution to the top cover problem will be, maybe a 3 vehicle move everywhere with the middle wagon being a bowman and the rest on clansman? Plus the fact that we will all be crawling around at 40 mph and trying to ditch trailiers in a non straight through contact......
You gotta love it, I don't care how blooming marvelous the kit is if we can't shoot back we are in a bit of bother....
 
#20
Bin it and take the Iraqi Police Motorola off them. they work and are v good. Good range and secure. Small in size and cheap.

Actually no, on second thoughts lets let the boys get injured by using crap kit. Bliar hasa lot to answer for.
 
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