This is what the MOD say about it but soldiers with operational experience on this site say otherwise. Is it just teething problems or does it work does it work? NEWS Previous Page MOD Welcomes National Audit Office Report Into Battlefield Communications Wednesday, July 26, 2006 Source: MoD The MOD's Â£2.4 billion transformation of military communications through the introduction of Bowman digital radios has been assessed in a report by The National Audit Office (NAO). The Bowman digital radios have replaced analogue Clansman radios, used since the 1970's. The new technology should transform military communications and enable the Armed Forces to operate more effectively and at a higher tempo. Initial versions of Bowman have already been introduced on operations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the NAO says that it is starting to deliver benefits. For the first time commanders at all levels have secure voice and data communications as well as an integrated Global Positioning System. The NAO have spoken to a large range of participants in the Bowman programme and the report says that: "Those using it find the secure communications and situational awareness capabilities are having a direct and positive effect. Acknowledged to be considerably quicker and more secure than the outdated Clansman radios, the Bowman programme indicates progress, through delivery of enhanced technical solutions, towards the originally envisaged improvements in operational tempo and effectiveness." Brigadier Andrew Gregory, Assistant Chief of Staff, Capability Development, HQ LAND, who recently returned from Iraq, said: "Bowman is giving us a real edge on operations. The situational awareness Bowman delivers means that decisions are better informed; that we are more agile and more effective; and that soldiers are better able to do their job in often difficult circumstances. Bowman is proving its worth on operations." The NAO report also comments on the challenges the MOD has faced in managing the programme, and the resulting revision of timescales for full implementation. It examines lessons learned and contains recommendations and support to the MOD in its continued delivery of such complex military capabilities. Sir John Bourn, head of the NAO, said: "The introduction of Bowman provides the first increment of a world class military communication, command and control system, which is delivering considerable benefits to the UK armed forces. The timescales set for the original programme were overly ambitious given the technical challenges that emerged and the sheer scale of the conversion. To ensure delivery of the recast programme by 2007 the MOD and its contractor General Dynamics UK should continue to respond flexibly to inevitable change and to the remaining technical challenges." Lord Drayson, Minister for Defence Procurement, said "Bowman provides our armed forces with a world class communications system. The secure voice and data network, and the situational awareness capabilities it provides, takes operational communications to a new level. We are receiving very positive feedback from troops in Iraq and Afghanistan who are using Bowman. The programme has presented us with a range of challenges, which we have addressed. In particular we have tackled how to phase in the new capabilities over the life of the project. We are pleased by the NAO's positive response to this recast programme." A revised programme and a further Â£121 million of funding have been approved to deliver the capabilities that the Armed Forces require by 2007. Bowman was declared in service in April 2004 but with some shortfalls in capability. Under Bowman some 48,000 radios and 28,000 computer terminals are to be installed in up to 15,700 vehicles, as well as ships, boats and helicopters. An estimated 75,000 users are to be trained on the system.