So Bowman still doesn't work then

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by CrapSpy, Feb 16, 2005.

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  1. From the Guardian:

    Army's new radio poorly received

    Richard Norton-Taylor
    Wednesday February 16, 2005
    The Guardian

    The army is to get a secure radio system for use in the battlefield, 10 years late.
    British soldiers who have been forced to use antiquated paper codes - and even rely on their own mobiles - will be able to use the long-awaited Bowman radio network, developed at a cost of more than £2bn.

    But, to the embarrassment of Ministry of Defence officials and anger within the army, the system still has problems.

    The army's 12 Mechanised Brigade will be equipped with Bowman when it is deployed to southern Iraq next month, senior defence officials said yesterday.

    But it still cannot be fitted to the army's main Challenger 2 battletanks or Warrior armoured fighting vehicles because a problem with the tanks' intercom system leaves crews unable to hear properly over their headsets.

    The weight of the new radios also led to Land Rovers breaking axles during trials.

    Oh well, another army equipment success!
  2. When did this come to light :?: Useful tool to keep the REME and suppliers employed.

    Sorry, cannot stop laughing. We might as well go back to '19set'
  3. And to reiterate in case of confusion:

    1. Clansman is utterly hopeless - Bowman radio is very very good.
    2. The possibilities offered by secure digital email across the battlespace are endless - there's just some ground to cover with data yet.
    3. If it weren't 'good to go', do you really believe our highly politicised Lords and Masters (who all want to be 3 and 4 stars) would have allowed it to deploy to Iraq.

    Hang on - ignore (3) :D
  4. Calypso,

    I suppose so.
    No it doesn't; and yes they are, but for good reasons.
    True, but hasn't gone away.
    Fair enough.
  5. Calypso,
    Aside from the fact that it's secure and has digital circuitry how is Bowman radio very very good versus Clansman hopeless, given that radio uses the ether.
    Do you mean the Bowman system (ie, the way it all slots together from man pack to HQ level) is very very good versus Clansman family? (you'd hardly call Clansman a system)

    Taking the example of the Redcap incident. Great play was made in the tv story of them having to set up their mast to contact base.
    How would Bowman have helped them over Clansman? Is it multi-band such that if they're out of u/vhf range it moves to either hf or picks a satellite channel? Or would they still have to set up a mast etc?

    I'm not trying to trip you up I'm just interested in knowing what all my taxes have been spent on. (and I'm a PRC320 fan, not to mention the C11/R210 - oh God, I wish I hadn't mentioned that. My ears have gone all sweaty) :) :)

    Perhaps, you know a site where I could get some real facts about Bowman versus the PR and management overview bullsh1t stuff from MoD and the supplier.
  6. I know what you mean, recently got hold of a CLANSMAN/BOWMAN cd plenty of useful info/presentations but still not much wiser over Bowman. Too much salesspeak crap.

    Ref RedCap incident - They would have had to erect a mast/antenna to get voice comms in even with Bowman.
  7. Quite, well said Polar. Some people ought to revise their A+P lessons! I spent 2 days on trying to engineer a VHF link into that place - very difficult due to many reasons that I won't go into now.
  8. Nicely put Calypso. There is much bollocks spouted about Bowman by them in ignorance and mischief makers. And the gentlemen of the Fourth estate fall into both those categories.
  9. Mmmmmm. 320. mmmmmm.
    Horizontal wire held off the deck with bergans giving round the clock comms accross the atlantic with no mast! Masts? I dont need masts. Having said that it's been a while since i used VHF and I was always messing with masts then! OK it may not be secure in its standard form but clansman does exactly what it says on the tin. You know exactly where you stand with it and what we can expect it to do or not to do. This has come from many years of operational experience with the kit. I'm sure that bowman will be thought of in the same way in a few years time however, I would like some real facts on the kit i.e. unedited results on field trials etc. etc. Does anyone know where I could lay my hands on these??
  10. Having been involved with Bowman one of the problems with the LR installation is that instead of a nice mounting board that we are all used to there is a solid steel frame made in USA which fills the vehicle. It has to be fitted using a fork lift!!, combined with that on the r/h/r is another frame which although not all users will have the kit to go on it (lap top and printer) it has to remain in situ. Units that have taken it out have received hefty bills for fitters to reinstall it.

    While the sets are small the frame is not and is heavy hence the upgrade. What is coming into service now is different to the orginal sets due to several consortium changes. Ten years late is not good enough, the features on Bowman have been readily available for many years from UK manufacturers, and similar systems are in use by our allies.

    Clansman WAS good for its time and far better than Larkspur but the press have gone over the top in their criticism of it.and have made it seem worse than it is
  11. So you worked on BOWMAN, did you...?

    The you would know that it was the MoD who wanted the frame to be built to these specs for strength, etc.

    It is made in the UK not the US.

    And yes it is fitted with a forklift, as the main rack is populated outside the vehicle with the rlevant BOWMAN fit, this makes the installation process smoother and easier.
  12. Yes I did work for GD at Ashchurch and some of the frames were made in US. By being populated I assume you mean the radios etc fitted first then the frame inserted, not every one liked using that method as once it is in you still have to remove individual items for repair although fitting forst I agree is best, horses for courses really. You have to agree that the frame is vastly overengineered. Although it was MoD who wanted a strong frame built GD had it built and the issue one is the result. and that is what we are stuck with, it is one of them ost complained items on feedback.

    On a lighter note some ae that had been on order arrived, had to be seen to be believed same part number as veh but these were for RN on warship vwery impressive!! but think poor old LR would have finally given up then.

    I was not really knocking Bowman just the excessive length of time to introduce it, I can recall handling it at RAC sigs school on a RSO confrence about 7 years ago.
  13. I love it when the 'Bowman is too heavy for Land Rovers' fact is touted as a good reason for binning it.

    It seems that people seem to have forgotten that Clansman was also too heavy for Land Rover. Ho hum...
  14. With regards to your first point, I'm absolutely certain that in 5 years time, we will look back on this project and wonder what all the fuss and nonsense was all about.

    As to providing commercially sensitive material to you to mull over, I'm not convinced that anything short of an armed break-in at Oakdale will provide what you need, given that GD(UK) are hardly the most accommodating company ever seen. That said, most of the posts you see on ARRSE from those in the know are factually accurate - if they aren't, then people like me, Eye_Spy et al will call them on it.
  15. Just wondering: I guess Bowman includes HF comms...... will frequency agility affect operational ranges and deployment practicability ?
    I mean ground and NVIS propo can be tempermental enough, both modes being frequency dependent in terms of efficiency.
    Will performance remain unchanged, given the added squeeze on the radio-antenna-tuner combo with Bowman ?