The US Air Force’s (USF) Air Combat Command has declared the initial operational capability (IOC) for the tactical air control party mobile communications system (TACP-MCS) Block 2 system.
The system combines multi-channel communications equipment into M1165 high-mobility, multi-purpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs), also known as Humvees.
This integration provides voice, data, and video capabilities to TACP Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs).
MCS Block 2 will be used by the JTACs to execute close air support and command and control (C2) missions.
It showcased the required combat capability for voice and video communications to achieve the IOC. The system also had Required Assets Available (RAA) for logistics support and fielding.
The TACP-MCS Block 2 is a programme managed by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s (AFLCMC) Battlespace Communications Branch at Hanscom Air Force Base (AFB) in Massachusetts.
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It was started with a two-year integration and test phase to suit the ‘mostly off-the-shelf and non-developmental equipment kit and software’ into the M1165 vehicle.
iGov Technologies is the prime contractor of the MCS Block 2 system.
The system was designed and built at iGov Technologies’ facility in Tampa, Florida.
In September 2018, the USAF awarded an $85.1m Block 2 delivery order to iGov Technologies for the TACP-MCS.
Special Operations Forces and Personnel Recovery Division senior materiel leader and chief colonel Joel Luker said: “All too often we only hear about acquisition programs that are well behind schedule and/or over-budget.
“For our combined AFLCMC-ACC-iGov team to deliver this vital capability to our front-line forces five months early, and in the middle of a pandemic, no less, was a monumental accomplishment.”
AFLCMC noted that the Battlespace Communications Branch worked with ACC to define the programme’s needs and plan accordingly for fielding and training.
Furthermore, the Branch provided contracting support through the Platform Engineering and Integration for Tactical and Strategic Systems (PEITSS) IDIQ contract.
Further kit installations and training are expected to be performed at TACP squadrons until 2023.