The US Air Force (USAF) Battlefield Airmen Special Projects Office (SPO) has selected Black Diamond Advanced Technology’s (BDATech) off-the-shelf (COTS) APEx predator system (APS) as operational control system (OCS) solution.

This five-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract is valued at $48.1m. It will see the delivery of 22 Agile Port Expander (APEx) predator system kits initially for operational testing.

The new solution is scheduled to be fielded to all USAF Battlefield Airmen in order to include tactical air control party (TACP), combat control teams (CCT), para rescue (PJ) and combat weatherman.

With this new development, USAF Airmen will have the APEx predator system embedded alongside every US Army Combat Manoeuvre Element from Heavy Armour to Tier 1 SOF units.

"The five-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract is valued at $48.1m."

The modular and wearable APS includes the APEx Controller for power and data distribution, a commercial COTS tablet computer, and system cabling optimised for tactical plate carrier use in dismounted operations.

It offers connections for multiple peripheral cables, a system power cable and a tactical computer, or end user device (EUD), the company stated.

The APEx controller is capable of distributing power to connected devices and enabling data communication of tactical data radios, video downlink, targeting and several other devices to the computer.

The APEx controller features 5Gbps SuperSpeed USB (3.0) on four sealed circular military-grade universal peripheral ports. It enables the user to connect multiple tactical peripherals to any computer, tablet or smartphone.