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BAE Systems UK-based command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) business unit has announced delivery of the 30th and final Mobile Access to the Ptarmigan Packet Switching (MAPPS) hardware/software package to the UK's Ministry of Defence.
Designed to enhance the data handling capacity of the existing Ptarmigan Single Channel Radio Access (Central) - SCRA(C) - battlefield communications installation, MAPPS provides a local combined circuit and packet switch that gives improved data access to mobile Ptarmigan system subscribers and enables it to be deployed independently of main Ptarmigan trunk networks in out-of-area deployments. Of the 30 MAPPS packages (the hardware for which is based on BAE Systems C4ISR's MRS 2000 product), 15 make use of donor SCRA(C) vehicle containers and pallets (installed aboard Bedford 4 ´ 4 wheeled chassis) and are designated as SCRA (Switching Central)(Standard) - SCRA(SC)(Std) - units.
The remaining 15 have been installed aboard government furnished Pinzgauer all-terrain vehicles, with the choice of chassis being predicated by its air transportability. So installed, the architecture is known as the SCRA (Switching Central)(Air Portable) - SCRA(SC)(AP). Each SCRA(SC) (AP) unit comprises a two vehicle convoy, with vehicle one being designated as the primary communications container vehicle and vehicle two being used as a power generation and support platform. Launched in February 1998, the overall MAPPS programme has been expanded (starting in October 1998) to incorporate the design and installation of General Purpose Trunk Access Port (GP-TAP) software enhancements that are designed to support interoperability between UK and allied communications systems in coalition operations. GP-TAP is noted as having been successfully embodied in Germany and the UK during mid-2002.