By Ann Roosevelt

By the end of the year, Brunei is expected to select either a team led by General Dynamics [GD] United Kingdom Limited or a competing entry offered by Northrop Grumman [NOC] to provide a Joint Operations Centre for the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.

The selection of the two teams for the final stage–contract negotiations–was announced after a just-completed demonstration of pilot systems in Brunei by Dato Paduka Haji Mustappa bin Haji Sirat, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, at BRIDEX 2009, the 2nd Brunei Darussalam International Defence Exhibition and Conference on Aug. 15.

A total of 14 potential vendors from around the world participated in the competition.

Welcoming the announcement, Andrew Browne, vice president C4I Systems, said: “General Dynamics UK is very pleased to have been selected for the next stage of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces’ JOC program, after a rigorous demonstration and assessment of our technical solution and capabilities…We are confident that our bid, which offers both technical excellence and superb benefits in knowledge transfer for the Bruneian ICT business sector, and also leverages our experience in developing international education partnership programs, will provide Brunei with the best JOC solution.”

Paul Davison, vice president and managing director for Northrop Grumman’s Information Systems sector in Europe, said: “This is an important enhancement to Brunei’s defence capabilities providing not only protection for its people and natural resources but also allowing the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) to be a lead nation in regional and coalition activities…Our proven information system solutions and capabilities are well matched to meeting Brunei’s defence and national security requirements–the core elements of our C4I solution have been in service for 20-years and are already successfully deployed in strategic command and control systems around the world supporting international operations.”

The Joint Operations Centre (JOC) will provide the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) and Ministry of Defence (MinDef) with an ability to deliver command and control capability for military commands and civil organizations at both a national and international level and be interoperable with its NATO and ASEAN allies and coalition partners. It must also work with legacy equipment and systems.

General Dynamics UK is teamed with Systematic UK for the Brunei JOC. Systematic UK recently won the contract to provide its SitaWare product to be the core software around which the U.K.’s JOC will operate over the coming years, thus providing a single unified Common Operating Picture (COP). This same product is at the core of General Dynamics UK’s Brunei JOC proposal.

Brunei, a former Commonwealth nation, has long worked closely with U.K. forces, and the Untied Kingdom maintains bases in the nation.

General Dynamics said in a statement it is committed to providing an enduring capability based on Brunei’s Vision 2035. General Dynamics UK is the prime contractor and systems integrator delivering the U.K.’s flagship C4I system across the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force; and the latest enhanced version was used successfully on British exercise in Brunei recently.

The core of the General Dynamics solution for the Brunei JOC is a low-risk Microsoft [MSFT] Windows based solution using best-of-breed products enabling ease of use and local sustainability. General Dynamics will provide both support and training packages tailored to meet the needs of the RBAF.

SitaWare has recently been selected for the U.K. MoD JOC to provide the UK Future (Joint) web service Data Repository on JC2SP that will enter service over the next 18 months.

General Dynamics UK is currently working with Systematic UK to provide NATO interoperability into Bowman through integration with Bowman’s ComBATC2 application. This is an example of open architectures enabling rapid insertion of world-class capabilities.

General Dynamics UK is delivering similar systems to other customers worldwide.

The core of Northrop Grummans’ International-Joint Operational Command and Control System (I-JOCCS) solution is the company’s industry leading software application Command and Control for the PC (C2PC) and Interoperable C4I Services (ICS). These have been in service for 20 years and are currently deployed in more than 40 countries with 100,000 users making them among the most successful and widely used applications for strategic command and control systems worldwide, the company said. The core applications are regularly upgraded to keep them at the forefront of technical capability, while maintaining interoperability to international standards. Together C2PC and C4I provide a seamless top to bottom architecture for command and control, from the strategic and operational levels down to the dismounted soldier.

Northrop Grumman has teamed with Newman & Spurr Consultancy to provide the system modeling and training solution. The companies said they would work closely with local Brunei industry and academia to ensure that Brunei develops a strong indigenous support capability for systems, training and doctrine development.