The US Navy is poised to announced a decision on the preferred systems designer and integrator for Taiwan's $10 billion "Po Sheng" integrated tactical datalink project by the end of this month as part of a major overhaul of the country's military command and control architecture.

As part of the overhaul plans, the Taiwanese ministry for national defence earlier this month released a request for tenders for the "An-Yu 4" automated air-defence system programme. A selection is expected by yearend.

Po Sheng will develop an integrated military tactical communications network baselined on Link 16, which is to evolve into a Co-operative Engagement Capability-like system combining all services over10 years. The project is funded under the US foreign military sales system with tenders released earlier this year to Lockheed Martin- and Northrop Grumman-led teams.

An initial phase is worth $70-80 million for a study of the Taiwanese datalink network, which comprises Link 11 and 16 on airborne, maritime and ground-based nodes. Subsequent phases would acquire the new architecture.

The Lockheed Martin team includes BAE Systems and a number of US-based software companies. The Northrop Grumman team comprises General Dynamics, Raytheon and Rockwell Collins.

An-Yu 4 will be a commercial acquisition with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon receiving a request for proposals at the beginning of this month, with responses due on 25 September.

In a related development, the Taiwanese legislature is expected to debate funding approval for a long-range early-warning radar system as part of the 2004defence budget. Consideration is also being given, however, to inclusion of the project in a finance package to go before the legislature early next year that would include acquisition of Lockheed Martin/Raytheon Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles and submarines.

A competition between Raytheon, offering Pave Paws, and Lockheed Martin, tendering an advanced digital surveillance radar, is planned.

Source: Flight International