Service - Navy, Army, RAF

Bowman will meet the tactical communications needs of those elements of the three Armed Services that take part in, or provide direct support to, UK land, amphibious and air manoeuvre operations until at least 2026. It will provide a secure digital voice and data communications service, including situational awareness capability.

The Bowman programme includes:
- Development and supply of equipment
- Software integration
- Development of designs to install the equipment into military vehicles, aircraft and ships,
- Conversion of those vehicles, aircraft and ships to operate Bowman
- Training operators, managers and maintainers
- Logistic support.

The initial CBM(L) capability will be introduced with Bowman to provide a core battle management system. It will enable the battlefield information systems being developed for armoured fighting vehicles, artillery fire control, ground based air defence, to exploit Bowman’s data messaging capability concurrently, as well as addressing wider interoperability issues with our allies.

Project History

The Bowman Supply and Support contract was awarded to General Dynamics United Kingdom Ltd (GD UK) on 13 September 2001. A review of the combined Bowman and CIP programmes was undertaken in late 2004 and this provided the opportunity to better ensure that they would deliver a capability consistent with the MOD’s vision of achieving Network Enabled Capability. A Review Note was approved on 6 July 2006 and formal offer of contract for the ‘Recast’ programme was accepted by the prime contractor.

Current Status

Bowman continues to progress, with MOD, GD UK and its sub-contractors working to achieve the next milestone. Work on identifying the requirements for the next capability release is well underway with a BCIP6 Validation Phase. BCIP 6 will be the subject of a Main Gate submission in 2008 and
if approved, it will include essential maintenance upgrades, closure of traded user requirements and implementing new technology to deliver enhanced capabilities.


The procurement cost of the supply and (initial) support phase for Bowman is approximately £2.04 billion (this does not include the cost of assessment).

In-Service Date (ISD)

Bowman achieved its ISD, with provisos, on 26 March 2004. It is envisaged that all of the remaining Bowman provisos will be cleared pending a successful Operational Field Trial (OFT) in Oct 07 and A&R10 in Dec 07.

Operational Readiness

Since initial deployment of 12 Mechanized Brigade to Iraq in April 2005, Bowman (BCIP4.f) has been employed on Operations TELIC and HERRICK. Other brigades have been converted and continued operational experience indicates that Bowman is delivering a battle winning capability.

Major Milestones

In Service Date – 26 March 2004 (achieved)
The System Release Test ran from September-December 2006.
7,000 platforms converted by 31 December 2006
Operational Field Trial 3 – October 2007
Conversion to BCIP4.f complete – Q4 2007/Q1 2008
Fielding of BCIP5 is likely to roll-out over 34 months commencing in 2008.


As well as being man-portable, Bowman equipment will be fitted to:
• most military vehicles from Land Rover Wolf to the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank;
• fixed HQ buildings
• collective training facilities in the UK and overseas;

• Naval vessels of 20 types including 5 of the Royal Navy’s 6 capital ships; and the frigate and destroyer fleet;

• Aircraft including the major helicopter types supporting land operations – Chinook and Merlin

Deliverables included approximately 10,000 LAS installations; 3,400 High-Capacity Data Radios (HCDRs); 41,000 HF and VHF combat radios (of which 30,000 are VHF); 26,000 computers; and 75,000 trained service personnel.

Commercial Aspects

Around 2,000 prime and sub-contract jobs have been secured across the UK.

Page rated 6 times
This page has an average rating of 2/5