A British consortium led by ICL is to supply the Ministry of Defence with its UKAir command and control information system, it was confirmed yesterday. The UKP37m contract, which will lead to creation of 50 new jobs, is now targetted for completion in 1991, one year ahead of schedule. The consortium – dubbed the Secure […]
A British consortium led by ICL is to supply the Ministry of Defence with its UKAir command and control information system, it was confirmed yesterday. The UKP37m contract, which will lead to creation of 50 new jobs, is now targetted for completion in 1991, one year ahead of schedule. The consortium – dubbed the Secure Air Systems Group – is led by ICL with the Slough-based UK subsidiary of Computer Sciences Corp, El Segundo, California, Bath-based IPL Information Processing Ltd and Lynwood Scientific Developments Ltd of Alton, Hampshire. Introduction of UKAir, designed to complement rather than replace the old Asma command and control system, begins immediately. By spring 1990 it will be installed at RAF Strike Command headquarters in High Wycombe with minimal facilities for local use and test purposes. Six months later alternative headquarters will have reached the same stage and be communicating with the central system. Workstations from Lynwood, to be introduced at a few hundred bases throughout the UK, will also be connected. And by the beginning of 1991 the network will have special applications added and will be, according to ICL, one of the most advanced in the world. UKAir does everything Asma can – and more. It has multi-level security, graphics terminals and the ability to talk to other NATO commands, cutting out time consuming telexes and phone calls. Unauthorised people can be prevented access to the system at any of four stages: security on the complex it’s housed in, prevention of radiation escape, operators signing on to equipment and software safe guards. UKAir will use NATO’s operational language, Pascal, initially but the design specification language is ADA with an MoD option to implement it. Of the UKP37m, 50% will go to ICL, 30% to Computer Sciences and the remainder will be split between the other two. ICL will be responsible for the management of the project and the provision of an unspecified number and model of Series 39 mainframes under VME; Computer Sciences will develop the application software; IPL will design workstation software, focussing on easy-to-use man/machine interfaces, and Lynwood will supply Tempest-shielded high resolution graphics workstations. Initial development work has begun in Bath but the UKAir project team is to be established in ICL base at Basing stoke. A substantial part of the cost is to be met by NATO Command.