Blue Force Tracking

Blue Force Tracking

Blue Force Tracker is a United States military system that helps to provide commanders with information about their forces.

In military symbology, the color blue is typically used for friendly force elements, red is used for enemies, and green is used for neutral forces.

Blue Force Tracking system consists of a computer, a satellite antenna, and a Global Positioning System receiver. The system displays the location of the host vehicle on the computer's terrain-map display along with other platforms in their respective locations. BFT can also be used to send and receive text messages and Blue Force Tracking has a mechanism for reporting the locations of enemy forces and other battlefield conditions. Users will include the United States Army, the United States Marines Corps, the United States Air Force and the United Kingdom, but the Marines primarily use the Mobile Data Automated Communications system to provide situational awareness. To ensure that Marine force locations will be visible in U.S. and British Army command centers, the Marines have installed more than 200 BFT systems as well. Work has begun on plans to reach the level of nearly 40,000 tracking systems in the Army within four years. The M1A1 Abrams's AIM refurbishment/upgrade program includes FBCB2 and Blue Force Tracking. [General Dynamics Awarded $34 Million for M1A1 Abrams Tank Upgrades, General Dynamics Press Release, Sterling Heights, Michigan, September 5, 2008; available at]

A Blue Force Tracking technology is system called Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below, or FBCB2.

The system continually transmits their actual locations over the FBCB2 network. It then monitors the location and progress of friendly forces and sends those specific coordinates to a central location called the Army Tactical Operations Center. There the data is consolidated into a common picture and sent back out to units,

The system also allows users to input or update operational graphics (i.e. obstacles, engineer reconnaissance on the road). Once uploaded it can either be mailed back to higher headquarters or "mailed" to other subscribers of that user's list.

An additional capability comes from the route planning tools. By inputting grid coordinates the BFT becomes both the map and compass for motorized units. With proximity warnings enabled the vehicle crew is made aware as they approach critical or turn points.

ee also

* Friendly fire


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