Pretoria based RapidM has publicly launched CommandPoint, its new tablet software to help military commanders gain a visual impression of the battlefield and communicate with troops. The launch took place at the Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition at Waterkloof this morning.
CommandPoint adds a map presentation capability to RapidM’s RapTawc suite of secure voice, positioning, and messaging tools that operate over radio networks.
Karel Koster, RapidM’s Tactical Product Leader said CommandPoint is still under “active development” but it has been sold to the armed forces of a NATO member country. He said the envisaged market for the product is the company’s existing base of armed forces customers in Africa, South East Asia, Europe, and North America, who use its RapTawc terminals.
CommandPoint is aimed for use by platoon and company level commanders operating in forces that might not always have highly specific requirements for battlefield management systems, Koster said. Its most likely users are infantry, marine and special force type operators who are dismounted and require live information on positions.
The tablet or PC based CommandPoint software can show friendly and enemy forces, as well as key points, on a map and gives touchscreen access to voice and text communications. The software operates with RapidM’s RapTawc modems, which come as an operator carried RT5, and a rack installed RT7. These are housed in rugged tactical terminals consisting of a small keyboard, a GPS, and a screen, and provide information on positions, as well as secure voice and messaging. RapTawc allows clients to choose between use of a default encryption software or their own.
CommandPoint can be pre-loaded on rugged tablets which have been sourced from a third party, or clients can also install the software on Windows or Linux machines
The offering is similar in some respects to command and control systems such as Chaka from SA based Saab Grintek, the tactical communications Battle Management System from Danish company Systematic, and Geco from UK based Inzpire. Koster said RapidM saw a gap in the market for an offering that is easy to use and not reliant on highly sophisticated software, yet provided the basics of what their forces required for operations. The product was also seen as an extension of the company’s existing product range as information that could be presented on a map was already provided on the company’s rugged terminals.
Development of the product is focusing on support for multiple networks and enhancing the RapTawc system support for ComanndPoint.