Home FEATURE Future Soldier ATOK: Newest Turkish System at the Individual Soldier Level

Future Soldier ATOK: Newest Turkish System at the Individual Soldier Level

by Can Kılınç

The Military Tactical Operation Kit (ATOK) System was requested by the Turkish General Staff and commenced by the Defence Industry Agency (SSB), with BİTES developing the product. Field qualification tests for the ATOK system were successfully completed in December 2021, and efforts have begun for its proliferation.

The proliferation phase of the ATOK system was officially commenced through a contract signed between BİTES and BMC in November 2022. As a part of the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle 2 (MKKA-2) project, carried out by BMC in line with the needs of the Turkish National Police, the contract plans to designate 5 vehicles as command-and-control vehicles. These vehicles will be equipped with the ATOK system in a configuration that supports 20 personnel. The operations carried out by the personnel serving in the Police Special Operations Department of the Turkish National Police will be executed using the ATOK system.

Under the contract signed with the Defence Industry Agency in May, an additional two ATOK systems will be delivered to the Turkish Special Forces Command and Gendarmerie Special Public Security Command, both under the Ministry of Interior, for their operational use.

Activities for the widespread deployment of the ATOK system in the field are progressing rapidly.

The Beating Heart of the Battlefield

In operations carried out by special units, detailed pre-mission planning is conducted to ensure that the relevant personnel have full mastery of the situation. During the operation, the personnel’s positioning and their ability to perform their tasks are of vital importance for the unit to successfully accomplish its mission without casualties. To achieve this goal, the ATOK system offers the use of geographic information system functions, maps, and tactical imagery to security forces. BİTES developed ATOK using national resources and designed to work on mobile platforms, and the system’s specially developed messaging software makes sharing all types of intelligence (such as photos, videos, voice messages, written messages, documents, etc.) within the unit a reality.

The ATOK system includes a mobile device the personnel will carry and its compatible sensors, and also enhances the situational awareness of the units and prevents friendly fire incidents. The system and its portable sensors do not restrict the movement of personnel in battlefield conditions and provide a tactical picture, as well as the capabilities of geographic information systems and maps to our security forces. Tactical maps compliant with NATO and national symbology standards can be created on the map as well.

ATOK also has customised configurations based on the operational team’s requirements, including additional functions and sensors that various personnel in the unit may need.

ATOK is an Android-based system, providing the following capabilities:

·       Tracking friendly units

·       Real-time monitoring of health and positioning information of personnel within the unit

·       Secure communication within the unit and between teams using a closed-loop base station (LTE)

·       Intra-unit messaging (photos, videos, voice messages, written messages, documents, etc.)

·       Intra-team video calls

·       Encrypted storage and transmission of operational data

·       Calculation of personnel positioning data even in situations where GNSS service is either unreliable or unavailable, and sharing of said data

·       Transmission of battlefield data to Remote Command and Control Centre and Mobile Command and Control Communications vehicle

·       Paratrooper landing support

·       Management of unmanned ground/aerial vehicles (UGV/UAV) and access to their video feeds

·       Tracking friendly units with augmented reality support

UGV, UAV, and Radar Data Also Shared with the Unit

Data and video feeds from UAVs and UGVs can be shared within the operational unit through the ATOK system, enhancing situational awareness and optimising the tracking of friendly forces within its operational zone and designated communication network. The ATOK system features wearables for wireless and secure communication in the field, offering significant capabilities like real-time sharing of data obtained from UAVs/UGVs to special forces. Additionally, data obtained from land radars can be integrated into the ATOK system and displayed on the map ATOK provides. This allows potential threats against the relevant unit to be visualised and shared as a “threat” within the unit using the ATOK system.

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