Murphy's Law: January 10, 2005


Britain is having yet another major disaster with the introduction of a new army radio. The Bowman line of tactical radios was developed to replace the 1980s era Clansman series. The Bowman radios were to be more secure, capable of handling digital data, easier to use and so on. Didnt work out that way. The Bowmans weigh three times as much as the ones they are replacing (15 pounds, versus five), and thats without the control unit that was to fit around the operators wrist. This came in at 4.4 pounds, and was wisely dropped as unworkable. But the Bowmans have other problems, like sometimes causing radiation burns on the operator when transmitting. The $3.7 billion dollar project was so flawed that the Director of Infantry refused to accept the radios. He was overruled by the government, and came out and said so. He told the troops to hang on to their cell phones. 

This is not the first time the British have had problems with tactical radios. They were slow to adopt FM for tactical radios. Although FM was only developed during the 1930s, the United States was quick to realize that the better quality sound on FM solved the problem with various types of noise (electronic and otherwise) radio users had to contend with in combat situations. The U.S. went into World War II with FM tactical radios. But even the radios the British did introduce during World War II had serious technical problems. These problems continued during the Cold War, although the Clansman series of radios turned out pretty well. 


Article Archive

Murphy's Law: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close