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from the Office of Winston Smith

For Immediate Release
January 31, 2003

Winston Smith
Communications Director
Forward Based Technology
(206) 789-9091
(206) 420-7928 (cell)
E-mail Winston Smith




IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                  January 31, 2003



The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) today awarded Forward Based Technology, Inc., Seattle, WA, $7,696,178 in funding to for the initial portion of the Game-Based Remote Infantry Defense System (GRIDS) interface program over the next two years.

Under the newly awarded funding, FBT will continue their effort to design, develop and demonstrate the human-machine interface. The interface will combine advanced automated ground weapon hardware, including integrated sensors, communication, navigation equipment and low-observability features, with the America's Army training and recruiting web site to meet mission capability demonstration objectives established by the U.S. Army.

“With this award to FBT now in place, the GRIDS program is poised to serve in a pivotal role in the formation of the nation’s defense vision and strategy,” said Dr. Michael S. Francis, director of DARPA’s GRIDS program. “The final product will be an integrated system-of-systems comprised of a network of high-performance ground vehicles that will help pioneer our approach to ground combat for the most dangerous missions expected during the 21st century.”

FBT’s GRIDS interface will be designed to survive in a high-threat environment and feature beyond line-of-sight network connectivity for global operations. The interface will also have the ability to update itself over the internet, or through GPS-satellite-enabled location systems, while demonstrating advanced target detection, interoperability, and advanced command and control techniques.

The GRIDS’s first testing will occur in Summer 2004. The GRIDS capabilities demonstration program will culminate in an operational assessment to demonstrate the capabilities of the GRIDS system in realistic mission scenarios.


The GRIDS program is a joint Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency/U.S. Army/Front Based Technology effort to demonstrate the technical feasibility, military utility, and the operational value of a networked system of high-performance, weaponized, unmanned ground vehicles to effectively and affordably execute combat missions. The GRIDS interface will allow unmanned weapon systems to intra-operate with each other and with the Global Information Grid. The GRIDS system-of-systems concept plans to demonstrate the military utility and the operational value of ground weapons in the 21st century combat environment. More information on the GRIDS program can be found at

Forward Based Technology, Inc. is a small family-owned technology company located in the greater Seattle area. Founded in 2002 by Edward Ponderevo and his nephew George Ponderevo, FBT specializes in the creation and delivery of advanced human-machine interfaces and intelligent agents.

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Last Updated: 01/31/04