BATTLESPACE Editor visited Steve Beeching, managing director of Government Systems, Viasat UK Ltd. and Ken Peterman, President of Government Systems, Viasat Inc., for a brief on the UK’s Land Environment Tactical Communications and Information Systems (LE TacCis)
Viasat is already actively offering the UK MoD leading technology capabilities across its data link, cybersecurity, information assurance and satellite communications (SATCOM) business units. As Ken Peterman recently shared, Viasat’s Hybrid Adaptive Network (HAN) concept can give the MoD a considerable asset for operating its satcoms solutions across the globe as it looks to transition to Skynet 6. In addition, Peterman has shared his thoughts on the advantages of moving to a HAN service-based architecture, which would give the MoD the flexibility to expand its footprint in a new theatre of war at less cost, with the ability to switch frequencies should the enemy jam the exiting band.
LE TacCis is divided into three parts, Morpheus, Trinity and Dismounted Situational Awareness (DSA).
Morpheus is a £3.2 billion defence programme delivering the next generation of Tactical Communication and Information Systems (TacCIS) to forces operating in a Land Environment, inclusive of the Royal Navy in the littoral environment and elements of the Royal Air Force. The programme is delivered by the Battlefield Tactical Communications and Information Systems (BATCIS) Delivery Team in conjunction with Army HQ and Joint Forces Command. Morpheus will give access to fully integrated operational information technology that simplifies the user experience, allowing units to focus on the mission.
The original schedule for Morpheus required the fielding of Trinity, the new Wide Area Network to Division level. The MoD has now changed its policy to address the System Integration issues first. To that end DE&S is preparing a PQQ for companies to tender for the Trinity network.
“Will Viasat be bidding for the Trinity Network?” The Editor asked.
“We are looking at all elements of MOD’s top initiatives and believe Viasat is well positioned to help the MOD rapidly and affordably bring new technology capabilities forward that will provide UK armed forces with the tactical edge needed to succeed across today’s battlespace. Major multi-billion pound MOD initiatives including Skynet 6, Trinity and Morpheus are set to make up a significant percentage of MOD’s spend on new technology capabilities and modernisation efforts over the next few years. These initiatives will be critical to outpacing fast moving adversarial threats and will help the MOD bring the battle-network of the future to life across today’s battlespace.” said Steve Beeching.
“What are the clear aims you have identified in the MoD’s LE TacCis requirements?”
“We believe that if the MOD were to empirically analyze private sector technology offerings and SATCOM services in a defense context, results would reveal the reliable, secure, user-friendly and cutting-edge capabilities needed to meet needs of UK forces and modernisation efforts are readily available today,” Beeching continued.”
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the MOD to rapidly and affordably bring these capabilities forward.”
“One of the MoD’s clear objectives is to have a seamless, secure, cyber-hardened network from HQ to foxhole. The technology acquired must be able to provide a holistic secure, battlespace network of the future. The network must have the ability to switch between government and private sector networks, which will be retained and improved, Skynet 5 or IP networks, seamlessly and securely. Any bidder for Trinity must be able to demonstrate an ability to manage complex international networks. Viasat is already delivering similar capabilities to a number of U.S. government customers, and given our extensive experience delivering cutting-edge U.S. and FVEY military capabilities, we are well positioned to deliver similar offerings to the MOD as well.”
“By working closely with UK technology leaders like Viasat, the MOD has the opportunity to satisfy emerging mission requirements, optimise existing assets and provide access to a range of new warfighter capabilities that will meet the goals of emerging technology programmes,” said Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, Viasat. “Our interoperable products, sovereign capabilities and significant investment in UK personnel places Viasat in a unique position to be a national asset to the MOD and UK government as it looks to modernise its forces today and will provide the edge needed to maintain a tactical advantage in the future.” Ken Peterman, Head of Government Systems, Viasat Inc. said.
“What is Viasat’s aims for the Dismounted Situational Awareness part of LE TacCis?”
“We are looking at every aspect of LE TacCis and of course the Skynet 6 BVLOS Programme, given our leading tactical data link, cybersecurity, information assurance and secure, high-speed, resilient and ubiquitous satcom capabilities. However, we have a special interest in DSA as TrellisWare, a company in which Viasat has a majority holding, has a unique MANET networking technology, called TSM™, that could be beneficial to the DSA programme.”
The core technology behind the TSM™ waveform is TrellisWare® Barrage Relay™ networking technology, which together with the robust signal processing techniques of collaborative combining outperforms traditional MANETs. TSM-™ is the primary tactical networking waveform for both the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and US Army.
Recently, the British Army conducted experimentation under the RAVEN experiment
TrellisWare’s TSM™ waveform was used as a representative RF bearer system to attempt to demonstrate the viability of Mobile Ad-Hoc Networking (MANET) technology for DSA.
DSA is part of the wider LE TacCis programme and sits under the MORPHEUS sub programme. Its primary aim is to provide tactical voice, position information and data to modern soldiers, improving Situational Awareness and Operating capability.
TrellisWare Technologies is a privately held company based in San Diego, California. It is dedicated to improving and changing the design and performance of communications and signal processing systems. As a worldwide leader in highly advanced algorithms, waveforms, and communications systems, it provides innovative small form factor radio products, technology insertions, and fully integrated solutions.
“What do you see as the key technology enablers for LE TacCis?”
“Given the international nature of today’s expeditionary warfare, the ability to communicate seamlessly with troops as well as to have instant battlefield coverage on deployment without being jammed is crucial. To that end, we are expanding our sovereign UK capabilities, enhancing local investment, and as obtaining MOD accreditation for a number of our key U.S. products including Viasat’s Multi-Mission Terminal (MMT), Small Tactical Terminal (STT), mobile dynamic defence (MDD) software, information assurance products, cybersecurity offerings, satellite communications, and cloud-enabled connectivity capabilities that will make the battle-network of the future a reality.”
BATTLESPACE will be interviewing the usual suspects during DSEI about their LE TacCis aspirations including GDUK, BAE Systems, Fujitsu, Viasat, harris, Elbit, Leonardo DRS, Airbus and Spectra.
It seems like only yesterday that the Editor launched the Bowman radio on behalf of ITT Defence UK at the Sheraton Heathrow in 1992!