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23 Jul 21. Elettronica’s unwavering commitment to European defence programmes. Elettronica continues its successful involvement in European defence programmes. This began in 2017 when the company participated in the European Defence Agency’s PADR (Preparatory Action on Defence Research) initiative. PADR was an important step forward in demonstrating the added value of EU-supported defence research and technology initiatives. Elettronica has also been involved with the EDIDP (European Defence Industrial Development Programme) from 2019. EDIDP is an ongoing European Commission programme supporting the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the EU’s defence industry.
Elettronica has this year received recognition of its commitment to EDIDP via the award of two important projects approved by the European Union.
Elettronica has been named as the coordinator for the CARMENTA project. This is a large consortium of 14 leading European defence companies notably Airbus Deutschland, Airbus Defence and Space, Airbus Helicopters España, BPTI, DA Group, Indra, Hensoldt Sensors, Indra, Leonardo, MBDA, Saab, Terma and Thales. These companies represent eight EU nations: Italy, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Spain and Sweden.
CARMENTA will develop the next generation of Self Protection Systems (SPSs), both for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. These SPSs will be capable of addressing a wide spectrum of current and evolving threats using different countermeasures. Artificial intelligence and machine learning, alongside open architecture, will ease the integration of these self-protection systems on current and future platforms. These approaches will let equipment be easily updated as it moves through its service life.
Elettronica achieved outstanding results in the EDIDP’s Excellence, Innovation, Competitiveness and Growth evaluation criteria. The grant awarded via the CARMENTA programme is worth approximately €8.1m.
Elettronica has also been selected to support the European Commission’s JEY-CUAS (Joint European System for Countering Unmanned Aerial Systems) project. Elettronica will work alongside Leonardo towards a new generation European anti-drone countermeasures system. This effort will focus on enhancing the ability to react to the emerging threats of micro and mini drones.
“The grants obtained in the EDIDP 2020 projects represent a key success for Elettronica, which makes us very proud, especially the CARMENTA project which Elettronica is leading. The next few years will be busy as we continue our leading role in the Europe’s defence community. We will continue to work hard to bring our seventy years of experience and credibility to these, and other, projects. These initiatives will be the driving force for the growth of our company and the nation, with a valuable contribution underscoring our commitment to technological excellence and constant innovation” said Domitilla Benigni, CEO and COO of Elettronica.
Elettronica has been at the forefront of the electronic warfare sector for 70 years, supplying the armed forces and governments of 30 countries over 3,000 high-tech systems designed for a variety of key operational missions, from strategic surveillance, to self-protection, signals intelligence, electronic defence and operational support for the air, naval and land domains. The company boasts a strong list of successful national and international collaborations on numerous major modern military platforms like the Tornado combat aircraft, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the NH-90 helicopter, the Italian PPA offshore patrol vessel, the Franco-Italian Horizon and FREMM warships and a wide range of projects in countries worldwide. Elettronica is part of Gruppo Elettronica that also includes CY4GATE specializing in cyber EW, cybersecurity, and intelligence, and Elettronica GmbH, a German subsidiary specializing in homeland security systems.
20 Jul 21. US Army matures tactical tools for trustworthy data, cyber op action plans. The Army is maturing technologies aimed at providing soldiers in tactical environments assurance in their networks and information they receive. Unlike networks in garrison, the tactical network must be dynamic in that it has to be able to be set up and torn down rapidly while also withstanding probes from adversary capabilities, such as cyber exploits and electromagnetic jamming. As such, the Army is developing tools to ensure the information soldiers receive is trustworthy and suggests the right courses of action to defend the network. The Army is testing the tools at its Network Modernization Experiment at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey that started in May and runs until July 30. NetModX is primarily for the test and science community to get their systems into an operational environment and tweak their technologies on the fly when probed by a real-world threat emulation cell, before giving it to soldiers to test. It provides a risk-reduction opportunity before technologies are transferred for soldier input and use.
“With the expectation of military networks to operate in a heavily contested environment, whether it’s denied, interrupted … the adversary continues to infiltrate and attack our friendly networks and IT systems. Therefore, human cyber defenders will need assistance to proactively defend the network at machine speed,” Joseph Chen, computer engineer at the Army C5ISR Center, told reporters. “NetModX promotes field-based risk-reduction experiments in support of the research community.”
One technology is called information trust, which seeks to provide soldiers with assurance that the information they’re receiving, such as a call for fires, GPS location or messages, are trustworthy and free from adversary tampering.
The event tested three aspects, including an authentication service focused on insider threats and modeled after the zero trust architecture, a component focused on data provenance and a aspect using machine learning to detect anomalies to ensure data integrity.
Another technology tested is called autonomous cyber, which detects cyber anomalies on the tactical network and provides potential actions to cyber operators.
While NetModX included both technologies last year, officials said the tools matured this year and introduced enhanced capabilities.
The information trust tool was just getting off the ground last year and was still in the process of awarding a vendor.
Autonomous cyber this year moved beyond just detecting and blocking a malicious cyber event to providing courses of actions to tactical cyber operators.
“The mitigation this year is totally different than last year. Last year was blocking a bad actor or something like that. This year, it’s more of a course of action, and it’s not just one course of action, it’s multiple courses of action, and the cyber defender will have the choice which way they want to go,” Sanae Benchaaboun, computer engineer at the C5ISR Center and lead for autonomous cyber at NetModX 2021, told reporters. “It’s up to the defender or the operator to choose if they want to run it automatically or just take some actions and recommendations and go from there and execute them.”
Officials said the idea is to promote greater human-machine teaming in which the machine suggests options for the soldiers who can let the machine block intrusions or take action themselves.
The next step for these technologies is to transfer them to events such as Cyber Quest, which kicks off later this summer, and future iterations of the Army’s Project Convergence where soldiers will have an opportunity to test them and suggest improvements.
The Army is also using NetModX to conduct risk reduction for operational threads on Project Convergence 2021 and emerging technologies for Project Convergence 2022.
Eventually the plan is for these technologies to become applications in the Command Post Computing Environment, a web-enabled system that will consolidate current mission systems and programs into a single-user interface.
Officials said the Army is likely aiming to fold these technologies into Capability Set ’27 or possibly Capability Set ’25, the Army’s approach to modernize its tactical network with incremental deliveries of technology improvements every two years. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
20 Jul 21. Google Cloud Announces Zero Trust Offerings for Government. New services will help U.S. government organizations guard against increasing number of cyberthreats and comply with the White House’s Executive Order. Cloud today announced new Zero Trust offerings for government, a set of services to help U.S. federal, state, and local government organizations implement Zero Trust architecture in accordance with the Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity and in alignment with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards.
“COVID-19 disruption has exposed, accelerated, and introduced new threats to agencies and their digital assets,” said Adelaide O’Brien, research director, IDC Government Insights. “Enhanced reliance on virtual work and interactions created new threat surfaces and new vulnerabilities exploited by organized actors. Ransomware, cybercrime, and nation-state attacks have caused significant disruptions and high costs. To mitigate this crisis, it is critical that federal agencies take a sweeping approach to protect the security and privacy of digital assets and cultivate the ability to anticipate, identify, contain, measure, and address cyber-risks.”
Google Cloud is launching three new service offerings to help departments and agencies meet Zero Trust requirements:
- Zero Trust Assessment and Planning offering: Delivered through Google Cloud’s professional services organization (PSO), the Zero Trust Assessment and Planning offering is designed to help the government reach security goals through Zero Trust architecture planning for core applications and data. Google Cloud’s PSO team will advise government organizations on the culture change, policies, and technology needed to achieve a Zero Trust framework—delivered in phases to ensure success within the customer’s infrastructure. This new offering will help government agencies leverage Google Cloud tools to support existing assets and infrastructure in cloud-based, on-premises, or hybrid environments.
- Secure Application Access Anywhere offering: Google Cloud is also launching Secure Application Access Anywhere, a new, container-based offering for secure application access and monitoring. Secure Application Access Anywhere can serve as a scalable, highly responsive alternative to government network boundary systems. Delivered in partnership with Palo Alto Networks and Google Cloud’s PSO team, this offering leverages Google Cloud’s Anthos to deploy and manage containers that provide secure access and monitoring for applications in cloud or on-premises environments. A recent successful prototype of this solution with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)—an organization within the Department of Defense—helped accelerate DIU’s Zero Trust journey by providing fast, secure, and controlled access by users to software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps directly over the internet.
- Active Cyber Threat Detection offering: Google Cloud’s new Active Cyber Threat Detection offering can help government organizations quickly determine if they may have been compromised by cyberattacks that they have not yet detected. Delivered through Google Cloud partners Deloitte and Fishtech CYDERES, Active Cyber Threat Detection leverages the proven capabilities of Google Cloud’s Chronicle threat hunting, detection, and investigation platform. This offering will allow government organizations of all sizes to readily analyze their historic and current log data to detect threats confidently and quickly.
In addition to these new offerings, Google Cloud also offers several existing solutions that help government agencies accelerate their journey to Zero Trust and to protect against and recover from cyberattacks:
- BeyondCorp Enterprise: Google’s Zero Trust access solution provides secure access to internal web applications, SaaS applications, and cloud resources by leveraging access policies based on identity and device contextual information. It also offers users integrated threat and data protection, such as malware protection, data leakage protection, and credential protection.
- Google Workspace also leverages Google’s Zero Trust technologies to provide a secure email, communication, and collaboration solution.
- Actifio GO can help organizations to better address ransomware attacks by providing scalable and efficient incremental data protection, and a unique near-instant data recovery capability.
Together, these Google Cloud offerings can accelerate the U.S. government’s Zero Trust efforts to protect against cyber attacks, and to also better detect, respond to, and recover from cyber attacks when they do occur.
“From COVID-19 to recent ransomware attacks, the events of the past year have demonstrated that government agencies need to rethink security frameworks of the past,” said Mike Daniels, vice president, Global Public Sector, Google Cloud. “Google Cloud has the deepest expertise in implementing Zero Trust. We’ve seen many of these threats on our network and implemented Zero Trust architecture to defend against them more than a decade ago. We are prepared to share our experience operating in a Zero Trust model, along with Google’s technologies that are secure by design, to help the U.S. government prevent, detect, assess, and remediate cyber incidents.”
About Google Cloud
Google Cloud accelerates organizations’ ability to digitally transform their business with the best infrastructure, platform, industry solutions and expertise. We deliver enterprise-grade solutions that leverage Google’s cutting-edge technology – all on the cleanest cloud in the industry. Customers in more than 200 countries and territories turn to Google Cloud as their trusted partner to enable growth and solve their most critical business problems. (Source: PR Newswire)
19 Jul 21. PLANAF J-11BH fighter seen using potentially new ECM pod. Chinese state-owned media has released video footage showing a J-11BH multirole fighter aircraft operated by China’s People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF) equipped with a previously unseen electronic countermeasures (ECM) pod. The video, which was released on 15 July via the js7tv.cn website, shows the aircraft during take off carrying an ECM pod that is different in appearance from the KL700B pod commonly used by the PLA Air Force’s (PLAAF’s) J-11B fighters. This is also the first time that a PLANAF J-11BH has been seen carrying an ECM pod. The footage was part of a news report by China Central Television (CCTV) about a combined naval exercise involving several PLA Navy vessels, as well as aviation units from the Southern Theatre Command. No information was provided about the ECM pod. A few days later, on 18 July, images emerged via the Weibo social media platform showing a PLAAF J-11A re-equipped with new identification friend-or-foe antennas under the nose and on top of the tail boom that are similar in appearance to those used to upgrade older J-10A and J-10S fighters. (Source: Jane’s)
16 Jul 21. Kromek recently demonstrated its newest radiation detector, the D5 RIID, at the national CBRN TAC-ADS 2021 Conference in Cheshire. Kromek, the radiation detection specialists based in Sedgefield, County Durham, participated in the annual National CBRN Centre’s CBRN Tac-Ads Conference held in person in Cheshire between 7th and 8th July 2021.
Attendees included Tactical Advisers from First Responders nationwide, including police, fire and ambulance purchasing agencies such as Bureau Veritas for the Fire Service, and Government Agencies and Departments, including the National CBRN Centre, Defence CBRN Centre, the Army’s 28th Engineer Regiment (C-CBRN), DSTL, Cranfield University (Shrivenham) and the wider Ministry of Defence such as HQ.
The annual conference is a forum for Tactical Commanders across the civil and military community to discuss current and future trends and transforming the CBRN response. An extensive CBRN capability is now an essential element of the Tactical Command tool-kit.
Of the eleven invited exhibitors, Kromek was the only company in attendance which was demonstrating radiation detection capabilities. Of particular interest to the wider audience was the D5 RIID, Kromek’s recently-released handheld Radioisotope Identification Device.
Four aspects of the design and development of the D5 RIID attracted the most interest: the device’s small size and light weight were a surprise to many who tested it; its endurance, with a lengthy battery life and no need for an external charge station with easily replaceable AA-sized batteries providing over 24 hours of use was particularly welcome; the lack of need for internal sources of radioactivity make the D5 RIID easily transportable – including by air – and storable; and the obviously-intuitive design making the D5 RIID particularly user-friendly.
John Atkins, Kromek’s Head of Product Design, described the conference as “invaluable”. He said “it was an opportunity for us to demonstrate our latest D5 RIID to a wide variety of potential UK users and get their invaluable feedback to aid development of future products.” (Source: www.joint-forcescom)
14 Jul 21. Kromek wins new contracts and orders across all segments for delivery this year. Kromek (AIM: KMK), a worldwide supplier of detection technology focusing on the medical, security screening and nuclear markets, announces that it has received new contracts and repeat orders across all of its target segments as commercial momentum continues to increase across the business. All of the contracts are for delivery in the Group’s current financial year (except as otherwise indicated). In the nuclear detection segment, Kromek has received an order worth £173,000 from its UK government-related customer for the Group’s D5 RIID high-performance radiation detector designed for challenging environments. This represents the first major order for the D5 RIID following its launch last year. The Group has also received a €78,000 repeat order from the European Commission for its D3S ID portable radiation detector. An $84,000 repeat order has been received from a US medical imaging customer, which is using Kromek’s detectors in its systems for nuclear medicine applications. Following the customer’s recent receipt of FDA approval for this system, the Group expects to be awarded a multi-year supply contract in due course. In its new target area of biological-threat detection, Kromek has been awarded a £349,000 contract with the UK Ministry of Defence, through its Defence and Security Accelerator Open Call for Innovation programme, to develop its technology to meet defence and security requirements for wide-area monitoring of biological pathogens. The work will build upon Kromek’s existing capabilities in airborne pathogen detection and will run until November 2022. In security screening for industrial applications, the Group has been awarded a $250,000 repeat order from a US-based customer that is a global leader in aerospace and defence technologies servicing the US Department of Defense. The Group’s detectors are designed into the customer’s system that is used for ammunition scanning and the Group is the exclusive supplier of these detectors under a tenyear agreement signed in 2017. The Group expects to receive further orders from this customer over the coming years. Dr Arnab Basu, CEO of Kromek, said: “It is great to be winning contracts and orders across our target markets as our customers increasingly return to pre-pandemic trading patterns. We’re proud to be furthering our partnerships with the UK and US defence forces, including receiving our first major order for the D5 RIID, and we’re very excited about the prospects for our biological-threat detection solution, with the latest award being particularly focused on emerging and novel threats. At the same time, our medical imaging order is typical of the growing trend of OEM customers receiving approval for their next-generation scanners containing our detectors, which leads to increased demand for our technology as they prepare for rollout. All of this adds to our visibility for the year ahead as we remain on track to deliver significant growth.”
15 Jul 21. Aselsan delivers electronic attack system to Turkish Army. Turkey’s leading defense company Aselsan delivered a next-generation electronic countermeasure system to the Turkish Armed Forces, the country’s top defense procurement official said.
“We have delivered the Next Generation Electronic Attack System SANCAK to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), which will provide a significant advantage in the field by neutralizing strategic communication systems,” Ismail Demir announced on Twitter.
Sancak is the nickname of Aselsan’s MILKAR-4A2 high-frequency jamming system. It has been developed for electronic attack operations against high-frequency band (the part of the electromagnetic spectrum between frequencies 3 and 30 MHz) communication systems located on different platforms in the field. The system aims to harm or completely block target HF communications and/or cause incorrect data transmission, ensuring an advantage for friendly troops in the tactical field.
According to the company, the system can apply effective jamming against the targets communicating through the ground wave, skywave and near vertical incidence skywave, or NVIS, in the HF communication band. For these abilities, the system includes ground wave and skywave/NVIS jamming antennas.
Sancak has a basic electronic support capability to support electronic attack operations and uses receivers with high sensitivity for detecting and analyzing feeble signals. In addition, the system has a tool that helps the operator plan the details of an upcoming mission. The planning tool offers the RF propagation analysis on terrain as well.
Sancak electronic countermeasure system components, the dual power generator, air conditioners, ground-wave antenna, and the system shelter are integrated on a high-mobile sheltered 10-tone vehicle platform. Since all the system equipment has been carried on a single vehicle, the system has high mobility on a rough tactical area. The system could be deployed on different platforms.
Sancak is considered a key asset to distort and interrupt adversary communication on the battlefield for the TAF that used electronic warfare intensively during operations in Syria and Libya. The TAF, which actively operated armed unmanned aerial vehicles in these operations, owes its success in this area to coordinating the unmanned combat air vehicles and electronic warfare systems. When added to the TAF’s current EW capabilities, Sancak fills a gap to attack the opponent’s long-range communication systems in a network-centric environment.
Aselsan has previously introduced a land-based radar electronic warfare system, Koral, supporting suppression of enemy air defense operations.
(Source: C4ISR & Networks)
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd, internationally renowned award-winning information security and communications specialist with a proven record of accomplishment.
Spectra is a dynamic, agile and security-accredited organisation that offers secure Hosted and Managed Solutions and Cyber Advisory Services with a track record of delivering on time, to spec and on budget.
With over 15 years of experience in delivering solutions for governments around the globe, elite militaries and private enterprises of all sizes, Spectra’s platinum and gold-level partnerships with third-party vendors ensure the supply of best value leading-edge technology.
Spectra was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2019 for SlingShot.
In November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced its listing as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier by the UK Crown Commercial Services.
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 Businessman of the Year by Battlespace magazine.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001:2013 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.