Sponsored by Spectra Group
07 Oct 21. HENSOLDT develops multifunctional jammer to counter new threats ‘Kalaetron Attack’ combines latest technologies to optimise sensor and jamming performance. Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT has achieved a far-reaching technological leap in the advancement of technologies to control the electromagnetic spectrum. Combining artificial intelligence, digitisation, Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA) and 3D printing technologies, HENSOLDT has developed a multi-function jamming system (‘jammer’) called ‘Kalaetron Attack’ that can actively jam enemy radars in an extremely wide frequency band, but can also be used passively as a reconnaissance sensor. ‘Kalaetron Attack’ is on display at this year’s AOC Europe exhibition in Liverpool/UK.
“The latest air defence and combat aircraft radars cover an extremely wide frequency bandwidth or jump between certain frequencies in a fraction of a second, making them extremely difficult to neutralise,” says Celia Pelaz, chief strategy officer and head of the Spectrum Dominance division at HENSOLDT. “By combining the latest technologies, we have managed to optimise the emitted power in a targeted way while controlling the electromagnetic spectrum with one receive channel. This would make ‘Kalaetron Attack’ perfectly suited both as an aircraft self-protection system and in the role of an escort jammer.”
Core elements of the system are a fully-digitised, broadband sensor and effector, a fully-polarisable, electronically controllable jammer and a condensed design of the electronic components only made possible by metallic 3D printing. This has made it possible to integrate the AESA jammer into a relatively small pod system that can be easily integrated into flying platforms but also scaled for sea and land applications. The next step in development is to fit it into an aircraft in order to confirm the already outstanding laboratory results in realistic flight tests.
‘Kalaetron Attack’ is part of HENSOLDT’s all-digital ‘Kalaetron’ product family. It can be deployed in various configurations on diverse platforms for self-protection, ESM and signal intelligence tasks, depending on customer needs. HENSOLDT has been active in the spectrum dominance market for decades. The company has developed COMINT and ELINT sensors for NATO and partner forces and integrates them into EW systems for the Air Force, Army and Navy.
06 Oct 21. New Compass Call Electronic Warfare Plane Takes To The Skies. The US Air Force is one step closer to having a new aircraft for jamming enemy communications. The first new EC-37B Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft recently made its inaugural flight, L3Harris announced Wednesday. Unlike a typical military aircraft procurement program, the US Air Force intends to modernize its aging Compass Call fleet by stripping sophisticated electronic warfare systems out of its legacy EC-130H aircraft and incorporating them onboard new Gulfstream G550 business jets.
The EC-37Bs will be equipped with additional technologies meant to disrupt enemy sensors and communications gear. Updating the service’s EW capability is vital to the All Domain Operations warfare concept being pursued by the Pentagon.
Delivery of the first EC-37B could occur as early as December 2022, an Air Force spokeswoman confirmed.
A news release from L3Harris was light on details of the flight, saying only that it occurred at an unnamed Gulfstream facility where L3Harris is also making modifications to the aircraft.
“The Air Force’s cross-deck initiative ensures it can continue its critical electronic warfare mission for many years,” said Luke Savoie, president of aviation services for L3Harris. “Our collaboration with teammates BAE and Gulfstream will enable the Air Force to outpace its adversaries and counter emerging technologies.”
Over the life of the program, L3Harris will build 10 combat-coded EC-37Bs and one training aircraft.
According to budget documents, six G550s have been procured. The first five aircraft will be equipped with “baseline 3” mission equipment that mixes systems from the EC-130H with new tech. The sixth EC-37B will receive the “baseline 4” equipment, which will introduce an open systems architecture that will allow new EW payloads to plug into the aircraft when needed.
The new G550s offer increased speed and range compared to the original EC-130H airframe and will increase survivability, the company stated in a news release. BAE Systems, which built the EW systems of the original EC-130H, is managing the mission systems of the new EC-37B.
As systems integrator, L3Harris was given unprecedented power to choose a new business jet to host the electronic warfare suite — a move that created its share of controversy during the early days of the EC-37B program.
During the summer of 2017, competitors Boeing and Bombardier protested the Air Force’s acquisition strategy on the basis that the systems integrator role overstepped regulations. However, the Government Accountability Office dismissed the allegations in Aug. 2017, and a month later, the service awarded L3Harris an undefinitized contract.
Although not the flashiest aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory, the EC-130H has played a major role in combat over its 40 years of operation, having been continuously deployed to support US Central Command since 2002.
The Air Force operates a fleet of 14 legacy EC-130Hs, four of which have been retired so far, according to the service. Two more Compass Call aircraft are set to retire in FY22. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
07 Oct 21. The Afghan Sigs (Part 1). The US supplied thousands of tactical radios to the ANA during her 20-year intervention in the troubled country. Many of these may now be in the hands of the Taliban and its enemies.
In the first of two articles, we examine the potential fallout from Afghan armed forces’ radio and COMINT equipment ending up in the hands of Afghanistan’s belligerents.
The detritus of war can yield treasure. As Afghanistan succumbed to the Taliban’s fascistic rule after the defeat of the US-led coalition in late August, discussion flowed on the bounty of materiel inherited by the fanatics. The Afghan armed forces received large quantities of equipment from the US over the last 20 years. The Taliban did not miss a propaganda opportunity to show off the kit now in their possession.
One could see Western-supplied handheld tactical radios on insurgents’ webbing along with US-supplied rifles and armoured vehicles. These radios were part of the trove of communications and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) equipment now in the hands of the militia and its rivals. Although the Taliban are Afghanistan’s de facto government, the movement is fighting the National Resistance Front (NRF). The NRF is largely concentrated in the Panjshir Valley, northeast Afghanistan.
The US supplied thousands of tactical radios to the Afghan National Army (ANA) to enhance Command and Control (C2). Mindful of the need to track insurgents via their radio emissions, Washington also furnished Communications Intelligence (COMINT) systems to the ANA. These, and other aspects of SIGINT in Afghanistan, will be examined in our second article.
The thought of the Taliban getting their mitts on advanced tactical radios is sobering at best. In 1999 the US Air Force was left red-faced after a Lockheed Martin F-117A Nighthawk ground attack aircraft was shot down by Serbian missiles. Alongside the embarrassment was the fear that the Nighthawk’s wreckage would end up in the hands US rivals. There was a palpable concern that the Nighthawk would yield the secrets of its low Radar Cross Section (RCS) to Chinese and Russian engineers. It would be unsurprising if the aircraft’s remains have not contributed to Chinese and Russian RCS reduction efforts.
US government documents state that radio supplies began in 2003. Over 170,000 were eventually delivered. Both tactical and non-tactical radios were supplied. The latter tended to be commercial-standard handheld radios issued to the Afghan National Police. A standard array of tactical radios were supplied to the ANA. These included High Frequency (HF: three megahertz/MHz to 30MHz) transceivers and Very/Ultra High Frequency sets (V/UHF: 30MHz to three gigahertz/GHz). The documents continued that HF radios tended to be used by the ANA for battlefield Line-of-Sight (LOS) and skywave (beyond LOS) links. Afghanistan’s rugged topography makes skywave HF highly suitable for tactical communications. V/UHF radios were primarily used to support ANA urban operations.
Radios supplied by the US included Datron’s VHF PRC-1077 backpack and HH-7700 handheld sets. Harris (now L3Harris) supplied RF-7800S personal role radios, RF-5800 V/UHF backpack radios and RF-5800H HF transceivers, reports state. It is impossible to say how many of these radios are in Taliban and NRF hands. Is the US now facing a nightmare scenario of advanced radios in the possession of insurgent organisations? Will the Taliban or NRF sell these radios to Western rivals who will exploit them in a bid to gain a technological advantage? Both scenarios are possible. However, they may be less serious than one imagines.
Armada spoke to several key individuals inside and outside Afghanistan with detailed knowledge of the tactical radios supplied there. They have all asked to remain anonymous.
The experts told us that the radios delivered to the ANA either lacked Type-1 encryption, or used encryption not covered by US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Type-1 is a level of encryption vouchsafed by the US National Security Agency primarily used by US forces, and made available to a handful of close allies. Reverse-engineering radios sans Type-1 or ITAR-controlled encryption would yield precious little insight into US and allied communications/transmission security protocols.
Doctrine and Training
Despite the abundance of US-supplied radios in Afghanistan, the Taliban appear to have had little interest in using them during their recent rapid advance across the country. Armada’s sources disclosed that the insurgents primarily relied on cellphones and civilian radios for C2. This has always been their preferred method of communication. Even if the Taliban had captured tactical radios from ANA units during their advance they may have demurred from using them en masse.
Radios would have been captured in a piecemeal fashion as the ANA disintegrated. This would have prevented the Taliban rolling out the transceivers across their forces in an organised fashion. It is not enough to simply own the radios, any fighting force needs doctrine underpinning how they are used. It would be little use to the Taliban during manoeuvre if some of their units had these radios and others did not. A lack of interoperability would encourage the Taliban to rely on common forms of communication shared by all units. This would most likely be civilian radios or cellphones.
Training is another aspect. The only people who would know how to use the radios would be defecting ANA cadres. They would need to train insurgents how to use them. The US government documents stated that basic tactical radio training for ANA troops took nine weeks. Delivering such training in the midst of the Taliban’s blitzkrieg would have been impractical at best. Allied to this is the fact that many insurgents would be semi-literate making training yet more challenging.
Spare parts are another consideration. The documents anticipated that the harsh Afghan environment will reduce the radios’ lifespan from their usual circa 30 years. Moreover, the ANA outsourced its radio maintenance to the companies providing the transceivers. Local provision did not extend much beyond basic maintenance like battery replacement. The Taliban’s ascendance means that outsourced radio maintenance will no longer be available, further decreasing radio lifespan.
Should Afghanistan’s belligerents decide to retain and use these radios this could be paradoxically beneficial to the US and her allies. The radios are a ‘known quantity’. The US and allied powers have vast SIGINT collection and analytical resources. Knowing what radios were supplied to Afghanistan means that analysts know what to look for. It would be surprising if radio manufacturers who supplied products to the ANA had not also advised SIGINT experts on their wares.
In an ideal world, Taliban victory would not have followed Coalition withdrawal. It is deeply regrettable that the Taliban could claim so much equipment provided to the ANA and left behind by Coalition forces. The good news is that the fallout for the communications domain should be minimal. (Source: Armada)
07 Oct 21. The Afghan Sigs (Part 2). Our first article examined the fallout from the capture of US-supplied military radios by insurgents in Afghanistan. This article looks at COMINT capabilities active in Afghanistan and the country’s potential role in strategic COMINT collection.
Both the Taliban and National Resistance Force (NRF) have Communications Intelligence (COMINT) equipment. The NRF is largely located in and around Afghanistan’s north-eastern Panjshir Valley and is fighting the Taliban. NRF sources confirmed to Armada that the group does possess COMINT equipment but declined to say which systems it uses. ures close to the US and allied Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) community told Armada that the Taliban also has COMINT equipment. This allows either side to eavesdrop on hostile radio traffic. It may also help these groups locate and monitor the movements of their enemies via their radio transmissions.
Sources continued that the Taliban may use Chinese-supplied COMINT kit thought to include backpack systems for gathering tactical COMINT. The asset of backpack COMINT equipment is that it can also be mounted on a vehicle for use as a mobile system. Alongside Chinese systems, the Taliban and NRF may have access to US-supplied Praemittias Systems Wolfhound COMINT kit. In 2014 the Afghan National Army (ANA) began receiving 30 examples. These were supplied to the ANA’s 201st and 203rd Corps by the US Army’s Programme Executive Office – Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors.
Wolfhound was developed in 2007. It is a backpack tactical COMINT system believed to cover Very/Ultra High Frequency wavebands of 30 megahertz/MHz to three gigahertz. Details of the system’s performance in the public domain are scant. Nonetheless Wolfhound is thought capable of detecting and locating emissions from civilian handheld V/UHF radios. It may have a similar performance for cellphone transmissions. The Taliban have primarily used cellphone and civilian handheld radios for communications. Wolfhound displays the location of emitters of interest on a map. It is not thought capable of jamming these emitters or demodulating their transmissions. Nonetheless, Wolfhound provides a useful means to detect and track hostile forces through their RF (Radio Frequency) traffic. Wolfhound may have a residual benefit detecting and locating V/UHF RF emissions used to activate Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Cellphones and civilian radio were favoured Taliban methods for activating such devices.
ANA COMINT expertise will be indispensable if the equipment is to make a tactical contribution to either side. COMINT systems need highly skilled operators. They are of limited value unless users not only understand how the systems work, but also understand the COMINT being collected. Semi-literate insurgents would struggle to use the equipment and interpret the raw COMINT it collects. That said, skilled COMINT personnel are thought to be in the ranks of both the Taliban and the NRF, according to our sources.
Beyond Wolfhound, the Taliban and NRF may use commercially available police radio scanners for tactical COMINT collection, says Jim Kilgallen, president and chief executive officer of COMINT Consulting. Mr. Kilgallen continues that at the Taliban also receive COMINT assistance from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) espionage organisation: “There is no doubt that the ISI has both provided equipment, training and … shares its own COMINT with the Taliban when it suits Pakistani geopolitical interests.” While the Taliban’s COMINT equipment would be sufficient for basic tactical intelligence-gathering, the ISI’s help may include operationally and tactically relevant COMINT. This could include information useful to the Taliban on the battlefield and COMINT regarding opponents of the regime.
Question marks hang over the Taliban’s ability to perform electronic attack against NRF communications and vice versa. Either organisation may have tried to reconfigure counter-IED RF systems as crude jammers, but this might be easier said than done: “Converting them depends on talent and original equipment, as they are often too narrow a focus (bandwidth) to be effectively converted into broadband or barrage communications jammers.” It is possible that third parties may provide jamming systems to the Taliban: “If the ISI, People’s Republic of China or Russia assist the Taliban … they can provide the system they perceive a need for,” says Mr. Kilgallen.
All three actors may be keen to access Afghanistan’s natural resources and may offer battlefield and political COMINT assistance to the Taliban as payment in kind. The country possess an estimated $1trn of untapped minerals according to figures from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum. Given the Taliban’s pariah status in the West, the Islamists may try to deepen relations with countries with discernible moral elasticity: “There is no doubt that both Russia and the PRC, in addition to the ISI, will provide advice and … intelligence gear to the Taliban in order to curry favour, gain access to the mineral wealth or whatever other objectives they have.”
Beyond the Taliban and NRF’s tactical and operational COMINT postures, there is the wider question of Afghan territory being used as a base for third-party SIGINT collection. A report in September stated that Beijing is improving and deepening its relationship with the Taliban. Specifically, the Chinese government is contemplating a deployment to Bagram airbase, north of Kabul. This facility was famously the focal point of the US-led military deployment to Afghanistan. The Chinese government has denied it is planning any such move. Any covert or overt deployment of Chinese SIGINT capabilities to Bagram or elsewhere would yield a base from which to collect intelligence in Central Asia and possibly as far southwest as the Persian Gulf. The US maintains a military presence in the latter region most notably at Al Udeid airbase, Qatar. The Middle East is also home to several US allies like Saudi Arabia and the aaUnited Arab Emirates. Furthermore, a Chinese military and/or intelligence presence in Afghanistan potentially increases the political and military costs for any future Western military intervention there.
The NRF may also benefit from foreign COMINT materiel and/or intelligence. Much as the PRC and Russia may determine it is in their interests to help the Taliban, other nations may have similar ideas regarding the NRF. Countries within and without Central and South Asia may perceive a distinct threat from the Taliban’s extremist ideology. For example, both India and the Islamic Republic of Iran may worry that the Taliban might try to inflame hard-core Islamist cadres in their own countries. The government of India may fear that the Taliban’s resurgence could have repercussions in Kashmir. Although further overt Western action against the Taliban seems unlikely, the NRF could be a useful bulwark against the Taliban. In fact, the Taliban are fighting not only the NRF but also the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – Khorasan (ISIS-K). ISIS-K is the movement’s Afghan franchise.
The NRF may already be receiving highly covert assistance in the form of special forces from sympathetic countries aiding the COMINT effort. It would be surprising if intelligence organisations from countries hostile to the Taliban are not covertly active in Afghanistan. The organisation had form in hosting the late Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda organisation. The Taliban may be tempted to offer hospitality to similar outfits in the future. Over-watch assets like US SIGINT satellite constellations will play their part in hoovering up relevant signals intelligence from Afghanistan. Nonetheless, on-the-ground human intelligence and COMINT can have a high value supplementing this trawl.
The Taliban and the NRF have access to tactical COMINT equipment. This aids both organisations on the battlefield. The Taliban is likely to have secured access to third party battlefield and political COMINT. To a lesser extent, the NRF may have done the same, or may do so in the future as Afghanistan’s political situation develops. Similarly, Afghan territory may host the SIGINT collection assets of Western rivals in the future. It may also be hosting covert COMINT collection teams deployed by states hostile to the Taliban. These will give early warning should the country once again become home to violent organisations. SIGINT, particularly COMINT, is unlikely to diminish in importance in the Afghan theatre, in the coming years this importance may only increase.
06 Oct 21. More Stable Networks Among DOD Cloud Goals for Outside U.S.. This spring, the Defense Department spelled out a strategy for cloud computing outside the continental United States, or OCONUS, including ways to better support service members at the tactical edge. During a virtual discussion today with GovernmentCIO, Danielle Metz, the deputy chief information officer for information enterprise outlined the three goals that define the strategy. The first of those goals is to provide robust and resilient connectivity all the way to the tactical edge, Metz said. Right now, network connectivity where warfighters operate can be spotty — and that’s a problem when it comes to connecting to the cloud and getting warfighters the information they need to carry out their missions.
“[It] really impacts the ability for [the] cloud to work,” she said. “You have to have a network that is resilient and capable to be able [to] operate in a distributed environment.”
In the OCONUS Cloud Strategy, the department lays out several objectives to achieve robust and resilient connectivity, including modernization of in-theater communications infrastructure, leveraging of state-of-the-art technology that can operate in denied, degraded, intermittent or limited environments, and enabling access to critical information from a variety of devices — not just laptops or desktop machines.
A second goal is to provide computing power that enables forces at the tactical edge — which means putting processing power overseas, as close to the warfighter as possible.
“Right now the way that we have things structured is that we’re doing a lot of backhauling from those OCONUS locations back to the United States,” she said.
The kind of information the warfighter needs to make decisions puts a lot of strain on the network, Metz said. And the long-haul for that data — from the warfighter back to the U.S. and then back to the warfighter again — can introduce a lot of latency in that data that can adversely affect decision-making.
“It is creating significant delays and increasing the [likelihood] of putting our people and our allies in harm’s way,” she said.
Either mobile or regional data centers located overseas can help with that, Metz said. The DOD’s strategy recommends enterprise management of OCONUS cloud computing capability in order to let critical data be processed as close to the warfighter as possible.
Finally, Metz said, it’s critical that warfighters be proficient with what the department builds. They must be educated on how to use the systems they are provided — and DOD must ensure they are trained.
“We need to cultivate the talent and ensure that we have a continual cultivation as we rotate service members from those locations serving at the edge,” she said. “We recognize if we’re able to fix problem 1 and problem 2, but we don’t address problem 3, everything is for naught. It really has to be a symbiotic relationship in terms of ensuring that we have the right infrastructure in place, that we have the computing edge pushed to where the warfighter is, and then the third piece is ensuring that once we have all those things, the warfighter and the people who are actually at the edge know how to use it, and they can use it well and it’s seamless for them.”
All three goals can be achieved, Metz said, but some will take much longer than others — and accomplishing all three will require more than just the efforts of the Defense Department.
“It’s a whole-of-government approach in terms of working with members of Congress, with other federal partners, internal to DOD, also with our cloud service providers and developing a cohesive strategy that works for the department to be able to deliver these much needed services, to where they are needed,” she said. (Source: US DoD)
04 Oct 21. AOEW programme transitions to low-rate initial production. Lockheed Martin has been funded by the US Navy (USN) to begin low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the Advanced Off-Board Electronic Warfare (AOEW) capability. Under the AOEW programme, the company’s Rotary and Mission Systems business is developing the podded AN/ALQ-248 AOEW Active Mission Payload (AMP) to provide USN battle groups with enhanced electronic surveillance and countermeasure capabilities against anti-ship missile threats. The AOEW AMP is planned for deployment on MH-60R and MH-60S shipborne helicopters. The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on 29 September announced that it had awarded Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems a USD17.8 m firm-fixed-price contract modification to exercise options for AOEW LRIP units. Work is expected to complete by May 2024. Offtake numbers were not disclosed. However, the navy has previously stated that it plans to procure four LRIP units under fiscal year (FY) 2021 funding. The AN/ALQ-248 is a self-contained EW pod hosting both high sensitivity receiver and electronic attack (EA) subsystems. The system is designed to work independently, or in co-ordination with the shipborne AN/SLQ-32(V)6 and (V)7 EW systems. Following receipt of an AOEW AMP preliminary design contract in late 2016, Lockheed Martin received an engineering and manufacturing development award from NAVSEA in September 2017. Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions is Lockheed Martin’s partner and major subcontractor for the AN/ALQ-248. A number of engineering development models are now supporting AOEW AMP test and certification activities. Developmental and operational testing is scheduled to complete in FY 2023. (Source: Jane’s)
05 Oct 21. Kleos Releases Technical Paper Showcasing Capability Milestone. Kleos Space. – ASX: KSS, Frankfurt: KS1, a space- powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, provides a Geolocation System technical paper describing its recent successful technical milestones which will be presented publicly at the GEOINT21 symposium exhibition, in St Louis, MO, USA on the 6th October 2021.
Kleos’ CTO Vincent Furia explained, “In order to present our technical capability at the GEOINT21 symposium, we are releasing a technical paper regarding how the RF data captured by Kleos’ constellation of satellite clusters is processed into geolocation information for our customers.
We also showcase a recent study performed over the Republic of Cabo Verde, which elicited results confirming expected high levels of accuracy obtainable from the geolocation system, using a data capture coming from the Scouting Mission (KSM1) cluster of 4 satellites.
Kleos continues to develop and deploy a constellation of satellite clusters, delivering revisit rates over key areas of interest with ever increasing operational value to the user. With every new cluster added, further data is collected, creating a higher value data set accessible by the various government and commercial users.”
Kleos’ Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability uses nano-satellite clusters operating in low earth orbit to collect data to geolocate radio frequency (RF) emissions. The capability seeks to geolocate emissions to detect illegal activity, including piracy, drug and people smuggling, border security challenges and illegal fishing. Its global activity-based data is sold as-a-service to governments and commercial entities, complementing existing commercial datasets.
BATTLESPACE Comment: This paper is available to readers on request.
04 Oct 21. Rafael unveils BNET NANO Software Defined Radio. The new palm-sized form factor shares the same technological advancements of the BNET family that include scalability, multi-channel reception, spectrum superiority, and more.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. introduces BNET NANO, its newest member of the BENT SDR Family. BNET NANO brings groundbreaking capabilities to the battlefield, based on Rafael’s game-changing Multi-Channel Reception (MCR) technology, unprecedented network capacity in terms of data rates and number of users, minimal delay, and support for “flat” networks with hundreds of members. BNET cognitively manages scarce spectrum resources, providing seamless force merge with minimal planning and efficient spectrum usage. The radio works in GPS-denied areas, a growingly typical scenario in today’s battlefield. BNET is able to sense and avoid spectrum interference and operates as a LPI/LPD device in dense environments.
VP, Yoav Wermuth, head of Rafael’s C3I directorate: “The BNET NANO radio is a significant advancement to soldiers and platforms that are very weight and power aware. Rafael’s BNET MCR patent has been integrated into a small form factor allowing the operation of several voice groups, data streams and video, all in a single device. The MCR technology breaks the paradigm of a radio that has single channels, and allows the simultaneous reception of dozens of channels.”
Amihai Dekel, BD Director at Rafael’s C3I directorate, added: “Our solution, encapsulated in a box the size of a soldier’s palm is a breakthrough that can address many tactical programs that have previously run into capacity restrictions. This technology finally enables the capacity and connectivity of hundreds of units, without burdening the soldier with several communication boxes that all require SWaP.”
BNET is a lightweight radio unit enabling point-to-point and point-to-multipoint topology and an Ad Hoc Mesh Network, supporting complete brigade area-of operation connectivity with a unique SDR full IP design.
BNET NANO will be exhibited in upcoming international defense shows, including AUSA Washington DC, SITDEF Peru, Expodefensa in Colombia, FEINDEF in Spain, ADEX Korea and others.
01 Oct 21. Permanent location of UK National Cyber Force campus announced. The UK government’s new National Cyber Force (NCF) will be located in Samlesbury in the North-West, bringing highly skilled jobs to Lancashire, the Defence Secretary has confirmed today.
The National Cyber Force was announced by the Prime Minister as part of the Integrated Review in November 2020. The joint MoD and GCHQ partnership is helping keep the country safe as the new home of offensive cyber operations.
The permanent site of the NCF will be established in Samlesbury, cementing the North-West region’s position as the cyber centre of the UK. GCHQ already have an office in Manchester and the city is Europe’s fastest growing major tech cluster, with more than 15% of Manchester’s population employed by the digital, creative and technology sector.
The NCF draws together personnel from intelligence, cyber and security agency GCHQ, the MoD, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), under one unified command for the first time.
Offensive cyber operations are those which can disrupt hostile state activities, terrorists and criminals threatening the UK’s national security – from countering terror plots to conducting military operations.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said, “The National Cyber Force located in Samlesbury will embrace exciting new offensive cyber technologies and provide thousands of highly skilled jobs and expertise to the North West. I am hugely proud and enthusiastic to see this happen, not only will it provide a catalyst for investment, but also see our levelling up agenda bring economic stimulus and tangible benefits to this region.”
Working in partnership with law enforcement and international partners, the NCF operates in a legal, ethical and proportionate way to help defend the nation and counter the full range of national security threats.
Offensive cyber capabilities offer the UK a range of flexible, scalable measures that will help protect the UK and our partners around the globe.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:
The National Cyber Force will help confront aggressive behaviour from malign actors, and demonstrate that Britain is investing in next-generation defence capability to protect our people and help our friends counter cyber threats. It sends a powerful message to our allies and adversaries alike.
The UK has been a world-leader on offensive cyber operations, with GCHQ pioneering the use and development of these cyber techniques. In 2016 the then Defence Secretary confirmed the UK was conducting cyber operations against Daesh and in 2018, Director GCHQ revealed how it had degraded ISIS propaganda networks through cyber operations.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay said, “The National Cyber Force is at the cutting edge of our country’s defence.
Basing the campus at Samlesbury in Lancashire will bring high skilled and well paid jobs to the area, building on our drive to move key public sector roles outside of London. It underlines this government’s important levelling up agenda and our commitment to spread opportunity across the country.” (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
04 Oct 21. DISA reorganizes cloud office. The Defense Information Systems Agency has reorganized its cloud and enterprise service offices to create a new organization called the Hosting and Compute Center (HaCC), FCW has learned. The new office is a combination of the cloud computing program office with DISA’s services directorate and ecosystem. Sharon Woods, who leads the cloud program office as its executive director, will lead HaCC as its acting director starting Oct. 1, a DISA spokesperson confirmed via email.
The HaCC will be “responsible for providing the warfighter with critical hosting and compute functions using modern data center and cloud capabilities,” which underpin several Defense Department-wide efforts including Joint All Domain Command and Control and improving data analytics, a DISA spokesperson wrote.
The reorganization is the latest change in the Defense Department’s cloud pursuits in recent years. DISA took over full operational and administrative control of the now former cloud computing program office in January.
The CCPO, which was previously split between the DOD CIO and DISA, was responsible for carrying out the now defunct Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud procurement and other efforts. Moving the office under DISA’s full purview was meant to centralize the department’s cloud buying capabilities. The new arrangement, DISA wrote, will continue that “vision” to provide multiple cloud hosting and computing platforms “multiple platforms including modern data centers and cloud computing.” (Source: Defense Systems)
04 Oct 21. The USAF has completed its first demonstration of an OMS software payload transfer by geographically dispersed teams via a secure cloud platform. Northrop Grumman has leveraged the US Air Force’s DevSecOps environment, Platform One, to provide a software update to flight-rated mission hardware through a secure cloud environment.
In collaboration with the USAF 76th Software Engineering Group (76SEWG), the teams used critical Open Mission Systems (OMS) software to modify code that initiated an automated build and containerised software transfer via encrypted internet to a Northrop Grumman team in another location on the east coast.
After the software update was deployed to flight-rated hardware, the team executed a simulated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission, returning data and results to 76SWEG developers at Tinker Air Force Base at the conclusion of the mission.
This marked the first demonstration of an OMS software payload deployed by geographically dispersed teams using Platform One in a secure cloud environment.
“To help connect the joint force, Northrop Grumman is advancing the speed of delivering mission specific software payloads, new capabilities and improved performance to operational platforms hours/minutes before, or even during, a mission,” Scott Stapp, vice president and chief technology officer at Northrop Grumman, said.
“Northrop Grumman has enabling technologies that are required for JADC2, including advanced networking, AI, space, command and control systems, and is a prime contractor for key aeronautics platforms.”
According to the prime, the demonstration achieved digital transformation development goals for government and industry by combining a DevSecOps Pipeline based on Platform One, Kubernetes containerisation and mission critical software meeting the OMS and Universal Command and Control Interface standards. (Source: https://www.cybersecurityconnect.com.au/)
01 Oct 21. Intelligent Waves Integrates Teradici PCoIP® Technology to Optimize Phantom, Its Award-Winning Cyber-Defense Solution for Ultra-Secure Communications. The highly secure Phantom obfuscated, non-attributable, remote, secure, but unclassified solution includes the high-quality performance of Teradici CAS and PCoIP® technology for GPU-intensive defense and government use cases. Intelligent Waves (IW), a leading-edge trusted IT systems integrator that delivers high-impact transformational IT solutions to Government’s most mission-critical challenges, announced today its new strategic collaboration with Teradici®, creator of the industry-leading PCoIP® remote display protocol and Emmy Award-Winning Cloud Access Software (CAS), to bring a full fidelity, distortion-free, color-accurate user experience on Phantom, IW’s award-winning cyber-defense solution for the most demanding and secure communications. IW’s Phantom Next Generation solution provides the ability for organizations to access foreign points of presence to conduct remote open-source information gathering and research while at the same time protecting organizations and individuals from exposure to foreign intelligence. Phantom, named Corporate Vision’s Best High-Impact IT Systems Integrator Award Winner in the 2021 Global Technology Innovation Competition, uses all the capability of IW’s GRAYPATH network to provide low probability of detection, intercept, and exploitation of application traffic and obfuscate the user’s location while the Phantom platform matches the user’s digital signature with the intended point of presence. In addition, the user’s true IP, location, and data usage are obfuscated, while user-generated traffic is made to “originate” from a remote point of presence (PoP) or interface server. This effectively allows the internet researcher to “hide within the noise” of normal IP traffic. Additionally, the unclassified but secure, cloud-based capability enables telework because it does not require access to a classified facility or network. This allows government organizations to fully leverage an increasingly remote and globally distributed workforce.
John Hammes, IW’s Chief Strategy Officer, stated, “Our strategic partnership with Teradici has produced the most advanced offering for securing cloud access in tandem with Phantom, our flagship solution for secure Open-Source Intelligence. We look forward to working together and expanding our strategic footprint as a winning team.”
The addition of PCoIP® technology, a highly secure no data transfer multi-codec display protocol, allows for the highest performance CPU or GPU throughput regardless of bandwidth, connection, or locale. This integration with Phantom provides an immersive and secure environment for government agencies for geospatial mapping, 3D and VR modeling, aerospace or navy simulation training, and R&D while protecting data centers and government clouds. The solution is tailored to government agency requirements, combining best-in-class cybersecurity software with secure remote graphics cloud/ hybrid cloud computing through their Phantom solution.
Mike Kunze, Teradici’s Global Account Executive, Channels, said: “Teradici is pleased to partner with Intelligent Waves, an industry leader in the Federal space through their Phantom Solution. Intelligent Waves adds unique expertise to the Teradici Advantage Partner Program that we look forward to growing together.”
About Intelligent Waves LLC
Intelligent Waves LLC is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB). The business provides enterprise systems engineering, cloud computing and managed services, cyber and security architecture, mobility, operations, and intelligence analytics. For more information, visit www.intelligentwaves.com.
Teradici is the creator of the PCoIP remote display protocol, which delivers desktops and workstations from the data center or public cloud to end-users with the highest levels of security, responsiveness, and fidelity. Teradici CAS, which won an Engineering Emmy from the Television Academy in 2020, powers the most secure remote solutions with unparalleled performance for even the most graphics-intensive applications. Teradici technology is trusted by leading media companies, design houses, financial firms, and government agencies and is deployed to more than 15 m users worldwide. For more information, visit www.teradici.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
01 Oct 21. Thales extends its collaboration with Microsoft, integrating advanced cybersecurity services with Azure Sentinel as a Microsoft Intelligent Security Association member. Thales announced the extension of its collaboration with Microsoft. The Group strengthens its security supervision offer by integrating and securing a solution based on Microsoft Azure Sentinel. Thales has also joined the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA) as a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP). MISA is an ecosystem of independent software vendors and managed security providers who have integrated their solutions with Microsoft to better defend against a world of increasing threats.
“Most of our clients are still engaged in their cloud transformation, often leveraging Microsoft’s cloud solutions among others,” said Jean-Marie Letort, Vice-President, Cybersecurity Consulting & Operations, Thales. “The acceleration of the digital transformation usually results in a complex architecture involving private and public cloud, multiple providers, with some key elements remaining on premise, not to mention the IT and OT convergence. At Thales, we manage this complexity from a cybersecurity standpoint, by providing – through our worldwide network of cybersecurity operations centers – adapted and evolutionary solutions tailored for our very demanding clients. As a new member of MISA, we strengthen our relationship with Microsoft to provide MSSP services leveraging the Microsoft security ecosystems for Azure and Microsoft 365”.
Thales works with the best-in-class cybersecurity providers, while developing some specific solutions to augment detection and response capabilities. The Group’s advanced analytics or intelligence tools combined with Azure and Microsoft 365 bring significant efficiency improvement in detection, investigation and response.
“This MISA membership complements our extensive collaboration with Microsoft,” said Cecile Assie, Marketing Director, CyberDefence Solutions, Thales. “As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) since 2019, Thales becomes one of the few MISA partners that is both an ISV and an MSSP member. Thales and Microsoft joint customers can leverage from Thales’ managed security services based on Microsoft Azure Sentinel for threat detection and can also increase threat prevention by enforcing Multi-Factor Authentication. Azure customers can benefit from a single-window operation for better security and threat visibility through Thales offers.”
Cybersecurity is part of Thales’ DNA and is a pillar for the design of large and critical systems for avionics, ground transportation, space, defence and industrial customers. Thales has the expertise to address IT as well as OT environments using best-of-breed cloud OT technologies as Microsoft 365 Defender for IoT. Azure users will benefit from the combination of Thales longstanding cybersecurity expertise, its robust solutions in threats management process, with market leading Microsoft Cloud security solutions. Managed Security Services of Thales are tailored to each customer’s security requirements and business activities. Providing in Azure Sentinel specific detection rules, or automated and human based advanced hunting capabilities enhanced with sectors threat specificities, expand detection efficiency, with a powerful cybersecurity platform.
“I am pleased to have Thales join us as a partner in the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA). By including strategic Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs) in MISA, we enable further collaboration between cybersecurity industry leaders in protecting and supporting our joint customers,” Mandana Javaheri, Director of Business Strategy, Microsoft Security Partner Development
Joining the core ecosystem of security specialists reinforces further the capabilities of Thales’ Security Operation Centre, to defend complex IT/OT systems against sophisticated attacks.
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.