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23 Jul 20. US Marine Corps, Verizon Launch ‘Living Lab’ to Test 5G. Verizon and the U.S. Marine Corps are working together at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar to explore ways the military and other U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) agencies can use Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband to transform operations in areas ranging from communications to base security.
MCAS Miramar is the first U.S. military base with access to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service and will act as a 5G “living lab,” facilitating collaboration between the Department of Defense and commercial partners.
“We are excited to explore the art of the possible with 5G Ultra Wideband’s high bandwidth, fast speeds and low latency,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Newell, Director of Technology and Partnerships for the Marine Corps Installation Next program. “This is a critical step to accelerate the nation’s 5G aspirations. At Miramar, we are focused on collaboratively exploring 5G-enabled technology in the areas of energy management, connected vehicles, drones, and base security.”
Newell, who is also the Director of the NavalX SoCal Tech Bridge, a research and development arm of the Department of the Navy, added, “This effort is critical to national security. The establishment of this 5G living lab expedites the nation’s ability to leverage 5G for national defense.”
MCAS Miramar is home to 15,000 service members as well as the 3rd Marine Air Wing and the 5th Generation F35-C. With live 5G on the base, the Marine Corps expects to test how 5G can enable future smart bases that are better protected, more resilient, and supported by autonomous transport.
“We’re thrilled to partner with MCAS Miramar to create a 5G test bed where we can work together to develop new uses cases that improve cybersecurity, enhance the use of unmanned ground systems and drone delivery, and more,” said Andrés Irlando, senior vice president and president, Public Sector and Verizon Connect at Verizon. “Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network is built to support transformative experiences and we’re proud it will play a critical role in evolving national defense technologies.” (Source: UAS VISION)
23 Jul 20. CACI Expands SteelBox App Secure Mobile Communications Connectivity with RigNet Partnership. CACI International Inc (NYSE: CACI) announced today it has partnered with RigNet, Inc. (NASDAQ: RNET) to add new capabilities to its secure mobile communications application for U.S. Government agencies, SteelBox™.
CACI previously announced its partnership with BlackBerry Limited to provide SteelBox, an enterprise technology which is the first secure and certified mobile communications app that enables government officials to use smartphones to text and make calls without fear of eavesdropping or data compromise.
With the partnership of RigNet, CACI’s SteelBox now also has the ability to “Break Out” and connect securely even with users who don’t have the app. In Breaking Out, the application user’s portion of the phone call is still secured.
SteelBox helps meet the needs of more than 4 million government issued cell phones covered by Controlled Unclassified Information requirements and helps eliminate the vulnerabilities in alternatives that don’t meet Federal security standards. The core SecuSUITE for Government software that SteelBox runs on exceeds Federal requirements. CACI and BlackBerry built the solution to meet National Security Agency’s (NSA) Commercial Solution for Classified program requirements and has already premiered on the NSA-approved vendors list for certified mobile solutions. The NSA has also cleared the solution to its SECRET CSfC standards.
Dab Kern, CACI Senior Vice President for Corporate Capabilities and Technology Integration, said, “SteelBox has already opened new lines of secure communications for government agencies at a time when that capability is more crucial than ever. We are pleased to partner with RigNet to continue expanding SteelBox’s secure communications capabilities.”
Retired Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, RigNet Senior Vice President for Government Services, said, “RigNet has been providing highly secure, highly reliable telecommunications to customers for four decades. This is a strategic venture into the government sector, and we are delighted to be working with CACI and BlackBerry on SteelBox connectivity.”
To learn more about the solution including setting up a trial for your agency visit, www.caci.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
23 Jul 20. Pentagon AI team sets sights on information warfare. About two years after it was created, the Pentagon’s artificial intelligence center is setting its sights on new projects, including one on joint information warfare. This initiative seeks to deliver an information advantage to the Department of Defense in two ways. The first is improving the DoD’s ability to integrate commercial and government AI solutions. The second is improving the standardization of foundational DoD data needed to field high-performing AI-enabled capabilities to support operations in the information environment, said Lt. Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson, a spokesman for the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.
Nand Mulchandani, the JAIC’s acting director, told reporters in early July that this initiative also includes cyber operations — both broad defensive and offensive measures for use by U.S. Cyber Command.
The DoD is discovering that it needs ways to process, analyze and act upon the vast amounts of data it receives.
“As we look at the ability to influence and shape in this environment, we’re going to have to have artificial intelligence and machine-learning tools, specifically for information ops that hit a very broad portfolio,” Gen. Richard Clarke, commander of Special Operations Command, said at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in May. “We’re going to have to understand how the adversary is thinking, how the population is thinking, and work in these spaces in time of relevance. If you’re not at speed, you won’t be relevant.
“To make sure the U.S. message and our allies’ and partner message is being heard and it’s resonating. What we need is adapting data tech that will actually work in this space and we can use it for our organization.”
A program in support of network incident detection, called MADHAT — or Multidimensional Anomaly Detection fusing HPC, Analytics, and Tensors — is helping the JAIC develop an information warfare capability. The program allows for the exploration of network data as a way of enabling more effective detection of nuanced adversarial threats, Abrahamson said.
MADHAT has already been deployed, he added, and analysts working on the High Performance Computing Modernization Program are being trained on the tool for operational use. This program accelerates technology development and transitions it into defense capabilities through the application of high-performance computing.
Mulchandani also told reporters that other information warfare-related efforts include using natural language processing, which involve processing and analyzing text.
“NLP and speech-to-text is actually a fairly mature AI technology that can be deployed in production. And that actually is going to be used in reducing information overload,” he said. “So being able to scan vast quantities of open-source information and bring the sort of nuggets and important stuff on the NLPs.” (Source: Defense News)
22 Jul 20. US Army re-orgs tech directorate. The Army has replaced its cyber directorate with one that’s more expanded, covering everything from cyber and electronic warfare to enterprise IT networks and tactical communications. Under its G3/5/7 operations and planning directorate, the Department of the Army’s Management Office-Strategic Operations (DAMO-SO) has been around for several months and is holding itself as foundational for the Army’s more expansive technical priorities: cyber, artificial intelligence, data, enterprise IT, electronic warfare, electromagnetic spectrum, and space.
Brig. Gen. Martin Klein, who leads the new directorate, called the new office a “precursor” to the Army’s G6/chief information office.
“As we approach the change that’s occurring within the CIO and the G6, we are in a manner of speaking the precursor to that change specifically as we look at cyberspace operations,” Klein told reporters July 21.
“Really the G6 is focused on the networks and the capabilities within the networks, specifically at the enterprise level, and we’re looking at operationalizing that at the tactical level to actually conduct operations,” teaming with Army Cyber Command and U.S Cyber Command.
The new office serves as an integrator for joint efforts and is also the lead entity for Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2). The strategic operations directorate also focuses on enabling spectrum, information dominance and cyber operations at the policy level by providing capabilities and synchronizing doctrine, Klein said. The directorate also works with the G6, which will soon be its own role, the CIO, and the Army chief data officer.
Klein said that while the CIO/G6 typically focuses on the enterprise network and cybersecurity operations, the new directorate is looking to “coordinate across the Army staff these very important warfighting transformation initiatives” while working with the G6.
And despite some overlap Klein said the hope is for the directorate to be a mainstay and serve as the “connective tissue” the Army needs to bind its tech needs and “horizontally integrate” across the service.
“A lot of who we are today has been influenced by some of the decisions that have been shaped with the CIO/G6 transformation,” Klein said. “We’re working to kind of build that end-to-end process so that our units can provide that mission command that’s going to be necessary at the tactical edge,” he said.
The directorate also aims to unify data practices and architectures across the force. Klein said data, and by extension cloud infrastructure and provider-agnostic software, were key to connecting the Army’s systems.
“We have found that by really getting off of data centers, putting our data into the cloud, really allows us to expose our data to different entities to do the experimentation,” which makes it more useful for the warfighter, Klein said. “We’re finding new ways of being able to connect data, to integrate systems through these very important processes.” (Source: Defense Systems)
23 Jul 20. US Army Beefs Up Electronic Warfare Posture in the Pacific. Plans are afoot to strengthen the US Army’s electronic warfare posture in the Pacific to disrupt People’s Liberation Army communications during any future conflict.
Recent media reports said that US Army will receive two dedicated electronic warfare; one of which will be stationed near the South China Sea. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has several competing territorial and maritime claims with neighbouring countries in this stretch of water.
Further details regarding the composition of these electronic warfare units has not been revealed. Nonetheless, the move mirrors similar enhancements of the US Army’s electronic warfare posture in Europe.
Tactical Electronic Warfare System
In 2018 the US Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vilseck, southeast Germany and 2nd Armoured Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division based in Fort Riley, Kansas began to receive new General Dynamics Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS) and Tactical Electronic Warfare System Light (TEWS-L) platforms.
The TEWS uses a General Dynamics M-1133 Stryker series eight-wheel drive armoured fighting vehicle while the TEWS-L is carried by a General Dynamics Flyer-72 four-wheel drive vehicle. Sources note that the TEWS platforms can perform electronic/cyber attack and electronic support. While wavebands have not been revealed these almost certainly cover frequencies of at least 30 megahertz to three gigahertz. This would allow the TEWS to attack hostile very/ultra high frequency communications. The TEWS-L is confined to performing electronic support.
The US Defence Intelligence Agency’s 2019 report on PRC military power emphasised that the PLA is investing in Command and Control (C2) technology and communications networks. Both would be targets for US Army electronic warfare units in the region during any future war with the PRC.
These US Army units are also thought to possess Raytheon’s Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool used for the planning, C2 and assessment of electronic/cyber attacks, and its Raven Claw laptop based counterpart.
The concept of operations could see the EWPMT deployed at the headquarters level receiving electronic support information from the TEWS/L units. The highly mobile TEWS-L could gather this information at the tactical level, notably at the forward edge of the battle area, with the TEWS performing a similar task at tactical/operational levels. The EWPMT could then task the TEWS to perform electronic/cyber attacks using this information during the scheme of manoeuvre with both the TEWS and TEWS-L platforms employing the Raven Claw software assist their missions.
It is possible that the new US Army units mooted for the Pacific will include TEWS/L and EWPMT/Raven Claw C2 equipment forward-deployed with US Army elements in Japan and/or the Republic of Korea. Reports state that the units are expected to deploy from 2021. (Source: Armada)
23 Jul 20. Thales shows the performance of its SYNAPS radio family to the Spanish Armed Forces. Thales has presented to the Armed Forces of Spain, the DGAM (Procurement Agency) and the Ministry of Defense, the performance of their sofware-defined radios SYNAPS, to provide state-of-the-art radio communications to the new 8×8 “Dragón” vehicle for the Spanish Armed Forces, as well as for the Joint Tactical Radio System (SCRT) program.
The new SYNAPS family of Software-Defined Radio systems (SDR) offers a set of remarkable and unique features that allow meeting the current and future needs of the Armed Forces, providing superiority of information through communities of interest. This is a leap forward in digital transformation and an opportunity for technological development for the industry. All of this will provide the Armed Forces with operational superiority and will guarantee international interoperability as well as the continuity and evolution of the radio family throughout its life cycle. It will also guarantee the maximum use of the radio spectrum and the exchange of secure critical data among all the actors.
In addition, this family of radios will provide logistical superiority to the Armed Forces, since a smaller number of radios are needed to cover the needs of both programs, resulting in a reduction in consumption, weight, and the number of antennas per vehicle, while improving the logistics configurations footprint. All of this translates into a clear decrease in maintenance costs. As they are fully compatible with the PR4G radios currently in use by the Spanish Armed Forces, SYNAPS radios are immediately ready to be deployed within Armed Forces without any technical or calendar risk, in a smooth transition. SYNAPS can be gradually phased in, without jeopardizing Forces’ operational readiness, allowing an optimized and mastered step-by-step modernization of the entire radio fleet.
Within the framework of the 8×8 “Dragón” Vehicle Program, Thales has also shown the improvements to the command and control system of the vehicles, which is currently being carried out in collaboration with the company Indra, as a very satisfactory experience of cooperation between both companies to provide the Army with the best means of command and control.
Thales’ offer also includes a detailed Industrial Cooperation Plan for Spain designed for export, which will develop its own technology with high added value and maintain national sovereignty in tactical communications. Thales employs more than 1,400 employees in Spain. At its Leganés site (in Madrid region), it has based its defense, aeronautics and security activities, with a specific radio production and maintenance centre. Thales has also entrusted the production of various elements of its new SYNAPS software-defined radio family to the Basque company Manufacturas Zeta which will produce components for the SYNAPS-H handheld version for the soldier, as well as for the SYNAPS-T and SYNAPS-V for ground vehicles. This collaboration is a sign of Thales’ long-lasting confidence in Spanish SMEs, facilitating the technological development of the national industry and international cooperation.
22 Jul 20. Thales Launches a New Integrated 24/7 NOC-SOC in the Netherlands.
- Thales has expanded managed services for its customers with the launch of a new integrated Network Operations Center (NOC)/ Cybersecurity Operations Center (SOC) in the Netherlands
- With trained experts present 24/7, the integrated NOC-SOC can provide organisations with premium services for IS-IT asset management and cybersecurity supervision, a critical necessity following the explosion of remote working during the Covid-19 crisis
- With more than 40 years of expertise, Thales already serves more than 40 clients around the world through its five existing Cybersecurity Operations Centres (Canada, France, Hong Kong, Netherlands, United-Kingdom)
Forming part of Thales’s international network of premium Cybersecurity Operations Centres, the Group’s first integrated Network Operations Centre (NOC) and Security Operations Centre (SOC) will simultaneously monitor customers’ IT and OT infrastructure 24/7. Since IT/OT assets in the new NOC/SOC are monitored from the Netherlands, data remain in the country and sensitive information is viewed only by screened personnel. Being able to deliver these secure integrated managed services in the Netherlands is a first for Thales.
As a rule, organisations outsource night-time monitoring to SOCs in other countries. From now on, Thales will be able to offer this service for and from the Netherlands. The NOC currently analyses anonymised transaction data from public transport companies 24/7 in order to rectify faults, and the SOC focuses on monitoring the computer and network activities of critical infrastructure companies, while keeping the networks physically separate. The NOC monitors mainly systems availability, while the SOC monitors cyber security. This enables both services to intervene quickly in the event of an incident, shortening any downtime and reducing damage.
Now the two centres have been merged so that the teams have everything at their disposal to further optimise service levels and meet the highest standards of security. SOC and NOC employees are screened and trained to meet far-reaching Dutch quality standards and SOC services fully comply with Dutch legislation and regulations (ISO 27001 and NEN 7510).
Thales has more than 15 years’ experience in managed cybersecurity services worldwide. The Group is positioned as the trusted partner of choice for the most demanding organisations worldwide in terms of cybersecurity, operating five premium Cybersecurity Operations Centers around the world, in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada and Hong Kong. (Source: ASD Network)
22 Jul 20. Turkish intelligence-gathering ship starts sea trials. The Turkish Navy’s first dedicated intelligence-gathering ship has started sea acceptance tests. Ufuk (A 591) was observed sailing in the Gulf of Izmit on 18 July.
The new ship was designed by STM and built at Istanbul Shipyard under a contract awarded in 2017. The vessel was laid down in 2018 and launched on 9 February 2019.
Ufuk is derived from the MilGem (Ada-class) corvette design, but features a different main propulsion system and changes to the superstructure.
It features the same hull dimensions as the Ada class, with an overall length of 99 m, a beam of 14.1m and a draught of 3.6m. However, Ufuk is expected to be at least 100 tonnes heavier than the Ada corvettes at around 2,400 tonnes.
Unlike the Ada class, the intelligence-gathering ship has no hangar or armament – although it is equipped with a flight deck to support a 10-tonne helicopter and will be equipped with some small calibre machine guns for self-protection (although these have not yet been installed).
Other changes include the addition of an all-diesel main propulsion system, whereas the Ada-class corvettes have combined gas turbine and diesel engines. The top speed of Ufuk is more than 18 kt, which is considerably slower than the 29 kt top speed of the Ada-class corvettes.
The ship’s main mission systems are being supplied by Aselsan. (Source: Jane’s)
22 Jul 20. Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, announced today it added significant data storage and increased the processing power of its Link 16 expeditionary tactical gateway products. These technology improvements will help keep today’s warfighter reliably connected to real-time air/ground geospatial intelligence and critical network functions when on the frontline of battle.
The enhancements were made as part of Viasat’s Non-Developmental Item (NDI) business model, which delivers advanced capabilities significantly faster, at lower lifecycle costs and with lower risk to the customer when compared to traditional defense acquisition programs and timelines. By leveraging the NDI approach coupled with the gateways’ open architecture, Viasat will keep pace with commercial technology advancements and ensure warfighters are equipped with the latest technology advancements.
Technical enhancements include:
- An eight-fold increase in data storage: Expanding storage from 512 gigabytes to 4 terabytes will help provide battlefield units in adverse conditions with more accurate situational awareness and targeting data to help fight near-peer adversaries that deploy sophisticated techniques that attempt to disable military forces’ ability to communicate and collaborate.
- Greater processing power: By increasing gateway processing power it will be capable of delivering higher speeds and better performance with lower-power consumption for key application hosting and advanced network services on the battlespace. The additional processing power will be ideal for capabilities such as Viasat’s Assured Resilient Integrated Network (ARIN), a solution delivering robust, secure communications for deployed tactical networks. Today, the processing power leverages PacStar’s family of small form factor, modular router and server communications solutions.
“The technology enhancements to Viasat’s expeditionary tactical gateway products are critical as we shift our focus to large-scale combat operations where we expect to fight more sophisticated threats in austere, denied, degraded and disrupted communications environments,” said Andy Kessler, vice president and business area director, Next Generation Tactical Data Links, Viasat. “Our NDI approach enables our defense products to keep pace with the rapidly accelerating technology trajectories in the private sector. This model enables us to quickly and cost-effectively integrate significant technology enhancements into our products, keeping warfighters safer and more reliably-connected during tactical mission engagements.”
Expeditionary tactical gateway products receiving the enhancement include Viasat’s advanced Move Out / Jump Off (MOJO) Link 16 expeditionary tactical gateway system, which is the world’s only compact, multi-network Link 16 communications system currently in use by all U.S. military services.
The technology enhancements are available today to all Department of Defense customers as a field-upgradeable option on Viasat’s expeditionary tactical gateway products. For more information on Viasat’s Link 16 expeditionary tactical gateway systems, visit the Company’s website here.
21 Jul 20. The US Army’s new directorate eyes multidomain integration. The Army has created a new entity within is operations and plans directorate, G-3/5/7, to focus on non-physical capabilities and better ready the service for multidomain operations.
The new directorate, Department of the Army’s Management Office-Strategic Operations (DAMO-SO), was created about six months ago and replaces DAMO-CY, which focused primarily on cyberspace operations. The organization now encompasses cyber, electronic warfare, information operations, space, enterprise IT networks, tactical communications networks, data architectures and artificial intelligence.
“We’re an organization that pulls together a lot of the multidomain operating capabilities. Things like cyber, electronic warfare, information operations, space,” Brig. Gen. Martin Klein, director of DAMO-SO, told C4ISRNET in a July 20 interview. “We’re also bringing into the directorate the capabilities of really underwriting the Army’s ability to digitally transform into this new era … Part of what we’ve been asked to do is underwrite multidomain operations and then to digitally enable our warfighting systems.”
The office will serve as the Army point of contact for joint initiatives with the other services, namely Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2).
Klein said his organization is the Army’s lead entity for the JADC2 cross functional team. The team will also work with the Air Force in experimenting with its Advanced Battle Management System, which is considered an early possibility for the JADC2 program.
“One of the tenets of multidomain operations is the recognition that we fight and win as a joint force,” he said. “A lot of what I do, frankly, is develop capabilities with the Army but coordinate those capabilities throughout our sister services to make sure that we can fight and win certainly in the competition space … in conflict if it should arise.”
Additionally, the team will work to standardize data and data architectures within the Army and joint force to ensure interoperability.
But a key distinction between the predecessor organization and the newly formed office was the importance of space, Klein said.
“As the Army looked at the Multidomain Task Force and, in particular, how to win in multidomain contested operations, we came to the realization of how interdependent our space-based capabilities are,” he explained.
One of the key premises to the office was the notion of better posturing the Army in the competition phase against near peer adversaries that are seeking to exploit the so-called gray zone below the threshold of armed conflict.
The new office works as an integrator across the Army – especially within the G-3/5/7 – of how offices can better organize, restructure or resource these non-kinetic capabilities. Along with Army Futures Command, it also looks at emerging capabilities and, with the various program executive offices, examines what capabilities are needed now.
“What we primarily do is we address this capability through a policy lens, but we also go forward and do resourcing … we work with a strategy team here in the Army G-3/5/7 to make sure that competition and conflict strategies are deconflicted and we certainly work without operational folks … to make sure when we go through a plan and when we mobilize … that we have the right organizations within our cyber, electronic warfare and our information operations space,” Klein said.
Klein said he was tasked to keep his finger on the pulse of the emerging multidomain concept as others across the Army look at how the Army will fight in 2028 and beyond. In doing so, his outfit will make recommendations regarding force structure changes or capabilities that could be endorsed by the Army.
“End to end, we’re developing a desired capability that our chief and that our secretary of defense need in order to fight and win against a near peer adversary,” he said.
DAMO-SO will participate in upcoming exercises and advise on combat training center rotations to ensure units are defending against these non-kinetic tools that can cripple communications. One exercise includes the forthcoming Project Convergence, a data sharing test and experiment to take place in the fall.
“It’s really bringing long range precision fires, weapon systems and some of our modernization efforts together under the rubric of a data enabled cloud orchestrated system to be able to do the experimentation necessary,” he said.
Ultimately, Klein said he hopes the office will provide a great benefit.
“As that lead integrator, we can bring multiple perspectives from multiple different vantage points all the way form strategic down to the tactical to make sure that 0 as we’re developing these capabilities, as we’re exercising and as we’re coming up with new things of use in the existing systems – we get back best practices,” he said. (Source: Fifth Domain)
20 Jul 20. How new prototyping dollars will help US Army network modernization. The U.S. Army is moving forward on a number of projects to bolster its tactical network, thanks to a new pool of money dedicated to prototyping and maturing emerging technology.
Additions to the Army’s tactical network will come every two years as part of modernization efforts called capability sets. Previously, prototypes of emerging technology would fall into the “valley of death,” where technology projects that didn’t have enough funding to transition into programs of record would die, said Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, director of the Army’s Network Cross-Functional Team.
The CFT received nearly $30m to support prototyping efforts for science and technology efforts as well as industry work in fiscal 2020, according to Justine Ruggio, communications director for the CFT.
According to a May news release from Army Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical, the Army network modernization team has identified eight “promising,” Army-led science and technology efforts as well as six industry-led prototyping projects.
The Army is particularly interested in low-Earth orbit satellite constellations to improve bandwidth and reduce latency for Capability Set ’23 and Capability Set ’25, said Michael Breckenridge, acting associate director for the Office of Science and Technology. His office falls under the purview of the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command C5ISR (Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Cyber, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) Center. The S&T team is researching how the service can move and secure traffic through these constellations.
“While those are very much in their infancy as far as the commercial LEO constellations coming together, we’re already working with those vendors to try and get satellite time to be able to do experimentation to understand the capability and how do we shape, then, future investments in that space,” Breckenridge said.
The Network CFT is also excited about the survivability and mobility of the Army’s command posts, said Donald Coulter, senior S&T adviser for the CFT. It’s also focused on spectrum obfuscation capabilities as well as an identity management project that explores new ways of verifying users’ identities (for example, through wearables) to ensure the security of Army systems if equipment falls into enemy hands, he added.
The S&T community and the CFT are also working on a secure communications link between manned and unmanned fighting vehicles, something that may be used for other parts of the network, Breckenridge said. For example, the C5ISR Center is also experimenting with that link for distributed command post nodes and between command post links, he noted.
Previously, a lack of funds made it difficult to create an “entire road map to field” prototypes, he added, and teamwork between the network team and S&T community suffered. But with the newly allocated funds, the S&T community and the Network CFT are able to work more closely.
The dollars have been “the key to have the groups from across all those different communities come together focusing on what specifically we need to take viable concepts and promising concepts from idea to demonstration to real … tangible and robust thing[s] that we can acquire and field,” said Coulter.
With the prototyping dollars now in place, the CFT is expected to have an easier time developing technologies for the service’s network modernization plan, driven by capability sets. Capability Set ’21, which completed critical design review in April, is focused on addressing immediate gaps in the Army’s network with currently available technologies. The Army has begun buying those new network tools, which focus on smaller, lighter, faster communication systems for soldiers, and will begin fielding the technology in fiscal 2021.
Meanwhile, Capability Set ’23, which has preliminary design review scheduled for April next year, is focused on high-capacity, low-latency communications that aren’t mature enough today, Gallagher said at the C4ISRNET Conference in May. Future capability sets will include emerging technologies that improve network resiliency. For example, after Capability Set ’23, soldiers will have more bandwidth at the tactical edge, allowing for the increased adoption of machine learning and other emerging technologies. The Army is also in the planning stages of Capability Set ’25.
Even as the Army identifies key technologies for future capability sets, it must work within the constraints of budgets, meaning that the Network CFT and the C5ISR Center have to work together to identify S&T priorities. Coulter said the “key thing” that the CFT does is prioritize its portfolio and provide guidance on critical capability gaps.
Breckenridge said the S&T community brings an understanding of adversarial threats to the network and what investments can be made to mitigate those threats to inform the CFT’s prioritization.
“One of the key things that S&T community does is … identify those opportunities,” Coulter said. “So we’re threat-informed and -aware, but we also are looking from a technology perspective of where can we get the leap-ahead opportunities that can impose challenges to our adversaries and take our network to the next level. So we have to rely on them heavily, not only for some threat information, but also … those unique potential opportunities from a technology perspective as well.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
20 Jul 20. Artificial Intelligence Deployment Requires Diverse Image Data. Ensuring that technology powered by artificial intelligence will work anywhere requires that AI is “trained” on a diverse data set that readies it for deployment anywhere in the world. That’s something the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center is well aware of as it pushes forward with the Defense Department’s AI strategy, the center’s director said.
Diversity in training models is a challenge, Nand Mulchandani said during the VentureBeat Transform 2020 virtual conference on artificial intelligence July 17.
“When you think of sort of an oxymoron like mass customization, think of a single system that’s deployed worldwide, globally,” he said. “We’ve trained the model on a particular training data set. But that data set is not representative of say, global terrain, or global information, or even things like faces. So when you think of the diversity of … humankind out there, … if you’re doing something like facial recognition or something, the training data set from a testing and representative perspective is so important.”
From the testing and evaluation side, Mulchandani said, it’s important for the JAIC to be able to ensure an AI system is trained in a diverse enough way that it can be deployed globally and work anywhere.
“What we’re finding is … we’re still in the early days of AI where the ability for a single dataset to perform in multiple different environments and applications is incredibly important,” he said.
Mulchandani also addressed concerns that DOD might be difficult to work with for smaller companies involved in artificial intelligence research and development.
“From the outside, there seems to be this idea that the DOD, the Pentagon, has a very hard time liaising and working with tech startups and even large tech companies,” he said. However, he added, there’s a lot of change going on at DOD as the department partners and works directly with large and small tech companies.
The JAIC now has projects going on with startup companies that have as few as seven employees, he noted.
“The ability for us to have those direct conversations, direct work with them — the environment has never been better,” he said. “And there’s huge changes going on in terms of how acquisition gets done, how we actually acquire, procure and deliver software inside the DOD from a cloud perspective, and other things.” (Source: US DoD)
19 Jul 20. What’s industry role in DoD information warfare efforts? Government leaders are telling industry they need help with integration as the Department of Defense and individual services push toward a unifying approach to information warfare. Information warfare combines several types of capabilities, including cyber, intelligence, electronic warfare, information operations, psychological operations and military deception. On a high-tempo battlefield, military leaders expect to face against a near peer or peer adversary. There, one-off solutions, systems that only provide one function, or those that can’t feed information to others won’t cut it. Systems must be multi-functional and be able to easily communicate with other equipment and do so across services.
“A networked force, that’s been our problem for years. Having built a lot of military systems, a lot in C4 and mission command, battle command, we build them and buy them in stovepipes. Then we think of integration and connecting after the fact,” Greg Wenzel, executive vice president at Booz Allen, told C4ISRNET. “My whole view … networking the force really is probably the best thing to achieve overmatch against our adversaries.”
Much of this networking revolves around new concepts DoD is experimenting with to be better prepared to fight in the information environment through multi domain operations or through Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2). The former aims to seamlessly integrate the capabilities of each domain of warfare – land, sea, air, space and cyber – at will. It also aims to integrate systems and capabilities across the services under a common framework to rapidly share data.
While not an official program, JADC2 is more of a framework for the services to build equipment.
“It’s more likely a mish-mash of service level agreements, pre-scripted architecting and interoperability mandates that you got to be in keeping with those in order to play in the environment,” Bill Bender, senior vice president of strategic accounts and government relations at Leidos, told C4ISRNET of JADC2. “It’s going to take a long journey to get there because, oh by the way, we’re a very legacy force and … a limited amount of technology has the interoperability that is absolutely required for that mission to become a reality.”
The “information warfare” nomenclature can fell nebulous and hard to understand for industry officials that provide solutions to the Pentagon.
“It’s a pretty broad definition. I think it’s something that the DoD is struggling with, that’s what we’re struggling with in industry and it also makes it challenging because no one really buys equipment that way,” Anthony Nigara, director of mission solutions for electronic warfare at L3Harris, said. “No one really buys stuff to an abstract term like information warfare.”
Others agreed that the term “information warfare” may be too broad, an issue that’s further complicated as each service tackles information warfare in their own way.
Most members of industry C4ISRNET talked with on the need to integrate described the key theme of a more networked force as a unifying way to think about the new push to information warfare.
“There’s a lot of discussions about the Joint All Domain Operations or the multidomain operations. When we look at that and we want to say ‘okay, what is information warfare really mean to everyone?” Steven Allen, director of information operations and spectrum convergence at Lockheed Martin rotary and mission systems, told C4ISRNET. “We look at it as how can we get the right information to warfighters in order to fight or how do we get the right information for them to plan? How do we move all that data across whether it’s different levels of security or different levels of the warfighting and the data associated with it.”
Others expressed the need for contractors to be flexible with how DoD is describing its needs.
“Industry has learned to be flexible in responding to messaging calling for new situational awareness capabilities while other established capabilities were being mandated for use in cyber exercises,” Jay Porter, director of programs at Raytheon Intelligence & Space, said.
The push to a more information warfare-centric force under the guise of larger concepts to defeat adversaries is pushing the DoD as a whole to fight in a more joint manner.
Paul Welch, vice president and division manager for the Air Force and defense agencies portfolio at Leidos, explained that there’s a consistent view by the services and the department that they must integrate operations within the broad umbrella of activities called information warfare just as they’re integrating warfighting capabilities between the services and across the domains. This goes beyond merely deconflicting activities or cooperation, but must encompass true integration of combat capabilities.
Some members of industry described this idea as one part of convergence.
“When I talk about convergence, my observation is there is a convergence in terms of of a family of technologies and of a family of challenge problems and how do they come together,” Ravi Ravichandran, chief technology officer of the intelligence and security sector at BAE, told C4ISRNET.
Ravichandran provided five specific challenge problems the military may have in which a married suite of technologies can help provide an advantage against adversaries.
They include JADC2, overmatch or the notion of assembling technologies in a way better than enemies, joint fires where one service’s sensors may be acquiring a target and passing that target off to another service to prosecute it, sensing in the electromagnetic spectrum and strategic mobility to get forces and resources to a particular place at a particular time.
Similarly, Welch provided the notional example of an F-35 flying over an area, seeing something on its sensors and sending that information to either an Army unit, a carrier strike group, a Marine Corps unit, or even a coalition partner to seamlessly and rapidly understand the information and act upon it.
These sensors must be incorporated into a joint kill chain that can be acted upon, coordinated and closed by any service at any time.
Allen noted that when looking at information warfare, his business is examining how to take a variety of information from sensor information to human information to movement information and pull it all together.
“There’s a lot of discussion on [artificial intelligence] AI and machine learning and it’s very, very important, but there’s also important aspects of that, which is hey what’s the technology to help the AI, what’s that data that’s going to help them,” he said. “We tend to look very closely with the customers on how do we really shape that in terms of the information you’re getting and how much more can you do for the warfighter.”
By bringing all these together, ultimately, it’s about providing warfighters with the situational awareness, command and control and information they need to make decisions and cause the necessary effects, be it cyber C4ISR, intelligence or electronic warfare, Nigara said.
Porter said at Raytheon’s Intelligence & Space outfit, they view information warfare as “the unification of offensive and defensive cyber missions, electronic warfare and information operations within the battlespace.” Integrating EW and IO with cyber will allow forces to take advantage of a broader set of data to enable high-confidence decision-making in real time, he added, which is particularly important in the multi-domain information environment to influence or degrade adversary decision making.
From a Navy perspective, the ability to share data rapidly across a distributed force within the Navy’s distributed maritime operations concept will be critical for ensuring success.
“We will certainly have to include the mechanisms with which we share information, data and fuse that data from node to node. When I say node to node, a node may be a ship, a node may be an unmanned vehicle and a node may be a shore based facility,” Kev Hays, director of information warfare programs at Northrop Grumman, who mostly supports the Navy, said regarding areas Northrop is investing. “Linking all those participants into a network … is critically important. We have quite a bit of technology we’re investing in to help communicate point to point and over the horizon and a low probability of intercept and low probability of detection fashion.”
Ultimately, the information space is about affecting the adversary’s cognitive space, they said.
“When it comes to information warfare, it’s a lot less tangible … It’s not tank on tank anymore. You’re trying to affect people’s perception,” James Montgomery, capture strategy lead for information operations and spectrum convergence at Lockheed Martin rotary and mission systems, told C4ISRNET.
As a result, he said, it is critical to take the time with the customer to truly understand the concepts and capabilities and how they all fit together in order to best support them.
“Really spending time with them [the customer] and understanding what it is that they’re attempting to get at. It helps us better shape the requirements but it also helps us better understand what is it they’re asking for,” he said. “When you’re moving forward and attempting to come together with both a software hardware based solution to something, it takes a lot of talking time and a lot of touch time with that customer to understand where their head’s at.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
20 Jul 20. With a new setup, the USAF hopes to improve information warfare operations. The Air Force is realigning the cyber mission force teams it provides to U.S. Cyber Command as a way to have intelligence personnel work more closely with cyber operators.
In the past, Air Forces Cyber was made up of cyber and intelligence personnel from 24th Air Force and 25th Air Force, respectively. However, the arrangement created difficulties with command relationships and oversight of teams since the intelligence operators served beneath a separate Air Force command with a separate commander.
But in October, the Air Force decided to merge 24th and 25th Air Force into 16th Air Force/Air Forces Cyber, placing cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic warfare and weather capabilities under one commander, and creating the Air Force’s first information warfare entity. The new organization also serves as the Air Force’s component to Cyber Command.
The new organization of teams moves intelligence forces from the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing to the 67th Cyber Operations Wing.
“We looked at the intelligence squadron and focused on the position descriptions that really were supporting the cyber mission force … so that we can merge those intelligence professionals into the cyber operations squadron in order to build the mission elements that supported the combatant command requirements,” Col. Lauren Courchaine, commander of the 67th Cyberspace Operations Group, told C4ISRNET in an interview.
Specifically, these teams are combat mission teams – the teams that conduct cyber operations on behalf of combatant commands mostly in the offensive sphere – and cyber support teams, which provide intelligence, mission planning and other necessary support work for combat mission team.
Officials at the creation of 16th Air Force said the integration would allow the service to provide more robust teams to Cyber Command.
This new structure – with cyber operators, developers and intelligence forces in the same room and read in on the same missions – provides a tighter mission thread, Courchaine said. In the past, she said, when cyber operators needed intelligence support, they’d have to ask their intelligence teammates who weren’t always privy to the mission or technical context, which created gaps.
“Now when you have those conversations with intelligence airmen, operators and developers all in the same forum, sometimes in the same room with the same whiteboard, you come to integrated solutions up front in early vice having to work through a process where that one piece of information, potentially out of context, is levied on the intelligence requirement to somebody that you don’t know in another place … to try to understand truly what the intelligence piece that you’re looking for,” Courchaine, said. “When you fuse all of them together, I think the output is significantly better and drives that operationally speed, the agility and flexibility that [16th Air Force commander] Gen. [Timothy] Haugh is looking after.”
The final realignment package is still at the Air Staff awaiting final approval with details regarding new units still to be determined, to include a new group activated under the 67th Cyberspace Wing and three new squadrons.
Gaining insights from joint operations
The team realignment also extends to Air Force cyber teams that serve under commanders of other services under different Joint Force Headquarters-Cybers.
The way cyber operations are structured within DoD is individual services do not have their own offensive teams. Instead, these teams work through several organizations, each formally known as Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber that exist beneath Cyber Command, which in turn provide planning, targeting, intelligence and cyber capabilities to the combatant commands to which they’re assigned. The heads of the four service cyber components also lead their respective JFHQ-C. These organizations oversee combat mission teams and combat support teams.
Courchaine said the Air Force teams, those that conduct operations in Central Command under Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber and operations focused on China under Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber Fleet Cyber, can bring a global perspective a back to the service. These teams conduct operations on behalf of European Command, Strategic Command, Transportation Command and Space Command.
In some theaters, with the high tempo of operations, such as Central Command, the approach allows the teams conducting operations to bring back lessons learned to their respective services.
“You can see how these three areas will really converge and enable Gen. Haugh from a 16th Air Force perspective to not just be successful in aligning the forces appropriately but driving that return on investment where we’re able to converge target sets globally … to drive operations so that we can influence our adversaries in support of national security objectives,” she said. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
17 Jul 20. US Army wants early industry input on JADC2 battlefield concept. When it comes to the Army’s contribution to a new joint architecture for battlefield command and control, the service said it will collaborate with industry in the very early stages.
James McPherson, undersecretary of the Army, said during an AFCEA-hosted webcast July 14 that the service will ask industry for its input into potential solutions for Joint All-Domain Command and Control prior to writing and publishing official requirements.
JADC2 is a new concept that seeks to connect sensors across the joint force to shooters making systems interoperable to share data, which officials believe will provide overmatch against sophisticated adversaries in a contested fight. The Joint Staff has created a cross-functional team to guide the military’s efforts.
“We’re looking to really partner with industry in a different way rather than just passing a document over the transom saying: ‘Here’s a requirement. Industry, can you meet this?’ We want to take the transom down and have a conversation with industry and say: ‘Here are some of the characteristics we’re thinking about — what are your thoughts?’ ” McPherson said.
“ ‘Here’s the characteristics that we’re looking for with regard to JADC2. Industry, how can you meet some of those characteristics? What other great ideas do you have, industry, to meet those characteristics? How do we turn those into requirements?’ Then we turn that into a procurement document,” he added.
McPherson said earlier that morning that the top echelons of Army leadership met to hammer out some of those characteristics. He also said the Army is brainstorming how to include coalition partners in this new architecture.
“One of the pieces that the chief brought up is, you know, we’re going to have to add a letter in front of JADC2, and that’s combined. We need to start doing that,” McPherson said. “We need to start sharing, especially with our Five Eye[s] allies, but others as well … what our concept of this battlefield of 2040 is going to look like and how we can partner with them in going forward with our data management and all things data in that future battlefield.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
20 Jul 20. Should the JORN expansion include a defensive and offensive capability? Australia’s strategic force multiplier, the JORN network, has been earmarked as a major beneficiary of the government’s $270bn 2020 Defence Strategic Update with an expansion to cover most of the south Pacific, but should this expansion also include a linked defensive and offensive capacity?
The strategic buttress of congested waterways and densely populated archipelagos of the ‘sea-air gap’ has formed the backbone of Australia’s defence and national security policy since the late-1980s.
Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam conflict at the behest of the US signalled a major shift in the direction of the nation’s strategic policy that continues to influence Australia’s doctrine to this day.
Domestic political backlash and a changing geo-strategic environment would see Australia adopt an arguably more isolationist policy, focusing almost entirely on the ‘Defence of Australia’.
This shifting domestic and regional environment saw the formalisation of the Defence of Australia (DoA) policy in the 1986 Dibb report and the subsequent 1987 and 1994 Defence White Papers, which established the sea-air gap as a strategic buffer zone for Australia, enabling the reorientation of Australia’s strategic and broader defence industry posture and shifting away from what Dibb identifies:
“Until the late 1960s, Australian defence planning and policy assumed that our forces would normally operate in conjunction with allies, and well forward of the continent. We saw our security inextricably linked with the security of others.”
Dibb’s report leveraged the 1973 Strategic Basis paper’s focus on the nation’s isolation to reinforce the concept of the ‘tyranny of distance’ as justification for reducing Australia’s interventionist role and capabilities in the region:
“Australia is remote from the principal centres of strategic interest of the major powers, namely western Europe and east Asia, and even those of secondary interest, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the north-west Pacific.”
The ‘sea-air gap’ encompasses what has long been defined as Australia’s ‘sphere of primary strategic interests’ – the narrow maritime sea lines of communication and air approaches to the north of the Australian landmass throughout south-east Asia that served as the nation’s strategic, economic and political links to the broader region, through what would eventually become known as the Indo-Pacific.
With roots dating back to the Second World War, JORN is not only one of the longest standing defence projects in Australian history, it is also one of the nation’s key tactical and strategic force multipliers.
Responsible for providing a state-of-the-art defence system and wide area surveillance across the nation’s northern approaches, JORN plays a vital role in supporting the Australian Defence Force’s air and maritime operations, border protection, disaster relief and search and rescue operations.
Recognising the pivotal role JORN plays in the nation’s strategic posture and capabilities, the government’s 2020 Defence Strategic Update an associated $270bn of funding has committed to the expansion of the JORN network, expanding the system’s focus to the eastern seaboard.
The 2020 Defence Strategic Update clearly articulates this capability: “We [the Commonwealth government] will also increase investment in capabilities that support the ADF’s awareness of our immediate region.
“This includes expanding the Jindalee Operational Radar Network to provide wide area surveillance of Australia’s eastern approaches. The Jindalee Operational Radar Network, based on world-leading Australian technology, currently provides comprehensive surveillance of Australia’s northern and western approaches and is a vital component of Australia’s strategic surveillance network.”
While this investment provides an important expansion of an existing capability, the increasing proliferation of advanced missiles, combined with the increasing numbers of advanced power projection-oriented surface warships limits the effectiveness of the JORN network.
Again, the government seems to have recognised this capability gap in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update, with the Prime Minister himself articulating a growing focus on both long-range strike weapons and area denial systems:
“These must be able to hold potential adversaries, forces, and infrastructure at risk from greater distance and therefore influence their calculus of costs involved in threatening Australia’s interests.
“This includes developing capabilities in areas such as longer-range strike weapons, cyber-capabilities, area denial systems, and at the same time our actions must be true to who we are as a nation, a people, what we value, for ourselves, our friends, for our neighbours.”
Recognising this, is it time to directly link the JORN network with a suite of offensive and defensive capabilities to form a true Australian strategic umbrella?
Combining JORN and Aegis ashore?
JORN has long served as a key force multiplier for the ADF, providing unprecedented over-the-horizon surveillance capabilities to monitor contingencies and co-ordinate responses to the north of the continent.
Combining this capability with the growing power of integrated air and missile defence systems, in unison with advanced, multi-domain ‘shooters’, provides traditional ‘defence in depth’.
Aegis ashore meanwhile provides a highly capable missile defence system – building on the successful integration to the Aegis combat system on US, Australian, Japanese and South Korean warships while incorporating ‘shoot down’ capabilities and interoperability with a range of ‘sensor’ and ‘shooter’ platforms, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, E-7A Wedgetail, P-8A Poseidon, Hobart Class and Hunter Class, and the recently announced $2bn LAND 19 Phase 7B program.
While Japan has, at least at this stage, withdrawn from the Aegis ashore program, the nation’s continued commitment to the broader Aegis combat system and suite of capabilities, combined with the growing number of Aegis capable warships both in Australia and key allies, serves as a strong vote of confidence for the platform.
Aegis ashore serves as a potent tactical and strategic force multiplier and ‘goal keeper’ enabling freedom of movement for air, land and sea-based assets throughout the theatre despite increasingly advanced and prolific ballistic and cruise missile systems fielded by adversaries like Russia, China and North Korea.
Combining the over-the-horizon surveillance capabilities of JORN – estimated to be capable of providing wide area surveillance at ranges of 1,000 to 3,000 kilometres – with the capabilities of Aegis can be used to form a key strategic integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) system for the long-range defence of the Australian mainland.
Further supporting the broader integration of these systems is the introduction of the $1bn AIR 6500 program, which is designed as a joint battle management system that will interconnect the many disparate platforms, systems and sensors across the air, land, space, electromagnetic and cyber domains into a collaborative environment that provides shared situational awareness of the battlespace and the ability to rapidly plan responses to threats.
JORN, Aegis ashore and area denial?
The intrinsic link between Aegis and platforms like the Mk 41 vertical launch systems (VLS) based onboard Aegis equipped destroyers and frigates in Australian and allied navies provides incredible opportunity for the nation to establish its own A2/AD network that penetrates well into the Indo-Pacific – while also drawing on the incredible interoperability, sensor fusion and strike capabilities of existing and developing platforms.
The commonality of the Mk 41 system, combined with the development of increasingly potent long-range anti-ship missile systems, including the Kongsberg/Raytheon Naval Strike Missile/Joint Strike Missile family, the Lockheed Martin AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) and upgraded variants of the Raytheon Tomahawk cruise missile, all provide viable, cost effective A2/AD capabilities.
Furthermore, the commonality of air and missile defence systems like Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM), SM-3 and SM-6 systems, and interoperability of said platforms with both Aegis and the Mk 41 VLS, further enhance both the A2/AD and IAMD capabilities of the broader network, but Aegis ashore in particular.
This ‘knitting’ together of individual capabilities, combined with the government’s commitment to developing long-range strike and hypersonic strike weapon capabilities will serve to provide a quantum leap in the ADF’s capabilities and the strategic deterrence options available to the nation and its allies.
In light of this, can it be reasonably and legitimately argued that the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and the Force Structure Plan represent a “new defence paradigm”, or is it a case of more of the same? (Source: Defence Connect)
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