Sponsored by Spectra Group
25 Nov 20. US Army solicits bids for new cryptographic technologies. The US Army is soliciting industry proposals to develop new cryptographic technologies, designed to ensure secure and compartmentalised communication capabilities in the wake of rapidly advancing cyber warfare and electronic warfare threats to those operations.
The proposals being sought by the service’s Program Manager Tactical Radios (PM TR), under Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communicate – Tactical (PEO C3T), will assist in the development of the advanced variant of the Next Generation Load Device-Medium (NGLD-M). Army officials anticipate developing and fielding a maximum of 265,000 NGLD-M units, at an estimated cost of USD850m, according to the service’s 18 November request for proposals (RFP).
The new NGLD-M systems will replace the army’s more than decade-old fleet of Simple Key Loaders (SKLs), which are designed to transfer, issue, fill, and manage electronic cryptographic keys to highly sensitive End-Cryptographic Units (ECUs), used by combat units to transmit and receive secure communications transmissions.
Designed to meet the Type 1 cryptologic standards for secured data transmissions established by the National Security Agency (NSA), the NGLD-M will provide “the functionality of legacy fill devices while providing network connectivity to support Over the Network Key (OTNK) distribution”, the RFP stated. The new NGLD-M will also provide end users with a “reprogrammable crypto subcomponent to meet future modernisation requirements”, it added.
“The NGLD-M will enable delivery of the strongest NSA-generated cryptographic keys to tactical, strategic, and enterprise network systems operating from secret to the highest levels of security classification,” according to a PEO C3T statement, issued shortly after the RFP’s release. (Source: Jane’s)
25 Nov 20. US Army unveils Capability Set 23 main focus efforts. US Army officials have homed in on three major areas of focus to drive its development efforts for the newest tranche of the service’s Integrated Tactical Network (ITN) initiative and is seeking industry input to flesh out those anticipated capabilities. Officials from the service’s Program Executive Office Command Control Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), in conjunction with Army Futures Command’s Network Cross-Functional Team (N-CFT), issued a call for White Papers on 16 November, outlining “technologies that may be ready for experimental consideration” in those three major focus areas for the ITN iteration dubbed Capability Set 23. The input derived from the White Paper submissions will help ITN programme officials “increase capacity, resiliency, and convergence of the network” in Capability Set 23 and future variants to come, according to a service statement. Overall, the networked technologies being considered for development under Capability Set 23 focus on Stryker-based mounted operations, leveraging cellular 4G and other communication networks, coupled with legacy systems upgrades operating on a secure but unclassified architecture. That work is designed to build on the research, development, and prototype work from the previous Capability Set 21, which also explored much of the same networked requirements, but was tailored to facilitate dismounted combat manoeuvres. (Updates are delivered every two years, which is why there is not a Capability Set 22.) Army officials are finalising industry agreements for development of Capability Set 23 after securing critical design review (CDR) approval for technologies under development for Capability Set 21 in May. (Source: Jane’s)
24 Nov 20. To bring ABMS over the finish line, USAF turns to the office responsible for stealth bombers and space planes. The U.S. Air Force office responsible for the development of the B-21 bomber and X-37 space plane has been handed the reins of the Advanced Battle Management System program, the service’s top acquisition official announced Nov. 24.
The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office will now share responsibilities for developing the ABMS with the service’s chief architect, Preston Dunlap. That will pave the way for the service to begin buying the system’s first elements as early as next year, Air Force acquisition executive Will Roper told reporters during a roundtable Tuesday.
Originally envisioned as a replacement for Air Force platforms like the E-8C JSTARS ground surveillance plane, ABMS has evolved into an Internet of Things for the military — a sprawling family of IT and communications gear meant to seamlessly connect the aircraft, sensors and other weapons systems.
For the past year, the Air Force has focused ABMS efforts on a series of on-ramp exercises meant to bring industry to the table and test whether off-the-shelf technology — everything from SpaceX’s Starlink constellation to artificial intelligence systems — could plug into the military’s existing platforms and provide better awareness of a battlespace.
Having proven that the technologies are available and work, the next step is to create a concrete plan to acquire them, Roper said.
“It’s a pretty no-brainer thing,” he said. “ABMS is ready for a program executive office.”
According to a memo sent from Roper to the Air Force’s acquisition workforce Tuesday, the chief architect will remain responsible for codifying ABMS’ technical requirements, overseeing on-ramp exercises, and approving the overall architecture and digital standards for the system.
Meanwhile, the Rapid Capabilities Office program executive has been tasked with conducting an audit of the program over the next 90 days, which will detail all efforts, contracts and resources associated with ABMS. That will inform the ABMS acquisition strategy, where the program office will lay out what it plans to buy and when that tech will be procured.
Most importantly, the RCO will have the difficult job of making trade-offs that impact legacy platforms, program offices and companies that span across the Air Force’s different mission areas, Roper said.
“It is the reality of this business that we are handed a budget that we don’t make, and we have to do our best job executing it. Rarely is there all the money that we said we needed to get the job done, so we prioritize across different programs,” he said.
“The thing I’m going to be looking to the RCO to do is ensure that we deliver usable, internet-type capabilities to the joint force and not more partial capabilities that don’t add up to the same operational effect,” he said. “I would rather have 70 percent of ABMS completed at [a] 100 percent level and be ready to be used operationally, than 100 percent of ABMS completed at a 70 percent level.”
The Air Force views ABMS as pivotal for executing the military’s Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept, which seeks to link all of the military services’ sensors and shooters. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown listed the program as his second-most important modernization priority, during an interview this month with Defense News.
However, Congress has been more reticent to buy into the program, raising concerns about the service’s lack of an acquisition strategy and detailed requirements.
That the RCO will now delineate a more thorough acquisition plan for ABMS is a “happy coincidence,” Roper said, though he expects it will help alleviate some of Congress’ concerns about the program.
“I’m not getting questions about how is the Air Force possibly going to build the internet,” he said. “I’m really getting: ‘Let’s talk about your baselines. Let’s talk about all of your documentation.’ That is a wonderful next set of questions to have.”
Roper expects that lawmakers will get onboard the ABMS program once the Air Force starts buying new capabilities — things like new radios, data fusion systems and mesh networks — and then consolidating the technologies inside pods and installing them on legacy aircraft. That could occur as early as next year.
So what platforms will likely receive modifications first? Roper said aerial refueling tankers — one model in particular — “might get to the goal line first.”
Once a tanker is a part of ABMS, “you can start talking about what’s its smart device function, meaning what does it do aside from its day job. Aside from just being a tanker, what else does it do? It’ll start allowing us to think about how ABMS changes the fight,” Roper said. “But there are other platforms hot on their tail.”
One of those other aircraft is likely Boeing’s F-15EX, with Boeing’s KC-46A as the tanker in question.
Last week, an unnamed official with knowledge of the ABMS program said that F-15EX and KC-46 would likely be “our first platforms that we will be bringing in some of the ABMS enhanced gateway capabilities on,” according to Janes. The official, who spoke at the virtual Defence iQ International Fighter Conference, was not named, as the event was conducted under the Chatham House Rule. (Source: Defense News)
24 Nov 20. Delay hits production decision for US Army’s critical battle command system. production decision for the U.S. Army’s critical battle command system has been delayed, the service confirmed to Defense News.
An Office of the Secretary of Defense-level Defense Acquisition Board review was scheduled for Nov. 17, but due to some administrative issues, the board was unable to make a decision on the way forward for a program that has already experienced years of delays and setbacks.
The Northrop Grumman-developed battle command system was originally meant to serve as the command-and-control system for the Army’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defense System against regional ballistic missile threats, but the service has since expanded its planned role to tie together a much broader array of sensors and shooters capable of defeating other complex threats like cruise missiles and unmanned aircraft.
To date, the Army has spent $2.7bn to develop the system.
“A small number of statutory and regulatory documents supporting the Milestone C [production] decision are in the final stages of approval, but not yet fully approved,” an Army spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement. “The program office and OSD directorates will hold technical briefings to obtain final approval signatures on some of the open documents. Document completion is largely administrative.”
Specifically, final approval is needed for the program protection plan, the life-cycle sustainment plan and an update to the Capabilities Development Document, the spokesperson said.
The principal members of the Defense Acquisition Board “concurred with the program’s achievement of all Engineering & Manufacturing Development Phase exit criteria,” the statement noted.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, directed a follow-on meeting within 30 days to review document completion status. That review is anticipated to take place in
The delay in reaching a production decision is not expected to affect the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System program schedule — at least in terms of operational testing and other major milestones ahead.
The program struggled in 2016 during a limited-user test, but following several soldier checkouts and other test events over the past few years as well as a successful limited-user test this summer, it is expected the battle command system will be approved for production.
Once approved for production, it will move into an initial operational test and evaluation phase in 2021. The Army plans to equip its first unit with the system in the third or fourth quarter of fiscal 2022. (Source: Defense News)
24 Nov 20. Artificial Intelligence Enablers Seek Out Problems to Solve. The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center began in 2018 to accelerate the DOD’s adoption and integration of artificial intelligence. From the start, it was meant to serve as an AI center of excellence and to provide resources, tools and expertise to the department. The JAIC’s new director said that while the center’s early efforts bore fruit, the overall effort was not transformational enough and a more aggressive approach is needed.
“In JAIC 1.0, we helped jumpstart AI in the DOD through Pathfinder projects we called mission initiatives,” said Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael S. Groen, during a briefing today at the Pentagon. “We learned a great deal and brought onboard some of the brightest talent in the business. It really is amazing. When we took stock, however, we realized that this was not transformational enough. We weren’t going to be in a position to transform the department through the delivery of use cases.”
Now, Groen said, he refers to the center’s change in effort as “JAIC 2.0,” which includes a more aggressive push for adoption and proliferation of AI throughout the department.
“We seek to push harder across the department to accelerate the adoption of AI across every aspect of our warfighting and business operations,” Groen said. “While the JAIC will continue to develop AI solutions, we’re working in parallel to enable a broad range of customers across the department.”
Groen said the JAIC must have a broader range of department participants getting involved with AI, and that this can happen with a renewed focus on the Joint Common Foundation — a cloud-enabled AI platform to accelerate the development, testing and fielding of new AI capabilities that is expected to reach initial operating capability in 2021.
“It’s a resource for all, but especially for disadvantaged users who don’t have the infrastructure and the tech expertise to do it themselves,” Groen said. “We’re recrafting our engagement mechanism inside the JAIC to actively seek out problems and help make others successful. We will be more ‘problem pull’ than ‘product push’.” (Source: US DoD)
24 Nov 20. A new approach to information warfare: @HutEighteen. An information warfare network, known as @HutEighteen, was launched in partnership with the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.
Misinformation, fake news, or information warfare, the concept is not new, but technology and innovation have created an expressway for its dissemination. An information warfare network, known as @HutEighteen, was launched on the 24 November in partnership with the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom for those operating in the field to collaborate and act as a force multiplier.
Information warfare is “controlling one’s own information space, protecting access to one’s own information, while acquiring and using the opponent’s information, destroying their information systems and disrupting the information flow,” as described by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
Information warfare touches so many aspects of our society, @HutEighteen seeks to bring together technical and non-technical practitioners. By harnessing diverse talent and aptitude, @HutEighteen aims to uncover new and innovative ways of conducting hybrid or information warfare.
As a community of interest, @HutEighteen will bring together practitioners, policy makers, and thinkers within the Ministry of Defence, as well as other government departments, academia, industry and the international community. Its mission is to connect, inform, support, collaborate and exploit cyber, information advantage and information outreach through education, events, and experimentation.
Colonel Caroline Woodbridge-Lewin, Head of the Information Warfare Group at the Defence Academy said, “Big data, autonomy, machine learning, social sciences, social media and global connectivity all play an increasingly important role in our lives. And if used against us, form the basis of information warfare. How well we perform in information warfare is less likely to be related to our specific equipment, but more towards attitude, approach and collaboration. This is exactly what @HutEighteen strives to build: the network and the relationships of those working in the diverse field to counter these disruptive techniques.”
Major General Andrew Roe, Chief Executive of the Defence Academy and Commandant Joint Services Command and Staff College said, “Information Warfare is a fast-moving discipline, requiring a constantly innovative and agile approach. In order to continue to outperform our adversaries, professional military education must include the study of information warfare concepts and techniques. By innovating and collaborating across sectors and institutions, @HutEighteen has the potential to drive forward our capabilities in information warfare.”
To find out more or to get involved, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Defence Connect for those in the Ministry of Defence. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
24 Nov 20. Australia confirms $10m investment in Defence AI. Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has announced a $10m investment in artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to give Australia an edge across all of Defence’s domains as part of the Defence Innovation 2020 conference.
The Defence Innovation Hub, in collaboration with the Defence Artificial Intelligence Centre (DAIC) within Joint Capabilities Group, is now seeking innovation proposals from industry for a new Special Notice for Artificial Intelligence Applications in Defence.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price announced the new initiative on Tuesday, which will support Australian industry to develop new AI applications across Defence’s Information and Cyber, Maritime, Air, Space, and Land domains.
Minister Price said the initiative was part of a $32m boost to Australian industry over the next two years through the Defence Innovation Hub, as part of the government’s Defence COVID-19 economic recovery package.
“AI is a critical enabling technology which can deliver a decisive Defence advantage. This initiative provides new opportunities for Australia’s AI sector to partner with Defence,” Minister Price explained.
The Defence Innovation Hub will partner with the Defence AI Centre to set two challenges to industry:
* Using intelligence mission data to improve situational awareness in the battlefield; and
* Using intelligent virtual reality to enhance simulation, modelling and training.
Minister Price added, “Genuine partnerships between Defence and Australian industry allows us to develop globally competitive AI capabilities and builds a national defence industry base. Through this initiative, we are building a strong Australian defence industry with an ability to design and integrate AI technology into Defence’s force structure.”
The Defence Innovation 2020 conference provides Australia’s defence industry and innovation sector with the opportunity to learn how they can leverage Defence’s innovation programs, as well as explore emerging technology trends and opportunities within Defence’s new capability domains.
Defence Innovation 2020 will comprise six 90-minute webinars over five days, with Minister Price providing the opening address on 23 November. Feature presenters include senior Defence and military representatives from each of the operational domains: Maritime, Land, Air, Information and Cyber, and Space, as well as from Defence Science and Technology Group, and state and territory industry advocates.
Each webinar will conclude with a Q&A session where participants can engage with Defence experts to ask questions and explore how industry can support Defence to deliver innovative solutions that provides Defence with cutting-edge capabilities.
Proposals to these challenges can be submitted until 11 February 2021. For more information, please visit: www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au. (Source: Defence Connect)
23 Nov 20. UK Government Invests in MOD and NATO with Significant Agile IT and Digital Transformation Contract for CDW and Viasat UK.
IT solutions specialist CDW announced an agreement with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) headquarters in Gloucester, UK, to deliver a two-year Agile technical innovation contract for a Command, Control and Communication (C3) programme named LELANTOS.
ARRC is NATO’s rapidly deployable headquarters that acts as a nerve centre for operations and crisis response. CDW – the world’s largest IT technology enabler – and Viasat UK Ltd, a global leader in communication technologies, have partnered on the two-year programme, which will enable a more survivable, maneuverable and deployable HQ.
Programme LELANTOS will involve regular technological innovation, as well as the wider digital transformation of HQ ARRC, and is part of a range of initiatives that demonstrate the UK’s continued commitment to the NATO alliance.
Lt Col Steve Short, ARRC Programme Lead, commented: “This is a defining moment. We have looked at the whole ecosystem of the deployed staff working environment and treated it as a capability in its own right.”
“We will be harnessing best of breed technologies that deliver real advantage to our commanders and their staff. Equally important is the development approach we are taking with our industry partners, which is innovating in both technical and commercial processes.”
The programme will exploit multiple streams of state-of-the-art and SME technology and will deliver enhancements to the battlefield both at home and deployed. Over the course of the programme, decision-makers and technicians at the MOD, ARRC, CDW and Viasat will collaborate and develop integrated systems, making use of agile technical and commercial processes.
Nick Garland, Business Development Director for Defence at CDW UK, commented: “It is an honour to be at the forefront of leading technological change across multiple domains that will see real-time benefit to a strategic headquarters. The LELANTOS programme will deliver technological transformation aligned to the core objectives of both the MOD and ARRC.”
The programme, originally referred to as ‘Agile C3 Experimentation’, was put out to open tender on the UK government’s procurement platform, the Crown Commercial Service. CDW and Viasat partnered to win the contract in a competitive tender.
Steve Beeching, Managing Director of Viasat UK, said: “Programme LELANTOS provides an opportunity to challenge the status quo and drive agile C3 innovation across NATO and its allies. This partnership will leverage Viasat’s deep breadth of defence experience and innovative technology approaches, alongside CDW’s proven track record for delivering digital transformation solutions across multiple industries to bring ARRC rapidly-deployable, highly-secure and scalable land formation capabilities – which are critically important in a rapidly evolving battlespace.”
About CDW UK:
CDW UK is the UK-based arm of the world’s leading IT services and solutions specialist. The company works with customers in the private and public sector to provide vendor-agnostic IT solutions and manage major IT infrastructure projects. Find out more about the company at www.uk.cdw.com, and you can also follow the company on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people’s lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea. To learn more about Viasat, visit: www.viasat.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
23 Nov 20. TrellisWare Proves Advanced Communications Capabilities During Major US Military Demonstration. TrellisWare Technologies, Inc., a leader in resilient communications, today announced the successful completion of a major demonstration for the US military in which more than 800 radios were networked together in a single radio frequency (RF) channel.
TrellisWare’s milestone event showcased advanced communications capabilities, including massive scalability of 811 radios on a single 3.6 MHz channel, forming a fully operational network that included rapid position location information (PLI) refresh for every radio, voice, and Command and Control (C2) data. Several TrellisWare radios were used for the fully interoperable network demonstration, including the new body-worn TW-860 TSM Spirit™ radio, the handheld TW-950 TSM Shadow® radio, the vehicular/manpack TW-135 TSM Shadow® High Power radio (HPR), and small form factor TW-875 TSM Ghost™ radio; as well as other Program Of Record (PoR) radios.
Also demonstrated were major new advancements to the TrellisWare® TSM™ Mobile Ad-hoc Networking (MANET) waveform, including a very low latency mode, as well as their new High Data Rate (HDR) mode, with 1080p 60fps High Definition (HD) real-time video live-streamed with low latency around the TrellisWare campus, including throughout the multi-story building.
“TrellisWare set a new standard for scalability and spectrum efficiency for mobile ad-hoc networking,” said Haidong Wang, vice president of product management and strategic partnerships. “These advancements demonstrate the TSM waveform’s ability to field a radio to every soldier in an entire battalion. We are continuing to raise the standards of resilient communications in the industry while responding to our customers’ increased network modernization expectations.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
23 Nov 20. US Army working on new electromagnetic deception tool. The U.S. Army is developing a new tool to gain an advantage in the cat and mouse game that is the electromagnetic spectrum mission. Currently in the early concepts stage, the Army detailed its idea for the Modular Electromagnetic Spectrum Deception Suite, or MEDS, that will seek to confound the enemy within the invisible yet highly dynamic maneuver space of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Despite the fact forces cannot see it, the spectrum is an extremely important space they must cautiously move through just as a unit would in formation through a valley. U.S. adversaries have proven their ability to locate units based solely on their signature in the electromagnetic spectrum, leading to entire concept and materiel changes for the Army to smaller units and command posts. Deception within the spectrum has become a high priority for the U.S. military.
MEDS is expected to both see the enemy and slow its decision cycle by overwhelming its forces within the spectrum, Steven Rehn, director of the Army’s cyber capability development and integration directorate, said during a Nov. 17 virtual presentation hosted by AFCEA.
According to Rehn, one purpose of MEDS is to replicate friendly emissions within the spectrum from the small unit level all the way up to a full corps command post, which could cause the enemy to waste time and resources figuring out if it is a real entity.
In addition to replicating friendly signals, MEDS could also create more “noise” within the spectrum to potentially slow down the enemy.
He added that the Army might field some of MEDS’ capabilities within the next several years. Some associated technologies participated in prototyping and experimentation activities, including Cyber Quest 20 in September — a prototyping assessment of capability needs — and there are plans to continue that in Cyber Quest 21. (Source: Defense News)
23 Nov 20. Cybersecurity: Rheinmetall solution wins Bundeswehr innovation prize. High-performance application for protecting IT data networks takes first prize. Rheinmetall’s work in the field of cybersecurity received a special accolade at the Innovation Conference 2020, an event staged by CODE, a research institute with close ties to the Bundeswehr. The Innovation Conference coincided with CODE’s annual meeting at the University of the Bundeswehr in Munich, which this year took place online.
Thanks to an innovative solution for protecting data networks, Rheinmetall vanquished a total of 37 competing contributions to take first prize. “Moving Target Defence in Micro-Segmented Zero-Trust Networks” was the title of the award-wining contribution prepared by the expert team of the Cybersecurity business unit of Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH in Bremen, Germany. Technically speaking, the winning contribution is based on the application “Rheinmetall Security Appliance”, or RhSA, which the company developed to protect highly sophisticated IT infrastructures from cyberattacks.
A central feature of the Rheinmetall Security Appliance is the “Moving Target Defence” function, which can significantly enhance the security of networks. In essence, Moving Target Defence replaces real IP addresses with virtual ones, thus preventing attackers from reconnoitring individual end points for their attacks, creating virtually insurmountable barriers to any attack.
This highly topical issue seized the attention of the jury, which comprised representatives of various Bundeswehr institutions (Centre for Geoinformation); the German Ministry of Defence (Cyber/Information Technology department); the research institute CODE; and the Koblenz-based Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support, or BAAINBw.
Following a careful review of all of the contributions submitted, Lieutenant General Michael Vetter, head of the Cyber/Information Technology department at the Federal Ministry of Defence, proclaimed the Rheinmetall team the winner of this year’s competition.
Though endowed with a jackpot of €15,000, the real prize was the chance to engage in in-depth discussions with experts from the Bundeswehr, for whom warding off cyberattacks is a top priority. In 2017 the Bundeswehr established an independent military organization to take on this mission, Cyber and Information Space. In the view of the German government, digital sovereignty, that is to say, “Security made in Germany”, is particularly important in this context.
As Matthias Lindenberg, head of the Cyber Solutions business unit at Rheinmetall, puts it, “The award obviously represents a huge success for our team, one that spurs us on to achieve bigger and better things. We’re very pleased that our innovative “Moving Target Defence” approach won the prize and caught the attention of the Bundeswehr experts. We’re convinced that we can be a powerful, reliable partner of the Bundeswehr in the realm of cyber defence, and especially the German military’s Cyber and Information Space Command. But we also offer attractive solutions to the civil sector for protecting highly complex networks.”
For Rheinmetall, a new strategic line of business: Cyber Defence
Rheinmetall has been addressing questions relating to IT security for a number of years now, and has since declared Cyber Defence a strategic area of activity. To enable systematic marketing of the Rheinmetall Security Appliance and the expansion of our cybersecurity portfolio, the Group recently established a new business unit: Rheinmetall Cyber Solutions GmbH of Bremen.
Developed in-house and based on so-called micro-segmentation, Rheinmetall Security Appliance (RhSA) is a market-ready solution for protecting complex LAN and WAN infrastructures of the kind operated by large corporations. During the past year, RhSA has already been successfully tested in a pilot operation by a well-known industrial group, which uses it to protect the networks at one of its largest production plants.
Besides RhSA, the Rheinmetall Cyber Solutions portfolio includes preparation of information security concepts for projects and products as well as development of solutions for practical implementation (e.g. cryptography and hardening measures), plus conducting vulnerability analyses and forensic IT investigations of cyberattacks.
The Group is eager to see Rheinmetall Cyber Solutions GmbH establish itself as an expert technology provider in the military and civil cybersecurity markets.
The CODE research institute
The CODE research institute (Cyber Defence) at the University of the Bundeswehr in Munich was established in 2013. Its mission is to bring together interdisciplinary experts from the sciences as well specialists from the military, business, industry, public authorities, and professional associations representing the fields of information and communications technology, the aim being to promote progress in the realm of cybersecurity.
Tasked with exploring new ways of encouraging the demand-oriented identification and introduction of IT innovations in the German Ministry of Defence’s area of responsibility, the annual Cyber and Information Technology Innovation Conference first took place in 2018. Research foundations, commercial enterprises, government authorities and private individuals can submit and present their innovative ideas here in the field of IT. The best of these earn a prize at the Innovation Conference.
23 Nov 20. Rohde & Schwarz SOVERON D successfully demonstrates radio communications interoperability. As part of an interoperability test, Rohde & Schwarz successfully demonstrated various operational use cases with SOVERON D for government customers. In an interoperability test in late September, Rohde & Schwarz demonstrated SOVERON D (formerly SVFuA) in an operational context to government customers, as part of ongoing contracts. The aim was to show operational suitability and ruggedness of the tactical radio system and associated IP based waveforms in a heterogeneous network architecture.
In the challenging terrain of the Bavarian Forest around the Rohde & Schwarz Teisnach plant, platoon and company networks, as well as special functions for higher command levels, were configured, interconnected, and presented in both stationary and mobile operation and functionally demonstrated with both voice and data. The focus was on the highly robust, jam-resistant narrowband waveforms required for high-intensity combat situations.
The interoperability test also confirmed that the multilevel security concept is now ready for deployment by connecting SATCOM devices and backward compatibility, i.e. connecting German armed forces’ (Bundeswehr) existing legacy radios into new networks. All these capabilities, needed by the Bundeswehr for their increasing digitization, are now available and have recently seen their initial production series delivery. Experts from the Rohde & Schwarz Teisnach plant and Munich successfully guided participants through the test scenarios.
“SOVERON meets the complex requirements of the German armed forces by ensuring command and control effectiveness at all operational levels, thereby contributing to information superiority,” explains Hartmut Jäschke, Executive Vice President of the Secure Communications Division at Rohde & Schwarz. “The interoperability tests, in presence of our government customer, enabled us to further strengthen trust in our communications solutions. I would like to thank the team for their outstanding work in preparing and carrying out the tests.”
Rohde & Schwarz SOVERON is the most innovative communications architecture on the market. The SOVERON tactical radio communications system consists of SOVERON D (formerly SVFuA), the SOVERON VR vehicular tactical radio and the SOVERON HR handheld tactical radio from Rohde & Schwarz. Together with SOVERON WAVE, this system enables military users to take an enormous step toward secure and reliable transmission of voice and data in near real time.
20 Nov 20. Defense Official Calls Cyber Resilience Critical to Protecting Systems, Continuing the Mission. While the U.S., allies and partners are working diligently to defend against malicious and destabilizing activities in cyberspace, those defenses may not be robust enough and adversaries are taking advantage of that, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy said on Thursday.
Speaking remotely to the Aviation Cyber Initiative Summit, Thomas C. Wingfield warned that the risk of a successful cyberattack is growing.
While the importance of the Defense Department’s cyber force is indisputable, it is not enough, Wingfield said.
Organizations need to move from a paradigm of cybersecurity, to one of cyber resilience.” Thomas C. Wingfield, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy.
“I have seen very clearly that the single most important component in protecting our shared security, liberty and prosperity are leaders who understand the promise and pitfalls of technology,” he said, adding that leaders also need to work with allies, interagency partners and industry to ensure cyber resilience.
“Organizations need to move from a paradigm of cybersecurity, to one of cyber resilience,” he said.
The two terms are complementary, but not synonymous, Wingfield said. He noted that the Commerce Department’s National Institute for Standards and Technology defines cyber resilience as the ability to anticipate, withstand, recover from and adapt to adverse conditions, stresses, attacks or compromises on systems that are used or enabled by cyber resources.
Cyber resilience is necessary for those systems to withstand an attack or to quickly recover from one while continuing to operate effectively to achieve an objective, he said.
“Cyber resilience is, therefore, about more than protection. It is about continuity of operations and mission assurance. Planning for the eventuality of a cyberattack and still fighting through it is to be cyber resilient,” he said.
To achieve a measure of cyber resilience, senior leadership must be involved. Personnel up and down the chain of command need to be trained and tested regularly, he said. While cybersecurity may largely be the concern of the information technology or cybersecurity staff, cyber resilience is the responsibility of an entire organization.
“This is not to say that working on greater cybersecurity is a fool’s errand. On the contrary, cyber resilience is built on top of cybersecurity. The most important part of both is having a strong cyber immune system in every network on every system,” he said.(Source: US DoD)
20 Nov 20. Images show PLAGF Mi-171 helo equipped with possible ECM pods. Chinese state-owned media have released images showing for the first time a People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) Mi-171-series multirole medium helicopter equipped with what appear to be electronic countermeasure (ECM) pods under its stub wings.
The PLA-sponsored China Military Online website released the images on 19 November, stating that they were taken during a “penetration flight training exercise” carried out eight days earlier that included other rotorcraft, including Z-10 attack helicopters.
While the location of the manoeuvres was not disclosed, the site revealed that the Mi-171 is assigned to an Army Aviation brigade under the PLA’s 73rd Group Army. The images show the Mi-171 hovering above the sea alongside a similar platform without stub wings.
The latest developments come after China Military Online reported on 18 November that an army aviation brigade under the PLA’s 71st Group Army recently used an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to help a helicopter conduct a beyond-visual-range (BVR) strike against a target at sea during a live-fire drill, adding that all intended targets were engaged, despite “the harsh conditions of dense fog”. (Source: Jane’s)
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.