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C2, TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS, AI, CYBER, EW, CLOUD COMPUTING AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

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03 Dec 20. The Pentagon plans to release details on an $11bn IT contract soon. The Pentagon’s $11.7bn network consolidation contract and a “crown jewel” of the defense department’s IT reform efforts is expected to be released next week after a two-month delay, a defense official told reporters Thursday.

The contract, called Defense Enclave Services, will move 22 Defense Department organizations, known as Fourth Estate agencies, from disparate networks to common IT systems under a single provider. Government leaders expected to release the final solicitation in late September. A draft request for proposals had been released earlier that month.

“We’re anticipating the final release next week,” said Don Means, Jr., national leadership command capabilities executive at the Defense Information Systems Agency.

The delay was due to an additional review by Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s top IT official, according to Danielle Metz, the DoD’s acting deputy CIO for information enterprise. She added that such a review was standard practice.

“What we really wanted to make sure was that, both from DISA and DoD CIO’s perspective, that all the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed,” Metz said. “This is an incredibly important endeavor that we are embarking on. It is one of the crown jewels that we have as part of our IT reform initiative under the [National Defense Strategy] and so we thought that a little bit more due diligence was important to make sure that we were doing what was right for the department.”

Fourth estate agencies are DoD agencies that don’t fall under a military department, such as the Missile Defense Agency or Defense Logistics Agency. The contract is expected to be an 10-year, indefinite delivery, indefinitely quantity contract. The final award is still expected to come in December 2021, as originally scheduled. The Defense Enclave Services contract is part of the Pentagon’s push to save money through the Fourth Estate Network Optimization effort, an IT reform push to consolidate common IT services across the department.

Across those offices, “you’ve got varying IT networks at varying levels of maturity, varying levels of security. With the goal being integration, this is the way to get after it,” Means said. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)

03 Dec 20. Estonia, U.S. Conduct Joint Defensive Cyber Operation. U.S. Cyber Command conducted a joint defensive cyber operation with the Estonian Defense Forces’ cyber command on EDF networks, Sept. 23-Nov. 6. The operation was designed to counter malicious cyber actors and strengthened the cyber defense capability of both nations’ critical assets.

“Combined operations with our closest allies like [the] U.S. are vital for ensuring [the] security of our services,” Mihkel Tikk, the deputy commander of EDF’s cyber command, said.

“These kind[s] of operations provide our operators an opportunity to exchange best practices as well as give us objective feedback on our current defense posture in [the] cyber domain. This operation is another successful milestone in our cooperation with U.S. partners,” he said.

U.S. cyber specialists, referred to as “Hunt Forward” teams, and Estonian cyber personnel from Defense Forces Cyber Command, hunted for malicious cyber actors on critical networks and platforms. The U.S. has partnered with various countries throughout Europe, but this defensive cyber operation marked the first of its kind between the U.S. and Estonia.

“Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, we safely deployed to Estonia and other European countries for several weeks to gain unique insight into our adversaries’ activities that may impact the U.S.,” Army Brig. Gen. Joe Hartman, the commander of the Cyber National Mission Force, said.

“Our teams proactively hunt, identify and mitigate adversary malware and indicators,” he said. “We then share that malware broadly, not just with the U.S. government but with private cybersecurity industry and allies, which directly increases the overall security of U.S. critical infrastructure and related networks.”

For the U.S., the Hunt Forward teams play a crucial role in Cybercom’s “persistent engagement,” an effort aimed at countering malicious cyber activity below the level of warfare. Cybercom personnel are specially trained to secure and defend government networks and platforms against adversaries. The U.S. military’s “defend forward” strategy leverages key partnerships to address malicious cyber activity that could be used against U.S. critical infrastructure.

“Estonia is a digital society, and we depend on cyber everywhere, as well as in defense,” Margus Matt, Estonia’s undersecretary of defense for cyber defense, said. “For us, it’s really important to be one of the first allies with whom the U.S. has initiated this kind of joint operation, which enabled us to obtain an independent assessment on our networks. As a leader in cyber, it also provided Estonia an opportunity to share best practices to better protect our networks.”

Both nations benefit from such partnerships as they provide opportunities to improve cyber defense by assessing potential threats while contributing to global cybersecurity. Disclosing malware enables greater protections for users both in public and private sectors around the world.

“Cyber is a team sport — when it comes to halting threats from cyberspace, no one can go it alone,” Thomas Wingfield, deputy assistant defense secretary for cyber policy, said. “Our strategy hinges on collaborating with our allies and partners with the private sector and academia and with state and local governments to ensure cyberspace remains a safe, secure and open engine of innovation and prosperity.”

U.S. Cyber Command, in cooperation with U.S. European Command and NATO allies, continuously works to deter malicious cyber activity in the region.

The two countries have ongoing cooperation at various levels within Cybercom, U.S. European Command, the Maryland National Guard and the Sixteenth Air Force — U.S. Air Forces Cyber. (Source: US DoD)

03 Dec 20. NGA Deputy Discusses Technology in Government at Cyber Summit. Technology innovation is about people and making sure the best are hired, the deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency said today in a discussion on “Driving Technology in Government” at the virtual 2020 Aspen Cyber Summit.

Dr. Stacey Dixon said the internship program at NGA, a prime example, has developed is a way to get a lot of innovative thinking and new skill sets. The agency is not only able to bring in a more diverse part of its workforce by focusing on a university, it’s getting students excited about NGA. “We find that once you give [interns] very meaningful projects to work on, they will come back year after year, and, then, our conversion rate to full-time employment is hovering at about the 70% mark with the interns,” she noted.

Dixon said such a program is a good way for students to try out the government to see if it’s something that might interest them. And as for people coming in from the outside, she says not to assume their ideas are the best ideas.

“Yes, government tends to be more bureaucratic in many ways than industry,” she said. “However, once you figure out how things work, you can bring your new ideas, and you will find that there are a lot of innovative people and capabilities inside [government]. And it’s a matter of merging the two: bringing your experiences from the outside in, and then figuring out how to interact and collaborate within the government to get your ideas to move forward.”

COVID-19 and teleworking put NGA in a place where the agency needed to figure out how to operate in a world in which most employees were out of the building very quickly and needed to get a lot of meaningful work done, she said.

NGA gave employees a challenge to see what they could find out in terms of publicly- and commercially-available data that can contribute to their mission, she said.

“We’ve been astounded at the types of products and analysis we’ve been able to do that has either been standalone products or products that we could bring in and enhance with classified information,” Dixon said.

NGA is allowing people to know their innovation, productivity and ability to learn something new is welcome, she said. “That’s the kind of environment we want. We want people who are willing to go learn new things and figure out how to make them work within the mission that we’ve given them.”

Dixon said she wants the American people to have more trust in government, in general.

“In the intelligence community, we have a lot of secrets, but we really go out of our way to be transparent, to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” she said.

“We’re really jeopardizing our future, so I want faith in our government… and an understanding [that] I want to keep this country safe. I want to keep this country prosperous. And I want to make sure that our values are values that we can define and determine, so anything that the public can do to help, that is what I’m asking.” (Source: US DoD)

03 Dec 20. Electromagnetic spectrum management tool coming next year. Officials expect a tool to jointly manage the electromagnetic spectrum to kick off next year, helping commands strengthen battle plans to track and stop threats over the waves.

Leaders have discussed the program, called Electromagnetic Battle Management, or EMBM, for some time, and it will now get started in fiscal year 2021. The electromagnetic spectrum has gained importance in recent years, with adversaries becoming more proficient in exploiting it to jam communications and geolocate units based solely on their electromagnetic signatures. As such, the Department of Defense has realized it needs to take a more holistic approach than just electronic warfare — the manipulation of signals — to planning and managing forces and systems within the spectrum.

The tool will support groups of specialists, called joint electromagnetic spectrum operations cells, created at some combatant commands to better understand how to operate in the electromagnetic spectrum, said Alan Rosner, an official with the Defense Spectrum Organization at the Defense Information Systems Agency.

“These folks need tools to be able to respond to what goes on in the electromagnetic environment,” he said in recorded remarks for AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber conference the week of Nov. 30. “We commonly refer to this [as] command and control of the EMS and having the tools necessary to gain superiority inside of that environment.”

The specialist cells exist at Central Command, European Command, Africa Command and Indo-Pacific Command, with INDO-PACOM and EUCOM being the most advanced.

Currently, these cells don’t have the spectrum management tools they need to provide adequate advice to commanders on courses of action and battle plans.

“They need tools to be able to operate,” Brig. Gen. Darrin Leleux, deputy director of the Pentagon’s electromagnetic spectrum operations cross-functional team, said in a webcast with C4ISRNET Nov. 12. “The electromagnetic battle management tools will provide those tools to the joint EMSO cells to assess, sense, provide a common operating picture on what’s going on in the electromagnetic spectrum, to geolocate EMS actors within the space, to determine where and how EMI — electromagnetic interference — might be taking place and offer alternatives to the commanders on how to counter and mitigate those threats.”

The EMBM tool is slated to be the primary electromagnetic spectrum solution to the Pentagon’s forthcoming Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept, which aims to collect a raft of data from sensors and systems, and then deliver the information to war fighters in austere locations at the tip of the spear to make decisions at the increasingly rapid speed of war. (The “C” for combined was recently added to denote participation and cooperation with foreign partners.)

Rosner said that upon appropriation, the EMBM program will operate under the Pentagon’s new adaptive acquisition framework to help speed services’ adoption of tailored, innovative business practices.

The agency released a request for information for the program and is analyzing the responses, intending to release a request for proposals over the winter, he added. EMBM is slated to run for five years.

In the run up to the program, the Defense Spectrum Organization has been supporting several efforts to prepare for and set the conditions for the new start next year, Rosner said.

These include conducting an evaluation of alternatives that led to the new program, improving situational awareness of the electromagnetic spectrum, improving decision support, and leading the development of the Joint Spectrum Data Repository, a clearinghouse of information.

The Defense Spectrum Organization participated in a joint technology demonstration for something called EMS View that helped drill down risk for EMBM. It has also worked with the Army on its Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool, which is being considered the front-runner for the eventual EMBM solution. The Army’s tool is a software suite that allows commanders and operators to visualize and plan operations within the electromagnetic spectrum. (Source: Defense News)

03 Dec 20. Defence launches new cyber security campaign. A new ACSC-led campaign has been launched to ensure Australians strengthen their defences against domestic and foreign cyber attacks. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has launched a new campaign that aims to provide Australian families, business and organisations with the tools to protect themselves against cyber attacks.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the new campaign, which will initially run on social media and digital platforms, would help reduce the nation’s vulnerability to “relentless” cyber criminals, looking to exploit Australians financially, or rob them of their data.

“Australians are reporting more than one cyber crime every 10 minutes, making it more important than ever that we all remain alert to the threat of cyber crime,” Minister Reynolds said.

This new campaign forms part of the Morrison government’s $1.67bn investment in the Cyber Security Strategy 2020, which Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said is essential to defending Australia’s national interests.

“The strategy ensures our agencies have the powers and capabilities they need to identify and disrupt threats to the safety of Australians – particularly children, the most vulnerable members of our community,” Minister Dutton said.

“The strategy commits $124.9m to strengthen law enforcement’s counter cyber crime capabilities, including an investment of $89.9 m to equip the Australian Federal Police with an extra 100 cyber detectives who will identify and target cyber criminals.”

He continued: “Even with these measures in place, all Australians need to know how to safeguard themselves against cyber security threats.

“The strategy includes a range of measures to encourage safe and secure online behaviours.”

Head of the ACSC, Abigail Bradshaw, CSC, said that as part of this latest campaign, Australians would be offered “continuous and practical” cyber security advice, beginning with tools to protect them from ransomware.

“Ransomware is a type of malware that locks up your files until a ransom is paid,” she said.

“Criminals can steal a copy of files to coerce you to pay the ransom by threatening to publicly leak or sell your data.

“New technologies in our pockets, homes and offices are bringing huge benefits, but as soon as these devices connect to the internet, they become vulnerable to compromise.”

The campaign also aims to encourage more Australians to report cyber incidents through the ACSC’s ReportCyber tool.

“By reporting cyber crime, you are helping the ACSC build a collective threat picture that ultimately helps keep Australians more secure,” Minister Reynolds added.

Response to COVID-19 attacks

The government has been actively working to thwart cyber attacks over the past year through an operation led by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), in response to the spike in COVID-19 related malicious activities.

“This operation has protected hundreds of Australians and thousands more foreigners from organised and sophisticated foreign cybercriminals,” Minister Reynolds said.

“These cyber criminals have been targeting Australians through COVID-19 themed SMS phishing campaigns that are designed to trick Australians into downloading advanced criminal malware onto their mobile phones.

“ASD is using its offensive cyber capabilities to attack the cyber criminals’ tools – disrupting their operations and interrupting their ability to exploit Australians.”

The minister added, “In doing so, ASD has successfully disrupted the business model of key foreign cyber crime syndicates targeting Australians and exposing potential victims to significant financial losses.”

The operation has been supported by intelligence reporting from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, with ASD acting after identifying the business model adopted by the sophisticated criminal syndicates.

The AFP has also contributed by cooperating partners in the intelligence and law enforcement community.

Minister Dutton commented, “The threat and impact of foreign cybercriminals has been amplified through malware developers selling or renting out their products through the dark web, making high-end hacking tools more accessible to criminals lacking in technical sophistication.

“We can’t sit by while a marketplace exists for sophisticated cyber crime tools to be used against Australians.” (Source: Defence Connect)

02 Dec 20. Raytheon wins pair of Air Force and Navy IT contracts. Raytheon’s intelligence and space business announced Wednesday it was awarded a five-year basic ordering agreement for software services by LevelUP, a U.S. Air Force software factory.

The award to the defense giant comes after the company announced a $70m contract for submarine communications sustainment with the Navy. A Raytheon spokesperson was unable to provide a contract value for the Air Force deal.

According to Raytheon, the basic ordering agreement will be the “primary avenue” for the Air Force’s Platform One system, which serves as the service’s primary platform for software development. The deal also impacts the development of the Advanced Battle Management System, the Air Force’s platform to enable the Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept.

“To combat increasingly fast, capable and agile threats, we must be able to deliver services within hours, or even minutes,” said David Appel, vice president of defense and civil solutions for space and C2 systems with Raytheon Intelligence and Space. “This agreement provides an avenue for the Air Force to achieve that. We’re now positioned to rapidly deliver agile cyber solutions to the Air Force and the Department of Defense.”

The Air Force decided to create the LevelUP factory after its work developing U.S. Cyber Command’s Unified Platform, the combatant command’s first major weapons system. The Air Force wanted the factory to help other components with similar software projects.

Submarine communications

Meanwhile, below sea level, Raytheon was awarded a $70 m contract to provide sustainment services to Navy submarines, the defense giant announced Dec. 1.

Under the five-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract, Raytheon will provide test, inspection, evaluation and restoration services of Submarine High-Data Rate, or SubHDR, mast components.

SubHDR connects submarines to the Defense Department’s Global Broadcast Service, a network that allows for one-way communication of data and video files. The SubHDR systems relies on a special mast antenna that connects the subs to networks above the sea. The Global Broadcast Service relies on the Milstar satellite constellation and Defense Satellite Communication System.

According to a Raytheon news release, SubHDR “vastly improves a submarine’s mission capability and the quality of life for submariners by affording them high-data rate communications with the world outside of the sub.”

“The SubHDR system was created to support protected high-data rate communications for submarines,” said Denis Donohue, vice president for communications and airspace modernization systems for Raytheon Intelligence and Space. “SubHDR mast is a protected, secure and survivable system to support all communications needs, from day-to-day messaging to ensuring the commander-in-chief can stay connected with his commanders.” Naval Undersea Warfare Center awarded the contract. (Source: Defense News)

02 Dec 20. French ESM Extravaganza. The French Navy may need up to $100m of electronic warfare equipment to equip maritime surveillance and patrol aircraft over the coming decade. Sharing its name with Fleetwood Mac’s only number one hit in the British charts, the French Navy plans to procure seven new Albatross maritime surveillance jets derived from the Dassault’s Falcon-2000LXS series business jet. The Marine Nationale (French Navy) currently flies five Falcon-20/200 and eight Falcon-50M maritime surveillance aircraft.

The Falcon-2000LXS is expected to replace both types. Media reports note that the quantity of aircraft ordered by the French Navy could eventually rise to twelve. The Falcon-200s are expected to be retired in 2025 with the Falcon-50Ms following four years later.

ESM

The new aircraft will carry the Thales Searchmaster X-band (8.5GHz to 10.68GHz) airborne surveillance radar and Safran Euroflir optronics turret. Curiously, no mention appears to have been made regarding whether the aircraft will be outfitted with an Electronic Support Measure (ESM).

The addition of an Automatic Identification System (AIS) interrogator would allow the aircraft to detect emissions from AIS transponders. AIS is mandated by the International Maritime Organisation for all vessels displacing over 300 gross tonnes. AIS transmissions use frequencies of 161.975 megahertz/MHz to 162.025MHz providing details of a vessel’s identity and voyage.

An ESM would enable the aircraft to gather a more detailed maritime picture by providing additional vessel identity or type details based on the characteristics of those vessels’ radar transmissions. An ESM detecting Very/Ultra High Frequency communications signals across wavebands of 30MHz to three gigahertz would also allow traffic to be located and potentially identified using vessel communications transmissions.

This is a particularly important capability regarding the aircraft’s search and rescue remit. For example, people traffickers operating in the Mediterranean are known to use Satellite Communications (SATCOM), chiefly satellite phones using commercial SATCOM constellations. Using an ESM to monitor networks like Thuraya (1.525GHz to 1.661GHz) which sources have told Armada is routinely used by people smugglers can often provide the first indication that a vessel carrying refugees maybe in distress.

Market Value

Whether the Albatrosses will have an ESM is currently unknown. Armada inquiries to Dassault were directed to the French Navy. Assuming the aircraft will accommodate this apparatus, acquisitions of an ESM to equip each of the aircraft could be worth at least $15.4 m should ESMs be fitted across the initial fleet of seven aircraft. This could increase to $26.4 m if the anticipated order of twelve aircraft goes ahead.

Further down the road, electronic warfare suppliers could benefit from additional ESM orders via the Franco-German Future Maritime Patrol Aircraft (FPMA) initiative. This platform will replace the existing Breguet/Dassault ATL-2 Atlantique maritime patrol aircraft in Marine Nationale service of which the navy operates 22.

Assuming the navy procures a fleet of circa 15 FPMAs to replace the ATL-2 fleet, a procurement of $33m worth of ESM equipment could follow to furnish these aircraft thus. This could be on top of almost $50m being spent on Integrated Self-Protection Systems (ISDSs) to equip these planes.

It is doubtful whether the Albatrosses would also be equipped with an ISDS. They are unlikely to be deployed in heavily contested airspace and instead support homeland security and low intensity operations, as do their predecessors. Either way, EW suppliers could be looking at equipment requirements worth between $98.4m to $109.4m over the coming decade. (Source: Armada)

02 Dec 20. Supporting EW Actors. The US Army’s EW Tactical Vehicles were primarily developed for research and development work. They may also eventually be transferred to other units currently lacking electronic warfare capabilities.

The US Army is overhauling the electronic warfare assets supporting its Brigade Combat Teams. What new systems is it receiving, and when might these enter service?

The Brigade Combat Team (BCT) is the US Army’s standard deployable manoeuvre unit. The army uses infantry and armoured BCTs, and Stryker BCTs, the latter built around General Dynamics’ M-1126 Stryker series of eight-wheel drive armoured fighting vehicl

Each BCT has a Military Intelligence (MI) company. This is where the brigade’s Electronic Warfare (EW) assets reside. How the BCTs are deployed on the battlefield “depends on the threat and mission they are executing,” Colonel Kevin Finch, the US Army’s project manager for EW and cyber in the force’s intelligence, EW and sensors programme executive office told Armada: “The commander can push these forward or hold them back as the mission dictates.”

The army is overhauling the BCT’s EW assets. New platforms and capabilities will not only enhance how the BCT manoeuvres in the electromagnetic spectrum, but also underpin the convergence of EW and cyber effects.

Systems

Four major capabilities are being rolled out across the BCTs; the Terrestrial Layered System Brigade Combat Teal (TLS-BCT), Multi-Function EW – Air Large (MFEW-AL), the Tactical Cyber Equipment (TCE) and the Electronic Warfare Planning and Management (EWPMT).

The TLS and MFEW-AL will collect Communications and Electronic Intelligence (COMINT/ELINT). Unlike the MFEW-AL, the TLS will perform cyber and electronic attacks. The TCE is a mounted/dismounted capability for cyber warfare and the EWPMT/Raven Claw performs cyber and electronic warfare battle management and damage assessment.

TLS-BCT

The TLS-BCT replaces two BCT EW capabilities; the existing Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS) based on an M-1126 Stryker platform and the TEW-Light (TEW-L) housed onboard General Dynamics Flyer-72 four-wheel drive vehicles. TLS-BCT also replaces the General Dynamics AN/MLQ-44A Prophet Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) gathering vehicle.

Col. Finch says that the AN/MLQ-44A will leave the active duty BCTs but will not be put out to pasture. Instead they will be “cascaded down” to the US National Guard. Likewise, TEWS/TEW-L units will be moved out of the BCTs but into other National Guard or Reserve BCT formations which may currently lack organic EW.

The TEWS and TEW-L are quick reaction capabilities replacing the Sabre Fury electronic attack system. The Sabre Fury is based on SRC’s AN/VLQ-12(V)4/5 Counter Radio-Controlled EW system. Sabre Fury was intended to quickly provide the US Army with a mobile SIGINT/electronic attack capability for forward-deployed army units like the 2nd Cavalry Regiment based in Vilseck, southwest Germany. The system also equips the US Army’s Electronic Warfare Tactical Vehicle (EWTV), itself a modified version of the International M-1224 MaxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected platform. The EWTVs were primarily developed for training and electronic warfare research and development.

While the TEWS can perform electronic support gathering signals across an estimated waveband of 30 megahertz/MHz to six gigahertz/GHz alongside electronic attack, the TEW-L is configured solely for electronic support. The TEWS/TEWS-L ensemble are both highly mobile and designed to be employed near the Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA).

There, EW practitioners can use the intelligence to plan cyber, electronic or kinetic attacks against targets such as hostile communications nodes or radars. Meanwhile, the TEWS can perform a similar task at the tactical/operational level. Col. Finch says that the software running the TEWS/TEW-L is an earlier version which will run the TLS-BCT.

This should ease the transition of the TLS into BCT service and enable interoperability between BCTs using the legacy TEWS/TEW-L and those that have received the TLS-BCT.

Deployment

Col. Finch says that TEWS typically equips the Stryker and armoured BCTs with the TEW-L furnishing the infantry BCTs.

The forthcoming TLS-BCT will follow a similar pattern, he says. Stryker BCTs will receive the TLS-BCT equipment mounted on a M-1133 Medical Evacuation variant of the Stryker double-V hull design. The M-1133 has the requisite electrical systems to power the TLS-BCT architecture. Armoured BCTs will receive the TLS-BCT mounted on the BAE Systems Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV). The AMPV is replacing the FMC/BAE Systems M-113 armoured personnel carriers in US Army service. The first production AMPVs began rolling off the production line in September. Infantry BCTs will receive the TLS-BCT on another platform which has yet to be decided, Col. Finch continues.

The US Army is also to receive a TLS variant for deployment at the operational level known as the TLS-EAB (Echelon Above Brigade). The TLS-EAB may be housed on two Oshkosh FMTV tactical vehicles: One will have a SIGINT and jamming payload. This will most likely to detect and locate hostile radio and radar emissions on frequencies of three megahertz to 18GHz and above. The jamming element will probably perform conventional and discrete jamming against these threats, and deliver cyberattacks into hostile Command and Control (C2) systems.

The second Oshkosh FMTV is expected to carry an electronic protection system to help safeguard friendly communications, C2 networks, platforms and sensors against hostile EW and cyberattack. This will be done via jamming and cyberattack, although this vehicle will not have any SIGINT capability.

Like its counterparts, the TLS-EAB will be linked to the EWPMT using cables, conventional radio and satellite communications.

MFEW

BCT SIGINT collection will be assisted by the MFEW-AL. This is a pod-based signals intelligence system expected to cover a 30MHz to 40GHz waveband and will equip the force’s General Atomics MQ-1C Grey Eagle Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Given the service ceiling of the MQ-1C, it should be capable of collecting SIGINT at the theatre level, typically across ranges of over 200 nautical miles/nm (370 kilometres/km). In addition to collecting COMINT on hostile communications, the MFEW-AL will collect ELINT on hostile emitters like weapons locating and ground surveillance radars. Col. Finch is looking forward to fielding the MFEW-AL: “We have never had this capability in the force before.”

The MFEW-AL will enter service over the next two years. It could be augmented in the future by the MFEW Air Small (MFEW-AS). This is destined to equip US Army Class-3 UAVs. The US Department of Defence classifies these aircraft as having a maximum ceiling of 18,000 feet (5,486 metres) and a maximum take-off weight of under 1,320 pounds (600 kilograms). Potential platforms for the MFEW-AS include the army’s AAI RQ-7B Shadow tactical UAV and its successor.

In contrast to the operational/tactical SIGINT collected by the MFEW-AL, the MFEW-AS could be more applicable to the tactical level, providing electronic support at ranges of under 150nm (278km). In March, the US Army stated that the MFEW-AS could enter service in circa 2030.

A third airborne SIGINT capacity to equip US Army helicopters, dubbed the MFEW-Air Rotary, has been mooted. This is expected to enhance rotorcraft self-protection but may have a secondary role collecting operational/tactical level SIGINT. A tentative fielding date of 2026 has been mooted for the MFEW-Air Rotary, although few additional details have been published.

Backpack EW Systems

Dismounted troops use VROD (Versatile Radio Observation and Direction) and VMAX (VROD Modular Adaptive Transmit) backpack EW systems. VROD collects COMINT while VMAX performs limited electronic attack on wavebands of 300MHz to three gigahertz. The army is thought to deploy 200 VMAXs and 100 VRODs.

These are to be enhanced with L3Harris’ Tactical Cyber Equipment. TCE will be used to perform cyberattacks at the tactical level complementing the TLS’ employment of cyber effects at the tactical/operational levels. Usefully, the TCE can be deployed in situations where it may be unsuitable or impractical to deploy larger EW integrated assets or the MFEW-AL.

Timetable

The TCE could start delivery in 2021. TLS vehicles equipping the BCTs may enter US Army service from 2022, followed by the TLS-EAB from 2024. The MFEW-AL could reach the BCTs from 2025, followed by the MFEW-Air Rotary in 2026 and the MFEW-AS in circa 2030.

All these capabilities represent a streamlining of the disparate EW capabilities in BCT service today with state-of-the-art platforms fusing cyber warfare with traditional EW tasks. Deploying these at the operational and tactical levels with the BCTs will ensure that electromagnetic manoeuvre can be fused closely with conventional manoeuvre from the forward edge of the battle upwards. (Source: Armada)

26 Nov 20. US Army is looking for updates to its electronic warfare planning tool. In a new request for information, the Army is looking for additional capability for its EWPMT system. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division) The Army is looking for potentially more vendors and capabilities for its Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool.

EWMPT, which provides for mission planning and management within the electromagnetic spectrum, has been developed thus far by Raytheon and has taken advantage of what it calls software capability drops to add incremental capabilities. The system is also thought to be the front runner for the joint force to manage the electromagnetic spectrum.

A new request for information published Nov. 24 is looking to add to what’s been already been developed. The notice states that the software for the program is entering sustainment and the request is to continue development of capability drop 4.

The request lists six specific needs:

  • Electronic warfare mission planning, which will provide data to identify particular signals.
  • Electronic warfare effectiveness, which will identify friendly vulnerabilities in areas of operations exploited by enemy actions, provide damage assessments of electromagnetic attacks to determine if desired effects were achieved and display current and post mission analysis for battle damage assessment purposes.
  • Reprogramming of electronic warfare assets such as the forthcoming Multi-Function Electronic Warfare (MFEW) system the Army’s first organic brigade electronic attack asset mounted on an MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone – the Army’s first organic brigade electronic attack asset mounted on an MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone – and the Terrestrial Layer System (TLS) – the Army’s first integrated electronic warfare, signals intelligence and cyber platform. This function would allow the capability to remotely control these and other assets over the network.
  • Provide electronic warfare alert to warn of impending threats or attacks.
  • Support the targeting process from electronic warfare assets such as MFEW and TLS.
  • Provide electromagnetic spectrum management information for the ability to assess a unit’s emission of electromagnetic, acoustic or other emitters to optimize friendly operations and capabilities while minimizing detection by enemy sensors and friendly interference. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)

30 Nov 20. Artificial intelligence and the future of command & control. Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the key technologies that will reshape the nature of contemporary warfare and key force multiplier capabilities. First and foremost of these is command and control (C2) capabilities and technology, which will benefit immensely from the introduction of AI technology, providing Australia with a potentially game changing strategic edge, explains Paul Maddison, director of the UNSW Defence Research Institute.

Recently I was invited to speak at an Australian event focused on technologies that are shaping the future of military C2. I began by admitting that I am neither a computer scientist nor an engineer. I was, however, a naval operator, and spent over 30 years immersed in applying new technologies aimed at increasing the probabilities of mission success at sea and ashore.

I began my talk by stating that the strategic imperative for armed forces will always be to fight and win the nation’s wars. For Australia, looking forward to mid-century, this will mean focusing on the Indo-Pacific, and preparing for a range of threats, most significantly those posed by the Chinese Communist Party and its armed service the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

To buttress against the sustained rise of the PLA towards peer status with western democratic militaries, Australia will need to protect the contribution that the Australian Defence Force makes to the west’s competitive advantage or overmatch of the PLA. Australia will need to do this in concert with like-minded allies such as the Five Eyes partners, core NATO members, and key regional allies such as Japan.

Essentially, this is the basis for the Australian government’s current defence policy articulated earlier this year in the Defence Strategy Update 2020, the Force Structure Plan, and the “More, Together” Defence Science and Technology Strategy 2030.

There is consensus among senior leaders on what needs to be done to generate and sustain a future joint, interagency, expeditionary, distributed and multi-domain coalition-interoperable force that is able to sense and act from seabed to space, within cyber, cognitive and social domains, across the spectrum of operations, and from disaster response to general war.

The ADF will need to be able to manoeuvre in all domains in a way that is smarter and faster than any adversary, particularly the PLA.

To command armed forces effectively and confidently has always been a challenge, and it will get harder. It is a significant challenge to command well under relatively benign conditions, such as during a Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, on humanitarian and disaster relief operations, or in relatively uncontested theatres such as the first Gulf War in 1991 or East Timor in 1999.

It will be something altogether different to succeed in a fiercely contested environment where the adversary is disrupting military activities at every opportunity, aiming to put the ADF onto the back foot; employing everything from disinformation campaigns undermining public confidence, to denial of the electro-magnetic spectrum as well as using autonomous sensors and weapons to deliver lethal effects at an overwhelming pace.

If we are to believe the open source literature coming out of China, that is exactly what the PLA is striving to achieve. Through the concept of civil-military fusion, the harnessing of all instruments of national power for military purposes, the PLA is looking to accelerate disruptive applications of emerging technologies to grow its capabilities and improve its chances of success across the spectrum of operations.

These technologies include quantum computing, hypersonics, directed energy, multi-domain sensing, augmented human performance, trusted autonomous systems, human-AI teaming, swarm operations, and offensive space and cyber operations, to name a few.

The ethical, moral, legal or even philosophical questions with which experts are grappling around human-machine cognition, and what that might mean in terms of rules of engagement, authorised levels of force, and the accountability of human commanders is just as important. We must assume a future where adversaries will choose not to allow their lethality in operations to be constrained.

Instead, they will view any checks and balances imposed upon the ADF as a weakness to be ruthlessly exploited. War is, after all, a violent activity to compel an adversary.

What will the future battlespace look like? As the Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, remarked in 2019, “if the ADF is going to a fight in 2025 it will do so with the force structure that is already in the field, in the air, and at sea today”.

What about in 2030? In a perfect defence procurement world, it will look like the force laid out earlier this year in the Force Structure Plan, enabled by the $270bn the government has committed for new capabilities over the next 10 years, including a significant investment in defence research.

It follows that the ADF in 2030 will be enabled by improved sensors, greater lethality, trusted autonomy, and robust command and control. It will, however, still be a human in the loop paradigm.

What if we cast our view out further to mid-century? What will the Indo-Pacific operating environment look like in 2050?

If China’s intended strategic trajectory to the symbolically significant centennial of the People’s Republic in 2049 holds true, and the PLA has fielded disruptive competitive advantage capabilities, then it is safe to say that the joint operating environment will have significantly changed.

Contrary to the belief that Moore’s Law will decline, technological evidence today suggests that computing power will have increased perhaps a thousand times by 2035, and much more by mid-century. Even small, low-power wireless devices will likely have terabyte communications capabilities. Every sensor, every node, every dismounted soldier system across the network will share situational awareness AI, and deep learning combat and analysis support systems will be re-writing their own knowledge, learning, and adapting their own behaviours in real time based on their digital sense-making experiences.

The pace of operations will require a human-AI symbiosis that is imagined today as science fiction. The strategic leadership will need to have achieved a degree of human-machine trust that allows AIs to fight the battle when operational pace requires it. Commanders at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of war will need to be comfortable making the switch to “auto”, or in other words, to stepping out of the loop as humans and trusting the algorithms to get it done.

I recently heard this described as a “benevolent AI dictatorship” approach to C2. It is an apt metaphor.

As a former commander, I still find the idea of AI decision making very uncomfortable, kind of like driverless cars; perhaps those born today, who could find themselves in a fight 20 years from now, will be instinctively comfortable with their AI relationships.

Still, the idea of getting into a shooting war, where the machines are “weapons free” and the commanders are anxiously waiting for the next point when campaign time slows enough to allow a revised human assessment, and to reveal new decision options, is an idea I wrestle with.

That discomfort will increase the higher up the chain of command one goes, to the future equivalents of HQ Joint Operations Command and the whole-of-government National Security Committee chaired by the Prime Minister. A staggeringly high degree of trust will be required to allow machines or algorithms, again from seabed to space, to act autonomously with potentially grave implications, not least of which could be massive losses of life.

Perhaps I have got this all wrong. Maybe the answer will not be found by viewing the problem in sequential or binary human-AI terms where the human in the loop achieves maximum cognitive decision capacity in a mission, and then hand-balls over to the AI as it accelerates into the fight at warp speed. Instead, the answer may be found in a true human-machine symbiosis, where the humans and AIs tasked in command and control are trained together to work in harmony to co-ordinate their actions. In this way the ADF could achieve, and sustain, decision superiority by means of human-machine partnerships.

But what would that look like? I am not sure, but it would certainly have to account for the strengths and limitations of both the humans and the machines to optimise the assignment and sharing of tasks in the decision cycle. The Commander might retain key tasks that require expert judgement, for instance in resolving strategic policy ambiguity, while the AI could manage multi-domain sensor data collection, analysis, and weapons release.

Still, a lingering question for me remains. Will this path lead to a highly robust, distributed command and control capability? Or will we have descended into a non-understandable and uncontrollable chaos, a digital fog of war at the speed of light? If so, what can we do to avoid it?

The key I think is in making digital twin technology a cornerstone for research, experimentation, and learning around how to implement new command and control constructs across a rapidly evolving operating environment.

This environment will be challenging and will include seabed arrays, autonomous underwater distributed sensor systems that challenge the stealth of submarines, autonomous airborne sensor and weapons systems, long-range sensing and strike systems delivering destructive effects at Mach 10, sensors that detect incoming multi-axis hypersonic and directed energy threats, automatic threat prioritisation, target assignment and counter-measure launches; achieving all of this within a detect-to-engage sequence that is far beyond unaugmented human cognitive capacity.

Overhead edge-AI GPS-independent hardened satellite constellations will be providing sensing, targeting and assured communications support in a contested space commons, including in-orbit disruptive effects to degrade our space-based C2, matched by an ability for self-healing and autonomous re-tasking across the constellation.

Communications networks will be reconfiguring in response to enemy AI-driven attacks across the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum, and instantly launching anti-denial defences aimed at negating an adversary’s additional freedom of EM manoeuvre.

Adversary AI will be conducting deceptive communications, using digital decoys to disrupt our ability to build and sustain an accurate, joint multi-domain appreciation of ground truth across the battlespace. We will need superior and secure algorithms to instantly recognise and dismiss ghost targets and deception activities, to derive intelligence from our own AI support systems and initiate counter-deception actions.

The degree to which computer science will continue to disrupt the operating environment is eye-watering; however, we must be wary of only viewing C2 through a technological lens. C2 is fundamentally a human activity, and notwithstanding the rate at which the enabling technologies are evolving, it will remain people focused.

A new type of person will be required; one who is trained to partner with AI, understand AI, and who knows how to augment their own decision making with software supported analysis and action. There is a need to re-assess the desired core competencies of future military leaders, at all ranks and across all occupations, to ensure that their professional military education prepares them to be effective at partnering with AI to achieve mission success.

A sound foundation in data analytics, data visualisation, cyber security engineering, autonomy, machine learning, swarm tactics, and human-AI teaming will be essential if the ADF is to be successful at developing and implementing game-changing new approaches to agile C2.

Yet, it is human creativity and the ability to innovate that will remain a military leader’s strongest asset. No matter how powerful the human-machine symbiotic relationship becomes, the application of armed force will remain at its core a human activity.

These are complex and vital truths. All in the Australian defence ecosystem will need to work urgently, as a team. This team is the ADF, the Department of Defence, defence industry, academia where I have the privilege to serve, publicly funded research agencies, and international partners. It is in all of our national interests to do so.(Source: Defence Connect)

27 Nov 20. Glasgow AI experts receive UK Government funding. Two of Glasgow’s leading scientists will develop cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology thanks to a £20m UK Government cash boost. The Scottish projects, at the University of Glasgow and University of Strathclyde, are among fifteen innovative projects receiving the new Turing AI fellowships as part of the UK government’s ambition to establish the UK as a world leader in AI and support researchers to scale up their innovations.

Dr Antonio Hurtado, University of Strathclyde, received £1.16m. He aims to meet the growing demand across the UK economy to process large volumes of data fast and efficiently, while minimising the energy required to do so.

His AI technology will use laser light, similar to those used in supermarket checkouts, to perform complex tasks at ultrafast speed – from weather forecasting to processing images for medical diagnostics.

Being able to perform these tasks at lightning speed, with minimal energy consumption, could help to transform industries such as energy, healthcare and finance, improving efficiency, while helping the UK to meet its net zero ambitions by 2050.

Dr Hurtado said, “AI systems are key tools to make sense of huge volumes of data but consume very high levels of energy and increasingly contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions. Operating in a similar way to the biological neurons that process information in the brain, the new photonic devices will be able to process data at high speeds while reducing energy consumption, helping the UK to meet its net zero carbon ambitions by 2050. The new technology’s potential capability to perform complex computational tasks at ultrafast speed could see it used across a range of sectors – from meteorology forecasting to processing images at very fast rates for medical diagnostics.”

Dr Jeff Dalton, University of Glasgow, received £1.59m. He aims to revolutionize voice-based personal assistants, moving beyond the simple tasks and limited conversations performed by current assistants, such as Alexa and Siri.

His team studies how assistants can learn to collaborate with people to accomplish longer, more complex tasks like researching the causes of climate change or cooking a perfect Christmas dinner.

Dr Dalton’s team will be developing novel deep learning-based methods capable of supporting long-running, more natural conversations. It will enable more explainable machine reasoning, simplified assistant development, and interactive agents capable of learning to ask questions and offer feedback.

Dr Dalton believes there is significant potential for the impact of the research to enable businesses, agencies, and individuals to solve complex tasks using conversational assistants more effectively and efficiently.

Dr Dalton said, “Being awarded the Turing AI Acceleration Fellowship is an incredible honour. We are very excited by the opportunity to accelerate progress on the next generation of virtual assistants that will transform our economy and society. This award is key in building a world-leading research group in Scotland with state-of-the-art deep-learning hardware for conversational AI that will enable us to perform large-scale experiments on real-world datasets to maximize impact. Our goal is to democratize the emerging ‘voice web’ by enabling non-experts to rapidly develop assistants using open-source technology. Our research will support the creation of a new generation of open assistants applicable to diverse sectors. The fellowship will accelerate our research using large-scale machine learning models to create the next generation of assistants capable of deeper language understanding and more transparent reasoning.”

The Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships will give fifteen of the UK’s top AI researchers the resources to work with academia and industry to drive forward their ground-breaking research and technologies and bring their innovations to the real world, from speeding up medical diagnosis to increasing workplace productivity.

As a result of the government investment, fellows will work with academia and industry to help elevate their world class research and transfer their innovations from the lab to the real world. These innovations have the potential to change how people live, work and communicate, helping to place the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution.

Science Minister, Amanda Solloway, said, “The UK is the birthplace of artificial intelligence and we therefore have a duty to equip the next generation of Alan Turings, like Professor Antonio Hurtado and Dr Jeff Dalton in Scotland, with the tools that will keep the UK at the forefront of this remarkable technological innovation. Scotland has a rich history of innovating and the inspiring projects we are backing today – from AI that can process data at lightning speed to virtual assistants performing complicated information tasks- will help to transform the way we live and work, while cementing the UK’s status as a world leader in AI and data.”

Digital Minister, Caroline Dinenage, said, “The UK is a nation of innovators and this government investment will help our talented academics use cutting-edge technology to improve people’s daily lives – from delivering better disease diagnosis to managing our energy needs.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart, said, “Backed by UK Government funding, these trailblazing scientists are pushing the boundaries of AI. The UK Government is investing hundreds of millions of pounds in Scottish universities and there is much more in the pipeline. This week, the Chancellor committed £14.6bn in funding for R&D in the Spending Review, which means investment in Scotland’s world-leading universities will continue to grow.”

This funding is very well deserved.

The Fellowships forms part of a major government investment in AI skills and research, including sixteen Centres for Doctoral Training in AI and conversion courses to train the next generation of AI experts, announced by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson in October 2019.

Named after British AI pioneer Alan Turing, the £20m fellowship scheme will be delivered by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute and Office for Artificial intelligence.

It follows the publication of the government’s ambitious R&D Roadmap in June this year, which committed to investing in ground breaking research and supporting the UK’s risk takers to scale up their innovations. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)

30 Nov 20. Joint All-Domain Command, Control Framework Belongs to Warfighters. The Joint All-Domain Command and Control framework is not just the bailiwick of communications personnel – it is warfighting business, said Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Dennis A. Crall.

Crall is the Joint Staff’s director of command, control, communications and computers – commonly called the J-6. He is also the chief information officer for the Joint Staff.

He emphasizes that the Joint All-Domain Command and Control framework– the JADC2 – belongs to warfighters. “This is warfighting business. It’s not J-6 business. It’s not CIO’s business. It belongs with the warfighter,” the general said during an interview about what is DoD’s strategic approach to fighting the wars of the future.

The framework is DOD’s effort to amalgamate sensors with shooters across all domains, commands and services. It sounds like simply a communications effort that will take decades to happen. Crall insists it will not. “This is about fires, and speedy engagement,” he said. “If you think of it in those terms, we need to set aside for a minute what we own and what we do and look at where the department needs to be. We can then look at where we need to be based on time.”

The services each have a system looking to tie sensors to shooters. The JADC2 will gather all sensor information and connect all warfighters. A threat could be sensed by an Air Force unmanned aerial vehicle but the best weapon against it could be a Navy missile fired from offshore.

A call for fire from an infantry battalion could be answered by tube artillery, rocket artillery, naval gunfire, close-air support from any service or something else.

Some of this is already happening, and Crall sees the program growing and evolving. “There are things we can do immediately,” he said. “We might onboard some of these things, because they’re available. You fight with what you have, not with what you want. But eventually, you will fight with what you want. So, the idea of looking at short, medium, and long range is very critical. We can’t take our eye off the horizon of what we need.”

Crall wants to ensure that requirements for the JADC2 framework are stated very clearly. “We will drive the JADC2 strategy to the need, and then examine what we have, and find out which pieces fit well and which pieces don’t,” he said.

Like every other aspect of the department, JADC2 must contribute to the national defense strategy’s lines of effort. “Does it increase lethality,” Crall asked. “The answer should be yes. [JADC2] makes us more lethal. We’re a warfighting organization. That’s what this is designed to do.”

Spotlight: National Defense Strategy

The framework will strengthen partnerships, another line of effort in the JADC2 strategy, which is currently in the works and being drafted by Crall’s staff. Allies and other mission partners are being brought to the program now and not as “a bolt on” after the framework is fielded. He noted that it is very unlikely the United States would do anything without allies and partners, and they will have their own sensors and systems that need to be accommodated. Bringing in the Five-Eye allies early in the “build” of JADC2, just makes sense, he said.

“We’re never going to fight alone, we’re going to fight with partners,” he said. “So [JADC2] has got to mean the same thing to them as it does to us.”

The third line of effort is reform and the JADC2 framework is all about changing the paradigm. “It’s not a good thing to have everyone run off and develop something on their own. You end up with this idea that if it doesn’t work well, at least it’s expensive,” he said. “We have to spend the money wisely.”

The JADC2 strategy consists of lines of effort and milestones. The lines of effort have objectives and tasks and there is a plan of attack. “We have to make sure that we are working together rather than potentially at cross purposes,” he said.

He said the services are working together. The service systems are “not quite integrated” but they all show promise as Crall’s folks try to determine what it “looks like for the department.”

Different people look at JADC2 from different perspectives. Some see descriptions of it and only concentrate on the adjectives, he said. Speed, resilient, persistent are just some and they form the “commandments” officials would compare these actions against.

Other people look at JADC2 and just see the verbs: Sense and act. “There’s a lot of sensors on the battlefield,” Crall said.

The growing Internet of Things has produced information that exceeds the ability to process it casually. “It comes at us in torrents, and every month, it seems we have a new sensor and a new feed,” the general said. “And all this will wind up on the cutting room floor, if we don’t automate and speed this up.”

The military has no problem acting, he said. “We can make decisions at speed if that information is refined,” he said. This will require some level of artificial intelligence.

Finally, to others who read the requirements they will only see the nouns. “What radio, what antenna?” Crall said. “What’s the next thing you can touch and buy?”

All of these parts of speech need to be reconciled. All are important. All contribute to the framework. All have to be in sync for JADC2to work.

“In my experience, most things that are labeled interoperable, don’t work together,” Crall said. “It’s an interface. [The system] is working, but it’s not native.”

Making systems interoperable is not easy, it is not cheap and most systems resist change, Crall said. “When you change one end, you’ve got to change a long laundry list of things to make them work together. We’ve got to get out of that business.”

Crall’s office, in concert with the DOD chief information officer, is bringing this together by working the different parts but using the same approach.

Looking to the future of JADC2, there are exercises and demonstrations, such as Bold Quest, that display capability right now. “If you view this as a puzzle, there are aspects to this capability we can employ today,” the general said. “We don’t have to wait for five years.” (Source: US DoD)

26 Nov 20. NATO cyber exercise breaks new ground. NATO’s ‘Cyber Coalition 2020’ (CC20) exercise to defend the allies against cyber attacks, which took place on 16–20 November, embraced a number of firsts for the annual event. These included a wholly new scenario tailored to modern cyber operations, optional storylines based on protecting either military or civil critical infrastructure, and extensive testing and use of deceptive methods to deflect cyber opponents and gather metrics on their tactics. For the first time, CC20 was also conducted wholly in a virtual format due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In some ways this was an improvement, by shifting everything to continuous workshops and meetings,” said Rear Admiral René Tas, assistant chief of staff for capabilities at Allied Command Transformation (ACT), Norfolk, Virginia, which led the exercise. Tas and others tele-briefed reporters on 20 November at the close of the five-day exercise, which involved 1,000 participants from the allies and partner countries, various NATO commands and entities, the EU Military Staff, and the EU’s civil Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).

According to Tas, “As a result of travel restrictions, there was a wider participation by officials and subject-matter experts, though it’s always better to exercise side-by-side of course.” One of the key players was Estonia’s NATO-affiliated Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), which had a central role in defining CC20’s scenario, described by NATO as “realistic, with storylines introducing modern cyberspace effects”. The Czech Republic, Portugal, and the United States worked with the CCDCOE to produce the new scenario. (Source: Jane’s)

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