Sponsored by Spectra Group
05 Feb 21. APV eyes defence, cyber expansion. The Victoria-based SME is set to leverage a $1.6m government grant to expand its independent testing and evaluation services. APV — a provider of safety critical products and services —has secured a $1.6m grant from the Department of Defence to fund the growth of its independent testing and evaluation services for defence industry.
According to APV, the expansion of its offering would involve upskilling the APV Test Centre in defence test and evaluation (T&E) and verification and validation (V&V) methodologies, along with the associated development of these service offerings.
This is expected to include the provision of high-end computer aided engineering (CAE), finite element analysis (FEA), simulation, scanning, and associated testing services to industry in support of R&D, product development and V&V services.
The project also aims to further enhance APV’s high speed high definition (HSHD) scientific photography, data acquisition and analysis services, APV’s anthropomorphic test devices (crash test dummies) for vertical blast and injury testing, and new mechanical testing capabilities supporting land combat vehicle testing.
“The project uniquely builds a capability to support other defence SMEs in high end engineering, simulation and the associated test and evaluation services required,” APV noted in a statement.
“These are highly specialised capabilities that will allow SMEs to obtain engineering support for product development and diagnosis that would not normally be available.”
APV is also expected to leverage the $1.6m grant for a cyber security project, aimed at obtaining US Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC).
“Cyber Security remains a fundamental necessity for industry and is one of APV’s strategic priorities,” the firm added.
“Following several years of investment to improve cyber maturity, APV is now pushing forward to secure Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) and CMMC accreditations.”
APV’s ultimate objective is to establish a centre of excellence to facilitate its push to be the “partner of choice” for advanced environmental, mechanical, photography, data acquisition and dynamic engineering and testing services to support Australia’s transport and defence industries.
“APV is proud to be part of the defence industry’s global supply chains for both safety critical products and services,” APV stated.
“The sovereign industry capability and cyber security program further underpins APV’s strategy to support the industry as an internationally recognised leader in survivability, safety, industrial testing and restraints.” (Source: Defence Connect)
03 Feb 21. Qatari research center chooses Leonardo for cyber range. A Qatari cyber research center has selected Leonardo to provide a cyber range and training system to support security operations, the Italian firm announced Feb. 3.
The Qatar Computing Research Institute, or QCRI, was established by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. The training platform ordered by the QCRI is capable of simulating cyberattacks so users can assess the resilience of digital infrastructure.
“The training is completely to be performed in Qatar, and it is expected, through an approach oriented to ‘train the trainers,’ to provide courses to a significant number of operators involved in the cybersecurity framework,” Tommaso Profeta, managing director of Leonardo’s Cyber Security Division, told Defense News.
He noted that training and exercise scenarios can be customized using a drag-and-drop graphical interface. The platform can also analyze and classify the results of simulated attacks based on data collected during real-world offensive campaigns. Scenarios can be used for individual training or classroom experiences, and they provide practice for security operations centers and incident response activities.
This training tool “will allow the QCRI to deliver a complete cyber training process, from the design of the learning path to specific training sessions. Users will be able to practice their skills in simulated attack and defense scenarios, employing both information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT). The training will produce qualified teams of operators equipped with up-to-date knowledge and techniques, ready to face ever-evolving cyber threats,” according to a company statement.
“The best cyber training/testing environments are in theory real production systems. But in practice for such environments, institutions, enterprises and organizations cannot easily experience critical situations without paying high, sometime unaffordable prices,” Profeta said. “Training and testing are therefore the two essential, human-driven processes that can effectively support the overall cyber ‘protection’ loop, but only if they can cope with real threats and highly realistic systems in highly realistic situations.”
Cyber ranges provide a controlled environment where cybersecurity experts can practice their technical and soft skills in emulated complex networks and infrastructures to learn how to respond to real-world cyberattacks. In these environments, cyber tools can be stressed to reveal their limits and vulnerabilities before deployment into cyberspace. Leonardo’s platform challenges such assets and provides digital twin environments for predeployment testing.
Asked whether other Gulf countries have expressed interest in this training system, Profeta said it “has already been presented to other high-level Middle East stakeholders, and a significant level of interest has been registered for the platform.”
Those using the cyber range will try to defend against simulated but realistic cyberattacks. According to Profeta, these include:
- Man-in-the-middle attacks.
- Exploitation of client and server vulnerabilities with lateral movements in search of sensitive data.
- Distributed denial-of-service attacks (HTTP flooding or domain name system reflection) designed to disrupt connections to a targeted server.
- Ransomware via multiple vectors, such as spear-phishing via email or drive-by downloads, relying on DNS-based covert channels.
- Data exfiltration of personally identifiable information and intellectual property.
Though it’s difficult to measure the potential effectiveness of this platform for Qatar, the company official predicted the system will reduce the cost of and improve the user experience in cyber training.
Leonardo also supplies the NATO Computer Incident Response Capability, a cyber defense product. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/C4ISR & Networks)
04 Feb 21. Leonardo’s New SRT-400 HF Radio To Equip E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Fleet. E-2D Advanced Hawkeye prime contractor Northrop Grumman has placed a contract with Leonardo to provide its SRT-400 high frequency (HF) radio system.
The radios will provide secure and stable voice and data communications.
Leonardo has been awarded a contract by Northrop Grumman to provide its new high frequency (HF)radio system, the SRT-400, for the U.S. Navy’s fleet of E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and control aircraft.
Leonardo has been involve din the design and manufacture of airborne HF systems for decades. Leonardo’s experience dates back to the 1970s, having sold thousands of its previous generation RT-170 (170W), RT-270 (200W) and RT-470 (400W) to customers around the world.
Leonardo’s extensive research and development activities in the high frequency airborne radio field has led to the design and production of the state-of-the-art HF Single Side Band systemSRT-400, which is suitable for fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
A patented Leonardo technology reduces TX power consumption by more than 40% compared to previous designs, reducing heat dissipation and greatly improving reliability. Both transceivers can be interfaced with multiple Antenna Tuning Units(ATU) matching all kinds of existing antennas(loop, wire or notch).
The SRT-400 and its low power variant, the SRT-200,combine high flexibility and simplified operations into a reduced size and weight package achieved through innovative electrical and mechanical design.
Variants of the E-2 Hawkeye have been in operation since the early 1960s. It provides ship or land based all-weather airborne early warning and command and control, detecting and tracking targets at extended range in deep water, littoral and over-land environments. (Source: News Now/https://www.navalnews.com/)
03 Feb 21. Companies validate successful operation of Polish High-Capacity Line-Of-Sight radio system using the IBCS network. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Polish firm Transbit Sp. z o.o. have completed a joint effort to integrate and test the Transbit R-460A Radio Relay High-Capacity Line-Of-Sight (HCLOS) radio communications system with the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS). The R-460A radio is the first non-U.S. radio communications system and the initial Polish system to be integrated with IBCS. Poland is the first international partner nation to acquire IBCS as the centerpiece of the country’s air and missile defense modernization efforts.
Transbit R-460A Radio Relay High-Capacity Line-Of-Sight (HCLOS) radiocommunications system
“This successful integration is a testament to a strong industry partnership and sets the stage for future efforts to integrate other Polish and indigenous systems and capabilities onto the IBCS network,” said Kenn Todorov, vice president and general manager, combat systems and mission readiness, Northrop Grumman. “We look forward to continuing to work with Polish industry supporting their indigenous capabilities in support of the Polish defense modernization program.”
Northrop Grumman and Transbit collaborated to develop a laboratory prototype configuration at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Huntsville for integration and testing. This prototype included representative IBCS hardware and software components as well as a radio communication system based on the Transbit R-460A Radio Relay product.
Last month, this collaborative engineering development initiative culminated in a successful demonstration of integration between IBCS and the Transbit R-460A for Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN) and network management functions. Northrop Grumman also conducted detailed network functionality and performance testing to evaluate the potential use of the R-460A in an IBCS based air and missile defense system.
“The successful integration with IBCS of RADION® system communications technology developed by Transbit Sp. z o.o. confirms the ability of the Polish industry to provide advanced technical solutions to be implemented in such modern and complicated systems as IBCS,” said Robert Tomasik, research and development director, Transbit Sp. z o. o. “We greatly look forward to applying the technology in the next stages of the Modernization Program for Missile and Air Defence Systems in Poland.”
The R-460A radio operates in the NATO Band IV frequency range providing point-to-point transmission of Internet Protocol (IP) based network information at data rates up to 400 Megabits per second (Mb/s) using Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology. The radio supports the use of switched beam antennas enabling operation in multipoint-multipoint mode, making it a perfect fit for providing digital tactical telecommunications networks such as those required for IFCN operation.
IBCS creates a paradigm shift for IAMD by replacing legacy stove-piped systems with a next-generation, net-centric approach to better address the changing battlefield. IBCS enables revolutionary “any sensor, best effector” operations that fuses information from multiple, disparate sensors to eliminate vectors of attack and create a single integrated air picture with unprecedented accuracy. IBCS’ dynamic and flexible open architecture is foundational to integrating current and future sensors and effectors to enable joint, coalition interoperability and multi-domain operations.
IBCS is managed by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
For over 30 years, Transbit Sp. z o.o. has been providing tactical digital communications and Information Communications Technology (ICT) solutions to the Polish Armed Forces. The company leverages a team of experienced and qualified engineers to develop advanced hardware products that implement Polish technical concepts, while simultaneously supporting the Polish Armed Forces on all stages of the product life cycle.
01 Feb 21. US Army seeking simultaneous transmit and receive tactical radios. The US Army is seeking industry proposals for the development of a new software-defined tactical radio capable of transmitting and receiving voice and data simultaneously in “congested, contested, and denied environments”, according to a service solicitation.
The broad agency announcement (BAA) issued by the service’s small business innovation research (SBIR) directorate on 27 January 2021 is designed to generate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions for the army’s Same Frequency Simultaneous Transmit and Receive (SF-STAR) software-defined radio (SDR). The radio systems, as envisioned, will be capable “of operating in the same frequency while transmitting and receiving voice and data from external sources, and capable of performing network operations in congested, contested, and denied environments”, the BAA stated.
The SF-STAR capability being sought by service leaders will not replace the army’s current inventory of SDR platforms with adjacent-channel suppression capabilities, but rather provide an SDR system alternative that can suppress “in-channel [and] external enemy interference while operating SF-STAR at the same time”, according to the BAA. The proposed SF-STAR-capable SDR system will also be effective in “suppressing friendly interference, whether co-located in the same platform, or in the general presence of other potential interfering sources while performing SF-STAR”, it added.
The 27 January BAA solicitation comes a month after officials at US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) issued their own industry solicitation, seeking support for the development of advanced software-defined radios, digital receivers, and antennas for secure data transmission during expeditionary operations. (Source: Jane’s)
02 Feb 21. COMSovereign Acquires 140,000 sq. ft. Manufacturing Facility to Ramp-up U.S.-Based 5G Radio Production. Intelligent Battery & Power Supplies, Drone Products to Commence Production in Late Q1; Next Generation 4G LTE Advanced and 5G Radios Scheduled to Begin in Q3 –
COMSovereign Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) (“COMSovereign” or the “Company”), a U.S.-based developer of 4G LTE Advanced and 5G Communication Systems and Solutions, has completed the previously announced purchase of a 140,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Tucson, Arizona.
The new production facility advances the Company’s “Made in the America” commitment, and is located on 12.7 acres in Tucson, Arizona. The Tucson facility will serve as the Company’s principal manufacturing site for the majority of its products including its new line of 4G LTE & 5G wireless radios and electronics products, along with intelligent battery and backup power supply systems, and its drone and aerostat platforms. The Company has begun making improvements and retrofits to the existing facility and installing production assembly lines required to commence initial manufacturing for its InduraPower and Drone Aviation business units later in the first quarter of 2021. Production of the Company’s 4G LTE Advanced and 5G radios and electronics products are anticipated to begin in the third quarter of 2021. DragonWave-X’s current generation of Harmony Enhanced and Multi-Channel (MC) model radios for mobile network backhaul infrastructure continues to be produced and is being ramped up by Benchmark Electronics, Inc. (NYSE: BHE) under an expanded production agreement announced in September.
Dan Hodges, Chairman and CEO of COMSovereign Holding Corp. said, “Supported by our recent capital raise, we are now able to complete the purchase of this critical U.S.-based production capacity, which we intend to quickly ramp up. Consolidated manufacturing under one roof provides many advantages including streamlining operational costs, increasing production scale, and accelerating time to market for all our business units, greatly benefiting our customers in commercial and government markets.”
For more information about COMSovereign, please visit www.COMSovereign.com and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. (Source: PR Newswire)
02 Feb 21. Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, securely and reliably transmitted high performance cloud- and artificial intelligence (AI)-based data in a variety of challenging tactical communication scenarios during the U.S. Army’s Cyber Quest 2020 exercise—a collaborative, live event where military, commercial and defense industry, worked alongside academia and government to examine how electronic warfare, cyber, networking and communications capabilities could aid global military forces.
“Cyber Quest provides a realistic, operational, ‘fail-safe’ environment that puts critical capabilities—enabled by the latest technologies—into the hands of soldiers for immediate feedback and assessment,” said Col. Brett Riddle, director of the Cyber Battle Lab. “It’s an incredible opportunity to bring leaders from across disciplines together to accelerate and optimize technological developments for battlespace advancement.”
During the event, Viasat showed its NetAgility Virtual and Mobile Software Defined Networking (SDN) bonding router delivering advanced multi-path networking transmission and management capabilities over a variety of tactical communication links in a number of U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) and Operational Virtual Health (OVH) situations. Tactical communication technologies leveraged included SATCOM, LTE and multiple Line of Sight tactical radios. Viasat’s technology supported Situational Awareness (SA) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) applications with optimized network video capture to:
- Enable a medic in theater wearing augmented reality glasses to send/receive medical input from a surgeon located at the Army base;
- Allow facial recognition and AI scans be sent to identify wounded soldiers by matching data stored in military personnel databases; and
- Provide a higher level of warfighter care during ‘golden hour’ situations, which is the precious first hour following a battlefield wound when proper medical attention and treatment is crucial to survival.
Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, Viasat commented, “The U.S. Army has interest in fielding advanced solutions like OVH, SA, transport-optimized ISR and a tactical medical cloud to help save warfighter lives in the thick of battle. These applications require increased network bandwidth and resiliency for both the distributed network (command post to medic) and the backhaul network (advanced medical support from continental U.S. military hospitals). At Cyber Quest 2020, we proved we could augment and enhance existing tactical military networks using SDN capabilities integrated into a multi-vendor environment—to provide ease of management, increased network capacity and real-time resilience—even if a network goes under attack.”
In multiple challenges during the Cyber Quest 2020 exercise, the Army explored how Viasat’s SDN platform could address the following U.S. Army Futures Command Network Cross-Functional Team interests:
- Capability Set 2023—specifically in the area of hardened network transport to provide increased data throughput, and
- Capability Set 2025—for the initial implementation of automated PACE (Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency) and recovery across multiple networks, including: Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS), commercial cellular and a Line of Sight (LOS) tactical Mobile Ad Hoc Network (MANET).
In each scenario, Viasat was able to demonstrate it could strengthen the transport backbone and ensure resilient communications could be maintained without disruption or disablement, thereby empowering field-based medics with the life-saving technologies they needed during warfare.
02 Feb 21. Pentagon No. 2 pick calls for metrics to judge AI progress. President Joe Biden’s deputy secretary of defense nominee would establish measurements to judge how the Pentagon adopts artificial intelligence as it seeks to modernize for future battles.
For her confirmation hearing Feb 2., Kathleen Hicks said the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center will drive the Pentagon’s artificial intelligence adoption in the next few years, according to her written responses to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s advance policy questions.
The JAIC, a 2-year-old organization dedicated to expanding use of artificial intelligence across Pentagon components, reports directly to the deputy secretary of defense under the latest federal defense policy law, a move that experts say signals understanding in Congress and at the department of the technology’s importance for the military.
“AI is an operational tool across a wide range of war fighting, support enterprises and business practices; it must have continued, visible support by defense senior leadership,” Hicks wrote. “If confirmed, I will assess the reporting arrangement to ensure it enables defense leadership to gain broad visibility and accountability for AI efforts across the department.”
Hicks plans to “ensure a regular schedule of interactions” with top JAIC leadership to “ensure AI transformation is considered holistically and driven at the department level, with the urgency and level of oversight demanded,” she said.
The JAIC has recently pivoted to what it calls JAIC 2.0 with a focus on assisting DoD components as they try to implement artificial intelligence to meet war-fighting needs. Lt. Gen. Michael Groen, director of the JAIC, said in November that he wants to reach out to service components and combatant commands to better understand their needs.
The JAIC will start to provide services early this year to components, such as assessing their readiness for artificial intelligence tools, Groen said. The organization is also working with the services on Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control.
“If confirmed, the JAIC will be my tool for guiding the transformation of the department through the integration of AI across DoD’s war-fighting, support and business enterprises,” Hicks wrote.
Artificial intelligence is one of several of the DoD’s modernization priorities as the department works to divest of its costly and inefficient legacy systems. Hicks said she would “work with the department’s civilian and military leadership and with Congress” to determine what divestment decisions need to be made. Maintaining legacy systems while investing in new ones will be a challenge for DoD leadership with budgets expected to be flat.
Top military leadership in the services seems to recognize that those tradeoffs will have to be made soon. In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., Air Force chief of staff, and Gen. David H. Berger, Marine Corps commandant, wrote that the military must reassess how it defines readiness and invests in technology to prepare for near-peer threats. Key components of the future fight, they wrote, are data and artificial intelligence.
“We recommend adding to readiness metrics new layers of analysis utilizing artificial intelligence to leverage the military’s data-rich environment,” the two four-star generals wrote. “Such a framework would enable military service chiefs to better prioritize investments in research, development and future force design initiatives, rather than spending the majority of their resources on making decades-old capabilities ready for employment.”
The department also needs to improve how it takes advantage of innovative technologies from nontraditional contractors. Asked what steps the DoD should take to improve its access to promising technologies outside the Pentagon, Hicks wrote that she wants to shift the department to an broader approach.
“I will seek to better connect and build on these disparate efforts to ensure an enterprise-wide shift toward innovation,” Hicks said.
She wants to build on the work of DoD innovation hubs, such as the Defense Innovation Unit and other service efforts. However, one criticism of these hubs is that few projects actually transition to programs of record.
“To improve emerging technologies’ prospects transitioning to the war fighter, the department should continually improve its systems engineering expertise, apply mission-based engineering analysis, and employ robust prototyping, experimentation and demonstration campaigns,” Hick wrote. “If confirmed, I will support these activities, ensure that we align emerging technologies with new concepts and key missions, and work to ensure that more technologies traverse the so-called ‘valley of death.’” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
01 Feb 21. GDIT Announces Availability of AWS Services on milCloud 2.0. DoD mission partners will have immediate access to a comprehensive and secure portfolio of cloud services via milCloud 2.0
General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), announced today the availability of Amazon Web Services (AWS) through the milCloud 2.0 contract, providing Department of Defense (DoD) mission partners access to an expanded portfolio of secure cloud services. Defense agencies now have another mechanism to quickly and easily move their workloads to AWS through a streamlined contracting process.
A fit-for-purpose, high-security commercial cloud, milCloud 2.0 offers ease of use and affordability for mission-critical applications and data. This solution now allows mission partners to take advantage of the latest technology and innovate more quickly with artificial intelligence, machine learning, cyber sensing and other emerging capabilities. milCloud 2.0 enables the DoD and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to accelerate cloud adoption, simplify acquisition, achieve cost savings and improve mission effectiveness through a single contract.
“We’re pleased to announce milCloud 2.0 capabilities are now expanded to also provide mission partners leading cloud services from AWS,” said Leigh Palmer, senior vice president of GDIT’s defense division. “This aligns precisely with the DoD Hybrid Cloud Strategy and actually simplifies acquisition and choice for the DoD and DISA mission partners.”
Users across the DoD enterprise can leverage the milCloud 2.0 contract for migrations, application modernization and new application development, and can now take advantage of cloud services from AWS in areas such as analytics, edge computing, end user computing and security. With streamlined onboarding via the existing milCloud 2.0 contract, DoD mission partners can swiftly acquire cloud services for a wide variety of workloads.
“Through this collaboration between AWS and GDIT, DoD customers can access leading cloud services from AWS in areas such as compute, storage, database, networking, analytics, machine learning, migration, security, and more,” said Dave Levy, vice president of U.S. Government, Nonprofit and Healthcare at AWS. “We look forward to continuing to support the department’s modernization efforts and the mission critical needs of our nation’s warfighters.” (Source: ASD Network)
21 Jan 21. CBRN SaaS project enters operational phase. EDA’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological Nuclear Surveillance as Service (CBRN SaaS) project entered its operational phase today when representatives of the 12 industry members of the consortium in charge of implementing it met for the first time, albeit only remotely due to the Covid pandemic. The aim of the Austrian-lead project, initially launched as a PESCO project but then handed over for the first phase to EDA for practical implementation, is to develop a rapidly deployable 24/7 chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear surveillance capability.
The main expected output of the EDA Cat B project will be a technical demonstrator of an operational plugin module built on unmanned ground and aerial systems equipped with a variety of sensors to deliver real time CBRN surveillance, detection and incident data to create a recognized CBRN picture for both civilian and military purposes. The new equipment will represent a major enhancement of participating Member States’ defence capabilities and potentially also benefit future CSDP missions and operations, as well as NATO and UN operations.
A project open to all EDA Member States
Besides Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia are also participating in this PESCO project. However, since CBRN SaaS has been established as an Agency ad hoc project in the meantime it is now also open to other EDA Member States countries.
After the project arrangement between EDA and the four participating Member States became effective on 12 December 2019, the project contract was signed on 19 November 2020 by EDA, on behalf of the contributing Member States, and the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), on behalf of the consortium. This was followed by an official kick-off meeting between EDA and AIT last December.
Technical demonstrator by spring 2023
In the meantime, the consortium leader (AIT) conducted extensive negotiations with the defence industries of the four contributing Member States to form the consortium. The particular challenge in uniting the different companies was to meet the demanding capability requirements set before. Now that the consortium is complete (see list below), the practical work to develop a technological demonstrator can start. Based on different work packages that have been defined and assigned to the various individual companies, the objective is now to have a fully functional technical demonstrator available by spring 2023. Afterwards, in the course of 2023, it will be tested in each of the contributing Member States under various realistic scenarios. The CBRN SaaS Cat. B project is scheduled to be fully completed by 1 December 2023.
The following companies are co-contractors in the CBRN SaaS industry consortium.
- AlT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH – Consortium Leader
- Rosenbauer International AG
- CNS-Solutions & Support GmbH
- Schiebel Elektronische Geräte GmbH
- MUSE Electronics GmbH
- DOK-ING d.o.o
- GAMMA Technical Corporation
- BHE Bonn Hungary Electronics Ltd.
- C-Astral d.o.o
- lOS Institute for Environmental Protection and Sensors d.o.o
- MIL SISTEMIKA d.o.o
- OneDrone d.o.o (Source: EDA)
28 Jan 21. US Army labs to host testing to connect joint war-fighting systems. The U.S. Army’s experimental labs will serve as the central laboratory for integrating the military services’ disparate joint war-fighting systems as the services seek to connect sensors and shooters for future wars.
With each service developing its own concept for the Pentagon’s joint war-fighting plan, known as Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control, the different branches will have to connect their systems and make sure they are able to communicate. The labs, run by the C5ISR Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground and toured by C4ISRNET, will provide space for the joint services to test how different platforms work together.
Top officials on the Joint Chiefs of Staff working on JADC2 gathered at APG with data leaders from all the services to make headway on developing common data standards so the disparate platforms can connect.
The APG labs will connect with other service labs across the country working on joint war-fighting concepts, which will be used to run experiments in virtualized environments once connected. All the connections with other laboratories to initiate work on joint mission threads should reach full operating capability this March, said Mike Monteleone, director of the C5ISR Center’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate, in an interview at central testing site.
“All this is happening at Aberdeen, which is going to federate across our entire country to touch all the different laboratories and essentially enable an environment that, through the interconnectivity, we can run the end-to-end joint mission threads and burn the risk out of doing it for real live,” he said.
Those connections are important as the Army looks to include other military services in Project Convergence 21, a demonstration of the Army’s contributions to joint war fighting. The 2020 Project Convergence largely focused on connecting different Army assets, but in 2021 the service wants to connect the Army’s system with other services. Army officers working on Project Convergence have said that the Air Force, Marines and Navy have committed to participating this year.
“The intent is to continuously burn down risk as much as we possibly can until it’s actually time to set up out there,” Monteleone said, adding that the lab will test the same network that will be used in the field. “As one thing evolves in the laboratory, the field network evolves with it.”
To accommodate joint partners, the C5ISR Center is setting up new infrastructure at APG to accommodate increased demand for integration testing. The current lab, used also for testing of new technologies for the Army’s integrated tactical network, is too small for the new needs. New infrastructure, including servers and long rows of computer screens will be set up in a warehouse-like space.
The new environment also satisfies a need for a shared lab environment called for by Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, who led Project Convergence and is the director of Army Futures Command’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team.
“We’ve had tremendous success … getting the technologies out of the component-level laboratories and getting them into the systems of systems environment and putting them through their paces where they have to interact, not only with the other systems at a variety of different levels, whether it’s at the data level, at the networking level, or even the operator level of how they would use it,” Monteleone said. “But it’s also exposing those technologies in that kind of system, the system environment to understand the capability they may deliver to our war fighters.”
Lab work between the Army and the Air Force, facilitated by C5ISR Center labs at APG, has successfully established a data-sharing connection in one joint use case.
“That lab environment is going to be persistent for us to be able to touch the different partners in a safe, risk-averse, friendly environment so we can fail,” said Portia Crowe, chief data officer of the Network Cross-Functional Team. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
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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.