Sponsored by Spectra Group
19 Aug 21. Leonardo DRS Link-22 Signal Processing Controller Successfully Completes NILE Block Cycle 9 Interoperability Testing. Leonardo DRS announced today it has successfully completed formal interoperability testing of its Link-22 Signal Processing Controller (SPC) within the NATO Improved Link Eleven (NILE) Link-22 Network. Compliance with this standard allows Leonardo DRS to provide world-class production of the technology and full interoperability with all NATO and allied partners supporting operations and exercises in the INDOPACOM theater.
Leonardo DRS worked closely with the NILE team to successfully complete all cycles and posture for future advancements. The success illustrates that Leonardo DRS SPCs are compliant with Link-22 Block Cycle 9 specifications for current and emerging mission requirements for users around the world.
Link-22 tactical datalinks are used by the U.S. military and other allied military forces to increase joint and coalition communications in the surface, sub-surface, land, and air domains by providing unprecedented situational awareness across the battle space. It is the primary means to exchange data, including radar tracking information beyond line of sight.
“Leonardo DRS is very proud to provide a fully-compliant Link-22 solution to our allies around the world,” said Larry Ezell, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Leonardo DRS Airborne and Intelligence Systems business. “These systems are positioned for current and emerging mission requirements and the signal processor controllers ensure U.S. and allied forces have the best long-haul communications and situational awareness possible.”
With over 40 years of tactical datalink experience, 1,100 Link-22-capable SPCs and more than 3,000 Link-11 Data Terminal Sets delivered, deployed, and on order, military services around the globe depend on Leonardo DRS for beyond-line-of-sight communications guaranteeing interoperability across domains, platforms, and nations. The Company continues to invest in Link-22 technology, giving users high performance for today’s battlefield while offering capability and growth for future mission sets.
Leonardo DRS’ Link-22 SPC solution is well-positioned for current missions and is primed to accept additional missions due to its abundance of spare memory and additional processing power. Utilizing next generation hardware and software architecture, coupled with software-defined radio and software-defined modem technologies, the company is able to offer enhanced capabilities while retaining the look, feel, and operational reliability to which the world’s operators have grown accustomed. As the trusted supplier of tactical datalink solutions, Leonardo DRS has established itself to deliver leading edge technology to meet customers’ requirements and to support their products for decades after delivery.
Leonardo DRS’ commonality across hardware and software ensures interoperability between nations during times of long range secured SATCOM, as well as HF/UHF encrypted communications during time of SATCOM-denied operations. With additional, advanced HF waveforms, this solution can expand upon the capabilities inherently found in Link-22.
To see more of the Leonardo DRS Link-11/Link-22 technology, visit: http://www.leonardodrs.com/link
18 Aug 21. US Army wants a high-altitude jammer. The U.S. Army wants to develop a high-altitude intelligence, cyber and electronic warfare sensor that can fly above enemy territory to provide data and potentially jamming or disruption capability.
The system, dubbed High-Altitude Extended-Range Long Endurance Intelligence Observation System, or HELEIOS, is part of the Multidomain Sensing System family, a series of high-altitude systems that will help the Army cover the vast distances over which it expects to operate in future conflicts.
HELIOS will be an attritable sensor mounted to a solar glide vehicle or a balloon, designed to operate at 60,000 feet or above, Col. Daniel Holland, Army capability manager for electronic warfare, said during an Aug. 17 presentation at TechNet Augusta.
Concepts and technologies the Army is looking for include coherent, distributed, electromagnetic attack; multiple low-power transmitters; and effectors on different balloons or gliders that are coordinated in time in phase to deliver additive jam to signal on a single target, Holland said.
“The idea is blanketing the deep area with low-cost attritable sensors to enable deep sensing and deep effects,” he explained. “Essentially our question is can we get the payload light enough to fly on this penetrating, high-altitude, attributable platform, get close enough to place our effects on target, likely with a special purpose electronic attack or RF-enabled cyber.”
The Army wants to begin experimenting with the system during upcoming Project Convergence exercises and at a technology demonstrator in the Indo-Pacific in fiscal 2022.
To start, the service wants to mount the sensor on a balloon right over a target and move on from there, recognizing that as the platform moves and the sensor gets farther away, that will present size, weight and power issues. (Source: Defense News)
18 Aug 21. New Zealand’s Anzac-class frigates to receive communication upgrades. The upgrade will enable the two frigates handle the increasing volume of data generated by modern communications systems.
The Government of New Zealand has announced that work is underway to upgrade the communication systems of its two Anzac-class frigates HMNZS Te Kaha and Te Mana.
This comes after the cabinet approved the $14.63m (NZ$21.2m) design of a new frigate communications system. The solution will include a updated control system, modern radios, data and voice communication systems.
New Zealand Minister of Defence Peeni Henare said: “The advances in communications technologies since the frigates were built in the mid-90s have been huge, so this is a great opportunity to future proof their communications systems.
“This communications upgrade will ensure the naval combat force can keep pace with changes in technology, and continue to carry out the broad range of tasks requested of it by the government.”
The upgrade works will enable the two frigates handle the increasing volume of data generated by modern communications systems as well as operate with other coalition partners.
Minister Henare added: “The frigate systems upgrade undertaken in Canada has seen the operational life of the frigates extended out to the mid-2030s, with enhanced combat capabilities, surveillance and counter measures.
“This upgrade will ensure our personnel have the equipment and capability they rely on to deliver what the people of New Zealand need.”
HMNZS Te Kaha and Te Mana are the main fighting ships of Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). The vessels can be used in a variety of missions including combat, search and rescue, humanitarian and disaster relief operations.
The upgrade project will be delivered in phases with new capability expected to be available from 2024.
In June, RNZN placed an order with Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) for four REMUS 300 uncrewed underwater vehicles (UUVs).
17 Aug 21. Proof of concept demonstration integrates high-speed connectivity system with L3Harris high-speed processing capability. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has validated the open architecture nature of its advanced gateway system offering by successfully integrating and demonstrating a new High Capacity Backbone (HCB) capability provided by L3Harris Technologies with one of Northrop Grumman’s platform agnostic gateway systems. By combining existing gateway translations across existing data links and AI enhanced networking, Northrop Grumman was able to rapidly integrate and demonstrate a new capability in a live over-the-air test, which was set up in less than a week.
The introduction of next-generation HCB gateway capabilities will enable data flow 300 times faster than the speeds previously available to take advantage of processing speeds needed to help unlock the advanced network architecture needed for the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) effort.
“With this successful demonstration, we have taken HCB-enabled gateways from concept to reality in less than one year,” said Ian Reynolds, director, network solutions, Northrop Grumman. “Our platform agnostic, HCB-enabled gateway systems are designed to deliver the enhanced connectivity and secure processing speeds needed to introduce a wide range of new capabilities that will be critical for maintaining a technological advantage in network-centric, all-domain environments.”
This trial featured an L3Harris HCB system using AESA apertures supporting 600 Mbps and showcased our teams ability to move quickly to integrate new gateway capabilities from industry partners and deliver the Open Mission System and Open Communications System (OMS-OCS) capabilities needed for the JADC2 network using industry standard hardware (3U VPX).
Northrop Grumman’s family of open architecture gateways are designed to gather data from the HCB network and quickly share actionable information across air, land, sea and space domains. These gateways include a multi-level security system and advanced functions such as cloud computing, machine learning, secure and ethical artificial intelligence, next generation datalinks and the use of third-party software and sensor solutions. By gathering information from multiple platforms using beyond line-of-sight, line-of-sight voice and data networks—including 5th generation networks—Northrop Grumman’s HCB-enabled gateway systems will significantly enhance the situational awareness picture for warfighters operating in JADC2 environments.
“As the premier provider of high capacity directional CDL networks, L3Harris looks forward to supporting the DoD’s JADC2 efforts with future HCB team demonstrations,” said Ron Fehlen, VP & GM, U.S. Air Force programs, L3Harris. “Our resilient communications, airborne fielded datalinks, and high bandwidth allows a High Capacity Backbone to move massive data rapidly across networks and create path diversity over the tactical edge to keep warfighters connected.”
Northrop Grumman’s advanced networking technologies, including its HCB gateway systems, help warfighters and branches of the military easily communicate and securely share a Common Operational Picture to create actionable information across air, land, sea and space.
L3Harris is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately $18bn in annual revenue and 48,000 employees, with customers in more than 100 countries.
18 Aug 21. ECS’s first UAV and DO-160 certified RF data link to be unveiled at DSEI. British RF technology company, Enterprise Control. Systems (ECS) today announces the launch of Tove RF data link. Tove is a small, lightweight, low-power, high-performance RF data link and will be unveiled for the first time at DSEI, stand H2-956, between 14-17 September 2021, Excel London.
Designed to take advantage of the growing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) market, Tove is the first of ECS’s family of low-profile lightweight form factor data downlinks certified to DO-160 (RTCA). It packs in comparable functionality to ECS’s popular Evenlode data link but delivered in a lightweight form factor with significantly reduced size, weight and power (SwaP), making it the ideal UAV payload.
When integrated into an unmanned system such as a drone, Tove can cost-effectively carry out Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions in air, sea or on land, in some cases, requiring extreme ranges of up to 100 kilometres. It benefits from Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology that ECS is renowned for. This enables the maintenance of a robust long-range connection with rapid re-gain of the link. It also allows for seamless integration with existing ECS ground receiver infrastructure.
The device can be provided with a proprietary encryption and encryption management system that provides a sovereign capability to a nation’s security forces, ensuring the complete protection of the data.
Jackson White, Business Development Director at ECS, comments, “Tove has been developed in response to the opportunities presented by the evolving UAV, UGV and USV markets. These platforms present significant cost, time and capability benefits compared to deploying high value fixed and rotary wing platforms to carry out the same task. ECS is bringing its breadth of RF data link expertise into this emerging sector. Tove is the first step in our strategic roadmap of RF data link capabilities for miniature environments.”
The onboard high definition, low latency video encoder provides superior compression, reduces channel bandwidth, increases spectral efficiency, and offers best in class range. GPS and telemetry data is also added to the Tove transport stream to provide positional information to the
fixed or mobile receive stations. New and legacy third party sensors can be connected via its HD SDI, CVBS, USB and Ethernet inputs, extending the platform’s capabilities without hindering its task. Data collected by digital or analogue sensors – such as video, audio, radar, or platform
management information – is securely transmitted to the ground control centre. Tove is compatible with all ECS viewing terminals and ground receive infrastructure.
16 Aug 21. Helping the military shrink its cyber attack surface. The defence sector is full of legacy systems vulnerable to cyber attack. Do you have the technology to reduce defence exposure to cyber effects?
The defence sector is diverse and continually growing, with a large integrated network of legacy cyber technologies. This presents a substantial and diverse surface area for cyber enabled attack to disrupt military operations.
Being able to accelerate next generation hardware and software technologies to phase out the cyber vulnerabilities within current computer networks is vital in order to reduce defence exposure to cyber attack.
So, the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is pleased to launch a new Innovation Focus Area (IFA) called Reducing the Cyber Attack Surface, which aims to develop technologies that reduce the opportunity for cyber attacks on Ministry of Defence (MOD) systems and platforms.
This IFA is being run on behalf of Defence Science and Technology laboratory (DSTL) and Defence Science and Technology (DST) and seeks proposals that enable greater confidence and a level of assurance in military systems against cyber-enabled attack.
Can you help? Read the competition document now and submit your idea.
How much funding is available?
DASA expects to fund proposals within Technical Readiness Level 4 – 7 (TRLs) up to £300k for a 9 month contract. Proposed technologies should demonstrate by providing a roadmap describing how they would achieve a technical demonstrator by end of Financial Year 2023 if further funding was made available.
Cycle 1 of the Reducing the Cyber Attack Surface IFA is open now, and it will close on 20 October 2021 at midday BST. Cycle 2 will run from 20 October 2021 to 05 January 2022.
A new generation of cyber resistant hardware and software
The MOD is interested in identifying and accelerating next generation hardware and software technologies to reduce the vulnerabilities within current and future computer networks and systems, focusing particularly on operational technologies.
We are looking for technologies that:
- intelligently apply technologies that significantly reduce the opportunity for cyber attack
- effectively raise the barrier to entry for adversaries and providing greater confidence and a level of assurance against cyber-enabled attack
- are novel and applicable across a whole “class” of attack surface rather than solutions tailored to a specific threat
Read the full competition document for more on what technologies we are looking for
DASA is seeking proposals that are applicable across a whole “class” of attack.
We are not seeking solutions that:
- offer demonstrations of off-the-shelf products requiring no experimental development (unless applied in a novel way to the challenge)
- offer no real prospect of integration into defence and security capabilities
- offer no real prospect of out-competing existing technological solutions
Submit a proposal!
The closing date for proposals of this IFA is 20 October 2021 at midday BST. A second cycle will run from 20 October 2021 to 05 January 2022. Click here for the full scope in the competition document and submit a proposal.
See DASA’s other cyber security IFA
You might also be interested in another cyber security IFA we are running called Autonomous Cyber Defence for Military Systems. This IFA seeks proposals that will develop autonomous cyber defence agents to protect military networks and systems. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
16 Aug 21. Australia issues RFP for Personal ECM. The Australian Army and the Defence Innovation Hub have issued a request for Proposals (RFP) that will help Defence explore next-generation Personal Electronic Countermeasures (Personal ECM) systems. In the current rapidly evolving threat environment, improving size, weight and power (SWAP) factors have brought Personal ECM to the edge of technical feasibility. Therefore, Defence is seeking innovative solutions for a next-generation Personal ECM system to provide protection to individual ADF personnel.
The objective of this RFP is to down-select a number of Respondents who can deliver a prototype system for the Australian Army within 18 months after contract commencement. Respondents may need to satisfy security requirements to review and hold information classified up to SECRET. This material has limited release to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
This challenge will leverage innovative technology to provide a Personal ECM system able to protect individual ADF personnel against an evolving Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (RCIED) threat. The future Personal ECM system must be able to inhibit multiple RCIED triggers, be modular and sufficiently agile to meet changes in those triggers, and be configurable to reliably operate in various environments.
Next Generation Personal ECM systems must also be able to counter emerging and future vulnerabilities and threats, whilst minimising impact on an individual’s mobility. They must also be interoperable with other radio frequency (RF) and electrical systems, and able to log operational data to support exploitation.
Respondents are encouraged to collaborate with subject matter experts in ECM.
Defence has listed a number of key design goals:
- ADF individuals need minimal impact to their tactical mobility. This means that a total weight of 1-2kg is considered ideal
- RCIED threats are constantly evolving. Solutions need to consider how the system will undergo software and hardware upgrades over its life of type.
- ADF individuals will perform a variety of tasks whilst under the protection of Personal ECM. The solutions offered need to consider the ease of use of the system by an operator, including the ability to quickly identify that the system is operational and the ability to rapidly load different RCIED defeat protocols/waveforms.
Defence would prefer proposals based on products that are reasonably technologically mature, i.e. at TRL 4 (component and/or breadboard laboratory validated) to TRL 6 (system adequacy validated in a simulated environment). Proposals at lower levels of technological maturity are unlikely to be able to be demonstrated within the preferred 18-month timeframe.
Respondents must have a valid ABN or NZBN; to submit a response to this RFP use the ‘Special Notice Proposal Submission Form’ available at https://www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au/call-for-submissions/ by 12:00 noon (local time in the Australian Capital Territory) on Thursday 14 October 2021.
For further information on user needs and specifications go to the Special Notice at https://www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au/call-for-submissions/ (Source: Rumour Control)
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd, internationally renowned award-winning information security and communications specialist with a proven record of accomplishment.
Spectra is a dynamic, agile and security-accredited organisation that offers secure Hosted and Managed Solutions and Cyber Advisory Services with a track record of delivering on time, to spec and on budget.
With over 15 years of experience in delivering solutions for governments around the globe, elite militaries and private enterprises of all sizes, Spectra’s platinum and gold-level partnerships with third-party vendors ensure the supply of best value leading-edge technology.
Spectra was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2019 for SlingShot.
In November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced its listing as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier by the UK Crown Commercial Services.
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 Businessman of the Year by Battlespace magazine.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001:2013 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.