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26 Aug 21. Military cyber operators will soon have a new tool to deliver virtual fires. In a couple years, cyber warriors in the military branches will use a single, new platform to deliver electronic fires over networks for offensive operations.
By fiscal 2024, service cyber components under U.S. Cyber Command will migrate to the Joint Common Access Platform, which will provide the infrastructure for those offensive missions. The service cyber units will move to the firing platform from separate tools they operate now, more tightly linking their efforts in cyberspace, one of the domains the military is trying to protect as a joint force.
“In FY24 we intend to take all the legacy QRC [quick reaction capability] components of those capabilities, sunset them and then move to JCAP,” Willie Utroska, deputy project manager for electronic warfare and cyber at Army Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, said last week at TechNet Augusta. “FY24 is our target to sunset the current offensive cyber tools.”
The tool, which the Army is developing for Cyber Command and the larger military, will deploy around four joint mission operation commands, he added, with memorandums of understanding signed so far by the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps.
Late last year, the Defense Department awarded ManTech a $265 million contract to support the program over 3 ½ years. The software tool is part of Cyber Command’s Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture, which guides major acquisitions.
The Army plans a series of minimum viable capability drops, incremental capability insertions that will build on each other, Utroska explained, with the seventh planned for the FY24 migration.
(Source: C4ISR & Networks)
26 Aug 21. Biden Administration and Private Sector Leaders Announce Ambitious Initiatives to Bolster the Nation’s Cybersecurity. On August 25, President Biden met with private sector and education leaders to discuss the whole-of-nation effort needed to address cybersecurity threats. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss opportunities to bolster the nation’s cybersecurity in partnership and individually. Several participants announced commitments and initiatives, including:
- The Biden Administration announced that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will collaborate with industry and other partners to develop a new framework to improve the security and integrity of the technology supply chain. The approach will serve as a guideline to public and private entities on how to build secure technology and assess the security of technology, including open-source software. Microsoft, Google, IBM, Travelers, and Coalition committed to participating in this NIST-led initiative.
- The Biden Administration also announced the formal expansion of the Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Initiative to a second major sector: natural gas pipelines. The Initiative has already improved the cybersecurity of more than 150 electric utilities that serve 90 million Americans.
- Apple announced it will establish a new program to drive continuous security improvements throughout the technology supply chain. As part of that program, Apple will work with its suppliers — including more than 9,000 in the United States— to drive the mass adoption of multi-factor authentication, security training, vulnerability remediation, event logging, and incident response.
- Google announced it will invest $10 billion over the next five years to expand zero-trust programs, help secure the software supply chain, and enhance open-source security. Google also announced it will help 100,000 Americans earn industry-recognized digital skills certificates that provide the knowledge that can lead to secure high-paying, high-growth jobs.
- IBM announced it will train 150,000 people in cybersecurity skills over the next three years and will partner with more than 20 Historically Black Colleges & Universities to establish Cybersecurity Leadership Centers to grow a more diverse cyber workforce.
- Microsoft announced it will invest $20 billion over the next 5 years to accelerate efforts to integrate cyber security by design and deliver advanced security solutions. Microsoft also announced it will immediately make available $150 million in technical services to help federal, state, and local governments with upgrading security protection, and will expand partnerships with community colleges and non-profits for cybersecurity training.
- Amazon announced it will make available to the public at no charge the security awareness training it offers its employees. Amazon also announced it will make available to all Amazon Web Services account holders at no additional cost, a multi-factor authentication device to protect against cybersecurity threats like phishing and password theft.
- Resilience, a cyber insurance provider, announced it will require policyholders to meet a threshold of cybersecurity best practice as a condition of receiving coverage.
- Coalition, a cyber insurance provider, announced it will make its cybersecurity risk assessment & continuous monitoring platform available for free to any organization. (Source: glstrade.com)
25 Aug 21. X-ARBITOR Cross Domain Solution Listed on NCDSMO Baseline.
Peraton and AFRL Now Fielding Revolutionary Cross Domain Solution. Peraton and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) are proud to announce that the X-domain Agile Rules-Based Information Transfer OrchestratoR (X-ARBITOR) has successfully completed Lab Based Security Assessment (LBSA) and is now included on the National Cross Domain Strategy & Management Office (NCDSMO) Baseline List for Top Secret/SCI and Below Information (TSABI) and Secret and Below Information (SABI).
Peraton and AFRL Now Fielding Revolutionary Cross Domain Solution
The inclusion of X-ARBITOR in the NCDSMO Baseline List is the latest step in Peraton’s and AFRL’s advancement of the state-of-the-art in Cross Domain Solutions (CDS).
X-ARBITOR delivers a secure, scalable, and extensible framework engineered to support rapid deployment of NSA Raise-the-Bar (RTB) compliant cross domain data inspection, sanitization, and transfer capabilities. X-ARBITOR supports simultaneous, bi-directional transfers between multiple different security domains and transfer of structured and unstructured data such as XML, Imagery, Microsoft Office and PDF files.
Leveraging current capabilities and building off years of lessons learned, the X-ARBITOR team has implemented revolutionary architectural changes for unprecedented network security as well as enhanced management and monitoring.
“X-ARBITOR is truly revolutionary in its architecture and flexibility to support an extensive array of mission critical data types and deployment scenarios,” said Dave Gray, Cross Domain Solutions program manager, Peraton. (Source: PR Newswire)
25 Aug 21. COMSovereign’s Innovation Digital LLC and IQ-Analog Announce Strategic Alliance for Next Generation of Software Defined Radio Technology.
Alliance to Combine Advanced Digital Processing Algorithms and Application Specific Integrated Circuits for “Beyond State-of-the-Art” Wireless Systems
COMSovereign Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: COMS) (“COMSovereign” or “the Company”), a U.S.-based developer of 4G LTE Advanced and 5G Communication Systems and Solutions, today announced that its Innovation Digital LLC (“Innovation Digital”) unit and IQ-Analog (“IQA”), a leading developer of wideband transceiver products targeting military communications and technology for the next generation of cellular communications systems, entered into a strategic development alliance targeted at “beyond 5G” wireless communication.
As part of the strategic alliance, IQA will incorporate Innovation Digital’s patented digital signal processing algorithms and architectures into its next generation of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (“ASICs”) designed for future commercial and military markets. The strategic alliance intends to provide unique solutions serving the multi-billion-dollar military market including communications, RADAR, and phased array sensor systems. The technology will also support next generation 5G commercial systems addressing both sub-6 GHz and mmWave deployments featuring multi-beam frequency-agile antenna systems and accelerated processing units for 5G Access Edge systems.
By eliminating the need for many of today’s radio frequency (“RF”) hardware components and moving digital processing closer to the antenna, the companies believe their combined technologies will provide the industry with “beyond state-of-the-art” wideband transceiver products including unprecedented performance and power efficiency. This new architecture will reduce the cost of future radio hardware designs, increase reliability, and improve performance and the jointly developed solutions can be used to enhance COMSovereign’s next generation 5G radios. The new alliance further extends existing relationships between the Company and IQA, which includes continuing engagements with Innovation Digital and with COMSovereign’s Silver Bullet Technology unit who is already providing engineering services in support of IQA’s ASIC development.
Dr. Scott Velazquez, founder of Innovation Digital and Chief Research Officer at COMSovereign, said, “Our proven signal processing techniques combined with IQ-Analog’s industry-leading chips have the potential to solve many of the most challenging hurdles for 5G and beyond, including providing robust ultra-broadband communications in increasingly congested RF environments. Furthermore, through the combination of technologies, we are now enabling advanced RF systems to be fully software-defined, providing the flexibility to support many signaling protocols, extremely wide frequency tuning ranges, and over-the-air upgrades all without requiring any hardware changes.”
Mike Kappes, founder and Chief Executive Officer of IQ-Analog, commented, “Our strategic alliance with Innovation Digital brings market-differentiating capabilities to our ASICs to provide communications systems with the highest bandwidth and resolution performance with the smallest size and lowest power available. We are looking forward to working together to bring this critical technology to both new and existing customers later this year.”
IQ-Analog’s family of ASICs offer Full-Spectrum Conversion® capability with over 30-GHz of instantaneous bandwidth provided by 64 Giga-sample per second data converters. IQ-Analog leverages its unique approach to high-speed data conversion known as Traveling Pulse Wave Quantization® which offers fundamental power, size and cost advantages. Innovation Digital’s algorithms and architectures will be customized, optimized, and integrated into IQ-Analog’s next generation F1000/F2000 Full-Spectrum Conversion® ASIC as well as Waveform Analyzer hardware systems built by IQA and incorporating IQ-Analog ASICs.
For more information about COMSovereign, please visit www.COMSovereign.com and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
About COMSovereign Holding Corp.
COMSovereign Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) has assembled a portfolio of communications technology companies that enhance connectivity across the entire network. By combining strategic acquisitions with organic research and development efforts, COMSovereign has built a U.S.-based communications solution provider able to deliver end-to-end 4G LTE Advanced and 5G-NR telecom solutions to network operators, enterprises, and governments. For more information about COMSovereign, please visit www.COMSovereign.com.
Innovation Digital, LLC (a wholly-owned subsidiary of COMSovereign) is a premier developer of “beyond state-of-the-art” mixed analog/digital signal processing solutions, intellectual property (IP) licensing, design and consulting services. Innovation Digital’s signal processing techniques and IP have significantly enhanced the bandwidth and accuracy of RF transceiver systems and have provided enabling technologies in the fields of communications and RADAR systems, signals intelligence (SIGINT) and electronic warfare (EW), test and measurement systems, and semiconductor devices. Learn more at www.innovationdigital.com.
IQ-Analog Corporation is a leading developer of wideband transceiver products servicing markets for advanced wireless communications and radar systems. With over a decade of research and development, IQ-Analog’s novel approach to high-speed data conversion, using temporal-domain signal processing, is at the core of a new class of integrated circuits performing digital antenna processing with unprecedented performance and power efficiency. IQ-Analog is headquartered in San Diego, California.
(Source: PR Newswire)
24 Aug 21. Collins Aerospace Demonstrates Multi-Domain Battlespace Connectivity for Utah Air National Guard.
- Advanced CJADC2 and ABMS technologies help military “outpace the threat” from increasingly cyber-sophisticated adversaries.
- Collins’ networking capabilities increase situational awareness for the warfighter and allow access to actionable data in real time.
Collins Aerospace successfully demonstrated advanced communication, mission computing and sensor technologies to support CJADC2 (Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control) and ABMS (Advanced Battle Management) initiatives for the Utah Air National Guard at the Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In collaboration with 151st Air Refueling Wing, the demonstration showed how integrated technologies and joint connectivity can provide warfighters with the actionable data and increased situational awareness they need to make informed, split-second decisions in evolving threat conditions against cyber-sophisticated adversaries.
An integrated approach, on display
The demonstration took place on a Block 45 retrofitted KC-135 featuring Collins’ real-time information in the cockpit (RTIC) system and included live-fly elements that simulated a forward deployed element as the primary information gathering source and an airborne relay element. Once the forward deployed element identified and processed key target information, it transmitted collected data over the Collins Tactical Targeting Networking Technology (TTNT) mesh network directly to the flight deck.
Collins’ Rosetta message processing software and Multiple Level Security (MLS) system captured this data and encrypted the incoming messages to ensure they retained their respective security levels. Then the software seamlessly sent the messages to those leading and/or executing the mission in the moment.
The ability to distribute secure data to those in different security areas is a key differentiator of the Collins MLS system and solves a major challenge in maintaining secure dataflow communication across the congested battlespace.
Collins also adapted a MOSA (Modular Open Systems Architecture) approach with its mission processor to showcase a dramatic improvement in situational awareness with their next generation of cockpit integration, edge computing, and containerization. The entire demonstration built upon the foundational capabilities of the RTIC program-of-record to provide increased joint connectivity and improved situation awareness technology for aircrews at the tactical edge.
Data delivered at the “speed of relevance”
The battlespace is changing every day, as digital enablement makes a siloed approach to combat – traditional air-to-air, ground-to-ground or air-to-ground strategies – challenging. Today’s solutions must be more comprehensive, connected, and impenetrable than before, and that requires communication across multiple domains.
“We’ve got the technology infrastructure to provide both Command and Control elements and those executing the mission from the cockpit with the actionable intelligence that’s so critical to the success of CJADC2 and ABMS,” said Elaine Bitonti, vice president, CJADC2 Demonstration and Experimentation for Collins Aerospace. “And we can do it securely, at multiple data throughput levels, and instantly – or at what our military partners call ‘the speed of relevance.’”
For more than 85 years, Collins Aerospace has remained a world leader in the design, development, and integration of airborne and ground communication systems, including over 20 years of providing data link equipment to the U.S. military. (Source: ASD Network)
25 Aug 21. IT leader: New DoD enterprise cloud contract remains on schedule. The Pentagon’s top IT official said Wednesday that the department’s new enterprise cloud contract, known as the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, remains on schedule.
The department has laid out a quicker timeline to award the contract to vendors after the preceding enterprise cloud, called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, was delayed by protests for several years, preventing the Defense Department from filling what leaders called an urgent, unmet need for an enterprise cloud.
“We remain on schedule to get out … our solicitation on or about 15 October in just a couple of months,” acting DoD Chief Information Officer John Sherman said at a FedScoop event.
The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract will be a multivendor, multi-award project, a different approach than the single award for the JEDI cloud project. The department plans to release an initial solicitation in mid-October, and will consider bids from Microsoft and Amazon, the two finalists from the JEDI contract (Microsoft won the contract twice), Sherman said in July.
On Wednesday, he reiterated that the department is still targeting April 2022 for vendor awards. The department is having ongoing conversations with other major cloud providers — Google, IBM and Oracle — about the DoD’s requirements and the companies’ capabilities. In July, Sherman told reporters, “if we determine that additional vendors can also meet our requirements, then we will extend solicitations to them as well.”
The JWCC contract would allow war fighters to access data in the unclassified, secret and top secret classification levels from the enterprise down to the tactical battlefield environment. The enterprise cloud capability, Sherman and other military leaders have emphasized, is critical to enabling the department’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept to securely pass data from sensors to war fighters.
“The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability … [is] a fundamental pillar of how we’re supporting what JADC2 is going to become,” Sherman said. “This has been an urgent and unmet requirement to have those enterprise cloud capabilities at all three security levels from conus [contiguous United States] all the way up to the tactical edge in a DDIL [denied, degraded, intermittent or limited] environment.”
The JWCC contract will be worth bns of dollars, but the DoD has not specified a final amount. As of July, the department expected the JWCC contract to have a three-year base period and two one-year options, and Sherman added that he anticipates a full and open competition in 2025 for contract awards. (Source: Defense News)
24 Aug 21. Key components missing to bring JADC2 to contested battlefields. The top general overseeing the Pentagon’s push to connect sensors and shooters said the department is lacking key components for survivable Joint All-Domain Command and Control in contested environments.
Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, the chief information officer and J6 of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week at the TechNet Augusta conference that while the Defense Department has many technological pieces it needs to link sensors and shooters, those tools must be equipped to handle interference by adversaries. The ability to pass and process massive amounts of data to increase the command and control capabilities of the joint force in future battles will also require edge processing capabilities that the military does not yet have.
“We’re missing some key components to do this in a contested environment,” Crall said. “So I’m concerned about our tactical processing nodes — the actual hardware capability to bring — got work to do there. [We] got work to do on a resilient cloud structure that follows us to make sure that that data is there. I’m concerned about the transport layer to move that information to decision.”
From a hardware perspective, Crall said that some tactical edge processing capabilities are already on the battlefield, but he declined to go into specifics due to classification. What the military needs next, he said, is “these ideas of bringing our portable data centers with us.” He added that the services need small, light, cloud-connected and “very” resilient processing devices with secure waveforms that can manage information while operating with spotty network access.
As the department forges ahead with its JADC2 vision for a connected, unified force across domains, Crall noted that industry needs to prove that solutions can work in denied and degraded communications environments.
“If your experimentation can’t move from garrison to the flagpole, if it starts and stops as a garrison solution, [and] it works really good in connected high-bandwidth areas of some level of safety and security” that’s not good enough, Crall said. If “it’s not battle tested for the mission use that we think it’s going to have, [that’s] not the kind of experimentation that’s useful because the war fighter will not have access to those things.”
Military officials across the services have long stressed that the process of constructing JADC2 systems must prioritize delivering battlefield-ready technology to war fighters first, working backward to then deliver the innovations across the enterprise. In order to enable JADC2, the military must hand war fighters tools that work regardless of adversaries’ interference techniques. One area the military is exploring is how communications needs differ on battlefields across the world.
Leaders have to consider: “What’s the minimum viable information exchange that has to occur in a particular fight? And depending on which COCOM [combatant command] you’re talking about and which mission set you’re talking about, those are a bit divergent,” Crall said.
The department has made progress on its promise to design JADC2 with information sharing with allies in mind with new developments for its mission partner environment, a battlefield information-sharing platform, he noted.
“We really do have, we think, an IOC [initial operating capability] … at the secret and below releasable environment,” he said.
According to Crall, U.S. Central Command could begin using the capability in fiscal 2022. The tool will be a virtual, hybrid cloud environment with zero-trust cybersecurity capabilities and identity, credential and access management tools to bolster cybersecurity. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
24 Aug 21. US, Singapore Sign Cyber Collaboration Deal. The nations have agreed to ramp up cyber security co-operation amid the deteriorating global threat environment. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the US and Singapore, aimed at enhancing information sharing between the nations.
The MOU — signed by CISA director Jen Easterly and chief executive of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) David Koh — is expected to facilitate joint cyber security exercises and expand areas of co-operation, including critical technologies, and research and development.
“Cyber threats don’t adhere to borders, which is why international collaboration is a key part of the Biden-Harris administration’s approach to cyber security,” director Easterly said.
“The MOU allows us to strengthen our existing partnership with Singapore so that we can more effectively work together to collectively defend against the threats of today and secure against the risks of tomorrow.”
Koh welcomed the new agreement, stating it would build on the existing partnership between the US and Singapore.
“Singapore and the United States share deep mutual interests in enhancing cyber security co-operation, particularly as cyber security has become a key enabler for both countries to leverage the benefits of digitalisation to grow our economies and improve the lives of our people,” Koh added.
“This expanded MOU is a testament of our shared vision to work together towards a stable, secure, resilient and interoperable cyber space. We look forward to continuing our work with the US to strengthen cyber security co-operation between our countries.”
This latest multinational agreement comes just weeks after CISA announced the launch of the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC) — a new initiative aimed at streamlining cyber defence operations strategies in co-ordination with federal interagency partners, private sector, and state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT) government stakeholders.
The initiative is expected to reduce cyber risks ahead of a malicious attack, while also facilitating a unified response to an incident.
Specifically, the JCDC aims to:
- design and implement comprehensive, whole-of-nation cyber defence plans to address risks and facilitate co-ordinated action;
- share insight to shape joint understanding of challenges and opportunities for cyber defence;
- implement co-ordinated defensive cyber operations to prevent and reduce impacts of cyber intrusions; and
- support joint exercises to improve cyber defence operations.
The JCDC will initially comprise of Amazon Web Services, AT&T, CrowdStrike, FireEye Mandiant, Google Cloud, Lumen, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, and Verizon.
Government partners currently include the Department of Defense, US Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, with Sector Risk Management Agencies also expected to join. (Source: https://www.cybersecurityconnect.com.au/)
24 Aug 21. US Army looks to revise cyber operations doctrine. The Army is preparing to update cyber operations doctrine amid a rapidly changing and increasingly information- and data-centric warfighting environment.
Brig. Gen. Paul Stanton, the commanding general for the Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence in Ft. Gordon, said the service was in the final stages of publishing a revised field manual on how the Army executes cyber operations. The publication was last updated in 2017.
“That’s intended to be a document leveraged by the whole Army,” Stanton said. Rather than have the material used just to train cyber operators, Stanton wants to publish more widely so that “the [Army] Maneuver Center of Excellence can use that document in their classrooms to explain cyber to maneuver warfighters.”
The same applies to all of the centers of excellence, Stanton said, speaking to reporters during the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference on Aug. 19, but because developing field manuals is a lengthy process, the Army is looking at other avenues to push out information sooner.
“As we look at information advantage,” which includes melding multiple elements including public affairs and cyber, Stanton said the Army is looking at “what does it mean to create an [Army Doctrine Publication] instead of a [field manual] that allows us to publish the relevant information sooner, so that we can effectively communicate to the whole Army.”
Stanton wouldn’t give a timeline but said the CCOE is moving quickly, coordinating with other centers of excellence and adding staff to produce a draft document.
The general’s comments come as the Army looks to more intricately weave its cyber, electronic, signals and information warfare education and training to prepare for a rapidly changing — and digitized — warfighting environment. This shift is evidenced in part by the co-location of Army CCOE and Army Cyber Command in Fort Gordon, Ga.
Going forward, Stanton, who was previously the deputy commanding general for operations at Army Cyber Command, said he wants to more concretely define the concept of information advantage, develop meaningful requirements, and pinpoint the skills, education and jobs needed to protect the Army’s Unified Network vision, which aims to connect tactical and enterprise IT networks.
“Where I think we have room to improve, and the direction we’re headed, is [identifying] what skills are necessary to share the right insights,” Stanton said.
“So I think that our training moving forward is going to be understanding where the bounds of authorities reside, understanding what data we’re authorized to look at in an individual role, what analysis are we then authorized to share…. Ultimately, that’s going to help us define what knowledge, skills, and abilities we need to train in the classroom. We’re not that far along yet.” (Source: Defense Systems)
23 Aug 21. After procurement cuts, US Army jammer in ‘prove it’ phase. Following the U.S. Army’s decision to cancel fiscal 2022 procurement for its aerial electronic jamming pod, the program’s executive officer said the service is now in a “prove it” phase for the system.
“We’ve got to show that the MFEW [Multi-Function Electronic Warfare-Air Large] capability can operate in a robust environment and potentially on platforms, not just the Gray Eagle, but looking at diversified platform set … and looking for how MFEW will operate before we make a commitment on how we’ll necessarily go after a capability like MFEW in the future,” Mark Kitz, program executive officer for intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors, told C4ISRNET in an Aug. 19 interview.
In its FY22 budget, the Army canceled procurement for the airborne jamming pod mounted to a MQ-1C Gray Eagle, but it proposed $12m research and development funds.
“I think over the next year, the Army is going to get some data and learn how this MFEW capability will enable how we want to operate in the future, and I think that data will then inform how we go forward with an MFEW-like capability,” Kitz said.
Officials have explained that the project the only program of record that provides brigade commanders with aerial electronic warfare and radio frequency-enabled cyber effects.
It also is one piece in a family of forthcoming electronic warfare systems that Army is working to deliver within the next few years to soldiers.
“All of our capabilities … when used in tandem — TLS-BCT [Terrestrial Layer System-Brigade Combat Team], TLS-EAB [Terrestrial Layer System-Echelons Above Brigade], MFEW Air Large — are all integrated to provide that EW and those cyber effects,” Willie Utroska, deputy project manager for electronic warfare and cyber, said during an Aug. 19 TechNet presentation.
The Army has included the system in multiple exercises — including Edge21, Multi-Domain Operations Live 21 and Forager, the nonlethal part of the Defender Pacific exercise — and is slated to participate in Project Convergence 21 ahead of a more robust operational test.
“In FY21 the program demonstrated performance that not only met design goals, exceeded requirements,” he said. “These near-term decisions and demonstrations that are ongoing, we’re collecting that body of knowledge, that body of evidence, so we can go back to our senior leaders and request the support, production decisions or restoring funding for production.”
While requirements explicitly state was designed to be integrated aboard Gray Eagles, officials stressed that the MFEW pod is platform agnostic.
It has flown on fixed-wing platforms in the past as part of testing, but officials declined to say if it might be outfitted to a different platform in the future.
One thing the Army is considering is what units might use MFEW. Initially, it was designed for combat aviation brigades. Now that might expand.
Kitz said the Army is working with the Multi-Domain Task Force in the Pacific, which has significant interest.
“Absolutely looking at different units, different operating environments, what type of range sensing can we get, what type of range and target types can we get, delivering attack effect, are there cyber capabilities that we can affect,” he said. “Assessing that capability will be key for any sort of future investment that we want to make in this capability, and, hey, it may prove out perfectly and it may prove out that those units absolutely need it, and then we’ll make a smart procurement decision from there.” (Source: Defense News)
23 Aug 21. Utah ANG showcases integrated technologies and joint connectivity on KC-135. Utah ANG’s aircraft 0275 is the only Block 45 RTIC modified KC-135. The Utah Air National Guard (ANG) and Collins Aerospace have demonstrated integrated technologies and joint connectivity using a KC-135 Stratotanker. The demonstration was conducted in support of Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) and Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) initiatives. According to the US Air Force (USAF), the testing of advanced communication, mission computing and sensor technologies on the aircraft was held during the Utah ANG’s bi-annual Wingman Day. It showcased a streaming connection between a mobile ground party, an airborne contracted aircraft, and the ‘Aircraft 0275’, which is the first and only Block 45 RTIC modified KC-135. In July last year, the Utah ANG 151st Air Refueling Wing upgraded the first KC-135 with Nato-Standard Link 16 communication capabilities under its real-time information in the cockpit system (RTIC). Utah ANG 151st Operations Group commander colonel Douglas Foster said: “This feat was accomplished as part of a cooperative research and development agreement between Collins Aerospace and the Utah Air National Guard and has never been done before using Tactical Targeting Networked Technology with the KC-135.” According to the USAF, equipping the KC-135 with situational awareness capability through advanced tactical datalinks is the first step in developing a survivable tanker force. Foster added: “This accomplishment showed that with minor modifications to the RTIC system, the bounds are almost limitless to what we can do with a 60-year-old aircraft, exemplifying Gen Brown’s ‘Accelerate Change or Lose’ mission statement.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
23 Aug 21. US Army works to mesh Rainmaker data fabric into ITN systems. US Army engineers and information technology experts are working to integrate the Rainmaker data fabric programme into key applications within the service’s Integrated Tactical Network (ITN), in preparation for a vital capstone experiment later this year.
Officials from the army’s Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center are co-ordinating with members of the service’s Long Range Precision Fires Cross Functional Team (LRPF CFT), to shorten sensor-to-shooter data transmission times via Rainmaker and other data fabric systems, said C5ISR Center Deputy Assistant Director for Information Dominance Alan Hansen.
The co-operative effort between the centre and LRPF CFT is part of ongoing science and technology development work being conducted by C5ISR Center officials, in preparation for the Project Convergence 2021 capstone exercise, scheduled to begin later this year, according to Hansen. “One of the important [aspects] with what we are doing with Rainmaker is to build in that agility”, for networked sensor-to-shooter capability, in anticipation of the capstone experiment.
Rainmaker, a science and technology programme run out of the C5ISR directorate, is focused on common data fabric integration and data transport among service sensors and platforms. Most recently, service leaders evaluated Rainmaker’s advanced data transport capabilities between low Earth orbit and medium Earth orbit satellite capabilities, as part of the 2020 Project Convergence capstone.
Project Convergence is the army’s ongoing effort to link every sensor and shooter platform in the service’s arsenal under a common network. The effort dovetails into the Pentagon’s larger Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) initiative, which is designed to enable US commanders to connect any sensor pod or platform to any weapon system, regardless of domain. (Source: Jane’s)
19 Aug 21. NEC and Fujitsu cooperate to stimulate and expand the open 5G market. NEC and Fujitsu have begun developing technologies to verify base station equipment interoperability at their respective facilities in the UK and the US. NEC is conducting trials at its Open RAN laboratory in NEC Europe, London, while Fujitsu is doing so at its laboratory hosted at Fujitsu Network Communications, a Fujitsu group company in the US.
The initiative will be implemented as part of the “Post 5G Infrastructure Enhancement R&D Project” under the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan. Both companies are scheduled to build a verification environment using these technologies in their respective laboratories from August 2021 and will begin interoperability testing.
Leveraging this verification environment offers the potential to significantly streamline interoperability verification between base station equipment from different vendors.
With the start of 5G commercial services in various countries, post 5G – with enhanced functions such as ultra-low latency and multiple simultaneous connections – is expected to be used in a variety of industries. In recent years, base station equipment has become more open due to O- RAN fronthaul interface specifications formulated by the O-RAN Alliance (*4), and it is becoming possible to connect to RUs (radio units) and Central Units/Distributed Units (CUs/DUs) from a variety of vendors. However, in order to quickly verify interoperability between different vendors’ equipment, it is necessary to establish a verification process, develop tools that can be used in common, and to develop a verification environment.
Consequently, NEDO commissioned NEC and Fujitsu to conduct research on assessment and verification technologies for interoperability between base station equipment in the “Post 5G Infrastructure Enhancement R&D Project,” which is scheduled to run from FY2020 to FY2023. In response, NEC and Fujitsu are building an environment and developing technologies to assess and verify the interoperability of different vendors’ equipment and the impact of such connections on the entire network.
NEC and Fujitsu will develop technologies to verify the interoperability of various vendors’
equipment for O-RAN fronthaul. The technologies include FHA, P- DU, test scenario extraction tools, test parameter change tools, and validation result determination tools. Introducing these technologies into the verification environments of both companies’ laboratories will make it possible to significantly improve the efficiency of interoperability verification for different vendors’ equipment.
Using NEC’s lab in the UK and Fujitsu’s lab in the US, it is possible to implement a Conformance Test System that can perform standard tests in accordance with O-RAN specifications and implement an End-to-End (E2E) Test System that can verify the connection from the core network to the terminal. In addition, by incorporating the newly developed technologies into the interoperability test systems, it will be possible to efficiently conduct system-wide normality verification and performance verification under conditions that are close to the commercial environments of each country and business.
NEC and Fujitsu will establish a verification environment using new technologies in their respective laboratories from August of this year, and will begin interoperability testing. The two companies will collaborate with carriers, equipment vendors, and governments in various countries and regions, aiming to significantly reduce the time required to conduct interoperability testing for base station equipment. The companies will also work with NEDO to support the global adoption and development of equipment that conforms to O-RAN specifications through this project, thereby contributing to the stimulation and growth of the open 5G market. For more information visit: www.nec.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
20 Aug 21. Kumu to build 100dB self-interference cancellation module for US Army. Kumu will also include MIT Lincoln Laboratory adaptive antenna cancellation and receive beamforming technology. Technology company Kumu Networks has won a $1.5m task order from the US Army for a Phase II small business innovation research (SBIR) project.
The company will use its Self-Interference Cancellation platform to develop more than 100dB Full-Duplex Module, which will be the highest performing module created so far.
Under the project, Kumu’s ‘Self-Interference Cancellation’ technology will be integrated to develop radios capable of suppressing in-band self-interference from friendly, co-located jammers.
The devices will also be able to eliminate interference from non-co-located enemy jammers.
These radios will provide troops with the ability to freely transmit to friendly forces while jamming enemy transmissions at the same time.
The US Army Program of Record Office intends to focus on incorporating this capability into multiple production handheld, manpack and small form-fit (HMS) radios.
The Kumu-developed solution will be used in existing vehicle-mounted and manpack military radios.
The deployed technology will increase the spectral efficiency of field-deployed radios, doubling throughput, and simultaneously operating co-located in-band jammers.
Kumu Networks CEO David Cutrer said: “One of the biggest communications challenges for army warfighters is to operate in congested, contested and denied environments.
“Minimising self-interference from friendly and enemy jammers is a key enabler for the current and future connected battlefield.”
According to the company, the current Kumu Full-Duplex modules already deliver approximately 80dB.
As the prime contractor of the project, Kumu will further incorporate ‘MIT Lincoln Laboratory adaptive antenna cancellation and receive beamforming’ technology to achieve over 100dB of cancellation.
MIT Lincoln Laboratory assistant group leader Bradley Perry said: “MIT Lincoln Laboratory is leveraging previous efforts funded by the Office of Naval Research by combining receive beamforming with antenna cancellation technology developed as part of those efforts with Kumu’s analogue and digital cancellation technology to deliver more than 100dB of self-interference cancellation, one of the highest levels reported to date.
“In a wirelessly connected battlefield, the ability to operate free of radio self-interference concerns creates a critical asymmetrical advantage for our nation’s fighting forces.” (Source: army-technology.com)
20 Aug 21. General Dynamics building lightweight vehicle electronic warfare system for US Army. The U.S. Army recently awarded General Dynamics a contract to prototype an electronic warfare system on the new Infantry Squad Vehicle.
The system, which General Dynamics calls the Multi-Domain Operations Weapon System and the Army calls the Tactical Electronic Warfare System-Infantry Brigade Combat Team, or TEWS-IBCT, is the next evolution of a capability General Dynamics has provided the Army in the past.
The Stryker-mounted TEWS and its smaller Flyer-72 variant Tactical Electronic Warfare Light were deployed to soldiers in Europe as a quick-reaction capability and served as a prototype that helped inform the Army’s forthcoming Terrestrial Layer System-Brigade Combat Team. That system is the first brigade-organic, integrated signals intelligence, electronic warfare and cyber capability that is mounted on Strykers. Lockheed Martin and Boeing DRS were awarded initial demonstration contracts, and the Army is expected to pick a sole winner in the coming months.
TEWS-I is being tested for smaller vehicles and infantry brigades to provide them needed electronic warfare capabilities that are more mobile than those on larger vehicles. Specifically, it provides electronic sensing and electronic attack.
Previously, units didn’t possess the electronic attack capability due to power constraints, David Morrison, director of Army initiatives for tactical ISR at General Dynamics, told C4ISRNET at TechNet Augusta.
Forces would have had to generate power externally, either a generator or a trailer. General Dynamics, through internal research and development efforts, was able to figure out a way using existing power on Flyer-72s to generate enough power for the electronic attack portion. This was one of the reasons lighter units didn’t have an electronic attack capability.
Now, the key difference between TEWS and the Multi-Domain Operations Weapon System is the electronic attack portion using power from the vehicle. Under the new contract, General Dynamics will test those power measures with the new Infantry Squad Vehicle to outfit the system.
“We just had the vehicles dropped off. We’re going to have to see: What’s it going to cost the government? … Are we going to have to put an APU [auxiliary power unit] or a trailer or a generator to be able to deliver the effects that we get on vehicle here by up gunning, upgrading the alternator?” Morrison said.
General Dynamics is building six prototypes that the Army and its electronic warfare personnel can test and provide feedback on. Morrison noted the company wanted soldiers to be able to see the system during the TechNet show to provide insights on what might need to be tweaked or changed to improve the usability.
The system is platform agnostic, meaning it could transition to Strykers, for example, if the Army wants it for other vehicles.
General Dynamics believes the system has applicability for the Marine Corps and will pitch it to that service. (Source: Defense News)
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