Sponsored by Spectra Group
14 Sep 21. Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division software certification, authorizing use within the Operation Training Infrastructure (OTI), was received from the DoD’s Operational Training Infrastructure Division for Curtiss-Wright’s TCG LinkPRO Version TCM-2020-x, TCG Battlefield Operations Support System (BOSS) Version TCM-2020-x, and TCG Ground Tactical Data Link System (GTS) Version TCM-2020-x products. Organizations using these products can now use the security authorization certification as an artifact when applying for a network Authority To Operate (ATO), which information systems require to operate on a classified network. According to an Air Force statement, validation of these products was based on test data and artifacts provided by the HQ ACC/A3AR and reviewed by the OTI Authorizing Official (AO) office. For each of these three products, the OTI Authorizing Official Designated Representative (AODR) confirmed no unmitigated Critical or High Findings. The product presents a low risk to the system or enclave. As a result of their certification, the three products have been placed on the OTI Evaluated/Approved Products List (OTI E/APL).
“We are very pleased that our Link 16 tactical data link software products have been evaluated and certified for use by the U.S. Air Force, which paves the way for organizations using these products to obtain an ATO for their use on classified networks,” said Chris Wiltsey, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions. “The proven capabilities of our Link 16 TDL technology improve tactical communications, reduce the time, risk, and expense of TDL implementation and integration, alleviate interoperability issues, and lower lifecycle maintenance costs for militaries and prime contractors worldwide. They help deliver timely and accurate information to our warfighters to enable command and control operations.”
About TCG LinkPRO Curtiss-Wright’s TCG LinkPRO Tactical Data Link Processing Software is a standards-based, high fidelity, software-only, multi-link, TDL processing engine that improves tactical communications, reduces the time, risk, and expense of TDL integration, alleviates interoperability issues, and lowers lifecycle maintenance costs for military and prime contractors worldwide. About TCG GTS Curtiss-Wright’s TCG Ground Tactical Data Link System (GTS) is an affordable, interoperable, and combat-proven battlefield TDL system with comprehensive situational awareness (SA), command and control (C2), and non-command and control (non-C2) data link capabilities. TCG GTS is a suite of products that support multiple TDLs and communication protocols, including Link 16, Link 11, VMF, SADL, JREAP-A, JREAP-C, SIMPLE, ADS-B, AIS, and DIS, with Link 22 support coming soon. TCG GTS is available in multiple, cost-effective configurations to allow for use in fixed and mobile command centers deployed operations down-range or other specific military use cases. DOD-accredited, TCG GTS has full authority to operate when connected to the SIPRNET and is on the Air Force Approved Product List. TCG GTS can be the net time reference (NTR) and produce a training scenario with virtual assets, C2 functions, and friendly, hostile, and neutral participants. The simulation over-live capability provides active units with high fidelity, low-cost training system.
About TCG BOSS Curtiss-Wright’s TCG Battlefield Operations Support System (BOSS) TDL testing and platform integration solution allows military end-users and prime contractors to verify that the TDL implementations being delivered on aircraft, ships, and other military platforms conform to Link 16, Link 11, VMF, JREAP, SIMPLE, SADL, DIS, and related TDL standards and interface definitions.
TCG BOSS is the worldwide standard for Link 16 testing. It is a powerful TDL network simulator and exerciser capable of creating a complete and highly realistic test environment, including virtual command and control (C2) assets, network-enabled weapons (NEW), targets, threats, and simulated network participants.
15 Sep 21. TrellisWare Provides Advanced Networking Waveform to the Canadian Armed Forces Integrated Soldier System Suite. TrellisWare’s TSM™ waveform will provide the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with advanced integrated tactical networking. TrellisWare Technologies, Inc. will provide advanced networking waveform capability for the CAF’s Integrated Soldier System Suite (ISS-S; formerly known as the “ISSP” Integrated Soldier System Project) to support the mission of the dismounted soldier by providing voice, data, and situational awareness for better command execution.
The Canadian Armed Forces have selected the L3Harris™ RF-9820S powered by TrellisWare’s TSM™ waveform under license for the Integrated Soldier System Assaulter (ISS-A) Radio. This program serves to upgrade the existing ISS-S radio capability to provide both voice and data communication between soldiers, while automatically generating personal location information (PLI).
The TrellisWare TSM™ waveform provides highly scalable flat networking of voice and data that can be mission tailored for an entire Army Task Force with 800+ nodes in a single RF channel, and supports the CAF’s Land Tactical Command and Control (C2) Network with uninterrupted communications in dynamic environments.
The TSM waveform is ideally suited for diverse missions because the waveform can scale from narrow 1.2 MHz channels for voice and positional reporting, up to 4, 10, 20 and 40 MHz channels supporting the sharing of multiple videos and other data.
Equipped with the TSM waveform, the ISS-A Radios will be better suited for contested and congested environments, among other current and emerging communication challenges facing the CAF. Because TSM is a true Software-Defined Radio (SDR) waveform, TrellisWare continues to evolve the capability with enhanced features and resiliency, while protecting Canadian investment in existing radio platforms.
TrellisWare continues to support tactical command, control, and communications as networking needs and threats around the globe evolve. In partnership with Inter-Op Canada, our in-country TSM experts, TrellisWare remains committed to support additional and future needs of the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence.
Using TrellisWare’s innovative Barrage Relay™ technology at its core, the TSM waveform is fundamentally changing the way tactical networking can be deployed for Canadian, U.S. and Coalition Forces, further enabling American, British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Armies’ Program (ABCANZ) interoperability.
About TrellisWare Technologies, Inc.
TrellisWare Technologies, Inc. is a global leader in highly advanced algorithms, waveforms, and communications systems that range from small form factor radio products to fully integrated solutions. The TSM™ waveform is incorporated into a wide range of systems, including TrellisWare® radios and trusted industry partner radios, as well as multiple government and commercial solutions. TrellisWare is delivering the next generation of communications for military and commercial markets When Nothing Else Works™. For more information on TrellisWare’s products and solutions, please visit www.trellisware.com.
About Inter-Op Canada, Inc.
Inter-Op provides advanced mission critical solutions and services to defense, public safety and border security agencies in Canada and international markets. With established thought leadership and a proven track-record in Tactical and Critical Information Communication Technology systems, Inter-Op assesses and matches US-based Next-Gen technology solutions bridging the gap between challenging technology needs, unique procurement requirements, and complex operational use cases of military and law enforcement end users. Inter-Op is proud to be TrellisWare Technologies’ sole authorized Distributor for Canada and TSM Sales and Support Representative. For more information, please visit www.inter-op.ca (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
07 Sep 21. $1.34m to boost Australian CBRN threat detection. The Victorian Defence Science Institute (DSI) and DST Group (DSTG) have awarded $1.34m in grants to four consortia under the “DSI-Hazardous Agent Challenge (HAC)”. The projects funded under this Challenge will stimulate new ground-breaking sensor research and the formation of Defence-oriented multidisciplinary teams.
The four projects to be funded under the HAC are:
- Gram-scale infra-red spectrometer concept for multi-analyte airborne chemical threat detection. University of Melbourne & Flame Security International.
- Wireless platform for stand-off detection of chemical hazards. Monash University, University of Melbourne
- Sensing platform for defence-relevant airborne chemical threats. University of Melbourne, Monash University, Ideation Product Solutions Pty Ltd.
- Porous photonic micro cavities – enhanced in-field toxic chemical sensor. Monash University, CSIRO.
The successful teams from academia, industry and a publicly funded research agency span a range of disciplines across the physical, life, data and engineering sciences and will deliver prototypes for assessment by Defence within the next 18 months.
The HAC is a DSI-led joint venture with DSTG that drew together Defence subject matter experts, end-user communities, industry and academia to explore operations in environments that are potentially contaminated by a chemical or biological threat. Early warning provided by advanced sensor technology, and before dangerous levels are reached, is a cornerstone capability that protects frontline operators from harm.
The DSI, working closely with other states through the Australian Defence Science and Universities Network (ADSUN), called for Hazardous Agent Challenge (HAC) proposals and received 35 responses from Australian teams. The proposals were assessed by an international panel including specialists from the U.S. Defence Threat Reduction Agency.
The high standards and potential for impact of many of the proposals mean the originally budgeted $1m was insufficient. A further $0.34 m was injected into the program to support the four selected projects.
The DSI-HAC forms part of a co-ordinated program of activities across a range of technology readiness levels under DSTG’s Operating in CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) Environments STaR Shot which aims to enhance the Australian Defence Force’s capability to respond faster and more flexibly to chemical and biological threats. (Source: Rumour Control)
13 Sep 21. Savox Provides Over 200 Information Systems to Latvia as a Part of Patria Armoured Vehicles’ Supply Contract. A significant supply contract for Savox Communications Ltd: Savox provides over 200 digital integrated information systems to Latvian National Armed Forces as a part of The Patria 6×6 armoured vehicles’ supply contract. According to Patria’s agreed schedule, the deliveries will take place between 2021 and 2029. The acquisition enables the digitalization of Latvian Armed Forces in the long-term future.
The 6×6 armored vehicle system, which Patria has developed in cooperation with the Finnish and Latvian defense administrations, presents a completely new way for off-road mobility for troops. The Savox Information System has been designed to support the flexible leadership of the troops, which is necessary for smooth movement. The digital information system combines different systems into a seamless and easy-to-use entity thus sharing situational awareness in the vehicle.
Savox’s digital information system consists of two functions: The Vision System camera sub-system, which transmits the external operational picture without delay to the on-board displays, and the Intercom system, which enables communication within the vehicle. In the future, the system can also be extended to wireless support which enhances the dismounted soldiers’ situational awareness. The future digitalization capabilities can be further enhanced with integrating sensors into the system.
17 Sep 21. Procurement decision for powerful Navy jammer heads to court. L3Harris Technologies has filed suit Sept. 7 in the Court of Federal Claims protesting a decision by the Government Accountability Office requiring the Navy to potentially reopen discussion and request revised proposals for the next increment of a powerful airborne jammer. The Aug. 18 GAO decision sided with Northrop Grumman, who alleged the Navy failed to consider the impact of a potential conflict of interest for a Navy employee that developed specifications for the system in question — the Next Generation Jammer Low Band pod — while simultaneously negotiating for employment with L3Harris during the solicitation.
The decision agreed with Northrop that there was the appearance of an unfair competitive advantage in favor of L3Harris. The GAO also said the Navy must engage individuals with the requisite technical expertise to conduct an independent review of the individual in question’s input during the relevant period of conflict to determine if their input was consistent with the Navy’s actual requirements.
If the Navy determines the specifications reflect needs, GAO recommended the Navy reopen discussions, request revised proposals, evaluate proposals and make a new source-selection decision.
However, if the Navy decides its specifications have changed, GAO recommended the service issue an amendment reflecting updated requirements, request revised proposals and make a new source selection decision.
The Navy previously determined allegations did not rise to the level of a significant conflict of interest.
All the relevant court documents are under seal.
“We fundamentally believe the GAO decision is wrong and we filed a protest of that effect in the Court of Federal Claims to support the Navy’s award decision,” Dana Mehnert, president of the Communications Systems segment at L3Harris, told C4ISRNET.
In a statement, Northrop told C4ISRNET it is looking forward to continuing to support the Navy as it determines how best to meet its Next Generation Jammer Low Band requirements.
“Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft Programs (PEO(T)), who oversees PMA-234, is assembling the Independent Review Team and PMA-234 is developing the revised evaluation schedule. The program expects the Independent Review Team (IRT) to begin their review this month. The IRT’s review will not be limited to any specific amount of time, but rather the IRT will be asked to conduct a comprehensive review pursuant to the GAO’s recommendations,” a Navy spokesperson told C4ISRNET. “If the specification is validated, PMA-234 will determine the best way to deliver this critical capability to the fleet expeditiously. If the IRT finds the specification does not accurately trace to the Navy’s operational requirements, PMA-234 will issue an amendment to the Request for Proposal with updated requirements, request revised proposals, and make a new source selection decision.”
The program in question is the Next Generation Jammer, which will serve as the Navy’s premier aerial electronic attack platform that will replace the ALQ-99 jamming pod and be mounted aboard EA-18 Growler aircraft. It has been broken into three pods covering three portions of the electromagnetic spectrum: mid, low and high.
Raytheon was awarded the mid-band pod in 2016.
The Navy has not included a specific line item on par with the mid- or high-band in at least the last three budget requests.
For the low-band procurement, the Navy decided to undergo a different approach it described as a demonstration of existing technologies. In 2018, it awarded Northrop and L3 Technologies a contract to help inform the Navy of how to continue to mature the program for the Low-Band jammer.
At the time of the award, L3 Technologies had not yet merged with Harris Corporation, which was completed in July 2019. Harris Corporation was part of the Northrop team at the time.
L3Harris eventually won the contract in December 2020 under what was dubbed Capability Baseline 1, which seeks to take the demonstration technology to the preproduction phase and fully evolve the solution.
The GAO’s report noted the “technical factor is significantly more important than the cost factor, and under the technical factor, proposals will be assigned a technical rating and a technical risk rating.”
The report cited the Navy’s description of Northrop’s technical rating as “unacceptable,” with an “unacceptable” technical risk rating. The report also cited the Navy’s description of L3Harris’ technical rating as “outstanding,” with a “moderate” technical risk rating despite being $48 m more costly.
“Fundamentally, you have to look at the differences in the ratings. … That’s not a gap you close by an amendment to a bid. That’s not something that somebody multiple levels down in an organization is going to steer,” Mehnert said. “That’s a fundamental disconnect between the solutions versus the Navy’s requirement.”
Work on the project is currently stalled while the protest is hashed out.
L3Harris believes its suit could lead to a more expeditious decision.
“One of the reasons we filed the protest in the Court of Federal Claims was to try to preclude a further drawn out process if the Navy went back and went through an evaluation process and there was another GAO protest,” Mehnert said. (Source: Defense News)
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.