Sponsored by Spectra Group
17 Oct 18. Here’s when industry can expect to hear more on the US Army’s tactical cloud. The US Army plans to respond to more than 70 proposals from industry on how to best take advantage of the tactical cloud before the end of the year. As part of the service’s efforts to modernize its tactical communications and network, the program office and the network cross functional team hosted an industry day in August in Raleigh, North Carolina. Army leaders discussed how to tell industry about the service’s goals and to learn more about what industry can offer. Army officials described the industry day as market research, noting that contracts might not come out of it.
“This is a technical exchange to help the Army solve complex problems,” Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, director of the network cross functional team told the audience during the August event. “This will not work without dialogue.”
The Army received 78 white papers in response to the two day tactical cloud event, according to an Oct. 17 tweet from Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications – Tactical. Army leaders expect to finish reviewing the white papers by the end of October and plan to respond in late November.
Moreover, an Oct. 17 posting on the Federal Business Opportunities websitenoted that vendors with promising capability will receive an invitation for a no cost demo, around December and January. At these demonstrations, the posting said vendors will show their capability focused on three aspects;
– Technical maturity
– Operational relevance
– Technical ability to integrate into the Army’s network design
Vendors will be expected to answer technical questions from a panel of government technical, program and operational subject matter experts, the post said, with government assessment leads presenting the demonstrations to the CFT and C3T leadership.
“As part of these outcomes, the Army will develop an experimentation/assessment plan as well as identification of possible resourcing for promising capabilities. If selected, vendors will be notified of next progressive steps,”. the post said.
17 Oct 18. Ultralife to deliver VAA platform for US Army Leader Radio programme. Power solutions and communications systems manufacturer Ultralife has secured a contract for the delivery of new adaptors and amplifiers to support the US Army’s Leader Radio programme. Under the deal, the company will supply its vehicle amplifier-adaptors (VAA) and mounted very-high frequency (VHF) amplifiers to developer and manufacturer Thales Defense & Security.
Ultralife president and chief executive officer Michael D Popielec said: “Leveraging the fielding and operational success of our radio-specific VAA product line, this latest award demonstrates the effectiveness of our ongoing new product development strategy of designing and building technically advanced, integrated communication systems devices in collaboration with our strategic partners.
“We look forward to participating in this multi-year programme and continuing to add other new products and building blocks to our proven platforms for soldier modernisation.”
The company’s radio-specific VAA platform provides soldiers with an increased range of digital voice and data communications, as well as operational flexibility.
Deliveries of the new adaptors and amplifiers are expected to begin in the first quarter of next year.
In September, Thales received the ten-year indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract for the US Army’s Leader Radio programme.
The US Army Leader Radio helps support the service’s network modernisation strategy and network cross-functional team experimentation efforts. Thales’ two-channel AN/PRC-148C system, integrated with the TrellisWare TSM waveform, will enable troops to carry one radio instead of the two separate units they currently use for voice and data communication. (Source: army-technology.com)
17 Oct 18. Harris nanoSVDL radios to use Kratos’ CDL waveforms. Kratos Defense & Security Solutions has partnered with Harris to provide its next-generation tactical communication waveforms for Harris radios to be used US troops. Under the five-year deal, the Kratos RT Logic subsidiary has licensed its Common Data Link (CDL) waveforms for use on Harris nanoSVDL radios. The radios are being developed under a single-award indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract received by Harris from the US Air Force (USAF). The $130m USAF award covered the development and delivery of handheld video data link radios designed to support video data links (VDL) and real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) communications in congested and contested tactical environments.
Harris Department of Defense Sales vice-president Ryan McCarty said: “Kratos was selected as our partner because they proved operational use of the BE-CDL waveform as part of the USMC Secure CDL ISR radio and they have been providing verification of waveforms for all CDL radios through their CDL test set for several years.
“We are pleased to partner with Kratos on several Department of Defense (DoD) force modernisation efforts to provide high-performance handheld radios for the ground warfighter. Within 12-18 months, users will begin fielding the Harris / Kratos solutions, including both a next-generation handheld mission module and a standalone video data link radio.”
Fully integrated into the programmable radios, the Kratos CDL waveforms are capable of receiving and processing real-time ISR information and full-motion videos.
The data and video are transmitted from airborne platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles to the troops on the ground, increasing interoperability and enabling the mobile network to connect ground, airborne and naval forces through multiple tactical host platforms. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
17 Oct 18. SITTI delivers voice communication system to Senegal Armed Forces. Advanced technical solutions provider SITTI has delivered a voice communication system (VCS) to the Senegal Armed Forces, expanding its footprint in west Africa. The VCS includes a voice recorder and replay system (VRR) that is used to provide all features required for complete and efficient supervision of the airspace in Senegal. The SITTI solution enables the connection of both radio and telephone ED137 voice over internet protocol (VOIP) channels/interfaces. This allows operators to use the latest advanced technology available to communicate with their counterparts. In order to carry out the delivery, the company established a dedicated team responsible for monitoring the different stages of the project. The team closely followed the project’s progress, including installation and commissioning, ensuring it meets the high quality and performance standards required by the country’s military services.
Following a series of factory acceptance tests, the new VCS solution is scheduled to be installed and set-up in Dakar, Senegal, in the first half of next year. The delivery of the additional system to the Senegal Armed Forces has been carried out by the company following the installation of its MULTIFONO M800IP VCS solution at the new Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD) in Dakar. As a worldwide voice communication system manufacturer and supplier, SITTI focuses on providing advanced solutions to address customer requirements in the civilian and military fields. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
17 Oct 18. UK Company to Build Counter Threat Centre of Excellence with Thai Defence Technology Institute. The Defence Technology Institute (DTI), a Thai government organisation, today signalled its intent to become a world leader in countering current and emerging security threats, with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the UK security and defence company, Arturius International and local representative, GCS Group Corporation Company. Under the terms of the MOA, the Counter Threat Centre of Excellence will be founded, And Arturius will work closely with the DTI to analyse the threat landscape faced in Thailand, to develop policy and doctrine, and to assess optimal training and technology needs. The COE will integrate Counter Terror (CT), Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) and Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) to build a common understanding and effective resistance strategies across all branches of Thai defence and law enforcement.
Air Chief Marshal Preecha Pradabmook, Director-General of the DTI said, “The market value of UAS worldwide in 2020, cited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, will be as high as 4.4trn Baht, especially in the infrastructure sector. UAS can be the significant threat, the danger of which every country is aware. Without proper protection, UAS can impact on the security of Kingdom of Thailand, and can violate privacies of Thai people as a whole. DTI hopes that this cooperation with Arturius and GCS will lead to the advancement of various innovations and the awareness of the progress of science and technology in Thailand.”
The growing threats posed by attack and surveillance drones and unmanned aerial systems have driven C-UAS to the top of the Thai government’s priority list, so the COE’s first department is tasked with identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities in that area. The COE will deliver cutting edge training and equipment instruction to Thai security personnel and conduct research and development into emerging counter threat technologies through close cooperation with military partners and leading academic institutions. The expertise Arturius will share with the COE is built on decades of experience working with global militaries and government agencies from across the counter threat environment.
Stuart Ball, CEO of Arturius International, said “The Centre of Excellence will play an extremely important role in creating capability and devising responses to dynamic and evolving threats faced by Thailand and its neighbours. We are honoured to work with the DTI and cannot wait for Arturius to demonstrate the world leading experience, knowledge and technology we can deploy to enhance the safety and security of Thailand and its people.”
As the primary hub for counter threat defence expertise, the DTI CT COE will expand the capabilities and improve the interoperability of the Thai Armed Forces. The Centre will act as a catalyst for CT adaptation and operations by supporting the development, promotion and implementation of new policies, concepts, strategies and doctrines.
17 Oct 18. US Army Eyes High-Altitude UAVs. The US Army Futures Command, a new group leading the service’s modernization efforts, is enthusiastic about using high-altitude unmanned air vehicles for a variety of missions, including as communications hubs.
Willie Nelson, director of the US Army Futures Command’s assured positioning, navigation and timing cross-functional team, said he traveled to the United Kingdom to visit Airbus, the manufacturer of the Zephyr, a high-altitude UAV. In July, Zephyr set the world record for flight endurance in July after staying aloft using solar cells for 25 days 23h 57min. The aircraft flies as high as 74,000ft during the daytime.
“I think they are an incredible capability that we should continue to invest [science and technology] dollars into research and development,” he says. “The British, the Zephyr programme, I think there is a tremendous opportunity to partner with them.”
The UK Ministry of Defence has three Zephyr UAVs on order.
The US Army lacks a funded programme to acquire high-altitude UAVs, but is surveying a variety of high altitude platforms, also called pseudosatellites, including Google’s Project Loon, a high-altitude balloon, says Nelson. Other companies developing high-altitude UAVs include BAE Systems and AeroVironment.
High-altitude UAVs have recently become practical for the US Army not only because of their ability to fly for weeks without landing, but also due to the shrinking size of communications equipment, says Nelson.
“Their biggest limiting factor, quite frankly, is there weight [capacity]” he says. “With the advent of software defined radios and a lot of things we are able to get kit down very small and the weight is decreasing measurably.”
In addition to communications equipment platforms, high-altitude UAVs could be used to carry positioning, navigation and timing electronics and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance sensors, he says. (Source: UAS VISION/FlightGlobal)
17 Oct 18. JORN a catalyst for Australian innovation, training and capability. JORN has long served as a key force multiplier for the ADF, providing unprecedented over-the-horizon surveillance capabilities to monitor contingencies and co-ordinate responses to the north of the continent. Through the $1.2bn AIR 2025 Phase 6 program, BAE Systems Australia is extending the life of the network to the 2040s.
With roots dating back to the Second World War, JORN is one of the longest standing defence projects in Australian history. Responsible for providing a state-of-the-art defence system and wide area surveillance across the nation’s northern approaches, JORN plays a vital role in supporting the Australian Defence Force’s air and maritime operations, border protection, disaster relief and search and rescue operations.
As part of the $1.2bn AIR 2025 JORN Phase 6, BAE Systems Australia is providing a suite of upgrades, acquisition, maintenance and capability improvements across three individual sites for the JORN system.
The three radar sites are located in Longreach, Queensland; Laverton, Western Australia; and Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and are controlled from the JORN Coordination Centre at RAAF Base Edinburgh (South Australia).
Then minister for defence industry Christopher Pyne said, “The upgraded JORN system will be 100 per cent designed, developed and delivered in Australia; by Australians. The JORN Radar System is testament to the ingenuity, dedication and collaboration of Air Force operators, Australian scientists and Australian industry over more than 50 years. It represents world leading technology that is unmatched by any other country.”
JORN provides wide area surveillance at ranges of 1,000 to 3,000 km, and plays a vital role in supporting the Australian Defence Force’s air and maritime operations, border protection, disaster relief and search and rescue operations.
Phase 6 of AIR 2025 will provide an upgrade to the OTHR system and is designed to open the system’s architecture enabling the future-proofing of the system, extending the life of the JORN network to beyond 2042, with initial operating capacity (IOC) at the Longreach site expected by 2024, highlighting the complexity of the decade-long redevelopment.
The complexity of the upgrade program is providing both BAE Systems and Australian SMEs with the opportunity to collaborate and develop uniquely Australian, world-leading technologies, systems and architectures to support JORN and the capability Defence requires to enhance the security of the nation and capability of the system.
Steve Wynd, program director, JORN Phase 6 Australia, said, “JORN is one of the very few projects in Australia which allows you to design a platform and associated technology from the ground up. That is everything from unique circuitry, ICT systems and software solutions.”
Enhancing this is the Joint Open Innovation Network (JOIN). Established by BAE Systems in 2017, JOIN has provided an avenue for closer collaboration between BAE Systems Australia, acting as a prime, and local SMEs, graduates and academics to link in with supporting and enhancing the capability of this nationally important defence project.
JOIN will focus on activities to support the upgrade of JORN and the development of future JORN and intelligence surveillance reconnaissance capability.
As part of JOIN, BAE, in conjunction with the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Hewlett Packard and Dedicated Systems Australia, will establish an innovation laboratory, providing a facility that allows industry and academia to collaborate to advance existing and leading-edge defence technologies.
“Australia, through JORN, leads the world in OTHR technology. This has been driven by Defence Science Technology (DST) and government, who have sought to drive out the technical risk for developing these key technologies,” Wynd explained.
JOIN provides unique opportunities to SMEs, academics and graduates with a ‘plug and play’ system, facilities and support to help them participate and feed into the JORN upgrade program.
Once completed, AIR 2025 will enable JORN to cover more area. While this doesn’t necessarily translate to an increase in range, Wynd explained, it can mean an increase in performance, enhancing the data provided by JORN, which in turn is then distributed as needed.
This capacity allows BAE to train SMEs and support their integration into the project, enhancing the development of key sovereign industrial capability. BAE has a team of more than 400 dedicated engineers and technicians committed to the ‘life cycle’ of the highly sophisticated JORN capability providing hardware and software engineering development, manufacturing, 24/7 operational support and radar maintenance, logistics and operator training in some of Australia’s most remote areas.
The JORN network is Australia’s first comprehensive land and air early warning system. It not only provides a 24-hour military surveillance of the northern and western approaches to Australia, but also serves a civilian purpose in assisting in detecting illegal entry, smuggling and unlicensed fishing. JORN is owned and operated by the RAAF from the JORN Coordination Centre at RAAF Base Edinburgh, north of Adelaide, alongside BAE Systems Australia headquarters. (Source: Defence Connect)
16 Oct 18. BAE Systems Successfully Demonstrates XTS Guard 5 for Military Cyber Security. BAE Systems’ XTS® Guard 5, equipped with the company’s Geospatial eXploitation Products™ (GXP), has successfully demonstrated its ability to provide U.S. intelligence organizations with access to geospatial imagery and data from BAE Systems’ GXP Platform, ensuring secure sharing between networks of various security classifications and sections. The innovative software demonstrated secure information sharing between government agencies and networks at the recent Enterprise Challenge, referred to as the EC-18, this past spring.
“Our expertise in developing technologies that quickly exploit massive amounts of data has allowed us to a product that brings numerous advantages to U.S. military intelligence organizations to securely transfer data from multiple sources,” said Kevin Malone, vice president of Analytics Systems at BAE Systems. “The EC-18 demo proved XTS Guard 5’s readiness to deliver operational success for a number of agencies.”
EC-18 is an annual exercise sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, which allows Department of Defense agencies and international partners to demonstrate information sharing across disparate networks prior to their solution’s deployment. A guard is a cybersecurity appliance solution that resides between classified and unclassified domains for agencies using intelligence libraries.
As an intelligence organization accesses geospatial imagery and data from BAE Systems’ GXP Platform, XTS Guard 5 provides cross-domain search functionality. This breaks down information stovepipes and secure boundaries that currently exist, providing a bridge between security domains to allow intelligence analysts to quickly and easily gather information that was previously cumbersome and time consuming to obtain. It saves analysts’ time, reduces operating costs, and allows decision makers to act more quickly.
The product is further enhanced by SMARTXD from Sterling Computers, which is a key enabling component to secure multi-domain information sharing within an agency or large organization. It allows existing customer applications to become multi-domain enabled, to share releasable data across security domains, including coalition partners. This capability has been successfully demonstrated in the last three Enterprise Challenge events.
The XTS Guard 5 demo at EC-18 showed that the product’s architecture will support multi-enclave and multi-compartment controlled information sharing, for information that is subdivided based on its sensitivity, with advanced administration and auditing, ensuring that releasable information stored on a section of an internal network is sharable. It proved the effective transfer of multiple data types in near-real time, including email, attachments, and chat.
Offering industry-leading geospatial intelligence and Movement Intelligence solutions including licensed software and professional services, BAE Systems’ Geospatial eXploitation Products (GXP®5) deliver advanced data management, image exploitation, tracking analytics, geospatial production, and intelligence reporting. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
17 Oct 18. Thales unveils ALTESSE-H, a new communications electronic warfare solution for naval defence.
From cybersecurity to artificial intelligence, new digital technologies are helping naval communications operators make smarter decisions in real time.
ALTESSE-H is easy to use so communications electronic warfare tasks can performed by non-specialist operators.
ALTESSE-H has been chosen by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) to equip the French Navy’s five future FTI medium-size frigates.
At the Euronaval 2018 future naval technologies exhibition in Paris, Thales is launching ALTESSE-H, a new communications electronic warfare solution with a highly intuitive user interface. This passive naval electronic warfare solution with built-in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity is designed to keep vessels safe from 21st century threats and has already been selected for the French Navy’s FTI medium-size frigates programme.
To protect vessels and crews and assert national sovereignty, navies need to detect threats earlier so they can respond faster, identifying threats in real time while constantly gathering intelligence and maintaining a clear tactical picture of the electromagnetic environment.
ALTESSE-H, the new naval communications electronic warfare solution from Thales, identifies up to 2,000 targets in real time. With its TRC 6460 ultra-high-frequency interceptor and direction finder, advanced antenna system and operating software derived from the Keyobs suite, ALTESSE-H delivers real operational benefits, including faster response times and the ability to capture shorter signals at longer range and gather intelligence data at the same time.
New capabilities that make ALTESSE-H the best-performing product on the market:
Higher power to intercept signals at very long range — twice the range of earlier models
Higher reliability for better performance in dense electromagnetic environments
Faster detection to capture shorter signals
More intuitive, with real-time alerts when an imminent threat is detected
17 Oct 18. PARTNER-C new-generation communications management system from Thales will revolutionise naval communications.
From cybersecurity to artificial intelligence, new digital technologies help naval communications operators make smarter, faster decisions.
With the new easy-to-use PARTNER-C solution, even operators with no specific expertise can significantly improve performance and reliability.
PARTNER-C has been chosen by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) to equip France’s five future FTI medium-size frigates.
The digital transformation offers the ideal opportunity for Thales to provide naval forces around the world with the modern, high-performance solutions they need to operate their communication systems simply and reliably. PARTNER-C, the new-generation communications management system from Thales, is built around an intuitive user interface that delivers significant benefits to naval communications operators using cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence technologies.
Co-developed with end users from a number of navies, PARTNER-C is one of the core building blocks of the AQUILON naval communication system. It is an agile, robust and scalable communications management solution that operators can rely on at every decisive moment. Due to Artificial Intelligence contribution, only relevant, actionable information is displayed at any given moment, enabling operators to concentrate on operational tasks such as establishing a secure connection to a command system. Highly automated processes help them select the most suitable equipment (transmitter, receiver, modem, antennas, etc.) for each task. The system architecture is designed to accommodate new functions such as real-time allocation of frequencies and antennas in fast-changing operational situations, or dynamic management of data streams and cybersecurity, for reliable, centralised operation of all the surface ship’s internal and external communication systems. PARTNER-C is fully scalable: users can add software modules at their own pace, for example to support remote control of new radios or other devices, and incorporate the corresponding management functions in the system’s user interface.
Designed to manage all the communication equipment on board the vessel and provide high-level services for users, PARTNER-C is the latest addition to the PARTNER range of communication management systems. A total of 132 surface ships and submarines are already equipped or are currently being outfitted with PARTNER systems (PARTNER v1, PARTNER v2), establishing the range as a perfect fit for the operational requirements of naval forces around the world.
“This new-generation communications management system brings users the benefits of Thales’s extensive expertise in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Its intuitive user interface simplifies the operators’ workload, and the embedded intelligence in its software boosts their performance and improves their operational efficiency so they can make the best decisions in real time, in decisive moment.” Cyril Gazzano, PARTNER Product Line Manager, Thales.
16 Oct 18. Rohde & Schwarz has expanded its successful R&S Spectrum Rider FPH family with three new base models providing frequency ranges from 5 kHz to 6 GHz, 13.6 GHz and 26.5 GHz. The R&S Spectrum Rider FPH was the industry’s first handheld spectrum analyzer to offer a capacitive touchscreen and a unique frequency upgrade concept via keycodes. Since upgrades require neither downtime nor recalibration, users can effortlessly upgrade their base models, e.g. from 26.5 GHz to 31 GHz.
New higher-frequency models enable the rugged R&S Spectrum Rider FPH to perform a vast range of measurement tasks in the field and lab. In combination with a number of useful options, the R&S Spectrum Rider FPH is a handy tool for diverse applications, such as verifying signal transmission over 5G, broadcast, radar and satellite communications links. The instrument will appeal to field technicians and lab engineers alike, as it supports everyday measurement tasks in aerospace and defense, mobile network testing and broadcasting, as well as tasks to be performed by regulatory authorities and tasks in education. Weighing just 2.5 kg, the R&S Spectrum Rider FPH is ideal for mobile use. Its battery lasts more than six hours, making the instrument capable of working a full day without recharging. The analyzer can be remotely controlled via USB or LAN. For even more convenience, the R&S MobileView app for iOS and Android provides wireless remote control of the R&S Spectrum Rider FPH from a mobile device. The R&S Spectrum Rider FPH is available from Rohde & Schwarz and selected distribution partners.
15 Oct 18. US Army looking for software, not hardware for electronic warfare. Army leaders say they are looking for more software-centric solutions that would more quickly detect and understand signals in the electromagnetic spectrum, a move away from traditional hardware solutions that perform the same task. In the electronic warfare space, some nations, such as Russia and China, have been able to take advantage of advancements in software capabilities that allow them to rapidly changes signals and signatures, which makes defense and signal classification more difficult.
As a result, “we’re trying to get away from a hardware solution and go to more of a software solution so that way as that threat evolves we’re able to more quickly address it,” Col. Kevin Finch, program manager for Electronic Warfare and Cyber at Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, told C4SIRNET sister site Defense News in an interview during the AUSA annual meeting in early October. “That’s been one of our main thrusts.”
Nations such as China are “masters of changing their signals,” Jerry Parker, senior vice president of C4ISR and electronic warfare at defense contractor CACI, said at the same conference.
“Every day we’re seeing new [radio frequency] signatures coming from them for a myriad of things, whether it’s a new RF link for communications, a new RF link for controlling [an unmanned aircraft system],” he said.
Parker said CACI wants to develop a more open architecture system for the government and other contractors to be able to create their own software based capabilities. This is similar to the iPhone model in which a single hardware box can host a variety of software applications developed my numerous third party organizations. This way, Parker said, companies and the government don’t have to build a new platform every time a new signal emerges. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
11 Oct 18. US Army looks to replace WIN-T. The Army’s cross-functional network team is working on a battlefield replacement for the heavily criticized Warfighter Information Network Tactical (WIN-T) system, Maj. Gen. David Bassett, the Army’s program executive officer for Command Control Communications-Tactical told reporters during a briefing Oct. 9. The Army is looking to design what it calls an integrated tactical network where mobile capabilities are rolled out over time, starting with the brigades — infantry, Stryker, armored — and use experimentation to inform the final form.
“We’re using experimentation to help drive what that network design will be,” Bassett said. “We also have a major investment going on in the expeditionary signals battalion … where we’re demonstrating alternative [satellite communications] basecamp equipment that’s going to equip that signals battalion in a way that’ll be completely different than what we’ve done with the WIN-T Increment 1 that they have today.”
Bassett said these “IT experiments” demonstrate “incremental modernization,” such as when two battalions test different approaches to decide what version will be fielded.
Network Cross-Functional Team Director Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher said that over the next two years, the team will be looking at “a very focused experimentation and demonstration in feedback assessment and capabilities and making network design choices.” In the next year, the team will also define what the integrated tactical network and capability should look like in the formations. The goal is to start fielding at scale in 2020, Gallagher said. “We will adjust based on the configuration of the unit and learn as we go.” (Source: Defense Systems)
13 Oct 18. What is the Army’s integrated jamming and cyber pod capable of? The rise of electronic warfare has meant the U.S. Army is increasingly facing contested, congested environments. One of the clearest examples is Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, where the Russians utilized sophisticated jamming techniques to block communications and geolocate units based upon their signature in the electromagnetic spectrum. As such, the Army has identified that it needs certain capabilities to compete, one being an aerial pod that can sense and jam enemy systems, providing brigades with additional tools to combat sophisticated enemies. Leidos believes its submission to this program — known as Multi-Function Electronic Warfare (MFEW) Air Large — exceeds the Army’s requirements to provide brigade combat team commanders with organic offensive electronic attack and support capabilities.
The MFEW Air Large, which will be mounted to a MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft, will not only provide electronic attack and electronic support, but also it will supply “cyber bullets” and a signals intelligence capability with onboard language translation, reducing the need to forward deploy linguists.
The pod can conduct “attacks” on Wi-Fi networks, intercepting messages between enemy combatants and even allowing friendly forces to delete and alter messages to adversaries, an information operations component that could help control the battlespace.
Moreover, all computing power for the pod is integrated onboard, meaning it can operate in a contested environment because the data does not have to be computed elsewhere, Adam Hinsdale, project director with Leidos, told C4ISRNET during an interview at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting Oct. 8.
In addition, forces below can still have accuracy when conducting SIGINT from the aircraft in a GPS-denied environment thanks to assured position, navigation and timing capabilities. Hinsdale described how using vision-based tools to know where the aircraft is even if its GPS is jammed will allow the SIGINT information to provide accurate geolocated information.
Officials recently said MFEW Air Large, which the Army pursued through the other transaction authority rapid procurement vehicle, will fly next year, meaning a contract award should be coming soon.
In terms of what might be in the art of the possible from an electrical sense, General Atomics, the maker of the Gray Eagle, has been involved in informal discussions with the Army to make sure they understand what power is available to achieve desired effects.
Given the Gray Eagle carries a variety of sensors, each requires power to run. The more power available on the aircraft, the more powerful the jammer can be, Chris MacFarland, director of Army programs at General Atomics, told C4ISRNET Oct. 10 at AUSA.
MacFarland added that General Atomics is spending its own money on developing new generators aboard the aircraft that could have the potential to double available power, which could enable a more powerful emitter. While MacFarland acknowledged he didn’t know what the Army’s requirements are for MFEW, he noted the discussions merely involve informing the Army about available power on the airframe to inform them what can be feasible. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
11 Oct 18. Pilots warned of jamming threat in Eastern Med. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has raised the possibility that Russian electronic warfare systems in Syria could disrupt commercial flights. The FAA posted a notice to airmen (NOTAM) on 9 October warning them to “be aware of possible loss of GNSS [global navigation satellite system] signal within Beirut FIR [flight information region] due to unforeseen reason”. It recommended pilots use standard terminal arrival route (STARS) procedures when landing at Beirut’s international airport. The NOTAM was posted after Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on 2 October that additional electronic warfare systems had been deployed to Syria and switched on. NBC News reported in April that Russian electronic warfare systems were being used to jam the GPS receivers on smaller unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that the US military is using in eastern Syria.
Shoigu also said that S-300 strategic air defence systems had been delivered to Syria. He did not identify the specific variant or numbers involved, but indicated that they will be operated by Russian crews when he said that it would take three months to train Syrian personnel.
The Tass news agency reported on 8 October that three S-300PM systems had been given to Syria free of charge.
“On 1 October three battalion sets of S-300PM systems of eight launchers each were delivered to Syria,” it quoted a military-diplomatic source as saying. “These systems were previously deployed at one of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ regiments, which now use the S-400 Triumf system. The S-300 systems underwent capital repairs at Russian defence enterprises, are in good condition, and are capable of performing combat tasks.”
The source added that the deliveries included more than 100 missiles for each battalion. The deployment of additional air defences was Russia’s response to the Syrian military shooting down one of its Il-20M intelligence-gathering aircraft on 17 September, a loss it blamed on the presence of Israeli strike jets. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra has a proven record of accomplishment – with over 15 years of experience in delivering secure communications and cybersecurity solutions for governments around the globe; elite militaries; and private enterprises of all sizes.
As a dynamic, agile, security accredited organisation, Spectra can leverage this experience to deliver Cyber Advisory and secure Hosted and Managed Solutions on time, to spec and on budget, ensuring compliance with industry standards and best practices.
Spectra’s SlingShot® is a unique low SWaP system that enables in-service U/VHF tactical radios to utilise Inmarsat’s commercial satellite network for BLOS COTM. Including omnidirectional antenna for the man, vehicle, maritime and aviation platforms, the tactical net can broadcast over 1000s miles between forward units and a rear HQ, no matter how or where the deployment. Unlike many BLOS options, SlingShot maintains full COTM (Communications On The Move) capability and low size and weight
On 23 November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced that it had recently been listed as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier for 2015-2016 by the UK Crown Commercial Services
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 BATTLESPACE Businessman of the Year by BATTLESPACE magazine and is a finalist in the inaugural British Ex-Forces In Business Awards in the Innovator Of The Year category.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.