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08 Dec 21. C4 EDGE successfully trials sovereign Battlegroup and Below Battlefield Command System prototype. The Australian Army-supported C4 EDGE consortium, made up of 31 Australian SMEs, successfully demonstrated a trial of its prototype mobile tactical communications system for battlegroups and below in Majura this week.
The C4 EDGE consortium (Command, Control, Communications and Computers – Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment) is a $35 m initiative supported by the Australian Army to develop a sovereign Battlegroup and Below Battlefield Command System, bringing together 31 Australian SMEs across the country to build a sovereign communications capability.
This week, the group tested their prototype at Majura Field Firing Training Range in the ACT, with the system demonstrated in a combat team environment. The environment incorporated mounted, dismounted and uninhabited systems into the single battlegroup and below network.
The development of the capability has been undertaken in accordance with the Advanced Signal Processing and Information Warfare Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities (SICPs) set out by the Commonwealth to develop a sovereign tactical communications industry in Australia.
“C4 EDGE, as an Australian first, leverages the expertise and cutting-edge technologies across Industry Team participants who represent every state and territory across Australia except the Northern Territory,” Matthew Jones, chief executive of EOS Defence Systems Australia, said.
“It incorporates locally sourced combat radios, satellite terminals, cryptography, networking middleware, command applications, user interfaces, batteries, and power management into a coherent and fully Australian-controlled system.
“C4 EDGE as an Australian industry demonstration of capability has surpassed expectations – proving Australian industry has capacity, capability and will to deliver a C4 system that can meet the future needs of the Australian Army. C4 EDGE has delivered a roadmap for the development of the sovereign C4 eco-system including options to take the demonstration proof of concept through to commercial production.”
Jones explained that the success of the C4 EDGE program was due to the close collaboration with the Australian Army.
“The Australian Army has provided the Defence Industry a unique opportunity to showcase Australian technology and EOS Defence Systems’ ability, as the prime contractor, to deliver a complex systems integration on time and on budget,” Jones explained.
Major General Simon Stuart, Army Head of Land Capability, suggested that the initiative, which occurred early in the Capability Life Cycle, has helped build sovereign communications capabilities and building a development edge.
“The initiative is a $35m mobile tactical communications capability proof-of-concept involving a consortium of eighteen Australian companies, led by Electro Optic Systems,” MAJGEN Stuart said.
“The aim of C4 EDGE is to provide Army an understanding of Australian industry’s readiness to contribute to future major acquisition programs by seeking to deliver world-class, technologically competitive sovereign C4 capabilities.
“These partnerships are vital if we are to deliver the government’s modernisation program and build a joint force that can meet the threats of today and adapt quickly to the threats of tomorrow.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price confirmed that the recent prototype demonstration by C4 EDGE illustrated that Australian SMEs have the expertise and knowledge to design, develop and manufacture Army-ready radio equipment within Australia.
“Critical defence capabilities, such as mobile tactical radio communication systems, will be designed and manufactured locally,” Minister Price said.
“This will greatly improve supply chain resilience.”
The prototype was trialled in the ACT’s Majura Range this week, with the demonstration simulating battlefield conditions to trial the new radio capabilities. The trial was followed by a static demonstration at Russell Offices.
“Stimulating growth in Australia’s defence communications industry capacity is a priority for the Morrison government,” Minister Price continued.
According to a release from Minister Price, C4 EDGE has enabled Army to better work alongside Australian industry for the development of sovereign communications capabilities.
Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, C4 EDGE was able to meet all necessary milestones for the project. (Source: Defence Connect)
09 Dec 21. Officials say US Army armored brigades need a stronger network. The U.S. Army’s network, key to allowing soldiers to communicate and share data, is not adequate for armored brigades and their personnel, according to armored operators in the field.
Now, the service is taking steps to address the issue, readying for a pilot program in 2022.
Army network officials converged here last week to discuss needs for the newest batch of network technology and meet with industry.
“If I can leave you with one thing to take away, it would be survivability. What I’d say about our current network is that our current network that I have deployed at the brigade level doesn’t support that,” Maj. Todd Donaldson, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division S6, said during the Dec. 2 technical exchange meeting.
This is partly because these organizations are unique in the types of vehicles they require and their particular maneuver needs.
“The armor formations are massively different in size, scope and the actual physics of it,” said Brig. Gen. Jasper Jeffers, deputy commanding general of maneuver for 3rd Infantry Division, adding everything about them is super sized.
But these armored units, which must stop to communicate today, need to be able to communicate on the move.
“I don’t have that capability to meet my commander’s intent … because we have to stop in order to establish that [communication] … over tactical internet,” Donaldson said. “I would argue that our armored brigade combat teams more than any other maneuver element needs an on-the-move capability, and that network construct needs to be robust, it needs to be redundant, reliable and resilient. … Back to that survivability, we need to remain mobile and able to survive.”
The Army’s network team is kicking off early next year at Fort Stewart, Georgia, an on-the-move communications pilot that will demonstrate these capabilities.
As the Army has been modernizing its tactical network, it has constructed what it calls capability sets, meaning incremental builds and deliveries of capability to units on two-year cycles to create a baseline of technology and insert advancement as they arrive. Capability Set ‘21 was focused on infantry brigades, ‘23 on Strykers and ‘25 will focus on armored units.
In fact, the Army’s network team has already begun early work with the unit ahead of the demonstration.
“We’re also leaning forward on Cap[ability] Set ‘25. I have an ABCT characterization ongoing right now. We’re doing peer reviews with 3rd ID,” Matthew Maier, the project manager for interoperability, integration and services under program executive office for command, control, communications-tactical, said in an interview on the sidelines of the technical exchange meeting.
One of the reasons for the early characterization is the difficulty of not only outfitting these large platforms with confined spaces with various communications gear, but the diversity of heavy platforms.
“They had something like seven or eight different armored platforms up in PEO Ground Combat Systems, and we have to make sure the kit works as compared to a few variants of Strykers,” Maier said. “Really looking at making sure we get each of the different variants scheduled, available, units are coming home, training. I think a lot of that takes a lot of extra coordination so that early engagement helps.”
Officials said armored brigade communications gaps include minimal redundancies, no on-the-move capability and limited range, particularly when dismounted.
As the service approaches the on-the-move pilot for armored units, Jeffers said he’s seeking three main accomplishments. The first is maintaining speed of decision making. He said the advantage for units will be delivering information for the Army to make decisions at the right layer.
The second is resiliency. Adversaries are going to try to disrupt units, and the units will need multiple ways to pass and receive information in a contested and congested battlespace.
“There’s going to be times I believe, where those ground combat vehicles … may be the only things that are out forward and able to see what’s happening in the battlefield,” he said. “We’ve got to get the information off of it and deliver that to the right level of leader. How do we do that in a resilient fashion?”
The final key, Jeffers said, is reducing the complexity of systems for soldiers.
“We have to make the system simple because … everything starts to degrade the closer we get to contact and it has got to be simple to make it go,” he said.
Service officials have agreed. Indeed, they noted that early characterization efforts showed the service should not include too much and too complicated communications gear.
“There’s a lot of kit on those platforms and anytime you want to put more kit on them, there’s always that challenge of we want to be very, very careful not to overburden the soldier. These are fighting platforms,” Col. Shane Taylor, project manager for tactical network within PEO C3T, told C4ISRNET in a September interview. “Probably the biggest challenge in my mind is balancing — ensuring they have the necessary network capabilities that they need but also doing it at a level that minimizes impact on their ability to fight.”
Officials have also stressed the importance of early integration to ensure troops are getting what they need.
“As a brigade, we owe back to the Department of the Army, really, which technologies from the [on-the-move] we should continue to pursue and continue to encourage industry to develop,” Donaldson said.
(Source: Defense News)
08 Dec 21. A quick look at cyber in the 2022 defense bill. The National Defense Authorization Act in recent years has been a key vehicle to advance cybersecurity initiatives, including the creation of a national cyber director in the White House and expanding authorities of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
In this year’s bill, cyber governance and workforce themes emerged as the U.S. works to define its detection, mitigation, and coordination around cyber threats following a year of increasingly high-profile attacks. The bill passed the House on Tuesday and Here are several cyber provisions in the final bill text that FCW will be watching:
Getting clarity on supply chain risks. The 2022 NDAA bill directs DOD’s comptroller to assess efforts to mitigate information and communications technology supply chain risks. There’s also a requirement related to assessing DOD’s policies and its ability to defend against ransomware attacks. A separate provision requires the commander of U.S. Cyber Command to set up a voluntary information sharing process with commercial IT and cybersecurity commands to protect against malicious foreign cyber actors. The commander would have to consult with the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and make sure it doesn’t overlap with ongoing efforts between CISA and the National Security Agency.
Sizing up adversaries. According to a summary of the bill, DOD will have to assess the “current and emerging offensive cyber posture of adversaries” along with the military services’ offensive cyber operations plans during conflict.
CYBERCOM gets budget authority. The bill calls for U.S. Cyber Command’s commander to directly control the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution of resources for the Cyber Mission Forces.
Evaluating DOD’s cyber governance. Congress wants the defense secretary to lead a “comprehensive evaluation and review of the Department of Defense’s current cyber governance construct” which includes conducting military cyberspace operations (e.g., offensive, defensive, and protective) and the operations of information networks, industrial control systems, weapons systems, and platforms.
Putting cyber and climate impacts on annual reports. According to the joint explanatory statement, the bill includes a provision to collect information on cyberattacks or disruptions and extreme weather in annual reports on national technology and industrial bases.
Cyber personnel review. Even though there have been ongoing reviews of the cybersecurity workforce, the 2022 NDAA would require, if adopted, the defense secretary to assess DOD’s “overall cyber and information operation civilian and military personnel and education requirements,” briefing Congress by Nov. 1, 2022. A report and implementation plan based on findings would be due Jan. 1, 2023.
What got nixed
This year, the bill most notably leaves out some recommendations, including mandatory breach notification that would require CISA to develop and establish standards and procedures for critical infrastructure owners and operators to report cybersecurity incidents.
“We had hoped to mark the one-year anniversary of the discovery of the SolarWinds supply chain attack by sending cyber incident reporting legislation to the President’s desk. Instead, Senate Republican leaders delayed things so significantly that the window closed on getting cyber incident reporting included in the NDAA,” said Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.), who chairs the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation, in a joint statement Dec. 7.
The chairs said the amendment’s exclusion, which passed the House version of the bill in September, “undermines national security.”
The bill also scraps the creation of a civilian cybersecurity reserve pilot program for Cyber Command and a National Digital Reserve Corps under the General Services Administration to address cyber needs in executive agencies. An axed proposal from the House would’ve helped set up a cyber counseling certification program with the Small Business Administration. That provision, had it made it into the final text, proposed to certify employees of small business development centers to provide cyber planning assistance to small business concerns. (Source: Defense Systems)
09 Dec 21. Morpheus EVO to be reviewed/scrapped? In our Feature ‘EvO Delays Cause Slip To Morpheus By Julian Nettlefold’ (See: BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.23 ISSUE 46, 15 November 2021) we covered the delays to the Morpheus EVO Programme run by GDUK. A PQ below confirms this and that a review of EVO is taking place. Another worrying revelation is the total costs of the Progrannmme As at 30 Nov 21, the total expenditure on the Land Environmental Tactical Communication and Information System (LETacCIS) is £1.536bn of which Project MORPHEUS represents £572m.
LE TacCIS Programme: Contracts
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what deliverables have been received by his Department from contractors in relation to Project Morpheus as of 2 December 2021.
The assessment phase has matured the MORPHEUS Evolving to Open design and architecture, and specific MORPHEUS deliverables include a Joint Programme Office, a Test and Reference Centre, Target Architecture and an Installation Design and Certification project. Progress on MORPHEUS Evolve to Open Assessment Phase has fallen considerably short of what was anticipated. The Department is reviewing next steps on how best to achieve our objectives on MORPHEUS.
LE TacCIS Programme: Expenditure
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the total expenditure on (a) Le TACSIS and (b) the associated Project Morpheus is as of 2 December 2021.
As at 30 Nov 21, the total expenditure on the Land Environmental Tactical Communication and Information System (LETacCIS) is £1.536bn of which Project MORPHEUS represents £572m.
LE TacCIS Programme: Military Vehicles
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which vehicles in the British Army’s vehicle fleet the Army plans to (a) fit or (b) upgraded with the Morpheus communications system.
The Ministry of Defence is planning to resource all of those vehicles in the new ‘Future Soldier’ Army structure announced last week which require tactical communications capability with MORPHEUS.
BOWMAN Combat Radio System
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to begin withdrawing the Bowman communications system from service; and which system his Department plans to replace the Bowman system with.
The out of service date for Bowman ComBAT Infrastructure and Platform (BCIP) 5.6 is currently 2025-26. Defence is working through Morpheus to identify and implement the range of systems we will require to replace Bowman.
LE TacCIS Programme
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many units of the Morpheus communications system he plans to order for (a) the British Army, (b) the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and (c) the Royal Air Force.
The MORPHEUS system is not procured as units but instead as a system (comprising hundreds of items). It is planned to resource all of those elements of the Navy, Army and Air Force operating in the Land tactical environment and which have related requirements.
09 Dec 21. Lockheed Martin Australia, Leidos Australia pair up for AIR6500. The global defence giants have teamed up to jointly develop advanced technologies in support of the Commonwealth government’s AIR6500 project. Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) and Leidos Australia have signed a teaming agreement, which will see the firms jointly design, develop and build advanced secure technologies under the Royal Australian Air Force’s Joint Air Battle Management Systems Project (AIR6500-1).
As part of the collaboration, LMA – which is one of two primes selected to participate in the final competitive phase of AIR6500 Phase 1 Project – will work alongside Leidos Australia to develop capabilities that can be integrated into an open architecture framework, supporting application development for the project.
Specifically, the companies will investigate transformative software factory technologies, enhanced by a number of features, including secure coding, advanced cyber security infrastructure, automated monitoring, continuous deployment, network optimisation and testing.
This is expected to support LMA’s bid to deliver a joint BMS designed to enable the ADF’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defence capability, providing greater situational awareness and defence against current and emerging air and missile threats.
The capability is also tipped to bolster interoperability with coalition partners.
“Lockheed Martin Australia is very proud to team with Leidos Australia,” Lockheed Martin Australia AIR6500 program executive Steve Froelich said.
“For over 70 years, Lockheed Martin Australia has been delivering and sustaining cutting-edge technologies and solutions to help protect Australia’s interests across all-domains in partnership with the ADF and Australian industry.
“We are thrilled to build on those partnerships by teaming with Leidos Australia to combine our next-gen technology expertise with Leidos Australia’s tailored information technology services to deliver a revolutionary AIR6500-1 capability that will ensure the ADF can rapidly detect, deter and defend against evolving threats in the 21st century battlefield.”
Froelich pledged to integrating “best of breed” local technologies, adding that Leidos Australia’s advanced capabilities would help achieve a “truly sovereign solution”.
Leidos Australia chief executive Paul Chase welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with Lockheed Martin Australia.
“We’re proud to bring more than 25 years of local experience delivering in-country integration as part of Lockheed’s AIR6500 team,” Chase said.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Leidos, Lockheed Martin Australia and our industry partners to work with the ADF to transform Australia’s future Joint Air Battle Management capabilities from the ground up. (Source: Defence Connect)
09 Dec 21. Atos and Dassault Systèmes to Deliver Trusted Sovereign Cloud Platform Experience for Critical Industries.
- Fast-growing need for greater control and protection of data in sensitive industries, notably defense and healthcare
- Atos and Dassault Systèmes define the new standard for a sovereign cloud platform in ‘the experience economy’
- Clients will benefit from the combination of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud and Atos’ OneCloud Sovereign Shield
Atos and Dassault Systèmes today announce a global partnership to offer the 3DEXPERIENCE SaaS platform in a sovereign environment for critical and sensitive industries, notably in the defense and healthcare sectors. This highly secure deployment enables collaborative cloud experiences while providing full control of data, processes, and intellectual property. The platform can be set up in any country, with respect to industry and local regulations.
Many industries operate their businesses through virtual twins and require dedicated secure environments to deliver trusted experiences to citizens, patients, consumers, students, and business stakeholders.
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides organizations with a holistic real-time view of their business activity and ecosystem, in a single collaborative and interactive environment. Customers will benefit from the cloud platform in a dedicated sovereign environment, which will be managed and secured by Atos. Atos’ services rely on the Atos OneCloud Sovereign Shield, a set of methodologies, products and cloud services. To this end, Atos brings its cybersecurity expertise and solutions, as number 2 worldwide in cybersecurity services, to meet the specific needs of critical infrastructures. This includes a Security Operation Center (SOC) and cybersecurity services to secure maintenance and administration activities.
To ensure the highest levels of data privacy, the platform is compliant with the French CIIP1 law and the European NIS2 directive, in particular for security incident detection and administration information systems. This offer addresses the specific needs of defense administrations, public entities, and entities known as “Operators of critical services” and “Operators of vital importance”.
Atos and Dassault Systèmes will explore further opportunities to expand their partnership, leveraging Atos cybersecurity products, Atos’ expertise in High Performance Computing (HPC), and in critical systems development, in combination with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform solution.
“We are pleased to bring the Atos OneCloud Sovereign Shield to the SaaS applications domain, so we can offer a sovereign deployment of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to critical industries worldwide. The partnership between Atos and Dassault Systèmes confirms our shared ambitions to bring a unique offering to the market to improve the level of control that clients have over the usage of the data they produce and exchange”, said Pierre Barnabé, Interim co-CEO and Head of Big Data and Security, Atos.
“The growing adoption of virtual twins for product innovation as well as manufacturing and business operations, in all industries, elevates companies’ and administrations’ needs for hyper trusted platforms. To unleash the power of cloud, the whole stack – from IT infrastructure to business experiences – requires holistic, consistent cybersecurity operations”, said Bernard Charlès, Vice Chairman and CEO, Dassault Systèmes. “This alliance between Atos and Dassault Systèmes provides the highest level of experience-based security and sovereignty, using the collaborative power of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. It opens new possibilities for trusted collaboration in domains where it has become critical, like healthcare and defense. This Virtual Twin Cyber Experience approach will also be applied to the joint solution itself.”
Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with 107,000 employees and annual revenue of over €11bn. European number one in cybersecurity, cloud and high-performance computing, the Group provides tailored end-to-end solutions for all industries in 71 countries. A pioneer in decarbonization services and products, Atos is committed to a secure and decarbonized digital for its clients. Atos is a SE (Societas Europaea), listed on the CAC 40 ESG and Next 20 Paris Stock Indexes.
The purpose of Atos is to help design the future of the information space. Its expertise and services support the development of knowledge, education and research in a multicultural approach and contribute to the development of scientific and technological excellence. Across the world, the Group enables its customers and employees, and members of societies at large to live, work and develop sustainably, in a safe and secure information space.
About Dassault Systèmes
Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, is a catalyst for human progress. We provide business and people with collaborative 3D virtual environments to imagine sustainable innovations. By creating virtual twin experiences of the real world with our 3DEXPERIENCE platform and applications, our customers push the boundaries of innovation, learning and production. Dassault Systèmes brings value to more than 290,000 customers of all sizes, in all industries, in more than 140 countries. For more information, visit www.3ds.com
3DEXPERIENCE, the Compass icon, the 3DS logo, CATIA, BIOVIA, GEOVIA, SOLIDWORKS, 3DVIA, ENOVIA, NETVIBES, MEDIDATA, CENTRIC PLM, 3DEXCITE, SIMULIA, DELMIA, and IFWE are commercial trademarks or registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes, a French “société européenne” (Versailles Commercial Register # B 322 306 440), or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries.
1 Critical Infrastructures Information Protection, CIIP
2 Network and Information System Security, NIS (Source: News Now/ BUSINESS WIRE))
08 Dec 21. Pentagon creates new digital and artificial intelligence office. The U.S. Defense Department is creating a new position to oversee its digital and artificial intelligence activities, with the hope the office will be able to drive faster progress in those areas and meet threats posed by China, according to a senior defense official. The new chief digital and artificial intelligence officer, or CDAO, will directly report to the deputy defense secretary and oversee the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, the Defense Digital Service and the DoD’s chief data officer, according to a memo released Dec. 8. Today, those offices directly report to the deputy defense secretary, something the senior defense official said has led to disjointedness.
“We’ve created the CDO, the JAIC and DDS each operating independently and as if the other ones don’t exist,” said the officer, who briefed media Dec. 8 on the condition of anonymity. “That causes two kinds of inefficiencies. One, it means we don’t have the kind of integration across their lines of effort that we could really maximize the impact of the things that any one organization is doing. Two, it means we don’t take advantage of when there are overlaps in what they’re doing, or underlaps in what they are doing to drive the right kind of prioritization in these spaces.”
The official insisted this new position is not meant to create more bureaucracy, but rather serve as an integration function to better drive priorities across these related functional areas.
It is unclear who will lead this organization, but the senior official said the department is looking both inside and outside the Pentagon. The intent is to establish an initial operating capability for the office by Feb. 1, 2022, and reach full operating capability no later than June 1, 2022, the official said.
After establishing an initial operating capability, the office will work with existing authorities to integrate and align the three offices it will oversee. The CDAO will serve as the successor organization to the JAIC, the official said, meaning it will be the lead AI organization within the Pentagon. The CDAO will act as an intervening supervisor for DDS, working to scale new digital solutions and apply them to other problems.
After reaching full operating capability, the official said, the DoD will submit legislative proposals to Congress to adjust authorities and reporting lines.
The heart of JADC2
The senior official noted that this new organizational change gets to the heart of the Pentagon’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control approach, which seeks to more seamlessly connect sensor information to shooters to allow for faster decision-making.
“It is JADC2. JADC2 is the integration of disparate data sources into a common architecture that allows us to have clear, senior-leader-down-to-operator decisions to drive warfighting improvements,” the official said. “To do that. you need a range of capabilities from common data architecture to a common development and deployment environment that allows you to take your applications either digital or AI-enabled and move them to the warfighter.”
To realize this vision, the department needs a single driver inside the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Moreover, the hope is that the new CDAO position will accelerate progress on initiatives such as common data fabrics, open architectures and open APIs — all key enablers of JADC2.
The position is expected to help the DoD identify solutions to fit these problems and build toward common foundational elements, common development environments and common deployment environments.
It will also help scale the department, which currently has several startup efforts in these areas but needs to make them full-fledged projects.
“We have a couple of startups here, and to get to the scale at the speed we need in the department, we need a central advocate who can manage the resources, manage the priorities, connect with [combatant command] commanders and service leadership to really drive the prioritization and deployment of those solutions,” the official explained. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
07 Dec 21. Electric Sky Developing New Self-Focusing Beam With DARPA Funding. Electric Sky, Inc. announced that it has begun building the world’s first Whisper Beam transmitter for wirelessly powering in-flight UAVs, with funding from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Past wireless power for UAVs used lasers or microwaves, which start strong but get weaker as they travel. Whisper Beam technology does the opposite, starting weak and getting stronger near the receiver.
“Whisper Beam technology is the electromagnetic equivalent of a whispering gallery,” said Robert Millman, CEO of Electric Sky. “In a whispering gallery a single listener across the room can hear the speaker but no one else can, not even people standing directly between the speaker and listener. The sound is too weak for them to hear.”
With Whisper Beam technology, radio waves self-focus at the receiver, enabling the UAV to draw kilowatts of power in all weather. The waves are weak everywhere else, even directly between transmitter and UAV.
Whisper-Beam inventor Jeff Greason noted
“It’s a myth that long-distance power transmission is impossible, it’s just never been economical. This new method reduces the cost of the ground transmitter and the size of the vehicle’s onboard receiver.”
“Any type of electric aircraft can draw power while in flight – battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and hybrid,“ Greason added. “Whisper Beam technology is particularly helpful in the power-hungry phases of takeoff and climb, enabling vehicle designers to meet other requirements to extend range, enhance flight safety, reduce peak loads on batteries, and shorten ground turnaround times.”
“Electric flight is more economical and environmentally-friendly than fossil fuels; our goal is to add the range it needs to out-compete fossils,” Millman added.
For DARPA, El-Sky will explore adapting the new wireless architecture to power a swarm of UAVs. Working under DARPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, El-Sky will build and test a lab-bench demonstrator at short distances. These experiments will supply data needed to upgrade to higher power and longer distances, then adapt the transmitter to follow UAVs across the sky. (Source: UAS VISION)
07 Dec 21. NetQuest’s Streaming Network Sensors Deliver Deep Visibility for High-Octane Threat Hunting.
Sensors offer enriched flow data for tracking cyber threats and generating intelligence required to secure large backbone networks.
NetQuest’s Streaming Network Sensors generate security-enriched flow metadata for real-time threat intelligence on large-scale networks. (Graphic: Business Wire)
NetQuest Corporation, a global leader of advanced cyber intelligence solutions, today announced its new Streaming Network Sensors product line, a portfolio of high-speed network flow sensors capable of enriched layer 7 visibility for cyber threat hunting on critical traffic links. The Streaming Network Sensors feature NetQuest’s market-leading unsampled flow metering performance capable of scaling flow metadata generation from a single 10G link to multiple 100G network links in a compact 1RU footprint. Flow data at this scale makes the sensors ideal for securing large-scale regional networks, data center backbones, ISP peering and international optical links.
“NetQuest has delivered traffic visibility at an extreme scale to support mission-critical cyber security challenges,” said Jesse Price, CEO and President of NetQuest Corporation. “Our Streaming Network Sensors enable threat intelligence across the world’s largest networks, empowering security teams within carriers, government agencies and large enterprises.”
With an expanded attack surface and rapidly growing traffic rates, SecOps teams require advanced visibility solutions that can scale to eliminate network blind spots and maximize threat detection capabilities. NetQuest’s Streaming Network Sensors monitor traffic in real-time inspecting all packets and extracting enriched, unsampled standards-based flow records to detect anomalies and ensure security. The portfolio includes the SNS250 for generating standard flow data from 10G and 100G traffic links while the SNS1000 extends visibility and optimizes threat detection with additional actionable intelligence:
- Flow Generation exports standards-based 1:1 unsampled IPFIX flow data, scaling from a single 10G link to multiple 100G links.
- Application Classifier leverages Enea’s Qosmos ixEngine to include application identification and additional Layer 7 application attributes within the flow records. Qosmos ixEngine is an advanced DPI-based classification engine that recognizes over 3,600 protocols and applications including classification of encrypted and evasive traffic.
- Network Security and encrypted traffic analysis identifies powerful Indicators of Compromise (IoC) based on network protocol and traffic heuristic signatures.
- Mobility adds subscriber-level visibility into mobile-centric tunneling protocols and assures the proper traffic is distributed to the appropriate tools.
“For modern security operations in global telecommunications providers and large enterprises, access to real-time data is increasingly valuable,” said Patrick Donegan, Founder and Principal Analyst of HardenStance. “Building on its portfolio of optical network monitoring solutions, NetQuest’s new Streaming Network Sensor product delivers a rich dataset for securing the world’s highest bandwidth networks.”
Find out more information about NetQuest’s Streaming Network Sensors at: https://netquestcorp.com/products/streaming-network-sensors
NetQuest designs, manufactures and markets advanced cyber intelligence solutions to network service providers, large enterprises and government agencies for national defense and network security applications. Founded in 1987 and based in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, NetQuest is an employee-owned business. With a 30-year track record of providing cutting edge cyber solutions, NetQuest has developed a global customer base, marketing directly and through a network of strategic partners, value-added resellers and representatives. For more information, visit https://www.netquestcorp.com/ (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
06 Dec 21. Insitec unveils new battlefield connectivity system. Defence ICT specialist Insitec has unveiled a new communication connectivity system that the company hopes will replace the need for operators to manually connect tactical radio networks on the battlefield.
Insitec explained that the new software and communications platform was developed with research and testing input from the Australian Defence Force, with the objective of the software to connect the Battlefield of Things (BoT) and improve procedures for Joint All-Domain Command and Control.
The system, dubbed HIVE, was developed as part of the Australian Army’s C4 EDGE consortium, which was established to develop the next generation of communications and data network management systems within future Network Centric Warfare.
Michael Branch, founder and managing director of Insitec, explained that the company has been developing communications and ICT solutions with the Department of Defence for 20 years.
“The days of incompatible radio networks that are manually patched together to create inefficient, constrained networks are behind us. HIVE’s network architecture allows any node to interact with any other node on the network,” Branch said.
“HIVE’s operational interface, created with user-experience technology design experts fifty ZOO, is easy to use and ensures more effective and efficient command, control and communications (C3) by automatically optimising network management and performance.
“HIVE provides the ability to perform dynamic reconfiguration of interconnected networks to ensure that the commander’s intent is applied across the network’s communication systems.
“This means commanders can make quicker decisions thanks to reduced transmission latency and enhanced situational awareness. Furthermore, they can reliably and quickly communicate their orders to warfighters at the tactical edge.”
Adam Wilson, chief technology officer for Insitec’s Military, Intelligence and Space Division (MIS), explained that the product’s service-oriented architecture leverages the electromagnetic environment to enable the transfer of information.
“Our system is designed to constantly monitor and optimise its own performance by using all available network capacity,” Wilson said.
“For example, if a comms or data channel goes down or is overloaded by user demand, the user experiences no loss of service or data access due to the always on nature HIVE provides as an overlay network of networks, to ensure the information gets to the right person at the right time. This provides resilience, robustness and redundancy for operations.
“We were set a goal by C4 EDGE – to deliver an integrated network that provides dynamic routing and quality of services to ensure a constant and efficient information flow around the network.
“Our testing and demonstration to the Australian Army and C4 EDGE partners proves that is exactly what we have delivered.”
Branch explained that the HIVE capability was a uniquely Australian product to support Australia’s warfighting capabilities.
“Insitec has worked closely with Defence for 20 years, so we deeply understand Defence culture. We’ve now entered a period of rapid growth, which is necessary as Insitec matures and evolves to become an even more significant partner for Defence,” he said.
“We are proud to be part of Australia’s tactical advantage being 100 per cent Australian owned and operated and committed to building our country’s sovereign capability, while also contributing to export opportunities for our nation with systems like HIVE.
“HIVE is really what Insitec stands for – bold, progressive and genuinely innovative while also being a company focused on solving long standing problems with practical and effective thinking.” The system was unveiled after successful field trials. (Source: Defence Connect)
07 Dec 21. Could faster buying undermine electronic warfare prep? There could be a downside to the Defense Department’s voracious appetite for buying technology faster: skipping key requirements that protect against electronic vulnerabilities.
David Tremper, the electronic warfare director for the Defense Department, said of the three EW pillars — electronic attacks, electronic support and electronic protection — some protective measures, specifically testing against electronic vulnerabilities in weapons systems, can get “pushed aside” during rapid acquisitions.
The Defense Department drew up EW protection requirements as part of the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System process for weapons systems. As defense acquisition professionals start going down rapid acquisition paths, Tremper said it’s important to be “very careful about preserving the goodness in some of the JCIDS requirements,” and ensure that systems are girded against EW threats before they’re fielded.
“When you start to build an agile acquisition framework, [you] start to look at ways that we can acquire things faster,” Tremper said during an electromagnetic spectrum operations panel at the Dec. 1 Association for Old Crows annual conference, “One of the things that happens when you do that is the traditional JDICS process is pushed aside. As soon as that gets pushed aside, things like [electromagnetic spectrum] survivability — things that are required [for] acquisition programs – [become] one of the babies in the bathwater that just got pushed aside for the purpose of rapid acquisition,” he said.
“I think anybody who’s dealt with upgrading systems realizes that if you don’t design that in from the beginning, you can’t just sprinkle magic pixie dust over your box and suddenly you have this EMS hardened system,” Tremper said. “You really have to factor it in from the beginning because it affects performance, it affects costs … and so we have to be careful.”
The Defense Department’s 2020 electromagnetic spectrum superiority strategy notes acquisition’s role in helping DOD achieve its EMS goals — from incorporating it in formal doctrine and training to having the military services and DOD “harmonize their requirements for new acquisitions” to support spectrum maneuvering.
One of the first objectives listed in the strategy calls for a comprehensive acquisition approach, using modular open systems and “the flexibility provided by the Adaptive Acquisition Framework to accelerate delivery .. including rapid prototyping and rapid fielding pathways.”
Tremper said the goal is to put out “EMS-experienced systems that are going out into the field, that have been through that rigor, and you know that they’re going to survive and you’re not just basing on some line of code that somebody wrote in because it was a requirement they had to check in an acquisition program.”
The EW expert went on to say that the department’s rewrite of acquisition guidance, the Adaptive Acquisition Framework, could better sync research community’s acquisition efforts “to quickly build it up and march forward, hands together, on a prototype system that is rapidly developed in support of acquisition.”
“That is the mechanism that allows some of these advanced capabilities.” (Source: Defense Systems)
01 Dec 21. Northrop to flight test software-defined SATCOM radio for AFRL. The test will see how well “Freedom Radio” works with third-party communications, as integration is seen as critical for JADC2. Northrop Grumman now will get a chance to flight test its software-defined satellite communications radio, the latest step in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s race toward capabilities that underpin the Pentagon’s Joint All Domain Command and Control initiative. The demonstration project is designed to show that the defense prime’s Freedom radio can work with modems provided by other vendors and easily communicate with current military SATCOM networks as well as future satellite constellations, according to AFRL and company officials. The JADC2 effort is at the core of the Defense Department’s overarching effort to refocus how it would fight future globalized, information-dependent, all-domain wars with Russia or China — embodied in the Joint Warfighting Concept.
“We anticipate that many of the communication services being tested will be procured via the Space Force Commercial SATCOM Office as their pending solicitations result in service contracts. The Freedom Radio, and hardware solutions like it, will be available for integration onto many platforms by the respective programs of record,” Brian Beal, of AFRL’s Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation office, elaborated in an email to Breaking Defense.
AFRL on Nov. 17 exercised a contract option for the flight test under an original December 2019 contract with Northrop worth $13.68m, Beal said. Under that expanded scope of work, the firm “will be incorporating third-party satellite communications modems into the Freedom radio and interconnecting with two different phased array antennas from different vendors. The system will first undergo ground testing and then proceed to a flight test.”
The Freedom radio provides “open architecture, platform agnostic, cyber-secure solutions to support a wide range of integrated communications and networking mission functions across domains,” Northrop Grumman explained in a Nov. 17 press release.
“Through this Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) contract, we will be able to mature an open architecture, SATCOM-enabled Freedom Radio solution designed to help create a truly interconnected JADC2 network architecture across air, land, sea and space,” said Jenna Paukstis, vice president of communications solutions at Northrop Grumman. “Our SATCOM-enabled Freedom Radio will allow warfighters to quickly gather and share information from space assets to help them make more informed decisions via an interconnected JADC2 network.”
As a next step in the AFRL project the company will be conducting a proof-of-concept demonstration later this year, Beal confirmed.
“This demonstration will be blending third-party vendor technologies into Northrop Grumman’s core open architectures to support the rapid capability investments made by the DoD to support JADC2 efforts,” the Northrop release said. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
06 Dec 21. Leaders Discuss DOD’s Cyber Strategy to Protect America, Partners. Defense Department leaders discussed the importance of cyberspace to national security, allies and partners and what DOD is doing to provide protection.
Navy Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, and Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, discussed cyber capabilities and the future of warfare during a panel discussion at the Reagan National Defense Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, Dec. 4.
In just the past 11 months, cyberattacks were launched on SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline and many other companies and government entities, Nakasone noted.
Those attacks, combined with Russia and China’s influence and meddling with operations, indicate that the United States “has to compete in cyberspace. We can’t stay and be passive. We have to compete because our adversaries are competing.”
Spotlight: Science & TechThe other component is that the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command cannot provide cybersecurity on their own, he said. Success will come through cooperation with inter-agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, industry, allies and partners.
The year 2018 was pivotal for the department, with the publication of the “DOD Cyber Strategy,” containing a concept called “defend forward,” he said.
“The idea is that we would operate in cyberspace outside the United States, against our adversaries before they could do harm to us,” Nakasone said.
Defend forward also involves the idea of “persistent engagement,” which is informing allies and partners about cyber threats and helping to reduce them, he said.
Defending forward is also about attributing attacks to malicious actors and imposing costs on them to make it very difficult to operate, he said.
As for attribution, Nakasone said that his team would release to the public unclassified information as to where the attacks have been coming from, such as malware from China, in order to expose the misdeeds.
Gilday said that cyber security is inextricably linked to everything the joint forces do, from weapons platforms to network communications.
Cyber security enables decision advantage, which is the ability to decide and act faster than the other guy, the admiral said.
To maintain that advantage, the Navy and the other services are working with industry, particularly small companies, that are working at great speed and agility on cutting-edge technologies with applications for cyber security, he said.
Gilday also mentioned the important role of the cyber workforce.
“Our people are the best in the world and our job is to make sure that we not only attract and recruit the absolute best that our nation has to offer, but that we also retain them,” he said. (Source: US DoD)
06 Dec 21. DOD’s Largest Multinational Cyber Exercise Focuses on Collective Defense. U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber Flag 21-1 exercise, its largest multinational cyber exercise to date, bolstered the defensive skills of more than 200 cyber operators from 23 countries at Joint Base Suffolk, Virginia, Nov. 15-20. Cyber Flag 21-1 directly supported national objectives of strengthening the international community of defensive cyber operation, and sought to improve the capabilities of the U.S. and its allies to identify, synchronize and respond to malicious cyberspace activities.
Defensive cyber teams from Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and others participated in Cyber Flag 21-1. Fourteen countries participated in person and multiple other nations used USCYBERCOM’s real-time virtual training environment.
“Threats in the cyber domain have no geographic boundaries, so the cyber threats that can confront any given country can easily spill into another country,” Elizabeth Phu, Principal Director Cyber Policy for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, said.
She added that it is important for the U.S. to continuously train with our partners and allies. Understanding how they respond to threats helps the U.S. better leverage combined and joint responses.
“We are not going to be able to confront any cyber threat alone,” Phu said.
More Resilient, More Defended Together
Cyber Flag 21-1 is aU.S. response to the exploitation of SolarWinds to strengthen collective defense in cyberspace and affirm the importance of an open, reliable and secure internet.
“This was really part of the response actions to what we saw in Russian activities with malicious cyber actor’s exploitation of SolarWinds,” U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, USCYBERCOM Director of Strategies, Plans, and Polices, said. “This exercise, bringing together our European allies, is a key element of how we will look to respond in the future. ”
Using the National Cyber Range, a flexible virtual cyber training environment, the exercise tested participants’ skills and ability to detect an enemy presence, expel it and identify solutions to harden their simulated networks.
“This is an important exercise because we bring our cyber operators here to have a scenario where they can train their defensive measures,” German Vice Adm. Dr. Thomas Daum, Chief of the German Cyber Information Domain Service, said.
His team of 10 German cyber operators physically participated at Suffolk while using the National Cyber Range at the same time other countries trained on it from their home location.
“One of the most important things that will come from this exercise is bringing together and strengthening our unity of response,” Berg said. “That’s a powerful message to send to malicious cyber actors.”
During the final day of the exercise, participants and observers participated in a strategic cyberspace wargame, which focused on synchronization of policy, plans and force development across the spectrum of cyber conflict.
The wargame highlighted the value of international collaboration during events like Cyber Flag to increase coordination among nations and facilitate a common defense against malicious cyber actors.
Building Partnerships in Cyberspace
Multinational training exercises like the Cyber Flag series enable cyber defense tacticians to share how they respond to a cyber incident and exchange tactics and techniques.
“This kind of multinational training is important, especially in the cyber defense area, because we all have different tools, we all have different procedures, we all have different understanding about the operational vision of an attacker,” Daum said. “So it’s important to share these views, because everybody will leave this exercise with more experience than they came in, and by securing the national systems, they will have benefited the future.”
The Department of Defense is taking steps to incorporate additional allies into USCYBERCOM’s training exercises. Cyber Flag 21-1 is an example of this expansion as cyber planners and operators from many nations come together and unite in a shared focus: defending their nation’s networks against common threats.
“I think what this exercise says is, there are partner nations that will come together to try and prevent something like SolarWinds in the future,” U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Christopher Bartz, USCYBERCOM’s Director of Exercises and Training. “It’s a real statement to your adversaries about the unity of effort with the U.S. and its allies.”
This exercise series also provides a recurring opportunity for USCYBERCOM to train with domestic and international partners against foreign hostile cyber threats, and deepen key partnerships with U.S. allies and partners.
“These exercises are essential to build out common approach for how we address adversaries in a dynamic, rapidly changing environment,” Berg said. “This is our opportunity to sit together and to walk through how we do response options.”
Ultimately, Cyber Flag 21-1 is focused on bolstering relationships in cyberspace to improve collective security, defense and resiliency in a global digital world.
Berg also notes that these sorts of exercises build trust together with key partners, which “proves to be utterly essential in responding and defending against malicious cyber actors operating outside of international norms in cyberspace.”
Tailored Training for Integrated Deterrence
Cyber Flag 21-1 is one of three distinct cyber field training exercises that USCYBERCOM conducts annually, to provide realistic virtual defensive cyberspace training. The multinational exercise enabled collaboration through the National Cyber Range, using tailored and virtualized network terrain modeled to suit each of the participating military elements.
As a training environment, NCR enables DOD to conduct virtual, combined and joint cyberspace training, exercises, mission rehearsals, experiments and certifications. The environment uniquely enables a high degree of collaboration, development and assessment of U.S. and allied cyber tactics, techniques and procedures for defensive cyber missions that transcend boundaries and networks.
“The great thing about the National Cyber Range is it’s accessible if there’s a node that you can get on. We have nodes all over the world, so you can actually do an exercise and distribute it over multiple time zones,” Bartz, who leads the planning and execution of such training exercises for USCYBERCOM, said. “NCR can do a lot of things that normal cyber ranges can’t do. It can immediately deploy a network, and then you can reuse the content for multiple instances.”
Cyber Flag 21-1 was the first time some nations used NCR to train in an environment that provided the operators hands-on experience in dealing with real-world problems—with the space and time to assess their success after the training, without the pressure of a large incident response.
“This is not a static failed system that they need to fix, but a dynamic exercise,” Daum said. “So the opposing force that tries to crash the system gives an opportunity to our defensive operators to prevent an opponent from getting into the system.”
While Cyber Flag 21-1 is just one exercise, it is part of a larger DOD effort toward integrated deterrence across all domains, including cyberspace. Increased cyber security awareness and training brings increased resilience against cyber-attacks around the world.
“We’re raising all of our countries’ awareness of the cyber threats out there, so we are better prepared,” Phu said. “We are unlikely going to be able to prevent all cyber-attacks, what is important is how we detect the attacks and how we respond to the attacks. Exercises like Cyber Flag give us better tools to do so in the future.” (Source: US DoD)
06 Dec 21. Babcock International, the aerospace and defence company, has been selected by the Australian Government as the preferred tenderer to upgrade and sustain the Defence High Frequency Communication System (DHFCS) to support the Australian armed forces over the next 10 years, with a further four extension options, each of two years. Babcock Australasia will collaborate with Lockheed Martin Australia, and the Australian Defence Force (ADF), to deliver an upgraded system which provides effective long-range communications capability for Australia’s land sea and air assets. The result is a robust sovereign solution that provides the ADF with a performance edge across its operations. Building on Babcock’s proven Defence High Frequency Communications experience in the UK and New Zealand, this contract cements our long term commitment to Australia and underpins our strategic aim of developing our presence in our target markets. It also reinforces our core capabilities in delivering technology-led, cutting-edge solutions to support complex electronic defence programmes.
David Lockwood, Chief Executive, Babcock International said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been selected as preferred tenderer for this internationally significant capability programme for the Australian Government. Babcock has a strategic and expanding role in providing these critical services to three of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance partners, where interoperability and interchangeability are becoming vital. This selection reinforces confidence in our ability to grow our defence business in target international markets, and to build on Babcock’s capability in digital defence, an area of increasing importance to our global customers. Fit for today and ready for tomorrow, our collaborative approach will deliver a secure, resilient and advanced high-frequency communications solution for the ADF.”
Babcock will now enter a period of commercial discussions, and pending a final Australian Government decision, will achieve formal contract award.
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