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24 Feb 22. WS and Code-X Announce Partnership to Bring Increased Security Capabilities to the AWS Cloud. Code-X, Inc. and Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced a partnership to bring Code-X software capabilities to the full AWS realm, including AWS National Security solutions. With Code-X’s acceptance into the AWS Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Accelerate Program, a focused AWS co-sell program, the company’s propriety five-dimensional security solution will be added to AWS’s systems and communications ecosystem to deliver an unmatched capability across the industry. The partnership will drive customer value through a simplified set of features that increase security by reducing vulnerabilities and applying advanced protection from the moment of data creation throughout its entire lifecycle.
“I could not be more excited or proud of the solution that AWS and Code-X bring together,” said Darren LaCroix, CEO and founder, Code-X. “It is time organizations can once again trust their systems and focus on business at hand. The focused co-selling support we receive through the AWS ISV Accelerate Program allows us to extend our sales reach dramatically and efficiently. By utilizing AWS sales teams, we’re not only casting a wider net but also targeting an ideal audience of customers that are already utilizing AWS solutions and services across all verticals.”
“The edge is a critical place to be able to support our warfighters and national security customers, especially at the point of data creation. Being able to extend the cloud, and cloud capabilities, securely out to the edge and operate is a critical capability for our customers,” added Drew Morgan of AWS.
The partnership launches this week as the teams support CJ Moses Racing powered by AWS at the St. Pete Grand Prix on February 25-27. A Code-X logo will be featured on the car this year to show AWS’s support of this partnership. Code-X is the data security company that simplifies how organizations protect the world’s most sensitive information and systems. Powered by a proprietary lattice-based technology, Code-X delivers the industry’s first system and device-friendly platform that applies impermeable security from the moment of data creation throughout its entire lifecycle. To learn more about Code-X, visit www.teamcode-x.com. Discover more edge-specific capabilities, services, and features at AWS by visiting https://aws.amazon.com/government-education/defense/. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
25 Feb 22. IARPA, BAE Systems developing security software for ‘smart radio’ concept. US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), in conjunction with BAE Systems, is developing prototype security software that will identify and mitigate potential threats to secure radio frequency (RF) transmissions in degraded or denied spectrum environments. The security software development effort is being conducted under IARPA’s Securing Compartmented Information with Smart Radio Systems (SCISRS). BAE Systems’ software research, development, and prototype work for the SCISRS programme is being spearheaded by the company’s FAST Labs advanced research directorate.
“The RF domain has been seeing a rapid increase in the scale complexity and ambiguity in the electromagnetic spectrum,” Scott Kuzdeba, a chief scientist at BAE Systems’ FAST Labs and a senior member of its SCISRS development team, told Janes. (Source: Janes)
24 Feb 22. CARMENTA will push forward the EU technological excellence to achieve air superiority goal. The future operational scenario is often characterized by unprecedented level of rapidly changing risks and uncertainty which in turn requires European detection and countermeasure capabilities, growing in their level of sophistication and variety of the response type, agility, and preparation to face different types of threats. Launched under European Defence Industrial Development programme in December 2021, the project CARMENTA “Future European Self Protection System for Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing airborne platforms” will design a next generation self-protection system (SPS) for aerial platforms able to face a wide and heterogeneous spectrum of current and evolving threats in the operational area. It will be based on Open Architecture and International Standards to enable an easy integration into legacy and future platforms and implementation of new technologies, making use of Artificial Intelligence and cognitive behaviour to support sensor operation in a complex environment.
Ministries of Defence representing the five different Consortium countries (Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Denmark) have confirmed their involvement in the project by signing Letter of Intent. They will contribute in the final assessment of operational needs to be translated into requirements and final validation of the system concept. The project will be based on EU owned solutions, so that EU design authority remains the baseline, in order to avoid any kind on non-EU dependencies. The consortium includes the major EU Electronic Warfare champions as well as the major EU platform and system integrators. In total it brings together
18 leading industry members, large companies, midcaps and SME‘s from eight EU countries: Elettronica (coordinator, Italy), Leonardo (Italy), Thales (France), SAFRAN (France), MBDA France, Indra (Spain), AIRBUS Defence & Space SAU (Spain), AIRBUS Helicopters (Spain), Hensoldt (Germany), AIRBUS Defence & Space GmbH (Germany), SAAB (S3G) (Germany), Terma (Denmark), Baltic Institute of Advanced Technology (Lithuania), DA-Group (Finland).
The project has a duration of 30 months and a budget of approximately € 10m.
Mr. Paolo Izzo, Chief Sales Officer of Elettronica, Coordinator companyof the CARMENTA Consortium, said: “Succeeding in following the fast technological trends and technology breakthrough shall be a key element to address the air superiority goal with a European sovereign technologies. CARMENTA is a SPS suite that will push forward the EU technological excellence, through its strong innovative characteristics driven by cooperative capability, the highly integrated, modular, and fully in-field reconfigurable design”.
CARMENTA will be developed based on a modular design and standard interfaces that will allow easy system reconfiguration, based on specific mission or end users’ needs, and the possibility to accommodate future technologies like new sensors and new actuators. This capability will also
simplify the integration into the legacy and future platform. Interoperability will be another key driver of the CARMENTA system: it will be open to sharing and coordination of assets among different platforms equipped with CARMENTA, allowing for a dynamic system management during the mission, as well as to share and receive information with different allied platforms.
CARMENTA will consider the wide and heterogeneous spectrum of threats, conventional (like current air defence systems) and new and/or unconventional (e.g. hostile use of unmanned vehicles to defeat friendly platforms, cyber-attacks, directed energy weapons). Moreover, CARMENTA system shall have cognitive behaviours. It will be able to assess and prioritise threats in the area of operations and shall select the proper reaction, evaluate the effectiveness and predict the consequences, so reducing and simplifying the human-in-the-loop effort.
The design of the future SPS for airborne platforms will start from an analysis of the concept of operations (CONOPS) followed by a functional analysis, technical assessment and gap analysis based on the current technologies and solutions. This will allow to design the candidate architectures, the studies for integration on platforms, their modelling and verification on a simulation environment. Finally, the project will define the Preliminary Design at system level.
24 Feb 22. An Australian artificial intelligence company is designing and testing advanced technologies integrated into Lockheed Martin Australia’s future Joint Air Battle Management offering for the RAAF. Lockheed Martin Australia has announced that artificial intelligence company Consilium Technology is currently designing and testing technologies that could be integrated into the Royal Australian Air Force’s future Joint Air Battle Management system as part of the AIR 6500 Phase 1 project. Consilium Technology, which was tapped to support Lockheed Martin Australia’s AIR 6500 bid in 2019, was initially tasked with designing and developing a proof-of-concept integration of Defence Science Technology Group’s (DSTG) Semantically Managed Autonomous and Resilient Tactical Networking (SMARTNet) system into LMA’s advanced C2 surveillance demonstrator technology. The firms have since successfully demonstrated joint all domain air battle management networking capabilities to the RAAF.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for Consilium Technology to contribute to a major defence program together with industry partners and the Royal Australian Air Force to shape Australia’s future Joint Air Battle Maagement capabilities,Consilium Technology’s chief information officer, Nick Cooper, said
“Proudly, our investments and partnerships with Lockheed Martin Australia on AIR 6500-1 has meant our company has grown in size and capability.
“The collaboration also provides Consilium Technology with greater access to global markets to drive export opportunities.”
Last year, Consilium Technology’s engineering team examined modelling, simulation and AI technologies, which could be rapidly combined into an open architecture framework to support next-generation concepts and application development for AIR 6500-1.
This involves exploring the use of machine learning through investigating reinforced learning approaches to support the RAAF’s future all-domain data transfer capabilities in contested warfighting environments.
“AIR 6500-1 has been a great program to partner on with Lockheed Martin Australia,” Cooper added.
“We have welcomed the chance to grow as a company, explore world-leading technologies that will safeguard Australia for decades to come as well as interact with other high-tech small to medium enterprises.”
Consilium Technology’s chief executive, Seth Thuraisingham, noted the importance of the AIR 6500 program in bolstering the ADF’s defence capabilities.
“Lockheed Martin Australia has been an outstanding and engaging partner to work with, which will only lead to more innovative outcomes. We are excited to be working with Lockheed Martin Australia to achieve next-generation outcomes for Australia’s Future Joint Air Battle Management System,” Thuraisingham said.
Lockheed Martin Australia’s head of engineering and technology, David Butler, welcomed Consilium Technology’s contribution to the offering.
“Consilium Technology are terrific partners to work with. They provide cutting-edge AI and machine learning technologies that are highly advanced and are game changers for the future of joint air battle management operations,” Butler said.
Lockheed Martin Australia is one of two primes down-selected for the Competitive Evaluation Process Stage 2 (CEPS2) for AIR 6500 Phase 1, competing against Northrop Grumman Australia.
In December, LMA signed a teaming agreement with Leidos Australia, set to involve the joint development of 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. (Source: Defence Connect)
24 Feb 22. After recently announcing its capital raise to support its “Chip to Cloud” vision, Secure-IC, the rising leader and only provider of end-to-end cybersecurity solutions for embedded systems and connected objects announced today the launch of a unique cybersecurity lifecycle management platform for connected objects (SecuryzrTM integrated Security Services Platform). Secure-IC has been providing the electronic industries, for over a decade, with its protection technologies, namely the SecuryzrTM iSE (integrated Secure Elements) and Silicon IPs which are embedded into hundreds of millions of electronic chips for smartphones, computers, automobiles, smart meters, cloud servers and more. The semiconductor industry is now aware that integrated Secure Elements (iSE) are the solution to protect their System-on-Chips, across the supply chain of vertical industries (automotive, industrial IoT and OT, AI, Telecom, New Space). The iSE typically enables secure provisioning, and therefore proactively fights against master compromising, malware/Trojan insertion, overbuilding, etc. Then, after deployment, the Edge product must remain on the safe and secure side. Even better, security must be maintained at the desired level despite the fact that adversaries are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Nowadays, fleets of connected devices have operational needs to maintain over time a relevant level of security, monitor their status and securely update their firmware. Therefore, beyond the physical security of electronic chips, Secure-IC intends to cover the entire security lifecycle of connected objects and embedded systems, from their design through the management of fleets of deployed devices up to their decommissioning. That is why, Secure-IC has developed the SecuryzrTM integrated Security Services Platform (iSSP) to enable its customers and partners to securely supply, deploy and manage a fleet of devices from the cloud and be provided with added-value security services, as well as compliance to standards. The SecuryzrTM iSSP is composed of the traditional SecuryzrTM iSE which is Secure-IC’s Root of Trust on the embedded Edge side with a software agent to provide connectivity from chip to cloud (and respectively) and the newly launched SecuryzrTM Server. This solution will be able to run on both public and private clouds and will come with a user-friendly web interface and software bridge for the devices to manage heterogeneous fleets of devices. The SecuryzrTM Server manages the different services for the platform and the business applications it hosts:
− Key provisioning to securely provision the chip devices with secret key across the supply chain,
− Firmware Update (FOTA/FUOTA) to securely provide chips with their software and then update them physically or over the air, to maintain their security level,
− Devices Monitoring and cyber intelligence to provide a proactive security service, retrieving cyber security logs from the chips, analyzing them and sending instructions back to the chip fleet if necessary,
− Devices Identity to guarantee trust from the chip to the cloud, to the devices, users and data through devices multi-factor authentication that allows resistance against impersonation, replay, and in the event of an initial compromise.
The security of the systems will be easily visualized through a Security Digital Twin.
This solution which meets the requirements of security certification schemes, has been developed for pilot projects already deployed in various applications and industries and will support our customers in addressing all the challenges they face during the design, operation and lifecycle of their secure IoT fleets and ensure trusted data.
The solution is available today. Secure-IC will present the SecuryzrTM iSSP for the first time and in preview at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (Spain) on the French Pavilion #5B41 from February 28 to March 3, 2022.
23 Feb 22. Macquarie Telecom Group has partnered with Australian satellite communication provider Blacktree Technology to deliver defence-ready data co-location services as both organisations commit further to protecting Australia’s defence industry against cyber attacks. Headquartered in Perth, Blacktree Technology provides specialised communication systems for military and commercial use cases across Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States. To accommodate the expansion of the business, the organisation decided to transition its internal systems into a certified commercial data centre.
According to managing director of Blacktree Technology Joe Nevin, it was critical the chosen data centre provider offered highly available connectivity to key locations around Australia and met the Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) standard to provide assurance around security and compliance.
Macquarie Telecom Group was selected from among a small group of providers to host Blacktree Technology’s equipment in its Canberra data centre Intellicentre 5 (IC5). The facility was selected due to its Zone 4 credentials, which is a requirement for defence, as well as its ability to be extended to Zone 5 capability. Macquarie was also chosen due to the location of its data centre in Canberra, which is within close proximity to personnel who will be accessing the information. As well as ensuring minimal latency, the onshore location of both the data centre and Macquarie Telecom Group staff guarantees the information will remain under Australia’s jurisdiction at all times. Nevin further explained that Macquarie was the logical choice to host Blacktree Technology’s information due to the shared vision between both companies to protect Australia’s critical assets.
“Security, sovereign ownership and sovereign control over data are causes paramount to both Blacktree as a commercial organisation and in support of our customers’ goals and business objectives.”
“The recent passing of the Critical Infrastructure Bill, under which defence is listed as a critical sector requiring mandatory reporting when a cyber attack occurs, demonstrates the need for swift and decisive measures to protect the sector and manage internal risk,” Nevin said.
“The Macquarie solution has exceeded our requirements to draw on a resilient sovereign capability that we can use as a base for building our systems that support both the management of sensitive information and the growth of the Blacktree business systems.”
Nevin continued that the collaboration with Macquarie will provide Blacktree with the confidence needed to support its numerous Australian Defence Force (ADF) programs, which are both in the acquisition and sustainment phases.
This latest deal with Blacktree Technology is another way that Macquarie’s defence-ready capabilities are put into practice, according to Aidan Tudehope, managing director of Macquarie Government.
“Last year, our organisation passed the 200-mark for government-cleared security staff, a milestone which constitutes a doubling of our security staff in less than one year.” (Source: https://www.cybersecurityconnect.com.au/)
22 Feb 22. European Union cyber defense team deploys to aid Ukraine. Several European Union member states are activating a team of specialists to help Ukraine ward off Russian cyberattacks, which have previously accompanied kinetic combat ordered by Moscow. The Defence Ministry of Lithuania — the lead nation for the Cyber Rapid Response Team project — announced the move Tuesday, saying the Ukrainian government requested the aid. Croatia, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania also are part of the project, sponsored by the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation defense and security initiative. Per its mission statement, the project provides cyber defense capabilities to EU organizations and “partners.” The teams are equipped with “commonly developed deployable cyber toolkits designed to detect, recognize and mitigate cyber threats,” according to the project website. On Tuesday, officials were still assessing a Ukrainian defense scenario in which the team would operate, including “on-site and remote support,” a defense official at the Lithuanian Embassy in Washington told Defense News. Cyber rapid response teams comprise eight to 12 cybersecurity experts from all project member states. Specific skills include incident response, forensics and vulnerability assessments, according to the official. Romania has operational control of the teams this year, a job that switches between participants on a rotating basis.
“We are also working on cyber with Ukraine on bilateral basis and are in constant contact and have Ukrainian representatives in our Regional Cyber Defense Center in Lithuania,” the official said.
Ukraine also receives cyber-related assistance from NATO, though the sponsoring nations of the alliance’s Estonia-based Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence denied a Ukrainian request last fall to become a “contributing participant,” a more formal association.
In that vote, which must be unanimous, Hungary delivered the sole veto against the Ukrainian application, the Kyiv Post reported earlier this month, citing Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
23 Feb 22. Lantronix, Taoglas and Thales Collaborate to Deliver 5G IoT Solutions to Connect Data-Dependent Industries. On display at Mobile World Congress, the Lantronix G520 Series Smart Cellular IoT Devices for Industrial 4.0, Security and Transport industries feature Taoglas antennas and Thales cellular 5G connectivity Lantronix Inc., a global provider of secure turnkey solutions for intelligent IT and Internet of Things (IoT); Taoglas®, a leading provider of advanced technology for a smarter world; and Thales (Euronext Paris: HO), a global leader in advanced technologies and designer and builder of IoT connectivity solutions, today announced their collaboration. Their combined expertise aims to deliver application-specific smart industrial IoT solutions to connect data-dependent vertical industries, including Industrial 4.0, Security and Transport markets. On display at Mobile World Congress at the Taoglas booth, Number 5E32, the Lantronix G520 Series smart cellular IoT devices feature the Taoglas Guardian MA963 antenna and Thales MV31 Ultra High Speed 5G M.2 Modem Card to deliver complete, integrated smart industrial IoT gateway solutions on which users can depend for reliability, compatibility and resilience.
“Spearheading collaboration for the digital transformation of IoT solutions for Industrial 4.0, Security and Transport applications, Taoglas, Lantronix and Thales have collaborated to create a fully integrated gateway solution that gives users peace of mind that their systems will stay live even in harsh environments,” said Paul Pickle, CEO of Lantronix.
“In today’s highly technical environment, collaboration is the key to developing reliable solutions to power connectivity-dependent industries. Our collaborations with Lantronix and Thales help avoid common pitfalls that result in failure of IoT implementations by ensuring inter-connectivity, high-level security features and 24/7 uptime,” said Oliver Robin, GM and SVP of Taoglas Advanced Components business unit.
“The Thales partnership with Lantronix and Taoglas enables speedy and secure 5G cellular connectivity, designed for the needs of critical industries like Industry 4.0, Security and Transport Applications,” said Francis D’Souza, head of Portfolio Management IoT at Thales. “Our award-winning Cinterion MV31 IoT Modem Card delivers high-performance 5G enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and supports fast data speeds with 4G fallback. This means very low latency, higher throughput and a 5G connectivity solution specifically made for the IoT.”
The Lantronix G520 series gives users the ability to connect all their controllers, even if they are using legacy equipment of different ages and brands. A single gateway device facilitates reliable connections with less hardware and delivers access to more meaningful data.
Key 5G benefits include lower latency, enabling real-time application, such as augmented and virtual reality; higher capacity, enabling more devices to concurrently be online; and higher speeds, allowing data to move faster and more easily over 5 Gbps.
According to Berg Insight, global cellular IoT device shipments increased by 14 percent in 2020 to reach 302.7 million units and are forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.8 percent to reach 629.6 million units by 2025.
To learn more about all the innovative products from Taoglas, the Lantronix G520 and the Thales 5G Modem Card, stop by the Taoglas (5E32) and Thales (2J30) booths at Mobile World Congress.
22 Feb 22. Hundreds of AI projects underway as Defense Department eyes future combat. The Department of Defense is juggling more than 685 artificial intelligence projects, including some associated with major weapon systems, like the MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Artificial intelligence ventures are underway across several services and combatant commands, with the U.S. Army leading the pack, according to a list published last week by the Government Accountability Office, a federal auditor of agencies and programs. At least 232 projects are being handled by the Army. The Marine Corps, on the other hand, is dealing with at least 33. For combat purposes, in particular, the Pentagon is focused on AI abilities that aid target recognition, battlefield analysis and autonomy aboard uncrewed systems. For example, the Joint AI Center is working on a smart sensor, which aims to identify threats and relay footage to analysts, while the Navy is developing the Undersea Warfare Decision Support System, meant to help plan and execute undersea missions. While the project tally publicized this month does not offer the most exacting look at Pentagon AI projects — it only includes those funded via procurement and research and development — it does underline just how consequential AI will be for the industry and troops of the future.
“AI capabilities will enable machines to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as drawing conclusions and making predictions,” GAO wrote in a Feb. 17 memo to Senate Armed Services Committee leadership. “Moreover, AI-enabled machines can be expected to maneuver and change tactics at speeds that human operators cannot.”
Officials, though, have said defense AI is currently nowhere close to outthinking or outflanking humans. Existing programs require extensive programming and training, which require mountains of data and computing power.
An example of labeled imagery, which can be used to train artificial intelligence systems. This graphic was included in the U.S. Government Accountability Office report. (Staff Sgt. S. Morse/DVIDS/GAO)
The Defense Department considers artificial intelligence a modernization priority and has invested in it, though the exact sum is unclear; AI is often a slice of a larger program, and classified activities can muddy the disclosure waters. But, for fiscal year 2022, the department requested $14.7bn for science and technology programs, the GAO noted, as well as $874m to “directly support” AI efforts.
The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence early last year concluded the U.S. must take AI seriously — the powerful technology “is going to reorganize the world,” the commission said, and “America must lead the charge.” Challenges already exist from Russia and China. Historically, the Defense Department has struggled with onboarding new capabilities that depend upon complex software, the Government Accountability Office said, and artificial intelligence is no different. Integrating the software-centric tech into weapons and networks not initially designed for it will be challenging, and building trust among personnel will take time, among other complications.
“As DoD’s AI capabilities mature,” the GAO said, “officials from the military labs told us that the department is likely to face difficulties with transitioning these capabilities to the end user that are similar to those experienced with other emerging technologies.”
The Defense Department published its initial inventory of AI projects in April 2021, spurred by congressional interest. The GAO in a separate report this month suggested the department develop a system to better catalog and track the projects. (Source: Defense News)
21 Feb 22. Saab Unveils the Deployable 5G Network ‘DeployNet.’ Saab is launching a state-of-the art, ruggedised, 5G communication system for military and crisis operations at the Umex SimTEX 2022 exhibition in the UAE. DeployNet, locally developed by Saab in the UAE, further demonstrates Saab’s commitment to creating world-class Emirati defence and security solutions, for national needs as well as for export to the global market.
A key fundamental for efficient command and control in military and crisis operations is communication. DeployNet provides a scalable 5G/LTE wireless network for the most challenging environments, offering high-capacity bandwidth for today’s missions that rely on a multitude of information sources, sensors and user interaction. The compact system, underpinned with robust cyber security, can be deployed rapidly, enabling high-capacity bandwidth in geographically remote areas, or reinforcement of damaged or limited local networks.
“We believe that DeployNet will be a highly valuable asset to both military and civilian markets where there is a requirement for a ruggedised, quickly deployable 5G/LTE network, not just in the UAE but for export globally, particularly in regions without an existing fixed communications network,” says Anna-Karin Rosén, Managing Director of Saab in the UAE.
21 Feb 22. QinetiQ to support UK Royal Navy’s new Electronic Warfare system. The new system will be equipped with a suite of sensors. QinetiQ has provided details on its role in delivering the British Royal Navy’s next-generation Electronic Warfare system. In November 2021, the BEQ consortium was awarded a $136.31m (£100m), 13-year contract for the Maritime Electronic Warfare Systems Integrated Capability (MEWSIC). As part of the BEQ consortium, QinetiQ will work together with prime contractor Babcock International and Elbit Systems UK to deliver the capability for the UK Royal Navy surface platforms. The consortium is responsible for the design, manufacture, and delivery/commission of the solution, as well as the supply of in-service support. The MEWSIC will be integrated into existing Royal Navy combat systems. It will feature a suite of new sensors to detect and destroy emerging threats and enhance the navy’s situational awareness. QinetiQ will leverage its expertise in sensing technology, integration of naval combat systems, and digitalised trial and assessment. This experience will help the team in realising MEWSIC’s full capability. QinetiQ maritime and land group director Steve Fitz-Gerald said: “From delivering the Naval Combat Systems Integration Support Service (NCSISS) since 2012, to our multimillion-pound investment in Portsdown Technology Park to create the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for Maritime Mission Systems, we have precisely the experience required to ensure the success of this new Electronic Warfare system.
“It puts QinetiQ at the heart of end-to-end maritime systems integration so we can deliver better value and operational outcomes for all our maritime customers.”
In September 2020, QinetiQ awarded a contract to Ultra to modernise the entire Sonobuoy Test Facility (STF) system in the UK. (Source: naval-technology.com)
18 Feb 22. USN doesn’t want to keep guessing whether its information warfare systems work. The U.S. Navy’s information warfare community has several ongoing initiatives to understand the actual state of its IW capability and to further integrate it in with the rest of the Navy.
For Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, the commander of Naval Information Forces, a key hurdle has been the inability to train with information warfare systems during live events, either due to the harm they may cause nearby in the electromagnetic spectrum or because they don’t want to reveal their tools and tactics to anyone watching.
“My number-one priority right now is that we need to get information warfare fully into live, virtual and constructive training, and we’re focused on that this year through a partnership with [Naval Information Warfare Systems Command] in a series of tests and pilots,” she said during a Feb. 16 panel presentation at the WEST 2022 conference, cohosted by the U.S. Naval Institute and AFCEA International.
“Until we deliver that, we’ll remain challenged in being objective about how well we’re executing.”
Aeschbach explained several issues related to understanding how good the service’s IW force is.
First, she said, it’s unclear if the systems the Navy is buying are as good as the Navy expected, or if the sailors can use them properly — “in some cases we are probably more effective than we know we are, and in some we are not as effective as we think we are,” she said.
Additionally, in an actual operation, multiple information warfare sailors might be using multiple systems or techniques at once.
“We are at risk, I think, of some fratricide in the spectrum — and we also may have the ability to bring even more compelling effects through the innovation of our sailors in the concurrent use of some of these capabilities that we actually don’t fully understand yet,” she said in separate remarks at the conference on Feb. 17.
“I’ve been uncomfortable, especially with the increase in complexity of what we do, that we are guessing about what we’re delivering,” she said, and that won’t be resolved until the IW community has an LVC training system where they can safely operate in a virtual environment.
She said NAVIFOR and NAVWAR are in their third pilot this month, which brings in classified information. Aeschbach said some IW systems have been connected into the LVC pilot and that the effort to get an LVC trainer up and running would continue throughout this year.
Aeschbach said in the panel discussion that an LVC trainer would allow NAVIFOR to understand how each sailor performs in various mission areas and give them more training in specific skills or scenarios to raise their proficiency at an individual level — something that’s hard to measure and improve today.
At a force level, though, she praised the two training strike groups — Carrier Strike Group 4 and CSG 15 — for “developing more complex scenarios and events that … are forcing, across all of our mission areas, integration” of information warfare forces within the carrier strike group that’s reflective of how a CSG would operate if called upon to fight.
In 2019, the Navy deployed its first information warfare commander in a CSG, adding the new position to supplement the air warfare commander, surface warfare commander and air warfare commander under the CSG admiral.
Aeschbach said that she just last week submitted the concept of operations for the information warfare commander role to U.S. Pacific Fleet and U.S. Fleet Forces Command for signature. These information warfare commander CONOPS show “the goodness and the superb capability that we’re delivering with an information warfare commander now,” she said.
In an expansion of IW operations at the tactical level, the last few amphibious ready groups (ARGs) to deploy from both the East and West coasts have included a Navy commander and a Marine Corps major whose full-time jobs are to coordinate “operations in the information environment” across the three-ship amphibious ready group and the embarked Marine expeditionary unit, Aeschbach said.
“The feedback from the leaders that go out on those deployments has been resounding that that’s been incredibly powerful, so we’re committed to working with the surface warfare community on how we turn that position into a permanent one and maintain that integration” in ARG/MEU deployments, the way the Navy has committed to continuing the role of the information warfare commander in carrier strike group deployments.
And, she said, the submarine force is also looking to integrate an IW professional into submarine crews for better integration at the tactical level. Commander of Naval Submarine Forces Vice Adm. Bill Houston, who took command last year shortly after Aeschbach took command of NAVIFOR, “fully embraces information warfare, so much so that he is carving out billets from within the submarine force to pilot permanent party information warfare onboard submarines.”
She said Houston recognized that having submarine officers conducting information warfare part-time was “insufficient,” and that it made more sense to have IW sailors conduct the work themselves as a full-time member of the crew.
Two submarines will conduct a pilot program this summer. Each will have a junior officer —an information professional on one submarine, a cryptologist on the other — as well as two cryptologic technicians and an independent duty intelligence specialist. This group of one officer and three enlisted sailors will help integrate IW capabilities into everyday undersea operations, even as NAVIFOR continues to provide direct support for specialized missions on a temporary basis.
Aeschbach said only the Navy’s IW community could provide battlespace awareness, assured communications and integrated fires under the sea, and it was important to start practicing that capability and deploying it around the globe.
At the operational level, she said, the Navy is experimenting with putting IW sailors at maritime operations centers. During last year’s Large Scale Exercise 2021, the Navy fielded an information warfare cell at a MOC for the first time, which Aeschbach said demonstrated the role of IW in maritime operations and the importance of having IW professionals integrated at the staff level.
Counting that LSE21 demonstration as a win, she said it was now on her as the type commander to figure out what types of trained individuals are needed to support MOC operations, what equipment should be located at the MOC and what doctrine and tactics are needed to support information warfare at the operational level — as opposed to the tactical level in a carrier strike group or amphibious ready group.
In a further sign of the fleet embracing IW, Aeschbach said Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Samuel Paparo asked her to establish an Information Warfare Task Force for the Pacific, which she’s been working on since last summer. The capability was demonstrated at a few exercises since last fall, and she said later this year she’d send an IW flag officer to lead a permanent IW task force to support Pacific operational requirements. (Source: Defense News)
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd, internationally renowned award-winning information security and communications specialist with a proven record of accomplishment.
Spectra is a dynamic, agile and security-accredited organisation that offers secure Hosted and Managed Solutions and Cyber Advisory Services with a track record of delivering on time, to spec and on budget.
With over 15 years of experience in delivering solutions for governments around the globe, elite militaries and private enterprises of all sizes, Spectra’s platinum and gold-level partnerships with third-party vendors ensure the supply of best value leading-edge technology.
Spectra was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2019 for SlingShot.
In November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced its listing as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier by the UK Crown Commercial Services.
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 Businessman of the Year by Battlespace magazine.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001:2013 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.