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23 Mar 22. Lockheed eyes Project Convergence after successful 5G expedition. Lockheed Martin plans to demonstrate its new 5G network technologies at Project Convergence ‘22, following a successful showing of gear installed on vehicles traversing Florida scrublands.
The defense-contracting giant has applied to test its 5G solutions as a part of the U.S. Army’s annual experiment, said David Rohall, a senior program manager on the company’s sensors and global sustainment advanced programs team, and hopes to improve its related capabilities in the near future.
Project Convergence ‘22 — the Army’s contribution to Joint All-Domain Command and Control, a plan to modernize military communications — is set for this fall. It will, for the first time, include international partners.
The first Project Convergence began in 2020. Since then, the series of experiments has put emerging technologies, like networks, artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomy, to the test.
Lockheed last year equipped a pair of Hummers with 5G-capable open architecture processors, and drove them across its electronic testing site near Orlando International Airport.
“We took those two commercial Humvees and connected them through a commercial 5G network on site,” Rohall said. “We took those Humvees and we put them in different scenarios to drive throughout.”
The exercise, completed in November 2021, falls under Lockheed Martin’s 5G.MIL initiative, designed to integrate and upgrade the fifth-generation gear in the military. The company said the Florida expedition will help its engineers explore 5G applications for ground vehicles.
The 5G.MIL program, Rohall said, represents “a large investment in the future for all of our joint warfighters. This technology will advance and bring new capabilities to our airmen, soldiers, Marines and sailors across all the joint domain operations.”
Fifth-generation wireless technology is a marked improvement compared to its predecessors, promising faster speeds and boosted bandwidth. Officials believe it will usher in a new era of connectivity.
“This is an enabling technology to share data securely, resiliently and seamlessly across that battle space,” Rohall said.
Lockheed Martin previously joined forces with Microsoft to work on 5G, and in mid-February announced it won a $19.3 million contract to develop a 5G communications network testbed for the U.S. Marine Corps in California.
The defense contractor has also teamed with Verizon to develop 5G systems for battlefield use. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
22 Mar 22. Rohde & Schwarz raises the bar on delivery of fully integrated communications to RAN. Delivery of first Enhanced Cape Class Patrol Boat (ECCPB) to the Royal Australian Navy by Austal marks important achievement for communication systems integrator Rohde & Schwarz Australia. With the formal handover today of the vessel ADV Cape Otway to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Managing Director Rohde & Schwarz Australia Gareth Evans congratulated both Austal and the Rohde & Schwarz team for exceptional performance in delivery of the company’s Naval Integrated Communications System (NAVICS).
“It’s a great day for Austal and Navy, but also for Rohde & Schwarz Australia, which as Communication Systems Integrator (CSI) has achieved a number of record milestones that have significantly contributed to this day becoming a reality,” Mr. Evans said. “Within just five months of contract execution we completed the design of our customized NAVICS internal and external communications solution for the Cape class.”
In an extraordinary feat, both Factory and Harbor Acceptance Testing were successfully completed within 11 months and 17 months respectively of contract award. This is an outstanding achievement by any measure and most certainly in the Australian context, “and I’m extremely proud of the effort of the Rohde & Schwarz Australia team and their counterparts at Austal,” Mr. Evans continued. “In addition, the system they’ve integrated into Cape Otway is the first Multi-Level Security (MLS) NAVICS system to have completed this level of operational preparedness anywhere in the world.”
Rohde & Schwarz Australia Head of Maritime Domain Kieran McLaughlin said the company leveraged experience gained from integration of NAVICS into the Type 26 frigate now being delivered into service with the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy.
“Rohde & Schwarz have now provided more than 40 navies with our scalable, modular and customisable solutions,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “NAVICS MLS will revolutionise on-board communications for the RAN, implementing the most modern IP-based MLS architecture for naval vessels.”
Ben Wardle, General Manager Australian Shipbuilding at Austal said Rohde & Schwarz Australia had proven itself to be capable of not just meeting but exceeding the technical scope of the project. “Austal undertook an extensive scoping activity to identify a capable partner in Australia to develop the latest generation communications systems for the Evolved Cape Class project. Rohde & Schwarz Australia were successful in winning this package of work, and we are now very pleased with the results as proven on the first of class vessel. To make this project a success, Rohde & Schwarz Australia successfully transferred technology from its international counterparts to establish an Australian capability.”
22 Mar 22. NATO wants a say in 5G standardization talks. NATO’s technical agency wants to make sure it has a say in ongoing 5G standardization talks to ensure the critical technology can be used for both civilian and military purposes.
For Antonio Calderon, interim chief technology office for the NATO Communication and Information Agency (NCIA), fifth-generation wireless technology has the potential to enable swaths of novel capabilities for the defensive alliance.
That’s why it’s important that NCIA have a voice in ongoing discussions about 5G standardization, he said in an interview with Defense News. If two NATO member nations went into a maritime exercise with capabilities that used a future, currently hypothetical, NATO 5G standard, those nations would be able to securely communicate without the use of a base station.
The agency is in ongoing conversations with industry partners with connections to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), the umbrella term for a number of organizations that develop protocols for mobile communications.
“We don’t have a seat in that 3GPP, but we can raise our concerns” with the members, Calderon said. “If we are not part of that discussion, if we are not around the table, the 5G standards will be focused on civilian applications.”
That would be a drawback to NATO and its partners, who see a huge opportunity for 5G to provide next-generation connectivity and enhanced network management to troops across domains. Calderon, who prior to joining NATO worked in the civilian telecommunications industry, noted that if industry comes up with its own 5G standard without considering military-specific features, they run the risk of narrowing their business case.
For the past several years, the agency has been conducting internal technical assessments to evaluate the potential of 5G for military applications.
NCIA has pared down its focus from four to two specific applications: for maritime communications and for deployable communications and information systems (CIS), Calderon said. Those two applications were chosen due to the maturity of their technology and their potential in the civilian domain as well as military, he added.
“Those two already have a mature industry, doing trials and proofs of concept,” he said. “But those two are also the most interesting for NATO – it’s hand in hand.”
The alliance has recently established its own multinational 5G initiative, with over 10 member-nations currently involved. The initiative is in its early stages, and the member nations are determining how best to contribute to the 5G efforts – whether financially, in-kind with experts or engineers, or a combination.
Calderon said NCIA has currently dedicated funding “in the single millions” for 5G technologies, but noted that if the 5G initiative materialized into a “real program,” they could dedicate ten times more funding than that. The agency may also be able to tap into NATO’s recently established technology accelerator, the Defense Innovation Accelerator of the North Atlantic (DIANA).
By 2023, NATO hopes for DIANA to have established links with test centers across its member nations to help validate, test and co-design emerging and next-generation technologies. “5G could be a good candidate for one of those defense challenges that maybe DIANA … could address,” Calderon said.
But in the meantime, NATO will continue to work to ensure the military uses of 5G are taken into account in the civilian development of new standards, he added.
“Then, the products will have those standards that are really useful … and valuable for us,” he said. (Source: Defense News)
23 Mar 22. USN wants industry’s best technologies for aviation communication demo. The service is primarily interested in mature technologies ready to be used onboard larger aircraft. The US Navy wants industry to show off its best ideas for beyond-line-of-sight communication systems capable of being used on both manned and unmanned platforms. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division is seeking white papers for entry into an advanced naval technology exercise to be held at Naval Air Station Patuxent River or Wester Outlying Field in Saint Inigoes, MD. The notice NAWCAD published this week indicates the exact dates and times for each demonstration will be determined through discussions between the service and vendor.
“NAWCAD is seeking hardware and software technologies/systems that are supportable and scalable across various sized and complex air platforms, manned and unmanned,” according to a public notice. “Of particular interest are systems/technologies for unmanned vehicles group 3 and above which are highly dependent on data and communication networks for command and control, vehicle status, data transfer (comms/video), payload, and a multitude of other functions.”
The military characterizes unmanned aircraft into groups ranging from one to five, with group one representing small handheld drones that are easily deployed by one or two people while group five aircraft are comparable to the size of a manned helicopter.
The notice also states the warfare center is primarily interested in addressing networking challenges while operating in contested environments and maintaining low size, weight and power requirements. The service is seeking capabilities that are at least at technology readiness level 4.
A technology readiness level is a general description the military uses to explain how mature a capability is, and by extension, how long will it take before it could potentially be used in real world operations. Level 4 indicates the fundamental components work together when tested in a sterile or laboratory environment.
Applications for NAWCAD’s event are due by April 19.
Advanced Naval Technology Exercises, also called ANTX, are events regularly hosted by the service that aim to collect an assortment of industry technologies all focused on specific subject areas. They are also usually attended by the service’s top leaders, representatives from the Navy’s requirements offices and the program managers charged with delivering capabilities to the fleet. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
22 Mar 22. Hughes Selected to Deploy Private 5G Network for DoD. Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), an innovator in satellite and multi-transport technologies and networks for 50 years, today announced the award of an $18m contract from the Department of Defense (DoD) to deploy a standalone 5G network at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington state. The Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) was issued through the Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP) consortium, a collaboration to engage industry and academia to develop and mature technologies in the field of information warfare that enhance Navy and Marine Corps mission effectiveness. Hughes will serve as the prime contractor connecting the base with a secure 5G network to support operations, maintenance and flight traffic management. The Hughes 5G network will utilize spectrum from DISH Wireless, the only carrier capable of providing the right combination of low band, mid band, and high band (mmWave) spectrum. This work is part of on-going DoD 5G experimentation led by the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
“Over the course of this three-year project, we will demonstrate for the U.S. Department of Defense how 5G infrastructure from Hughes – including a packet processing core, radio access, edge cloud, security and network management – can power the resilient networking necessary to transform base operations,” said Dr. Rajeev Gopal, vice president, Advanced Programs, Hughes. “Today’s walkie-talkies, paper-trails and telephone conversations will be replaced with a private, secure 5G network over which air station processes and systems will be automated and continuously optimized. What’s more, the standalone, standards-based configuration – including O-RAN standards for flexibility – will connect seamlessly anywhere on the planet using Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) satellite connectivity.”
“DISH is delivering the connectivity for this private 5G network, providing engineering services, support and access to our spectrum portfolio,” said Stephen Bye, chief commercial officer, DISH. “As we build our own network, we’re proud to team with Hughes in this important project to deliver a fast, secure, reliable network to serve the U.S. Department of Defense and support mission-critical functions.”
“This award is a testament to Hughes leadership in engineering and managing smart networks that enable the military to exchange information with the right people at the right time with an any-network approach that’s hardware agnostic and transport independent,” said Rick Lober, vice president and general manager, Hughes Defense. “We look forward to showcasing our capabilities in secure management of a 5G stand-alone deployment with advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning for ongoing enhancement and increasing efficiencies.”
The deployment, which began in September 2021, leverages Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) and meets National Security Administration (NSA) Commercial Solution for Classified (CSFC) requirements. Working together on the project, with Hughes as the integrator, are: Boingo Wireless, Cisco, Dell, DISH, JMA Wireless and Intel. (Source: ASD Network)
21 Mar 22. Round 7: More companies sign on to USAF’s $950m JADC2 program. This latest group of 23 firms will focus on maturing and demonstrating capabilities. Nearly two dozen companies have joined the group of firms that will work with the Air Force to help create a new system for gathering and sending information across different systems and platforms.
Round number seven of awards for the $950m Joint All Domain Command and Control effort increases that program’s overall roster of companies to 159.
This latest group of 23 firms will focus on the maturation, demonstration and proliferation of capability with respect to open systems design, modern software and algorithm development.
New JADC2 awardees are as follows:
- ARD Global
- Astranis Space Technologies
- Black Cape
- CFD Research
- Conceptual Research
- Expeditionary Engineering
- Fairwinds Technologies
- Fearless Solutions
- Feddata Technology Solutions
- Fuse Integration
- HawkEye 360
- Oakman Aerospace
- Primer Federal
- Robust Intelligence
- Tangram Flex
- The Ulysses Group
The Air Force’s goal and vision for the JADC2 concept is to be an open architecture that allows for more rapid integration of new information and communications technologies.
JADC2 is intended to be a unifying connection of platforms, systems and weapons across all the service branches as they look to drive modernization efforts and integrate domains.
Award rounds one through four took place in 2020, followed by the fifth in January 2021 and the sixth block followed in July of last year.
Separate to those awards, Science Applications International Corp. is the lead on a potential $878.2m task order for broad solutions and engineering work on JADC2 over five years. That order was awarded in September 2020. (Source: washingtontechnology.com)
21 Mar 22. Wearable Sensors May Be Future Option for Assessing Toxin Exposures. The Defense Department, military services and Veterans Affairs are doing a lot now to assess the effects of airborne hazards, including open burn pits, on the health of current and veteran service members who may have been exposed while deployed overseas in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Capitol Hill lawmakers on Wednesday were also interested in how the military services might one day evaluate an individual service member’s exposure to toxins with wearable sensors, rather than with the kinds of static sensors being used today.
“We’re very interested in wearables,” said Dr. Terry Rauch, the acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for health readiness policy and oversight. “The reason is because our emphasis, our focus really needs to be on individual exposure monitoring.”
Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on personnel, Rauch said wearable technology may allow the department to one day more closely monitor an individual’s precise exposure to health-affecting toxins in a way that’s just not possible today.
“If we can’t figure out what the dose of the exposure was and what they were exposed to, then it’s very difficult to capture their response,” he said.
Navy Capt. Brian L. Feldman, commander of the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, told lawmakers the Navy is already looking at such wearable technology for use on submarines.
“One unique thing that Navy medicine is doing with research and development we’ve got some very robust submarine atmospheric monitoring, quite a robust and safe program. And R&D is looking at silicone bands, wearables so that you can get individual-level exposure data on a submarine,” he said.
Both Air Force and Army witnesses at the hearing also said that their respective services are interested in wearable detectors.
When it comes to better understanding how service members will react to exposure to toxins — such as those produced by exposure to burn pits, fuels, solvents, or even dust and sand, Rauch said it’s also important for the services to know how an individual service member’s personal health habits and history might affect his or her response.
“In addition to wearables, we need to understand more about how the individual responds to environmental exposures,” Rauch said. “What risks do they bring other background lifestyle factors, such as smoking a pack a day before you deploy, other lifestyle factors or even what genetic background individuals bring. We need to understand those because they’re going to have an impact, and science isn’t there, yet, but we’re pursuing it.”
Rauch also said the Defense Department is working with the Department of Veterans Affairs on a variety of tools to better inform health care providers about what a service members’ past exposure to toxins might be.
One such tool — the Individual Longitudinal Exposure Record — is expected to reach full operational capability in 2023. It allows medical professionals to match an individual service member’s or veteran’s location data — such as where they were deployed and when — against existing databases that document exposure risks, so doctors can get a better picture of what a patient might have been exposed to.
“The department remains committed to continually improving our understanding of exposures of concern and potential health effects in order to prevent and mitigate exposures and clinically assess, treat and care for our service members and veterans,” Rauch said. (Source: US DoD)
21 Mar 22. JADC2 Implementation Plan Finalized, Signed by Defense Leadership. Last week, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks signed the implementation plan for Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2. It’s the final step needed before moving forward on delivering JADC2 capabilities to the warfighter, which will bring a better way to sense, make sense of and act on the volumes of information generated into today’s joint, all-domain warfighting environment.
The finalized and approved implementation plan serves as the critical final step needed before building out JADC2 capabilities, said Marine Lt. Gen. Dennis A. Crall, who serves as the director of command, control, communications and computers/cyber as well as chief information officer on the Joint Staff.
” the seminal document that we’ve been waiting for — and it’s been difficult for the reasons you might expect, it’s so comprehensive,” Crall said during a virtual briefing today at the Pentagon.
Crall said the implementation plan is important because it defines who will do what in building out JADC2 for the warfighter.
“This is what the I-plan actually does for us,” Crall said. “It takes a look very clearly at specific and prioritized plans. How are we going to accomplish the very things that we said, again, in what order, how do you measure them, how do we leverage the boards, bureaus, working groups, cells, committees that are in the building, to empower them, to move these to fruition?”
The implementation plan for JADC2 also provides a plan for who will be doing what — so everybody working on execution of JADC2 knows what everybody else is doing, he said.
“We don’t always know what others are working on,” Crall said. “The I-plan captures that at its fullest, so you can look across your lane of expertise, be informed by some of the other efforts, and maybe that provides opportunity to come up with a better way.”
The implementation plan also outlines, among other things, milestones for delivery of JADC2 and plans for funding as well.
“That’s why the implementation plan is so critical and important to what we do,” Crall said.
With the delivery of the implementation plan, Crall said it’s now time to move ahead with building out JADC2.
“This is the year of delivery,” he said. “And that’s exactly what we intend to do. I think we’ve talked, we’ve studied, we’ve interacted, we’ve mapped, it’s now time to put these together and learn by doing.” (Source: US DoD)
21 Mar 22. An AFP-led centre set up to combat malicious cyber activity has been unveiled by the Commonwealth government, supported by a new national response plan.
Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews has announced the opening of the Joint Policing Cybercrime Coordination Centre (JPC3) — a new Australian Federal Police-led centre designed to house collaboration between law enforcement and intelligence services representatives focused on combating the growing threat of malicious cyber activity.
The cyber-crime fighting hub — to be based in the AFP’s NSW headquarters —has received $89m in funding via the Commonwealth government’s $1.67bn Cyber Security Strategy.
The new centre will be supported by a ‘National Plan to Combat Cybercrime’, endorsed by Commonwealth, State and Territory Police Ministers.
The plan aims to foster industry growth online, bolster confidence in the digital economy, and ensure safe online spaces for children, while also boosting crime detection and law enforcement capabilities.
This underpinned by three key pillars:
“During the pandemic, cybercrime became one of the fastest growing and most prolific forms of crime committed against Australians. The tools and the techniques used to rob or extort Australians became more effective and more freely available than ever before.,” Minister Andrews said.
“…I’m serious about enforcing the law and protecting Australia’s digital future, which is why the Plan is backed up by the resources, intelligence, and capabilities of a new AFP-led cybercrime centre.
“Using far-reaching Commonwealth legislation and high-end technical capabilities, the AFP’s new cybercrime centre will aggressively target cyber threats, shut them down, and bring offenders to justice.”
These latest initiatives build on a number of recent reforms announced as part of the government’s cyber security strategy, which include introducing a Ransomware Action Plan, proposing critical infrastructure legislation, and ramping up collaboration with international counterparts in the United Kingdom and the United States. (Source: https://www.cybersecurityconnect.com.au/)
17 Mar 22. Indra strengthens the Spanish Army’s chemical incident response capabilities with an advanced mobile CBRN analysis laboratory. Indra, a leading global technology and consulting company, has delivered to the Spanish Army an advanced mobile chemical analysis laboratory that provides increased security for Spanish soldiers in their missions, allows for the protection of the civilian population in international conflicts, and increases response capabilities in case of an industrial accident in Spanish territory.
The 1st CBRN Defence Regiment ‘Valencia’ is responsible for deploying in the area of operations and establishing a rapid alert system in the case of nuclear, biological or chemical attacks. While these weapons are prohibited, they have nevertheless been detected in various international situations and terrorist attacks in recent years.
Until now, this highly specialised Army unit has been operating mainly with VAMTAC (high mobility tactical vehicle) reconnaissance vehicles and BMR 6×6 armoured vehicles suitably adapted for the mission with Sampling and Identification of Biological, Chemical and Radiological Agents (SIBCRA) Equipment. Now they will also have an Indra mobile chemical laboratory equipped with the most advanced instruments and mounted on a military truck that ensures maximum mobility and the ability to travel to the area of interest.
Inside, the laboratory offers a safe space with negative pressure in which two or three experts can work on sample collection and analysis. An advanced information and communications system allows them to coordinate with the Marañosa Institute of Technology’s Central Chemical Weapons Laboratory (LQCA) and to have its support at all times.
Speed in arriving on the scene and collecting the first pieces of data is of vital importance in this type of attack. This is the only way to identify the agent used in time to activate damage limitation and life-saving measures. It is also critical to gather the necessary evidence to report the use of these weapons to international institutions.
The laboratory may also be used on Spanish territory in the event of an industrial accident if there is a risk of a toxic agent being released that could affect public health. All Indra’s mobile laboratory equipment complies with NATO international standards for this type of installation (STANAG 4632). (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
18 Mar 22. Highest Security for Critical Cybersecurity Missions. HENSOLDT France, the French subsidiary of sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT, has developed a combined software and hardware solution for Cybersecurity that can be individually adapted to customer requirements. The X7 technology provides a cyber-protection solution that can be used in all types of military systems in particular for tactical platforms requiring low SWaP (Size, Weight and Power) electronics.
The main security feature of X7 is IP network encryption. In addition, X7 manages network segregation as well as secure data storage, and handles information of various classification levels. Furthermore, X7 has features that render the stored data unusable if compromised.
X7 uses the latest electronic components (SoC FPGA) for its hardware base and places them in a compact housing that can be adapted to the available space, depending on whether it is to be used in any kind of tactical platforms, even carried in a soldier back pack. X7 is a lightweight solution and suits to very challenging environment met by tactical military systems.
“X7 is a customizable solution,” says Philippe Guibourg, CEO of HENSOLDT France. “It has an open, flexible architecture that we can tailor exactly to the customer’s needs. It also scales with possible future requirements, meaning additional functions can be easily implemented at any time. The compact, lightweight hardware core remains the same.” Each product based on the X7 technology can be certified to Common Criteria, up to EAL4+ and/or NATO secret. (Source: ASD Network)
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.