Sponsored by Spectra Group
14 Jul 22. Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, www.mrcy.com), a leader in trusted, secure mission-critical processing technologies for aerospace and defense, today announced that its new mPOD, a rapidly reprogrammable electronic attack (EA) training system designed to train pilots using realistic, near-peer jamming capabilities, is currently undergoing final flight testing. To sharpen their combat skills, pilots need to train in mock air-to-air combat with other pilots operating as adversaries. Using mPOD, “adversary” pilots can emulate enemy jamming techniques accurately, conditioning aircrews to evolving threat scenarios and better preparing them for real combat.
“Alternative electronic attack training solutions are difficult to obtain and update,” said Mark Bruington, vice president, Mercury Mission Systems. “Our innovative mPOD is a commercial solution that can be programmed quickly and will help the U.S. and our allies’ military pilots develop tactics to maintain a strategic advantage over adversaries. It will also increase pilot and aircraft survivability and save ms of dollars in training costs through integrated threat presentations.”
Built with proven technology for electronic warfare training, test and evaluation
- Simultaneously emulate multiple National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC)-validated threats with proven Filthy Buzzard digital RF memory (DRFM) technology developed and validated over 35 years in partnership with the U.S Air Force and Navy
- Quickly reprogram missions and threats for different aircraft and radar systems in minutes via an intuitive software interface
- Speed integration with the aircraft display and control panel using the user interface or an integrated cockpit control panel
- Attach the mPOD to any aircraft weapon’s pylon or integrate it within the aircraft to reduce drag and maintain aircraft performance
- Decrease overall sustainment cost through a scalable and modular design with six swappable, high MTBF hardware components including a wideband Meggitt antenna.
14 Jul 22. Launching the Defence Centre for AI Research. Dstl and the Alan Turing Institute have jointly launched the Centre in order to research problems related to advancing artificial intelligence (AI) capability.
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has announced the formation of the Defence Centre for AI Research (DCAR) as part of the newly released Defence AI Strategy and the recently established Defence AI Centre.
The Centre is being launched in conjunction with the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s institute for AI and data science.
Funded through the Ministry of Defence’s Chief Scientific Advisor, the Centre will focus on the underpinning problems associated with enabling advances in AI capability. Examples include areas such as:
- low short learning – the ability to train machines to learn without the need for vast amounts of data
- the application of AI to war gaming
- understanding the limits of AI models
- managing multiple sensors
- human-centric AI
In many cases it is expected that outcomes will not only be of interest to defence but also the wider UK economy.
Whilst based in London, Turing will use its outreach to engage with universities around the country, drawing together the UK’s best expertise.
The establishment of the Centre is expected to result in the creation of at least 5 to 8 new academic posts starting from September 2022, with the potential to grow further.
Glen Hart, Senior Principal Scientist from Dstl, commented:
The DCAR will be a centre of excellence which provides real focus to developing and applying AI ethically in defence contexts.
The Defence AI Strategy was published in June 2022 with the vision that, in terms of AI, the UK’s MOD will be the world’s most effective, efficient, trusted and influential defence organisation for its size.
The MOD is committed to developing AI in an ambitious, safe and responsible way.
The creation of the DCAR follows the launch in June of the Defence Data Research Centre (DDRC) under a consortium led by the University of Exeter. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
14 Jul 22. Smith Myers world debut for new products at Farnborough International Airshow 2022.
New additions to award-winning SAR line up based on detect and find features transforming mobile phones into location beacons for crewed and uncrewed rotary/VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) and fixed wing aircraft across weight categories.
The fusion of cellular and AIS sensor data in a single user interface/analysis tool opens the path to more effective and efficient maritime patrol operations whilst reducing operator workload
Smith Myers will be holding executive and media briefings and providing simulator experience opportunities at ADS Group Stand No, 1023, Hall 1.
As part of an unprecedented multi sector expansion programme, Smith Myers the UK technology innovation company has selected Farnborough International Air show 18-22 July 2022 as the global launchpad for major product announcements timed to coincide with the company’s 35th anniversary.
Smith Myers is launching several new products in its ARTEMIS range of equipment at Farnborough this year.
T-A – Fully qualified to RTCA DO160 (G), this new addition to the ARTEMIS family offers users a merging of mobile phone detection, location and communication along with dual band maritime AIS and COSPAS SARSAT in a single 4.2Kg unit.
Nathan Herbert, Senior Development and Integration Engineer at Smith Myers for 24 years says “incorporating all these capabilities into a single unit was an obvious evolution of the Artemis product range. The ability to directly detect and locate Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons and Personal Locator Beacons (COSPAS SARSAT) while simultaneously performing the same actions with mobile phones will be invaluable on Search & Rescue or Disaster Relief Missions. Additionally the fusion of cellular and AIS sensor data in a single user interface/analysis tool opens the path to more effective and efficient maritime patrol operations whilst reducing operator workload”.
Covering all global cellular frequencies and technologies, the T-A matches the impressive ranges achieved by the earlier ARTEMIS system, identifying, locating and communicating with mobile handsets at ranges in excess of 30Km.
T-U – Offers exactly the same cellular capability as the T-A in a small SWaP 1.4Kg housing. This new system is perfect for medium to large UAS and is also fully qualified to RTCA DO160 (G) for use on manned aircraft. The single I/O makes integration simple and economical and the zero airflow design offers integrators maximum flexibility. Again, the T-U covers all global cellular frequencies and technologies proving effective at ranges greater than 30Km.
ARTEMIS turns any mobile phone into a rescue beacon, only requiring two small antennas to generate a latitude/longitude fix at ranges in excess of 30Km, offering a radical and effective alternative to traditional airborne sensors and direction-finding systems:
- Texting and calls in no service areas
- Automatic cueing of EO/IR (Electro -Optical/Infra-Red)
- Deployment as a stand-alone with embedded mapping or integrated with leading mission system providers
- Making missions in low light/ IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) safer and increasing the odds for a positive outcome
- Available in several SWaP configurations for manned/unmanned platforms
The Smith Myers team is anticipating the ATERMIS-simulator will prove to be of great interest to delegates and visitors to the stand.
The ARTEMIS simulator allows creation of different real-world scenarios through a simple intuitive interface. This includes creating many simulated mobiles in and out of coverage, and simulated 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G mobile networks, all of which behave as they would in the real world. The items created can easily be dragged onto a worldwide map. When combined with the ARTEMIS software the mobiles can be located just as they would in a real mission. This makes the ARTEMIS simulator perfect for training, integration testing and post-facto mission analysis.
Simon Alford, Senior Software Engineer who has been with Smith Myers for 18 years, explained: “Within Smith Myers we use the simulator extensively to test and refine our own software as it gives the opportunity to repeatedly ‘fly’ missions with very realistic results.”
“Using a real instance of the ARTEMIS software running alongside a software simulator we have created a powerful training tool that will allow operators to practice and repeat the techniques and tactics in a classroom environment prior to flying with the live system. This will ensure that the operator can concentrate on the live operation instead of worrying about the operation of the User Interface” Alford added.
Combine the simulator with the built-in flight path creator and the operator and pilot can coordinate to ensure the missing person is found as quickly and safely as possible.
In conclusion Andrew Munro, Director at Smith Myers said: “This past few years has seen an impressive uptake in the ARTEMIS product offering across SAR applications through valued integrator partners and direct end users. This multi-channel approach allows us to be remain flexible and agile in such a dynamic market, where already we have become regarded as the industry standard”.
ARTEMIS has been in active service saving lives around the world. The global customer base includes deployment with the Royal Norwegian Airforce for Search and Rescue duties with the Leonardo AW101 SAR Queen, and has received many international awards, including the coveted Royal Aeronautical Society Silver medal. Current area of interest include Western and Eastern Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
13 Jul 22. UN stresses strategic communications to combat disinformation ‘weapon of war.’
The United Nations Security Council votes to hold a meeting, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. (Richard Drew/AP)
The U.N. Security Council said Tuesday that more needs to be done to counter disinformation and misinformation about the U.N.’s 12 peacekeeping operations, which have faced growing attacks especially on social media.
A Brazilian-drafted presidential statement approved by all 15 council members said the U.N. must “improve the culture of strategic communications across civilian, military and police components” of peacekeeping missions in order to protect civilians — a key mandate for the U.N.’s 90,000 peacekeepers in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
The council noted “with great concern the increasing amount of disinformation and misinformation directed against United Nations peacekeeping operations, which may negatively impact missions and peacekeepers.”
Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos França, whose country holds the council presidency this month and chaired Tuesday’s meeting, said that “strategic communications are essential for a successful peacekeeping operation.”
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the council that the world in which peacekeepers operate “is more hazardous today than any time in recent memory,” with geopolitical tensions reverberating locally and conflicts “more complex and multi-layered.”
“Peacekeepers are facing terrorists, criminals, armed groups and their allies — many with access to powerful modern weapons, and many with a vested interest in perpetuating the chaos in which they thrive,” the U.N. chief said.
But, he added, “The weapons they wield are not just guns and explosives. Misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech are increasingly being used as a weapon of war.”
Guterres said a recent survey found that nearly half of all U.N. peacekeepers feel misinformation and disinformation severely affect their work and threaten their safety and security.
As an example of false information spreading “like wildfire,” Guterres said a fake letter alleging that U.N. peacekeepers in Mali were collaborating with armed groups “went viral on WhatsApp and was picked up by national media.” It stirred up hostility and resentment against peacekeepers and made their efforts to protect civilians even harder, he said.
Lt. Gen. Marcos Da Costa, commander of the peacekeeping force in Congo, told the council that it operates in a country where successive surveys find “an overall poor perception” among the population about the mission’s relevance in improving their security.
“Anti-mission sentiment prevails in certain parts of the country that even prevent some of our deployments,” he said. “Unfair speeches by several actors against the mission put in risk the safety of our peacekeepers. The extensive use of social media by armed groups and other spoilers undermines the confidence in the U.N.”
He said these armed militias “use regular information warfare techniques” and their fake news diffusing through messaging and social media is difficult to distinguish from reality.
“These emerging technologies are driving a fundamental change to the character of the war, and peace operations are already being affected,” Da Costa said.
Guterres said the U.N. is moving to improve communications in peacekeeping operations between uniformed and civilian personnel, seek military and police officers skilled in communicating, and work with tech and media companies and member states to collect and share best practices. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
12 Jul 22. Testing Times. Officials from the A4ESSOR consortium in the facility where interoperability testing of the ESSOR HDRWF waveform were recently concluded.
Europe’s ESSOR wideband waveform takes an important step forward in its quest to enhance tactical communications interoperability.
The A4ESSOR consortium announced at this year’s Eurosatory defence held in Paris between 13th and 17th June a significant milestone for the European ESSOR high data rate waveform initiative. ESSOR is an acronym for the European Secure Software Defined Radio initiative. This is developing a waveform to equip tactical radios used by land forces for the wideband carriage of traffic. The rationale is to ensure that land forces have an efficient way of communicating between each other. This is particularly important in coalition operations.
Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal are all involved in the ESSOR initiative. All six countries will be introducing this waveform into their tactical communications over the coming years. The A4ESSOR consortium involves Bittium, Indra, Leonardo, Radmor, Rohde and Schwarz, and Thales. The project will yield a High Data Rate Waveform, known as ESSOR HDRWF.
The consortium’s announcement via a press release revealed that interoperability testing had recently concluded in Poland. Radios provided by the A4ESSOR partners were put through their paces to ensure they could communicate with one another using the waveform.
As noted in a previous Armada article, the HDRWF is an ultra-high frequency waveform using a waveband of 225 megahertz/MHz to 400MHz. Up to 200 nodes can be housed on a single ESSOR network. The waveform can handle data rates of up to one megabit-per-second. It can sustain full duplex data and voice-over-internet-protocol communications. Transmission security includes fast frequency hopping and it can work in environments where global navigation satellite signals are badly degraded or denied.
Senior A4ESSOR official told Armada that the ESSOR programme in its current form will continue until 2024 when the contract is complete. ESSOR is being developed under the auspices of OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement/Joint Armaments Cooperation Organisation). OCCAR is a multilateral European institution managing pan-European defence projects.
They added that France, Italy, Poland and Finland have all ported the ESSOR HDRWF into their existing and future tactical radios and completed interoperability testing. Germany, is expected to complete this process over the next two years. The officials said that ESSOR HDRWF is ready for deployment, and the waveform has been deployed to this end by the Finnish armed forces. Additional testing is expected by the consortium in the form of field testing which will see two or more land forces trialing the waveform. The consortium will continue to furnish member nations will the latest versions of the waveforms as this process unfolds. A programme of continual improvements for the waveform, akin to software updates for computers in the civilian world, is expected throughout the ESSOR HDRWF’s lifetime.
In addition to the ESSOR HDRWF the consortium is developing a narrowband waveform under a separate contract with OCCAR. A contract was signed to this effect at the end of 2021. Officials expect ESSOR to deliver the technical specifications for the waveform by the end of 2024. A further contract could be awarded for the waveform’s development before this deadline. This could see production of a waveform ready for installation into partner nations’ tactical radios by 2024. (Source: Armada)
11 Jul 22. Making Contact. The French Army’s new ESRP handheld radio is a single channel system providing power outputs of up to five watts.
The French armed forces’ Contact programme is one of Europe’s most ambitious tactical communications renewals.
Thales is leading this programme rolling out new transceivers and waveforms across the country’s military. Armada was briefed on the programme’s latest developments at this year’s Eurosatory defence exhibition held in Paris between 13th and 17th June.
The Armée de Terre (French Army) receive the lion’s share of the new radios. The force will retire its venerable Thales PR4G Very/Ultra High Frequency (V/UHF: 30 megahertz/MHz to three gigahertz/GHz) radios. These will be replaced with new dual band 30MHz to 108MHz and 225MHz to 512MHz handheld and vehicular radios. The handheld radio is known officially as the ESRP (Equipement Radio Standard Portatif/Handheld Radio Terminal). The vehicular radio is officially designated the NCTT (Node de Communications Tactique – Terrestre/Land Tactical Communications Node). Interestingly, Contact does not include a backpack radio. Both the army and Thales told Armada that the ESRP comprises all the capabilities usually found in such a transceiver. An airborne radio (Contact-AR) is also in the offing. This will be rolled out across France’s fleet of military aircraft.
France’s Direction Générale de l’Armement (General Armaments Directorate) procurement agency awarded a contract to Thales to fulfill the programme in 2012. Development efforts took six years with production commencing in 2019. Open sources state that circa 25,000 radios across all types could be manufactured and delivered over ten years. Thales says that it will produce an average of 100 radios monthly, with one radio produced every two hours during the working day.
In June 2021, Contact radios were tested during the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) Coalition Warrior Interoperability Exercise (CWIX). This allowed participating nations to test the interoperability of their communications systems and networks.
Contact radios will carry several waveforms. Importantly, from an interoperability perspective they will have the pan-European ESSOR (European Secure Software Defined Radio) waveform. ESSOR is discussed in more detail in our Testing Times article. French army sources told Armada that the ESRP and NCTT will both carry the French version of the waveform, known as ESSOR-VF. While ESSOR-VF will support multinational and coalition operations, the CONVERT waveform is for exclusive French use. Like ESSOR-VF this carries voice and data traffic.
Both new radios will be outfitted with a third waveform called Geomux. Launched in 2012, Geomux provides simultaneous voice, data and Blue Force Tracking (BFT) services. This is performed using two channels. The first carries voice and data. The second carries GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) derived BFT information. Geomux is also carried by the French Army’s PR4G radios. Having both families of radios carrying Geomux ensures they can communicate using this waveform. This will facilitate interoperability within the armed forces while the transition from legacy radios to new systems is ongoing. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation waveforms like SATURN (Second generation Anti-jam Tactical UHF Radio for NATO) will also be included. SATURN primarily carries air-to-surface/surface-to-air traffic.
An export variant of the Contact radio sans French national encryption and government waveforms is under development known as Synaps. Synaps will equip the Belgian armed forces. Spain will also receive the Synaps system with Indra and Thales collaborating on the acquisition. Having these armed forces use a similar radio system to Contact will enhance pan-European interoperability.
Field testing of the Contact radios has been successfully completed. Army officials told Armada that the two Contact radios will enter service with the force by 2023. Deliveries will continue until the PR4G is phased out in circa 2025.
Contact forms part of a wider overhaul of French military radio communications. Beyond this programme, French troops will receive new Personal Role Radios (PRRs). These will replace Safran’s RIF-NG PRR equipping the force’s Fantassin à Équipement et Liaisons Intégrés (Integrated Infantryman Equipment and Communications) ensemble.
New High Frequency (HF: three to 30MHz) radios are also on the horizon. Army officials told Armada that several different types of HF radio are in service across France’s armed forces. Plans are afoot to harmonise these with a single radio type. These new radios will incorporate NATO’s Standardisation Agreement-4539 (STANAG-4539) Appendix-H. This prescribes the specifications for HF radio waveforms carrying between 72 kilobits-per-second/kbps and 144kbps of data. This is a significant step forward from the circa 9.6kbps prescribed by NATO’s current STANAG-4539 incarnation.
Contact is one of NATO’s most important military communications modernisation initiatives, not only because of the enhanced capabilities it provides France, but also via the inherent interoperability promised by ESSOR. Its’ progress will be watched with interest. (Source: Armada)
13 Jul 22. Project EVO Problems. The EVO undertaking is an important step forward in the UK’s wider Project Morpheus overhaul of Britain’s land forces’ communications and C2 capabilities.
EVO, the first stage of the UK’s Project Morpheus command, control and communications overhaul for British land forces, seems troubled.
Project Morpheus is a complex, multifaceted programme. It is overhauling the military communications and Command and Control (C2) systems used by British land forces. The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) says the programme is worth almost $4 bn.
Open and Modular
Project Morpheus’ initial step is called ‘EVO’, MOD shorthand for Evolve to Open. The ministry says EVO “will change the current vendor tied system into a vendor independent and open information architecture system”. This will give “the MOD … greater flexibility over the future evolution of the system.” In April 2017 General Dynamics was awarded a contract worth $437 m to develop the EVO architecture. This will evolve the current Bowman tactical communications and C2 architecture into an “open and modular” system.
Bowman, chiefly used by the British Army, entered service early this century. It should remain in service until 2026, according to open sources. The current Bowman architecture includes a plethora of tactical radios and C2 systems. Bowman’s capabilities have steadily improved throughout its life via a series of spiral upgrades. The latest of these is known as the Bowman Combat Infrastructure Platform-5.6 (BCIP-5.6) initiative. BCIP-5.6 forms part of the MOD’s Land Environment Tactical Communications and Information Systems (LETACCIS) initiative. LETACCIS comprises several other communications, C2, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance programmes mainly relevant to the British Army.
EVO is tasked with taking the BCIP-5.6 architecture and evolving it into an open, modular design so it can easily and safely accept new hardware, software and capabilities when they become available. The MOD says this approach will “enable (it) to integrate and deploy new capabilities selected from across (i)ndustry in a faster and more cost effective manner”.
How is EVO doing? Hard to say for certain but the word on the street is not good. UK media reports in April spoke of EVO suffering significant delays. One analysis by Battlespace in November 2021 blamed delays on finance and capability issues. The article alleged the MOD had not paid General Dynamics the full amount for the contract and had halted development while it considered the programme’s trajectory. EVO’s putative reconfiguration was said to reflect wider MOD priorities reflecting Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) concepts. Broadly speaking MDO stresses ever-closer intra- and inter-service networking for personnel, sensors, platforms and weapons to achieve adversarial overmatch. Concerns have been expressed over the architecture’s cyber and electronic warfare resilience in its present form. Battlespace’s analysis hints that EVO is now being re-imagined to embrace MDO concepts and improve resilience, hence the delay.
Six months on from Battlespace’s analysis and it appears that these problems are no closer to being resolved. A highly placed MOD source familiar with the programme hinted at concerns over General Dynamics’ approach. Speaking to Armada at this year’s Eurosatory exhibition, industry sources reiterated that problems were being experienced with EVO. One source told Armada elements of the MOD’s approach and aspirations were causing difficulties. They accused the ministry of putting the cart before the horse, chiefly of having overly specified goals for the entire Morpheus programme. They argued that a better approach would be to have less restrictive aspirations regarding Morpheus writ large. These could be implemented more easily with modest and flexible steps, they asserted.
An MOD spokesperson told Armada that “Morpheus is one of several programmes working to deliver the next generation of tactical military communications for land operations … We are reviewing the next steps on how to best take the programme forward.” They said the ministry is working to mitigate delays and that these will not compromise the security of the tactical communications and information systems to be delivered. To this end, the MOD is in negotiations with General Dynamics’ UK mission systems subsidiary.
To be fair, changing a standard tactical communication and C2 architecture into one which is fully open and modular to easily and safely accept new hardware, software and capabilities was always going to be tough. This was complicated by the rapid strategic change from large-scale counterinsurgency in places like Afghanistan towards the return to high intensity peer-on-peer conflict heralded by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Nonetheless, EVO cannot be allowed to fail. Bowman is in its twilight years. EVO is a hugely significant bridge between the communications and C2 systems of today and the advent of Morpheus, however that may look. The MOD can take some time to look afresh at the programme ensuring it is fit for purpose. Yet excessive time is a luxury the MOD does not have. For the sake of Britain’s land forces, it must get EVO back on track forthwith. (Source: Armada)
11 Jul 22. Pentagon’s secret JADC2 plan ‘evolving,’ official says, as lawmakers seek audit. The Pentagon’s implementation plan for its military communications and data-sharing overhaul is a “living document” that will be amended as advances are made and the spectrum of threats worldwide changes, according to an acquisitions official.
The classified plan for Joint All-Domain Command and Control, signed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks in March, will be updated as needed to reflect successes and failures, said Arsenio “Bong” Gumahad, director of the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance division in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.
“The document will evolve, it’s a living document,” Gumahad said July 11 at the National Defense Industrial Association JADC2: All-Domain Warfare Symposium.
“Over its lifetime,” he added, “it will be updated to include lessons we’ve learned from both our developmental efforts as well as from those of our adversaries” and more.
The comments come after the House Armed Services cyber and innovative technologies subcommittee requested a review of JADC2 and inventories of related efforts, goals and potential shortfalls. The oversight will inform future support and is not meant to be punitive, panel staff said last month.
The implementation framework informed the Pentagon’s fiscal 2023 budget request, officials said in March. No overall price for JADC2 was formulated at the time. The effort spans many programs, agencies and classifications, making public estimates difficult.
JADC2 is meant to give the U.S. an advantage over technologically savvy and large-scale opponents, such as China, in a fight for the Pacific, and Russia, in a fight for Europe. By linking forces that previously could not communicate, or do so quickly, across land, air, sea, space and cyber, the hope is to provide more-informed responses to threats.
The concept also considers how opponents will attempt to interfere with critical data and the increasingly long paths they travel.
“After years of focusing on operations conducted in support of the war on terrorism and violent extremist organizations,” Gumahad said, “we now face a more complex security environment.”
The implementation plan defines avenues of action, milestones and resource requirements for JADC2. The plan is separate from the strategy, an eight-page summary of which was released this year. The implementation plan focuses on who delivers what and by when, whereas the strategy lays out a broader vision or philosophy.
Gumahad said he expects a newer version of the classified implementation plan will be available once more updates are made. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
08 Jul 22. ATHEA selected by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces for last phase of project ARTEMIS.IA. ATHEA, a joint venture between Atos and Thales, was awarded phase 3 of the project “ARTEMIS.IA” (Architecture for Processing and Massive Exploitation of Multi-Source Information and Artificial Intelligence1) by the Armament General Directorate (Direction Générale de l’Armement). This project aims to offer scalable capabilities for massive data processing and artificial intelligence (AI) that meet the different business needs of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. Designed 100% in France, ATHEA’s platform will enable the Ministry of the Armed Forces to develop new AI applications based on the exploitation of sensitive data, for various use cases.
Phase 1 of the project was about creating a proof of concept; phase 2 consisted of the implementation and evaluation of demonstrations, in which the platform was applied to specific use cases.This new phase of the ARTEMIS.IA project, managed by the Digital Defense Agency (Agence du Numérique de Défense), includes the scaling up and the industrialization of the platform delivered in the previous phase, and which is already being used by some departments.
In the future, ATHEA’s solution will enable the Ministry of the Armed Forces to develop new AI applications within its various systems, while bringing together decompartmentalization and controlled information sharing. The potential fields of application are numerous and relate to all areas that handle large volumes of data and for which sovereignty and security are key: intelligence, logistics, cybersecurity, and health for example. A development and integration kit, open to the industrial and academic world, will also make it possible to create easily integrated applications and accelerate the innovation cycle.
The June 24, 2022 notification is the culmination of the work of the ATHEA teams, from both Atos and Thales, as well as the entire Big Data ecosystem of the industrial and technological defense base. Around 100 experts have already been working together on the optimization and industrialization phase of the program for over a year.
“This first major contract illustrates the confidence that the French Defense Procurement Agency and the armed forces have in ATHEA’s teams to develop a high-level technological solution, specifically adapted to the defense world,” said Philippe Gasc, President of ATHEA. “Data exploitation represents a major challenge to maintain the operational superiority of the armed forces. We are proud to develop a sovereign solution that will enable France to act autonomously in the areas of intelligence, operations command and in the digital space.”
Launched in May 2021, ATHEA is supported by an ecosystem of large industrial and digital companies – including Capgemini, Sopra Steria Group and Airbus Defense & Space – but also ETIs, SMEs, startups, scale-ups, and research organizations specialized in massive data processing and AI. For more information, please visit https://athea.tech/.
1In French: Architecture de Traitement et d’Exploitation Massive de l’Information multi-Sources et d’Intelligence Artificielle
08 Jul 22. Hensoldt to provide Mode 5 IFF products for Norwegian forces.
The company will supply its MSSR 2000 ID secondary radars and LTR400 DNG lightweight transponders.
German sensor solutions specialist Hensoldt has secured a contract to provide its identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) products to the Norwegian Armed Forces.
Under the contract, the company will supply its monopulse secondary surveillance radar (MSSR) 2000 ID secondary radars and LTR400 DNG lightweight transponders.
Additionally, the contract includes cryptographic and test equipment along with other related services.
The contract has been awarded by the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA). It has an estimated value of €15m ($15.16m).
The Mode 5-capable latest-technology IFF products enhance the ability of the armed forces to distinguish between friendly and hostile forces.
The IFF systems are secondary surveillance radars (SSR) used for precisely identifying aircraft by sending interrogation signals automatically.
These signals are then answered by transponders equipped on the friendly aircraft, further allowing the field commanders to rapidly differentiate friendly forces from the hostile ones.
It also helps in avoiding various friendly fire incidents.
The new Mode 5 technology employs sophisticated encryption approaches to avoid hostile signal manipulation to ensure that the entire identification process is secure and reliable.
Hensoldt has delivered IFF systems and crypto devices for the ground and naval applications of various Nato nations.
The company is under contract to upgrade IFF systems of the Armed Forces of French, German and the UK to Mode 5 standards.
Last year, the French Navy selected Hensoldt to equip radar system onto the Patrouilleur d’Outre-Mer (POM) vessels.
In 2019, the company was also selected by the German BAAINBw to provide naval radar system for the German Navy’s K130 corvettes.
Furthermore, Hensoldt is working to introduce this Mode 5 IFF technology in all the western armies, as a precondition of joint operations of the US/Nato and allied nation’s forces. (Source: naval-technology.com)
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In November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced its listing as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier by the UK Crown Commercial Services.
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