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19 Jul 18. Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) delivered a Global Hawk autonomous aircraft carrying the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) to the U.S. Air Force fleet. BACN — also developed by Northrop Grumman — is a high-altitude, airborne gateway that translates and distributes voice communications, and other battlespace information from numerous sources. BACN bridges the gaps between those systems and extends communications among disparate users and networks to provide improved situational awareness. BACN has completed more than 10,000 combat missions connecting warfighters in the air and on the ground. Northrop Grumman’s Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) has been one of the Defense Department’s most enduring capabilities, delivering interoperable voice and data communications between boots on the ground and pilots in the sky since 2008. As BACN enters its second decade of near-24/7 service to U.S. and coalition warfighters, the program continues to achieve significant milestones as it evolves to an even more powerful warfighting tool. With new hardware and software capabilities in development, the BACN system — shown here aboard a BACN EQ-4B Global Hawk — is well equipped to provide resilient communications to the warfighter into its second decade of deployment. (Photo credit: Alan Radecki, Northrop Grumman) On April 3, Northrop Grumman delivered a new BACN-equipped Global Hawk to the fleet. In recent months, the BACN team also has been standing up new BACN field sites, helping the U.S. Air Force set new BACN mission flight records, and improving software to provide more resilient communications for BACN, the system that offers critical voice bridging and data-forwarding capabilities to U.S. and coalition forces in challenging terrain.
“BACN continues to prove that it is essential to our warfighters,” said Jeannie Hilger, vice president of Northrop Grumman’s communications business.
The BACN system consists of an airborne payload of equipment and processors that accomplishes three goals: it extends line-of-sight communications, it translates communications between equipment that speaks different “languages,” and it provides a common battle picture for commanders, ground forces, fighter jets and other mission assets. The latest delivery of a BACN-equipped EQ-4B to the Air Force increases the BACN EQ-4B fleet to provide additional communications orbit coverage and to ensure coverage in the event of unplanned aircraft maintenance, Hilger said. The EQ-4Bs, along with four E-11A executive jets, provide near-24/7 coverage in several critical theaters of operation. In February, another major milestone was reached as an EQ-4B in the BACN Global Hawk fleet touched down from an operational mission after exceeding 20,000 flight hours. This accomplishment is significant in that it represents the most hours flown by any aircraft in the Global Hawk fleet — exceeding the original expected life span of the aircraft — and Air Force pilots said they looked forward to flying the aircraft 20,000 more. The glassy air at the high cruising altitude of the EQ-4B, along with the smooth autonomous landings of the craft, give EQ-4B airframes a long structural life, enabling BACN missions to fly well into the future. In San Diego, Northrop Grumman engineers are developing improvements to further harden the BACN system against interference, update compliance to the latest military standards, and add new capabilities. The company is standing up new field sites overseas and demobilizing others as the military moves to meet evolving threats and changing priorities and missions. The effort requires significant planning, site surveying, and logistics coordination to get the right equipment to the right place at the right time. For 10 years, Northrop Grumman’s BACN system has provided lifesaving connectivity, giving near-continuous communication services to our warfighters in multiple theaters. With the delivery of an additional BACN-equipped Global Hawk, the development of vital new capabilities, and a deployed operations team ensuring exceptional system availability, BACN is poised to continue its critical role in delivering effective battlefield communications for decades to come.
18 Jul 18. USMC stands up first-of-its-kind tactical cyber team. The Marine Corps has activated the first of its new defensive cyber companies. II Marine Information Group, or MIG, held an activation ceremony July 16 for the first-ever defensive cyber operations-internal defensive measures company, according to the group. These DCO-IDM companies, which will eventually be stood up within each MIG, are designed to help defend critical digital assets at the tip of the spear. According to a Marine Corps news release, the company will perform include mission assurance actively hunting for advanced persistent threats that evade routine security measures. These teams will be separate from the cyber mission force personnel within Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command that serve as the dedicated cyberwarriors for U.S. Cyber Command. Rather, the DCO-IDM companies will serve as a “paired down version” of cyber protection teams in the cyber mission force and employed at the Marine Air Ground Task Force level, said Master Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Torres, Senior Enlisted Marine, Cyberspace Division, Deputy Commandant for Information, during the annual C4ISRNET Conference in May. The MARFORCYBER CPTs were leveraged to help inform the gaps that drove Marines to build the organic defensive cyber capability within the MAGTF. This allowed the service to rely less on the limited CPT assets, said Torres. The introduction of these teams and their concept “is a big change in how we employ folks at the tactical level to defend those weapon systems and going beyond the reactive approach,” he said. These teams will sit within the MIG, which will house tactical- and operational-level cyber, electronic warfare, signals intelligence and all information-related capabilities under a single organization. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
17 Jul 18. USAF Wants More Commercial Companies Working AI Projects. The U.S. Air Force wants more companies to work on its artificial intelligence and software projects.
“I don’t think we’re attracting enough people,” Will Roper, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, said Tuesday at the Farnborough Air Show. “Whether they’re the right people or not, I think that’s a separate question. I’m not sure that we’ll be able to answer that until we’re working with a broader set of the industry base that’s working AI.”
It’s been more than three years since then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter put the Pentagon’s pursuit of Silicon Valley, and commercial technology firms in general, into overdrive. Yet a recent study found that just two of the top 100 AI firms have Pentagon contracts. (The study was performed by budget-analysis company Govini for Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan; the firm’s chairman, Eric Gillespie, shared a few bits of it during a session of the Defense One Tech Summit last month.) It’s possible that the study, which looked only at unclassified contracts, missed some work on secret projects. Still, the recent employee protest that led Google to end its work with the Air Force’s Project Maven makes it clear the Pentagon still faces headwinds in its quest to harness the best of America’s private tech sector. While Roper acknowledged that the Air Force needs to do better, he said the service’s Kessel Run Experimentation Lab has been successfully attracting software developers.
“The companies driving AI are a different breed of companies than those that drive evolution in hardware — especially companies that drove hardware that have gotten us to today’s military,” he said. “The paces are faster, the turnovers are quicker. Software is done in months cycles, not years cycles.”
The Air Force, Roper said, is looking to expand the use of its AFWERX centers that look to connect small tech forms and academia to the military. We’re going to need people that are working with us that are software people that are working, tweaking algorithms with the users that use them,” Roper said.
Like many initiatives at the Pentagon these days, speed is a key component.
“We have to do that much faster,” he said. “In a business, especially small companies that are looking for venture capitalist dollars, we have to move faster than we can move even on our best days in the government. We’re looking for ways that we can do awards [in] weeks instead of months. If we end up making ourselves so slow and sporadic that we can’t work with this vibrant, churning, current of innovation in industry, then we could lose out to companies or nations that can,” Roper said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense One)
17 Jul 18. US Air Force looks to accelerate artificial intelligence contracts. The Air Force is still not moving fast enough to recruit the software talent that it needs to harness emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, its acquisition head said Tuesday.
“I don’t think we’re attracting enough people. Whether they’re the right people or not, I think that’s a separate question. I’m not sure that we’ll be able to answer that until we’re working with a broader set of the industry base that’s working AI,” Will Roper, the Air Force’s undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logstics, told reporters at Farnborough Airshow. “I contend that the companies driving AI are a different breed of company than those who drive evolution in hardware, especially companies that drove hardware that have gotten us to today’s military. The paces are faster, turnovers are quicker. Software is done in month cycles not year cycles.”
Over the past year, the Air Force has charted some successes and some failures in its attempts to integrate tech like AI and big data analytics with legacy hardware systems like fighter jets or air operations center. It has established the Kessel Run Experimentation Lab, a group of industry and airmen in Boston that are iterating new capabilities for air operations centers. Instead of rolling out a large software package, the coders focus on app-like updates that can more rapidly insert new functionality into the AOC. But it’s also suffered setbacks — most notably, Google’s stated intention to withdraw from future Defense Department projects after some employees objected to the company’s work on Project Maven, a program would allow the Pentagon to use AI to review footage from drones. Some have worried that could have a chilling effect on future efforts. Roper said that a big focus of his job is changing how the Air Force approaches software. In the past, software was a product that could be bought in cycles, just like a physical product like a missile or aircraft. Now, it’s a service that must be reworked constantly, he said.
“You get a good set of coders in, they can push out so much code per month. You put them with the user that’s going to use the code and together they’re able to collaborate to make sure that the developer is creating something that the operator is using,” he said. “That’s working very well for us in Boston, and we’re looking to expand that. That’s the basic mechanism to move towards AI. We’re going to need people that are working with us that are software people that are working, tweaking algorithms with the users that use them, and it’s probably a different company than have worked with us over the past 10 years.”
The Air Force has to get those companies under contract faster, in weeks instead of months, Roper said. It’s looking for opportunities to use contract vehicles specifically delegated for small businesses and to use AFWERX — its outreach arm to nontraditional contractors who are creating promising commercial technologies — to introduce startups to the service. But Roper acknowledged there was no easy answer to the problem. One possible way to inject AI into Air Force programs — although a mundane one — is to use it for predictive maintenance technologies that use sensors to forecast when a component will break, said Air Force Under Secretary Matt Donovan.
“It’s very exciting for us and I think it holds a lot of potential to reduce our sustainment costs,” he said, noting that sustainment makes up a whopping 70 percent of the life-cycle cost of any given product. Roper agreed that sustainment was a great area to begin employing AI, and that experience could help the Air Force begin to figure out how to use the technology for classified applications. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
17 Jul 18. DARPA and Skunk Works conduct flight tests for connected technologies. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has carried out a series of flight tests to demonstrate how integration technologies enable a connected troop network. Conducted together with Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, the flight tests demonstrated a system of systems (SoS) approach that allows for easy and quick integration across air, space, land, sea and cyber domains in challenging environments. The project has been led by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in partnership with the US Air Force (USAF). It emphasised the interoperability between a ground station, flying test bed, a C-12 and flight test aircraft, in addition to demonstrating the ability to transfer data between the systems using the new STITCHES integration technology. The test used the Skunk Works-developed Enterprise Open System Architecture Mission Computer version 2 (EMC2), named the Einstein Box, as the open computing environment, delivering security protections between systems. During the trial, the test team demonstrated the ability to automatically compose and transmit messages between systems and link ground-based cockpit simulators with live aircraft systems to show its SoS approach in reducing the data-to-decision timeline. The test also demonstrated integration between the APG-81 radar and DARPA’s Automatic Target Recognition software to reduce operator workload and offer a comprehensive picture of the battlespace. The APG-81 radar is currently used on the F-35 fighter aircraft.
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Mission Systems Roadmaps director Justin Taylor said: “The successful demonstrations focused on advancing integration technologies to increase capabilities of systems in operation today, enabling our warfighters to use those systems in unexpected ways. The SoS approach is essential for allowing US forces to rapidly reconfigure systems and prevail over any threat.”
Carried out at the US Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, California, the demonstrations were part of the DARPA’s five-year System of Systems Integration Technology and Experimentation programme. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
17 Jul 18. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has been selected as the cybersecurity advisor to the Royal Hashemite Court of the Kingdom of Jordan. The company’s Intelligence, Information and Services business will provide cyber protection solutions and counsel to help defend critical systems and infrastructure across the Kingdom.
“The cyber threat is increasing globally,” said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. “We’ve been protecting large scale systems for decades and know how to help nations protect themselves from those who want to exploit our interconnected world. That’s what we do.”
Raytheon will provide the Royal Hashemite Court with cybersecurity services to protect its critical infrastructure systems, including conducting vulnerability assessments, cyber test range services, cyber governance and policy strategy. The Royal aviation fleet will undergo a holistic vulnerability assessment to ensure all integrated systems are hardened and resilient to cyberattacks. Raytheon’s experience, advanced technology, and commercial best practices enable the company to identify and mitigate threats to systems, networks and equipment for global commercial and government organizations.
15 Jul 18. Competition for F-35 electronic warfare system could be on the horizon. A shake-up may be coming for the F-35 supply base, as Lockheed Martin considers opening up new competitions for the jet’s electronic warfare and communications systems. The goal? To drive down the life-cycle costs of key technologies — especially during operations and sustainment — by forcing defense firms to face off against each other.
“We’re working toward the $80m target” for a single F-35A model, “ said Eric Branyan, Lockheed’s vice president for F-35 supply chain management. “To do that, one of the most effective means is to conduct competitions.”
In a June 22 interview at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, Branyan stressed that the company had not made a firm decision on whether to recompete the electronic warfare system currently provided by BAE Systems or the Northrop Grumman-made communications, navigation and identification, or CNI, system. However, Lockheed is exploring its options, having sent out a request for information to a handful of defense contractors who specialize in such technologies.
“We’re evaluating right now the RFI responses and determining if it’s a good time to go do a competition and what would that competition entail,” Branyan said. “Sometimes you look at what’s there and it’s not a sea change enough that’s worth the effort to go do the competition. It wouldn’t be enough for a change in cost and performance. Also there may be different elements we compete. We may not do the full system, we may do parts of them if there’s something there’s more advantageous to get the technology and cost improvements on. So we’re going through that trade study now.”
In its quest to cut costs on the program, Lockheed has already recompeted several systems, including the aircraft’s memory system and the panoramic cockpit display. Most notably, the company confirmed in June that Raytheon would produce a new version of the distributed aperture system, or DAS, which would save $3bn over the cost of the program. Lockheed plans to decide whether to recompete the EW and CNI systems by the end of 2018. The Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office would also weigh in, as there could be up-front engineering and development costs that would have to be folded into the budget and the jet’s modernization strategy. Branyan declined to detail which companies Lockheed had solicited as part of the RFI process, but said that most companies tend to respond because the F-35 business case — which includes 2,456 F-35s for U.S. customers and hundreds more for the international market — guarantees steady, profitable work. The F-35 is considered to have a formidable electronic warfare capability due to its current EW suite, the AN/ASQ-239, although the Pentagon has revealed few details about how the system allows the F-35 to find and jam enemy radars. BAE Systems declined to comment on how it could improve the AN/ASQ-239, should a contest move forward.
“Similar to many large programs, Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, is evaluating the most affordable approach to integrate new capabilities and reduce life-cycle costs,” BAE said in a statement. “As part of this cost-reduction effort they have issued a request for information to which we have responded.”
Integrating a new electronic warfare system would be the most ambitious of the F-35 recompetes so far. The risk it would pose to the program is not necessarily insignificant, but it could be worth it if it helps Lockheed pare down costs, said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group.
“You could also make an argument for improving the plane at this point,” he said. “In terms of its time since entering service, it’s way early for major changes. But in terms of its time since development started, it’s way late for major changes.”
The Raytheon-built DAS — which fuses together imagery from the F-35’s six electro-optical infrared cameras to project a complete picture of the battlefield to the pilot’s helmet — could provide a model on how to quickly develop and integrate advanced tech like a new EW system. In order to equip the 15th lot of F-35s slated for delivery in 2023, Raytheon will have to sprint to be ready to build at full rate — 150 ship sets per month — by July 2022, Branyan said. A critical design review for the new DAS is scheduled for April 2019, and from there the company will move quickly through integration, ground tests and flight qualification. Branyan said he’s not worried that incorporating the Raytheon system could pose undue risk to the program. There’s no fallback option to continue production of Northrop’s DAS, the current model aboard the F-35, but the test plan includes about a year of buffer time in case the system needs additional work.
“All the working parts of it were already flying on other platforms. So it’s a very mature technology. Essentially they’re just repackaging it into the F-35 and integrating it into our interfaces,” he said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
16 Jul 18. BAE Systems Electronic Warfare update. From the beginning of WWII to now, we’ve acquired more than 60 years of experience in EW to become the world leader in this technology. Electronic Warfare (EW) has played a critical role in protecting our armed forces since the beginning of WWII. The technology made history when the United States used the U-2 to breach the U.S.S.R.’s “Iron Curtain,” providing intelligence on the Soviet Union. The U-2’s missions became threatened by surface-to-air missiles. With this emerging threat, BAE Systems in New Hampshire, then known as Sanders Associates, designed and fielded an electronic countermeasure system to protect the platform. From then to now, our company has acquired more than 60 years of experience in EW, to become the world leader in this technology. Our engineers have developed, produced, and sustained a wide range of EW systems and supporting technologies, with continued focus on core systems for the world’s most advanced military platforms – from the F-35 lightning II stealth fighter and the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber to the EC-130H Compass Call, the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), and classified programs. Our work has even been recognized in The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, as part of its defense-military avionics collection. With several major EW program wins over the past few years, on the scale of development to fielded systems – where are they now?
- In 2017, we started delivering Digital Electronic Warfare System (DEWS) technology to our first international customer, helping them modernize their F-15 fighter fleets. At the end of the year, we also received a $311m contract to provide DEWS to support the sale of a new aircraft for another international customer.
- Following our selection by Boeing in 2015 to develop and manufacture the next-generation digital electronic warfare system for the U.S. Air Force’s Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS), we are executing the $161m engineering and manufacturing development contract. Last year, the program conducted a successful critical design review. It was an important step forward in providing advanced aircraft protection and significantly improved situational awareness for the U.S. fleet of F-15 C/E fighters. We’ll deliver the first system to Boeing this year.
- We continue to deliver our advanced AN/ASQ-239 system for F-35 customers including the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, and several international countries. Low-Rate Initial Production hardware deliveries for the program have begun for lots 10 and 11 and we have received initial lot 12 funding. The program has delivered almost 350 EW suites to date. In addition to production milestones, the company is working with Lockheed Martin on a Performance Based Logistics contract, which will provide EW material availability support for the fighter.
- For over a decade, we’ve provided full lifecycle support as the prime mission system integrator for the U.S. Air Force’s EC-130H Compass Call stand-off electronic attack platform. We are executing to cross-deck the mission electronics onto a new Gulfstream G550 business jet for the Air Force, with the first two aircraft fielded in 2023. BAE Systems will continue to sustain the existing EC-130H electronics as we develop, manufacture, procure, integrate, and sustain the electronics.
- Production of our sensor technology for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile has commenced following a $40m order from Lockheed Martin. We provided the sensor technology that supported a successful launch of the missile, demonstrating its ability to address the U.S. Navy’s requirement for versatile, multi-platform precision munitions that enable distributed operations.
- In 2017, we increased production capacity to ramp up deliveries, including the addition of 80,000 square feet of state-of-the-art manufacturing space as part of a $100m renovation investment. Over the next five years, we will also be hiring 300 to 500 full-time manufacturing employees.
As new threats quickly evolve and our customers face increasingly contested environments, it is our mission to deliver advanced EW solutions to our nation’s most critical platforms. The above programs continue our legacy as the sole provider for fifth generation aircraft and emphasize our commitment to integrated systems for fourth generation aircraft, which extend platform purpose, enhance aircraft survivability, and improve mission capability.
Looking forward, our research and development business is solving future EW problems in the areas of distributed EW, anti-jam/electronic protection, multispectral EW, cognitive EW, and EW demonstration systems to meet our warfighters’ most urgent operational needs. (Source: ASD Network)
16 Jul 18. Terma, a Denmark-based Aerospace, Defence & Security Group, and UK-based MASS, a Cohort plc company, have partnered to deliver a global Electronic Warfare Life cycle Support (EWLS) solution. Independently, Terma and MASS are experts in their own areas of the EW domain. By teaming the companies’ capabilities, an “all inclusive”, EWLS solution emerges that can support any fleet. These services range from countermeasure development, mission data generation, flight data replay and debrief, completing the EWLS cycle and supporting the next round of countermeasure development. Working together, Terma and MASS can provide a comprehensive and coherent EWLS solution that offers:
- Control and exploitation of your own EW data and information, heightening and enhancing mission effectiveness
- Cost-effective solutions that accelerate the mission support processes and reduce time taken in providing support
- Expert advice and consultancy that support the development, maintenance, and full exploitation of your EW equipment’s capability
MASS Managing Director, Chris Stanley, commented: “This partnering reinforces our position as a market leader in the provision of Electronic Warfare Operational Support (EWOS) services. We are delighted to be partnering with a company that reflects our own innovative approach to the challenges of the EW domain and our high quality service. Terma’s pedigree within the EW domain is reflected in its 60 year heritage and its expansive customer base.”
Senior Business Development Director at Terma, Michael Houmann Tandrup, says: “We are very pleased to announce this agreement with MASS. We are now in a position to provide our present and future customers and partners with a complete and independent Electronic Warfare Life cycle Support solution that can support any fleet, offering extended support services.”
MASS are experts in Electronic Warfare (EW) data management and have a long and distinguished history of threat vulnerability analysis and countermeasure development, supporting some of the worlds’ most experienced and demanding EW customers. They are also recognized EW training providers delivering national and international training courses from foundation level through to MSc level.
16 Jul 18. Leonardo and General Atomics announce sensor cooperation for MQ-9B. Leonardo and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc (GA-ASI) have signed an agreement that will see the companies jointly investing to integrate Leonardo’s SAGE electronic warfare surveillance system onto the GA-ASI MQ-9B. Upon successful completion, SAGE will be integrated into the MQ-9B airframe without the need for an external pod(s). SAGE will be offered off-the-shelf and integrated into the airframe as an available baseline configuration for MQ-9B customers of Sky Guardian and maritime surveillance Sea Guardian configurations. Integration work has already begun and the MQ-9B featuring SAGE will be available to order as soon as 2019. SAGE is a digital ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) sensor with a built-in 360? RWR (radar-warning receiver) capability. It is used to detect, identify and geo-locate Radio Frequency (RF) signals, such as radar fire-control systems, and can alert operators to potential threats to the aircraft. SAGE can identify the location and parametric data of specific RF emitters from a single platform, enhancing the tactical electronic intelligence picture and situational awareness. SAGE is already in service with the South Korean Navy, Brazilian Navy and Indonesian Air Force. SAGE will be integrated into the MQ-9B airframe, as opposed to being fitted via an external pod. This fit will deliver optimal performance (with least obscuration compared with a podded solution) while maximising space for other weapons/sensors as the system will not occupy any underwing hard-points. The lack of an added pod for the ESM capability also reduces the platform mass of the equipped MQ-9B, maximising endurance. Alongside SAGE, Leonardo’s portfolio of advanced sensors perfectly complements the MQ-9B platform in its Sky Guardian and Sea Guardian configurations. With SAGE as the first stage of this on-going partnership, Leonardo and GA-ASI will work together to evaluate other ‘roll-fit-kit’ options, suited to specific mission roles, which can be proposed to customers including the UK. The MQ-9B has been designed in such a way to comply with the stringent airworthiness certification requirements of various military and civil authorities, including the UK MAA and CAA and US FAA, meaning that future customers could include civil organisations. For all customers, the data inside electronic warfare equipment is just as important as the equipment itself. When threats change, users need to be able to keep equipment up to date. Leonardo’s expertise in the electronic warfare domain allows it to offer a dedicated Electronic Warfare Operational Support (EWOS) facility, boosting the effectiveness of all its EW products and allowing domestic and export customers to keep EW equipment updated and mission-ready. Leonardo’s EW products are open and programmable, enabling the use of existing indigenous EW data as well as evolving such databases with new threat parameters. Leonardo can provide EWOS as a managed service, or engage in knowledge-transfer to export nations to allow them to develop sovereign EW capabilities and expertise.
16 Jul 18. Terma has partnered with electronic warfare experts Leonardo to offer a variant of its Electronic Combat Integrated Pylons System (ECIPS) with an integrated Leonardo Compact Jamming System (CJS). Uniquely, the new system gives an upgrade path to F-16 users who want to equip their platforms with a persistent, high-powered, modern defensive jamming capability without losing a weapons station: the ECIPS/CJS retains a full weapons carriage capability. The system provides effective protection from radar-guided threats by emitting powerful Radio Frequency (RF) signals to confuse enemy radar systems and prevent radar lock on to the host F-16. The ECIPS/CJS, which employs Leonardo’s advanced Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) capability, can protect an F-16 against even the most modern radar-guided threats. Additionally, because of the Company’s approach to providing ‘open’ and user-programmable electronic warfare (EW) systems, the jammer can be kept up to date with a nation’s own EW threat library, maintaining sovereign capability. Terma will offer the ECIPS/CJS as an ‘off-the-shelf’ product, having worked closely with Leonardo to fully integrate the CJS. Because the new system sits within the current envelope of the certified and operational Terma ECIPS+, on a typical F-16 Mid Life Update (MLU) jet there are no additional aircraft modifications required, making ECIPS/CJS simpler and less expensive to install when compared to an onboard jamming solution or towed radar decoy. Because the new product is designed and manufactured by Terma and Leonardo in Europe, it is also readily exportable around the world.
- ECIPS/CJS provides a modern self-protection jammer solution for the F-16 within the current envelope of the certified and operational Terma F-16 ECIPS+.
- The CJS is a Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) combined with a techniques generator, receive antennas, transmitters, and power hardware in a compact form factor.
- The ECIPS/CJS pylon is based on a certified and operational solution for Jammer installation while still retaining the Missile Warning System configuration.
- The aircraft control is via the current Terma ALQ-213 EW Management System, including the Advanced Threat Display and may also include Terma’s Aircraft Audio Management System with 3D-Audio and Active Noise Reduction capabilities.
- The ECIPS/CJS is complementary and fully compatible with Leonardo’s BriteCloud 218 expendable active decoy, to provide a further level of protection for F-16 jets.
- The ECIPS/CJS can be installed on wing stations 3 or 7.
- The ECIPS/CJS is designed to operate together with Terma’s PIDS+ countermeasures dispenser pylon on opposite wing stations 3 or 7.
- SW changes are limited to implementation of a CJS driver in the ALQ-213.
- No aircraft OFP changes required.
- ECIPS/CJS envelope and weight is similar to current ECIPS configuration.
13 Jul 18. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Skunk Works® and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently performed a series of flight tests demonstrating how a system of systems (SoS) approach enables seamless – and rapid – integration across air, space, land, sea and cyber in contested environments. The demonstrations held at the Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, California, were part of a five year DARPA program called System of Systems Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE). The flight tests demonstrated interoperability between a ground station, flying test bed, a C-12 and flight test aircraft, and proved the ability to transmit data between those systems using STITCHES, a novel integration technology. The test used the Skunk Works developed Enterprise Open System Architecture Mission Computer version 2 (EMC2), known as the “Einstein Box,” as the open computing environment, providing security protections between systems. The Einstein Box enables rapid and secure experimentation before deploying the capability to operational systems. The team successfully demonstrated four key capabilities:
- The ability to automatically compose and transmit messages between systems, including those using legacy datalinks
- The first use of Non-Enterprise Data Links to create new, rich information exchanges in-flight through Link-16, enabling greater speed, agility, modernization and effectiveness
- The ability to link ground based cockpit simulators with live aircraft systems in real time to demonstrate how a SoS approach reduces the data-to-decision timeline
- Integration between the APG-81 radar, currently used on the F-35, and DARPA’s Automatic Target Recognition software to reduce operator workload and to create a comprehensive picture of the battlespace
Demonstrating rapid and affordable integration of mission systems into existing and new architectures, SoSITE will help U.S. forces maintain their advantage in today’s dynamic world.
“The successful demonstrations focused on advancing integration technologies to increase capabilities of systems in operation today, enabling our warfighters to use those systems in unexpected ways,” said Justin Taylor, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Mission Systems Roadmaps director. “The SoS approach is essential for allowing U.S. forces to rapidly reconfigure systems and prevail over any threat.”
The project was led by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in partnership with the U.S. Air Force and support from industry partners Apogee Research, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, BAE Systems, Phoenix Flight Test, General Dynamics and Rockwell Collins. Skunk Works’ expertise in open system architecture spans more than a decade. The success of SoSITE is a critical step to enabling multi-domain operations and maintaining superiority in the future battlespace. In its 75th year, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works is proud to advance SoS integration in partnership with DARPA as they celebrate 60 years of creating breakthrough technologies and capabilities for national security.
12 Jul 18. NATO summit boosts cybersecurity amid uncertainty. Amid uncertainty over NATO member’s defense spending, energy deals with Russia and the very future of the alliance itself, combating Moscow’s campaign of digital war quietly emerged as an item of agreement for the 29-state body during a summit in Brussels. Consider: Few previous NATO meetings of world leaders have included so much discussion over cybersecurity. In a joint declaration, the word “cyber” appeared 26 times. In what appears to be a first for the alliance, leaders twice mentioned the threat of “disinformation campaigns,” that have spread chaos through western countries. The declaration devoted two sections to digital security. Leaders agreed to create two new bodies: A cyberspace operations center in Belgium and a “Joint Force Command” headquarters based in Norfolk, Virginia, that is focused on protecting transatlantic lines of communication. The alliance also agreed to integrate cybersecurity into NATO operations, although it is not mandatory for countries to do so. The joint declaration followed a recent announcement by the organization that it would bolster its joint cyber operations. If necessary, alliance members can coordinate a response to a malicious cyberattack, strengthening the pact’s agreement of collective self-defense.
“We don’t accept cyber, propaganda, interference in domestic political processes,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stolenberg during a press conference on June 11. He added later in the day that NATO will continue to assist Ukraine in “cyber defense,” amid its upcoming elections.
The focus on cybersecurity and online warfare may be caused by the digital battering that alliance members have experienced in recent years. As NATO members posed for a “family” photograph on Wednesday, it was difficult to pick out members of the transatlantic partnership where Russian disinformation or cyberattacks have been absent. There was Milo Djukanovic of Montenegro, Emmanuel Macron of France, and Jüri Ratas of Estonia, Theresa May of Britain and Angela Merkel of Germany; just a sample of NATO countries who have confronted Russian hackers and propaganda. However experts say that the alliance’s cyber provisions depend on the strength of the organization itself, which came into doubt during a “turbulent” morning, according to sister-site Defense News. After Trump apparently indirectly threatened to leave NATO if countries did not boost their defense spending, the alliance held an emergency meeting. But in a press conference afterword, Trump praised the alliance and said that “the United States’ commitment to NATO is very strong.” While he claimed that countries agreed to boost their military spending, The Associated Press reported that Macron disputed the claim. Trump also criticized Germany on Twitter for paying “billions of dollars” for Russian oil on Thursday morning. “Not acceptable!,” Trump tweeted. But the test for NATO’s cyber commitments may come during a meeting next week between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Trump, himself a beneficiary of Moscow’s digital support, according to a U.S. intelligence assessment. Last week, Klara Jordan, director of the cyber statecraft initiative at the Atlantic Council, told Fifth Domain that the meeting has risks. “Trump may do something similar to what he did after the summit with Kim of North Korea, where he calls for physical exercises not to happen on the border of Russia, and this may include cyber-exercises.” (Source: Fifth Domain)
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra has a proven record of accomplishment – with over 15 years of experience in delivering secure communications and cybersecurity solutions for governments around the globe; elite militaries; and private enterprises of all sizes.
As a dynamic, agile, security accredited organisation, Spectra can leverage this experience to deliver Cyber Advisory and secure Hosted and Managed Solutions on time, to spec and on budget, ensuring compliance with industry standards and best practices.
Spectra’s SlingShot® is a unique low SWaP system that enables in-service U/VHF tactical radios to utilise Inmarsat’s commercial satellite network for BLOS COTM. Including omnidirectional antenna for the man, vehicle, maritime and aviation platforms, the tactical net can broadcast over 1000s miles between forward units and a rear HQ, no matter how or where the deployment. Unlike many BLOS options, SlingShot maintains full COTM (Communications On The Move) capability and low size and weight
On 23 November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced that it had recently been listed as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier for 2015-2016 by the UK Crown Commercial Services
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 BATTLESPACE Businessman of the Year by BATTLESPACE magazine and is a finalist in the inaugural British Ex-Forces In Business Awards in the Innovator Of The Year category.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.