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19 Oct 22. U.S. Navy Takes Falkonry AI to the High Seas for Increased Equipment Reliability and Performance. Falkonry today announced a big leap for Falkonry AI with the Office of Naval Research deploying its AI applications to advance equipment reliability on the high seas. This AI deployment is carried out with a Falkonry-designed reference architecture using NVIDIA accelerated computing and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure’s (OCI’s) distributed cloud. It enables better performance and reliability awareness using electrical and mechanical time series data from thousands of sensors at ultra-high speed.
Falkonry has designed its automated anomaly detection application, Falkonry Insight, to take advantage of Edge computing capabilities that are now available for high security and edge-to-cloud connectivity. Falkonry Insight includes a patent-pending, high-throughput time series AI engine that inspects every sensor data point to identify reliability and performance anomalies along with their contributing factors. Falkonry Insight organizes the information needed by operations teams to determine root causes and automatically informs operations teams to take rapid action. By inserting an edge device into the U.S. Navy’s operational environment that can process data continuously, increasingly sophisticated naval platforms can maintain high reliability and performance out at sea.
“We have seen demand for increased AI computing in the field, especially to leverage operations data for higher operational and personnel productivity,” said Nikunj Mehta, Founder & CEO of Falkonry. “Falkonry brings an automated, no-setup AI that leverages Oracle’s Edge infrastructure and NVIDIA AI Platform to further the Navy’s reliability and CBM+ goals.”
With Insight at the Edge, Falkonry now processes the data locally, keeping the source data secure in the factory or platform like a ship or vehicle, and enables a SaaS interface for end-user collaboration. The benefits of this approach include significantly increased security and a substantial reduction in latency, through both transmitting less data and having a dedicated high-speed pipe through which data is continuously analyzed in real time.
Falkonry will leverage Oracle infrastructure and software services to provide services in environments requiring high security around data. Oracle Cloud will also provide its Roving Edge Infrastructure that enables new use cases, such as running AI services in factories that have limited internet connectivity, and on naval vessels that have only occasional connectivity. Falkonry’s AI is now able to run anywhere, for any level of security requirements.
“Falkonry is a leading AI company that solves real manufacturing and defense challenges, many that have stringent requirements around security and performance,” said Rasmus Ekman, AI/ML lead at Oracle. “By leveraging OCI’s distributed cloud with Roving Edge and our Government regions, Falkonry will be able to provide a high level of security, performance, and scalability at a low price for both mobile and stationary edge.”
“The Navy has a goal to improve operational readiness and performance in its modern vessel classes. Falkonry enables them to exploit huge volumes of time series data from complex systems-of-systems, and the Falkonry applications are used directly by their operations and design teams,” said Ian Hersey, VP Public Sector at Falkonry. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
17 Oct 22. Emergency Calls. Global ASNTs are to be installed at US Air Force bases responsible for aspects of the US nuclear deterrent. Alongside the fixed terminal, seen here, a transportable version is also being provided. This August the US Air Force declared an initial operational capability for its Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal for aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missile units supporting the US nuclear deterrent.
The Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal (Global ASNT) carries Extremely High Frequency (EHF) communications. This principally focuses on Ka-band Satellite Communications (SATCOM) on frequencies of 26.5 gigahertz/GHz to 40GHz for uplink and 18GHz to 20GHz for downlink. EHF traffic is carried across the US Department of Defence’s (DOD) Advanced EHF satellite constellation.
The new terminals play a key part in US strategic nuclear communications. As US budgetary documents note, the Global ASNT is a ground-based system. They carry traffic pertinent to the US nuclear deterrent to US Air Force strategic bomber, tanker and reconnaissance aircraft bases supporting the nuclear mission. The air force is also the custodian of the US’ Boeing LGM-30G Minuteman-III intercontinental ballistic missiles. Traffic handled by the terminals includes Emergency Action Messages (EAMs).
EAMs are preformatted messages. They direct personnel responsible for nuclear weapons to perform specific actions. EAMs are unencrypted and have a preamble including a codename for the military branch of the intended recipient. For example, open sources state that Sky King messages are intended for all aircraft and ballistic missile units supporting the US nuclear deterrent.
EAMS consist of a series of letters corresponding with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO’s) phonetic alphabet, such as ‘Alpha’, ‘Bravo’ and ‘Charlie’ etcetera. To the causal listener, these letters are meaningless. However, aircraft or missile crews will translate them into the actions they are to perform. EAMs are typically 30 characters long but on occasions have been up to 200 characters in length. The open source numbers-stations.com website is an excellent resource providing an overview of EAMs.
The new terminals are needed as the DOD’s MILSTAR communications satellites are approaching the end of their lives. These satellites provide K-band (18GHz to 27GHz) downlinks and Ka-band uplinks and carry EAM traffic. MILSTAR is being replaced by AEHF. The carriage of EAMs over SATCOM carried across MILSTAR and AEHF forms part of the US Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network (MEECN). MEECN is the conduit for US president and national command authorities to share EAMs with the nuclear deterrent. Global ASNT is compatible with both MILSTAR and AEHF waveforms. However, current MILSTAR terminals cannot use the AEHF waveform.
Raytheon began work on the Global ASNT in 2013 after the award of a contract covering the provision of the system, associated training and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) support. Christopher Noth, the company’s director for ground and maritime protected communications systems programmes, told Armada that the Global ASNT architecture includes an antenna, antenna controller, mission equipment and cabinets, and power systems. The terminals take the form of a fixed installation. Mr. Noth said that the Global ASNT is available in both fixed and transportable versions. Although the terminals handle nuclear deterrent traffic, they will also carry other traffic across the AEHF constellation pertaining to non-nuclear missions.
Raytheon is under contract to provide 90 terminals in fixed and transportable versions. Open sources say these are split equally between transportable and fixed terminals. Mr. Noth expects completion of the Global ASNT contract by 2024 predicting the terminals will have a life span of circa 20 years.
The concept of operations for the Global ASNT is for it to receive EAMs across the Ka-band links backhauled over the AEHF constellation. After EAMs reach Earth, they are sent onwards to nuclear units. This is done using High Frequency (HF: three megahertz/MHz to 30MHz) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF: 300MHz to three gigahertz) links. The overall Global ASNT programme comprises two parts. Increment-1 covers the EHF terminal provision. Increment-2 covers the provision of other communications handling non-SATCOM nuclear traffic which will be subject of future Armada articles. (Source: Armada)
19 Oct 22. How military teams can optimize data, decision-making at tactical edge. The U.S. military is producing more data at the tactical edge, where remote sensors continually capture data feeds. It’s also consuming more data at the edge, where data has greatest value.
Trouble is, the plural of “data” isn’t “intelligence.” Simply having a lot of data doesn’t mean anyone’s gaining actionable insights from it. Plus, missions need to act on information across domains – land, sea, air, space and cyberspace. To achieve that goal, they need a way to process, analyze and share disparate datatypes.
The good news is that proven technology solutions, from APIs to containers to automation, can help the DoD transform raw data into actionable intelligence in the field and in real time.
JADC2 and Five V’s of Big Data
The Pentagon’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control initiative emphasizes the strategic importance of data sharing. In the past, the United States benefited from weapons platforms that enabled battlespace dominance. In the future, dominance will be achieved through effective coordination of data across branches and allies.
Achieving dominance through data calls for the military to address the “five V’s” of big data:
Volume – Missions require the compute and networking power to generate, share and consume large data volumes at the edge.
Velocity – They also need to process and analyze data rapidly if they want the information they generate to be accurate and actionable.
Variety – They have to integrate data from multiple, siloed systems and present it to decision-makers in a consistent, usable format.
Veracity – They need data to be accurate, which includes being timely.
Value – This “V” could also stand for “visualization.” For data to have value, missions need to present it in formats that enable accurate decisions and fast action.
Localized, Standardized, Actionable
Traditionally, missions gathered data into a “data lake” for storage and analysis. Today, capturing data at the edge, sending it to a centralized location for processing, and then returning information to the edge for consumption simply takes too long. If data is needed in milliseconds but is only available in minutes, it’s no longer trustable.
Instead, missions need to process data right where it will be used. So, in addition to data lakes, they need smaller data ponds and even smaller data pools, plus the ability to move data upstream and downstream. Fortunately, significant compute power is now available in small form factors. Analysis that previously had to occur in a datacenter can now be achieved on lean systems at the edge.
Weapons systems in each domain were designed and built within silos. To share data across domains, missions also need to standardize that data.
Previously, missions performed centralized data integration, translating every incoming datatype into every outgoing datatype. But if you need to integrate 100 datatypes, say, you end up with close to 5,000 permutations. Start adding more datatypes, and the permutations grow exponentially.
The solution is data interchange based on an application program interface (API). At the point of production, a sensor generates data in its own proprietary format and translates it into a standardized API format. At the point of consumption, an edge system receives data in the API format and translates it into its own proprietary format. That way, only two translations are ever required, regardless of the number of datatypes.
Applications and Automation at Scale
Three other technologies can aid the military in its quest to share data across missions:
Containerization – Containerization combines an application and any associated code and data in a single package, or container. This approach enables you to quickly and easily move an application from one computing environment to another.
Kubernetes – Kubernetes is an open-source system for orchestrating multiple containers. Kubernetes can enable the military to rapidly deploy applications that generate and consume data in the cloud and in a lightweight framework at the edge. A key strength of containers and Kubernetes is the ability to dynamically spin up and take down applications and their associated data as missions change. And if an application process fails, Kubernetes can immediately launch a new instance of it so that missions aren’t interrupted.
IT automation platform – With multi-domain operations, the available data assets change from one conflict to the next. So, missions must be able to dynamically configure networks and integrate changing components across those networks. But it’s simply too complex and time-consuming to do that manually.
An IT automation platform offers an effective solution, and the technology to achieve it is available today. A military-scale enterprise framework for automated IT deployment and operation can extend from the cloud to the edge. Each command can deploy the field systems and components it needs, and automatically integrate with a standard architecture or API. That way, commands can maintain their unique field capabilities while supporting the broader, standardized whole.
Ambitious Defense Department initiatives such as JADC2 involve challenges. But APIs, containers and automation can position missions to benefit from actionable intelligence at the edge and in real time. By doing so, they can help the military combine the strengths of each service to achieve data dominance in the battlespace. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
19 Oct 22. Tranches and Transceivers. New Zealand is performing a substantial overhaul of the tactical and strategic communications used by her army centred around the procurement of new radios and battle management systems. The New Zealand Network Enabled Army (NZNEA) programme is moving ahead. This undertaking includes an overhaul of the force’s communications under the guise of a $23 m project. The overhaul will see the procurement of a Mobile Tactical Command System (MTCS), according to reports. New software and hardware are folded into the MTCS acquisition. Two tranches comprise the NZNEA programme with completion expected in 2026.
Tranche-1 focuses on army command and control systems while tranche-2 concentrates on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The New Zealand Ministry of Defence (MOD) completed its tranche-1 request for proposals in 2017. In late 2018, L3Harris was chosen to provide the tactical radio hardware and software for MTCS. Alongside the radios, tranche-1 includes materiel for the command post environment chiefly physical infrastructure and accompanying computer systems, according to the MOD. The radios will work with a Battle Management System (BMS) and a universal bearer network. Both are also being supplied as part of tranche-1.
Nick Proctor, acting army programme director at the New Zealand MOD, told Armada that “(t)he MTCS will deliver network-capable digital combat radios and their peripherals, combined with a battle management system, to enable secure mobile networks in support of high-tempo, dispersed military operations”. From a communications perspective, Mr. Proctor said that tranche-1 will deliver “digital combat radios and supporting hardware and software to provide line-of-sight, and beyond-line-of-sight communications. This will ensure deployed land forces have enhanced situational awareness and effective decision-makings”.
Components of the MTCS include a tactical bearer network carrying Satellite Communications (SATCOM) and a high-capacity data network. Some of the tranche-1 capabilities have already been delivered, official MOD documents note. Systematic is providing its SitaWare BMS while Cubic’s 2.4-metre (eight-feet) antennas will carry strategic SATCOM. The army will be able to use the US/Australian Wideband Global SATCOM X-band (7.9 gigahertz/GHz to 8.4GHz uplink/7.25GHz to 7.75GHz downlink) and Ka-band (26.5GHz to 40GHz uplink/18GHz to 20GHz downlink) constellation. Gigasat is providing its FA-240 and FA-370 X-band and Ka-band SATCOM terminals as part of MTCS.
The New Zealand Army is already using several L3Harris radios, with additional systems to be supplied via the MTCS. These include RF-5800S High Frequency (HF: three megahertz/MHz to 30MHz) and Very High Frequency (VHF: 30MHz to 300MHz) backpack radios. The RF-5800S is augmented by the AN/PRC-117F VHF and Ultra High Frequency (UHF: 300MHz to three gigahertz) backpack transceiver. Joining the AN/PRC-117F is L3Harris’ AN/PRC-163 multi-channel handheld and AN/PRC-158 V/UHF radios. Both form part of MTCS tranche-1. Finally, HF communications are carried across L3Harris’ AN/PRC-160 transceivers. All these radios will equip all echelons of the army and have the SitaWare BMS. The exception is the AN/PRC-160 which will only be deployed from company level upwards.
Mr. Proctor said that deliveries of MTCS components to the New Zealand Army have commenced. Dismounted MTCS nodes have already achieved “interim operational release” with the army. These nodes are undergoing operational testing and evaluation, he continues. This progress marks a significant milestone for the army’s overhaul of its command and control. This will complement tranche-2 as it overhauls the force’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. (Source: Armada)
18 Oct 22. Coast to Coast. New Zealand will soon receive new high frequency transmitters as part of an ongoing programme to overhaul the country’s military HF communications infrastructure. Sources close to the programme shared with Armada that shipments of new Rohde & Schwarz High Frequency (HF: three megahertz/MHz to 30MHz) transmitters to New Zealand are ongoing. A total of eleven new transmitters are being delivered. This includes ten of the company’s five-kilowatt SK-4105 transmitters along with a single ten-kilowatt SK-4110. The sources said factory acceptance tests are being performed at Rohde & Schwarz’ plants. They added that full operational capability for these new transmitters is expected to be declared in August 2023.
The transmitters will be teamed with RapidM’s RM10 modems. The modems are designed to handle US Department of Defence MIL-STD-188-110C wideband HF protocols. These provide bandwidths of between three kilohertz/KHz up to 24KHz. Data rates of up to 120 kilobits-per-second are achievable with such bandwidths.
Babcock was selected in March 2020 to replace the New Zealand Defence Force’s existing fixed HF radio infrastructure which entered service in the 1980s. A limited upgrade of that infrastructure took place in 2005, but the system has become progressively harder to sustain. The New Zealand government has invested $14.6 m (2020 values) into the naval HF modernisation. An additional annual support contract of $1.2 m was also awarded to Babcock. Assuming the new HF infrastructure has a life span of at least 30 years the entire programme could cost $57.9 m at 2022 values.
Concept of Operations
The company’s official literature says that military HF is essential to New Zealand’s armed forces to ensure that high frequency communications are provided below 60 degrees south latitude. This ensures communications can be sustained with Scott Base, Antarctica. This research facility is New Zealand’s only permanent presence on the continent. Satellite Communications (SATCOM) can be difficult or even impossible below this latitude.
Alongside providing radio communications below 60 degrees south HF is used for helicopter and Royal New Zealand Navy inshore patrol vessel communications. Such platforms can lack SATCOM capabilities. High Frequency radio is also used as a SATCOM alternative at ranges of up to 5,340 nautical miles (10,000 kilometres) from New Zealand.
The need for the new HF infrastructure was emphasised by a statement from the New Zealand government’s cabinet which warned that “(w)ithout the high frequency radio system, the defence force will be unable to communicate in a timely manner between deployed force elements and New Zealand in some circumstances. This may result in compromises to personnel safety, military operations, and an inability to perform some of the government’s mandated objectives for the defence force”.
Existing New Zealand military HF infrastructure is located near Auckland and on the lower part of the North Island at the Waiouru and Irirangi military bases. HF facilities are also located on the South Island at the Woodbourne and West Melton bases. (Source: Armada)
20 Oct 22. Collaborating with U.S. on Cyber. Strategic Command is working with the U.S. Cyber Command and other partners on a joint operation to improve interoperability and strengthen cyber resilience.
Personnel from Defence Digital will be joining the collaborative exercise which will identify threats that could impact the internal systems of participants.
Insights from the operation will be shared with all partners in the interest of bolstering security and unifying our response to malicious cyber activity.
Rear Admiral Nick Washer, Director Operations at Defence Digital said:
Cyber does not recognise geographic borders. Our relationships with partners offer huge shared benefits; operations like this with U.S. Cyber Command put our expertise into practice and enhance our collective defence.
This sentiment was echoed by U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Matthew C. Paradise, deputy director, Operations J-3, U.S. Cyber Command, who added
Defensive Cyberspace Operations helps CYBERCOM meet its mission responsibilities by enabling and improving mission assurance of the joint force, as well as our allies and partners, by maintaining reliable and defensible networks
The information age is making the world more interconnected than ever before, driving opportunity, innovation, and progress. However, this increased digitisation also brings unprecedented complexity, instability and risk, making global partnerships key to our security and economic prosperity. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
19 Oct 22. Allen-Vanguard providing more ECM equipment to Somalia.
Global electronic countermeasures specialist Allen-Vanguard has received multi-million Canadian dollar funding from an undisclosed customer to provide more electronic countermeasures (ECM) equipment to protect those at risk working in Somalia.
The new funding will be used to provide a range of ECM equipment, such as the 3XXX ECM suite, which is a static and vehicle mounted counter-radio controlled improvised explosive device capability. Allen-Vanguard will also provide the SCORPION manpack ECM system and the ANCILE counter-drone system, which jams UAV command and control links.
The company said the funding not only provides the necessary hardware and software, but also the essential back-up and support from the Allen-Vanguard in-theatre team to maintain maximum protection from new threats, ensure operational effectiveness and enhance equipment availability.
Allen-Vanguard has been providing ECM systems, force protection advice and support to security forces based in Somalia, and other international organisations operating in the region, for the last decade. Most recently, in May this year Allen-Vanguard delivered explosive Threat Reduction Team (ETRT) training courses to Somalia security forces personnel to help them defeat radio frequency-based terrorist and extremist threats.
Allen-Vanguard’s Business Director for Africa, Stuart Wilson, stated that “the increase in demand for high-quality ECM equipment across the African continent is reflective of the continuing insurgencies and unrest in the region. Having supported the UN, various Contributing Nations and African Union members for over a decade, Allen-Vanguard continues to grow our footprint and have now established a permanent Field Support Representative (FSR) team in the region.”
Allen-Vanguard took part in the September Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition in Pretoria, where its counter-radio controlled improvised explosive device (C-RCIED) and counter-unmanned aerial vehicle systems were on display in partnership with ECM Technologies. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
19 Oct 22. Bowman, back to the future? With the collapse of the Morpheus, Bowman Replacement Programme, sources suggest that the MoD are preparing to extend Bowman to 2030 with a Risk Balance Case to 2035. GDUK will be given a new contract to manage this. Another source told BATTLESPACE that a recent study for Army on the use of the Bowman applications such as Combat and Fire Control BISA reveals that they are only partially used or not at all, and soldiers either just use the chat facility or their own phones. The biggest problem that GD faces if this and Ajax get the green light is lack of staff, as a number of key workers have left. One contractor described the Oakdale facility as a ‘Ghost Town.’
19 Oct 22. Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd. are joining forces to offer a readily-available, state-of-the-art, and mature solution to the Luftwaffe’s requirement of airborne electronic warfare capabilities with Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in 2028. The exclusive teaming agreement was signed in Tel Aviv on 18th October 2022, by Thomas Müller, CEO HENSOLDT, and Maj. Gen (ret.) Yoav Har-Even, President and CEO of RAFAEL.
HENSOLDT and RAFAEL agreed to embark on a joint endeavour to integrate and enhance RAFAEL’s Sky Shield airborne electronic warfare pod as a mature off-the-shelf Escort Jammer (ESJ), with the latest airborne electronic attack national sensitive technology (KALÆTRON Attack) by HENSOLDT. This new capability supports the Luftwaffe’s decision to adapt the Eurofighter Typhoon into an electronic attack (EA) platform. The new EA pod utilizes the existing interfaces of the Litening Pod, already combat-proven on the Typhoon, thus significantly simplifying the integration efforts and saving invaluable resources.
Together, HENSOLDT and RAFAEL bring the necessary experience not only as solution providers for ESJ, but also in the programme environment of the Eurofighter and related integration and certification processes.
HENSOLDT has developed the “Kalætron Attack” Airborne Jamming System which recently confirmed its effectiveness against various enemy air defence radars. It is part of HENSOLDT’s fully digital ‘Kalætron’ product family, which is used in self-protection and signal intelligence systems in the German armed forces. In addition to cognitive software elements, the core comprises a fully digitised, broadband sensor and an electronically controllable, software defined jammer. Metallic 3D printing enabled a condensed design of the electronic components so that the jammer can be easily integrated into pod formats commonly used worldwide or directly into bodies of various flying platforms. The system’s effectiveness and responsiveness are also based on artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, which enable the classification of unknown threats in the field and the rapid evaluation of large amounts of data. In doing so, the many years of in-depth experience in the development of jamming techniques against radars were efficiently combined with the latest techniques of applying Edge AI computing.
RAFAEL’s Sky Shield Escort Jammer is a military-off-the-shelf solution already delivered to several customers worldwide, therefore allowing for easy integration onto fast jet platforms. Sky Shield leverages the vast experience of RAFAEL in the Electronic Warfare domain and its experience with German Air Force platforms. By using AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) technology, the single wideband jamming pod covers present and future high frequency range while providing a high Effective Radiation Power (ERP). Sky Shield is able to generate simultaneous jamming and deception transmissions against multiple threats, and its commonality with existing technology, coupled with its open architecture, allow HENSOLDT and RAFAEL to offer a very robust growth potential to address future challenges and provide for exclusive national building blocks. RAFAEL serves as a centre of excellence for Electronic Warfare and is the operator of Israel’s national EW range, possessing significant world-leading expertise in this domain. Some of RAFAEL’s combat-proven, end-to-end airborne solutions are in service in Germany, including the LITENING and RECCELITE Electro-Optic pods on the Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter Typhoon. The company’s cutting-edge, life-saving defence solutions are in service with numerous NATO-member nations, including the U.S and across Europe.
“Our companies are experts in airborne electronic warfare and combine latest technology with battle-proven equipment”, says Thomas Müller, CEO HENSOLDT. “Based on these skills and supported by existing government-to-government agreements, we are able to offer the Luftwaffe a sovereign solution to the timely capability transfer of the ECR Tornado and, at the same time, to expand the capabilities of the Eurofighter by an escort jamming solution proven in modern operational scenarios.”
RAFAEL’s President and CEO, Mr. Yoav Har-Even: “Our new partnership with HENSOLDT is a significant milestone in expanding Rafael’s strategic investments in Germany. This collaboration is a direct result of Rafael’s strategy to apply localization and ensure local sovereignty. HENSOLDT and RAFAEL share a common vision, unique knowledge, and an organizational culture of excellence. Under the leadership of HENSOLDT, these will come together synergistically to provide the Luftwaffe with top-notch EW/EA capabilities, necessary to address current and future threats and challenges.”
19 Oct 22. Rohde & Schwarz and Airbus Defence and Security expand their strategic cooperation to bring integrated sixth generation solutions to navies. The accelerated deployment of innovative tech shall deliver modernized battlefield networks for the future. An expanded set of high data rate communications, which is at the core, will allow the navy to instantaneously share the significantly increasing, collected intelligence data within these networks.
“Sixth generation defense technologies will revolutionize military, secure communications and cooperative intelligence. This will enable the navy to better exploit the huge amount of information collected and distributed,” explains Hansjörg Herrbold, Vice President Secure Communications, Rohde & Schwarz. “Based on the innovation strength and the numerous mission proven technology, Airbus and Rohde & Schwarz are at the forefront to develop tech for information dominance in the naval environment.”
“Over the last few years, we have worked extremely well with Rohde & Schwarz, integrating their latest communications technology into the naval operative network,” Thierry Becker, Vice President Secure Communications EMEA, Airbus Defence and Space continues. “Today’s forces require the strategic edge by ease-of-use equipment, which is critical for information and decision dominance. For this, we look forward to continuing our cooperation with Rohde & Schwarz, tackling the next generation together.”
19 Oct 22. DTC launches new waveform, integrates with Nett Warrior chest mount. Domo Tactical Communications (DTC), part of Codan Communications, has developed a new member of its MeshUltra internet protocol (IP) waveform (WF) family. The MeshUltra family is a range of mobile ad hoc network (MANET) coded orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (COFDM) WFs. The new WF, launched at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2022 annual convention in Washington, DC, held from 10 to 12 October, is called the MeshUltra-M (mobility). It is designed for use where the MANET topology is changing very rapidly and instantaneous switching between nodes is required to ensure connectivity. Optimised for use in a network with a maximum of 24 nodes, with channel bandwidths of up to 20 MHz, it can deliver throughput up to 87 Mbit/s.
The rapid switching is achieved by minimising the network management metadata being transmitted, providing the maximum capacity for user data, Rob Garth, director of products, video, and broadcast at DTC, told Janes. “This gives the greatest robustness of connection in very fast, very mobile environments,” he said. (Source: Janes)
17 Oct 22. US Army 2030: Disperse or die, network and live. Long-range precision strikes are now so deadly that even rear-area support units must spread out and take cover to survive — which puts unprecedented strain on command & control networks.
In an age of drones, commercial satellite imagery and informants wielding smartphones, you have to assume the enemy is always watching, even thousands of miles from the front line.
That surveillance can pinpoint targets for long-range precision weapons, which means rear-echelon command posts, support troops and supply dumps are under threat of attack like never before, a threat that changes how they have to operate. But how do units spread out, take cover, and keep moving — to avoid being spotted, targeted, and struck — while still coordinating any kind of effective action?
That’s the tactical dilemma the Army attempts to tackle with its new multi-domain operations doctrine – and the critical technical challenge for its still-in-development battle network.
“We must account for being under constant enemy observation,” said Lt. Gen. Milford Beagle, chief of the Fort Leavenworth Combined Arms Center, which put together the all-new edition of Field Manual FM 3-0, Operations. “The battlefield is transparent, and so we have to be dispersed, we have to be more agile.”
“Dispersion is critical,” Beagle told the annual Association of the United States Army conference, during a panel on the future Army of 2030. “[But] then how do we go from dispersed locations to bring those forces back together to achieve decisive effects?”
“[Especially] if you’re in a theater like INDOPACOM,” he said, “you’re going to be largely non-contiguous” – with different subunits potentially scattered over multiple small islands, rather than forming a contiguous battle line – “but still, at some point, you’re going to have to converge all those capabilities, concentrate all those capabilities, on multiple decisive points.”
Thrashing out the tactical and technical complexities is the purpose of the Army-led, multi-service Project Convergence wargames, which this fall include British and Australian troops in both European- and Pacific-inspired scenarios.
“It’s not just the Army,’” said Lt. Gen. Richard Ross Coffman, the deputy chief of Army Futures Command. “This is our joint force, our Five Eyes partners that are there with us…. We will always fight together, and we’ve got to get our communications, our long-range fires [coordinated].”
“We want to better understand how coalition and joint forces can fight together… so we can either create a new technological solution or use an existing solution,” Coffman told a separate AUSA event. “How [do] we map out both message traffic sent from sensors and received by shooters across the joint force?”
Dealing With Dispersion
“Everything is very simple in war,” Carl von Clausewitz wrote, “but the simplest thing is difficult.” In the two centuries since his time, a new factor has added to the difficulty of the simplest things in war: the imperative to disperse in the face of withering firepower. And as weapons have become more lethal, dispersion has become necessary, not just for frontline fighters, but throughout continent-sized theaters of war.
In the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century, Clausewitz fought on battlefields where men stood shoulder-to-shoulder under fire, accepting a greater risk of being hit in order to concentrate their own firepower. In the era of inaccurate, slow-loading muskets, which fired three times a minute and could barely hit a barn beyond a hundred yards, that was a reasonable trade-off. Against the rifled muskets of Solferino and the US Civil War just four decades later, it was a riskier and bloodier approach. Against the machine guns and massed artillery of the First World War, it was suicide.
So, soldiers spread out, took cover and dug in. When it became clear that a long-enough bombardment could slaughter even troops in trenches, armies largely pulled back out of artillery range, leaving a screening force in the frontline trench while holding most of their men in reserve. In the offense, the German Stosstruppen – translated into English as “stormtroopers” – learned to advance while dispersed, moving forward in small groups to take advantage of every scrap of cover.
But dispersion did not stop there, because weapons — and the systems that found targets for them — became ever longer-ranged and more precise. In World War II, airstrikes ravaged supply columns, reinforcements and infrastructure far beyond the front. In Ukraine and Russia today, kamikaze drones and precision-guided rockets destroy ammo dumps, airfields and civilian infrastructure. In a future war between two high-tech powers – say, the US and China – immense arsenals of long-range precision weapons could strike targets hundreds or thousands of miles away. Space-based surveillance can detect, and cyber warfare can disrupt, operations anywhere in the world.
“Any force that has to fight in 2030 or beyond, we need to be prepared for a very active campaign against the homeland,” said Mario Diaz, deputy under secretary of the Army, speaking at AUSA alongside Beagle. “It can contribute to our inability to get what we need from our forts and our ports to the battlefields.”
The new operations manual warns, “Planners should anticipate adversary forces using all available means to contest the deployment of forces, beginning from home station. […] Leaders must assume they are under constant observation from one or more domains and continuously ensure they are not providing lucrative targets for the enemy to attack.”
“Forces that are concentrated and static are easy for enemy forces to detect and destroy,” the manual emphasizes. “One way Army forces preserve combat power is by maintaining dispersion to the greatest degree possible.” Long before they reach the front, it says, units arriving in theater must “disperse elements into company-sized tactical formations while they are performing maintenance checks, loading munitions, ensuring crew readiness, and preparing to move to forward positions.”
But spreading out makes it harder to work together. “Although dispersion disrupts enemy targeting efforts, it increases the difficulty of both C2 [command & control] and sustainment for friendly forces,” FM 3-0 acknowledges. “Leaders [must] balance the survivability benefits of dispersion with the negative impacts dispersion has on mission effectiveness.”
The Network Must Work
This balancing act — the ability to coordinate action despite physical separation — depends on communications. But in the face of sophisticated adversaries, communicating isn’t as simple as grabbing a radio, logging into email or picking up a smartphone. Russia routinely jams GPS and communications satellites. Russian troops using cellphones in Ukraine given away their position to Ukrainian artillery, contributing to the deaths of a dozen generals. And even if an adversary can’t decrypt a coded radio transmission, they can triangulate its origin to locate the transmitting unit for attack.
“Continuous communication allows enemy forces to detect and target commanders, subordinates, and command posts,” FM 3-0 warns. “It should be avoided whenever possible.”
So, the military’s next-generation network not only has to transmit masses of data swiftly and securely: It also has to send it in short bursts, without prolonged transmissions that an enemy can trace. That is a tremendous technical challenge the Army will have to solve before it can execute its bold new tactics.
In that context, of the Army’s 35 top-priority modernization programs, from hypersonic missiles to augmented-reality goggles, Army officials said one was particularly key:
“I’d mention one and that’s the network,” said Doug Bush, the Army’s civilian chief of acquisition, speaking alongside Coffman at AUSA. “Not everything is dependent on our new network technology, but a lot of it is, and that’s a lot of the work that we’re doing at Project Convergence — to figure out how to do that network.”
“All of those things require people to communicate in a situation when an enemy is trying to take the network down,” he added, “so this is graduate-level networking.”
Coffman agreed. So did his boss, the four-star chief of Army Future Command, Gen. James Rainey.
“I don’t think there’s a single thing, but the network would be close,” said Rainey, speaking alongside Lt. Gen. Beagle at AUSA. “We believe everything you do is driven by the intel, [so] we’ve got to have a joint network, at speed and scale, that’s compatible with our partners across the joint force.
“It kind of makes it really hard to do any of the other things we visualize if we don’t bring that to bear,” he said.
The Army’s greatest asset here? Not tech, but people. “One of the advantages we have is actually our experience over the last 20 years,” said James Greer, a retired Army colonel and former director of the School of Advanced Military Studies.
“Our leaders, both non-commissioned and commissioned, have grown up on dispersed battlespace [in Afghanistan and Iraq],” Greer told the AUSA panel. “They have, through their experience, the ability to command and control when they are in fact separated, and they have the ability to bring in joint capabilities in support.” The challenge, he said, is “to scale that up.”
In the meantime, the Army, as usual, has a backup plan.
“But even… if nobody can talk, in the American Army at least, we’re not going to quit,” Rainey said. “Somebody will walk until they make contact and close with and destroy the enemy.” (Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)
17 Oct 22. US Army plans $1bn ‘easy button’ contract to spur cloud migration. The U.S. Army will roll out a contract worth as much as $1 bn this fiscal year to spur the service’s migration to cloud-based computing. The multi-award, multi-vendor Enterprise Application Migration and Modernization deal, or EAMM, is expected to kick off in the second or third quarter, according to Chief Information Officer Raj Iyer. The contract is meant to make it easier and cheaper to advance the Army’s comprehensive cloud goals, including rapid software development, data-driven decision making and zero-trust cybersecurity.
“This is going to become the easy button for the Army to actually move to the cloud,” Iyer told reporters Oct. 11 at the Association of the U.S. Army annual conference.
“Right now, what’s happening is even when we have commands that want to move to the cloud, today there is not one contract that they can go to,” he said. “So they are doing a lot of shopping. They’ve got to go to multiple contracting centers to go find the right vehicle, and then when they go there, it takes them nine months before they actually get on contract.”
That timeline is too long and that process too clunky, Iyer said. Under EAMM, the intent is to slash the time it takes to award task orders to four weeks.
Iyer’s office will spearhead the effort alongside the Army’s Enterprise Cloud Management Agency, which provides oversight for all of the service’s cloud processes and activities. The agency is led by Paul Puckett.
“It’s no longer just telling the commands, ‘Hey, you got to go figure it out,’” Iyer said. “We’re really kind of holding their hand to help them migrate their applications in the cloud, all the way from architecting it, working through migrating the data, the contract vehicle, and so on.”
The Army considers cloud migration and widespread, secure use foundational to the grander modernization of its networks, computers and collaboration. The Army’s updated cloud plan was unveiled this month, weeks after the service’s top uniformed information technology official, Lt. Gen. John Morrison, described the coming year as one of “action and acceleration” and “much more rapid movement to the cloud.”
The Army requested $16.6 bn in cyber and IT funding for fiscal 2023, which started Oct. 1, or more than 9% of the service’s $178 bn budget blueprint. Hundreds of ms, officials said, would be invested in cloud.
“2023 is the big year for us,” Iyer said. “We’re going to be scaling a lot of the efforts we initiated in ‘22.”
The EAMM contract will coexist with the prospective Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, or JWCC, the Department of Defense’s $9 bn follow-up to the failed Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure arrangement, or JEDI.
Defense officials anticipate awarding JWCC by the end of the year. Selections were previously expected in April, but an unexpectedly hefty workload slowed the process.
“JWCC will be an avenue for the DoD to actually procure, compute and store directly from the cloud service providers, like the Amazons and the Googles of the world,” Iyer said. “What EAMM does is it’s the vehicle to actually modernize your application, get it to be cloud native, and then migrate to the cloud, right? You’re going to need both.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
17 Oct 22. India: Attacks on India’s energy sector will continue amid sustained border tensions with China, heightening the risk of short-term business disruption.On 15 October, India’s leading power generation firm Tata Power disclosed that its systems were compromised by a cyber attack. Tata claimed that none of its “critical operational systems” and only “some of its IT systems” were impacted. While the current lack of information regarding this cyber attack makes it difficult to forecast based on strategic intent, such activity would be consistent with Beijing’s cyber targeting of India’s critical infrastructure following significant geopolitical developments, such as the release of China’s new G695 highway construction plan in July (see Sibylline Cyber Daily Analytical Update – 20 July 2022). For example, Beijing-linked cyber threat actors launched cyber attacks against seven electrical dispatch and grid control centres along the contested China-India border, including those in Ladakh, in April 2022 following New Delhi taking tighter regulatory control on Huawei. Further disruptive and intelligence-gathering cyber campaigns against India’s critical infrastructure operators, such as energy or telecom firms, are highly likely in the coming six months, largely driven by sustained tensions over longstanding border disputes. Such activity will likely cause short-term operational disruptions to the organisations based in the contested regions. (Source: Sibylline)
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