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26 Oct 22. Sense, Make Sense & Act. The Sigma Defense Vision for JADC2. At the recent Raymond James Defense and Government Conference in Washington D.C., keynote speaker General David Patreaus (Ret.) made a notable observation about how the DoD will get to the next generation of capabilities: “Small and medium defense firms will provide the transformation.” On several levels, this resonated with me. First, it aligns closely to what I wrote recently in my blog, “Craft Beers, Customer Intimacy and DoD Contracts?” and second, as a medium sized business, this is exactly what we want to hear from a thought leader with the depth and breadth of military, financial and geo-political knowledge as General Patreaus.
Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, is the vision for connected military where information flows quickly, securely and accurately across land, air, sea, space and cyber. More simply put, it’s getting the right information, in the right hands at the right time. The concept is simple but the execution is anything but. It turns out, coordinating people, systems, data and processes across multiple branches of the DoD is incredibly complex.
Contrary to what the large primes would have you believe, there will be no silver bullet solution for JADC2. Creating new processes for interconnectivity, changing new cultures of information sharing and connecting disparate pieces of technology requires not just technical expertise, but intimate knowledge of the C2 environments for the Army, the Navy, the Air Force – all who have their own separate and distinct JADC2 initiatives: Project Convergence, Project Overmatch and Advanced Battle Management Systems (ABMS) respectively.
“Sense, Make Sense and Act” defines the essence of JADC2:
- Sense: the collection, dissemination, processing and exploitation of data from all sources across all domains as the basis for understanding and decision making
- Make Sense: Turning data into knowledge to understand and predict the operating environment and develop a real-time understanding across the Joint Forces
- Act: Make and disseminate commanders intent/decisions to the Joint Forces and coordinate actions across echelons and domains
The JADC2 conundrum will not be solved by the proliferation of more boxes and hardware, but through an end-to-end approach that connects existing systems with a software led approach, while integrating new processes to foster a culture of information sharing across domains. It requires an agnostic approach to delivering data that I like to compare to FedEx. It doesn’t matter where it originated, who created it or what type of data it is. All that matters is getting it from the source of origin to its destination(s) quickly, securely and efficiently.
The cornerstone of the Sigma Defense vision to deliver these capabilities is software defined. DevSecOps and Agile are critical to the rapid development and deployment of these capabilities and refactoring of code and applications for modern architectures will accelerate data integration. AI/ML and automation tools can reduce operator workloads allowing them to focus on decision making rather than understanding the environment and assured Command and Control (C2) will require resilient, redundant and dynamic communications that includes edge processing for C2 continuity in disconnected environments. These elements are critical to connect sensor-to-shooter, unifying communications, networking, cybersecurity, cross-domain solutions and application integration for 360 degree situational awareness.
As we have learned lessons in the conflicts over the last 20 years and the battlefield becomes data driven, JADC2 isn’t a nice to have, it’s essential. Delivering on the vision requires that contractors be able to innovate quickly and respond to their customer needs with viable solutions. To repeat General Patreaus words: “Small and medium defense firms will provide the transformation.” (Source: ASD Network)
26 Oct 22. Pentagon’s Project Maven transition stymied by Congress, official says. During Project Convergence 2020, U.S. Army Futures Command was able to test out artificial-enabled systems, like Dead Center and the Maven Smart System and Algorithmic Inference Platform, to automatically detect potential threats. (Spc. Jovian Siders/U.S. Army)
WASHINGTON — The failure of Congress to pass a full fiscal 2023 budget on time is hampering the migration of portions of the Project Maven artificial intelligence effort to the Pentagon’s Chief Digital and AI Office, a senior official said.
Project Maven, the Defense Department’s most visible AI tool, is designed to process imagery and full-motion video from drones and other surveillance assets and to detect potential threats. It’s also meant to speed the use of AI across the military.
Congress in September passed a continuing resolution, providing level budgeting through mid-December and averting a shutdown, but also preventing initiatives such as Project Maven’s move from getting funding. The extension provides lawmakers more time to reach an agreement on spending for fiscal 2023, which started Oct. 1.
“That’s really the one thing that has prevented the whole transition, is that CR,” Margaret Palmieri, deputy chief digital and AI officer, said Oct. 25 at a symposium sponsored by the Association of Old Crows, a nonprofit focused on electronic warfare and information operations. “We’re just waiting to go through that process.”
“We’ll see how Congress reacts,” she added. “We always appreciate on-time appropriations. That allows us to keep our transition plans on track.”
Project Maven began under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security. It is now being divvied up, amid a concerted push by the Defense Department to study, test and more effectively apply AI on the battlefield and behind the scenes. Its capabilities were among the several automatic or aided target-recognition solutions tested at previous Project Convergence experiments run by the Army.
Officials this year confirmed Project Maven would be reapportioned. In April, Vice Adm. Robert Sharp, then-director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, said his team would take over operational control, including “responsibility for labeled data, AI algorithms, test and evaluation capabilities, and the platform.”
Pieces not associated with GEOINT work are expected to shift to the Chief Digital and AI Office, which was operating at full capacity as of June.
“I will say that the teams are up and running at NGA, they are ready to go. We are excited to see what they’re putting together. We have conversations with them pretty frequently,” Palmieri said Tuesday. “The pieces of Maven that have been just revolutionary have been in the computer vision space, and specifically on [the] GEOINT type of capabilities.”
The geospatial agency, in charge of processing and analyzing satellite imagery, among other tasks, has been intimately involved with Project Maven since 2017. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
27 Oct 22. US Army will ditch old radios amid larger modernization juggle. When it comes to tactical radios, the U.S. Army is walking a tightrope. The service, currently juggling a half-dozen major modernization goals, is trying to find a balance between the communication upgrades it needs to make in preparation for conflicts of the future, potentially against a technologically savvy enemy, and the related high costs and looming deadlines.
The calculus, officials said, means batches of older radios and communication systems will be left behind. And troops will have to acclimate to a gradually shrinking number of radios, tailored to operational needs.
“We have a small window of opportunity where we can, you know, pivot from legacy systems and programs to new ones,” Army Chief Information Officer Raj Iyer told reporters in October on the sidelines of the Association of the U.S. Army annual convention. “We have to fight for the Army we have today, and we have to transform for the Army of 2030 at the same time. I think this is the biggest challenge that we have.”
But what does that mean for soldiers on the ground who grew accustomed to ubiquitous radios that the service scrambled to have in Iraq and Afghanistan? According to Iyer, the service is evaluating what is “actually needed at the battalion level and below.”
The move comes amid a pivot to division-level fighting and large-scale combat operations against potential foes like Russia and China, world powers with sophisticated signals intelligence and electronic warfare capabilities.
The Army, specifically, is considering how it can pare down its inventory of older single channel ground and airborne radio system, or SINCGARS, devices. Chief among the considerations: satisfying the Department of Defense’s requirements for so-called data centricity while ensuring there is enough kit for soldiers to use now.
“We have cryptographic concerns and dates to meet modernization objectives in the crypto space. The floor for that is rapidly rising,” Col. Shermoan Daiyaan, with the Army’s Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical, or PEO C3T, told C4ISRNET and Army Times at the convention.
“On the tactical radio side, we’re trying to wrestle with ways to get crypto mod met and, oh, by the way, manage a budget that’s counting every dollar for the most value it can get,” Daiyaan continued. “What we’re trying to decide is: Where do we start to make some trades in risk?”
The Army this spring selected two companies, L3Harris Technologies and Thales Defense and Security, to furnish voice and data radios as part of its combat net radio modernization program and a broader push to insulate military networks. The arrangement is worth as much as $6.1 bn.
More than 1,100 radios, including those to be used for quality checks and preliminary testing, had been ordered as of April, according to PEO C3T. L3Harris secured $20.6 m of the initial order; Thales, $18.2 m.
The program, the Army said, supports Pentagon and National Security Agency cryptographic goals as well as the unified network strategy.
“The Army has too many radios, and as we get into being in a contested environment, we’ve got to make sure that our radios are protected, our communication is protected,” Iyer said. “And that means that we’ve got to modernize them with this type one encryption that’s mandated by NSA.”
Who will keep their radios?
The Army is attempting to determine the best way to phase in modernized tactical radios and phase out legacy versions, according to Iyer. One thing is already clear: modernization is expensive, and there isn’t money for the service to replace every single existing radio with a hardened one.
“For us to modernize our radios for encryption, that’s a lot of money. When you look at the quantity of radios that we have in the Army, the cost and time that it takes us to modernize these radios gets us into the 2035-2040 timeframe,” he said. “That is clearly not going to meet the Army of 2030′s needs.”
In addition to evaluating what echelons actually need as many radios as they’ve had in recent years, Iyer indicated service officials are evaluating whether different theaters of operation — and different threats — have different communications security requirements.
He decried a one-size-fits-all mindset that he claimed influenced distribution of communications equipment in the past, pointing to lessons learned from today’s battlefields.
“When we were fighting the Taliban and ISIS, it was one thing,” Iyer said. What the Defense Department is observing about the Russians and Chinese, he added, “is a very different thing.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
27 Oct 22. Allen-Vanguard Fit Vital ECM Equipment to 19 Vehicles Supporting a Peacekeeping Mission in Africa. Allen-Vanguard, a global leader in providing customized solutions for defeating Radio Frequency (RF) based terrorist and extremist threats, has fitted vital life-saving ECM equipment to 19 vehicles for an African nation that is a major contributor to peacekeeping missions in Africa. The Allen-Vanguard Field Service Representative (FSR) team has been deployed in-theatre for over a month to supervise the equipment installation and to provide essential end-user and maintenance support training.
A key component of the protection provided by Allen-Vanguard ECM comes from the hard work of the Threat Management Team (TMT). This is a full-time cell of specialist RF engineers and ECM/EOD SMEs whose sole job is to remain abreast of the RCIED & Drone threats and to ensure Allen-Vanguard’s ECM capabilities deliver maximum protection. This team uses world-leading open-source data and operational feedback from deployed assets to monitor regional threat trends for RCIEDs and Drones. Threats are then analysed, characterized and exploited to identify their weaknesses that can be used in the development of waveforms to most effectively defeat that threat. The 19 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), which have a peacekeeping role, have been fitted with Allen-Vanguard’s highly versatile and fully programmable 3XXX ECM suite. This equipment operates Allen-Vanguards core ECM technology which has been operationally proven both in the African region and globally and is updated with the latest waveforms produced by the TMT.
Allen-Vanguard has over a decade of experience in providing African Union countries, and those other nations operating in the region, with superior ECM protection using the full range of their RF dominating products. A vital component to the successful deployment and use of this life-saving capability is the Allen-Vanguard FSR team. These are experts in their field who convert the risk profile and mission requirements of the customer into the required ECM capability to be fitted, and then ensure this configuration delivers maximum protection for the deployed troops. The FSRs not only design the protection portfolio and then supervise the installation but also provide the essential end-user training and support the maintenance capability to ensure the ECM is both up to date with the latest threat software but also deployed nations can correctly test and maintain their own equipment.
Allen-Vanguard’s Business Director for Africa, Stuart Wilson, said “I am very proud of the hard work and dedication of all our Allen-Vanguard specialists to ensure that the ECM systems we fit for our customers provide the very latest and best possible protection in the region. It is very rewarding to know that our systems help protect our customers from the very real threat of IEDs in the region.”
26 Oct 22. BlackBerry Launches Cyber Threat Intelligence Service to Strengthen Cyber Defenses. Today, at the BlackBerry Security Summit, BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) announced the release of its new Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) offering, a professional threat intelligence service to help customers prevent, detect, and effectively respond to cyberattacks.
Delivered on a quarterly subscription basis, BlackBerry’s new CTI service provides actionable intelligence on targeted attacks and cybercrime-motivated threat actors and campaigns, as well as intelligence reports specific to industries, regions, and countries. BlackBerry’s CTI will save organizations time and resources by focusing on specific areas of interest relevant to a company’s security goals.
“Being cyber resilient means making the right decisions at the right time,” said Ismael Valenzuela, Vice President, Threat Research and Intelligence at BlackBerry. “Cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated and threat actors move quickly. BlackBerry’s Cyber Threat Intelligence delivers the details needed to improve detection and response, so organizations can stay on top of cyber threat activity and anticipate any next moves.”
“More businesses are recognizing the value of threat intelligence and the distinctive benefits it brings to security teams,” said Chris Kissel, Vice President, Security and Trust Products at IDC Research. “Curated threat intelligence from credible experts in the space provides businesses and their front line security personnel with timely insights, enabling them to better detect, triage, and investigate threats. Integrating this service with existing security ecosystems helps businesses stay one step ahead of cyber threats as digital attack surfaces evolve and expand.”
The Threat Research and Intelligence Team has released numerous first-to-market research reports over the past year leveraging BlackBerry’s data-driven digital ecosystem and analytical capabilities. These research reports have revealed new developments in the ransomware and malware space, and targeted, state-sponsored APT activity, including Symbiote, DCRat, Chaos Yashma ransomware and LokiLocker, all of which have been well-received by BlackBerry’s customer base and the broader security community. The service will launch in December. (Source: PR Newswire)
27 Oct 22. The Australian government has handed down its first federal budget, which includes new measures aimed at enhancing the nation’s cyber resilience along with shoring up Australia’s relationships with its Indo-Pacific partners as part of a significant investment plan for the defence and security portfolio. Commonwealth Treasurer Jim Chalmers has tabled the Albanese government’s 2022-23 federal budget, reporting the federal government’s commitment to $31.3m to extend the Australian Public Service cyber hubs pilot aimed at bolstering the nation’s cyber resilience, along with the $12.6m investment to combat scams and online fraud to help protect Australians from cyber crime.
The recent spate of cyber attacks against Australian organisations has highlighted the realities of the threat landscape, according to Crispin Kerr, vice president, ANZ at Proofpoint, noting that the security breaches clearly demonstrated no organisation is immune to the devastating consequences of cyber criminal activity and data loss.
“While cyber risks continue to evolve, one important aspect remains constant — people play the biggest role in cyber security incidents and data breaches.
“As cyber criminals continue to refine their attack methods, leveraging highly effective social engineering threats to target people first and infrastructure last, prioritising cyber security awareness training is essential to protecting Australia on an individual, organisational and government level,” Kerr added.
“While this investment represents a positive step forward, we also encourage further collaboration between governments and enterprises to promote knowledge sharing to inform appropriate cyber regulation and ensure best practice.
“Placing the human element of security front and centre is paramount to the success of these investments and in protecting Australians as the threat landscape continues to evolve,” Kerr said.
The federal government’s investment in boosting national cyber security is timely due to October being cyber security awareness month. New research conducted by Genetec shows that cyber security remains a top concern for physical security professionals going into 2023.
25 Oct 22. Mercury’s New Electronic Warfare Combat Training Pod Available for Order Following Successful Flight Testing. Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, www.mrcy.com), a leader in trusted, secure mission-critical 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, has successfully completed initial flight testing and is available for order.
Tactical Air Support, a leader in commercial air services, tactical aviation training, and technical advisory services for U.S. military and international partners, oversaw three days of flight testing that ran beyond visual range tactical intercept training engagements replicating adversary tactics. F-5 aircraft equipped with Mercury’s mPOD EA training system successfully broke, delayed, and denied opposing fighter radar locks, created multiple false targets on the opposing fighter radar, and performed other electronic attack techniques.
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.
“Our aircrew need to train against realistic, threat representative systems,” said RC Thompson, CEO of Tactical Air. “Our close working relationship with Mercury has resulted in a state of the art, internally configured EA capability fully integrated with our open architecture sensor suite. The result is threat realism with no performance penalty on our aircraft. It has been a pleasure to work with such an innovative and dynamic company.”
“We are excited to begin offering our mPOD training system to organizations around the world,” said Mark Bruington, vice president, Mercury Mission Systems. “mPOD is an innovative solution that can be programmed quickly and will help U.S. and allied military pilots develop tactics to maintain a strategic advantage over adversaries. It will also increase pilot and aircraft survivability and reduce training costs through integrated threat presentations.”
mPOD is 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
Mercury envisions, creates, and delivers innovative technology solutions purpose-built to meet its customers’ most pressing high-tech needs. For more information, visit mrcy.com or contact Mercury at (866) 627-6951 or .
About Tactical Air Support, Inc.
Tactical Air Support Inc. is a leader in commercial air services, tactical aviation training, and technical advisory services for the US Military and our International partners. Since its inception in 2005, Tactical Air has continuously applied innovative business practices to provide the government and aviation industry with unparalleled, yet affordable commercial air support and tactical consulting. The Tactical Air team brings the industry’s finest cadre of proven leaders and aviators paired with one of the world’s largest fleets of sustainable, safe, and highly upgraded fighter/attack aircraft. Our diverse staff consists of former TOPGUN/Weapons School Instructors and Graduates, Operational Aviators, Test Pilots, Astronauts, Air Battle Managers, and Aviation Maintenance professionals. Headquartered in Lexington Park, Maryland, Tactical Air has its main base of operations in Reno/Stead, Nevada. To find out more, please visit: http://tacticalairsupport.com
25 Oct 22. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) successfully completed an air-to-air laser communication link between GA-ASI’s Laser Airborne Communication (LAC) terminals integrated onto two company-owned King Air aircraft. Laser communication is desirable for military applications because of its Low Probability of Intercept/Low Probability of Detection (LPI/LPD) and anti-jam capability that can support much higher data rates than radio frequency systems.
“This air-to-air demonstration was a major success and marks a critical milestone for GA-ASI’s Lasercom development team,” said GA-ASI Vice President of Mission Payloads & Exploitation, Satish Krishnan. “The success of this flight will pave the way for more opportunities to demonstrate crosslinks from aircraft to other platforms, including unmanned aircraft, maritime vessels, and space systems.”
The aircraft flew out of Montgomery Field in Kearney Mesa, Calif. on Sept. 26, 2022, and performed the test in segregated airspace near Yuma, Ariz. During the flight test, the team maintained a link at 1.0 Gigabits per second (Gbps) and exchanged data, including real-time navigation, video, and voice data.
GA-ASI has developed a family of optical communication capabilities and will play an important role in transitioning these capabilities to users in a variety of domains, from air to sea. GA-ASI expects that laser communications will enable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) produced by the company to perform beyond-line-of-sight communications for airborne, maritime, and ground users who also use optical communications, as well as with future air-to-space optical communication applications. This capability can be applied as a podded solution to GA-ASI’s full line of unmanned aircraft, including MQ-9B SkyGuardian®/SeaGuardian®, MQ-9A Reaper and MQ-1C Gray Eagle 25M.
25 Oct 22. ‘Perfect storm’ in cybersecurity demands new generation of cyber leaders – new report. A new report published today by world-leading cybersecurity firm Savanti, argues that cybersecurity leadership is broken and failing to deliver cyber success for businesses.
The report argues that the combination of home working (which now means there are far more entry points into company networks than before), ballooning threats from rogue states and criminal groups, and low understanding of what companies actually need to defend themselves has created a ‘perfect storm’ in cybersecurity.
The report lays bare the rapidly growing threat environment in which attacks from nation-state actors have increased and are now more likely to target private companies than government agencies. 90 per cent of organisations believe they have been targeted by a nation state threat actor, with 39 per cent citing Russia and 44 per cent China.
Globally, cybercrime is predicted to increase by 15 percent per year, reaching more than £12 trillion annually by 2025 – which would make it the world’s third-largest economy behind China and the US.
Savanti’s report outlines how low levels of understanding about cybersecurity amongst company leaders results in isolated, technically-focused approaches that fail to deliver holistic security and risk management.
The report finds that, most crucially, Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) are hired, managed and evaluated as technical experts rather than business leaders – a skills gap that is leaving companies increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats.
The skills gap is also creating unsustainable job churn. The average tenure is of a CISO is 2.3 years – compared to 6.9 years for a CEO, 4.7 years for a CFO, 4.6 years for a CIO – and the average CEO will cycle through three CISOs in their tenure, stunting the company’s ability to build a long-term strategy. Analysis of recruitment and cyber investments by Savanti estimates the cost of a bad CISO hire to be at least £7.6 m.
The report recommends a number of recommendations, including:
- CISOs should be hired, managed and measured as business leaders rather than technical experts;
- Recruitment should priotise communication skills for CISOs;
- Cyber risk should be owned by the board, embedded in organisational processes and led with sufficient budget and staffing to drive organisation-wide change;
- Cyber leaders need to achieve change through influence rather than control;
- Boards need independent trusted cyber advisors, including ex-CISOs, to help them effectively interrogate all aspects of cyber leadership and strategy;
- CISOs should be integrated into all forward-looking aspects of business growth.
Richard Brinson, CEO of Savanti, said:
“Our report is a wake-up call for business leaders to stop treating cybersecurity as a compliance exercise – those days are gone.
“Businesses simply cannot ‘farm out’ cybersecurity to technical experts without fundamentally changing the way they operate.
“We need a new model of leadership for the cyber age that unites security and business goals and utilises cybersecurity to enable and grow businesses as well as protect them.”
Recent attacks on NHS supplier software, the Russian attack on Ukrainian military through ViaSat and the historically devastating NotPetya attack that nearly folded the global giant Maersk are just some examples of the damage wrought by cyberattacks.
25 Oct 22. Lockheed Martin, Red Hat Collaborate to Advance Artificial Intelligence for Military Missions. Lockheed Martin and Red Hat today announced a collaboration to advance artificial intelligence (AI) innovation at the edge on Lockheed Martin military platforms. Adopting the newly announced Red Hat Device Edge will enable Lockheed Martin to support U.S. national security missions by applying and standardizing AI technologies in geographically constrained environments.
Red Hat Device Edge delivers an enterprise-ready and supported distribution of MicroShift, a lightweight Kubernetes orchestration solution built from the edge capabilities of Red Hat OpenShift, along with an edge-optimized operating system built from Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The latest product in the Red Hat edge portfolio allows an organization’s architecture to evolve as its workload strategy changes.
With Red Hat Device Edge, the companies are equipping U.S. military platforms, such as the Stalker unmanned aerial system (UAS), with advanced software that was previously too large and complex for these systems. This advanced software enables small platforms to handle large AI workloads, increasing their capability in the field and driving faster, data-backed decision making.
In a recent demonstration, Lockheed Martin used Red Hat Device Edge on a Stalker UAS to demonstrate how AI-enhanced sensing can advance Joint All-Domain Operations. The Stalker used onboard sensors and AI to adapt in real-time to a threat environment.
The Stalker was flying an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission to detect a simulated military target. Once the Stalker detected the target emitter, project engineers used Red Hat Device Edge to update the Stalker’s software in-flight. The new software – now managed on platform by Red Hat Device Edge – enabled the Stalker to deploy updated AI-based computer vision capabilities, also known as automated target recognition capabilities. As a result, Stalker was able to more accurately classify the military target, providing more useful ISR data and enhancing the situational awareness of the threat environment for U.S. military decision-makers.
Lockheed Martin, Red Hat and other industry collaborators are enhancing 5G.MIL® capabilities with RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) functionality using Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s leading Kubernetes platform, to deliver resilient communications for the Department of Defense.
Lockheed Martin is a key contributor to the MicroShift project, collaborating to help build out the project’s edge capabilities for remote and inaccessible environments. As part of Lockheed Martin’s 21st Century Security vision to leverage the best commercial technologies for the defense industry, the company plans to continue to innovate using Red Hat Device Edge and edge Kubernetes capabilities for a broader range of applications across all domains: land, sea, air, space and cyber.
Justin Taylor, vice president, Artificial Intelligence, Lockheed Martin
“With Red Hat Device Edge Lockheed Martin is leading the infusion of cutting-edge commercial technology into military capabilities that deliver advanced solutions to our customers. Unlocking these AI technologies can help national security decision makers stay ahead of adversaries, enabling a safer and more secure world.”
Francis Chow, vice president and general manager, In-Vehicle Operating System and Edge, Red Hat
“Lockheed Martin is at the forefront of global innovation that often defines a technological era. With Red Hat’s latest solution, Red Hat Device Edge, we’ll be able to work together to change what communications and artificial intelligence looks like in the most space constrained and far-flung environments, whether remote mountain ranges or beyond the boundaries of Earth’s atmosphere.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
24 Oct 22. Rafael, Hensoldt to fuse electronic-warfare kit on German Typhoon jets. Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and German sensor specialist Hensoldt have teamed up to develop a new electronic-warfare capability for the German Air Force, the companies announced last week.
The plan is to “integrate and enhance Rafael’s Sky Shield electronic warfare pod as a mature, off-the-shelf escort jammer (ESJ) with the latest airborne electronic-attack national sensitive technology by Hensoldt,” known as the Kalaetron Attack jammer, the companies said in a joint statement.
An initial operating capability is envisioned for 2028.
The companies signed an exclusive teaming agreement in Tel Aviv on Oct. 18. Thomas Müller, the CEO of Hensoldt, was present alongside Israel’s Yaov Har-Even, the president and CEO of Rafael who is also a retired major general in the country’s armed forces.
The combined capability will enable the Luftwaffe 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,” the companies said.
Rafael makes the Litening and Reccelite targeting and reconnaissance pods which are already in use on the Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter Typhoon and on planes of other NATO members.
“Our companies are experts in airborne electronic warfare and combine latest technology with battle-proven equipment”, said Thomas Müller. Rafael’s Har-Even praised the partnership as 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,” he said.
Rafael already has a foothold in the German defense market. Its Trophy active protection system has been installed on German tanks and it has created a new German-based company for sales and production of the system with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and General Dynamics European Land Systems. Rafael also sells EuroSpike in Germany in a joint venture with Diehl Defense GmbH and Rheinmetall Electronics. Rafael also has partnered with Atos on a “glass battlefield” program which provides a three dimensional picture for mobile operations.
Germany’s Hensoldt has teamed with Israeli firms in the past. Last year the German company won a contract with Israel Aerospace Industries to supply new radars to modernize Germany’s ballistic missile defenses. Hensoldt also partnered with Elta, a subsidiary of IAI, to work on new developments for submarine masts.
22 Oct 22. NATO clears BlackBerry SecuSUITE for global NATO secure communications. BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) announced today that the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) has awarded security accreditation to BlackBerry’s SecuSUITE® for Government for global use in official NATO secure communications.
The NCI Agency supports communications and work between NATO’s member nations. The classified nature of information handled by the NATO network means that it is critical that all communications remain secure, combatting efforts to electronically eavesdrop on conversations. The NCI Agency has awarded SecuSUITE security accreditation for high level secure communications, which allows the global NATO network to extend SecuSUITE as a solution of choice for conducting secure voice and messaging communications.
“Security is imperative in times of peace and conflict, and we need to be confident that calls and messages sent within the NATO alliance remain completely confidential at all times. This is particularly true of secure communications, where our cyber-defense strategy has a particular focus. BlackBerry SecuSUITE enables our teams to use their smartphones for secure, encrypted contact inside and outside of the network, whatever their location,” said Jean-Paul Massart, Chief NATO Digital Workplace at NCI Agency.
SecuSUITE multi-platform technology protects against eavesdropping threats to national security communications of global governments and sensitive business communications of enterprise executives. End-to-end encryption of voice calls and text messages secures one-to-one calls, group calls and messaging across international networks. SecuSUITE also ensures that calls from foreign networks to any standard mobile or VoIP phones are also protected.
“Recent world events have emphasized the importance of watertight communications security. Information in the wrong hands can be dynamite and the NATO alliance is keenly aware of how important it is to secure their mobile communication flows to protect its people and operations. Receiving NATO accreditation underlines NATO’s trust in our technology and we’re honored to continue our support for the organization’s work,” said Christoph Erdmann, SVP Secusmart at BlackBerry.
SecuSUITE has a history of Common Criteria certifications based on National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) Security Protection Profiles and continues to be available under the U.S Commercial Solutions for Classified Component List.
BlackBerry Secusmart will be demonstrating SecuSUITE at NATO Edge 2022, 25-27 October, at the Lotto Expo in Mons, Belgium.
BlackBerry (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) provides intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world. The company secures more than 500M endpoints including over 195M vehicles. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company leverages AI and machine learning to deliver innovative solutions in the areas of cybersecurity, safety and data privacy solutions, and is a leader in the areas of endpoint security, endpoint management, encryption, and embedded systems. BlackBerry’s vision is clear – to secure a connected future you can trust. (Source: PR Newswire)
24 Oct 22. Airbus and Salam join forces for High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) connectivity services. Airbus´ HAPS Connectivity Business has signed a strategic partnership with Salam, a leading Saudi telecommunications and ICT company and part of the Mawarid Media & Communications Group (MMCG), to progress the development of private networks, IoT applications, disaster management solutions and other connectivity and high-altitude Earth observation services from the stratosphere to serve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Ahmad Al-Anqari, Salam CEO, said: “We see in Airbus’ Zephyr platform a key asset to provide private network services, IoT solutions as well as civil, governmental and non-governmental applications. There are numerous use cases for the platform’s capabilities and we look forward to this partnership with Airbus to serve the Saudi market in support of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals.”
“In partnership with Salam, our Zephyr platform, with its demonstrated advanced capabilities, will be instrumental in serving several markets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Jeff Smith, Head of Connectivity of Airbus´ HAPS Connectivity Business.
Airbus, a leader in the HAPS (High Altitude Platform Station) market with Zephyr, will provide low-latency, direct-to-device 5G connectivity services, in addition to persistent high-resolution imaging and live-video, delivered from the stratosphere. The company´s solution will support in bridging the digital divide and will bring connectivity services to those who are currently unserved or underserved from a solar powered and carbon neutral platform.
21 Oct 22. Babcock awarded major capability upgrade programme by Australia Defence Force. Babcock International Group PLC (“Babcock” or “the Group”) is pleased to announce that Babcock Australia has been awarded a major multi-year programme to upgrade the Australian Defence Force’s Defence High Frequency (HF) Communications System.
The contract, which follows the announcement of Babcock’s selection as preferred partner in July 2022, is worth AU$877 m (c£492 m) over 10 years. It will see Babcock lead the operation and support of the customer’s existing HF capability, while delivering a comprehensive technology upgrade programme.
Starting in October 2023 under the JP9101 – Enhanced Defence High Frequency Communications System program, the new system will provide Australian and allied armed forces with the ability to securely communicate using voice and other data from almost any location across the globe.
Through this agreement, Australia will join the New Zealand and United Kingdom in selecting Babcock as their partner in the engineering, operation and support of long range, resilient strategic HF communications. Babcock is now the largest provider of strategic HF communications in the world, built on a common mission system architecture that is both scalable and interoperable.
Babcock’s principal partner for the program, Lockheed Martin Australia, will support in the delivery of mission system elements that will grow a sovereign industrial capability solution to provide through life support over the duration of the program and beyond.
Australian industry will play a significant part in the delivery of the programme, with most of the works completed in Australia.
Babcock CEO David Lockwood said:
“Our selection demonstrates our ability to bring together complex and critical digital defence capability in an area of increasing importance to our customers around the world.
“In a modern threat environment, access to local communication infrastructure or satellite communication cannot be assured. Having a communications capability that can work seamlessly with the Australian Defence Force and its allies is essential.”
At the heart of the solution is Babcock’s Intelligent Network and Serial Protocol Interface for Radio Equipment (INSPIRE), which provides a step-change in ease of upgrade and re-configuration.
21 Oct 22. RI&S demonstrates OZT capability at US Army PC22 Technology Gateway. The OZT is a scalable and interoperable platform suitable for integrating cyber tools to provide resiliency. Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) has successfully demonstrated its new cybersecurity capability, called ‘operational zero trust (OZT)’, for the US Army.
It was held at the US Army’s Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) in southwestern Arizona, US, between 19 September and 18 October.
The event was conducted to bring together different industry partners to present their innovative future capabilities in a realistic operational environment.
As one of the several participating companies, RI&S presented its OZT capability to support the US Army’s initiative to fulfil its modernisation priorities.
RI&S Cybersecurity, Intelligence and Services president John DeSimone said: “Our OZT approach provides cyber resiliency to the integrated tactical network through a multi-echelon, fully integrated capability.”
The company said that the Zero Trust cyber capability is a simple solution that provides cyber resiliency, and also supports the automation of cyber defence from tactical edge to the theatre.
The OZT is a scalable, survivable, interoperable, and vendor-agnostic platform suitable for integrating cyber tools. It can also accommodate the size, weight, and power needs of all the tactical infrastructures.
According to the company, the Zero Trust cyber resiliency solution can also help the warfighters in remote or contested environments, where the network access is limited.
DeSimone added: “Today’s missions require technologies that provide accurate and assured mission data, protected across all domains, enabling the tactical force to resist cyberattacks and empowering mission commander success.
“Using decades of experience in both offensive and defensive cyber, we designed our OZT capability to ensure a significantly improved cyber defensive posture, with optimised cyber-soldier task alignment.”
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd, internationally renowned award-winning information security and communications specialist with a proven record of accomplishment.
Spectra is a dynamic, agile and security-accredited organisation that offers secure Hosted and Managed Solutions and Cyber Advisory Services with a track record of delivering on time, to spec and on budget.
With over 15 years of experience in delivering solutions for governments around the globe, elite militaries and private enterprises of all sizes, Spectra’s platinum and gold-level partnerships with third-party vendors ensure the supply of best value leading-edge technology.
Spectra was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2019 for SlingShot.
In November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced its listing as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier by the UK Crown Commercial Services.
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 Businessman of the Year by Battlespace magazine.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001:2013 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.