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09 Dec 22. QUASAR (BULGARIA) sign a Memorandum of Understanding LONDON 9th December 2022. National Security and Resilience Consortium following on the success of UK trade mission to Sofia Bulgaria in October 4th-8th has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Center of Competence QUASAR.
The MOU will enable closer collaboration between NSaRC members and QUASAR and the areas of expertise and academic excellence that QUASAR incorporates from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Moreover, at a time where the security agenda for NATO countries is critical, supporting and broadening the commercial demand for alignment and greater collaboration in the area of cybersecurity can only be of significant advantage to both countries.
Examples of collaboration within the framework of the MOU between the entities include:
- the possibility of transfer and subsequent commercialization of technologies developed in Bulgaria and UK;
- enhancing necessary infrastructure required for advance machine learning and development of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity capabilities;
- transfer of technology and implementation of “green energy transition” initiatives and projects;
- evaluation and deployment of risk evaluation, risk mitigation, and effective security measures;
QUASAR’s Professor Lachezar Georgiev said: “QUASAR is delighted with the reflection of our developing relationship with the National Security and Resilience Consortium in today’s Memorandum of Understanding. This is an historic occasion not only for our two countries, but also in the history of our two organisations.
NSaRC’ John Baker said: “The National Security and Resilience Consortium was highly impressed with the success of our first overseas mission to Bulgaria in October. The ongoing support our Consortium has received since our visit and the persistence of our contact has made the formalising our relationship with Center of Competence QUASAR a necessary next step, to allow us to further expand and develop our relationship. Today is truly an historic occasion for us, and we are delighted that this comes at such a geopolitically and commercially opportune time, allowing our individual collaborators to take full advantage and derive a maximum benefit of all of the opportunities such a agreement represent.
KRASSIMIR KIRIAKOV: Trade Attache Bulgarian Embassy in London said:
“This is the first agreement of its kind between the United Kingdom and Bulgaria entities, looking to provide a partnership where both countries have a lot to contribute and share: in artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, and critical and security infrastructure matters. The United Kingdom is one of the leading destinations for Bulgarian students to study and further develop AI and Machine learning competencies. This agreement and collaboration is building upon this existing foundation and will lead to British companies assisting and investing into reinforcing the infrastructure and availability of resources to allowing Bulgarian students to continue their careers in Bulgaria.
08 Dec 22. US Central Command’s new hub seeks to quickly push battlefield tech. U.S. Central Command’s new technology office is seeking to leverage its proximity to theater operations to quickly test and field innovative capabilities, including those that can counter growing threats from adversary drones.
Schuyler Moore, who was installed in October as the command’s first-ever chief technology officer, told reporters during a Dec. 7 Pentagon briefing her goal is to quickly shepherd “disruptive” technology from commercial industry or other Defense Department offices to users in the field.
“There are technologies that have matured either through DoD or through the commercial sector that really can get after our problems today — not years from now, not five years from now, but today,” she said.
While the Pentagon has a number of offices dedicated to innovative technology development, Moore said hosting an organization like hers within a combatant command offers a unique advantage because it brings technology experimentation to the field, closer to the people who need it. That proximity not only helps ensure a capability is informed by user needs, but it helps the process move more quickly.
Moore said her office’s efforts will be anchored by regular experimentation. Rather than host one-off events, CENTCOM, one of 11 unified combatant commands of the U.S. Department of Defense, will run these exercises at regular intervals, testing a technology, pushing it to the field and then using that feedback to make it better during the next round of experiments.
U.S. Naval Force’s Central Command is in the midst of one such experimentation campaign — a three-week Digital Horizon event in Bahrain, which started in late November and is focused on integrating uncrewed and artificial intelligence technology. CENTCOM will host another exercise, called Scarlet Dragon Oasis, in January.
Along with these campaigns, the command announced in September it would create an organization called Red Sands to focus on integrated counter UAS testing and experimentation. CENTCOM’s initial vision was for the center to be based in Saudi Arabia, but Moore said it will instead function as a traveling program office that responds to regional needs.
“The recognition that we had was that counter UAS is such a broadly shared problem in the region and there were so many partners that wanted to take part in it that we wanted to ensure that we were able to bring those folks in earlier rather than later,” she said.
Red Sands will host its first exercise next year.
The CTO team is also working to solicit and elevate ideas from within the command. CENTCOM, whose area of responsibility includes the Middle East, Northeast Africa, Central Asia and parts of South Asia, held its first Innovation Oasis competition in October, drawing ideas and inventions from across the organization.
“The tech can come from the commercial sector, it can come from DoD — the idea can come from a sergeant, the idea can come from a general,” she said. “The point is to get the best tech into the hands of the people who need it.”
Moore was joined during the briefing by the winner of the October event, Army Sergeant Mickey Reeve, who used his spare time during a deployment to Saudi Arabia to develop counter UAS training software. The tool was designed to “bridge” the various proprietary counter UAS systems that are used to target different types of threats.
“What this tool is intended to do is to provide the opportunity for the boots on the ground that are closest to the threat and closest to their operational environment to mimic that environment as accurately as possible and to, as well, deploy threats against their base and to train against threats on their base that they see and that they interact with, sometimes daily,” Reeve said.
CENTCOM is working with the Army’s software factory to field the tool within the next three months, according to Moore. She noted that while the software application as designed with CENTCOM threats in mind, it could have implications for other commands, especially as demand grows for technology that can identify, track and counter drone threats.
“This is not unique to CENTCOM,” Moore said. “Counter UAS is something that all of us are going to have to deal with. And to the extent that we can integrate their feedback into what we build with Sergeant Reeve so that it’s applicable to multiple regions, we would love to do that.”
(Source: C4ISR & Networks)
09 Dec 22. Pentagon wants competition within $9bn Joint Warfighting Cloud contract. Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle will duke it out for each order stemming from the Pentagon’s Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, an arrangement defense officials said will promote price and product competition.
While exactly how many orders will be made on the potential $9 bn contract is not known, the task order competition process should take weeks or “maybe a few months” to execute, depending on the specifics and lessons learned along the way, Sharon Woods, the Defense Information Systems Agency Hosting and Compute Center director, told reporters Dec. 8.
The four tech giants were selected for the highly anticipated commercial cloud computing deal on Dec. 7. The agreements comprise a three-year base with one-year options, meaning work could be conducted through 2028.
Each company is only guaranteed $100,000, according to terms of the deal.
JWCC is meant to link the military’s most remote edge with its farthest headquarters while bridging unclassified, secret and top-secret classifications. It is also meant to complement ongoing cloud ventures led by the various military services.
It arrives, too, at a time when pressure is mounting to more effectively process and pass information to forces across land, air, sea, space and cyber — what’s known as Joint All-Domain Command and Control. The multibn-dollar notion demands seamless connectivity and access to resources no matter the location.
“What does this bring to us? First thing is, it brings us really cutting-edge cloud capabilities, to the entire department here,” Pentagon CIO John Sherman said. “Now, we’ve got other types of clouds here within the department. But none of them do this at all three security classification levels, spanning the entire enterprise from the continental United States all the way up to what we call the tactical edge, way out, whether it’s western Pacific or Eastern Europe or onboard a ship.”
The JWCC ink dried roughly a year and half after the Pentagon axed its predecessor, the troubled Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure venture. The $10 bn JEDI, as it was known, was awarded solely to Microsoft but was scuttled amid a feud between Amazon and the Trump administration, which the company accused of political interference.
JWCC is better suited for the times and needs of the Pentagon, according to Sherman, because it relies on multiple vendors and the resiliency that comes with it.
“It creates more offerings,” he said, “different kinds of best-athlete capabilities.”(Source: C4ISR & Networks)
09 Dec 22. Thales awarded contract by French MoD to build deployable communications networks for theatres of operations.
- The French defence procurement agency (DGA) has entrusted Thales with the design of deployable and high-speed communications networks for theatres of operations, a major asset for collaborative combat.
- Thales will deliver more than 200 modular, mobile stations in the phase 3 of the ASTRIDE 3 contract.
- Rapid to deploy and compliant with NATO interoperability standards, ASTRIDE 3 will enable France to command coalition forces as a framework nation, as well as provide the French armed forces with an autonomous multi-brigade force projection capability.
As high-intensity conflict returns to the world stage, the French defence procurement agency (DGA) has awarded Thales the ASTRIDE* 3 contract. Thales will work with several partners to deliver a high-speed, mobile and secure command infrastructure for deployment in an extremely wide range of tactical situations.
After decades of asymmetric engagements, armed forces now face new types of high intensity conflict that underscore the importance of resilience, discretion and mobility of theatre networks and command posts. Forces engaged in disputed areas are also increasingly reliant on the capacity to share data between multiple sensors and effectors for collaborative combat operations and to support multi-site, multi-domain collaboration for collaborative command of allied units.
ASTRIDE 3 will meet all these requirements by integrating new connectivity systems such as latest-generation satellite terminals (SYRACUSE IV), HCLOS (high-capacity line-of-sight) communications, tactical software-defined radios (CONTACT) and digital wireless services (LTE technology). These assets will interconnect the battlespace and provide a resilient network of connected command posts from theatre level down to tactical units. ASTRIDE 3 could also offer defence cloud hosting capabilities to meet the needs of collaborative command structures and support a broader computer network defence (CND) initiative to deal with cyber threats.
The integrated, automated ASTRIDE 3 stations will accelerate and simplify manoeuvres in the theatre of operations, enabling forces to deploy different versions of the station – hardened container, shelter (transport cases) or pre-integrated in armoured vehicles in the SCORPION ecosystem – to adapt to an extremely wide range of tactical situations. Wireless connections will shorten command post deployment times by significantly reducing the number of manual operations required. In addition, the network planning, command and supervision tools MOSART**, will give land forces unprecedented agility in adapting to the tempo of their mission.
ASTRIDE 3 stations will meet the latest FMN (Federated Mission Network) interoperability standards and enable France to act as a framework nation for forces command at Land Component Command (LCC) or Division level.
The choice of Thales confirms the Group’s role as a trusted partner and preferred provider of military communication systems, and underscores its wide-ranging expertise in areas including handheld tactical radios, satellite communications, network capabilities and platform integration.
Thales’ sites in Cholet (Pays de la Loire) and Gennevilliers (Ile-De-France), as well as those of numerous French technology partners and SMEs, contribute to both the development and production of the physical and software components of the ASTRIDE 3 system.
“Thales is proud, once again, to be supporting French land forces in their digital transformation by providing a high-speed, mobile and secure command infrastructure that can be deployed in an extremely wide range of tactical situations. Phase 3 of the ASTRIDE programme is a further step towards collaborative combat, positioning connectivity and the land forces combat cloud at the heart of high-intensity warfare.” – Marc Darmon, Executive Vice President, Secure Communications and Information Systems, Thales.
08 Dec 22. German military set to buy 20,000 encrypted radios for 1.35bn euros -source. Germany’s parliament will on Dec. 14 approve a 1.35-bn-euro purchase of 20,000 encrypted radios for its military, a person familiar with the matter said, with an option to buy another 14,000 radios for 1.5bn euros.
The acquisition of the radios is part of the broader push to modernise Germany’s armed forces that Chancellor Olaf Scholz kicked off in a major shift of policy following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
Aiming to bring the Bundeswehr’s weapons and equipment back up to standard after decades of attrition following the end of the Cold War, Scholz announced a 100-bn-euro special fund dedicated to this goal three days after the start of the war.
In its session next Wednesday, parliament’s budget committee is expected to approve the first major deals funded with the money.
Lawmakers will then decide on the 10-bn-euro ($10.54 bn) purchase of 35 F-35 fighter jets produced by U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin (LMT.N), Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Tuesday.
The acquisition of the encrypted radios from German company Rohde & Schwarz will also be on the agenda and is part of the modernisation of the military’s command and control system.
In the past, German troops have borrowed encrypted radios from forces they cooperated with in places such as Mali in order not to jeopardize joint operations.
The radios are to be delivered between 2023 and 2028, the insider told Reuters, with life cycle costs seen at 2.2bn euros for the next 20 years. (Source: Google/Reuters)
08 Dec 22. Israel: Audit highlights strategic sectors’ vulnerabilities, lack of compliance with cyber security standards on key defence departments. According to an audit report released on 6 December by Israel’s state comptroller, Matanyahu Englman, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), the national taxation, water, sewage, and the transportation network registered inadequate protections against cyber attacks. Thus, raising the risks of substantial damage to critical national infrastructure from cyber criminals and state-sponsored groups alike. For example, the IDF’s biometric database, which contains personal data belonging to hundreds of thousands of current and former soldiers, is among the systems featuring ‘significant gaps’ of cyber defences. Such failures substantially raise the risk of identity theft and fraud, as well as compromising national security. Attacks directed at diminishing Israel’s national security could prove to destabilise for regional security, too. Englman also warned that Israel was unable to manage large-scale attacks against its transportation system, something which would likely disrupt local business operations and supply chains. The report was published amid a surge in cyber attacks in Israel. According to cyber security firm Check Point Software Technologies, cyber attacks in Israel have risen from 811 to 1,288 since 2021, mostly targeting education, communication, and healthcare targets, followed by government and military systems. The IDF is reportedly implementing some regulatory and operational changes, other sectors could follow suit in the short-to-medium term. (Source: Sibylline)
08 Dec 22. December Radio Roundup.
Recent experiments have been performed using the MQ-9B SkyGuardian UAV to demonstrate the aircraft’s ability to handle wideband satellite communications links.
Armada’s monthly roundup of all the latest news in the military communications product, programme and operational domains.
Joining Forces Down Under
Viasat and Trellisware are confident that their recently-announced collaboration in Australasia will deliver solutions “to meet the needs of the Australian and New Zealand markets”, Sandy Taylor, director of business development for Viasat’s Australian subsidiary, told Armada. The two companies announced their collaboration to offer products and services to Australia and New Zealand in early October. Mr. Taylor said that “both nations are currently undertaking and embarking on significant land communications modernisation programmes”. He is confident that the collaboration will enable the provision of “an end-to-end tactical communications solution from the soldier to the satellite”. The collaboration will let “customers acquire the best-of-breed solutions from two preferred vendors”. Mr. Taylor says this avoid “vendor lock and the associated challenges … more traditional procurement models present”.
RAN Expands Cobra Use
Staying in Australasia, EM Solutions signed a contract with Australia’s Department of Defence (DOD) to provide support for the company’s Cobra Satellite Communications (SATCOM) terminals. These terminals equip Royal Australian Navy (RAN) warships. According to a press release announcing the news, the contract covers the terminals’ introduction into service and accompanying support. Worth $17.2 m, the contract runs until August 2025. The company told Armada the terminals furnish several RAN ship classes. These include its ‘ANZAC’ class frigates; ‘Cape’ class and ‘Enhanced Cape’ class patrol boats; ‘Supply’ class replenishment ships and ‘Canberra’ class amphibious support ships. Cobra terminals also furnish the navy’s forthcoming ‘Arafura’ class offshore patrol vessels. EM Solutions say the terminals carry 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) traffic: “Each system is configured with multiple modems to support the end user’s concept of operations,” the statement continued, “supporting broadband connectivity to and from each vessel.” The recent contract includes provision for the DOD to procure additional terminals over the next three years.
Curtiss-Wright announced in an 8th November press release that it is adding Link-22 functionality to its TCG Tactical Datalink (TDL) products. Link-22 is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation TDL primarily supporting naval operations. It uses frequencies of two megahertz/MHz to 30MHz and 225MHz to 400MHz. Link-22 is replacing the existing Link-11 TDL, which uses the same frequencies as Link-22, over the coming decade. Curtiss-Wright’s TCG products are link translators changing the format of one TDL into another. For example, NATO’s Link-16 TDL J-series messages can be translated into Link-11 M-series messages and vice versa. This means traffic can be moved seamlessly between different tactical networks helping improve interoperability. Steven Horsburgh, director of product management in the company’s tactical communications group, told Armada that Link-22 functionality is being integrated into Curtiss-Wright’s BOSS, GTS and LinkPRO TCG products. TCG BOSS is a testing and platform integration system and TCG GTS is a tactical datalink ground system. TCG LinkPro is the company’s embedded TDL software suite. Dr. Horsburgh said Link-22 functionality will be available on these products by the end of the first quarter of 2023. Customers can add this Link-22 capability to existing TCG systems or opt for its installation in new products.
SATCOM for Reapers
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Hughes Network Systems and SES announced on 10th November they had “successfully demonstrated multi-orbit Satellite Communications (SATCOM)” using a General Atomics MQ-9B SkyGuardian Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The demonstration took place over California on 20th October. While General Atomics furnished the aircraft, Hughes provided its HM series software defined modem and resource management system. SES’ 03b medium Earth orbit SATCOM constellation was also used. O3b provides Ka-band (26.5 Gigahertz/GHz to 40GHz uplink/18GHz to 20GHz downlink) satellite communications. A General Atomics spokesperson told Armada that command link rates of 512 kilobits-per-second and maximum return links at rates of 45 megabits-per-second were achieved. The spokesperson added that by demonstrating these data rates General Atomics has “a demonstrable roadmap for increased bandwidth, security, and sensor growth potential across all payload domains onboard the MQ-9B.” Over the longer term “(t)he MQ-9B SeaGuardian and SkyGuardian are just beginning customer deliveries. We anticipate these NextGen SATCOM capabilities being options for future customer aircraft.” (Source: Armada)
08 Dec 22. Going Up in the World. Terahertz wireless communications could help alleviate spectrum congestion at lower frequencies. Research is ongoing in this area with Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications having developed prototype terahertz antennas like the one above.
Terahertz communications promises more bandwidth and data carriage, but technological challenges remain.
The United Kingdom’s Defence and Security Laboratory’s annual Operating in the Future Electromagnetic Environment conference always has scintillating presentations. This year’s event, held on 21st/22nd November at London’s Institute of Engineering and Technology, was no exception. Professor Alwyn Seeds’ Microwave and Terahertz Photonics for Sending and Communications talk was noteworthy. Prof. Seeds is professor of optoelectronics at University College London.
Interest in Terahertz (THz) communications is growing. Terahertz radiation inhabits a 300 gigahertz/0.3THz to 300GHz/3THz segment of the electromagnetic spectrum. Conventional Very/High Frequency (V/UHF: 30 megahertz/MHz to three gigahertz) communications face challenges. These wavebands are increasingly congested as cellular communications proliferate globally.
Ericsson’s Mobile Data Outlook puts this into perspective. Total monthly global mobile data traffic for late 2021 was 67 exabits/EB (67 x 1018). The company predicts this will reach 282EB monthly by late 2027. This has implications for militaries using V/UHF radio communications. As spectrum demand increases there is the threat that segments militaries rely on could be auctioned off for commercial use.
One potential solution is to outflank these frequencies by migrating some communications into terahertz wavebands. Prof. Seeds’ presentation outlined some terahertz communications benefits compared to free-space optical wireless communications. The latter uses lasers to beam data at rates of several gigabits-per-second through the air to a photoreceiver. Such communications can suffer limitations notably degrading in efficiency in some environmental conditions. Fog, rain, dust and smoke can all disrupt. Other factors like eye safety must also be accounted for. Meanwhile, the pointing accuracy between the laser transmitter and receiver must be high demanding precise alignment.
Replacing a free space optical link with a terahertz link provides similar levels of throughput “but with more relaxed pointing accuracy,” says Prof. Seeds. He emphasises that free space optical wireless communications remain a useful. In urban areas some fibre optic communications may be unserviceable some of the time if dug up for maintenance or to bury other utilities like gas or electricity. Free space optical communications provide practical backup in such cases.
However, fog and dust in the atmosphere cause problems for optical transmission but are less of a problem for terahertz transmissions typically causing a ‘path loss’ of a few decibels-per-kilometre. Path loss is the extent to which a signal weakens the further it travels with this loss measured in decibels/db. Losses for free space optical transmissions can be twice as high in fog than for terahertz signals, he told delegates.
Prof. Seeds said that some critics flag terahertz’ path loss with water in the atmosphere degrading its efficiency, a phenomenon called atmospheric attenuation. Prof. Seeds demonstrated a case study with a 350GHz signal transmitted along a 100-metre (984-feet) path at sea level through a humid atmosphere. All signals lose power the farther they travel from their transmitter. He showed that this signal experiences a free space path loss of 120dB sans atmospheric attenuation. This increases to 124dB with atmosphere attenuation; a one decibel difference.
Prof. Seeds’ presentation highlighted terahertz communications systems exploiting photonic components. Readers looking for an explanation of how these systems work can consult our It’s Just a Phase article. Components for such apparatus are readily available from fibre-based optical communications, he says. Photonic-based terahertz communications could carry data rates of up to 100 gigabits-per-second. For terahertz in general Prof. Seeds advises “there is a lot of useable bandwidth there.”
Lasers equipping photonic terahertz systems can be tuneable up to ten terahertz although challenges exist in realising optical-to-terahertz transducers. Transducers converts a signal in one form of energy to a signal in another. That said, terahertz promises high speed communications with less atmospheric disruption than that experienced by free-space optical systems.
Why has terahertz not yet been widely adopted for communications? “The technology is difficult” says Prof. Seeds. Nonetheless, he moots high-capacity point-to-point and ground-to-air/air-to-ground communications as two applications. As lower frequencies become more congested terahertz communications will become more attractive. Expect further technological developments for civilian and military applications alike in the coming years. (Source: Armada)
07 Dec 22. Wifi Below the Waves. The Proteus project is developing innovative approaches for underwater networking and the sharing of data with users on the surface. Naval operations are increasingly networked. Initiatives like the US Navy’s Project Overmatch plan to connect all naval platforms, weapons, sensors, bases and personnel. This aims to improve situational awareness, and command and control. Such postures, it is hoped, will help overcome adversarial Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2AD) postures by discovering exploitable gaps in the A2AD architectures.
Networking to this extent is a daunting and hitherto untried prospective and is challenging in the naval domain where subsurface and surface assets must be carefully linked. Radio Frequency (RF) communications work well above water but less so below the waves. Salt water is a poor conductor of the electromagnetic energy constituting a radio wave. This can be ameliorated using certain frequencies. Very, Super and Extremely Low Frequencies (VLF: 300 hertz/Hz to 30 kilohertz/KHz, SLF: 30Hz – 300HZ, ELF: three to 30Hz) penetrate several metres underwater. These frequencies need huge shore-based antennas hundreds of metres or more in length. Subsurface vehicles like submarines unwind extremely long antennas to receive traffic on these frequencies. This is not practical for small platforms like Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs).
Moreover, the quantities of traffic handled by VLF, SLF and ELF is very small. An ELF transmission typically provides data at speeds of ten kilobits-per-second. Contrast this with average global cellular connection speeds of 20.4 megabits-per-second and one sees the limitations. Such data rates and frequencies are unsuitable for AUVs collecting and sharing detailed pictures of the seabed for example.
Meeting the Challenge
How can these limitations be overcome? France’s Proteus project has found the answer. Proteus involves Arkeocean, the École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (ENSTA/National Superior School for Advanced Techniques) in Brest on France’s northwest coast and the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA/General Armaments Directorate), the country’s defence procurement agency. Proteus has a simple raison d’être. A large passive sonar antenna is “formed from a swarm of AUVs that silently drift with the current,” says Tamara Brizard, Arkecoean’s director. The sea element of Proteus’ architecture comprises the Inca and Maya AUVs.
Inca collects and stores acoustic recordings. Maya docks with Inca, receive the recordings before returning to the surface. Once there Maya uses its antennas to transmit these recordings using conventional radio or Satellite Communications (SATCOM). Alongside the acoustic data Maya transmits precise details of Inca’s location. As the project’s official literature notes this lets users plan and execute the swarmed Inca AUVs’ area of coverage.
The challenge for Ms. Brizard and her team in realising Proteus was keeping underwater communications to a minimum. Data collected by the Incas must be “transferred back to a command centre as often as possible without disrupting their ongoing collection of data.” This “presented a challenge as the amount and sensitivity of data being collected couldn’t just be transferred to the surface via acoustics.”
The Maya AUV solves this problem. Docking with the Incas, the latter transmits its data to Maya using a wifi connection. Ms. Brizard says wifi works underwater over a couple of centimetres’ range. Acoustics help Maya navigate to, and dock with, the Inca. Once on the surface, Maya sends the acoustic data to the command centre across a 2.4 gigahertz radio link. In the future, this link could be supplemented by SATCOM and customers can integrate their own links for surface transmission if desired.
The Proteus project is ongoing and should conclude in 2023. The first phase of sea trials occurred in mid- 2021. Maya-Inca docking has been validated as have sonar capabilities. New AUVs are under construction for use in next year’s demonstration. Ms. Brizard and her colleagues “hope Proteus is a stepping-stone to more swarm AUV projects with the DGA involving more vehicles and operational models.” She says Proteus underlines that “even with big swarms of AUVs, complex operational models, and large amounts of data needing to be transferred, you can keep communications underwater to a minimum.” Arkeocean is currently “in talks to see what the next step for the project should be.” (Source: Armada)
06 Dec 22. It’s Just a Phase. DARPA’s GRYPHON programme harnesses photonic oscillator technology to reduce phase noise in RF applications.
DARPA’s GRYPHON programme uses photonics to reduce phase noise promising efficiency improvements for radio frequency applications.
Radios depend on electronic oscillators which convert a Direct Current (DC) into an Alternating Current (AC). A DC current flows in one direction keeping a constant voltage. An AC current changes direction causing the upward and downward motion of a sine wave. This movement is the result of electrons moving either in a positive upwards or a negative downwards direction. AC and DC both have pros and cons: DC has more voltage consistency but cannot travel as far. AC currents travel farther on account of their wavelike motion. An oscillator turns a DC current into an AC one using a material like quartz. When a DC current flows into the crystal it starts to vibrate. This action converts the direct current into an alternating current forming the basis of a radio wave. Electronic oscillators have drawbacks as they produce phase noise. In an ideal world, the electronic oscillator would generate a pure sine wave.
These oscillators produce a carrier wave which move communications traffic between one or several radios. The wave is like a set of train tracks between two or more points with the train and its carriages being the traffic travelling between the radios. Frequency is a measurement of the distance between the peaks and troughs of a radio wave over time. For example, a carrier wave with a one megahertz’ frequency denotes one m cycles-per-second. The cycle is the time it takes for a radio wave to move from a peak to a trough and back again or vice versa.
This one m cycles-per-second is a theoretical aspiration that will not always be consistent. The number of cycles-per-second may change over time giving rise to a phenomenon called jitter. We can imagine frequency depicted along a graph’s x axis and amplitude being shown by the y axis. Ideally there would be a single straight line moving upwards. In reality, the signal’s frequency and amplitude spreads either side of the carrier frequency. The signal will diminish in frequency and power either side of the carrier frequency the further away it is. Areas either side of the signal are known as sidebands and constitute phase noise.
Phase noise is important when working with oscillators and engineers will measure phase noise to determine the cleanliness of the oscillator’s signal. Phase noise is compounded by interference created by the radio’s electronic components.
The US Defence Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA’s) GRYPHON (Generating Radio Frequency with Photonic Oscillators for Low Noise) programme tackles phase noise. DARPA says today’s microwave oscillators significantly reduce phase noise but do so at a cost. Such devices have large size, weight, power and cost demands and frequency restrictions. This “limits their use in advanced defence systems.”
GRYPHON harnesses photonic oscillator technology. In a nutshell, photonic oscillators produce microwaves, but with very little phase noise. Optoelectronic Oscillators combine microwaves and light converting laser radiation into RF (Radio Frequency). The laser is fed into an electrooptical modulator which modifies the laser light by altering its frequency or amplitude for example. The modulated light passes out of the electrooptical modulator entering an optical fibre. The fibre feeds the light to a photodetector converting it into electricity. This current is amplified and fed back into the electrooptical modulator with this process causing the oscillations needed for a microwave signal.
Dr. Gordon Keeler, DARPA’s GRYPHON programme manager, told Armada the project aims to harness photonic oscillator technology to develop compact and tuneable microwave oscillators. It is hoped these will generate radio signals of between one and 40 gigahertz. This is not new territory for DARPA. As Dr. Keeler explains “the generation of stable microwave signals by optical frequency division has been studied for over a decade, and was used to demonstrate world-record performance under DARPA’s PULSE (Programme in Ultrafast Laser Science and Engineering) programme.” DARPA’s DODOS (Direct On-Chip Digital Optical Synthesizer) initiative looked at miniaturised photonic oscillator systems. “GRYPHON is capitalising on these advances to realize compact, high-performance microwave oscillators using precision, wafer-scale manufacturing processes,” says Dr. Keeler.
GRYPHON commenced in January 2022 and is almost one year into its 18-month initial phase during which participants “must demonstrate the viability of their concept for generating RF with exceptionally low phase noise in a compact footprint.” Dr. Keeler says that “each performer will deliver ten synthesizer prototypes that meet programme requirements. (These requirements) specify phase noise, tunability, size, and robustness targets.” This technology is expected to reach Technology Readiness Levels-4/5 (TRLs-4/5). TRL-4 denotes the technology’s validation in a laboratory environment, according to US definitions. TRL-5 denotes the technology’s validation in a relevant environment.
Ultimately, “the technologies developed under GRYPHON are likely to be relevant to a wide variety of applications,” says Dr. Keeler. Specifically, he highlights applicability to military communications and sensors alongside civilian applications like automotive radar.
07 Dec 22. Department of Defense Announces Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability Procurement. The Department of Defense announces the awarding of the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) contracts to Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), Google Support Services LLC, Microsoft Corporation, and Oracle. JWCC is a multiple-award contract vehicle that will provide the DoD the opportunity to acquire commercial cloud capabilities and services directly from the commercial Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) at the speed of mission, at all classification levels, from headquarters to the tactical edge.
This Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle offers commercial pricing, or better, and streamlined provisioning of cloud services. With JWCC, warfighters will now have the opportunity to acquire the following capabilities under one contract:
- global accessibility
- available and resilient services
- centralized management and distributed control
- ease of use
- commercial parity
- elastic computing, storage, and network infrastructure
- advanced data analytics
- fortified security
- tactical edge devices
To get started using JWCC or to learn more, visit www.HaCC.mil to contact the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Hosting and Compute Center (HaCC) or to log-in to the JWCC Customer Portal. DISA has developed user-friendly cloud accelerators to make it easier for DOD customers to purchase, provision, and onboard into the cloud. (Source: US DoD)
06 Dec 22. US Army to lay out communications gear needs for industry at TEM9. U.S. military leaders, acquisition officials and hundreds of companies and other defense industry players are gathering this week to discuss the future of Army communications and the cutting-edge gear soldiers will need to share information whenever and wherever needed.
The dialogue, at what’s known as Technical Exchange Meeting 9, or TEM9, is focused on Capability Sets 25 and 27, batches of near-term networking upgrades drafted with armor and automation in mind, as well as Indo-Pacific and European operations.
Network modernization is a priority for the Army as it pivots to multi-domain operations — the ability to deter and defeat an enemy, with help from others, in any location — and confronts communication environments jeopardized by technologically advanced adversaries such as China and Russia.
The capability set initiative launched in fiscal 2021, with compounding upgrades of off-the-shelf and specialized tech expected in 2023, 2025, 2027 and beyond. Army leaders in 2019 compared the incremental approach to Apple’s iPhone strategy, with newer, better hardware and software rolling out on the heels of the last release.
The Army finished fielding Capability Set 21, tailored for infantry, earlier this year. The service in April completed a critical design review for Capability Set 23, focused on Strykers, signifying the equipment was conceptually sound and cost effective. The passing grade also opened the door for procurement.
“To some level, we modernized and touched over 300 units in the Army, whether it was updating or upgrading their transport, mission command applications, fires applications,” Nicholaus Saacks, deputy program executive officer for command, control and communications-tactical, told C4ISRNET in October.
Work on Capability Sets 25 and 27 is underway. The technical exchange meeting is meant to generate research-and-development insights about those pursuits and provide industry face time with decision makers.
“With 23, we’re looking at capacity, looking at resiliency, and then we’re looking at convergence,” Maj. Gen. Jeth Rey, the director of the Army’s Network Cross-Functional Team, said in October. “When you’re thinking about Capability Set 25, we’re looking at getting that auto-PACE, and then we’re looking at how we’re protecting the network capabilities.”
PACE describes the order in which lines of communication will be tried until contact is established: primary, alternate, contingency and emergency. (Source: Defense News)
06 Dec 22. USMC Selects Silvus MANET Radios and MN-MIMO Waveform for Networking On-the-Move Mobile Communications System.
Silvus Technologies, Inc. (“Silvus”) today announced that the United States Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) has selected Silvus StreamCaster 4400 MANET radios for use in the Networking On-the-Move (NOTM) communications system for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV). After a competitive selection process, StreamCaster MANET radios were selected to be a critical piece of the NOTM mobile communications architecture due to their ability to create a self-organizing mesh network across multiple spectrum bands at high data rates. The StreamCaster 4400 is the first MANET radio added into the NOTM mobile communication system, with the USMC awarding Silvus a $5 m contract for StreamCaster radio procurement.
The StreamCaster 4400 MANET radio will enable the Marine Air-Ground Task Force to access satellite communications, connect and network dispersed vehicles, airborne assets and dismounted units and enable the warfighter to employ NOTM to transmit critical information to commanders and increase situational awareness in hostile environments.
In addition, all StreamCaster radios acquired by MCSC include Silvus’ proprietary Mobile Networked MIMO (MN-MIMO) waveform with Spectrum Dominance features to enable operations in congested and contested spectrum environments.
“As the Department of Defense increases integration of MANET radios into the Joint All-Domain Command & Control Communications architecture, enabling USMC’s NOTM communications system is a significant milestone for Silvus,” said Chris Nigon, Senior Director of Navy, Marine, and Air Force Programs at Silvus. “With this contract award, we are proud that our StreamCaster MANET radios and MN-MIMO waveform with advanced Spectrum Dominance capabilities will become an essential piece of the NOTM mobile communications system, putting high-performance wireless networking capabilities in the hands of our Marines.”
Learn more about the StreamCaster family of radios and MN-MIMO waveform on the Silvus website and follow Silvus on LinkedIn.
About Silvus Technologies, Inc.
Privately held and headquartered in Los Angeles, Silvus Technologies develops advanced MIMO technologies that are reshaping broadband wireless connectivity for mission critical applications. Backed by an unmatched team of PhD scientists and design engineers, its technologies provide enhanced wireless data throughput, interference mitigation, improved range, mobility, and robustness to address the growing needs of its government and commercial customers. Learn more at https://silvustechnologies.com. (Source: PR Newswire)
06 Dec 22. Kumu Networks Demonstrates World’s Highest Performing Self-Interference Cancellation Technology to US Army. Kumu Networks today announced that its K8 Canceller prototype has achieved the highest levels of radio self-interference cancellation to date. This solution breaks the industry record of >80dB cancellation, held by Kumu’s KU-DEV-CORE-18-2 Cancellation Module, by almost 2 orders of magnitude.
As part of its ongoing development work with the US ARMY, Kumu performed a demonstration of the K8 canceller. Kumu’s SLIC module successfully suppressed self-interference from a 1 Watt (30dBm) transmitter down to 0.001 nano Watts (-90dBm). This represents a total isolation of 120dB of which Kumu’s K8 canceller provided a world-record 100dB (10 bn times) with the remaining cancellation coming from the physical antenna separation. Such massive isolation achieved through self-interference cancellation enables very compact, high transmit power full duplex systems that reuse the same spectrum resources for multiple links without interference.
“The Kumu team has made tremendous strides in reducing the size while simultaneously increasing performance of the original solution by several orders of magnitude,” said Kumu CEO David Cutrer. “I am proud that this hard work and dedication has resulted in a product that not only sets a new world record in interference cancellation but also brings a broad range of new capabilities to the table at a critical juncture for the wireless industry.”
Self-interference occurs when a transmitter jams its own receiver, an inevitability in today’s dense network environment. Over the last century, two different methods for getting around self-interference have seen wide adoption – Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD). In FDD, different frequency channels separated by a substantial distance in frequency are allocated to transmit and receive so that RF filters can be used to reduce self-interference. In TDD, transmit and receive are separated in time, where the frequency is used only for transmission or reception at any given time. In both methods, there is substantial wastage of valuable spectrum resources.
Kumu Networks has pioneered and mastered SLIC – the first technology to effectively cancel interference without halving frequency utilization – over the last decade, bringing a Stanford University research project to full commercial readiness and market adoption in a broad array of applications while continuing to push performance and innovation boundaries.
“Self-Interference has been a perennial struggle for wireless systems since their existence. It is exciting to see Kumu Networks’ remarkable achievement in self-interference cancellation,” said Prakash Sangam, Founder and Principal of Tantra Analyst. “This technology will go a long way in helping the wireless industry to achieve next levels of performance and efficiency.”
Kumu’s SLIC technology is deployed in commercial products including in US Tier-1 commercial mobile networks. The significant performance boost due to SLIC enables a wide range of solutions, applications and use cases.
About Kumu Networks
Kumu Networks is a leading provider of radio self-interference cancellation and filtering technology for IoT, wireless infrastructure, and electronic defense. Kumu Networks’ patented self-interference cancelling technology not only allows radios to use a single frequency channel to simultaneously transmit and receive, but can also provide flexible and dynamic filtering capabilities to avoid interference between co-located radios. Kumu Networks’ filtering and cancellation solutions, in the forms of RFICs and modules, are in use and testing with leading electronics, defense and aerospace manufacturers. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
06 Dec 22. Redwire’s SpaceCREST Cybersecurity Platform to Protect Next-Generation Space Communications Hardware for DARPA Program.
Redwire Corporation (NYSE: RDW), a leader in space infrastructure for the next generation space economy, announced today that its suite of space cybersecurity tools developed with BigBear.ai (NYSE: BBAI), an AI-powered analytics and cyber engineering solutions company, will be used by Mynaric (NASDAQ: MYNA) (FRA: M0YN) in the development of an advanced satellite communication program sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Mynaric, a company specializing in advanced laser communications terminals for space, airborne and mobile applications, will use Redwire and BigBear.ai’s Space Cyber Resiliency through Evaluation and Security Testing (SpaceCREST) platform to support the cybersecurity evaluation of their optical communications terminal.
“Redwire is proud to support Mynaric in identifying and mitigating potential vulnerabilities within crucial national security programs”
“Redwire is proud to support Mynaric in identifying and mitigating potential vulnerabilities within crucial national security programs,” said Dean Bellamy, Redwire’s Executive Vice President of National Security Space. “This application of SpaceCREST demonstrates the value that Redwire and BigBear.ai’s collaboration holds for the growing space economy. SpaceCREST will be a critical tool for proactive maintenance and protection of government and commercial customers building the next generation of resilient space architectures.”
Mynaric will use the SpaceCREST platform to ensure the security of its optical communications terminal design for Phase 1 of DARPA’s Space Based Adaptive Communications Node (Space-BACN) program. The program seeks to develop reconfigurable, multi-protocol communications terminals that are small, lightweight, low-power, inexpensive, and able to connect many different satellite constellations in low-Earth orbit. SpaceCREST will be used to identify vulnerabilities that could affect the terminal or disrupt its operation and then find ways to protect against those vulnerabilities.
“As the world has increased its reliance on space assets in both government and commercial operations – ranging from mission-critical national security operations to GPS navigation – the ability to accurately detect and address system vulnerabilities is essential to the everyday lives of bns of people,” said Eric Conway, BigBear.ai’s Senior Vice President of Technology, Federal Solutions. “BigBear.ai is excited to partner with Redwire to deliver SpaceCREST to Mynaric in support of DARPA’s efforts to ensure the next generation of satellite communications are resilient to cyberattacks.”
SpaceCREST utilizes Redwire’s extensive digital engineering capabilities to make cybersecurity analysis of space assets more streamlined and reliable. With Redwire’s Advanced Configurable Open-system Research Network (ACORN) tools and technologies, SpaceCREST enables users to simulate and emulate various hardware and software systems as they are being designed and built. Using SpaceCREST, Mynaric will be able to ensure that its communications terminals are both secure and resilient.
Future uses of Redwire’s digital engineering capabilities will add to the Company’s record of innovation and build on its heritage as a leader in the next-generation space infrastructure.
Redwire Corporation (NYSE: RDW) is a leader in space infrastructure for the next generation space economy, with valuable IP for solar power generation and in-space 3D printing and manufacturing. With decades of flight heritage combined with the agile and innovative culture of a commercial space platform, Redwire is uniquely positioned to assist its customers in solving the complex challenges of future space missions. For more information, please visit redwirespace.com.
BigBear.ai delivers AI-powered analytics and cyber engineering solutions to support mission-critical operations and decision-making in complex, real-world environments. BigBear.ai’s customers, which include the U.S. Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, the U.S. Federal Government, as well as customers in manufacturing, healthcare, commercial space, and other sectors, rely on BigBear.ai’s solutions to see and shape their world through reliable, predictive insights and goal-oriented advice. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, BigBear.ai is a global, public company traded on the NYSE under the symbol BBAI. For more information, please visit: https://bigbear.ai/ and follow BigBear.ai on Twitter: @BigBearai. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
05 Dec 22. Pentagon’s JADC2 synergy plan to drive growth at SAIC, CEO says. Work done for the U.S. Department of Defense on its campaign to seamlessly connect sensors and shooters, or Joint All-Domain Command and Control, will drive growth at Science Applications International Corporation, according to its chief executive officer, Nazzic Keene.
Speaking on an earnings call Dec. 5, Keene said the company has taken several successful stabs at winning JADC2-related business and will continue to support the multibn-dollar portfolio “as this is critical to our national security and an integral part of our growth and GTA strategy,” or growth and technology accelerants.
SAIC, the world’s 38th largest defense contractor in the annual ranking by Defense News, recorded $1.91bn in revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2023. The Virginia-based information technology and defense company this year secured more than $500m in JADC2-related contract awards, it said Dec. 1, and was named as a company to watch by Frost and Sullivan, an American business-consulting firm.
The Pentagon is attempting to bring JADC2 to life as it contends with challenges posed by China and Russia, the two biggest national security threats, according to the National Defense Strategy. By linking databases across land, air, sea, space and cyber and ensuring the right information gets to the right people at the right time, U.S. defense officials hope to outthink and outmaneuver competitors.
Contractors are jostling to win the attention — and money — of the Pentagon when it comes to JADC2, which officials say has no true finish line and requires constant reevaluation and innovation.
“For JADC2 to succeed, the Department of Defense needs experts in advanced capabilities in network virtualization, optimized delivery, software integration, cloud operations and cyber defense,” Michael LaRouche, SAIC’s president of national security and space, said in a statement Dec. 1. “That, and an unparalleled understanding of the challenge, is exactly what we bring to the table.”
SAIC was in September selected to join the Advanced Battle Management System Digital Infrastructure Consortium, an Air Force effort to accelerate the development of JADC2. The bloc also includes L3Harris Technologies, Leidos, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Technologies. The five companies are all among the 40 largest global defense firms ranked by revenue, according to Defense News analysis.
L3Harris in October announced its intent to purchase satellite giant Viasat’s Link 16 portfolio in a bid to expand its own JADC2 offerings and compete with larger, more-entrenched companies. The nearly $2bn deal is expected to close in the first half of 2023. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
06 Dec 22. Thales reinforces its ‘Border & Travel’ offer with the new Multimodal Biometric Pod.
- Thales, a worldwide expert in border and travel management, launches a new multimodal biometric solution that simplifies authorities’ processes and user experiences at borders.
- Integrating iris and face recognition, this innovative Pod offers a multimodal biometric capture and authentication solution, to both enroll and verify travelers ID.
- Used as standalone or integrated into self-service solutions, Thales’ highly accurate and efficient biometric pod perfectly fits borders authorities’ environments and contributes to reducing processing time.
The new Thales multimodal biometric pod is an efficient enrolment and identification solution that helps smoothly manage travelers’ border and immigration processes. The combination of ‘iris & face’ capture and recognition capacities enables a fast and secure enrolment and ID verification at borders. The pod features a modern design that perfectly suits the authority’s needs in highly secure environments.
The travel industry and border security agencies have recognized the need to improve efficiency and overall traveler experience at border entry and exit points.For years, biometrics has been used by authorities to simplify traveler experiences at borders, speeding up people enrolment and ID checks such as the eGates or Entry-Exit Systems. With the Thales multimodal biometric pod, borders authorities can easily integrate automation into their processes, without compromising on passenger and employee security or on the confidentiality of the data exchanged as the solution offers ‘security and privacy by design’ parameters.
Featuring a camera and a high-resolution LCD screen, the biometric pod is able to recognise pre-enrolled travelers’ iris and face at a distance of 0.5m and up to 1.5m with excellent accuracy. Boosted by AI, the solution captures dual iris and face in two seconds, leading to swifter operations and visibly shorter wait times . Thales biometric pods can be set at any borders checkpoint (airports, seaports, etc.) managing both the first traveler enrolment upon arrival and quick biometric checks whenever required (upon territory exit, internal flights etc).
“The combination of biometric patterns applied to contactless authentication, is a sought-after solution for many stakeholders to address security, operational and convenience challenges. Thales relies on its in-house biometrics, border and smart travel expertise to design, develop and deliver top tier responsible biometric solutions to meet users’ expectations and authorities’ requirements”, said Youzec Kurp, VP Identity and Biometric Solutions at Thales.
02 Dec 22. US: Inadequate cyber security capabilities of defence firms will sustain elevated national security, cyber espionage risks. According to a survey by cyber security compliance firm CyberSheath, 87 percent of 300 US-based defence contractors fail to meet minimum cyber security regulation requirements, posing sustained risks of state-sponsored cyber espionage. More than 80 percent of surveyed firms admitted to experiencing a cyber-related incident, with approximately 60 percent incurring financial losses as a result. The risk of compromising national security will remain a prolonged threat unless cyber security mechanisms are enhanced. The survey indicates that US-based defence contractors do not meet current (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, DFARS) and future (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, CMMC) cyber security frameworks. CyberSheath’s research noted that those unable to meet such cyber security requirements could lose up to 40 percent of their revenue from loss of contracts. In early October, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) already warned about advanced persistent threat (APT) activity to the US defence sector, noting that ‘some APT actors had long–term access to the environment’. Further, as highlighted in ESET’s ‘APT Activity Report T2 2022’, China- and North Korea-linked APTs (see Sibylline Cyber Daily Analytical Update – 16 November 2022) will continue to target the US defence and aerospace sectors, thereby sustaining elevated cyber security and national security threats throughout the long term. (Source: Sibylline)
02 Dec 22. Partnering on AIR 6500. In a new partnership, Northrop Grumman Australia and Australian-owned and controlled test and evaluation leader Nova Systems have joined forces as part of the company’s bid to win the AIR 6500 Phase 1 Joint Air Battle Management System program.
Northrop Grumman Australia recently confirmed that it had submitted its response to the Commonwealth for the AIR 6500 Phase 1 Joint Air Battle Management Systems, with support from key Australian industry partners.
Chris Keane, director for strategy and future business at Northrop Grumman Australia, spoke exclusively with Defence Connect saying that the company constantly strives to be a genuine partner to the Australian Defence Force, and that AIR 6500 was an opportunity to demonstrate just that.
“We’re looking to build genuine partnerships with Australian industry and in this context, working with Nova Systems is just fantastic. They are a premier medium-sized defence company whose capabilities are complementary to our own, and whose values really align with ours,” he said.
Keane spoke to Defence Connect about the importance of relationships in business and how in defence, this was even more critical with the strength and quality of the reationship between teaming partners proving often to be integral to the success of a program.
“The relationship with Nova Systems is one that is grounded in trust. Together we make a fantastic team, both seeking to provide an advantage to the ADF that will deliver real, lasting sovereign capability in-country,” said Keane.
Nova Systems chief executive officer Jim McDowell said Nova Systems brings leading sovereign test and evaluation, certification and systems assurance capability to the new AIR6500 partnership with Northrop Grumman Australia. (Source: Defence Connect)
02 Dec 22. NATO Demos Maritime EW Capability during Exercise Dynamic Guard 22-2 Off Italy’s Southern Coast. Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) participated the semi-annual NATO exercise Dynamic Guard 22-2 in the Gulf of Taranto off the coast of Southern Italy Nov. 20-25.
Dynamic Guard 22-2 is an electronic warfare exercise that provides tactical training for the NATO Response Force and Allied national units. Its aim is to enable units assigned to the SNMGs to maintain required levels of proficiency in electronic warfare and anti-ship missile defense.
Dynamic Guard is led by NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) and supported by the NATO Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff (JEWCS). It is held twice annually, with one serial in the North Atlantic area and one in the Mediterranean Sea.
Several ships from SNMG2 took part in the exercise to include SNMG2’s flagship U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), Spanish Navy guided-missile frigate ESPS Cristobal Colon (F 105) and Italian Navy frigate ITS Alpino (F 594). Italian Navy replenishment oiler ITS Stromboli (A 5327) and Royal Navy (UK) amphibious transport dock HMS Albion (L14) participated in the exercise as well.
“Dynamic Guard proved that NATO units in the Mediterranean can operate in a denied electronic warfare environment,” said U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Scott Sciretta, commander of SNMG2. “We also enhanced our interoperability as Allies in the electro-magnetic spectrum, providing watch standers an opportunity to hone their electronic warfare skills against a simulated maritime adversary. Adding these tools to our arsenal increases SNMG2’s lethality. I would like to thank MARCOM and our Italian Allies for providing such a realistic and robust training opportunity.”
Following the exercise, SNMG2 arrived in Split on Nov. 29 for a scheduled port visit.
As a NATO task group, SNMG2 prioritizes its mandate to enhance the collective readiness, responsiveness, deployable readiness, integration and interoperability of its forces. Its focus is on deterrence and defense against all adversaries in the maritime domain, upholding freedom of navigation, securing maritime trade routes and protecting the main lines of communication.
SNMG2 is a multinational integrated task group that projects a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance’s solidarity and cohesion afloat. This continuous maritime capability performs a wide range of tasks, including exercises and real-world operations in periods of crisis and conflict. SNMG2 is one of four Standing Naval Forces that operate under NATO Allied Maritime Command, headquartered in Northwood, United Kingdom.
(Source: ASD Network)
01 Dec 22. Sherpa 6 and JMA demonstrate 5G mobile capabilities for frontline troops. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense has funded the DEVCOM-managed programme. US-based Sherpa 6 has collaborated with global company JMA Wireless to showcase the tactical applications of a private 5G mobile network for American frontline troops.
The demonstration was carried out by the Sherpa 6 member Vince Graffagnino-led network team at the company’s facility near Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Several military applications and programmes were held at the facility to showcase how the JMA-based architecture designed by Sherpa 6 can deliver operational and tactical efficiency benefits for frontline soldiers.
During the daylong event, JMA’s 5G standalone wireless network was connected to the US Army’s Integrated Tactical Network (ITN), mounted on a tactical MRZR vehicle.
The event also showed that ITN’s strategic applications for the soldiers can be expanded through reduced latency and the significant increase in bandwidth offered by 5G wireless.
The demonstration was carried out under the direction of Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (OUSD) R&E 5G Tactical Applications director Dr Dilip Guha.
Dr Dilip Guha said: “This programme is funded to show edge computing capability for Joint All Domain C2 (JADC2)/ITN Intelligent Nodes at the tactical edge, supported by 5G high-bandwidth and low latency transport, and BLOS reach back to the warfighter to perform manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) and sensor-to-shooter operations.”
The OUSD has funded the effort and the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DevCom ) is managing it.
Some of the capabilities highlighted at the event include video and machine learning algorithms, sensor-to-shooter applications, tracking in real-time, and Watchtower, a mobile device security application.
JMA Wireless GM Rishi Bhaskar said: “Together, our 100% US-based team is making private 5G possible for those on the frontlines, connecting soldiers in ways and places that weren’t possible before.” (Source: army-technology.com)
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.