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02 Jan 19. Russian MoD procures YeSU TZ battlefield management system. The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is set to procure the YeSU TZ (Yedinaya Sistema Upravleniya Takticheskogo Zvena) battlefield management system, Deputy Defence Minister Alexey Krivoruchko said on 22 December during a visit to the Voronezh-based Sozvezdiye Concern, which is a subsidiary of Rostec’s Roselektronika holding.
“We have signed a large and important contract. The development of the [YeSU TZ] programme will be placed under special control,” said Krivoruchko. The contract will be implemented through to 2027, he said, although he did not disclose either the contract’s volume or any other terms of delivery.
The YeSU TZ battlefield management system incorporates 11 subsystems that control artillery, electronic warfare systems, ground vehicles, air defence assets, engineering equipment, and logistics support, among other things. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
27 Dec 18. USMC begins to roll out special cyber defense teams. The Air Force is beginning to build specialized cyber teams across the service whose primary mission is to defend local installations and critical mission tasks from cyberattacks. These teams will ensure that a particular wing or smaller organization can complete their mission from a cyber perspective, Maj. Gen. Robert Skinner, commander of 24th Air Force/Air Forces Cyber, told Fifth Domain in a November interview.
For example, Skinner said if a wing has an F-16 unit that’s responsible for offensive counter air or defensive counter air support, mission defense teams will understand those weapon system and everything that goes into making those air sorties successful as a way to defend that mission from a cyber standpoint.
As an example, an eight-man team at the 2nd Weather Group within the 557th Weather Wing monitors the network and recently discovered several “bogus” account requests. The commander, Col. Patrick Williams, said the team was able to figure out that many of the requests were either bots or foreign requests that “had no business being on that network.” By working with the Network Operations and Security Center to eliminate that activity, the number of requests dropped by 80 percent, a huge win, Williams said. He added this was done with just a nascent mission defense team given that the teams are just being filled out across the major commands now.
Skinner said each major command is at a different point in activating the teams. In addition, Air Force leaders said the service hopes to achieve efficiencies within its entire IT and cyber defense enterprise.
The officials pointed to the Air Force’s “enterprise IT as a service” pilot, which examines what efficiencies can be gained by having commercial companies conduct the IT services as opposed to having airmen maintain the IT infrastructure. One benefit of such a move could be that it frees up personnel to spend more time on cyber defense.
“Our core strategic theme is moving from IT focused delivery into mission defense teams,” Bill Marion, deputy CIO of the Air Force, said during a keynote presentation in early December.
Skinner said the service will likely be able to “re-mission” workers from their IT positions and assign them to these more active defensive roles such as mission defense teams.
These mission defense teams are different from cyber protection teams that the Air Force, and other services, provide to U.S. Cyber Command.
“In my eyes the [mission defense team] is a [cyber protection team] lite,” Skinner said. “We’re very proud of our cyber protection team training and I think that the more of that I can get with our mission defense teams, the more successful they’ll be and then our cyber protection teams can be really focused on the high end, the big threats that we’ll run into in a peer competition and peer adversaries.” (Source: Defense News)
25 Dec 18. USMC new ‘blueprint’ for information capabilities. The Marine Corps is drafting a plan to inform how it designs capabilities for its nascent information forces. Among the three priorities for the deputy commandant for information, stood up in 2017, is using the new Marine Expeditionary Force Information Groups, or MIGs. These teams will work on all information-related capabilities, providing commanders a clearinghouse of options including cyber, intelligence, electronic warfare and information operations. According to presentations by Marine Corps leaders, one of the lines of effort for delivering what the MIGs need is the Marine Corps Information Environment Blueprint, a Marine Corps spokesman told C4ISRNET. This differs from the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Information Environment Operations Concept of Employment, which provided overall guidance of employment for the new MIGs. The concept of employment was written to provide a starting point, the spokesman said, adding that a more accurate description of the document’s purpose is it provides a vision and conceptual framework for the information environment, but it is not prescriptive.
That document will be periodically updated to reflect capabilities refinement in the coming years.
The newer blueprint serves as “the unifying technical, physical and business model that documents the conceptual representation of the functional design of the enterprise. It codifies the policies, standards, services, infrastructure, technical design, and architectural elements required to deliver capabilities to users across the enterprise,” as defined by the deputy commandant for information.
“Development of the MCIEE Blueprint is an iterative process focused on the delivery of capabilities defined by and validated against user objectives, functional goals and mission requirements. This process represents a shift from a systems-centered approach where implementation and delivery of capabilities is largely based on the technical key performance parameters of hardware and software.”
The blueprint is still conceptual and is expected to be finalized in spring 2019, the spokesman said.
Developing and refining capabilities in this information environment is a top priority for the commandant of the Marine Corps, with officials noting that many forces were taken from infantry units to help stand up the MIGs.
“Even more so than in previous generations, the current and future information environments promise complexities previous decades did not experience,” the spokesman said. “Fire and maneuver alone is no longer adequate to achieve battlespace success — it must be integrated with information-related war-fighting capabilities to gain.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
20 Dec 18. New Army AI is cutting through data-choked battlefields. Army units are expected to receive electronic warfare systems in 2019 equipped with new artificial intelligence algorithms to help them more accurately understand signals within the electromagnetic spectrum. A competition over summer 2018 put best-of-breed industry solutions to the test to better classify signals in the increasingly crowded spectrum, and the Army is now inserting these features into EW prototypes, according to a release. Select units will begin fielding these systems in August. The Army organized the competition to fill gaps observed following the delivery of its first EW systems to address escalating Russian systems in Europe.
“When the Army delivered electronic warfare prototypes to soldiers in Europe earlier this year, we enhanced the sensor footprint for [electronic warfare officers] to track friendly and enemy signals, but we also increased the amount of data they were seeing,” said Rob Monto, the director of the Army Rapid Capabilities Office Emerging Technologies Office.
“That data, which comes from commercial Wi-Fi, cellphones and satellites, as well as military systems, is continuously increasing. So we wanted to look at what emerging technologies could be applied to help soldiers filter to what matters and speed up the operational response.”
The Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office is now working on a series of data collection and technical exchange events to further evaluate performance and integration of the AI and machine-learning applications for product development and deployment, the Army said.
The team has already integrated an AI framework into the sensor-processing hardware for the Tactical Electronic Warfare System. The Army said the framework concept can be scaled to additional platforms and systems. The next step for the RCO will be working with vendors and electronic warfare officers during evaluations, which includes data generation, collection and algorithm testing that will take place at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. This event is planned for early to mid 2019 and will lead to fielding new technology to an operational unit later that year. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra has a proven record of accomplishment – with over 15 years of experience in delivering secure communications and cybersecurity solutions for governments around the globe; elite militaries; and private enterprises of all sizes.
As a dynamic, agile, security accredited organisation, Spectra can leverage this experience to deliver Cyber Advisory and secure Hosted and Managed Solutions on time, to spec and on budget, ensuring compliance with industry standards and best practices.
Spectra’s SlingShot® is a unique low SWaP system that enables in-service U/VHF tactical radios to utilise Inmarsat’s commercial satellite network for BLOS COTM. Including omnidirectional antenna for the man, vehicle, maritime and aviation platforms, the tactical net can broadcast over 1000s miles between forward units and a rear HQ, no matter how or where the deployment. Unlike many BLOS options, SlingShot maintains full COTM (Communications On The Move) capability and low size and weight
On 23 November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced that it had recently been listed as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier for 2015-2016 by the UK Crown Commercial Services
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 BATTLESPACE Businessman of the Year by BATTLESPACE magazine and is a finalist in the inaugural British Ex-Forces In Business Awards in the Innovator Of The Year category.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.