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21 Mar 19. The USAF wants to start a new $35m offensive cyber program. The US Air Force wants to start a new program to develop a series of offensive cyber tools, according to the White House’s budget request for fiscal year 2020. This project will provide advanced cyber warfare capabilities to the Air Force’s cyber mission force personnel, who work on projects for U.S. Cyber Command. In the service’s budget books, the program is named Cyber Mission Force Foundational Tools.
“Activities within the program deliver operations-ready cyberspace superiority capabilities through the research, development, testing, evaluation, accelerated prototyping, demonstration and fielding of cyber technologies and capabilities,” Air Force research and development budget documents state. “This program enables Combatant Commanders the ability to operate in and through cyberspace to manipulate, disrupt, deny, degrade or destroy targeted computers, information systems and networks.”
In fiscal 2020, Air Force leaders want the program to expand on past efforts to produce a family of foundational tools, to develop additional tools and software factories and to deliver prototypes that are interoperable with Cyber Command’s architecture. Cyber Command leaders have vowed that the services will no longer develop stove-piped tools or infrastructure for individual service use.
The budget documents note that these foundational tools will be incorporated into the Air Force’s Distributed Cyber Warfare Operations portfolio.
“The DCWO portfolio enables delivery of cyber effects to Combatant Commanders to include cyber operational preparation of the environment, offensive counter-cyber, cyberattack, electronic warfare operations, mission planning, intelligence, cybersecurity products and services and Command and Control/Situational Awareness (C2SA) tools needed to attack enemy networks, telephony, Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS), command and control systems, and create cyber effects through the Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS),” the document state.
Budget documents note that the program leverages previous efforts from Cyber Command and the Air Force for foundational tool development and were funded in other programs. (Source: Fifth Domain)
19 Mar 19. FY 2020 budget would slash JRSS procurement spend. The Joint Regional Security Stacks program’s buying budget could be cut nearly in half for fiscal 2020, according to newly released Defense Department budget documents. The Defense Information Systems Agency that runs the program requested $88m for fiscal year 2020, down more than $52m from $140.3m in 2019, according to procurement budget documents.
If secured, the funds will be used to procure hardware and software to support JRSS 1.5 as well as enhancements for DOD’s Cyber Situational Awareness Analytic Capabilities. The JRSS program has had complications in recent years, as connectivity and latency issues caused some of the services to temporarily halt their efforts. However, DISA said in the budget justification document that 2020 funding reduction is due to completion of JRSS 2.0 capabilities in fiscal 2019 and reduced tech refresh requirements for the Cyber Situational Awareness Analytic Cloud.
DISA also plans to push improvements to the JRSS Cloud Learning Environment and JRSS Management System, according to the agency’s test and evaluation budget justification document.
The agency also is seeking $107.9m for its Joint Service Provider IT modernization initiative in the 2020 procurement budget request, up from $100.4m last year. That initiative would upgrade a wide range of hardware, software and network infrastructure for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Department of the Army’s headquarters, and other “4th Estate” IT organizations. (Source: Defense Systems)
20 Mar 19. Here’s how DoD will invest in the cyber mission. Insights into specific military cyber programs can be challenging. However, recently available budget documents provide a peek into how the Department of Defense seeks to equip and train cyberwarriors. Specifically, details regarding U.S. Cyber Command’s two most well know, and largely funded, programs — Unified Platform and the Persistent Cyber Training Environment — are clearer.
In the past, the services developed their own disparate platforms for operations. Given the joint nature of cyberspace operations, DoD decided it needed a singular platform — as well as tools — that the entire cyber mission force will use. The command established something called the Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture to guide capability development priorities across the services for singular joint use.
Unified Platform will provide the cyber mission force an infrastructure capable of mission planning, data analytics and decision support, according to Air Force budget documents released March 18. The Air Force is procuring the system on behalf of Cyber Command and the joint force.
“Unified Platform provides the Cyber Mission Forces … a Joint cyber operations infrastructure enabling full spectrum cyberspace operations at the operational through tactical levels of warfare. The DoD, AF, and the Cyber Mission Force require an interconnected and interoperable cyber infrastructure to conduct integrated planning and execution of cyberspace operations,” the documents state.
“Unified Platform delivers this capability through the integration of disparate, service-specific platforms and systems, infrastructure, mission capabilities, data analytics, and programs to build interoperable and scalable network for cyber capabilities.”
The recently released budget documents paint a better picture of investments and direction for Unified Platform.
The documents note that FY20 funds requested will procure hardware for the effective deployment of operational capability to the cyber mission force. In the base procurement budget, the Air Force is asking for $4.9m. However, research and development requests reveal a much more hefty spend. Under two separate elements, the Air Force is asking for a total of $10m split evenly between “AF Prototyping” and “USCYBERCOM Prototyping” program elements.
Efforts under Air Force prototyping include initially developing the minimum viable product baseline from existing best of breed systems. FY20 plans include development of incremental operational capability addressing highest priority user requirements. The document states that funding decreased from last year to this year under this effort due to integration of Air Force prototyping efforts into Unified Platform baseline and a reduction of rapid prototyping activity.
Efforts under Cyber Command prototyping include supporting prototyping efforts associated with the research, development and integration of cyber technologies supporting the Unified Platform program. There was also a decrease in funding from last year to this year with the same reasons listed above.
Additionally, the Air Force is asking for $84.7m under another portion of the research and development budget. This request, called “Foundational Efforts,” seeks to ensure perpetual capability development, integration and delivery of Unified Platform capability through an agile development process. Funding for this item increased by roughly $55m from last year to this year due to additional war-fighter capability requirements required of the Unified Platform baseline, the document said.
The document also notes that after Unified Platform delivers a minimum viable product, which officials have said could be available as soon as this spring, subsequent build iterations will continue to deliver enhanced capabilities. The current approach seeks to leverage a rapid prototyping effort to deliver a set of capabilities over time through a variety of contracts. Northrop Grumman was previously awarded a $54m contract to be the system coordinator. Additional awards include one for cyber enterprise services, which will enhance cyber platforms, as well as several others to include individual tools.
The documents note a variety of contract vehicles the Air Force will use for Unified Platform, to include Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) vehicles (Alliant, Encore II, Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement IV (SEWP IV), and General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Supply Schedules and a new Cyber Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. The documents also indicate that the program envisions multiple-award contract vehicles, which will provide “a wide range of commercially-available products and services that can meet many requirements related to Unified Platform.”
Budget documents also point to timelines for potential awards on other elements of the program. They include:
- Agile capability development – October 2019
- Distributed common development/integration environment – February 2020
- Distributed common staging environment – February 2020
Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE)
Cyber forces currently lack a robust training environment similar to what forces in the physical world enjoy for either individual or collective training. A common parallel in the physical world are the Army’s combat training centers.
PCTE will fill this void allowing for individual and collective training, as well as mission rehearsal.
Currently, the Army is running a series of innovation challenges leveraging small companies to prototype the effort in order to inform the larger program more holistically. While the government is currently operating as the system integrator, the plan is to eventually hand that role off to a contractor.
Funded by the Army on behalf of Cyber Command and the joint force, Army budget documents note base procurement funding for PCTE in FY20 for $3m. This will provide hardware and operations systems required to expand PCTE services from the regional compute and storage node to the training facility. Additionally, it will provide hardware end points at the training facility.
Procurement funding will support the migration of PCTE to DoD enterprise networks, as well as government and/or commercial cloud environments.
Army research and development budget documents request $52.1m for PCTE, which span across several individual projects. Army research and development documents from last year indicate it planned to spend $65.1m in FY20 for this same effort.
The various projects include:
- Event management ($25.6m) — Develop event scheduling, allocation and management function for PCTE to include design, planning and execution supported. FY20 plans include expansion of fielded PCTE capabilities to include automated opposition force.
- Environment operations and management ($13.4m) — Develop PCTE with realistic vignettes and scenarios as part of a syllabus of individual and collective training to include real-world mission rehearsal. FY20 plans include continuing to build and host virtual environments of actual network systems to include industrial control systems, supervisory control and data acquisition systems.
- Physical and virtual connectivity ($10.6m) — On-demand reliable, secure and physical and virtual global access to the system. FY20 plans include extending connectivity to more regional base training facilities to include National Guard and Reserve cyber mission force teams.
- Test and evaluation ($2.5m) — Integration, development and operational testing. FY20 plans note that testing is essential this year to ensure any fielded capability drop does not break existing PCTE platform and training capabilities. (Source: Fifth Domain)
20 Mar 19. Turkey receives first two Bombardier aircraft to be fitted with airborne stand-off jammers. Two Bombardier Global 6000 business jets have arrived in Turkey to be fitted with airborne stand-off jammers (Air SOJ) developed by Aselsan. The Air SOJ, also known as the Remote Electronic Support/Electronic Attack Ability in Air Platform Project, was launched by the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) to develop electronic warfare special mission aircraft.
Ismail Demir, head of the SSB, stated on 15 March that the Air SOJ is intended to be more advanced than systems operational in various countries. The system will be designed to detect, identify, jam, and spoof enemy communication systems and radars so that they cannot be used against friendly platforms. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Mar 19. New Features And Security Of The Akamai Edge Platform. Akamai Technologies unveiled several enhancements to its intelligent edge-platform designed to help users accelerate their cloud migration strategy. The new features protect content, apps and APIs, accelerate web and mobile performance and help development teams to be more flexible as they move to the cloud.
“85 percent of businesses today have a hybrid cloud strategy; many have recognized that the cloud poses significant security, operational and cost management challenges,” said Rick McConnell, president and general manager of Akamai’s Web Division. “Cloud migration creates complexity that slows application delivery, causes cost overruns, and can expose organisations to previously unknown security risks. By extending our platform, Akamai expands customer infrastructures and leverages the Edge and advanced security solutions to address cloud challenges.”
Akamai has also expanded its portfolio of adaptive security capabilities. With a fully integrated proxy detection service for Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and Domain Name Systems (DNS), the new offerings can intelligently provision or block access to content. Akamai’s token authentication with additional intelligence extends coverage for browsers and devices that do not support cookies and makes it more difficult to play stolen content. Finally, the standard TLS ensures that HTTPS can be deployed on a large scale and at the same time provide a customer’s own SSL Certificate. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
20 Mar 19. Secure Workspaces On The Smartphone. Bittium has launched a multicontainer feature for the secure Bittium Tough Mobile smartphone to enable several secure container workspaces. The different container workspaces – up to five are possible – are completely isolated from each other and the user’s personal data and applications.
From each individual workspace there is a secure connection to the data and back-ground services of the organisation connected to the workspace. Connections from the workspaces to the data of different organizations are secured with the Bittium Secure Suite device management and encryption software product.
With the secure workspaces, users can therefore safely handle confidential data of even multiple different organisations, as well as their personal data and applications, with the same Bittium Tough Mo-bile smartphone. Connections, services and applications for each workspace are running and online simultaneously and accessible from the home screen of the phone. Users can therefore easily switch between the different workspaces by swiping sideways from the home screen. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
20 Mar 19. Data Diode Receives Approval. Independent testing laboratories in cooperation with the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) have granted the SDoT diode from infodas the approval to GERMAN, NATO and EU SECRET. With a data throughput of up to 9.1 Gbit/s, it is currently the fastest diode solution on the market approved for SECRET.
Data diodes allow secure unidirectional communication and thus protect critical networks and data sources from cyber risks. They allow data flow in one direction and prevent data flow in the other. This makes data diodes ideal for scenarios in which data must reach secret domains or higher classified networks (e.g. satellite images) or specific data from critical networks (e.g. machine and sensor data) must reach the cloud without access to these networks (e.g. for predictive maintenance).
SDoT products are therefore used in very demanding and operationally important scenarios in the public and private sectors around the world. The approval for classified environments by the BSI is considered a globally recognised labelling, as the German office is known for its independence and thoroughness. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
19 Mar 19. UK planning Army Warfighting Experiment 19 and 20, eyes MUM-T and C3. The British Army has begun planning activities for the 2019 and 2020 iterations of its Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE), Lieutenant Colonel Nick Serle, commanding officer of the Infantry Trials and Development Unit (ITDU), said at the SMi Future Soldier Technology conference in London in March. The most recent iteration, AWE18, known as Autonomous Warrior (Land), ran from November to early December 2019 and focused on robotics and to what extent autonomous devices can help secure an operational advantage, particularly in regards to ISTAR, logistics, and medical support. Improving situational awareness (SA) was also a common theme. The event involved 47 defence companies, 71 robotic and autonomous systems, more than 200 military personnel, and observers and participants from 17 nations. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Mar 19. PacStar® Tactical Comms Solution Enables Warfighters to Securely Transmit Sensitive Data Using Wi-Fi and LTE-Enabled Devices. Secure Wireless Command Post (SWCP) Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) is designed to improve secure warfighter mobility and situational awareness. To meet growing DoD demand for secure warfighter mobility, PacStar today announced Secure Wireless Command Post (SWCP) Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) – a small modular tactical communications package that allows warfighters to securely transmit sensitive data in battlefield and tactical environments using their smartphones, tablets, laptops or other commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) mobile devices.
The majority of information systems warfighters use in theater provide access to controlled unclassified information (CUI) previously known as Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU). The Department of Defense (DoD) gains better situational awareness when more tactical information is available to uncleared warfighters. The problem is significant portions of critical tactical information is classified, causing challenges for the majority of warfighters who are not cleared for access to secret information.
PacStar SWCP CUI addresses DoD requirements for secure mobility by enabling warfighter end user devices to utilize built-in commercial Wi-Fi or LTE radios – eliminating the need for external or type-1 cryptographic equipment. The PacStar system provides voice, video and data in protocols compatible with Wi-Fi or VPN encryption.
“Technology advancements by adversaries demand that warfighters have the same secure communications experience while on the move as they do at-the-halt, and this experience must be delivered in a smaller form factor – whether to fit in a backpack of a dismounted soldier or integrated into a transport vehicle,” said Charlie Kawasaki, chief technical officer, PacStar. “SWCP CUI is a first-of-its-kind modular communications package that allows warfighters to securely transmit sensitive information over Wi-Fi and LTE – greatly enhancing warfighter mobility.”
Based on PacStar integrated solutions, SWCP CUI is already accredited and fielded by US Department of Defense tactical network programs for both SIPRnet and NIPRnet wireless access. The system includes a comprehensive suite of common criteria and FIPS evaluated COTS security controls that meet DoD wireless requirements and can support simultaneous Wi-Fi and VPN connectivity.
Additional features of SWCP CUI include:
- Complete, standalone system encompassing all CUI cybersecurity components (PKI, HSM, Authentication Systems, Firewalls, WIDS, IDS, etc.) necessary to meet DoD requirements and guidelines.
- Technologies listed on the Common Criteria, FIPS, and JITC evaluated or approved lists, easing certification and accreditation processes.
- Expandable/modular system may be customized with added networks or alternative component technologies.
- Rugged, MIL-STD tested, PacStar 400-Series modules and packages that optimize SWaP and maximize deployment flexibility.
- PacStar IQ-Core® Crypto Manager, providing CUI WiFi-specific capabilities including PKI management, digital certificates and SIEM in accordance with government requirements.
Kawasaki adds, “Defensive postures of the past operated in a much more stationary battlefield environment and it was simply assumed that communications would be limited as warfighters moved from position to position. SWCP CUI will enable entirely new modes of communication when paired with widespread wireless access technologies at the edge of the network.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
19 Mar 19. Australia buys four modified Gulfstream G550 aircraft for RAAF. The Australian Department of Defence has acquired four modified Gulfstream G550 aircraft from the US for use by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in a A$2.46bn ($1.74bn) transaction. To be based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia, the new aircraft will be designated the MC-55A ‘Peregrine’.
According to Australia Defence Minister Christopher Pyne, the procurement of the G550 aircraft will help strengthen electronic warfare support to naval, air and land forces for operations in complex electromagnetic environments.
Pyne said: “The Peregrine is a new airborne electronic warfare capability that will be integrated into defence’s joint warfighting networks, providing a critical link between platforms, including the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, E-7A Wedgetail, EA-18G Growler, navy’s surface combatants and amphibious assault ships and ground assets to support the warfighter.
“The aircraft will be based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia, yet another piece in a broader intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance precinct being developed at the super base, which is already home to our Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.”
RAAF Base Edinburgh is also set to serve as the headquarters for the country’s unmanned Tritons and armed unmanned Reaper variant.
Pyne added: “This capability and the people who operate it will bring airforce a step closer to becoming a fully networked fifth-generation force and further exploit the joint combat multiplier effects on exercises and operations.”
Australia Defence Industry Minister stated that the project will create opportunities worth more than A$2bn ($1.41bn) for the domestic industry in the sustainment of the aircraft over its lifespan.
In June 2017, the US State Department approved Australia’s request for Gulfstream G550 aircraft with airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare (AISREW) mission systems.
The sale will enable Australia to upgrade its electronic warfare capability and increase interoperability between the US Air Force and the RAAF. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
18 Mar 19. US Army looks to industry for network modernization. The Army is beginning a pilot this year to outsource enterprise network modernization, mimicking similar efforts from the Navy and Air Force. The effort, Enterprise IT as a Service, was taken directly from an Air Force program, Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commander of Army Cyber Command, told an audience at the AFCEA Army Signal Conference March 12.
“We’ve got confidence that the model that the Air Force has selected offers the best opportunity of the Army to modernize our network and provide the network that our commanders need, that they require,” Fogarty said.
“They came to this conclusion about two-and-a-half years ago and they have been working furiously with … [their leadership] to get to this point. That has given us a tremendous advantage because we can leverage much of the work the business case, that they prepared.”
Fogarty noted that, similar to the conclusion the Air Force came to, this pilot effort is not about cost savings, but rather improving capability.
The Army’s chief information officer has said in the past that enterprise network modernization efforts were not moving fast enough and they needed a new approach, so leveraging existing commercial capabilities could help modernize and secure the network.
Details on the Army’s pilot are scare so far, but officials have acknowledged they plan to go relatively quickly, asking industry in 2019 to provide transport, end user devices and cloud and other services. It will encompass the unclassified and secret networks, but only focus on installations in the United States.
Officials also noted the importance these efforts to reform and modernize the enterprise have on the Army’s ongoing, and more public efforts to modernize the tactical network.
“Everything we’re doing in the tactical space depends on the enterprise being set … This is an end-to-end network,” Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, director of the network cross functional team, said during the same conference earlier in the day.
The first enterprise pilot effort will take place at Army Futures Command, said Fogarty, noting this is the No. 1 priority. He added that they have a requirement to ensure the Futures Command headquarters is fully operationally capable by June 1, 2019.
As the Army looks to prioritize other sites within the 288 installations it owns, Fogarty was sure to explain that the pilot will not stop current efforts from continuing.
“This is a pilot. It could fail. So there has to be a plan B and plan B right now is instead of using the current approach of floating all boats, trying to get all 288 something, is we’re prioritizing,” he said.
Some of the priorities currently are power projection posts, combat training centers, Army four-star command headquarters and Army Material Command business centers.
Fogarty said they’re working these efforts simultaneously because they can’t afford to run a pilot for three years and let the rest of the enterprise atrophy while waiting on the results. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
18 Mar 19. DoD requests almost $23bn for key intel account. The Pentagon wants to increase its black budget for intelligence programs for a fifth straight year. The Department of Defense has requested $22.95bn for the top-line budget of the Military Intelligence Program, the DoD announced Monday. While the overall fiscal 2020 budget request was released last week, the MIP request typically comes days or weeks afterward.
That total includes both base budget and overseas contingency operations funding. No further budget figures or program details will be released for “national security reasons,” per a department statement.
A 2016 Congressional Research Service report says the MIP represents “defense intelligence activities intended to support tactical military operations and priorities,” including “tactical-level systems, people and activities” for the Pentagon and services as they work on intelligence gathering.
That report also identified some of the funding as going toward U.S. Special Operations Command as it pursues “several current acquisition efforts focused on outfitting aircraft — both manned and unmanned, fixed and rotary wing — with advanced ISR and data storage capabilities that will work in multiple environments.” It also can be used for “Advanced Sensors Application Program; Foreign Materiel Acquisition and Exploitation Program, and the Horizontal Fusion Program” at the level of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
In the early part of the decade, the MIP dropped from a high of $27bn in FY10, hitting its low point in FY15 at $16.6bn, according to numbers maintained by the analytics group Avascent.
But it has steadily increased since then, with the Pentagon receiving $17.7bn in FY16, $18.5bn in FY17 and $21.1bn in FY18. While it has not released the enacted amount of FY19, the department requested $21.2bn for that fiscal year. (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)
15 Mar 19. Arexis escort jamming pod begins testing ahead of flight trials. Saab has commenced ground qualification of a prototype low-band escort jamming pod being developed as part of its Arexis family of fast jet electronic warfare (EW) systems and plans to begin flight testing the prototype before the end of this year.
Announced in 2017, the Arexis family of electronic attack pods – comprising self-protection, escort jammer, and escort jammer-extended capability variants – leverages from technology already in development for the MFS-EW self-protection suite that equips Saab’s JAS 39 Gripen E fighter. These building blocks include ultra-wideband digital receivers and digital radio frequency memory devices (DRFMs), gallium nitride (GaN) solid state active electronically scanned array (AESA) transmitters, interferometric direction finding systems, and high-speed digital signal processing architectures.
Saab has already offered a podded Arexis self-protection jammer for export applications. According to Jonas Grönberg, Saab’s head of marketing, sales, and emerging products for Fighter EW, the escort jamming pod is intended to provide strike packages with an airborne electronic attack capability to defeat early warning radar.
“You need high-powered electronic attack to deny shared situational awareness and targeting data, and to negate data networks,” he told Jane’s. “The Arexis [escort] jammer pod has the capability to screen and so protect the approach and departure of entire strike formations against lower frequency radars by the smart utilisation of DRFM-based jamming techniques, such as smart noise, coherent false targets and various saturation techniques.”
The escort jammer pod design first shown by Saab in 2017 incorporates L-band and S-band GaN-based AESA antennas in the fore and aft sections of the main pod structure, with large VHF and UHF fin antennas mounted externally. “This version, weighing less than 350 kg, has been specifically designed for integration with single engine fighters in mind,” said Grönberg. “It is powered by the aircraft so there is no need for additional electrical generation capacity inside the pod.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
18 Mar 19. Electronic warfare firm SRC Australia opens office in Adelaide. SRC Australia has opened an office in Adelaide, South Australia, as the company looks to enhance its electronic warfare (EW) payload development capabilities. The company is a subsidiary of US-based research and development firm SRC. It is investing more than A$12m ($8.49m) in the development of an electronic warfare payload for next-generation training purposes. According to the Australian Department of Defence, the payload could also be used to advance concepts such as the ‘Loyal Wingman’ unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is being developed by Boeing in partnership with the Australian Government.
Australia Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said: “SRC Australia are experts in developing next-generation electronic warfare solutions for the Australian Defence Force and its allies.
“The company plays a vital role in delivering its ‘Ghosthawk’ mission support data sets for Australia’s F-35A Joint Strike Fighters.”
“According to Pyne, the ‘Lyrebird’ programme is expected to provide 15 additional jobs in Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra over the next two years.”
Pyne noted that the company’s electronics package will allow ‘the UAV to look like an adversary to replicate the threats’ encountered in combats. The electronics package is known as ‘Lyrebird’ in Australia and ‘Mockingbird’ in the US.
The new office is SRC’s second in the country after the launch of the Canberra office last year.
According to Pyne, the ‘Lyrebird’ programme is expected to provide 15 additional jobs in Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra over the next two years. SRC offers a range of services, including mission planning support, EW integrated reprogramming, simulation, test and evaluation, and training. SRC Australia was formed after the parent company acquired Australian firm Mission Data Solutions in April 2016.
The company secured a contract to provide software development and engineering analysis to support EW requirements for the Australian F-35 programme. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
18 Mar 19. $2.46bn to enhance Air Force’s electronic warfare capabilities. Defence Minister Christopher Pyne and Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds have confirmed a multibillion-dollar acquisition to expand the electronic warfare and multi-domain capabilities of the ADF. Minister Pyne made the announcement alongside Minister Reynolds, and said the acquisition originally identified as part of the 2016 Defence White Paper and the 2017 Integrated Investment Plan would “enable Defence to actively strengthen electronic warfare support to naval, air and land forces for operations in complex electromagnetic environments”.
“The Peregrine is a new airborne electronic warfare capability that will be integrated into Defence’s joint warfighting networks, providing a critical link between platforms, including the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, E-7A Wedgetail, EA-18G Growler, Navy’s surface combatants and amphibious assault ships and ground assets to support the warfighter,” Minister Pyne said.
The airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare (AISREW) mission systems aircraft will be based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia – yet another piece in a broader ISR precinct being developed at the Super Base, which is already home to the Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
RAAF Base Edinburgh will also serve as the headquarters for the RAAF’s fleet of unmanned Tritons and armed unmanned Reaper variant.
“This capability and the people who operate it will bring Air Force a step closer to becoming a fully networked fifth-generation force and further exploit the joint combat multiplier effects on exercises and operations,” Minister Pyne explained.
Minister Reynolds added, “The Liberal National government remains committed to opening up new opportunities for Australian small and medium enterprises in the defence industry.”
Italy, Israel and Singapore operate Gulfstream G550s modified by IAI with large conformal antennas and other enhancements in the AEW&C role, and the US Navy has also ordered a similarly configured aircraft for range-control work. Various other special-mission G550s serve with the US government and other countries.
“About $425m will be spent with Australian companies during the acquisition phase of the project, including $257m to be invested in new facilities at RAAF Base Edinburgh. There will be further significant opportunities for Australian industry, estimated to be over $2bn, in the sustainment of the aircraft over the 25 years life-of-type,” Minister Reynolds said.
Australia requested the possible sale of up to five Gulfstream G550 with AISREW mission systems, GPS capability, secure communications, aircraft defensive systems; spares, including whole-life costs of airborne and ground segments; aircraft modification and integration; ground systems for data processing and crew training; ground support equipment; publications and technical data; US government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; flight test and certification; and other related elements of logistical and program support. (Source: Defence Connect)
16 Mar 19. The renewed debate over the NSA-CYBERCOM split. After a period on the back burner, the issue of separating the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command came up again in front of Congress, where some members expressed a clear opinion: Don’t do it.
“I believe it would be premature to split these organizations in the immediate future,” House Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities Chairman Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., said in a March 13 hearing.
The two organizations share a single leader — a dual-hat relationship established along with Cyber Command in 2009 to get it up and running quickly through leveraging the rich history, infrastructure and talent possessed within the NSA. Military leaders, however, have typically maintained that this arrangement was always designed to be temporary as the two organizations have fundamentally different missions — espionage and war fighting — which sometimes are at odds.
“Before any significant changes are implemented in the dual-hat arrangement, this Subcommittee expects a robust understanding of how and why it is necessary to split the leadership function of NSA director and CYBERCOM commander,” Langevin said in his opening statement.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb. — who retired as a one-star Air Force general specializing in electronic warfare, intelligence and reconnaissance — expressed his opposition to the split as well.
“It just doesn’t make sense to me from my experience. My view, or at least my recommendation, would lean toward how we have it; I think we have it right,” he said.
“Our cyber teams are a good mix of intelligence and cyber … It seems to me from a cyber perspective it is a symbiotic relationship with NSA; you can’t do the two separate. I’d be a little afraid if you had two four-star generals — one in charge of the intelligence portion, one in charge of the cyber portion. You’d be pulling that team apart in two different directions.”
In the 2017 annual defense policy bill, Congress, which has historically always been opposed to a premature split between the two, outlined a number of elements that must be met prior to a split.
Among them, they included a certification that separation won’t pose risks to the military effectiveness of Cyber Command, that both organizations have a robust infrastructure for their unique mission needs, a certification of robust command-and-control systems for planning, deconflicting and executing cyber operations, certification that tools and weapons used for operations are sufficient for achieving required effects and that the cyber mission force achieves full operational capability.
The cyber mission force achieved full operational capability in May. Cyber Command is currently working to develop DoD-specific cyber tools and infrastructure separate from that used by the NSA for foreign espionage.
In terms of where the military is on this issue, Cyber Command Commander Gen. Paul Nakasone delivered an assessment to the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in August on the matter.
The decision now rests with the secretary of defense and the president.
Press reporting has indicated Nakasone recommended the two not split until 2020. When asked about this during the hearing, Nakasone said the reporting is not accurate. He declined to offer more details, telling the congressional panel that the assessment was classified and it would be best to discuss in the closed session that followed the open hearing. (Source: Fifth Domain)
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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.