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28 Mar 19. Leonardo presents OBVP for US DoD command post initiative. Leornardo DRS is hoping that its tactical approach is the US DoD’s answer to command post systems integration and power supply following submission of a white paper. Speaking at AUSA Global 2019, Leonardo DRS confirmed that it had answered a request to submit a white paper for the US DoD’s Command Post Integrated Infrastructure (CPI2) initiative. The white paper submission period was open from 10-21 March 2019. The company’s approach sees its On Board Vehicle Power (OBVP) system integrated into a Stryker vehicle. If successful this would lead to a contract award for the company some time in 2019 when CPI2 becoming a programme of record.
An answer is expected from the US DoD in around six weeks’ time confirmed Michael Kelley, senior programme manager, mission command programmes contractor to DRS Technologies.
The tactical power solution has already been demonstrated at Fort Lewis, Washington in January 2019 with Kelley adding that this integration of the OBVP into the Stryker ‘makes it much more useable [and] survivable’.
CPI2 was launched by the US military’s Program Executive Office Command Control Operations – Tactical in December 2017 to create a more mobile command post, in addition to integrating communications hardware across platforms.
If Leonardo DRS’ CPI2 white paper is chosen the company will have up to 18 months to deliver the solution to the US DoD.
The OBVP system uses a Transmission Integral Generator to generate, manage and store electricity at a base as well as integrate communications and other hardware. It can be integrated into numerous medium and heavy tactical vehicles.
In addition to the US CPI2 initiative, Kelley confirmed that the company is currently in talks with the Australian DoD regarding the Land 400 programme. The UK arm of the US-based company, Leonardo Tactical Systems, is interested in the mobile mission command for the UK MoD as well as with other unspecified international customers. (Source: Shephard)
26 Mar 19. SecDef says cyber is top modernization priority. Cybersecurity is a key component of the Defense Department’s $750bn budget request for fiscal year 2020, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told legislators on March 26. Less than $10bn of that request is explicitly allocated for DOD cybersecurity efforts. But Shanahan testified before the House Armed Services Committee that “modernization is the most important thing we can do to maintain deterrence, create military capability, but that’s also what enables us economically, so they really all tie all together.” He also emphasized the state and local ripple effects that DOD investments create through industry relationships.
Shanahan added that the military must be “an enabler to unlock diplomatic and new relationships” rather than be a solution unto itself. While spending on cyber and emerging technologies represents only a sliver of the overall budget request, he called the investment in such critical areas “fundamental.”
Diplomacy in an increasingly digital battlefield was a concern for committee members as well.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) praised the DOD budget for investing in new tech but asked if the virtual arms race in the cyber and artificial intelligence arenas might also be addressed with arms control restrictions.
“This is where we need to, in my view, do the most significant work,” Shanahan said, adding that neither the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty nor the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty “contemplate artificial intelligence or these new weapons that have been created.”
“We need to really think about what does ‘machine on machine’ mean as we take humans out of the loop,” he said. “And these are arms control agreements that we need to have with people that we don’t have arms control agreements with.”
Shanahan also said that while warfighting doctrine would inevitably change as the future force pivots to focus more on cyber, missiles and space, it was all about finding the right mix.
“I don’t think the course that the Chinese are on is the same course that these naval battles will be fought on in the future,” he said, mentioning autonomous vessels. “Warfighting doctrine is going to change drastically. That doesn’t mean we divorce ourselves from our current infrastructure, but I think this transition to future forces — space, cyber, missiles — will have a profound impact on the type of Navy we have and the size of those vessels and the composition.” (Source: Defense Systems)
26 Mar 19. Sapura Thales Electronics unveils new military VHF radio. Sapura Thales Electronics (STE) has announced the launch of second generation military VHF radio, the TRC 5200, at the 2019 LIMA exhibition in Malaysia. Launched by Malaysia Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, TRC 5200 VHF tactical handheld radio has been completely designed and developed in Malaysia by STE. The radio is equipped with AES256 ciphered frequency and offers more than 12 hours of autonomy. Additionally, the device features a built-in global positioning system with Blue Force Tracking that supports the armed forces with live asset tracking and communication. It also has a skipping frequency mode (SKF) included to escape the jammers.
Field trials for TRC 5200 were conducted in various countries worldwide, including Malaysia. The radio will be available in markets across the globe by the third quarter of this year.
Thales Malaysia country director Thomas Pistre said: “Thales is excited to launch the new generation ‘Made in Malaysia’ radios with STE. It is a clear demonstration not only of our commitment to Malaysia’s human capital development but also how our expertise and solutions are aligned with the country’s ambitions.
“We have been working closely with our key industry partners and customers to help deepen the skills and knowledge of the local workforce and we look forward to even greater collaborations in the future, as we fulfil our offset obligations in the country.”
A total of 5,000 STE first-generation handheld radios were purchased by customers in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.
Based on the first-generation radio’s track record, the company estimates a sale of nearly 10,000 units of the TRC 5200 within the next five years. Established in 1996, STE is a joint venture between the Malaysian conglomerate Sapura and French multinational company Thales. (Source: army-technology.com)
27 Mar 19. Understanding the Army’s new approach to its tactical network. As Army leaders develop a new approach to the tactical network, which allows soldiers on the battlefield to communicate with their commanders, officials are deviating from past practices as a way to improve connectivity, bolster resiliency and keep pace with technology.
They said the easiest way to think of the integrated tactical network — which is not a new network — is as a mix of existing programs of record and commercial off the shelf capabilities that allows a unit to communicate in congested environments and provide situational awareness. This approach is different than years past in that it is relies more on commercial systems — and a variety of them strung together — and a DevOps model that allows the Army to continuously iterate.
Three of the main benefits of the ITN that didn’t previously exist are the redundancy in communications, unprecedented situational awareness for units and a secure but unclassified capability for lower echelons unburdening units and allowing for greater information sharing with coalition partners. This detailed vision of the network, one of the Army’s top acquisition priorities, has emerged through several interviews with service leaders and visits to industry days and exercises over multiple months.
“The ITN is not a new or separate network but rather a concept that incorporates the Army’s current tactical network environment (applications, devices, gateways and network transport) with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components and transport capabilities to enable communications in denied, intermittent and limited bandwidth (DIL) environments,” a pamphlet provided to reporters at the Oct. 30, 2018 Network Integration Evaluation, stated.
By merging systems, Army leaders have said the new approach will allow forces to be more expeditionary and mobile, a key attribute in future conflict. It will also allow for more opportunities for connectivity and allow the Army to keep pace with frequent commercial advances.
These systems include advanced networking waveforms, Android tablets that the Army calls “end user devices,” small aperture satellite communications, tactical data centers and data link gateways. It also includes the individual soldier kit, which is a two-channel leader radioand the end user device that provides geolocation services and chat.
By constantly leveraging and re-competing technologies associated with the network, Army leaders have said this will allow commanders to stay ahead of threats and give the service the ability to insert new capabilities when needed. In this scenario, the network will no longer be married to one system or vendor.
“One of the things we know for sure is if we were to sit down today and try to write a requirement for the network of 2028, we’d get it wrong because the technology is changing too fast, the available systems are changing too fast,” Maj. Gen. Dave Bassett, program executive officer for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical, said during a recent industry presentation in February. “The direction that we were given was to not even try to write a 2028 requirement, but rather to talk about using experimentation to inform requirements and capabilities over time and to deliver an integrated tactical network in capability sets over time starting in FY21.”
This has led to the other primary change in approach from years past: the Army wants constant feedback from troops through ongoing experimentation.
The program office working with the network cross functional team has worked with multiple units, at multiple training events and even taken advantage of operational deployments to refine the first set of capabilities, which is slated to be delivered to four infantry brigade combat teams and expeditionary signal battalions in 2021. Following that, Stryker and armored brigade combat teams will likely receive capabilities beginning in 2022, Bassett and Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, director of the network cross functional team, told C4ISRNET.
The two generals have said that new capabilities will arrive about every two years from 2021 until 2028, which is the Army’s timeline for its overall modernization efforts.
This constant feedback loop between the units and the Army material side, as well as the network cross functional team, has led to tweaks in capability and approach, in some cases in real time. The experimentation includes fielding a portion of the kit to the Security Force Assistance Brigade in Afghanistan as well as working with the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, at combat training center rotations, battalion training events and operational deployments the last two years.
“Every iteration we’ve executed we’ve attempted to introduce a new capability, we built on what we’ve deployed by turning lessons learned very quickly and working … to gin up some options and test many times to the point of breaking it – not physically but breaking the capability – [but] surpassing its own capability during a training exercise,” Maj. John Intile, executive officer for 1-508th, told C4ISRNET during a recent visit to Camp Atterbury for a battalion exercise in which the unit was using the kit.
“I would deploy with [the kit] now the way that it’s configured now,” Intile said of the individual soldier kit. That setup includes the two channel radio and end user device. He said this is the most developed part of the ITN.
Unlike the tactical networks of years past, the modernization provides units and commanders with multiple pathways of communication, which in turn allows for greater customization.
“It’s capable of operating in an environment where [if] the TSM waveform was all you need, you’d be fine. If you need TSM waveform and a satellite shot in order to provide services, that’s great. If you’re in a satellite denied environment … TSM waveform would work to help mission command in fighting formation and we’ve got [high-frequency] capability. If we’re in an environment where it’s permissive enough to use local 4G LTE network, then we could do that as well,” Intile said. TSM is a waveform from TrellisWare.
The end user device also allows units to share and receive location data from the individual soldier on the battlefield to a vehicle back to the command post, improving situational awareness.
“Both commanders I’ve worked for, previous and current, I think would say without a doubt that it has provided a more robust and complete situational awareness tool to them that has rapidly allowed them to see the battlefield, have appreciation for what risks they can assume and make decisions much more quickly,” Intile said.
This secure, but still unclassified path to transfer data, not only relieves stress on units in terms of checking security clearances and providing highly classified systems, but it also allows for greater information sharing in a coalition environment.
“If we have a coalition partner that we’re operating with, we can now hand them a radio and they can see the same ground [common operational picture] that we do because it’s secure but unclassified for that coalition,” Bassett said during an industry presentation in February.
“In addition, because we’re not using Type 1 encryption on our radios and we’re using this mobile ad hoc network, if we end up in an area that we know we need additional coverage … we can drop a radio in a position of advantage because it’s not Type 1 encrypted, we don’t have to leave a soldier with it. We can monitor it over the network and we can use that to connect in ways we never could have before.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
27 Mar 19. Border Patrol Looking To Acquire New Capabilities Rapidly, Official Says. Patrol wants to obtain new technologies and capabilities faster than ever using non-traditional procurement processes so that front line operators can evaluate what works for them and what doesn’t and then move quickly into acquiring systems to be deployed, a Border Patrol agent said this week.
“One of the biggest challenges we have is putting stuff in the hands of the operators as soon as we can,” Kelly Good, deputy executive director for the Border Patrol’s Program Management Office, said at the annual Border Security Expo here. “Historically, with SBI and several other programs, those big acquisitions would take way to long.”
SBI refers to the Secure Border Initiative Network that went through several iterations and took years to develop and was ultimately terminated by the Department of Homeland Security after a limited deployment. Good said that the Border Patrol, which is a division of Customs and Border Protection that patrols between ports of entry on the nation’s northern and southern land borders, already acquired small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) using rapid acquisition approaches, apparently unbeknownst to some providers of the technology.
“Industry probably looked at that and said, ‘Wait a minute, we didn’t see an RFP come out,’” he said, referring to the traditional Request for Proposals that contains requirements and starts the clock ticking for when bids are due.
“We didn’t use an RFP on that one,” Good said as part of a panel discussion on border security.
“We went with an RFI, and we went directly with DLA.”
An RFI, a Request for Information, is typically used by government to conduct market research on industry capabilities and to receive feedback from vendors about the feasibility of user requirements. The DLA is the Defense Department’s Defense Logistics Agency, which provides combat logistics support and maintains stock items numbers that other agencies can use to acquire products.
According to budget documents that DHS provided to Congress last week detailing its funding needs for fiscal year 2020, CBP has acquired or is acquiring 100 vertical take-off-and-landing and 10 fixed-wing sUAS and plans to buy another 50 fixed-wing sUAS next year. Good said he will continue using “innovative” ways to purchase capabilities and get them into the hands of users. In addition to taking advantage of the DLA, Good said he’ll be using the General Services Administration’s (GSA) acquisition schedules, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s
Silicon Valley Innovation Program, and other transaction authorities that enable the rapid purchasing of systems, services and capabilities.
Later, during a media roundtable, Good said the rapid acquisition approach will be leveraged for an upcoming procurement of mobile surveillance technology that will be deployed to enhance
border security and consolidate existing capabilities provided by different mobile solutions. He mentioned that it took about three years to acquire the Mobile Video Surveillance System from Tactical Micro, which is now part of Benchmark Electronics. Through RFI’s and initial publishing draft requirements, CBP telegraphed its plans for the Mobile
Modular Surveillance System (M2S2) for the Border Patrol. Based on industry exhibits at the expo of their M2S2 offerings, Good said vendors have “listened.”
He said he told vendors a year ago to build him a capability they think will work for the Border Patrol to meet their M2S2 needs without building to required specifications. The Border Patrol has already acquired multiple units of a system that FLIR Systems [FLIR] has developed with its own funds to meet the M2S2 requirements and these will be used for
testing and evaluation by operators, Good said. The Border Patrol will buy systems from other vendors as they become ready for the same testing and evaluation, he said during the roundtable.
Testing of each company’s systems will take about six months and evaluations will be around reliability, operational effectiveness, cost, the ability to manufacture and deliver on a schedule and then the Border Patrol will make a decision, on what it wants and purchase the systems off a GSA schedule.
“So, something that used to take me 18 months to do, MVSS took me three years, I’m taking down to six to seven-month timeframe,” he said. “Now that is all dependent on how fast can they build what they say they can build. That’s their manufacturing.”
If one a vendor isn’t on a GSA schedule, Good said that GSA is working with vendors to quickly get them on a schedule. During the panel presentation, Good had a GSA official stand up, introduce herself, so that she could tell industry representatives the GSA is ready to work with them. FLIR is exhibiting at the expo but only had a large photo of its Lightweight Vehicle Surveillance System mounted on the back of a Ford F150 pickup truck, a staple of the Border Patrol, for attendees to view. The company has sold a truck-mounted surveillance system to the Border
Patrol called the Mobile Surveillance Capability. Benchmark, Elbit Systems of America, part of Israel’s Elbit Systems [ESLT]. Elta North America, which is part of Israel Aerospace Industries, Strongwatch, and Peak Industries are exhibiting M2S2-type systems at the event that they also developed with their own funds.
The Border Patrol wants the M2S2 systems to be configurable with different electro-optic and infrared cameras and radars that extend upward from a truck bed and can retract or fold inside the bed as a covert feature. Good said he doesn’t know yet when the testing regime will finish for vendors. (Source: Defense Daily)
26 Mar 19. Indian Navy commissions facility to train against NBC contamination. The Indian Navy (IN) inaugurated its first facility designed to train personnel in detecting, monitoring, and cleansing nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) contamination on its platforms on 25 March. Built by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), the NBC facility is called Abhedya (‘Impenetrable’) and is located at INS Shivaji: the IN’s land-based station at Lonavala, about 82 km southeast of Mumbai.
According to the Indian government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB), the “steel structure of the simulator represents the relevant NBC compartments of the ship like its upper deck, [armoured] citadels, cleansing stations, and damage control headquarters”.
Its upper deck is equipped with “live agents” along with detection and monitoring equipment such as the Ship Installed Chemical Agent Detection System (SICADS), the PIB said in a statement issued the same day. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Mar 19. Pentagon To Explore Potential of 5G — and Its Made-in-China Hazards. Planned experiments will test the emerging wireless technology, even as leaders fret publicly about supply-chain risks. The U.S. military is planning experiments to see how 5G wireless technologies could improve communications — even as its leaders worry that Chinese-made products could expose information sent via the hotly anticipated standard.
“We’re going to actually go through a whole series of experiments to understand what distances can we communicate over,” Ellen Lord, defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, said Monday at an Atlantic Council event. “What is the latency, what is the interference, what do we need to do in order to have the right equipment to bring us capability.”
Slated for later this year, the experiments will be planned and overseen by the Pentagon’s research and engineering office. The results may be used to guide several Defense Department advisory boards that are coming up with 5G policy recommendations for defense leaders.
5G’s high speed and low latency promises to foster great advances in cell phones and mobile computing, as well as great profits for the U.S., Chinese, and other companies that are racing to bring it to market. But Lord and other defense leaders are concerned that networks updated with products made by Chinese telecom firms — in particular, Huawei — could help Beijing spyon U.S. data.
Earlier this month, the U.S. ambassador to Germany warnedBerlin that the United States would restrict information sharing if Germany allowed Huawei to build the country’s planned 5G network. Last week, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford called 5G a “critical national security issue.” And on Monday, Lord said the technology is part of the “great power competition” with Russia and China envisioned in the Pentagon’s year-old National Defense Strategy.
Lord predicted “a huge call to action this year to come together with really what is almost a national industrial policy for 5G because the stakes are high.”
Lord said that 5G technology will “change the industrial base and how we organize ourselves.”
“5G is a national security issue for us, especially because we have to rethink our industry base as we move forward,” she said. “Economic security is national security and we need to make sure we have an industrial base that can play.”
While the focus of 5G is “initially focused” on mobile phone, the Pentagon is looking at ways the military could use the technology, Lord said.
“We’re not only going to get a quantitative improvement over this communication, it’s going to qualitatively change the way we do things,” she said.
China, for its part, feels much the same — and has already created a national strategy for hastening the development and deployment of 5G networks.
“The advancement of 5G in China is linked to its national strategy for military-civil fusion (军民融合),” Elsa Kania wrote earlier this year in Defense One. “In November 2018, key industry players established the 5G Technology Military-Civil Fusion Applications Industry Alliance (5G技术军民融合应用产业联盟), including ZTE, China Unicom, and the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC). This new partnership aims to foster collaboration and integrated military and civilian development, while promoting both defense and commercial applications.” (Source: Defense One)
23 Mar 19. Here’s what’s different about the US Navy’s new cybersecurity review. After several cyber breaches in recent years, the secretary of the US Navy has commissioned a study to take a comprehensive look at the Department of the Navy’s cybersecurity posture. In the wake of these events, the Navy also stood up task forces to improve its cybersecurity. However, the new study, released publicly March 12, asserts that “despite these initiatives, the progress made to date in changing [Department of the Navy’s] information resilience and cybersecurity culture has been insufficient to bring about meaningful change.”
Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett, director of the Navy Cyber Security Division, told Fifth Domain that this study differs from past efforts is its strategic-level take of cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
This review in particular is naval in nature, meaning it encompasses the Navy and the Marine Corps. Previous projects, such as Task Force Cyber Awakening — an effort undertaken after Iranians allegedly compromised Navy networks — focused solely on the Navy and specifically those responsible for the architecture and technical aspect, Barrett said March 21 following her appearance at an industry event.
“Task Force Cyber Awakening was awesome to take a look at a response to a specific attack on our network. We did a lot of things to establish standards, technical standards, defense in depth, using the [National Institute of Standards and Technology] framework, for example,” she said. “Then programming money to buy technology, capability and training that would help get after that.”
The new review also addresses personnel problems in terms of governance and accountability, Barrett said.
“To fully understand the current cybersecurity posture, this review examined the shift of national defense strategy, to include past and present information strategies, cyber strategies, cyber policies, and guidance across all elements of the government that has occurred since the 2017 National Security Strategy and 2018 National Defense Strategy’s acknowledged return to global peer rivalry,” the study said.
Barrett equated the approach to cybersecurity to damage control on a ship, noting it’s not the job of one person or one small unit to do damage control.
“I think where we get a lot of benefit in this study is it broadens it out to say: ‘Hey, this is like damage control. This is everybody,’ ” she said, adding that like damage control, cybersecurity is everyone’s business.
“Where do we have issues with maybe alignment that could be better that if we get those fixed, then we can get better accountability or better responsiveness or better resource allocation? Even things like if there have been good changes over the years recently to some other studies we’ve done where people who have owned some of those operational technology systems have realized: ‘Hey, holy cow, I didn’t really think about cybersecurity before, but now I do.’ ”
Barrett told the audience of mostly industry participants that the study did not reveal any real aha! moments for the Navy, but that it highlighted problems with which the service has struggled, and it encapsulated them into a document to help the service going forward.
“Let’s make sure we identify all those things we know we struggle with that maybe we don’t have enough resources or we don’t have enough momentum or our people don’t realize the importance of that. Let’s get that out there and air it out so we get that kind of attention and spotlight on it that we need,” she said. “The importance of this study for us is it’s really helping us hone in on what we can put our resources against both people, human capital, people, process and technology.”
Since the study’s conclusion, the Department of the Navy has put forth a joint Navy-Marine Corps team to address some of the concerns.
“The action group that we have that’s working the items out of that study is actually combined Navy and Marine Corps. There’s a general on that side, and me. We kind of lead up those efforts for the Navy,” she told Fifth Domain’s sister publication C4ISRNET. (Source: Fifth Domain)
21 Mar 19. The Pentagon’s JEDI cloud strategy is ambitious, but can it work? On Feb. 19, 18 months after the Pentagon began a contentious search to buy cloud services, awarding of the contract was further postponed pending an internal investigation into conflicts of interest. This decision comes just as the Department of Defense seemed to be gaining momentum — only three weeks earlier it finally released its strategy for the $10bn Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud.
However, this pause could prove to be a blessing in disguise. While the Pentagon investigates the mechanics of the procurement process, it has more time to refine its strategy. This will be crucial because, though the strategy sets ambitious goals on how the military will use cloud technology to pool its vast streams of data and operate “at the speed of relevance,” it severely underestimates a key technological difficulty: interoperability.
The interoperability of a technology (getting different parts to function in combination) can be divided into three main categories: internal, external, and iterative. Your cellphone is capable of all three — internally its operating system can connect a myriad of programs and apps, externally it can combine with headphones or speakers, and iteratively it can adapt to use any generation of wireless network, from 1G to 5G.
Because digital systems are now so heavily networked and interdependent, any new technology designed without all three of these capacities is likely to quickly become redundant. Unfortunately, in each category the Pentagon’s JEDI cloud strategy leaves a series of unanswered questions that could spell disaster in future.
For internal interoperability the strategy lays out the correct goal, stating that “Common data and application standards … such as tagging, transport protocols, and interfaces, will be developed to … navigate DoD [the Department of Defense] away from custom approaches.” However, it does not mention the enormous logistical hurdles to this data-normalization process. First, both the military’s legacy IT systems and the 500+ clouds already used within the Pentagon will each need to have their data formatted and migrated onto the JEDI platform. Then the DoD will have to create consistent, flexible data practices across the enormous diversity of its data, which ranges from submarine designs and satellite readings to employee payroll and stationary supplies.
Unanswered questions pose an even greater obstacle to the JEDI cloud’s external interoperability. Again, the DoD has the right ambition, to ensure that “the integration and operation of computing solutions [in the cloud] will … enhance DoD ability to share data with allies and operate as a coalition force.”
This sounds simple on paper, but the reality is far more uncertain. When the US chose to “lead from behind” in the 2011 Libyan intervention, it faced repeated problems sharing data among the NATO allies that stemmed from outdated and non-interoperable equipment. In a future conflict situation, would America’s allies need to use the same cloud provider (e.g., Microsoft, Oracle or AWS) and the same data-formatting practices as the DoD? And if not, how could cloud-based data be shared with allies without introducing security flaws? The strategy does not discuss these long-term concerns.
The problem for JEDI’s iterative interoperability is slightly different. Here the Pentagon is admirably far-sighted, but its focus is too narrow. Throughout, the DoD strategy identifies how artificial intelligence “can manage the understanding of all the Department’s data” to free information from the current system of “disjointed stove pipes.” Yet there is no analysis of other emerging technologies, like 5G networks and quantum computing, that could have an equally potent impact on JEDI.
As China expands construction of 5G networks around the world (via companies like Huawei), and quantum hacking comes closer to reality, the DoD must build a cloud that can adapt to advances in other technology domains. Otherwise security that is robust today will become redundant tomorrow.
How the Pentagon handles these three interoperability issues will likely determine JEDI’s long-term success. But the concerns provoked by this strategy offer two wider lessons for America’s military. One is that the transition from legacy systems to emerging technologies may be unpredictable, frustrating and labor-intensive. These hurdles must be openly acknowledged to be overcome. The other is that the DoD cannot afford to implement new technologies statically, or in isolation. In the end, the real speed of relevance may be how quickly America can integrate new digital systems into both its alliances and the wider technology ecosystem. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
22 Mar 19. Kyocera Launches Rugged FirstNet Ready™ DuraForce PRO 2 Military-Grade 4G LTE Smartphone With AT&T. DuraForce PRO 2 operates on FirstNet – the nationwide public safety communications platform – is waterproof, scratch resistant, Android Enterprise Recommended and supports Wi-Fi Calling and Enhanced Push-to-Talk. Kyocera International, Inc., the leader in rugged mobile solutions, today announced that its military-grade rugged DuraForce PRO 2, a 4G LTE Android smartphone, has been added to its rugged devices available through AT&T. Designed for public safety and enterprise use, especially first responders and construction, DuraForce PRO 2 is dependable and durable in even the harshest environments. DuraForce PRO 2 is also FirstNet Ready™, so it’s been tested and certified to operate on FirstNet – the nationwide public safety broadband communications platform.
FirstNet is being built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government. It’s designed for first responders and those critical to their emergency response.
The FirstNet Ready™ DuraForce PRO 2 supports the FirstNet Band 14 spectrum and with a FirstNet SIM gives public safety access to the dedicated, physically separate FirstNet network core, which supports First Priority™, enabling priority and, for first responders, preemption.
Engineered with Japanese precision and quality, DuraForce PRO 2 boasts IP68 waterproof and dust proof certification (to 2m/6.5ft deep for up to 30 minutes) and Military Standard 810G for protection against shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog, humidity, immersion, temperature shock and icing/freezing rain. The phone’s display is protected by Dragontrail™ PRO, a scratch and crack-resistant glass. Certified Non-Incendive, Class I, Division 2 (Group A-D, T4), the device is ideal for plant and field operations needing durability and safety where concentrations of flammable gas, vapors or mists are not normally present in explosive concentrations but may exist.
DuraForce PRO 2 supports HD Voice and Wi-Fi calling and is Android Enterprise Recommended, making it a reliable enterprise solution. Supported by an assortment of accessories, DuraForce PRO 2 can be equipped for a variety of tasks for business or public safety. The phone’s loud 106dB dual front speakers and four noise cancelling mics feature Qualcomm® Fluence PRO™ technology, making Enhanced Push-To-Talk (EPTT) calls (via the dedicated EPTT button), speakerphone use, music, and calls crystal clear regardless of background noise. The 3240mAh Li-Ion battery, Qi wireless charging, and USB Type-C fast charging help ensure DuraForce PRO 2 is always up and running when needed.
DuraForce PRO 2’s enhanced security features include a biometric fingerprint sensor built into the power button, Secure Device Encryption with FIPS 140-2 and more. Its gloved and wet screen operation ensure the device can be used in cold, wet or muddy conditions. With up to double the ROM/RAM of previous versions (64GB/4GB and supports up to 512GB microSD) and a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor with 2.2GHz x 1.8GHz Octa Core CPU, this smartphone can keep up with the busiest work and disaster environments.
“DuraForce PRO 2 – our fifth in the Dura rugged series – has been designed with the needs of first responders in mind as well as enterprise customers needing an ultra-rugged device in the field,” said Akira Iino, Vice President at Kyocera International, Inc.’s Communications Equipment Group. “At Kyocera, we believe that extreme ruggedness need not compromise functionality or design. DuraForce PRO 2 delivers high-quality design, durable performance plus enhanced enterprise and security features in even the harshest conditions.”
Three cameras, 13MP rear, 5MP front, and a super-wide view 4K action camera – all underwater safe and compatible with action-camera mounts, easy on-screen prompts and watertight side keys – help ensure every moment is captured from various angles even in floods or other water emergencies. A new action overlay allows users to record extreme action and rescues with an overlaid speedometer and other data visible, including altitude, G-force, distance and more. Improved auto focus and adaptive HDR imaging help ensure a shot is never missed. The 13MP rear and 4K action cameras are protected by Kyocera’s proprietary Sapphire Shield technology, making them virtually scratchproof.
“FirstNet devices go through extensive review, so first responders can be confident that Kyocera’s DuraForce PRO 2 meets our highest standards for reliability, security and performance,” said Bob Sloan, Chief Operating Officer, FirstNet Program at AT&T. “The more tools public safety has access to, to tap into the power of their network, the more we can help them achieve their mission.”
AT&T customers and FirstNet subscribers can purchase Kyocera’s DuraForce PRO 2 today for $15 per month on AT&T Next® pricing (for 30 months), $169.99 with a two-year commitment or $449.99, making it one of the most cost-effective options for a rugged device. All payment options include the two-year manufacturer’s standard warranty. For more information and detailed device specifications, please visit http://www.kyoceramobile.com/duraforce-pro-2/. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
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.