Sponsored by Spectra Group
21 Jun 19. Elbit Systems showcases SuperVision airborne C2. Elbit System revealed its new SuperVision airborne command-and-control (C2) solution, which it calls a secure cloud-based avionics C2 solution, at the 2019 Paris Air Show. The system is designed to support air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
Elbit Systems’ vice-president for business development and strategy, Sagi Peleg, toldJane’s this backbone technology aggregates an array of data sources into a single mission network to provide ‘in-depth’ insights that can be shared across multiple mission platforms.
Capable of fusing sensor and data streams, including the heads-up, heads-down, and cockpit displays of a pilot, SuperVision provides a ‘Siri-like’ voice command capability to users and enables them to manage networks, waveforms, and applications. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Jun 19. Leonardo aims SRT-800 Airborne SDR at smaller aircraft, missiles. Leonardo’s SRT-800 Airborne software-defined radio (SDR), the latest addition to its family of S-Wave systems, was showcased at the 2019 Paris Air Show two years after its development was first announced.
Speaking to Jane’s from Le Bourget, Paris, Gabriele Pieralli, Leonardo’s senior vice-president for avionic equipment, said the SRT-800 was designed with as light and thin a form factor as possible, so it could be integrated in fixed- and rotary-wing airframes as well as tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and missiles.
The single-channel SDR, which weighs 4.5 kg, is scheduled to be fully qualified by October. The SDR would then begin live flight tests ahead of deliveries to two undisclosed customers in 2020 and beyond. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
18 June 19. 3 more steps before Cyber Command can split from NSA. The Senate NDAA revisits the requirements necessary to split NSA and CYBERCOM. The Pentagon would have to meet a series of new requirements before U.S. Cyber Command could split from the National Security Agency, according to a proposal from a Senate defense committee.
In what is known as the dual-hat arrangement, the two organizations are co-located at Fort Meade in Maryland and share a leader in Gen. Paul Nakasone. The arrangement came about 10 years ago with the creation of Cyber Command to help get the organization off the ground and leverage the expertise and infrastructure of NSA.
But when rumors of a split surfaced a few years ago, some members of Congress felt the decision was premature and that Cyber Command was not yet ready to stand on its own. As a result, Congress outlined in 2016 a series of metrics Pentagon leaders had to meet. These included ensuring both organizations had the infrastructure they needed and that the missions of each organization would not be hurt by a split.
Now, the Senate Armed Services Committee tweaks three of those provisions included in the fiscal year 2017 defense policy bill. The committee’s draft of the annual defense policy bill passed in late May but the full text was only made available June 12.
The first change requires that each organization have robust command and control systems for planning, deconflicting and executing military cyber operations and now national intelligence operations as well.
The next change is related to cyber tools. Cyber Command buys and develops cyber tools for military cyber operations. But these systems aren’t always compatible with the tools NSA uses to access networks for foreign intelligence collection. The provision requires that “tools and weapons used in cyber operations are sufficient for achieving required effects” and adds that Cyber Command “is capable of acquiring or developing these tools, weapons, and accesses.”
In recent years, Cyber Command was granted limited acquisition authority to procure its own tools and systems, though some in Congress have been skeptical of this process because Cyber Command has not used all the money lawmakers set aside.
The last change focuses on the full operational capability of the cyber mission force. Under the current law, the cyber mission force must reach full operational capability before a split. The Pentagon announced it reached this milestone in May 2018.
Now, the Senate wants to ensure the cyber mission force “has demonstrated the capacity to execute the cyber missions of the Department.” This includes execution of a national level missions such as deterrence and disruption of adversary activity, defense of DoD networks and support for combatant commands by targeting of adversary military assets. (Source: Fifth Domain)
18 June 19. Naval Dome has adapted its award-winning maritime cyber protection technology for compatibility with port-based systems and naval vessels and rebranded its direct-installation security software to differentiate between the different types of application.
The cyber defence software will now be marketed as Marine Dome for use in commercial vessels, cruiseships and yachts; Port Dome for ports and harbours; and Navy Dome for application in naval vessel and military craft.
Naval Dome CEO Itai Sela said: “The proven capability of our cyber security solution in protecting ships’ OT systems from unauthorised access and hacking, together with the recent SL4 type-approval from DNV GL – the classification societies’ highest level of security certification – has sparked significant interest from other sectors.
“We have now adapted the software for compatibility with systems typically used in ports and harbours and naval vessels. While the technology is intrinsically the same, we have changed some of the algorithms to suit the different type of systems and equipment used in these areas.”
The Israel-headquartered company has also appointed Israel Defense Forces’ former Head of Naval Operations, Rear Admiral (Ret.) Ido Ben-Moshe, to facilitate the requirements of these new market sectors.
Ido Ben-Moshe, Vice President Business Development, Naval Dome, said: “By installing Port Dome across a port’s connected machinery and OT systems or Navy Dome on the systems installed on naval vessels we remove the cyber pressure points and safeguard these important sectors against attack.”
Ben-Moshe said ports are particularly vulnerable as they become more reliant on networked connectivity.
“The increase in autonomous, connected machinery, computer integrated operating systems and terminal management systems will leave ports increasingly susceptible to a cyber-attack if they are not properly protected. It is crucial that ports’ OT systems are as impregnable and impervious to cyber-crime as the ships we protect.”
While the same concept applies to naval vessels, the approach will differ somewhat from commercial vessel application.
“A naval vessel is unique and therefore needs a unique cyber security solution to protect its connected systems,” said Ben-Moshe. “We deliver a tailor-made cyber defence solution capable of protecting weapons systems, navigation systems and machinery control systems from unauthorised access, whether they are retrofit or legacy installations.
“Using intelligence agency-grade security technology, Navy Dome blocks internal and external cyber-attacks to provide maximum protection with minimal human intervention. It integrates with existing systems and software, providing real-time cyber alerts and blocks malicious files to prevent unauthorised access to systems critical to a vessel’s ‘fight, flight or float’ capability.”
Naval Dome is currently the only provider of cyber defence solutions to the maritime industry to have achieved Security Level 4 (SL4), the highest level of certification that can be awarded under the DNV GL rules. DNV GL CP-0231 is a type approval programme developed using the international standard ISA/IEC 62443, Security for Industrial Automation and Control Systems.
Naval Dome is currently verifying Port Dome and Naval Dome applications with a number of ports and naval forces, respectively.
17 June 19. GA-ASI and L3 Technologies Develop and Fly Full-Band Signals Intelligence Solution for MQ-9. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and L3 Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:LLL) today announced the development and successful flight test of a full-band Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) ISR capability for use on a Predator B® Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).
L3’s SIGINT solutions were integrated into a wing-mounted GA-ASI pod and flight tested on the GA-ASI Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) MQ-9 Predator B RPAS. This game-changing capability provides significant mission expansion for MQ-9 operations against modern threats in new operating domains.
Jointly funded by GA-ASI and L3, this new podded solution was developed in eight months and successfully flight tested in May 2019 on a GA-ASI MQ-9 operating from GA test facilities in Yuma, Arizona.
“The successful collaboration between L3 and GA-ASI provides a new dimension for ISR employment of MQ-9 aircraft and provides expanded options for warfighters in the ISR domain,” said Jeff Miller, L3’s Senior Vice President and President of its ISR Systems business segment. “L3 is excited to provide its family-of-systems (FOS) SIGINT payload into the unmanned air vehicle arena in cooperation with GA-ASI and looks forward to providing increased capabilities for GA-ASI’s current and future MQ-9 weapon systems customers.”
“We are excited to work with L3 Technologies to develop this capability for the MQ-9. Generating Electronic Order of Battle (EOB) is a key capability of strategic importance to the U.S. and its allies,” said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI. “Integrating L3’s world-class SIGINT system further enhances the MQ-9’s utility in the ISR arena.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
18 June 19. HENSOLDT’s ‘Kalaetron Integral’ – the Future of Signals Intelligence. New modular SIGINT system for aircraft and UAVs covers enormous bandwidth. HENSOLDT, the leading sensor solutions house, is introducing a fully integrated signals intelligence (SIGINT) system named ‘Kalaetron Integral’ onto the market, which enables the detection of communications and radar signals in an unprecedented bandwidth by the same hardware. ‘Kalaetron Integral’, part of HENSOLDT’s Kalaetron electronic warfare product family, will be presented to the public for the first time at Paris Airshow.
“With Kalaetron Integral we are giving an answer to the challenges SIGINT systems are facing”, said Celia Pelaz, Head of Spectrum Dominance/Airborne Solutions. “Communications and radar frequency bands are merging more and more, so that SIGINT systems need to to cover large bandwidths and to distinguish different types of signals with utmost precision.”
Due to its fully digital design, Kalaetron Integral detects emitters incredibly quickly over an extremely wide frequency range from 40 MB to 40 GB. By means of automated resource allocation and software-defined tasks, communications and radar signals can be monitored by the same hardware, i.e. Kalaetron Integral fulfills missions which currently require the deployment of several specific COMINT and ELINT systems. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to identify new threat patterns from a huge amount of collected raw data and establishes a comprehensive situation picture in near-realtime.
As a modular system, the new Kalaetron product line is available in a wide variety of configurations, giving answers to different customer requirements. It can be installed on a wide variety of platforms such as business jets, transport aircraft and UAVs.
18 Jun 19. Embraer, ELTA announce new business jet AEW aircraft. Key Points:
- Embraer and ELTA are developing a new business jet AEW system
- The team is targeting a market sector of second-tier militaries that need AEW capability but cannot afford, or do not want, to operate larger aircraft
Embraer and ELTA Systems Ltd (ELTA) are teaming to develop a new airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft based on the super mid-sized platform of Embraer’s Praetor 600 business jet.
The two companies announced on 18 June at the Paris Air Show that they signed a strategic co-operation agreement to develop the system. Designed to compete in a new segment of the AEW market, the aircraft’s primary sensor will be the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)/ELTA fourth-generation digital active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar with integration identification friend or foe (IFF) capabilities, the two companies said in a joint statement. ELTA is an IAI subsidiary.
Embraer will provide the air platform, ground support, communications systems, and aircraft integration. ELTA will provide the AEW radar, signals intelligence (SIGINT), and other electronic systems and system integration.
ELTA and Embraer believe this new AEW aircraft will fill a niche by offering the benefits of cutting edge, proven systems and proven capabilities that are usually only in larger aircraft such as Boeing’s 707 or 767 commercial aircraft. The two companies touted the new system’s intercontinental range with short turn-around time and low life-cycle costs.
The P600 AEW can provide an extended air situational picture by monitoring aerial activity in areas outside of ground radar coverage. It can also perform various missions such as air defence, early warning, command and control (C2), fighter fleet efficiency, territorial defence, and maritime surveillance. The new system can also be configured with the full range of airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) sensor and control systems. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
14 June 19. Russia trials new EW tactics. Russian forces have trialled new electronic warfare (EW) tactics designed for comprehensive protection against air assets such as cruise missiles, airborne radars, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 10 June.
“EW military specialists managed to create a safe ‘vacuum’ space against the effects of unmanned aircraft, airborne radar stations, radio-controlled land mines, and even cruise missiles,” the Russian MoD said.
The tactics used focused on the simultaneous deployment of the Krasukha, Zhitel, and Borisoglebsk ground-based EW systems. Each system is designed to target a different element of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The experimental exercise followed a sequence similar to a conventional air defence engagement. The RB-301B Borisoglebsk-2 system, which is based on the tracked MT-LB, was used to conduct reconnaissance of ground and airborne radio communications and, once targets had been identified, conducted interference.
The next system used was Krasukha, which consists of three vehicles based on the Kamaz-6350 truck and can be used to jam or suppress airborne radars as well as the radio control channels of UAVs.
The exact Krasukha variant used is not known but the Krasukha-2 is intended to jam airborne warning and control systems (AWACSs) at ranges of up to 250 km. The Krasukha-2 is also able to jam other airborne radars, such as radar guided missiles. The truck-based R-330Zh Zhitel system was then used to interfere with satellite communications equipment, as well as navigation systems and mobile phones within a 30km radius. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
14 June 19. A small Army robot could use this new networking technology. Defense contractor QinetiQ will rely on networking technologies from Persistent Systems as part of a contract to help the Army build a small robot that will help soldiers on the battlefield.
The Army’s Common Robotic System – Individual program aims to build a small robot that soldiers can fit in a backpack and assist in reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition.
But for these robots to perform these duties effectively, they will need to have consistent communication with soldiers and other robots. In a June 12 press release, Persistent Systems announced that it will supply networking technology to QinetiQ as a subcontractor. QinetiQ has an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract worth up to $164m on the Army program.
Persistent’s networking technology is what is known as a mobile ad-hoc network, or MANET, said Leslie Hulser, director of programs at Persistent. The ad-hoc nature of the network means that each device is both a transmitter and a receiver, removing the need for fixed communications infrastructure, she said. MANET technology allows a soldier to communicate with ground and aerial robots as well as other soldiers in the field, Hulser said.
Persistent will roll out the fifth generation of its Wave Relay MANET technology for the project, which includes an on-board Android operating system, a change from single input single output (SISO) to multiple input multiple output (MIMO), the introduction of a new form factor, full duplex audio, an on-board video encoder and decoder and a reduction in size and weight.
The change from SISO to MIMO increases bandwidth and range of operation and increases the probability of sending a message successfully, Hulser said.
The Army expects to field the program in fiscal 2020. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
11 June 19. More money for 5G, AI could make it into 2020 NDAA. A showdown is brewing over the top-line defense budget. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, submitted an amendment June 11 to add $17bn to the top-line defense budget to match the White House proposal of $750bn. The amendment also proposes increasing funds for 5G testing, artificial intelligence and the Pentagon’s fast acquisition arm, the Defense Innovation Unit.
“What I am doing with this amendment is to restore the funds to the level requested,” Thornberry told reporters during a Defense Writers Group breakfast event June 11.
Much of the amendment’s requested increase supports personnel and readiness efforts, chiefly a $1.2bn increase for service member pay, retirement and housing, as well as $2.3bn for disaster relief for military bases and replenishing construction funds “diverted for border barriers.”
Thornberry said his proposal avoids controversial issues, such as the border wall funding that was included in the Defense Department’s proposed budget, and instead focuses on “core military needs.”
Those capabilities include 5G test locations, AI and other critical technology efforts ($261m); the Rapid Innovation Fund, which targets small-business-developed tech ($250m); unmanned surface vessels ($246.3m); and Defense Innovation Unit investment activities ($75m).
“One of the things I wanted to make really clear is that $750 [bn], which is right about 3% real growth, enables us to do very specific, concrete things that are important to national security,” he said. Thornberry added that increasing the defense budget at least 3% was needed to stay competitive with Russia and China.
The amendment challenges the bill from the Democratic majority on the committee that proposed $733bn for defense. HASC Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) told reporters on June 10 that he didn’t want to authorize more money for DOD than it had planned to use.
But Democrats could be in for a dust-up. When asked whether he would vote against the bill if the increased funding weren’t requested, Thornberry hedged, saying Republicans want to vote for the bill but won’t support anything that sets back national security interests.
“If you say, no we’re not going to fund these things, that’s a big deal,” he said, without saying whether or not he would vote the bill down without his amendment.
“Without question, all Republican members on the committee want to vote yes on this bill…. We are just not going to participate on moving us backwards.” (Source: Defense Systems)
06 June 19. DOD artificial intelligence center to take on cyber defense. The Defense Department’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center has its eye on autonomous cyber defenses. Mark Beall, JAIC’s chief of strategic engagement and policy, said cyber defense is one of the JAIC’s top project areas to solve due to robust acquisition and partnership interest and a “tremendous amount of data”.
“It’s an area that’s a very manual process today,” he said at ACT-IAC’s Emerging Technology Forum June 5. “Those three things that come together through that come together actually lend itself to a more clear path forward,” he said.
Beall anticipates AI to be used to help detect anomalous activities on DOD networks, account misuse, and network mapping, which will help operators understand the guts and edges of a network. “the in- and out-roads of a network.”
One of the JAIC’s core functions is to facilitate the development of a “common foundation” across the department, military services, and agencies. Beall said the common foundation will become increasingly important as the organization expands and he envisions it as a one-stop app store-like capability. (Source: Defense Systems)
16 June 19. The next key to the US Army network: air-ground integration. The Army wants greater network integration with its air and ground units and has started working with industry to make that process more seamless.
Service leaders point to significant gaps in today’s network architecture enabling aircraft to communicate with ground units and vice versa. But, they say, forces in the future will have to operate over significant distances and do so under a near constant jamming threat.
“A lot of units and rifle squads in the 101st [Airborne Division] right now, that squad leader’s radio in many cases can’t interface with similar radios in adjacent units or the helicopter that just delivered him or her to an objective area. Or the helicopter that’s providing close air support … can’t pass data with it,” Maj. Gen. Brian Winski, the division’s commander, said in Nashville, Tennessee, May 30. “We need that capability for ground forces to be able to talk to their aviation partners and have that inextricable link that makes us so incredibly powerful. We also have to collectively figure out how we’re going to communicate over significantly increased distances.”
To solve these problems, Army leaders from the aviation and networking community gathered in Nashville, Tennessee at the end of May to hash out the challenges they face with industry and the operational community. The forum was a venue for members of the operational community to voice their concerns and provide examples of issues they faced while deployed.
“This air to ground focus … is the thing we’ve really got to crack the code on if we are going to penetrate deep into an [anti-Access/area denial] environment … they’ve got to be able to communicate,” Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, director of the network cross functional team, said at the event. “Contested in space, contested in cyber, there are no easy answers to that wicked problem.”
Gallagher stressed to the industry representatives that it’s up to their engineers to “help us crack the code to making sure we have assured network transport in a contested environment, terrestrial, aerial and space.”
Operating at long distances
One of the first challenges officials described was ensuring network connectivity over hundreds of miles while facing a jamming threat.
“No longer are we talking about operating at distances of 100 to 150 kilometers. We’re about talking of operating at distance to 400 to 1,000-plus kilometers,” Al Abejon, chief of aviation architecture at the program executive office aviation, said. “Now the challenge is: how do you maintain that continuous mission command, [situational awareness] … throughout that operational distance and oh, by the way, be able to survive the operational environments that are going to be changing at these distances at those air speeds.
“All those rolled into one thing make up a considerable problem set.”
Along with the newtwork, the Army has also listed future vertical lift aircraft as one of its six top modernization priorities. These future aircraft will be capable of teaming with unmanned systems, a concept the aviation community is calling advanced teaming.
From an operational perspective, Winski said the 101st must be able to share information digitally between air and ground units in the Army and with joint and coalition partners to “violently and decisively exploit developing opportunities on the battlefield.” They’ll also need to provide electronic and kinetic fires over the horizon, increase the linkages between intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms and shooters, whether they are existing or future aircraft, future long range precision fires platforms or existing fires platforms.
Gallagher told C4ISRNET that if beyond line of sight satellite communications are knocked out, alternative solutions could include high frequency solutions or mid-earth or low-earth orbit satellites rather than geosynchronous satellites.
Abejon mentioned one option could be to link line of sight communications to the command and control aircraft that have beyond line of sight capability. Those aircraft can then move data forward while still maintaining connectivity to bases. Unmanned systems can also be used as range extension platforms.
Common operating environment
The Army is pursuing a common operating environment that will allow soldiers in a command post, ground vehicle, aircraft or on the ground to easily pass data back and forth, share information, communicate and look at the same map.
Now, the aviation community is trying to change its mission command system and radios into a program called the Aviation Information System (AIS).
This system will “centralize mission command on a single tool that connects war fighting function software and applications with [the] mission command network,” said Col. Ryan Coyle of the aviation enablers – requirements determination directorate. “Converging [the] mission command system and the network to support efficient data management but also rapid voice and data exchange are critical in order to optimize those cross domain effects.”
This is similar to the Command Post Computing Environment, which will shrink stovepiped systems into applications on a common interface allowing all forces to have a common look and feel regardless of their location.
The other part of a common suite of communications gear is having radios that can connect to ground and air forces.
However, for air platforms, such as radios, waveforms or mission command systems, the air community must pass airworthiness standards to fly in domestic or international airspaces.
“If we have a SINGARS waveform in the bird and we have a SINGARS waveform on the ground in a manpack radio or a leader radio, there is no reason we shouldn’t be able to interoperate perfectly between those two systems,” said Jim Evangelos, deputy director of the Joint Tactical Networking Center.
“One way to guarantee this interoperability is to have software defined radios on the ground, software defined radios in the bird operating the same version of the same software. That’s a lot easier said than done. I totally get and understand the aviation challenges and you have to meet some very tough standards especially with airworthiness standards.”
Overall, the top tactical network buyer for the Army says he wants one single network, though acknowledges there will be some exceptions.
“My goal is one network. One tactical network,” Maj. Gen. Dave Bassett, program executive officer, command, control, communications-tactical, said. “There are going to be some exceptions. There are going to be some things the aviation platforms want to do in terms of [man-unmanned teaming] or sensor to shooter and other things where the networks that the common network isn’t going to meet that requirement. We ought to manage those things as exceptions but that should not be the default.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
15 June 19. 4 new members for NATO cyber defense organization. A NATO cyber defense organization welcomed four new member nations June 13: Bulgaria, Denmark, Norway, and Romania. The Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) is a NATO-accredited international military organization that specializes in cyber defense in technology, strategy, operations, and law. The membership of the new nations to CCDCOE was celebrated with a flag raising ceremony.
“The fact that more and more nations are joining up to actively contribute to cyber security reflects the need to improve capabilities in the cyber domain,” Col Tarien, director of the multinational interdisciplinary hub of cyber defense expertise, said in a press release. “Increased global connectivity and technological development means that we have to be ready for any type of cyber threat and bring our capabilities up to date. Tackling cyber threats that our democracies are facing demand expert knowledge and skills, which are reinforced by close cooperation between Allies and Partners.”
Founded in 2008, the cyber center began with seven members. Now the organization has 25 members and expects to expand Japan, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Switzerland are all in the process of joining the center, according to a press release. (Source: Fifth Domain)
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.