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30 Aug 19. U.S. awards $7.6bn cloud contract to General Dynamics. The U.S. General Services Administration and the Defense Department said on Thursday they awarded a cloud computing contract worth $7.6bn to General Dynamics Corp’s CSRA LLC and its partners.
The contract, known as Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS), is aimed to replace the Defense Department’s IT office applications and provide tools such as word processing, email, collaboration, file sharing and storage, the agency said bit.ly/2NFy05q in a statement. It is for a 10-year period.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon decided to put on hold its decision to award a $10bn cloud computing contract, called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud, or JEDI, after U.S. President Donald Trump said his administration was examining Amazon.com Inc’s bid following complaints from other tech companies.
In July, lawmakers said JEDI met only a portion of the Defense Department’s need for cloud services and that any unnecessary delay would hurt the country’s security and increase the costs of the contract. (Source: glstrade.com/Reuters)
27 Aug 19. Tender for the British Morpheus Programme. November 1, 2019, is the tender deadline for those companies that wish to candidate for Systems Integrator (SI) of the British Morpheus programme. Under Morpheus, the UK is investing £3.2bn in military communication to establish a single information environment through a fully integrated operational information system which is seamless from the barracks, headquarters to the individual soldier. The system shall be based on an open, delaminated architecture. The British MoD will be the design authority with the ability to procure system elements in a modular fashion via a disaggregated supply chain. “This will give the authority greater flexibility to evolve the system in line with changes in technology, policy and the operational environment,” the MoD writes in their tender notice.
The full SI requirement statement will be released at the Invitation to Tender/Negotiate (ITN) stage. Within the Morpheus Future Operating Model (FOM), the SI is expected to work collaboratively. “Within the FOM the Morpheus SI will interact with the authority and several MSPs in a multivendor environment. The Morpheus SI will manage the system on behalf of the authority but be dependent upon the MSPs for the provision of system components, with the authority providing overarching strategic direction and governance to system development.”
In the future the Morpheus operating model is intended to enable system change through a incremental development cycle. Once fielded, Morpheus will be integrated onto approx. 8,000 platforms with over 40,000 users. The SI will not be responsible for managing any hardware or system components, even though it may own or manage products as Managed Service Provider (MSP) or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).
“A key area of change which is anticipated for Morpheus will be the replacement of the bearer elements in the Morpheus system during the mid/late-2020s,” the British MoD added. “Change will also take place in the applications domain, with the potential consolidation or change in products such as Battlefield Information System Applications (BISA) over the contract term. Change will also take place in the network and infrastructure domain over the contract term to replace components in the system such as user data terminals. Change will feature as part of delivery under the contract. The contract will also feature the ability to then increase the capacity for change through a tasking mechanism.” (Source: ESD Spotlight)
27 Aug 19. Uncle Sam Wants YOU To Compete For Army Network Upgrade: CS 21. Gone are the days of a stately, deliberate, laborious acquisition process in which the Army would plan out the future in detail before going to industry. “We’d almost always guess wrong,” said Maj. Gen. David Bassett. “Eventually we’d deliver yesterday’s technology tomorrow.”
No incumbent contractor should feel safe, and all comers should consider taking a shot, Army network modernization officials told me here. Even for its upgrade coming in the next few months– Capability Set 2021, aimed at infantry brigades — the service is still thrashing out which technologies to include, let alone who gets paid to build them.
Subsequent biennial upgrades — Capability Set 23, CS 25, CS 27, and beyond — are even more in flux, by design, to leave room to add the latest tech. In fact, even an upgrade already being fielded to specialized communications units, the Expeditionary Signal Battalion – Enhanced (ESB-E) kit, is open to change.
On the flipside, if the Army decides your product isn’t ready for the upcoming upgrade cycle, or it just doesn’t fit the available budget, you should still aim for the next upgrade, or the one after that. And you should take that shot ASAP, because the early work on those later upgrades has already begun.
Gone are the days of a stately, deliberate, laborious acquisition process in which the Army would plan out the future in detail before going to industry. “We’d almost always guess wrong,” said Maj. Gen. David Bassett, the Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, & Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T). “Eventually we’d deliver yesterday’s technology tomorrow.”
That said, Bassett doesn’t want to overcorrect by delivering tomorrow’s technology today, before it’s ready for the harsh conditions and high demands of erecting a wide-area wireless network in a war zone.
“I know y’all won’t believe this, but some of the things that vendors show me as mature, it turns out they’re not,” Bassett snarked at the TechNet Augusta conference last week. “What we’re not doing is holding up a Capability Set for any given technology. If it’s ready, bring it to us. … If it’s not ready yet, look to a future Capability Set.”
For any given product, he said, “we need you to help us understand … whether you see that as something that’s part of the network of ’23, part of the network of ’25, or whether it’s something we really ought to be trying to add in to the network of ’21 at the last minute.”
Bassett has held industry “outreach sessions” recently in Nashville and Baltimore, with another this November in Austin. These are forums for the Army to solicit white paper proposals to solve specific problems and then award small demonstration contracts using Other Transaction Authority (OTA).
Larger-scale procurement for Capability Set 21 should start in April, Bassett said. “The contracts, the logistics, the testing,” he said, “we’re in the midst of that right now, so we can buy the network in ’20, we can integrate and test it next summer, and we can deliver to brigades in ’21.”
To test new network concepts and designs as fast as possible, the Army is using a lot of “stand-in” technology — that is, whatever is available, from existing contracts or inventory, that works well enough to run the test. But those stand-ins aren’t necessarily, or even probably, the final products the Army plans to use, and their manufacturers don’t have any incumbent advantage over other contenders.
“Believe us when we say that we’re not vendor locked and that we’re going to open this up for a competitive environment in FY 20, after we decide what the final network architecture needs to be,” said Col. Garth Winterle, who works for Bassett as project manager for tactical radios. So the Army has two main messages for industry about Capability Set 2021, Winterle told me. “Be prepared for competitive procurement in FY 20,” he said, “[and] be open to providing information, including some stuff they may not share typically, like potential price points.”
It’s not just stand-in systems that are subject to competition and change, Winterle continued. It’s also formal Programs Of Record with incumbent vendors, established contracts, and painstakingly negotiated budget lines.
Even today, “all of my radio contracts are multi-vendor,” Winterle told me. That means one vendor on the contract may win the first lot of radios, but a different vendor may win the second — or the Army may bring in a new vendor that wasn’t even in the initial award, all without having to redo the POR.
“All Programs of Record are being compared to potential commercial systems as part of the experimentation, so if elements of [the existing] WIN-T architecture come up against new commercial that are more affordable or more affective…they have to participate in a run off,” Winterle said. “Gen. Bassett’s been clear: There’re no sacred cows.”
Yes, large chunks of the current Warfighter Information Network – Tactical will remain in Army service for years to come, despite former Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley calling WIN-T inadequate for highly mobile high-tech war and truncating the program back in 2017. For all the Army’s urgency about advancing, the service is just huge, so on any plausible budget it will take a decade to overhaul everything. The Army’s target date for total modernization is 2028.
But key pieces of WIN-T will be replaced much sooner, and some select units will be rid of it entirely in the near term. First up is the 50th Expeditionary Signal Battalion at Fort Bragg, which deploys teams worldwide to keep frontline units connected.
The 50th ESB started turning in all its WIN-T kit this past October. Not only are all three companies within the battalion now using a new kit called ESB-Enhanced: Each company got a different version of the new equipment, which it field-tested, modified, and tested again. A council of generals approved proposed changes “at least every month,” said Col. Mark Parker, until recently the Army’s capability manager for networks & services.
Now, after about a dozen revisions in less than 12 months, the Army has a radically new ESB-E. That means not just new kit, but new personnel, training, organization — even a reorganized motor pool. The streamlined formation needs 18 percent fewer soldiers and half as many vehicles. It can deploy on commercial aircraft instead of heavy-duty Air Force transport — the basic network kit actually fits in the overhead bin — but it can provide communications to 60 percent more command posts. (48, up from 30).
The final ESB-E design is due before the new Army Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, in October — a year after the first new kit was fielded — so he can decide whether to reorganize the other Expeditionary Signal Battalions across the Army on the new model.
“Not all ESB-Es are going to look alike,” however, Parker told the conference. A battalion supporting the 18th Airborne Corps (as the 50th ESB-E does at Fort Bragg) might need parachute-qualified communications techs, while one supporting fast-moving armored divisions might need different ground vehicles to keep up. The Army also keeps hoping to add new technology to each ESB-E as it becomes available, Bassett told the conference.
To 2028 & Beyond
The way Army upgraded the Expeditionary Signal Battalion – Enhanced is preview of what it hopes to do across the force, Bassett said. That means streamlining or bypassing the traditional requirements process, and using existing contracts and authorities to get new tech to the troops fast — and then get their feedback to make it better in the next round.
“We’re a little late” with Capability Set 21, Bassett said frankly, because Congress didn’t approve an Army request to reprogram already-appropriated funds to speed field-testing.
But the Army was able to put the entire brigade architecture together in the laboratory — using stand-ins for the final product — and test it “end to end,” Winterle told me. That means sending realistic loads of both voice and data, based on real-world mission requirements, from tactical radios to satellite communications to US-based server farms.
The next big step is to take the hardware into the field, with a full brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division to be field tested next year. While Bassett and his procurement professionals focus on Capability Set 21, the Army-wide Cross Functional Team for network modernization is already working on CS 23. While ’21 is optimized for infantry units, ’23 will take on medium-weight brigades of 8×8 armored Strykers and heavy brigades of M1 tanks and M2 Bradleys. These vehicles can carry a lot more hardware than infantry on foot, so they can field more powerful transmitters and larger antennas. But they’ll really need that added power, because they can cover much more ground in a day and need to transmit signals over longer distances, without revealing their location to eavesdropping enemy electronic warfare units.
By Capability Set ’25, if not before, “we should be able to have constant communications where you can come up or drop off as required, depending on threat,” said the CFT’s unified network lead, Col. Curtis Nowak. This ability to connect, get essential data, and then go dark to avoid detection is central to the Army’s emerging concept of high-tech warfare, what’s called Multi-Domain Operations.
The Army’s goal is to modernize the entire force to wage multi-domain operations by 2028. That’s why the Army has already scheduled successive network upgrades in ’21, ’23, ’25, and ’27. But that’s not the end, officials have made clear.
“The reality is there will be a Capability Set ’29,” Nowak told me. “We’re no longer going to have a finish line.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)
27 Aug 19. A new civilian cyber warfare position for the US Army. Five years ago, the Army created a cyber branch for its uniformed personnel. Earlier this month, service leaders signed a charter to create the equivalent for civilian employees. Formally known as Career Program 71, cyberspace effects, the new positions will provide a centralized approach for civilian training, education and professional development in the cyber discipline. Each Army civilian position, be it infantry or armor, is aligned to a corresponding uniformed position.
“This is really a big deal. What this allows us to do, essentially, [is establish] a formal framework and program that will allow us to recruit, develop, retain those members of our workforce that are specifically conducting cyberspace effects,” Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, the head of Army Cyber Command, said during a signing ceremony at TechNet Augusta, Aug. 20.
These civilians will work on the Army cyber mission force teams that feed up to U.S. Cyber Command and conduct offensive and defensive cyberspace missions.
Army leaders argued the positions are necessary now because they require specialized training that personnel weren’t getting in intelligence or information warfare.
“Really it’s about having specially trained people – military and civilian – to do cyberspace effects,” Ronald Pontius, deputy to the commanding general at Army Cyber Command, told reporters.
Andricka Thomas, the program manager for the career program, said that these cyber effects civilians require extra training than was previously offered, adding that the new career centralizes their cyber effects training providing equity across the force.
Army leaders wants no distinction between uniformed and civilian personnel. The civilians perform the same work roles as their military counterparts be it an on-net operator or an exploitation analyst. Due to rules of international war, however, civilians can’t be the “trigger pullers,” which in the cyber context means they can’t lead the cyber mission force teams. But, each cyber mission force team has a civilian deputy, which provide the teams greater continuity as military team leaders cycle in and out.
In the past, the civilians on either and offensive or defensive teams were given additional training from either their IT or intelligence work roles they came to, which meant they didn’t receive the holistic training of their military counterparts. In practice, this meant they were somewhat inhibited from being able to roll between offensive and defensive teams. Now the civilians will go through that same training pipeline with Cyber Command’s joint standards and train alongside their military counterparts, because that’s how operations work outside the classroom.(Source: Fifth Domain)
27 Aug 19. Oracle sues again: JEDI case going to federal appeals court. Oracle has appealed its claims court loss to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in yet another escalation in the Pentagon’s troubled acquisition of its general services cloud.
Oracle is appealing a decision from U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Eric Bruggink that said Oracle couldn’t be harmed during the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud computing procurement because it didn’t meet contract requirements. But the ruling also said the Department of Defense did not accurately follow acquisition regulations in its decision to make the JEDI cloud a single award.
“The Court of Federal Claims opinion in the JEDI bid protest describes the JEDI procurement as unlawful, notwithstanding dismissal of the protest solely on the legal technicality of Oracle’s purported lack of standing,” said Dorian Daley, Oracle’s general counsel, in a statement. “Federal procurement laws specifically bar single-award procurements such as JEDI absent satisfying specific, mandatory requirements, and the court in its opinion clearly found DoD did not satisfy these requirements.”
The procurement process has been marred by controversy from the beginning, with Oracle filing a big protest to the Government Accountability Office shortly after the RFP was released last summer. After the GAO denied the protest, Oracle filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. In late July, the claims court judge ruled against Oracle.
Oracle takes issue with the single-award structure of the contract, arguing that acquisition regulations require a contract of this size to be a multi-award. But it has also centered its argument around conflict-of-interest allegations against former AWS employees who worked for the DoD during the JEDI cloud procurement. In July, claims court Judge Erik Bruggink ruled that the individual conflicts of interests did not impact the procurement, though he did acknowledge that “they should not have had the opportunity to work on the JEDI cloud procurement at all.” He called those employees in question “bit players” in the contract. Bruggink ultimately concluded that because Oracle did not meet the contract requirements, it could not be harmed by conflicts of interest.
“The opinion also acknowledges that the procurement suffers from many significant conflicts of interest,” Daley said. “These conflicts violate the law and undermine the public trust. As a threshold matter, we believe that the determination of no standing is wrong as a matter of law, and the very analysis in the opinion compels a determination that the procurement was unlawful on several grounds.”
Oracle’s appeal is just one more setback for the JEDI cloud, which is potentially worth $10bn over 10 years. The JEDI cloud is supposed to serve as the Pentagon’s general services cloud, with up to 80 percent of its systems migrating over to it. In a statement, the DoD said the court decision confirms that the procurement has been fair.
“DoD is aware of Oracle’s intent to appeal and will review it along with the Department of Justice,” said DoD spokesperson Elissa Smith. “As DoD has asserted throughout this litigation, and as confirmed by the court, DoD reasonably evaluated and equally treated all offerors within the framework of a full and open competition. DoD’s priority remains delivering critically needed capabilities to the war fighter while protecting taxpayer resources.”
The JEDI cloud procurement is currently under investigation by the DoD inspector general and new Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Several members of Congress have expressed concern about the contract to White House.
Oracle, along with IBM, was eliminated from the cloud competition earlier this year. Only Amazon Web Services and Microsoft remain in consideration. The Pentagon decision is expected in the coming weeks and Dana Deasy, the Defense Department chief information officer, said in June that the source selection and court case are “two disconnected events.”
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
27 Aug 19. New Dutch Armed Forces Combat Helmet. The Dutch procurement agency Defensie Materieel Organisatie (DMO) commissioned the U.S. helmet manufacturer Revision Military with the manufacture and supply of the new Dutch Armed Forces Combat Hel-met in four new camouflage patterns.
At the same time as the supply contract, a framework agreement was concluded for the maintenance of the helmet over a period of 15 years. Helmet covers in the new Dutch camouflage patterns “Netherlands Fractal Pattern” Green and Tan are included in supply contract.
Delivery of the helmets begins in 2019 with a small series. The issue of the new helmets to the troops will start in 2020 and should be completed in 2022. The procurement of the new helmet system is part of the DOKS (Defensie Operationeel Kleding Systeem) project. The DOKS project is intended to replace the current combat clothing system in the Netherlands (introduced in the early 1990s). (Source: ESD Spotlight)
24 Aug 19. US Army could develop new tools to help cyber operators. U.S. Cyber Command teams will likely use Army-provided platforms to help deliver cyber consequences on the battlefield, a service official said Aug. 23. These joint common access platforms, as they’re known, are essentially what allow cyber operators to connect to their target and to deliver the effect beyond friendly firewalls.
The decision to have the Army provide these platforms is pending with Cyber Command, Col. Kevin Finch, program manager for electronic warfare and cyber within Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, told Fifth Domain at TechNet Augusta. The Army would develop the capabilities to all of the service cyber components.
Cyber Command created what it calls the Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture, which governs all its capability development across the force proving a common framework. Maj. Gen. Karl Gingrich, director of capability and resource integration, J-8, Cyber Command, previously told reporters that the organization itself doesn’t have enough acquisition authority to meet the needs of the entire cyber mission force.
But through the new architecture, leaders can communicate their needs directly to the services, which in turn can issue contracts.
“If we can leverage the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to make specific investments and make sure that they are deconflicted so we are effective and efficient in use, that’s what one of the benefits of the JCWA is. I think we won’t see the need for executive agent type relationships,” he said. “I think we can use other means, existing authorities, rules and regulations within DoD to become even more agile.”
Providing cyber tools from the top to the bottom
The Army is also focused on developing ground forces that can conduct localized cyber and electronic warfare effects and also link up with high end, remote cyber mission forces.
The Army is responsible for outfitting these forces with capabilities such as tool development environment and platforms, infrastructure and firing platforms. All of those have been approved by the Army to begin developing. For firing platforms, just as an Apache helicopter fires missiles and bullets, the same type of weapon is needed for the cyber context, Col. John Transue, capability manager for cyber at the Cyber Center of Excellence, said Aug. 21.
Transue described how service officials are now working with the program manager to create a system in which tool developers and operators can develop tools quickly. Finch described this as a “big win.”
“We’re giving them a laboratory environment where they can build their own tools. That is huge because nobody can make them faster than them and then the fact that they are co-located with the operation guys makes that spin a lot faster,” Finch said.
Other capabilities the Army is pursing on the requirements side but that have not been officially approved fall under what Transue called “counters.” This includes counter adversary command, control, computers, communications and intelligence, counter adversary critical support infrastructure and counter adversary weapons systems.
“The actual bullets [are] the effects that we would be trying to provide. We are working on obtaining those effects and the requirements are coming. We expect those to be approved by this winter,” he said.
Finch also described the “golden opportunity” the Army has as it procures electronic warfare and cyber capabilities that will eventually become integrated at the tactical edge.
Currently, the Army is developing the Terrestrial Layer System Large, the service’s integrated signals intelligence, electronic warfare and cyber platform that will be mounted on a ground vehicle, Multi-Functional Electronic Warfare Air Large, the Army’s first organic brigade electronic attack asset mounted on an MQ-1C Gray Eagle, and cyber capabilities for the 915th Cyber Warfare Support Battalion, which will create localized cyber effects through the electromagnetic spectrum operating alongside companies in the field.
TLS, Finch said, could do cyber in three ways:
– onboard it to the platform by plugging a card in;
– plugging in a laptop and using radio frequency to deliver an effect;
– having forces dial in remotely to send the effect.
On the MFEW Air side, he explained that ground forces will be able to plug into it to conduct cyberattacks from the air. Contractors have previously noted that this is a requirement for the program outlining how forces can conduct “attacks” on Wi-Fi networks, intercepting messages between enemy combatants and even allowing friendly forces to delete and alter messages to adversaries, an information operations component that could help control the battlespace.
Getting on contract
On the contracting side, the Army awarded multiple companies a contract worth up to $1bn called R4.
While few details have been available on this contract, only that it is focused on research and development — not materiel solutions — in support of the cyber mission, Finch described the contract’s scope.
It will essentially provide the ability for the Army to equip the entire portfolio of cyber capabilities, which can be understood as high end cyber mission force to the tactical Cyber Warfare Support Battalion and everything in between. This also includes the aforementioned Joint Common Access Platform, Finch said.
It’s important because leaders “need to have a vehicle that you can quickly get contracts awarded onto and not go through the 12 or 18 month process it takes to get a … contract done, already have everything done where you basically go request for whitepapers and they submit it and you evaluate them and you award it,” he told Fifth Domain. “We have to be able to speed up that loop.”
Moreover, while many military leaders have lauded the speed and flexibility other vehicles such as other transaction authorities have afforded, Finch said that was not right for this because OTAs don’t cover sustainment. (Source: Fifth Domain)
23 Aug 19. US Navy developing AR-based RF waves detection technology. The US Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic is developing an augmented reality-based (AR) radio frequency (RF) emission detection and localisation system to improve the safety of warfighters.
Known as Spectrum Hunter, the hands-free technology uses an AR display and is intended to safeguard US military personnel from unintentionally disclosing their location through RF waves.
Equipment such as hand-held radios, mobile phones, and Wi-Fi, as well as SOS beacons on aircraft and radar antennae on tanks and ships, pose safety risks to the warfighter.
An adversary can detect emissions from the devices if they are not properly turned off during a ‘radio silence’ command.
NIWC Atlantic information technology specialist Jessica Sinclair said: “The military principle, ‘If you’re transmitting, you can be found’ applies.”
A 10lb handheld tablet and sensor are currently in use to assist military members in detecting and locating their own radio wave source.
Sinclair said: “The Spectrum Hunter system under development is hands-free as the user packs a similar but smaller geolocator receiver in a backpack and wears a headset inside a helmet that allows them to see images of RF waves on an augmented reality screen superimposed over heavy sunglasses.
“The helmet is fitted with a sunshade so the equipment operates outdoors.”
Operators can get more information on detected RF waves from the AR display using verbal commands or hand gestures.
The heads-up holographic user interface enables the detection of the RF emission source while avoiding distraction from moving people or vehicles.
Sinclair added: “Our team is initially focusing on detecting handheld radios and will expand the scope later to detect cell phones and other devices. In the future, we plan to modify it to identify RF waves emitting from enemy forces.”
The NIWC Atlantic team demonstrated the Spectrum Hunter prototype during the Fight the Naval Force Forward Advanced Naval Technology Exercise East last month. The exercise was held between 9-20 July at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The developers sought feedback from military members and other stakeholders to improve the technology. (Source: naval-technology.com)
22 Aug 19. When the Army could get new electronic warfare units. The Army could start fielding its new electronic warfare platoons in spring 2020, a top service official said Aug. 21. These platoons are part of major force updates the service is undertaking in order to better compete with nations such as Russia and China. They will reside within military intelligence companies and serve as brigade assets.
“We do not have any organic electronic attack capabilities across echelons in the Army,” David May, director of the capability development integration directorate at the Cyber Center of Excellence, said Aug. 21 at TechNet Augusta.
As previously reported, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division out at Fort Lewis in Washington was designated as the pilot unit for these new EW platoons.
Since then, this brigade has participated in a series of live environment tests, May told C4ISRNET, including the Joint Warfighter Assessment. The unit will also go to the National Training Center for a full rotation, allowing soldiers and electronic warfare personnel to practice against a world class force as well as participate in Cyber Blitz in September.
In addition, the Cyber Center of Excellence will supplement these live experiments and demonstrations with modeling and simulation at its battle lab.
These activities are expected to run until November, May said, when the Army will analyze its data and send a formal requirement for the unit to Army headquarters in April 2020. Provided the Army accepts the requirement, they can begin establishing these units across the force.
The experimentation has also allowed the Army to test new capabilities, serving as a proving ground of sorts for risk reduction on current programs of record, namely, the Terrestrial Layer System (TLS). It also allows the Army to experiment with new concepts.
“We took a unit. We gave them some EW personnel. We took some pre-prototyped kit. We brought them out to the field and we said ‘We want you to play with it. Let’s try some different formations. Let’s try some different ways to do connectivity and geolocation. Let’s see what works, what doesn’t work,’” May said. “All those lessons learned are going into validating the concept of operations and helping us drive the material requirement so that when we do come out and ask industry to produce something we’ve got a 90 percent solution.”
Currently, TLS is spread across several programs for varying sizes of capabilities. May explained this includes TLS extended range, which will be a division and corps asset, TLS large, which will be a brigade asset mounted on a large vehicle like a Stryker, TLS small, which will likely remain vehicle mounted but a smaller form factor, and TLS dismount.
TLS large will be the first to be developed and fielded. May had previously said TLS is set to field in the 2022 or 2023 timeframe. He added that these vehicle capabilities will also work with the dismounted systems so soldiers can also deploy with it as part of the vehicle.
In addition to the platoons, May explained the Army wants to create an intelligence/EW battalion at the division level and an intelligence/EW company at the corps level.
These force updates are still working their way through Army headquarters for approval, May said. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
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