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14 Nov 19. Russia and China may not be the top cyberthreats. While Russia and China pose significant threats, especially in the cyber domain, one expert worries that lesser known actors might be a more immediate concern.
“The biggest challenge is we focus too much, especially according to the [National Defense Strategy], on great powers. I think the most cyber activity we’re seeing now is minor or middle powers: UAE, Qatar, Philippines, Vietnam,” said Brandon Valeriano, chair of Armed Politics at the Marine Corps University and a member of the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission. Valeriano was speaking during a panel at CyberCon 2019 Nov. 12. “That’s where the evolution of cyber conflict really is. I’m worried too much about our great power politics focus. I think we need to think a bit better about the realities of conflict.”
The 2018 National Defense Strategy was the Department of Defense’s attempt to shift the focus away from counterterrorism operations, such as missions in Afghanistan, to more sophisticated threats from Russia and China.
Cyber has been a way for smaller and less powerful groups to achieve their national interests without making major defense investments. North Korea has used it to flout sanctions and fund military projects by stealing money via hacks. Iran, and its Middle Eastern neighbors, have engaged in cyber spats in recent months.
“In the Middle East, it’s becoming a playground of active operations where many different organizations and countries are able to start putting this into practice. [They are] moving from research and development into operations,” Sergio Caltagirone, vice president of threat intelligence at Dragos, told Fifth Domain.
The goal of many of these operations, he added, is to reduce the influence of other actors in the region, to manipulate oil prices or markets, or to send a message about their intent.
Valeriano explained that war with a country such as Russian and China doesn’t appear to be on the horizon. More likely, however, is an event that escalates in Syria or the Persian Gulf.
“These are the things that are ongoing,” he said. “These are the things we need to worry about.” (Source: Fifth Domain)
14 Nov 19. DOD Mission Big Draw for Cyber Defense Job Applicants. Pay matters, but sometimes the mission is itself a big draw. That’s the case for at least some who are hired on to do cyber protection work within the Defense Department, the deputy chief information officer for cybersecurity and chief information security officer said today in Washington.
Jack Wilmer said industry can pay more for cyber professionals than can the government. “The interesting thing we have, and what I’ve found when I talk to most of the folks in our organizations across DOD, is that obviously what brings people to the DOD is not going to be the salary — but it is that mission. It’s people that like a challenge, that want to be able to go up against some of the world’s best cyber actors and want to be able to have an opportunity to try to defend against those attacks, and contribute to our other missions as well,” he said.
The DOD mission itself, Wilmer said, for those who join in uniform and for those who become involved as a civilian, “is much more compelling than anything we can do salarywise.”
Speaking during a forum on the federal workforce, Wilmer discussed challenges to recruiting and retaining talent for the cyber mission within DOD.
He said one area the department has made great strides in is recruiting. The DOD Cyber Excepted Service Personnel System, he said, has allowed the department to reach out and recruit some of the best and brightest.
The authorities granted by Cyber Excepted Service Personnel System have been rolled out already to agencies like U.S. Cyber Command, the Defense Information Systems Agency, and most recently the Navy and the Marine Corps this summer. One benefit is shortening the amount of time it takes to bring a new hire into federal service.
“They were able to take the average time to hire from 111 days down to about 44,” he said. “Anything that we can do to help shrink that down is going to increase the likelihood that people will actually join our organization. That’s a huge win in terms of being able to leverage those authorities to be able to bring people in faster, that frankly, we run into fewer cases where a person accepts a job initially, but because it takes so long to actually bring them on board they end up finding another opportunity before they can join our organization.”
Another avenue for bringing in new talent is retraining existing federal personnel, Wilmer said. The department has some 70,000 cyber professionals, but he said there are thousands of positions open that need to be filled. Looking inward — even at those who aren’t currently doing cyber work, is an option.
Wilmer pointed to the federal CIO Council’s efforts to bring existing federal employees into the cyber workforce. The “Federal Cybersecurity Reskilling Academy” provided two cohorts of federal employees with hands-on training in cybersecurity.
“We’ve already sent a number of DOD people through that program and I’m really excited to see where that program can take us,” Wilmer said. “People compete for it. They basically apply with their background, take some basic skills tests and those that seem like cyber might be a good fit for them are able to then apply for some of the new opportunities.”
Diversity in hiring also matters for the department, Wilmer said. Given the complexity and variety of what adversaries are doing in terms of their attacks, he said, a good defense is implemented by a diverse defenses force.
“When you look at what our adversaries are actually doing, the approaches they are taking, they really do have some very clever and creative things they are doing,” Wilmer said. “If we only have a set of people that all think kind of the same way and were taught and grown up the same way, we’re probably not going to be able to come up with the right set of things the adversary might try to use against us. So diversity in terms of recruiting is really important for us.”
Wilmer said bringing more women into the federal cyber workforce, on both the military and civilian side is important. “But diversity as a whole I think is a really important aspect.” (Source: US DoD)
14 Nov 19. Five Eyes CIOs highlight growing importance of ‘secure’ information interoperability. The world’s oldest intelligence alliance, Five Eyes, has signalled the need to continue boosting their partnerships during the Military Communication and Information Systems Conference 2019 (MilCIS) in Canberra.
The partnership between Australia, the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand has been in place since 1946, following the Second World War, but during a briefing at MilCIS, the respective Five Eyes chief information officers all echoed each others sentiments that the need for the partnership would only grow as the global defence and governmental landscape continues to change.
One such change is the evolving technology and the growing information sharing capabilities that these platforms possess, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Described as the “quarterback” of an air fleet, the F-35 possesses never before seen information sharing capabilities that while granting strategic advantages to the operator, also have the potential to be exploited and reveal critical confidential information.
While exploiting and gaining access to the information being shared by such a platform would prove to be very difficult, it’s nonetheless a cause for concern for intelligence agencies looking to protect national interests and assets.
“With the expansion of intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities and the exponential volume of data coming from new technology platforms that we’re procuring, we have to really check those assets for all the sensory information becoming available from them,” Stephen Pearson, Australian Defence CIO said at MilCIS.
“We have a whole lot of information providing a tactical edge going back to headquarters, across networks, and we need to be able to manage that information quickly and safely.”
Such concern for ensuring the protection of intelligence also exists for such program’s supply chains, many of which are done locally.
For example, while Lockheed Martin may theoretically employ the world’s strictest security measures for protecting key information about the F-35, what about the small SME that has access to equally critical information as part of their role in the program?
“The challenges we are facing are numerous, such as cyber security and the role of state and non-state players in securing information interoperability and data and other relevant information across our Five Eye partners,” Pearson said in his briefing.
“In particular, ensuring our supply chains are secure and you as our suppliers maintain the level of integrity and accountability that we expect from our defence industry partners in that supply chain”.
This emphasis on the need to grow alongside the technologies being procured was echoed by Len Bastien, Canada’s Defence chief information officer and assistant deputy minister.
“As we get older, we tend to get safer and more comfortable. Well, the world has changed. Not changing… that has happened,” said Bastien.
“Digital is bringing the world together and broadening imaginations for many, and Defence needs to pivot.
“If not, we will be left behind.”
This outlook is clearly a key focus for Five Eyes, with the partnership recently committing to a statement of intent regarding the security of the internet of things.
Homeland security and public safety ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and US gathered in London in July to “discuss our common security challenges with regards to the internet of things (loT), and how we can best protect our citizens from cyber threats”, which led to the following agreements:
1) Collaborate with respective industry and standards bodies to provide better protection to users by advocating that devices should be secured by design.
2) Actively seek out opportunities to enhance trust and raise awareness of security safeguards associated with loT devices in our respective nations.
- Identify and engage industry partners who share Five Eyes’ goals to enhance the security of loT.
- Identify and engage like-minded nations to encourage international alignment on IoT security, unlocking innovation that builds a strong economy that works for everyone.
3) Share information with Five Eyes partners in a timely manner through appropriate channels and arrangements, consistent with international and domestic law, to aid in the overall improvement of loT security.
“If you think about the fights that we’ve had in the past, they’re not going to look at all like the fights of the future,” said Dana Deasy, US Department of Defense CIO at MilCIS.
“We need a different mindset, with different training for the warfighter, and clearly going to need different technology.” (Source: Defence Connect)
13 Nov 19. Germany sets out ‘challenging’ airborne electronic attack timeline for NATO. The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) is waiting on a government decision to launch a programme to field a dedicated airborne electronic attack (EA) capability for NATO by the mid-2020s, a senior officer said on 13 November.
Speaking in Berlin, Luftwaffe Brigadier-General Christian Leitges, Deputy Chief of Staff Plans and Policy, said the service faces a rapid timeline to deliver the anti-access area denial (A2AD) capability that Germany has committed to NATO under the country’s Luftgestützte Wirkung im Elektromagnetischen Spektrum (luWES) programme, and that it expects the go-ahead from the government shortly.
“There is a German commitment to NATO to provide [airborne] jamming in the very near future, say within about five years. This is a very rapid timeline and a very big challenge,” Gen Leitges said at the IQPC International Fighter conference, adding that Project luWES should be signed-off in the not-too-distant future if this timeline is to be realised.
According to Gen Leitges, Project luWES is based upon a three-strand system-of-systems (SoS). This comprises a stand-off jammer aircraft, an escort jammer, and a stand-in jammer. The stand-off jammer would consist of about 10 larger aircraft yet to be acquired by the Luftwaffe that would operate at a distance from the target area using an integrated/podded/or palleted EA system; the escort jammer that would be about 12 Eurofighter ECR or Boeing EA-18G Growler platforms; while the stand-in jammer would be an unknown number of small expendable assets such as Remote Carrier unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or MBDA SPEAR-EW decoys operating in the ground-based air defence system’s no-escape zone. “There will be attrition in this mission, and so air-launched decoys will be important [to remove humans from danger],” the general said. “We are just about to start this project.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
13 Nov 19. EA-18G Growler upgrades under test. The US Navy (USN) has disclosed a number of near-term upgrades to the Boeing EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft, including the introduction of a new Tactical Offensive Radio Operations (TORO) special capabilities pod.
Revealed in the Naval Air Systems Command’s in-house journal Naval Aviation News , the updates include ‘Speed to Fleet’ initiatives designed to enhance AEA capability in advance of the more extensive Block II upgrade planned for the E/A-18G. Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, is leading development test and qualification activity.
Developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory for advanced electronic surveillance and attack, the TORO pod “offers a unique hardware infrastructure capability itself, allowing new technologies to quickly be integrated with the Growler in a plug-and-play fashion to rapidly counter new threats”, said Naval Aviation News . (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Nov 19. MITRE Engenuity Announces the Center for Threat-Informed Defense. Thirteen organizations join Center as founding participants for R&D collaboration. MITRE Engenuity™, a tech foundation for public good, announced today the Center for Threat-Informed Defense™, a collaboration with industry to improve cyber defense at scale through collaborative research and development. Founding Research Partners are AttackIQ, Bank of America, HCA Healthcare, and JPMorgan Chase. Founding Research Sponsors are American Express, Booz Allen Hamilton, Citi, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Red Canary, Siemens, and US Bank. The Cyber Threat Alliance joins as a founding non-profit participant.
“The cybersecurity challenges that we face transcend any single organization, sector, or nation,” said Laurie Giandomenico, MITRE Engenuity CEO. “Defending against adversaries requires uniting industry across sectors to advance our abilities in threat-informed defense.”
MITRE Engenuity created the Center in response to feedback from the cybersecurity community for a non-commercial, non-profit focal point that would sustain and accelerate the evolution of publicly available resources critical to cyber defenses.
Those resources include MITRE ATT&CK™, a freely available MITRE-developed and operated knowledge base of adversary tactics, techniques, and procedures that is based on published threat reporting. Sophisticated cybersecurity teams from around the world use the knowledge base to understand adversary behavior and tradecraft and systematically advance defensive capabilities. The Center will bring focus and coordination to this community’s R&D in threat-informed defense while helping ensure ATT&CK remains a free and open resource for all.
“Given the level of sophistication and commitment to innovation that we have seen in the global ATT&CK community, we wanted to find a new avenue to working directly with private industry,” said Richard Struse, Center director. “Our founding participants bring a wealth of knowledge and capability along with a strong commitment to research in the public interest. MITRE Engenuity gives us the ability to work directly with these leading organizations to expand the global understanding of adversary behaviors, creating a scalable approach to conduct public interest R&D to improve our defenses.”
The Center’s initial focus will include:
- Accelerating development of ATT&CK in new ways, including expanding into new technology domains.
- Establishing a most wanted list of adversary techniques.
- Maturing and transitioning MITRE’s current ATT&CK-based security operations center assessment methodology to organizations that can deliver it at scale.
- Developing, sharing, and automating adversary emulation playbooks.
The Center’s membership will fund and participate in research and development projects, and results will be publicly shared for the benefit of all, including industry, government, and security vendors. Members will include private sector end users and critical infrastructure organizations, leading technology companies, and cybersecurity-focused non-profits including ISACs and ISAOs.
“Cybersecurity has become a team sport,” said Jason Witty, global chief information security officer, JPMorgan Chase. “As the threat landscape continues to evolve rapidly, collaborative research and development focused on improving cyber defense, at scale, is of critical importance. That’s why we are proud to be partnering with Center for Threat-Informed Defense to help better protect not just JPMorgan Chase but the communities that we operate in – and other institutions.”
“CTA is proud to be a founding member of the Center for Threat-Informed Defense,” said J. Michael Daniel, president and CEO of the non-profit Cyber Threat Alliance. “While we know that certain actions can improve our collective cybersecurity, there are still problems that require research and development to get to the right answer. Since many current practices are not based on robust, empirical findings, the Center’s focused R&D efforts will help the global community address the most pressing problems.”
“It is a true privilege to collaborate with other leading members of the cybersecurity community and MITRE Engenuity in the Center for Threat-Informed Defense,” said Stephan Chenette, chief technology officer and co-founder of AttackIQ. “We believe deeply in threat-informed defense and in validating those defenses using MITRE ATT&CK.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
12 Nov 19. ANU launches bootcamp to build regional cyber resilience. The Australian National University has partnered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to better equip practitioners at the frontline of the region’s cyber security challengers.
The Cyber Bootcamp Project provides practical expert advice and skills training to government officials from ASEAN and Pacific countries. It builds participants’ knowledge and awareness of the full breath of cyber affairs issues – from technology and threats to decision-making and the nature of cyber and beyond. The bootcamp forms part of Australia’s Cyber Cooperation Program and will be delivered by the ANU Cyber Institute and ANU National Security College up to three times per year over the next four years.
CEO Dr Lesley Seebeck said the ANU Cyber Institute aims “to transform cyber for the betterment of humanity”.
“For the Cyber Bootcamp Project this means extending beyond simply developing cyber security specialists. Instead the bootcamp will focus on developing skills in good people to conceive, construct and care for good, adaptable, human-centred, secure, resilient systems, which account for the people who use or are supported by them,” Dr Seeback added.
The bootcamp was officially launched at ANU by Australia’s ambassador for cyber affairs, Dr Tobias Feakin.
“We are pleased to be partnering with ANU and our regional neighbours to deliver this initiative. Australia’s vision for an open, free and secure cyber space is impossible to achieve alone,” Dr Feakin said.
Each bootcamp includes a two-week intensive program in Australia, where participants engage in interactive workshops, exercise scenarios, industry site visits and dialogues with Australian government agencies.
“The Cyber Bootcamp Project has been designed to bring together complementary skills and expertise from across government, academia and the private sector to deliver a comprehensive, holistic and innovative training program to our regional partners,” Dr Feakin added. (Source: Defence Connect)
12 Nov 19. Airbus expects updated industry call for Germany’s Tornado replacement contest. Airbus expects an updated industry solicitation for Germany’s multibillion-dollar Tornado replacement program, for which the company will offer an electronic attack-capable Eurofighter.
Wolfgang Gammel, the head of combat aircraft business development, said he learned about the impending update during conversations with Defence Ministry officials.
A ministerial spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the official line that an announcement about the acquisition program is expected in the first quarter of 2020 and that Berlin is looking to quickly replace its aging Tornado fleet.
The requirement for an electronic attack capability was absent from the original request for information when competitors placed their bids in the spring of 2018, Gammel told reporters Tuesday at the International Fighter Conference, a gathering of senior air force and industry leaders in Berlin.
After Lockheed Martin and its F-35 were eliminated early this year, that left only the Eurofighter and Boeing’s F-18 Growler in the race.
An updated RFI presumably would reopen the competition between the remaining bidders as the acquisition process plays out anew on the question of electronic attack capabilities. Such a move would all but certainly result in a sizable delay, as German officials have been trying to be especially thorough in seeing the program through.
Airbus said introducing so-called escort jammer pods to the Eurofighter fleet, to be carried under the belly or the wings of the aircraft, would require little effort because the proposed integration strategy is meant to piggyback on upgrade efforts already on the books.
Complicating a pick between the Eurofighter and the F-18 is the requirement that Germany must keep a contingent of aircraft capable of carrying U.S. nuclear bombs under NATO’s nuclear doctrine. That seemed to give Boeing’s offering an advantage, German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung claimed in a report last month. For its part, the F-18 is known for its ability to counter enemy air defenses, an area where Airbus now seeks to lay down its own marker. (Source: Defense News)
12 Nov 19. Revised RFI anticipated for German Tornado replacement to accommodate electronic attack mission. Representatives from German industry have said they anticipate the German government issuing an updated request for information (RFI) for its Tornado replacement requirement, to include the electronic attack (EA) mission not stipulated in the original solicitation.
The statement was made by officials from Airbus who were promoting the company’s Electronic Combat Reconnaissance (ECR) version of the Eurofighter to replace the Luftwaffe’s Tornado ECR aircraft. They noted that, while the original RFI and subsequent request for proposals (RFP) did include suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) as one of the core missions of the current Tornado ECR, airborne EA is a completely new mission set that was not originally covered. Its not being included, they said, meant the Eurofighter ECR could not formally be submitted and neither could the Boeing EA-18G Growler that is being offered as a dedicated EA offering alongside the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
“The EA and ECR pod were excluded from the RFP last year [that considered 10 current Tornado missions and 2 additional but undisclosed missions]. These were to be discussed at a later date, [and we] are now expecting an updated RFI from the German government,” Wolfgang Gammel, vice-president, Combat Sales, Airbus, told reporters at the IQPC International Fighter conference in Berlin on 12 November, adding that the company would be prepared to deliver its Eurofighter ECR offering no matter what the German timeline happens to be. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Nov 19. BAE to bring advanced radar jamming tech to US Army aircraft. BAE Systems plans to demonstrate an interim advanced radar jamming technology next summer for helicopters and unmanned aircraft systems that is lighter and smaller than systems available now.
The company issued a statement Nov. 12 announcing the U.S. Army awarded it a research and development contract to bring the technology to bear. The system “aims to improve air survivability and mission effectiveness” for aircraft “by detecting and defeating complex and unknown threats in electronic combat,” the statement read.
BAE will demonstrate the technology in July 2020.
The technology is under development within BAE Systems’ FAST Labs and combines adaptive radio frequency jamming and sensing capabilities into one system, a company statement noted.
“Whereas today’s electronic countermeasure systems are too bulky and heavy for most rotary-wing and UAS platforms, BAE Systems technology will combine multiple, software-programmable antennas into a digital phased array that will enable simultaneous functions, exceeding existing capabilities while reducing the size, weight, and power of current systems,” according to the British company’s statement.
As the Army looks to modernize its capabilities to fight across multiple domains in highly contested environments, the technology, the company said, will enable the aircraft to fly closer to threats and remain protected.
Lighter and smaller systems are also crucial, as existing aircraft continues to be weighed down by additional capabilities for fighting near-peer threats.
“With the continuously evolving threat landscape, it’s critical to provide the next-generation of digital phased array technology to better defend our armed forces in electronic warfare,” Chris Rappa, product line director for radio frequency, electronic warfare and advanced electronics at FAST Labs, said in the statement.
“Our technology will give the Army’s rotary-wing aircraft and UAS a new, low SWaP [size, weight and power] system to securely and drastically increase their range of movements in future missions,” he added.
BAE is planning flight tests within the next few years, FAST Labs Program Manager Ben McMahon told Defense News. (Source: Defense News)
12 Nov 19. Raytheon collaborates with Red Hat on flexible DevSecOps software development solution. ‘Code low, deploy high’ approach delivers faster capability. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) is collaborating with Red Hat to develop a new, security-focused software development solution, known as DevSecOps, for enterprise environments. The approach combines Raytheon’s integrated suite of DevOps software development tools with Red Hat OpenShift for enhanced protection of the software application development process. The cross-domain security solution takes a ‘code low, deploy high’ approach, developing at an unclassified level and rapidly deploying into a classified environment.
John DeSimone, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, said: “The need for rapid delivery of secure capability is paramount to our national security. We worked with Red Hat to develop an innovative new offering that combines our efficient approach to DevSecOps with a focus on security, enhanced by Red Hat’s container platform.”
The Raytheon DevSecOps solution offers security automation and the option of integrating solutions and customizing resources based on mission requirements, contributing to reduction in cost and timeline.
“Our work with Raytheon further exemplifies Red Hat’s collaborative approach to accelerating innovation and delivery of mission with our system integrator partners,” said Paul Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Public Sector, Red Hat. “Red Hat OpenShift’s enhanced security capabilities can enable Raytheon to deliver a faster, more efficient DevSecOps approach with security at its core.”
Red Hat OpenShift is a security-focused enterprise container platform with full-stack automated operations to manage hybrid cloud and multicloud deployments. Red Hat OpenShift is built on the backbone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the first operating system to achieve Common Criteria certification with Linux Container Framework Support.
This collaboration is the latest example of the companies’ long-standing relationship. For more than 10 years, Red Hat and Raytheon have worked together to deliver solutions to both the private and public sectors across multiple domains. For example, Raytheon used Red Hat’s open source solutions to develop an open system that collects and fuses data from a huge array of satellites, ground sensors and other sources to provide a comprehensive picture. By using Red Hat’s tools, Raytheon was able to deliver a system that completely opens up satellite networks and allows for faster insight coming from multiple sources more quickly than ever before.
12 Nov 19. Raytheon developing microscopic bomb detector. DARPA project to use synthetic bio for bacteria that detects explosives. Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) is using synthetic biology science to create a new method for detecting buried explosives, using bacteria as sensors. Under a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Raytheon and partner Worcester Polytechnic Institute will program two bacterial strains to monitor ground surfaces for explosive materials. The first strain will detect the presence or absence of explosives buried underground. If the first strain detects explosives, the second strain will produce a glowing light on the ground’s surface. Remote cameras or unmanned aerial vehicles can then be used to survey large areas for the telltale luminescence.
“We already know that some bacteria can be programmed to be very good at detecting explosives, but it’s harder underground,” said Allison Taggart, Ph.D. and principal investigator for the Bio Reporters for Subterranean Surveillance program at Raytheon BBN Technologies. “We’re investigating how to transport the reporting bacteria to the required depth underground, and then pushing the luminescence up to the surface so it’s easily visible.”
Synthetic biology combines principles of electrical engineering with computer science to modify DNA. The Subterranean Surveillance program is one example in which advances in synthetic biology are being used to develop sensors that can reveal a variety of subterranean phenomena at a distance.
“Using bio sensors underground could help us save lives as well as detect threats to air quality and the water supply,” Taggart added. “The modular design of the system we’re developing will allow us to swap in different components as needed to detect various kinds of threats and contaminants.”
12 Nov 19. Airbus and its partners unveil details of new Eurofighter ECR concept. At the International Fighter Conference in Berlin Airbus and its partners introduced for the first time concrete details of the new Eurofighter electronic combat role (ECR) concept. This role will enlarge Eurofighter’s multi-role capabilities and further increase the survivability of coalition forces in hostile environments. Collaborative electronic warfare capabilities are essential for future combined air operations.
Initial Eurofighter ECR capability is expected to be available by 2026, followed by further development steps and full integration into the future combat air system (FCAS) ecosystems. Eurofighter ECR will be able to provide passive emitter location as well as active jamming of threats, and will offer a variety of modular configurations for electronic attack (EA) and suppression/destruction of enemy air defence (SEAD/DEAD). Latest national escort jammer technology will ensure national control over features such as mission data and data analysis. The concept also features a new twin-seat cockpit configuration with a multi-function panoramic touch display and a dedicated mission cockpit for the rear-seat.
The concept is driven by the leading aerospace companies Airbus, Hensoldt, MBDA, MTU, Premium Aerotec, Rolls-Royce and supported by the German national industry bodies BDSV and BDLI. It specifically targets the German Air Force requirements for an airborne electronic attack capability. Furthermore it is the single opportunity to deliver such capabilities on the basis of national sovereignty, whilst also securing key military technologies within Germany.
Eurofighter is the backbone of German air defence. With more than 600 aircraft under contract and a workforce of 100.000 it is the largest collaborative defence programme in Europe to date.
08 Nov 19. Portable Chemical Laboratory for the Spanish Army. Indra will supply the Spanish Army with an advanced portable chemical laboratory to identify the chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals enemies may be using. This laboratory might be deployed rapidly in any theatre of operation, in order to identify the chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals that the enemy may be using.
It is composed of a 20-foot or 6 metres container that houses the work area and a backup equipped with HVAC, CBRN air and water tank filtration, non-interruptible power supply, a diesel generator and storage for collected materials. To take delivery of samples and prepare them, operators have a handling booth isolated from the rest of the lab. It also has a communication system that sends the results immediately to the command centre.
The laboratory will enter the first CBRN Defence Regiment “Valencia” of the Spanish Army. Until now, this regiment had VAMTAC (high mobility tactical vehicle), BMR 6×6 (armoured carrier) Reconnaissance Vehicles and the Sampling and Identification of Biological, Chemical and Radiological Agents (SIBCRA) team that collects samples in a contaminated area and sends them to a lab for subsequent analysis.
All of the analysis equipment is completely compatible with that currently used by the Institute of Technology located in La Marañosa. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
07 Nov 19. How a new USAF leader for electronic warfare could help. Air Force leaders hope that by placing a general officer focused on electronic warfare on the planning staff at the Pentagon, they can improve the service’s strategy and force development in that area.
Following the Air Force’s year-long study on electromagnetic spectrum operations, the service decided to create an electronic warfare directorate within its A5/8 division for strategic plans and programs. The A5 oversees strategy, requirements and the new Air Force Warfighting Capability, which is
“What we told the chief is, ‘you didn’t have a dedicated leader to ensure that we continue to implement those things year after year, day after day,’” said Brig. Gen. David Gaedecke, the directorate’s new leader and the author of the study. Gaedecke spoke at the Association of Old Crows International Symposium Oct. 30.
The Air Force had done away with much of its capability in the electromagnetic spectrum. Now, it is having to reinvigorate its capabilities and its workforce.
“We’ve gone decades with nobody in charge,” Rep. Don Bacon, R-Nebraska, told reporters at the same conference. “I was angry when I was active duty because I thought we walked away from the best EW doctrine and capabilities in the early 90s. When I retired, we were second or third best.”
Gaedecke explained that in the A5, the electronic warfare directorate can shape the design of the Air Force. Additionally, as part of the Air staff now, he said, he is being included in forums, such as budget discussions, that rarely included representatives from electronic warfare in the past.
At the operations level, the Air Force also integrated electronic warfare under a single commander along with cyber, information operations and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance within 16th Air Force. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
07 Nov 19. US Army seeking right mix of systems, capabilities in key tactical network drill. Hitting the right mix of network and communication platforms, systems, and capabilities for US Army ground units will be one of several key objectives for a major upcoming demonstration of the newest iteration of the service’s Integrated Tactical Network (ITN), although army officials acknowledged they may not get the right mix during the highly anticipated field exercise.
The army has completed the “end to end integration effort” for the network technologies and capabilities slated for the upcoming demonstration of Capability Set 21, as part of ongoing work at the service’s research facilities at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, Colonel Garth Winterle, programme manager for tactical radios at the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), said during a roundtable interview with Jane’s on 14 October.
Capability Set 21 will focus on integrating cellular 4G and other communication networks, coupled with legacy systems upgrades operating on a secure but unclassified architecture, to facilitate dismounted combat manoeuvres. The follow-on effort, known as Capability Set 23, will focus more on Stryker-based mounted operations but also glean lessons learned from Capability Set 21, said Army Colonel Robert Ryan, deputy director for the service’s Network Cross-Functional Team (N-CFT). (Updates are delivered every two years, which is why there is not a Capability Set 22.)
“We have a case where I can re-use some lessons learned, develop a basis of issue for equipment for my dismounted configuration, and take into account my changes due to range, formation type, and vehicle type” that I now have as part of Capability Set 23, Col Ryan told Jane’s during the same 14 October roundtable. Elements of the ITN technology package included in Capability Set 21 have also undergone initial fielding while deployed with the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (1st SFAB) during their deployment to Afghanistan, Col Winterle noted. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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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.