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12 Dec 19. Successful US Army flight test further demonstrates IBCS’ unprecedented interoperability and ability to detect, track and simultaneously engage threats. The U.S. Army and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) successfully conducted simultaneous engagement of two incoming target cruise missiles during a flight test using the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS). Including Sentinel, Patriot and Marine TPS-59 radars and Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) Guidance Enhanced Missile-TBM (GEM-T) interceptors, the test demonstrated successful interoperability and the end-to-end performance of the IBCS system to detect, track and simultaneously engage multiple threats.
“Building on the success of the most recent flight test this past August, today’s test demonstrates that IBCS is achieving unprecedented performance in defeating multiple missile threats,” said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. “Taking advantage of all available resources in the battlefield, IBCS enhances battlefield survivability by enabling 360 degree sensor coverage, and enables highest probability of defeat by ensuring the most effective weapon is used to intercept each threat.”
The test was conducted at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico by a test detachment of soldiers from the 30th Brigade 3rd Battalion 6th Air Defense Artillery Regiment who manned the workstations and executed the engagement plan presented by IBCS. The friendly forces defense laydown consisted of a battalion, two battery IBCS engagement operations centers, a Patriot radar, two Sentinel radars and two PAC-2 launchers. Also contributing to the test were a U.S. Marine Corps AN/TPS-59 joint radar connected to an external Link 16 network and F-35 fighter aircraft with sensors adapted to IBCS. All these systems were connected to the IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN).
Designed to emulate potential real-world events, the flight test began when two cruise missile surrogate threats were launched. The cruise missiles flew in a maneuvering formation until they neared their targets, and then split off to attack two separate defended assets. IBCS fused data from the various participating sensors and external networks into accurate composite tracks of both threats. Then it developed the engagement plan employed by the soldiers to successfully launch two PAC-2 missiles and intercept both cruise missile targets.
“Today’s successful flight test further demonstrates the maturity of the Integrated Battle Command System and its capabilities in support of Multi-Domain Operations,” said Maj. Gen. Rob Rasch, Army Program Executive Officer, Missiles and Space. “The inclusion of Marine Corps and Air Force sensor systems in the test architecture validate the system’s open architecture and the potential for IBCS to operate seamlessly with joint services, as well as foreign partners in the future, to extend battlespace and defeat complex threats.”
“IBCS is the Army’s #1 Air and Missile Defense priority and will fundamentally change our air and missile defense force and capability, maximizing the combination of sensors and shooters in a completely different way than ever before,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Gibson, Army Futures Command and director of the Air and Missile Defense Cross Functional Team. “Successful execution of this mission-critical test validates that IBCS is well prepared for the upcoming Limited User Test in second quarter 2020.”
IBCS is the cornerstone of the Army’s IAMD modernization program. Designed to connect the force for unified action against evolving threats, IBCS is a net-centric command and control system for the air and missile defense mission. IBCS enhances battlefield survivability by creating a resilient self-healing network of all available sensors that can reduce and eliminate vectors of attack while providing operators with a single integrated air picture of unprecedented accuracy and expanded area of protection.
IBCS is managed by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
11 Dec 19. Full speed ahead: First phase of JEDI rollout expected in February. One day before Amazon chief Jeff Bezos gave a keynote address at the Reagan National Defense Forum, never uttering the word “JEDI,” the Pentagon’s chief information officer spoke with great confidence that Amazon’s protest of the department’s enterprise cloud contract award will go nowhere.
In the meantime, CIO Dana Deasy confirmed to Defense News during an exclusive interview that the Department of Defense is moving full speed ahead with its choice of Microsoft to serve the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program — otherwise known as JEDI.
He also said that the first phase of the rollout — the unclassified cloud environment — should be available in February 2020.
“We’ve been through this very long, drawn-out process now. We’ve gone from GAO [the Government Accountability Office] to Federal Claims Court to the [inspector general]. In each and all cases, we’ve come out in a very positive position, as we always felt strongly we would,” Deasy said. “What was somewhat frustrating is we brought together some world-class people to create this vision of a large-scale cloud that you could provision, that you could use to develop [software] differently, that you could put out in the tactical edge and that could support AI. Those same people were constantly being pulled in to have to address all the issues around the protest.”
Indeed, the contract award was delayed for months due to a protest and court case filed by Oracle, which levied several conflict of interest allegations against competitor Amazon. Oracle’s case is currently in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, having lost in a lower court. In November, Federal Times broke the story about Amazon’s plans to protest the JEDI award to Microsoft through the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, obtaining a video of Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy at an all-hands meeting with Amazon Worldwide stating that the company will “push the government to shine a light on what really happened.”
A redacted version of the AWS complaint alleges that the DoD source-selection team made several “egregious” and “unfounded” decisions during the cloud award, ultimately not complying with the contents of its own request for proposals.
The complaint also tied the decision to several disparaging statements made by President Donald Trump about Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.
“These shifts in the DoD evaluators’ assessments of AWS’s proposal, including the significance of AWS’s security advantages, occurred as President Trump increased the intensity of his public attacks against Mr. Bezos, Amazon/AWS, and the Washington Post,” the complaint reads.
On Dec. 7, Bezos spoke during a fireside chat at the Reagan National Defense Forum, but he did not address the controversial cloud contract.
Unlike protests filed in the GAO, protests filed in federal court do not bring an automatic stay in performance. But regardless of regulatory standards, moving forward with Microsoft introduces a risk that a stay later in the process could be more disruptive.
Nonetheless, Deasy said he never considered a delay in performance.
“Never. From the beginning, the way we constructed the teams and organized how to write the RFP to where we are today, there was such deep consideration and due diligence — making sure we followed all the regulations,” he said. “I’ve told the team: ‘Let’s just not sit and wait. Let’s start to get the environment ready so when we come out of the protest, we haven’t lost any momentum.’”
That’s not to say the Pentagon hasn’t learned from all this. Early on, JEDI became branded as a 10-year, $10bn opportunity. The Pentagon did not do enough to stomp out that depiction, Deasy said.
“I’ve seen this over my 38 years of being involved in technology: If you don’t convey your message right, the media can start to take a message that you intend to be ‘X,’ and the next thing you know you’re sitting way over here in ‘Y’ territory,” he said. “This was a two-year initial contract, of which the only money we put out initially is $1m. The rest is all dependent on how fast Department of Defense starts to consume the capability.”
Deasy points to what he calls “breakpoints” in the contract to be able to reevaluate, and he said the DoD is, and will remain, a multi-cloud environment. There must be more than one cloud provider to satisfy the needs of the unclassified environment in particular, he added, because “it’s too big, it’s too broad for any one vendor to handle.”
But the many disparate, individual clouds that currently exist — what Deasy described as “this mess” — was also not a winning hand. Step one was making sense of what was already in place.
“Guess what? We don’t know how to do enterprise cloud at that scale, so we need to find a partner,” he said. “We need to start with somebody.”
The DoD is now getting ready to stand up the unclassified environment, which Deasy expects will be ready by mid-February. The department will start with what he calls “the bare minimum we need to be able to stand up a real capability that the services can use.”
More and more services will be added as time goes on. Artificial intelligence components will roll in at the same time but, again, with an understanding that more will come, that data will be refined and that the initial rollout won’t have “a high degree of perfection.”
The secret environment will be ready about six months after the unclassified environment. The timeline for the top-secret environment is a little less clear, depending not only on how the protest plays out, but also how quickly and smoothly the initial two environments roll out.
“It’s not only the fact that there’s an unclassified, a secret and a top-secret environment,” Deasy said. “This is CONUS; this is OCONUS; and this is out to the tactical edge. So this is like a 3×3 dimension that we have to solve for. This will be the first time the Department of Defense will truly have that capability. That is what is unique.” (Source: Defense News)
10 Dec 19. Congress wants to up DoD’s game in the information environment. Congress wants the Pentagon to create a new position to advise the Secretary of Defense on information operations, essentially operations aimed to influence the decision making of adversaries.
The provision in the annual defense policy bill, finalized by a conference committee of House and Senate leaders Dec. 9, instructs the Department of Defense to designate a principal information operations adviser 30 days after the enactment of the bill.
According to the legislation, the new adviser will oversee policy, strategy, planning, resource management, operational considerations, personnel, technology development, overall integration and supervision of information operations. The job will also include implementation of polices to ensure deconfliction with other U.S. agencies and deciding on attribution or public acknowledgment of operations in the information environment.
The provision also establishes a reporting mechanism for Congress to keep abreast of operations related to information warfare each quarter.
To keep up with the changing nature of war and in response to nations such as China and Russia restructuring their militaries around a consolidated information warfare discipline, each of the services in their own ways have reorganized to some degree. Much of the restructuring surrounds consolidating cyber, space, electronic warfare, information operations, and intelligence under a single information warfare pipeline.
The changes come as Congress has grown concerned in recent years regarding lack of coordination for information operations across the department.
In late October, the Government Accountability Office delivered a report mandated by the House Armed Services titled “Information Operations: DOD Should Improve Leadership and Integration Efforts.” The report, however is classified.
Congressional committees and national security experts have been concerned, not only about the frequency of information operations and influence campaigns, but also how the military might leverage its own capabilities to conduct information operations during times of conflict. The defense policy bill for fiscal year 2020 also directs the creation of a cross functional team composed of experts within the Office of the Secretary of Defense to focus on the information environment. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
10 Dec 19. Cybersecurity Requirements Likely for Defense Contracts by June 2020. The Defense Department expects that by June 2020, industry will see cybersecurity requirements included as part of new requests for information, which typically serve as one of the first steps in the awarding of new defense contracts.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said the new cybersecurity maturity model certification program is a critical part of ensuring that companies hoping to do business with the department meet important cybersecurity requirements.
“The cybersecurity maturity model certification, or CMMC program, establishes security as the foundation to acquisition and combines the various cybersecurity standards into one unified standard to secure the DOD supply chain,” Lord said.
She said the program will establish five levels of certification tailored to the criticality of a system or subsystem that a contractor might hope to do work on. The CMMC framework was developed by working with the defense industry, leadership on Capitol Hill and engagement with the public.
“These levels will measure technical capabilities and process maturity,” Lord said. “The CMMC framework will be made fully available in January 2020.”
The program’s concept is designed to ensure that any business doing work for the government can demonstrate that their computer networks and cybersecurity practices are up to the task of defending against intrusions by adversaries who want access to information about government contracts and weapons systems development.
“Cybersecurity is a threat for the DOD and for all of government, as well as critical U.S. business sectors, such as banking and healthcare,” Lord said. “We know the adversary is at cyberwar with us every day. So, this is a U.S. economic security issue, as well as a U.S. security issue. When we look at cybersecurity standards, I believe it is absolutely critical to be crystal clear as to what expectations [and] measurements are, what the metrics are and how we will basically audit against those.”
The government itself won’t audit potential contractors for compliance with the program’s standards. Instead, a third party will perform those audits. Lord said DOD is working with multiple companies that are interested in performing that work, and she said she expects a decision by January.
Lord said DOD expects some challenges for small businesses to meet the program’s requirements. DOD is aware of industry’s concerns, and efforts are being made to alleviate some of those concerns, she said.
“We know that this can be a burden to small companies, particularly, and small companies is where the preponderance of our innovation comes from,” Lord said. “So, we have been working with the primes, with the industry associations, with the mid-tiers, with the small companies on how we can most effectively roll this out so it doesn’t cause an enormous cost penalty for the industrial base.” (Source: US DoD)
10 Dec 19. U.S. DOD Issues Second Special Notice Seeking Input From Industry on 5G Technology Development. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has issued a second special notice Monday, Dec. 9, calling for additional industry input on 5G technology development. The notice titled “Intent to Announce – Request for Prototype Proposals for 5G-enabled Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality and Naval Smart Warehouses” is posted here. DoD will use information received in response to this notice to create and issue a formal Request for Prototype Proposals related to testing and experimentation projects at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and Naval Base San Diego, California. Projects anticipated for solicitation in the formal RPP are 5G-enabled AR/VR for training and mission planning and Naval Smart Warehouses. This announcement follows the release of two draft RPPs on Nov. 29 focused on testing to take place at Hill AFB, Utah, and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia. DOD will issue the forthcoming final RPPs via an Other Transaction Agreement with the National Spectrum Consortium. Under the OTA, DOD, in coordination with industry, will develop and mature spectrum access technologies that enable improved cognizance of spectrum activity, protection of U.S. activity in the electromagnetic spectrum domain and provide the ability to relocate and/or share spectrum anytime and anywhere access is denied. Only members of the NSC in good standing will be allowed to submit proposals in response to the RPP. Interested parties can visit the NSC website at http://www.nationalspectrumconsortium.org/. DoD will accept responses to this notice through Dec. 23, 2019. (Source: glstrade.com)
09 Dec 19. DOD Issues Second Special Notice Seeking Input From Industry on 5G Technology Development. The Department of Defense issued a second special notice Monday, Dec. 9, calling for additional industry input on 5G technology development.
The notice titled “Intent to Announce – Request for Prototype Proposals for 5G-enabled Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality and Naval Smart Warehouses” is posted at https://beta.sam.gov/opp/206293aa6f1b46e8abcea219dccac5b3/view.
Information received from Monday’s notice will inform the creation and issuance of a formal Request for Prototype Proposals related to testing and experimentation projects at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and Naval Base San Diego, California. Projects anticipated for solicitation in the formal RPP are 5G-enabled AR/VR for training and mission planning and Naval Smart Warehouses.
This announcement follows the release of two draft RPPs on Nov. 29 focused on testing to take place at Hill AFB, Utah, and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia.
DOD will issue the forthcoming final RPPs via an Other Transaction Agreement with the National Spectrum Consortium. Under the OTA, DOD, in coordination with industry, will develop and mature spectrum access technologies that enable improved cognizance of spectrum activity, protection of U.S. activity in the electromagnetic spectrum domain and provide the ability to relocate and/or share spectrum anytime and anywhere access is denied.
Only members of the NSC in good standing will be allowed to submit proposals in response the RPP. Interested parties can visit the NSC website at http://www.nationalspectrumconsortium.org/.
Responses to this notice will be accepted through Dec. 23, 2019. (Source: US DoD)
09 Dec 19. Astronics Corporation (Nasdaq: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense, and other mission critical industries, introduced today the ATS-3100 Vector Signal Transceiver-based Radio Solution (VRS), a turnkey, consolidated radio test platform for field testing of military tactical, land mobile and avionics radios.
The ATS-3100 VRS is the fifth-generation of radio test solutions from Astronics, now capable of testing emerging software-defined radio (SDR) waveforms, modern multi-band radios and legacy radios (e.g. SINCGARS) from any original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Leveraging the PXI Vector Signal Transceiver (VST) from National Instruments (NI), the platform delivers the fastest test times and widest bandwidth (up to 1GHz) in a radio test solution, enabling high throughput, reduced mean time to repair (MTTR) and maximum uptime of critical radios in the field.
“As radio technology continues to evolve, we are dedicated to providing our customers with support for their most critical assets in the field, from legacy radios to future waveforms,” commented Jim Mulato, President of Astronics Test Systems. “We’re excited to partner with NI on this next-gen solution to deliver superior performance, wider instantaneous bandwidth, and user-programmable capability to our customers that include the military, police, firefighters and other first responders, as well as commercial pilots.”
“By combining Astronics’ deep industry knowledge and test program set (TPS) development expertise with NI’s instrumentation platform and technology, our partnership is accelerating the deployment of advanced tactical radio technologies to deliver the future of radio test now,” said Christer Ljungdahl, Principal Strategist, Aerospace and Defense at NI.
Built on the ATS-3100 PXI Integration Platform, the ATS-3100 VRS joins Astronics’ radio test family that includes the ATS-3100 RTS and the portable CTS-6010. These share a common software framework and test executive, delivering synergy from depot to field in a holistic solution. The modular architecture of the platform facilitates an upgrade path for future technology insertions, extending the life of the platform and allowing flexibility as maintenance needs change.
Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine recently recognized the ATS-3100 VRS with an Innovators Award. Receiving gold level honors this year, this is Astronics’ third Innovators Award from the publication, where the ATS-6100 Wire Fault Tester (WFT) and the CTS-6010 Tactical Radio Test Set both received platinum honors in 2018 and 2017, respectively. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
09 Dec 19. Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) and GlobalConnect, a leading integrated digital infrastructure provider in Northern Europe, today announce the successful completion of a field trial demonstrating 400 gigabits per second (400G) coherent transmission over a 50 gigahertz (GHz) fixed grid metro transport network concurrently with pre-existing 10G channels. The industry-first field trial showcased GlobalConnect’s ability to easily and cost-effectively scale its current optical transport network to meet growing capacity demands while preserving its investment in deployed infrastructure with leading-edge optical technology from Infinera.
Following a merger with Broadnet, the GlobalConnect open fiber infrastructure spans over 42,000 kilometers and provides the foundation for a wide range of carrier-class services for wholesale and corporate customers. Conducted over a live GlobalConnect optical link in the Oslo metropolitan area, the field trial featured the latest coherent transmission capabilities of the Infinera Groove G30 Compact Modular Platform and seamless interoperability with deployed metro transport infrastructure. The error-free testing included multiple 300G and 400G alien wavelength transmission use cases over a live metro network link originally designed for and currently running 10G wavelengths using on-off keying (OOK) modulation technology. The field trial showcased the ability to boost the capacity of a 10G-engineered OOK-based network by going from 10G to 400G per wavelength, thus increasing the fiber capacity to 32 terabits on an existing 50 gigahertz (GHz) fixed grid metro network.
“With the explosive growth in data traffic and acceleration of digital transformation, optical network flexibility and scalability remain critical to our ability to be responsive to our customers’ evolving communications needs,” said Anders Kuhn Saaby, CTO, GlobalConnect. “We remain committed to advancing our fiber infrastructure with cutting-edge technologies to keep pace with growing capacity demands and allow us to expand our addressable market.”
The Infinera Groove G30 is an open, disaggregated networking solution designed to be compatible with third-party optical line systems and diverse network environments, including conventional 10G-engineered non-coherent metro networks designed with OOK, a legacy transport technology that poses limitations for upgrading to higher-capacity wavelengths.
“We were pleased to work with GlobalConnect to showcase the state-of-the-art performance of our Groove G30 compact modular solution,” said Glenn Laxdal, Senior Vice President of Disaggregated, Edge, and Access Solutions at Infinera. “This solution helps network operators eliminate the technology roadblocks to seamless scaling of conventional 10G network infrastructure to cost-effectively meet higher-capacity customer demands.”
09 Dec 19. NSWC Crane and NIWC Atlantic launch project to protect navy systems. Researchers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane) and Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic are using computer science methods in a project, High Assurance Interface Protocols (HAIP), to make navy systems more secure.
The research project is intended to prevent cyber attacks that exploit interfaces such as USB that are commonly used with mice or keyboards.
Such computer peripherals can easily be hacked, subjecting the computer to security threats. The system uses a robust firewall to connect the peripheral device to the computer and minimises the process of reacting to a threat, including identifying, assessing, patching, and fixing.
Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) cybersecurity engineer Robert Templeman has helped launch the research project.
Templeman says that HAIP uses a specific technology, language-theoretic security (LangSec), to create a syntactic firewall.
He said: “We rely on many protocols for communication between elements of our systems and platforms. Cybersecurity failures often occur when overly-complex, and vulnerable, interface protocols are exploited.
“Our current cybersecurity approaches do little to harden these interfaces, but some available approaches do exist to offer varying levels of protection.
“LangSec applies foundational computer science and mathematical laws to precisely define allowable traffic for a given protocol and can use proofs to provide guarantees of correctness.
“LangSec essentially applies the same rigour to the use of interface protocols that organisations such as DoD require of encryption.”
This is a project funded by the Naval Innovative Science and Engineering (NISE).
NSWC Crane computer scientist Adam Shull said that HAIP prevents attaching a commercial keyboard directly to a navy computer or system.
Shull said: “The peripheral device, which could have malicious software, would connect to the HAIP device, which would then connect to the computer.
“Running the HAIP firewall on a separate device allows it to protect systems currently in use.
“We envision HAIP being used to protect a wide variety of devices across the navy and Department of Defense (DoD) in the future.
“HAIP will ultimately help keep our country and the warfighter safe and secure.”
Templeman said that threats in cyberspace touch all platforms and systems and HAIP benefits the vessels. (Source: naval-technology.com)
08 Dec 19. DOD Will Help Small Companies Meet Cybersecurity Requirements. As the Defense Department moves forward in implementation of its cybersecurity maturity model certification, small suppliers to the department won’t be left behind, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment said yesterday.
“The cybersecurity maturity model certification is generically what ISO standards are for quality,” Ellen Lord said at the Ronald Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California. “Right now we know that we have incredible vulnerabilities due to cyber threats. We really are at a cyberwar to some extent. So it is not practicable to not have some level of standards that have to be met.”
When it comes to working on defense contracts, she said, cybersecurity standards are non-negotiable and can’t be traded as part of contract negotiation, as are things like cost, quality or schedule.
“We have rolled out a five-tier set of standards,” Lord said. “The challenge is that we know our most vulnerable links are not the first, second or third tier in the supply chain. It’s four, five, six, and seven.”
Those lower tiers in a supply chain — typically smaller companies that are just one of many providing products or services as part of a larger contract — might not be able to afford to meet the department’s increasingly demanding cybersecurity requirements.
“So what we look to is our primes to help those small companies,” she said, referring to the primary company on a contract. “We also look at the department as having resources to help bring those companies into compliance.”
Lord said the department has been working closely with industry associations, and holding listening sessions to understand the challenges small companies might have coming into compliance.
“We understand there is a challenge and we don’t want to lose those small companies,” she said. “We actually have a couple of very innovative concepts that have just recently been put out to us about how to deal with this in terms of broader certifications that are easier for small companies. So I think in the next three months you’ll hear more about that.”
The Defense Department, through CMMC, is looking to ensure that every company that works on a contract — no matter the size of their contribution — meets at least a basic level of cybersecurity that fulfills the security requirements of the contract. While companies aren’t all now able to meet those requirements, Lord said the department won’t leave them behind.
“Cybersecurity is critical,” Lord said. “We understand the challenge to small companies. We are not going to put small companies out of business. We need them. We will find innovative ways to help make them cyber secure with the help of our large primes as well.” (Source: US DoD)
09 Dec 19. Atos GmbH, a global leader in digital transformation has been selected to act as prime contractor by the German Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Federal Armed Forces (BAAINBw), for “Creation of a glass battlefield to support dynamic operations (ErzUntGlas)” study.
Atos has joined forces with RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., developer and manufacturer leading edge defense solutions, to demonstrate use of UAS in conjunction with combat vehicles, to achieve a real-time, three-dimensional, dynamic situation picture for mobile operations. For mobile battlefield reconnaissance, the German armed forces need many unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that can span a “Glass Battlefield”. A C4I command and communication network consisting of civilian and military components will be used. The study entails an annual demonstration experiment starting in 2019 and until 2023, which would then be followed by a project planning up to 2025. As prime contractor that submitted the winning proposal, Atos will provide Project Lead and Integration, and RAFAEL will provide FIRE WEAVER (advanced 3D many-to-many sensor-to-shooter system) and BNET (patented broadband IP spectrum-sensing SDR system for both air and land platforms).
BNET is a Spectrum-Aware SDR – utilizing the spectral arena of the battlefield to the fullest in a cognitive way, using Multi-frequency Channel Reception (MCR), which enables it to receive and analyze information from numerous frequency channels, simultaneously, using a single RF head.
Mr. Yoav Wermuth, VP and head of RAFAEL’s C3I directorate: “Today’s battlefields are undergoing far-reaching changes that affect the operational needs of land, air and naval forces, with newly emerging real-time applications, such as sensor-to-effector cycle closure systems. Rising up to meet these challenges, and basing itself on decades of experience in the development of C4I solutions, RAFAEL has developed the BNET Family enhanced with a Patented technology, and the Fire Weaver for high-precision, three-dimensional, GPS-independent common visual language system. Assimilation of these systems into the Bundeswehr will lead to a number of significant changes: It will provide a common visual language between different types of units not only from the Bundeswehr, but also from allied forces, which share the same threats and missions, connecting multiple sensors and shooters on one single “flat” network.
06 Dec 19. Here’s what the US Marines’ information command centers will do. The Marine Corps is building new information command centers that will help commanders better understand the information environment.
These centers are “always on” command and control nodes that work on understanding, planning and coordinating what the Marines describe as operations in the information environment. The centers work in concert with other Marine Corps Air-Ground Task Force operations in physical domains, the Marine Corps said in written responses to questions from C4ISRNET. The centers will fall beneath the Marine Expeditionary Force Information Groups (MIG).
Officials said the goal of these organizations — and to a larger extent, the MIGs at large — is to show information warfare commanders the threats, vulnerabilities and opportunities that exist in their domain.
Two years ago, Marine Corps officials had no way to know what was happening in that arena because there was no consolidated understanding of day-to-day or real-time actions, officials said. But with new information groups, the Corps will be able to reduce stovepipes and improve collaboration.
The information command centers will exist within the combat operations centers, essentially expeditionary command and control centers, which already provide Marine commanders with a picture of the physical battlespace from air, ground and logistics.
The data for the new centers will come from the Marine Corps Air-Ground task force and will include social media, intelligence, and information on the cyber and electromagnetic spectrum. While officials said they do not have a formal program of record to provide such a common operational picture, they are pursuing a concept they call the Spectrum Services Framework. The idea for the concept is similar to the Army program, the Command Post Computing Environment, which is a web-enabled system that will consolidate mission systems and programs into a single user interface.
Each information group, which is led by a colonel with six subordinate battalion-level commands, is expected to perform seven functions. The are: assuring enterprise command and control, providing information environment battlespace awareness, attacking and exploiting networks, systems and information, informing domestic and international audiences, influencing foreign target audiences, deceiving foreign target audiences and controlling information capabilities, resources and activities.
Each group is expected to eventually number about 3,000 Marines.
Building the groups
Because the future information fight will be different than warfare today, Lt. Gen. Lori Reynolds, the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for information, said the force must think about ways to influence adversaries’ behavior or perceptions. To that end, the Corps is working to ingrate more psychological operations, truth telling, public affairs and strategic communications.
“We’ve added [psychological operation] capability to the MEFs to give then an organic ability to battle for influence in a more persistent way,” she said in October. “How we can fight and tell the truth is really important.”
Those capabilities are part of a broader effort to expand the scope of these forces over the next several years.
Part of that initiative includes creating new organizations within existing formations and rebranding existing formations.
For example, the Marines created electronic warfare support teams and an aviation support element under its existing radio battalions. Electronic warfare will be a big portion of fighting in contested information spaces, which Reynolds said the Corps is restoring.
The aviation support element will provide signals intelligence and electronic warfare support in general support to each Marine air wing, the Marines said.
The Marines have also created new defensive cyber teams under the communications battalion called defensive cyber operations-internal defensive measures companies. These teams will synchronize and coordinate defensive cyber efforts to hunt against adversary cyber forces in friendly networks.
Beneath intelligence battalions, the Corps created an open source intelligence and social media activity entity as well as a targeting cell. They also started three new support battalion, communication strategy company and a military information support operations company. (Source: Defense News)
06 Dec 19. Vice Adm. Myers Says Partnerships Are Key to Success in Cyberspace. The key to success in cyberspace is developing robust partnerships with government agencies, law enforcement, allies and partners, a top military expert said. With an increasingly crowded cyberspace threat environment, no one command or agency can address the dynamic cyber domain alone, Navy Vice Adm. Ross Myers, deputy commander of U.S. Cyber Command, said Dec. 4 at the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Summit.
“We now live in a world with adversaries that consistently and effectively operate below the level of armed conflict,” the admiral said.
Myers said Cybercom’s closest partnership is with the National Security Agency, noting that NSA and Cybercom collaborated during the 2018 midterm elections, allowing the command to track, hunt and report on adversarial activities.
“We brought together the best intelligence, the best cyber operators, and the best strategy and plans in cyberspace operations to ensure we could thwart any adversary that was trying to conduct malign influence against our U.S. elections,” Myers said.
Building on those successes and experiences will be critical to securing elections in 2020 and beyond, he added.
Cybercom also contributes to partnerships with the financial and energy sectors designed to protect industry from cyberattacks. The command’s Pathfinder pilot program between the U.S. government and industry stakeholders deepens understanding of these sectors and strengthens information sharing.
The joint warfighter benefits more directly as well, Myers said. Protecting the Defense Department’s information network is a critical mission, he added.
“We’re experiencing an explosion of data, and the number of devices connected to the Internet is expected to exceed 30 billion connected devices by 2020,” the admiral said.
Cybercom protects the warfighters through cyber teams allocated to the combatant commands, where they defend the Defense Department’s vital air and missile systems, among many other missions.
The command is building to an authorized strength of just over 6,000 cyber operators from all of the military services, including the National Guard and reserves. About 1,500 military members, civilian employees and contractors are stationed at Cybercom headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland.
As for the future, Myers said, cyber capabilities are growing exponentially in both pace and effectiveness of operations.
Although Myers said he couldn’t share specific successes, he called the level of Cybercom’s achievements with a whole-of-government effort and international partners unprecedented.
Success stories might take decades before they become unclassified, he said, noting that the intelligence activities during World War II’s Battle of Midway took many years to come to light. (Source: US DoD)
05 Dec 19. These companies are teaming up to pursue a $1bn cyber contract. ManTech and General Dynamics are joining forces to compete for the Pentagon’s top cyber training contract, a deal that is thought to be worth nearly $1bn. In a Dec. 5 Facebook post, ManTech announced the partnership with General Dynamics Information Systems and General Dynamics Mission Systems for the Cyber Training, Readiness, Integration, Delivery and Enterprise Technology (TRIDENT) contract.
Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have previously said they will also compete for the award.
The primary component of the contract is the Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE), an online client in which members of U.S. Cyber Command’s cyber mission force can log on from anywhere in the world for training and to rehearse missions. Pentagon leaders view PCTE as one of the more critical needs for Cyber Command. Currently, no integrated or robust cyber training environment exists.
ManTech and General Dynamics will “will develop a Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE) platform that empowers holistic, enterprise-wide U.S. cyber training capabilities for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), delivering cyber threat-informed services, regional compute and data storage capabilities, and real-time #DevSecOps on a global scale,” the Facebook post stated. An award for the contract is expected in late 2020. (Source: glstrade.com/ C4ISR & Networks)
06 Dec 19. OFAC Sanctions Evil Corp, the Russia-Based Cybercriminal Group Behind Dridex Malware. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has taken action against Evil Corp, the Russia-based cybercriminal organization responsible for the development and distribution of the Dridex malware. Evil Corp has used the Dridex malware to infect computers and harvest login credentials from hundreds of banks and financial institutions in over 40 countries, causing more than $100m in theft. Concurrent with OFAC’s action, the Department of Justice charged two of Evil Corp’s members with criminal violations, and the Department of State announced a reward for information up to $5m leading to the capture or conviction of Evil Corp’s leader. These U.S. actions were carried out in close coordination with the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA). Additionally, based on information obtained by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Treasury Department’s Office of Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection (OCCIP) released previously unreported indicators of compromise associated with the Dridex malware and its use against the financial services sector. OFAC issued these designations and indictments were in furtherance of previous international actions targeting Evil Corp in an effort to further disrupt and degrade the group’s ability to operate. In October 2015, the Department of Justice indicted Andrey Ghinkul for spreading the Dridex malware. At that same time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the NCA disrupted the global infrastructure utilized at the time by Evil Corp. Over the past several years, the NCA and the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police Service have arrested multiple individuals who enabled the activities of Evil Corp, including laundering stolen proceeds acquired through the Dridex malware. As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of these persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. Additionally, any entities 50 percent or more owned by one or more designated persons are also blocked. Foreign persons may be subject to secondary sanctions for knowingly facilitating a significant transaction or transactions with these designated persons. (Source: glstrade.com)
05 Dec 19. The US Navy and Air Force have teamed up on a new ‘Manhattan Project.’ The U.S. Navy and Air Force are teaming up to rapidly develop a battle network that can link together Air Force and Navy assets, an effort the Navy’s top officer compared to the 1940s program to develop an atomic bomb. Adm. Michael Gilday, the new Chief of Naval Operations, told an audience Thursday that in order to take on China, the Navy will have to spread out and rely on networked weapons and sensors distributed over a wide area. But doing that would rely on a network architecture that doesn’t yet exist.
But to be the most effective force, the Navy will have to be able to connect with Air Force bombers and aircraft, leading the two services to an agreement to join forces.
“I think the biggest challenge for us is to join all the main command & control,” Gilday said. “We’re building netted weapons, netted platforms and netted [command & control] nodes, but we don’t have an adequate net. And that’s a critical piece.”
The Navy has been working towards a concept of operations that networks its ships, aircraft and unmanned platforms together by way of communications relay nodes, such as small drones, or whole ships such as the future frigate or high-tech aircraft such as the E-2D Hawkeye.
The idea is to spread the force out over a wide area, as opposed to clustered around a carrier, to put a maximum burden on Chinese intelligence and reconnaissance assets. This spread out, networked force would connect the various shooters so that if any individual node in the network sees something to kill, any Navy or Air Force asset with weapons within range can kill it.
This has led to a push for ever-longer range missiles, but to make it work all the pieces have to link together on a reliable communications network, and the current architecture, the Navy has all but said outright, is insufficient for the job given Chinese and Russian investments in electronic warfare that interferes with communications.
That’s where the new “Manhattan Project” comes in.
Gilday said the timeframe that the Navy has been pushing for to get such a network up and running has been 2033 or 2035. But that’s too long, he said.
“We are working, most recently over the past month, very closely with the Air Force,” he said. “They’ve done good work and we’ve done good work. The Navy is making investments in a Navy tactical grid, but that’s not going to work.”
To get the maximum benefit in terms of time saved and effectiveness once implemented, the Navy has to be on the same page as the Air Force, Gilday said.
“That led to a handshake agreement with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force [Gen. David Goldfein] that we would team our forces and, perhaps, our budget lines together and start working toward a joint solution set fast, in a ‘Manhattan Project’ kind of way. Because we need it, it’s a serious gap that we need closed.”
USNI News first reported the handshake agreement in November.
Gilday, who was speaking at the USNI Defense Forum in Washington, released his first major document Wednesday. Gilday’s planning guidance that called on the Navy to improve its maintenance program, improve the way it trains sailors and officers using the latest technology, and to push toward fielding technologies that can be fielded in large numbers for less money. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
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.