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28 Feb 20. Germany picks its lead vendor for European tactical radio program. The German defense ministry has designated radio specialist Rohde und Schwarz as the national lead toward the development of a tactical radio for European land forces.
The designation follows German lawmakers’ approval late last year to join the European Secure Software Defined Radio, or ESSOR. The project aims to unify radio equipment operated by land forces on the continent, eventually replacing national variants with a common system.
Having hardware that allows multinational troops to communicate seamlessly on the battlefield is a key premise of the European Union’s push for greater military prowess. The ESSOR program, founded in 2008, is managed by OCCAR, a pan-European defense-acquisition agency.
Besides Germany, the other members of the radio program are Finland, France, Italy, Poland and Spain. Their national industry leads are, respectively, Bittium, Thales, Leonardo, Radmor and Indra. All companies are represented in the a4ESSOR joint venture.
Rohde und Schwarz joins the effort as the “Operational Capability 1” phase, centered on a high data rate waveform, has been underway since 2017. That stage “defines the joint development and updating of an interoperable, trustworthy, robust and wideband radio waveform for connected armed forces,” the company said in a statement.
The Munich-based company plans to bring its SOVERON D radio to the program, which is slated for delivery to the German armed forces sometime this year.
The European radio program also has its feet in the pool of PESCO initiatives, designed to foster multinational defense projects within the bloc by ways of subsidies from the envisioned European Defence Fund.
Under the EU umbrella, officials hope to develop additional waveforms, “for example for specific use cases for air-based operations,” reads the Rohde und Schwarz statement. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
26 Feb 20. L3Harris seeks operational review of new podded SIGINT programme. L3Harris is seeking an operational evaluation of its newest podded technology for signals intelligence (SIGINT) missions, looking to build upon a recent live flight test of the platform aboard a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Company engineers demonstrated L3Harris’s Scalable Open Architecture Reconnaissance (SOAR) technology aboard an MQ-9 Predator B UAS ahead of the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida, in February. The test was designed to showcase the company’s capability to use open, common architectures to integrate its family of traditional, large-scale SIGINT applications in platform-agnostic podded solutions, said Rodney Jaeger, an L3Harris engineering fellow on the SOAR programme. (Source: Jane’s)
26 Feb 20. Esper won’t give up 5G spectrum to telecom firms, but he will share it. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is pushing back against telecom companies’ efforts to claim mid-band spectrum in their race with China to build the next-generation mobile networks, known as 5G. The U.S. military uses those airwaves for several major weapons systems.
“Private sector wants that. We need that,” spectrum range, Esper said Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee. “We’re willing to share it. The technology exists, I’m told, to do that. I think that’s the best way to move forward so we can meet the economic priority with the national security priority.”
The comments came as telecommunications executives argue more mid-band spectrum is needed to support deployment of next-generation wireless networks and technology, and as the Federal Communications Commission has initiated proceedings to free up spectrum. Last week, Politico reported the extent to which the White House is under pressure to free up access for a commodity potentially worth billions.
On Feb. 26, Esper touched on the military’s use of the airwaves between 3100 and 3350 MHz for the multibillion-dollar Aegis ship-defense system’s AN/SPY-1 radar and the Airborne Warning And Control System, which is a mobile, long-range radar surveillance and control system for air defense that’s used by the Air Force, as well as other Army and Marine Corps air defense systems.
The Defense Department, Esper said, is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the technology and will set up facilities at four installations where it will invite companies in to test their 5G prototypes.
This January, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration released a technical report on potential spectrum sharing within the 3450-3550 MHz band that saw potential in time-based sharing, but suggested more study. That band is home to ship-borne navigational radars and dozens of ground-based radars, as well as Air Force’s Station Keeping Equipment radar systems.
Last month, in preparation for a potential public auction of priority access licenses within the 3450-3550 MHz band, Department of Commerce estimated the cost of sharing the band could total $98m across the Defense Department.
As the United States lags China in the race for 5G development, Washington has been warning other countries to be wary of Chinese investment and influence and lobbying them to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from involvement in the network because of cyberespionage concerns.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is being pressed from industry and some lawmakers to balance its operational needs against the economic and technological benefits expected to come with 5G’s improvements in data speed, volume and latency over fourth-generation networks.
According to a Defense Innovation Board report last year, the upside for the Pentagon is that 5G should yield improvements in decision-making and battlefield communications ― both advantages a competitor would gain, should it develop 5G first.
That report also found that while sharing spectrum risks security vulnerabilities and connectivity interruptions for DoD operators, it could also, “allow military traffic to ‘hide in plain sight’ as traffic becomes more difficult to see and isolate.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/C4ISR & Networks)
26 Feb 20. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and IronNet Cybersecurity Inc. have announced plans to develop cyber solutions for the defense of operational and information technology (OT/IT) systems. These solutions would integrate managed security services with advanced analysis and threat sharing tools including IronNet’s collective defense platform, and its network traffic analysis software, to potentially bring new solutions for enterprise protection.
The combined solutions are designed to be part of a collective defense offering for critical infrastructure and national security networks and systems. These solutions offer hardening of OT/IT platforms to increase resiliency for systems that orchestrate sensing, control, networking and analytics to interact with the physical world, and enable safe, secure and adaptable performance.
John DeSimone, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, said: “Protecting critical infrastructure is no longer a private sector concern, but a national security imperative. We know malicious actors seek to disrupt global economies through attacks on technology systems that keep our lights on, food supplies safe and militaries prepared. This partnership offers the integration of advanced cyber products and operations experience to the global market.”
GEN (Ret.) Keith Alexander, co-CEO and founder of IronNet Cybersecurity, said, “Considering the role Raytheon plays in securing government agencies, global businesses, and even nations, we are excited to work together as we shift the cybersecurity defense paradigm from one that sees organizations defending alone to one that operates as a part of a collective. We can all benefit from working together to increase the visibility we have into incoming threats, sharing that information, and defending more quickly.”
IronNet Cybersecurity is revolutionizing how enterprises, industries, and governments secure their networks. As sophisticated cyber anomalies are detected through IronNet’s network traffic analysis platform, alerts are generated and shared quickly, safely and anonymously across collective defense members. These events are then correlated across industry peers in real time, giving members faster visibility into potential threat campaigns.
25 Feb 20. DOD Adopts 5 Principles of Artificial Intelligence Ethics. The Defense Department has formally adopted five principles for the ethical development of artificial intelligence capabilities. Artificial intelligence is the department’s top technology modernization priority, DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy said yesterday.
The new principles lay the foundation for the ethical design, development, deployment and use of AI by DOD he said. “These principles build upon the department’s long history of ethical adoption of new technologies,” he added.
The Defense Innovation Board spent 15 months developing the principles, and consulted with leading AI and technical experts, as well as with current and former DOD leaders and the American public. Those principles, Deasy noted, apply to the use of AI in both combat and noncombat situations.
The five AI ethical principles, based on recommendations from the Defense Innovation Board, are:
DOD personnel will exercise appropriate levels of judgment and care while remaining responsible for the development, deployment and use of AI capabilities.
The department will take deliberate steps to minimize unintended bias in AI capabilities.
The department’s AI capabilities will be developed and deployed such that relevant personnel possess an appropriate understanding of the technology, development processes and operational methods applicable to AI capabilities, including with transparent and auditable methodologies, data sources and design procedures and documentation.
The department’s AI capabilities will have explicit, well-defined uses, and the safety, security and effectiveness of such capabilities will be subject to testing and assurance within those defined uses across their entire life cycles.
The department will design and engineer AI capabilities to fulfill their intended functions while possessing the ability to detect and avoid unintended consequences, and the ability to disengage or deactivate deployed systems that demonstrate unintended behavior.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, said AI is a powerful emerging and enabling technology that is rapidly transforming culture, society, and eventually, even warfighting.
“Whether it does so in a positive or negative way depends on our approach to adoption and use,” he said. “The complexity and the speed of warfare will change as we build an AI-ready force of the future. We owe it to the American people and our men and women in uniform to adopt AI ethics principles that reflect our nation’s values of a free and open society.”
Shanahan also said that he believes, and leaders in the Defense Department believe, that the nation that is first to master AI will be the one that prevails on the battlefields of the future.
“We also believe that the nation that successfully implements AI principles will lead in AI for many years,” he said. “The U.S. military intends to do just that.” (Source: US DoD)
19 Feb 20. Second Staff Exchange between EU Cybersecurity Organisations. Experts met in Brussels to intensify co-ordination against cyber threats and staff-to-staff relations.
After a successful first edition at Europol in June 2019, the second iteration of the Staff Exchange initiative between the four Parties to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) – the European Defence Agency (EDA), CERT-EU, the EU Cybersecurity Agency (ENISA) and Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), took place from 17 to 20 February 2020.
As part of the MoU partners’ Roadmap 2020-2021, this programme seeks to promote a better mutual understanding of respective priorities, practices and to deepen the working relationships across the respective organisations. Hosted jointly by EDA and CERT-EU in Brussels, the experts focused on strategic developments in cyber defence, trained in threat hunting and met with industry representatives.
Olli Ruutu, EDA Chief Executive (ad interim), said: “The staff exchange is an excellent opportunity to share views and knowledge and further improve our common understanding of the work done by our respective entities. It is also a special moment for thinking outside the box with like-minded colleagues. There is a lot to be taken away from these Staff Exchanges which fully reflect the collaborative spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding we concluded in May 2018 to leverage synergies between our four organisations and promoting cooperation on cyber security and cyber defence.”
Saâd Kadhi, the Head of CERT-EU, said: “This second Staff Exchange builds on the achievements of the one before. It will continue to improve the mutual understanding and cooperation between our organisations, ultimately leading to better collective cyber defence.”
Juhan Lepassaar, ENISA’s Executive Director, said: “The EU Cybersecurity Agency welcomes the Staff Exchange initiative hosted by EDA and CERT-EU and sees this as a fruitful, knowledge-sharing exercise that fosters increased collaboration between the signatories.”
Fernando Ruiz, Acting Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre said: “The close cooperation and knowledge sharing between our entities contribute to building a robust European cyber defence. This Staff Exchange initiative, hosted by the European Defence Agency and CERT-EU, will strengthen the capabilities of our experts to effectively tackle the cyber threat and protect EU citizens, businesses and organisations.” (Source: EDA)
24 Feb 20. Pentagon Briefs Industry On 5G Experiments. Four bases around the country will pioneer military use of the new high-speed communications network technology. Close to 300 companies logged on to a “virtual industry day” with Pentagon leadership last week as the military scrambles to build its own 5G networks. The challenge: moving fast enough to keep up with commercial innovation — but cautiously enough to keep China out.
The event, led by DoD’s technical director for 5G, Dr. Joe Evans, marked a starting point for shaping a forthcoming Request for Prototype Proposals planned in the coming weeks. The companies selected will then start work later this year on a series of 5G experiments at four bases across the United States.
Those experiments are intended to help the individual armed services to refine what it is they need, and what they need to ask from industry, as the Pentagon pumps hundreds of millions of new funding into 5G programs across the department.
The experiments run the gamut from logistics to sharing information between radar systems, and each service will play a role in testing out what industry offers. Hill Air Force Base in Utah will develop 5G dynamic spectrum sharing capabilities between airborne radar systems and 5G cellular systems. The Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia and Naval Base San Diego will test out a smart warehouse concept, while virtual reality training systems will be tested at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
The RPP will be issued through the National Spectrum Consortium, an industry group established under a five-year, $1.25bn Other Transaction Authority contract with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Emerging Capabilities and Prototyping. Only vetted companies who belong to the consortium will be considered for the work.
The effort is part of a wider push within the government to develop homegrown tech, and quickly. President Trump’s top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, told reporters Friday the White House is planning a 5G meeting in April with top technology companies in an effort to ensure Huawei does not cornere the global market on the technology. “We’re going to have a lot of them in the White House to have a discussion,” Kudlow said, though the event hasn’t been officially announced.
The Pentagon fiscal year 2021 budget requests $449m in research and development for the 5G next generation information communications technology program, $249m more than provided by Congress last year.
While the Pentagon is paying to run these initial tests, the individual services will ultimately be responsible for paying to 5G technologies once they’re matured, adding another budget line at a time when no one expects defense accounts to rise for the foreseeable future.
When that happens, 5G will compete “with all other infrastructure upgrades that the services already have planned for their installations and for the systems that operate on them,” said Morgan Dwyer, a former Pentagon official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “So, how quickly DoD can deploy 5G is really a function of how much utility the technology provides to the services and how willing they are to trade-off other capabilities in order to prioritize 5G instead.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)
24 Feb 20. Infosys Set to Launch Cyber Defense Center in Indianapolis. To strengthen security monitoring, management and remediation services for organizations around the globe. Infosys (NYSE: INFY), a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, is all set to announce a state-of-the-art Cyber Defense Center in Indianapolis. This will be Infosys’ seventh global Cyber Defense Center and will complement the Infosys Technology and Innovation Center that was inaugurated in Indianapolis early last year.
According to Infosys’ recent cybersecurity report, “Assuring Digital Trust,” 83% of executives view cybersecurity as critical, yet 67% are still struggling to have security embedded. The Cyber Defense Center will provide end-to-end, real-time, 24/7 cyber security monitoring and protection services to support and guide American businesses in their digital transformation journey. The center in Indianapolis is the latest addition to the network of cyber defense centers spread across North America, Europe and Asia. The facility is dedicated and organized to prevent, detect, assess and respond to cybersecurity threats and breaches. Client environment will be monitored round the clock, adopting a follow-the-sun model to deliver services like 24/7 security monitoring, management and remediation, threat hunting, security analytics, incident discovery and response, compliance reporting and malware analysis.
The inauguration of the Infosys Cyber Defense Center will take place on March 3 at the Infosys Indianapolis Technology and Innovation Center in One America Tower. The event agenda will feature experiential insights, preventive strategies, complimentary workshops and insightful demos of Infosys’ technology. Experts from both the public sector, such as Purdue University and the U.S. Navy, the private sector, such as Molina Healthcare and Tractor Supply Company, will be speaking at the grand opening about how to best secure your digital transformation.
Vishal Salvi, Chief Information Security Officer & Head of Cyber Security Practice, Infosys, said, “At Infosys, we’re constantly investing in modern, cutting-edge security offerings and solutions to best protect our customers against current and future cyber threats. The Cyber Defense Center is staffed with expert security analysts with niche skills around threat research and intelligence gathering to deliver best-in class services to our customers. Additionally, advanced data analytics and machine learning models are deployed to detect zero-day threats by unknown threat actors. This supports our commitment to helping our customers build a resilient cybersecurity program that operates at scale, while increasing operational efficiency and reducing costs.” (Source: PR Newswire)
24 Feb 20. DOD Adopts Ethical Principles for Artificial Intelligence. The U.S. Department of Defense officially adopted a series of ethical principles for the use of Artificial Intelligence today following recommendations provided to Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper by the Defense Innovation Board last October.
The recommendations came after 15 months of consultation with leading AI experts in commercial industry, government, academia and the American public that resulted in a rigorous process of feedback and analysis among the nation’s leading AI experts with multiple venues for public input and comment. The adoption of AI ethical principles aligns with the DOD AI strategy objective directing the U.S. military lead in AI ethics and the lawful use of AI systems.
“The United States, together with our allies and partners, must accelerate the adoption of AI and lead in its national security applications to maintain our strategic position, prevail on future battlefields, and safeguard the rules-based international order,” said Secretary Esper. “AI technology will change much about the battlefield of the future, but nothing will change America’s steadfast commitment to responsible and lawful behavior. The adoption of AI ethical principles will enhance the department’s commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards as outlined in the DOD AI Strategy, while embracing the U.S. military’s strong history of applying rigorous testing and fielding standards for technology innovations.”
These principles align closely with ongoing Trump Administration efforts to advance trustworthy AI technologies. Last year, President Trump launched the American AI Initiative, the U.S. national strategy for leadership in artificial intelligence, which promotes innovative uses of AI while protecting civil liberties, privacy and American values.
The DOD’s AI ethical principles will build on the U.S. military’s existing ethics framework based on the U.S. Constitution, Title 10 of the U.S. Code, Law of War, existing international treaties and longstanding norms and values. While the existing framework provides a technology-neutral and enduring foundation for ethical behavior, the use of AI raises new ethical ambiguities and risks. The principles address these new challenges and ensure the responsible use of AI by the department.
These principles will apply to both combat and non-combat functions and assist the U.S. military in upholding legal, ethical and policy commitments in the field of AI. The department’s AI ethical principles encompass five major areas:
- Responsible. DoD personnel will exercise appropriate levels of judgment and care, while remaining responsible for the development, deployment, and use of AI capabilities.
- Equitable. The Department will take deliberate steps to minimize unintended bias in AI capabilities.
- Traceable. The Department’s AI capabilities will be developed and deployed such that relevant personnel possess an appropriate understanding of the technology, development processes, and operational methods applicable to AI capabilities, including with transparent and auditable methodologies, data sources, and design procedure and documentation.
- Reliable. The Department’s AI capabilities will have explicit, well-defined uses, and the safety, security, and effectiveness of such capabilities will be subject to testing and assurance within those defined uses across their entire life-cycles.
- Governable. The Department will design and engineer AI capabilities to fulfill their intended functions while possessing the ability to detect and avoid unintended consequences, and the ability to disengage or deactivate deployed systems that demonstrate unintended behavior.
“Secretary Esper’s leadership on AI and his decision to issue AI Principles for the Department demonstrates not only to DoD, but to countries around the world, that the U.S. and DoD are committed to ethics, and will play a leadership role in ensuring democracies adopt emerging technology responsibly,” said Dr. Eric Schmidt, Chair, Defense Innovation Board. “I also commend the leadership of Dana Deasy and Lieutenant General Shanahan, who through the Joint AI Center, have been champions of this effort.”
The DoD Joint Artificial Intelligence Center will be the focal point for coordinating implementation of AI ethical principles for the department. The JAIC currently leads and facilitates a series of working groups that solicits input from services and AI and technology experts throughout the DOD.
“We are grateful to the Defense Innovation Board for their thorough and insightful recommendations that led to the adoption of DoD AI ethical principles,” said Hon. Dana Deasy, DOD Chief Information Officer. “Ethics remain at the forefront of everything the department does with AI technology, and our teams will use these principles to guide the testing, fielding and scaling of AI-enabled capabilities across the DOD.” (Source: US DoD)
25 Feb 20. Nozomi Networks Inc., the leader in OT and IoT security, today announced its v20.0 product portfolio release. With this latest release, the industry’s most advanced solution for OT network visibility and real-time cybersecurity now includes new groundbreaking anomaly detection technology that delivers unmatched accuracy for enterprise IoT networks. Customers also now have the option to centralise the monitoring of distributed sites via a single console deployable on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. The result is adaptable/flexible threat detection and response that improves security and reliability across mixed IT, OT and IoT network environments.
“We’ve stepped up to meet the challenge of securing IoT by inventing new anomaly detection technology to meet the specific needs of IoT networks. Just as we engineered industry-leading OT visibility and security, our new capabilities understand the dynamic nature of IoT devices and networks,” said Nozomi Networks Co-founder and Chief Product Officer Andrea Carcano.
“The lines between cyber and physical systems are blurring as IT, OT and IoT networks and devices are increasingly interconnected. Nozomi Networks offers a unified approach to network visibility and cybersecurity in one solution. A new option to run Nozomi Networks Central Management Console in the cloud gives security teams an easy way to deploy a single dashboard view and control for all of their global industrial and OT sites,” Carcano said.”
Key Updates to Nozomi Networks Version 20.0 include:
NEW Anomaly Detection for IoT Networks
With this latest release, a new asset intelligence service continuously updates Guardian’s new adaptive learning technology with OT and IoT device information to significantly improve accuracy of alerts on anomalous activities in constantly changing IoT environments. This new learning method creates detailed baselines within dynamic IoT environment for immediate and accurate anomaly detection for IoT. Users gain:
- Highly accurate behavioural monitoring and anomaly detection for OT, IT and IoT assets
- Precise asset identification in dynamically changing environments
- Persistent asset awareness, even if the IP address changes
NEW Cloud-based Central Management Console (CMC)
Nozomi Networks was a pioneer in supporting our customers’ migration to the cloud by releasing our centralised monitoring appliance on Amazon AWS in 2017. This latest release also makes it possible to deploy the CMC in Microsoft Azure. Customers gain:
- The ability to centralise management of decentralised assets across a region or around the world
- The ability to deploy their security management for “anytime, anywhere” access
- The flexibility to migrate their SOC to the cloud to take advantage of lower costs and increased reliability and embrace a multi-cloud strategy
NEW High Performance Appliances
This latest release delivers the industry’s fastest-performing appliances, designed to meet the large scale and high-speed requirements of today’s converged OT, IoT and IT networks:
- New physical appliances protect up to 500,000 nodes with a single device
- Upgraded performance for existing physical and virtual appliances, deliver up to 1000% faster throughput and up to 667% higher capacity of protected nodes
- A new portable appliance makes it easy to analyse OT and IoT security at remote sites
NEW Built-in Reports
Adding to the library of built-in report available in Nozomi Networks Central Management Console, this release now includes new and improved reports designed to give enterprise customers a better understanding of their converged IT/OT network and the risks they face. New reports include:
- Vulnerability and risk assessment reports that clearly outline the vulnerabilities that exist in the customer’s OT and IoT devices and their associated risks
- An IoT security assessment report that shows IoT assets and behaviours in the network, highlighting any associated risks?
Digital transformation is creating vast networks of connected IoT and OT devices. At the same time, an escalating volume and increased sophistication of threats are targeting critical infrastructure and industrial sites as they modernise. With its v20 version, Nozomi Networks shows a strong commitment to advancing visibility and cybersecurity that remove the barriers and speed digital transformation.
22 Feb 20. Getting the services on the same wavelength about electronic warfare. The Pentagon is expected to spend $47bn over the next five years to modernize its electronic warfare systems. Without this funding, experts say that the U.S. military, already trailing Russia and China in some areas, would struggle on a future battlefield.
But several experts and government personnel now insist the Department of Defense needs a top-down vision to the services that would help guide operations, investments and capabilities within the electromagnetic spectrum.
“On the policy side, not to be terse, but there isn’t necessarily an overarching policy strategy that I can see,” said Will Mackenzie, research associate in the defense program at the Center for a New American Security. “There isn’t necessarily as comprehensive an approach vis-à-vis a Russia or China.”
Leaders from Russia and China have said that in future conflicts they will target communications systems first to prevent opponents from coordinating and to stop radars from detecting threats.
“To start a war without controlling the electromagnetic spectrum is tantamount to defeat,” said Anatoly Tsyganok, a retired colonel and member of the Russian Center for Political-Military Studies.
But Mackenzie noted the strategies the Pentagon has released — a 2013 electromagnetic spectrum strategy developed by the chief information officer and a 2017 electronic warfare strategy for the department — have mostly called for investing more in exactly the same types of capabilities as the department used in the past.
After the Cold War, the department hardly focused on electronic warfare and divested much of its EW capabilities. During counter-insurgency fights of the last 20 years, the military used blunt jamming tools to thwart improvised explosive devices, which, in turn, inadvertently jammed friendly systems.
Laurie Buckhout, chief executive and president of the Corvus group and a retired Army colonel who specialized in electronic warfare, told C4ISRNET that electromagnetic spectrum operations were not considered part of the operating environment because, until the IED problem, adversaries were not focusing on them. This oversight can create an advantage for Russia and China if those nations are incorporating the electromagnetic spectrum into their battle plans, but U.S. military leaders are viewing it as an afterthought.
Righting the ship
Recognizing these shortcomings, Congress in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act directed DoD to create an electronic warfare cross-functional team to help focus on the electromagnetic spectrum.
Congress said to “form an EW cross-functional team. We did not do that. But we did form the Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Cross-Functional Team. We view this [as] necessary because it takes in the holistic view of the electromagnetic spectrum,” the deputy director of the cross-functional team, Maj. Gen. Lance Landrum, told reporters in December. “It takes into account electronic warfare — electronic attack, protection and support — but it also takes into account the spectrum management roles and functions associated with EMS.”
The primary task for the cross-functional team is developing a new electromagnetic spectrum superiority strategy for the department, which is expected this summer.
Landrum said, from the view of the cross-functional team — which is led by Gen. John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — the electromagnetic spectrum is “front and center in great-power competition.”
“Our freedom of action within the electromagnetic spectrum, our freedom of maneuver within the electromagnetic spectrum will underpin how we win, how we maneuver our forces, how we connect with our forces, how we communicate with our forces,” Landrum said. “As we are challenged in great power competition, our superiority in the spectrum can set us apart from our challengers.”
For some in government, a strategy for how to operate is more important than increased funding to spend on systems.
“I’ve never thought EW would be equal when it comes to budget, but it should have equality when it comes to doctrine and a strategy,” Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., and a former one-star general specializing in electronic warfare, told reporters in October. “The money part of it is secondary right now. If you don’t have a doctrine, you don’t have leadership at the right areas, you don’t have the structure in the department, what you buy will be wrong and it will be wasted.”
In a Jan. 22 statement to C4ISRNET, Bacon said Congress sent a clear message to the Pentagon that defense leaders needed to quickly reclaim dominance in the spectrum and build on the progress that has been made in the last few months with a dedicated team.
“They’ve had 18 months to study the problem and put a strategy together, so this year we’re expecting to see an aggressive implementation plan with clear milestones and requirements,” he said.
What needs to be in a new strategy? Officials from inside and outside government have explained that another significant task is to help create standardization for the services in the way of doctrine, capabilities and terminology.
Previously, the services pursued their own path of electronic warfare by developing systems for their own purposes. Buckhout said this meant each of the services weren’t following up on electromagnetic threats at the same pace because each service had different objectives. The Air Force is centered on protecting its platforms while the Army, for example, typically uses the spectrum to create freedom to move as necessary across the battlefield.
Now the department is beginning to take more of a top-down approach to what a new strategy should look like.
“It needs to be a joint approach, not a service-unique approach,” Maj. Gen. John Morrison, chief of staff at U.S. Cyber Command, said of electronic warfare generally during a Jan. 21 conference. Prior to working at Cyber Command, Morrison led the Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence and focused on helping the Army restore its electronic warfare prowess.
“That does not mean the services don’t bring their own unique capabilities to the fight. But it certainly means that no matter what we bring into something that is going to be heavily contested and congested by peer adversaries who have gone to school on how we’ve operated over the last 20 years, there’s got to be synchronization and it’s got to be integrated from the ground all the way to high flyers and all the way into space.”
Other officials have said that a new strategy will help develop a common lexicon across the department.
For these reasons, the top line of effort of the cross-functional team is creating a better governance structure around electronic warfare and EMSO.
“There is nobody singularly responsible or accountable for successful operations in the electromagnetic spectrum,” Cmdr. Scott Oliver, chief of staff for the cross-functional team, told reporters in December. “Those are some very tough conversations that we are having within the department … of who is responsible and accountable to assuring that the joint force can operate successfully against challengers or competitors within the electromagnetic spectrum.”
Bacon identified where the Pentagon should improve.
“Specific areas we are looking for are better doctrine and training, closer joint integration, and a clear alignment with our war plans through improved modeling and simulation,” he said. “Many of us are also concerned with the glacial pace of our current acquisition programs and believe we need to do better to harness the innovation and agility of small and mid-sized companies to rapidly deliver combat capabilities in the EMS.”
Buckhout also noted that a standardization of what are called electromagnetic spectrum battle management tools, to visualize the spectrum, will be critical for planning.
The department is still a ways away from such as system, though, some have indicated the Army’s Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool, which helps forces see, understand and plan with the spectrum, is a strong candidate.
Once the Pentagon delivers a new strategy, the cross-functional team will have more work to do. For one, Congress requires status reports every 180 days. Moreover, Landrum said the report is just a start.
The team “may be a step forward, an improvement, the tangible evidence of the importance of it, but it is not the enduring end all solution,” he said. “The [cross-functional team] is a catalyst to … focus the department of the electromagnetic spectrum on our competitive advantage within the electromagnetic spectrum and the catalyst for change so that we address our competitive advantage against those challengers.”
The advent of the so-called great-power competition has brought the services together and electronic warfare is no outlier.
“It must be inherently joint. Anything short and, quite frankly, we are not going to be able to provide multiple dilemmas to our adversaries,” Morrison said. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
24 Feb 20. Germany adopts the ESSOR High Data Rate Waveform (HDR WF) developed by a4ESSOR joint venture. In a major step towards the use of ESSOR (European Secure SOftware defined Radio) technology by international military coalitions, Germany adopts the ESSOR HDR Waveform and joins the programme for its further development
Bonn, 21th February 2020 – a4ESSOR S.A.S. (Alliance for ESSOR), a multi-national joint venture which is developing European Secure Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology, has been awarded a contract amendment by OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement) which allows Germany to join the ESSOR (European Secure SOftware defined Radio) programme and its OC1 (Operational Capability 1) phase as a new participating state alongside existing partners Finland, France, Italy, Poland and Spain. The contract amendment will replace the ESSOR OC1 contract signed in November 2017. The duration of the new ESSOR OC1 contract is 63 months and the total value for a4ESSOR is approximately EUR 100m. Work will be shared between the six companies participating in a4ESSOR: Bittium (Finland), Indra (Spain), Leonardo (Italy), Radmor (Poland), Rohde & Schwarz (Germany) and Thales (France).
The ESSOR programme is the state of the art of the European Secure Software Defined Radio (SDR). Started in 2009 as a real technological challenge, ESSOR has proven the success of its multinational joint industrial development by demonstrating its broadband networking waveform on a number of different radio platforms provided by the members of the a4ESSOR industrial consortium including Bittium, Indra, Leonardo, Radmor and Thales. The consortium will now be joined by the German company Rohde & Schwarz. By joining the programme, Germany will be able to exploit the benefits of using ESSOR architecture and methodology and the expertise coming from the ESSOR High Data Rate Waveform development in the last ten years. The participation of Germany in ESSOR as a full Participating State, enables it to steer the future evolution of the Programme together with the other partners, and constitutes an important step towards European interoperable tactical communications, built on SDR.
Lino Laganà, President and General Manager of a4ESSOR, said: “This contract, which will see Germany participate in the ESSOR programme, is a big step forward towards a common European defence infrastructure. Secure communications are key to the interoperability of armed forces, which is why a4ESSOR has been developing high-quality and highly-secure communications capabilities which are easily deployable on several manufacturers’ radios thanks to SDR technology and our ESSOR architecture. This contract also recognises the outstanding work and achievements of the a4ESSOR team over the last ten years, and is an acknowledgment of the importance of the collaboration between our long-standing shareholders Bittium, Indra, Leonardo, Radmor and Thales. The addition of Rohde & Schwarz to the team will deepen our pool of expertise and lead to even further success.”
The OCCAR Director, Matteo Bisceglia, stated: “The signature of this contract constitutes a great leap forward in creating a common European Defence through interoperability and in supporting the creation of a Defence Industrial Technological Base. With the participation of Germany, ESSOR includes now four OCCAR Member States and is the de facto European reference for SDR. The increasing reputation of ESSOR is also testified by its inclusion in the list of projects of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) which pave the path for a number of new technical development in the framework of the European Defence Industrial Development Project (EDIDP) for which OCCAR is already working in close contact with all relevant stakeholders”.
The aim of the ESSOR programme is to develop pan-European Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology in order to improve the ability of Armed Forces to cooperate in coalition operations. The programme was initiated in 2009 under the umbrella of the European Defence Agency (EDA) and it is currently sponsored by the governments of Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain. The joint venture Alliance for ESSOR (a4ESSOR S.A.S.) has been chosen by the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement (OCCAR) to manage the industrial consortium, whose members are Bittium from Finland, Indra from Spain, Leonardo from Italy, Radmor from Poland, Rohde & Schwarz from Germany and Thales from France. In addition to the European High Data Rate (HDR) waveform, the programme has produced and validated the definition for a European SDR Architecture, which has been ported and qualified on six different European platforms. The interoperability benefits of the waveform are regularly demonstrated through network tests involving different national platforms.
About Bittium – Defense & Security
Bittium is a trusted Finnish company with over 30 years of experience in advanced radio communication technologies. For Defense & Security market Bittium provides the most modern products and solutions for tactical & secure communications. The products and solutions for tactical communications bring broadband data and voice to all troops across the battlefield. For secure communications Bittium offers proven mobile devices and cyber security solutions certified up to CONFIDENTIAL level. Net sales in 2019 were EUR 75.2m and operating profit was EUR 6.3m. Bittium is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki Exchange. www.bittium.com
Indra is one of the leading global technology and consulting companies and the technological partner for core business operations of its customers world-wide. It is a world-leader in providing proprietary solutions in specific segments in Transport and Defense markets, and a leading firm in Digital Transformation Consultancy and Information Technologies in Spain and Latin America through its affiliate Minsait Its business model is based on a comprehensive range of proprietary products, with a high-value focus and with a high innovation component. In the 2018 financial year, Indra achieved revenue of €3.104bn, with 43,000 employees, a local presence in 46 countries and business operations in over 140 countries. www.indracompany.com
Leonardo a global high-technology company, is among the top ten world players in Aerospace, Defence and Security and Italy’s main industrial company. Organized into five business divisions, Leonardo has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the USA, where it also operates through subsidiaries such as Leonardo DRS (defense electronics), and joint ventures and partnerships: ATR, MBDA, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space and Avio. Leonardo competes in the most important international markets by leveraging its areas of technological and product leadership (Helicopters, Aircraft, Aerostructures, Electronics, Cyber Security and Space.
Listed on the Milan Stock Exchange (LDO), in 2018 Leonardo recorded consolidated revenues of €12.2bn and invested €1.4bn in Research and Development. The Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) since 2010 and became Industry leader of Aerospace & Defence sector of DJSI in 2019. www.leonardocompany.com
RADMOR S.A. is a part of WB Group the biggest Polish private capital group engaged in defense industry. RADMOR is a designer, manufacturer and supplier of modern radiocommunication solutions for army and civil services. The company conducts activities for defense and security of Polish state, manufactures military radios and distributes civil radios. RADMOR engineers focus on of research and development of modern radiocommunication systems as well as devices (handhelds, manpacks and vehicular radios working in HF/VHF/UHF and 2.4 GHz bands), waveforms (narrowband/wideband) and specialized software (e.g. SCA, SCIP, NINE). All of these activities are supported by own accredited laboratory (environmental exposure, EMC compatibility) and production line. RADMOR together with WB Group members provides complete military systems to many armies on entire world. www.radmor.com.pl/eng
About Rohde & Schwarz
Rohde & Schwarz is a leading supplier of solutions in the fields of test and measurement, broadcast and media, aerospace, defense, security and networks and cybersecurity. The technology group’s innovative communications, information and security products help industry and government customers ensure a safer and connected world. On June 30, 2019, Rohde & Schwarz had 12,100 employees. The independent group achieved a net revenue of EUR 2.14bn in the 2018/2019 fiscal year (July to June). The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and has subsidiaries in more than 70 countries, with regional hubs in Asia and America. www.press.rohde-schwarz.com
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global technology leader shaping the world of tomorrow today. The Group provides solutions, services and products to customers in the aeronautics, space, transport, digital identity and security, and defence markets. With 80,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19bn in 2018 (on a pro forma basis including Gemalto).
Thales is investing in particular in digital innovations — connectivity, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity — technologies that support businesses, organisations and governments in their decisive moments.
About a4ESSOR SAS
a4ESSOR S.A.S. is a joint venture organized and existing under the laws of France, set up by six EU leading companies: Bittium Wireless Ltd, Indra Sistemas S.A., Leonardo S.p.a., Radmor S.A., Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG and Thales Communications & Security S.A.S) in order to manage the ESSOR (European Secure SOftware defined Radio) contract awarded by OCCAR-EA and to promote the ESSOR products in the SDR community.
24 Feb 20. Global cloud tipping point: the 2020 Thales Data Threat Report-Global Edition shows organizations struggle with security post digital transformation.
- Half (50%) of all data is now stored in cloud environments, and 47% of organizations experienced a breach or failed a compliance audit in the past year
- Multi-cloud world causing profound security challenges, triggering security vulnerabilities as 100% of respondents have some sensitive data in the cloud that’s not encrypted
- Impact of quantum computing imminent as 72% of organizations surveyed see it affecting them in the next five years
According to the 2020 Thales Data Threat Report – Global Edition with research and analysis by IDC, organizations reached a global cloud tipping point causing them to struggle with security challenges of digital transformation (DX). Today, half (50%) of all corporate data is stored in the cloud and nearly half (48%) of that data is considered sensitive. With multi-cloud usage becoming the new normal for companies, all respondents said at least some of the sensitive data stored in the cloud is not encrypted and 49% globally indicated that they have experienced a breach. In addition to DX and multi-cloud complexities, the global study shows that quantum computing has skyrocketed as a major concern with 72% of organizations claiming it will affect their security and cryptographic operations in the next five years.
Thales will host a webinar, “The Global State of Data Security: Zero Trust in a Multi-Cloud World,” to discuss the global report in more detail on Thursday, March 5 at 11:00 a.m. ET. To join, please visit the registration page.
The rush for digital transformation and the security fallout
With input from 1,723 executives with responsibility for, or influence over, IT and data security around the world, this year’s threat report dove deeper into the specific security challenges resulting from the “DX Era.” The report revealed that the more digitally transformed, the more likely an organization is to be breached. While organizations pursing DX are capturing competitive advantages, the worldwide rush to implement disruptive technologies is creating new vulnerabilities resulting in data breaches and compliance audit failures. According to the report, 45% of organizations in the top two DX categories, Software as a Service (SaaS) and social media, experienced a breach in the past year.
Multi-cloud is the new normal, but a top barrier to data security
Companies are using multiple Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) environments, as well as hundreds of SaaS applications. Eighty-one percent are using more than one IaaS vendor (the U.S. figure is 86%), 81% have more than one PaaS vendor (the U.S. figure is 86%), and 11% have more than 100 SaaS applications to manage. As more data migrates to the cloud, security becomes more complex. Nearly 40% of respondents rate complexity as their top perceived barrier to implementing data security, down slightly from 44% last year.
Quantum computing is on the horizon
The global report draws new attention to the anticipated impact of quantum computing. Within the next five years, 72% of organizations believe quantum computing power will affect their data security operations while 27% see it as a threat within the next year, highlighting the need for organizations to improve their post-quantum encryption strength.
Not all industries are embracing digital transformation at the same rate
The 2020 Thales Data Threat Report-Global Edition also explores how government, financial services, healthcare, and retail sectors embrace digital transformation in varying degrees and the associated security challenges. Global federal government organizations view themselves as most advanced, with nearly half (49%) of government respondents as either aggressively disrupting the markets they participate in, or are embedding, digital capabilities that enable greater enterprise agility. Healthcare followed closely at 47%, retail at 45%, and financial services at 30%. Fifty- four percent of financial services respondents experienced a data breach or failed compliance audit this year, followed by government at 52%, retail at 49%, and healthcare at just 37%.
Key takeaways for improving data security
Data security is challenging, but across big data, IoT and containers, encryption is a key driver for adoption and usage. Based on this year’s findings, IDC recommends the following key strategies for security professionals:
- Invest in modern, hybrid and multi-cloud-based data security tools that make the shared responsibility model work.
- Consider a zero-trust model to secure data.
- Increase focus on data discovery solutions and centralization of key management to strengthen data security.
- Focus on the threat vectors within their control.
- Utilize encryption to remain vigilant against today’s data risk reality.
For more key findings and security best practices, download a copy of the 2020 Thales Data Threat Report – Global Edition.
“As organizations face expanding and more complex cybersecurity challenges because of multi-cloud adoption and digital transformation, they need smarter and better ways to approach data protection. Zero trust is a fantastic initiative to authenticate and validate the users and devices accessing applications and networks but does little to protect sensitive data should those measures fail. Employing robust data discovery, hardening, data loss prevention, and encryption solutions provide an appropriate foundation for data security, completing the objective of pervasive cyber protection.” Frank Dickson, program vice president, cybersecurity products, IDC
“The Thales 2020 Data Threat Report-Global Edition clearly demonstrates that unprecedented amounts of sensitive data are being stored in multi-cloud environments by organizations all over the world. Having the right cloud security in place has never been more critical. As 5G networks are rolled out, IoT continues to expand and quantum computing creeps closer to becoming a reality, organizations must adopt a more modern data protection mindset. The first step towards protecting sensitive data is knowing where to find it. Once classified, this data should be encrypted and protected with a strong multi-cloud key management strategy.” Tina Stewart, vice president of global market strategy for cloud protection and licensing activity at Thales
Industry insight and views on the latest data security trends can be found on the Thales blog at blog.thalesesecurity.com.
21 Feb 20. Telecom, Technology, and Aviation Industry Leaders Join Forces to Create the HAPS Alliance. Group of companies united in goal of connecting more people, places and things by using the stratosphere.
A group of global industry leaders today announced that they are forming the HAPS Alliance, an association of world-leading telecommunications, technology, aviation, and aerospace companies that are united in promoting the use of high altitude vehicles in the Earth’s stratosphere to eliminate the digital divide and bring connectivity to more people, places, and things worldwide.
Members who have committed to join the HAPS Alliance include SoftBank Corp.’s HAPSMobile Inc. (“HAPSMobile”), Alphabet’s Loon LLC (“Loon”), AeroVironment, Inc. (“AeroVironment”), Airbus Defence and Space, Bharti Airtel Limited (“Bharti Airtel”), China Telecom Corporation Limited (“China Telecom”), Deutsche Telekom AG (“Deutsche Telekom”), Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (“Ericsson”), Intelsat US LLC (“Intelsat”), Nokia Corporation, SoftBank Corp., and Telefónica S.A. (“Telefónica”).
The HAPS Alliance is being created so member companies can collectively advocate for High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) business development with the relevant authorities in various countries, build a cooperative HAPS ecosystem, develop common product specifications and promote the standardization of HAPS network interoperability. All of these activities will be key to the Alliance’s aim of addressing diverse social issues and creating new value by providing telecommunications network connectivity worldwide through the utilization of high altitude vehicles. The Alliance, originally an initiative from HAPSMobile and Loon, will have members from participating leading companies across the aerospace, technology and telecom industries to carry out the Alliance’s activities.
The launch of the HAPS Alliance follows a previous April 2019 announcement between HAPSMobile and Loon where the companies formed a strategic alliance to advance the use of high altitude vehicles.
High altitude network connectivity platforms operate in the stratosphere, which is above ground infrastructure, but below satellites, allowing for near ubiquitous coverage that avoids ground clutter and significant latency issues. These advantages make such vehicles a promising solution for expanding mobile coverage to areas where connectivity is lacking—such as mountainous terrain, remote islands, marine regions and developing countries—as well as for IoT and 5G use-cases. The HAPS Alliance seeks to create an ecosystem to support next-generation global connectivity needed to revolutionize the world’s mobile networks.
Junichi Miyakawa, Representative Director & CTO of SoftBank Corp., and also President & CEO of HAPSMobile said, “We are very encouraged that many leaders from across the communications and aerospace industries are joining us in our mission to bridge the digital divide with high altitude vehicles. Together with our Alliance partners, we will lay the groundwork for an ecosystem that fosters HAPS connectivity solutions around the world.”
Loon’s CEO Alastair Westgarth said, “The stratosphere represents an enormous opportunity to bring the benefits of connectivity to more people around the world. But we will only be successful in harnessing the potential of the stratosphere if we come together to advocate for and collaborate on the technologies that will make this possible. This HAPS Alliance is an important step forward in building an established industry that will help us realize the promise of the stratosphere to connect people everywhere.”
AeroVironment President and CEO Wahid Nawabi said, “Harnessing the stratosphere as a global resource to improve the human condition is a goal AeroVironment has pursued for decades, and one that spans borders and languages. We enthusiastically join our global partners in the HAPS Alliance to develop an ecosystem around our innovative solar HAPS unmanned aircraft system and make the promise of global connectivity a reality.”
Dirk Hoke, Airbus Defence and Space CEO, said, “HAPS systems fill a capability gap between satellites and UAVs, being complementary to each other as part of a constantly growing market. Working across industry to create a HAPS ecosystem is the next logical step in the evolution of the HAPS market. Having an aircraft which is flight proven is just the first step, having an ecosystem in which it can operate with common standards will bring us even closer to delivering HAPS services from the stratosphere to unlock potential around the world.”
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel, said, “We are excited to be a part of this visionary alliance. We look forward to collaborating with member companies towards building a viable ecosystem that helps in bringing digital connectivity to everyone, everywhere.”
Chen Yunqing, VP of Research Institute at China Telecom, said, “For China Telecom, the primary purpose of HAPS applications is to provide broadband services in remote areas that lack terrestrial telecommunication infrastructure. HAPS can also provide emergency communications services to the public when other types of communication infrastructure are not functioning. So we are pleased to join the HAPS Alliance to promote greater connectivity and better emergency preparedness by using HAPS technologies.”
Claudia Nemat, Board Member for Technology & Innovation at Deutsche Telekom, said, “High altitude network connectivity platforms are an innovative alternative solution to expand network coverage and bridge coverage gaps in underserved areas. Deutsche Telekom is honored to collaborate with global partners in the HAPS Alliance, bringing our connectivity service delivery expertise to the team to realize the vision of ubiquitous coverage.”
Erik Ekudden, Senior Vice President and Group CTO at Ericsson, said, “Ericsson drives innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions for an all-connected world. With 5G we extend the mobile innovation platform from consumers to industries and enterprises. The HAPS Alliance brings together industry leaders from the communication and aerospace industries to provide cutting edge technology pushing the boundaries on coverage to reach users anywhere.”
Stephen Spengler, Intelsat CEO, commented, “Intelsat is excited to be an integral part of the HAPS Alliance, and we look forward to the cross-industry cooperation that will foster adoption of this innovative technology. As the foundational architects of satellite technology, Intelsat sees HAPS and the stratosphere as a complimentary step towards furthering our mission to connect people and devices with hybrid networks even in the most challenging locations. The key to our collective success will be a coordinated public and private advocacy for standards, interoperability and regulations.”
Kathrin Buvac, President of Nokia Enterprise, said, “At Nokia, we create the technology to connect the world. Nowhere is that mission more evident than our participation in the HAPS Alliance and strong partnership with Loon and SoftBank’s HAPSMobile. We will bring our unique combination of skills, expertise and technology to help overcome the demands associated with high-altitude network infrastructure and contribute to the Alliance’s goal of connecting the unconnected. Nokia believes that with enhanced LTE wireless networking now, and 5G connectivity next, we can help deliver major economic and societal benefits to underserved communities, particularly in remote and challenging environments.”
David del Val, Telefónica R&D CEO, said, “In Telefónica, we’ve been working on solving the digital divide for years realizing that terrestrial solutions were not enough. We are proud to have partnered with HAPS pioneers like Loon since the early days, trying to reach the most remote areas of our Latin American footprint. We want to contribute our experience to the HAPS Alliance to help other operators in the world realize their full potential. We are convinced that the HAPS Alliance will help the ecosystem move faster and reach industrial scale.”
About the HAPS Alliance
- Address diverse social issues and create new value by providing telecommunications network connectivity worldwide through the utilization of high altitude vehicles.
- Accelerate the development and commercial adoption of HAPS technology by promoting and building industry-wide standards, interoperability guidelines and regulatory policies in both the telecommunication and aviation industries.
- Liaise with industry organizations including standards and regulatory authorities to complement the work of other industry organizations.
- Create a forum for cross-industry collaboration to coalesce the voices of HAPS industry leaders into a compelling message to the broader industry, regulators and the general public.
- Advocate for global harmonization of HAPS spectrum, including the adoption, improvement and acceleration of global spectrum standardization for High Altitude IMT Base Stations within the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The Alliance will also work to influence emerging commercial standards, including 3GPP Non-Terrestrial Networks.
- Promote industry-managed cooperative separation in the upper airspace.
- Demonstrate the industry’s viability to potential customers and build a robust and cooperative HAPS ecosystem.
- Develop product specifications and promote the standardization of interoperable HAPS network elements.
Website: www.hapsalliance.org (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
24 Feb 20. Germany joins ESSOR – Rohde & Schwarz commissioned for national implementation. Rohde & Schwarz has been named as the German industrial representative for the ESSOR project and is participating in the development of a European wideband waveform for tactical interoperability in multinational operations. In mid-December 2019, the Budget and Defense Committee of the German parliament agreed to join the European Secure Software Defined Radio (ESSOR) project – the trans-European interoperability initiative for armed forces at the tactical level. Approval of the participation proposal also initiated national implementation of the current OC1 (operational capability) phase of the ESSOR wideband waveform, which is part of the large-scale project “Digitalization of Land Based Operations” (D-LBO). Rohde & Schwarz has been named as the national champion and joins the group of member-state companies that have been working on the implementation of ESSOR since 2008.
ESSOR is a long-term program, managed by OCCAR , in which the national champions from Italy, Spain, France, Finland, Poland and now also Germany are leading the joint enterprise a4ESSOR S.A.S. as prime contractor. The overarching objective is further development of capabilities in the area of secure communications technology to improve the interoperability of the armed forces. In concrete terms, ESSOR OC1 defines the joint development and updating of an interoperable, trustworthy, robust and wideband radio waveform for connected armed forces.
“Rohde & Schwarz is proud to take its place in the ESSOR community. With our experience in software defined radio and associated waveforms from many years of development of our own products as well as SOVERON D (known from the SVFuA development project) for the German armed forces, which is ramping up for series production in 2020, we are very well prepared for this. This is complemented by our expertise as an architect of secure communications networks and approval for encryption up to the highest classification levels in Germany, the EU and NATO,” comments Hartmut Jäschke, Executive Vice President of the Secure Communications Division and member of Corporate Management of Rohde & Schwarz.
The partner companies are Thales (France), Leonardo (Italy), Indra (Spain), Radmor (Poland) and Bittium (Finland), which have been developing the OC1 phase since 2017.
The high data rate waveform (HDRWF) developed for ESSOR OC1 is designed for operational and tactical unit command and IP connectivity at the brigade, battalion and lower levels. It features flexible configuration and adaptability to demanding scenarios, and it offers soldiers versatile and robust MANET networks on their national radio systems for combined missions and in the framework of territorial and collective defense.
With support from the European Defense Fund, ESSOR will be augmented with additional waveforms, for example for specific use cases or for air based operations. “The collaboration of European industry and provision of the most advanced commercially available SDR in the form of SOVERON D will give major projects of the German armed forces, such as D-LBO, an enormous boost in the connected, secure and jam-proof transmission of voice and data,” concludes Mr. Jäschke.
21 Feb 20. Airbus and Thales to develop Air Combat Cloud for FCAS. Airbus and Thales have partnered to develop the Air Combat Cloud for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS). The agreement has been signed after the Phase 1A Demonstrators contract for the FCAS was awarded. It supports the Demonstrator Phase 1A’s Air Combat Cloud pillar. Airbus and Thales will work closely on the structural design of the Air Combat Cloud.
The first phase of technology demonstrations of air combat Cloud capabilities will also be performed by the companies together.
It will be designed first in the Franco-German FCAS cooperation frame and will be extended to support collaborative air operations at national and multinational levels.
Increasing collaborative combat capabilities at a European level will be based on the decision taken by member countries.
Air Combat Cloud is expected to improve situational awareness and collaborative operations as it can allow all the platforms to connect and synchronise in real-time within FCAS. In addition, it will support information processing and distribution.
Thales said: “Airbus and Thales are convinced that, by combining both companies’ capabilities with the wider French and German defence industry, both partners will actively contribute to shaping future European airpower, the key to securing Europe’s operational, technological and industrial sovereignty for the coming decades.”
Airbus will bring its expertise in combat and mission aircraft, digitalised command and control, communication, cybersecurity, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and space systems to the partnership.
Thales will use its expertise in digital security, space and aerospace systems, as well as defence equipment and solutions. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
21 Feb 20. a4ESSOR S.A.S. (Alliance for ESSOR), a multi-national joint venture which is developing European Secure Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology, has today announced a contract amendment awarded by OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement) which allows Germany to join the ESSOR (European Secure SOftware defined Radio) programme and its OC1 (Operational Capability 1) phase as a new participating state alongside existing partners Finland, France, Italy, Poland and Spain. Also, as part of the contract amendment, the German company Rohde & Schwarz joined the a4ESSOR consortium. The contract amendment will replace the ESSOR OC1 contract signed in November 2017. The duration of the new ESSOR OC1 contract is 63 months, as of January 2018 onwards, and the total value for a4ESSOR is approximately EUR 100m. Work will be shared between the six companies participating in a4ESSOR: Bittium (Finland), Indra (Spain), Leonardo (Italy), Radmor (Poland), Rohde & Schwarz (Germany) and Thales (France). The work is split in relation to the shares of the member states, where Bittium’s share is significantly lower than the directly calculated proportion would be. The parties have agreed that the shares will not be published. The contract does not affect Bittium’s financial outlook for the year 2020 published in the Financial Statement Bulletin 2019 on February 13, 2020.
The aim of the ESSOR program is to develop pan-European Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology in order to improve the ability of armed forces to cooperate in coalition operations. The program was initiated in 2009 under the umbrella of the European Defence Agency (EDA) and it is currently sponsored by the governments of Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain. The joint venture Alliance for ESSOR (a4ESSOR S.A.S.) has been chosen by the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement (OCCAR) to manage the industrial consortium, whose members are Bittium from Finland, Indra from Spain, Leonardo from Italy, Radmor from Poland, Rohde & Schwarz from Germany and Thales from France. In addition to the European High Data Rate Waveform, the program has produced and validated the definition for a European SDR Architecture, which has been ported and qualified on six different European platforms. The interoperability benefits of the waveform are regularly demonstrated through network tests involving different national platforms.
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd, internationally renowned award-winning information security and communications specialist with a proven record of accomplishment.
Spectra is a dynamic, agile and security-accredited organisation that offers secure Hosted and Managed Solutions and Cyber Advisory Services with a track record of delivering on time, to spec and on budget.
With over 15 years of experience in delivering solutions for governments around the globe, elite militaries and private enterprises of all sizes, Spectra’s platinum and gold-level partnerships with third-party vendors ensure the supply of best value leading-edge technology.
Spectra was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2019 for SlingShot.
In November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced its listing as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier by the UK Crown Commercial Services.
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 Businessman of the Year by Battlespace magazine.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001:2013 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.