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C2, TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS, AI, CYBER, EW, CLOUD COMPUTING AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

Sponsored by Spectra Group

https://tacs.at/Spectra

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17 Mar 20. Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) announced today the successful completion of a live network trial of 800 gigabits per second (800G) single-wavelength transmission at 96 Gbaud over 950 kilometers (km) across a long-haul link in a major North American network operator’s production network. Powered by Infinera’s sixth-generation dual-800G Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE6) technology, this achievement signals a major industry milestone in driving down the cost per bit of telecommunications networks. The trial showcased the ability of Infinera’s 800G technology designed to enable network operators to rapidly and cost-effectively address the increasing capacity demands of new services such as 5G, enhanced broadband, and cloud-based business services.

Conducted over a third-party optical line system carrying live multi-vendor traffic, the production network trial was implemented using Infinera’s industry-leading Groove (GX) Series, equipped with an ICE6-based sled over industry-standard G.652 fiber. The results of the trial demonstrated the superior performance value of Infinera’s vertically integrated ICE6 optical engine, which features second-generation Nyquist subcarriers, 64QAM with per-subcarrier long-codeword probabilistic constellation shaping, and per-subcarrier dynamic bandwidth allocation.

“The success of this trial proves our ability to transmit 800G high-baud-rate signals across significant distances, which will be instrumental in driving down network costs,” said Parthi Kandappan, Chief Technology Officer at Infinera. “This marks another major accomplishment for Infinera’s Optical Innovation Center, adding to its long history of pioneering innovations in optical networking.”

16 Mar 20. BAE Systems trials new UAS SIGINT payload for DARPA. Programme engineers at BAE Systems demonstrated a new aerial signals intelligence (SIGINT) payload for US armed forces and representatives from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), featuring the company’s latest software-defined radio (SDR) and small-form-factor semiconductor technology.

The core of the company’s new SDR, dubbed the Hedgehog, is BAE Systems’ Microwave Array Technology for Reconfigurable Integrated Circuits (MATRICs) transceiver and was mounted aboard a commercially available Group 2 category unmanned aerial system (UAS), with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 15.1kg during a recent US armed forces exercise, said BAE Systems’ director of electronic warfare systems, John Knag. (Source: Jane’s)

16 Mar 20. DoD networks face severe strains from telework. Increased teleworking by Department of Defense employees as a response to the coronavirus has put the department’s network under previously unknown levels of pressure, its principal deputy chief information officer said in a virtual town hall March 16.

“Given the increased telework demand, we’ve seen a tremendous increase on the network. Unprecedented demand just over the last weekend or so,” Essye Miller, said.

She explained that, as a result of the increased demand on the network, they are asking that streaming services such as Pandora be limited if they are not mission essential. She also noted that access to YouTube will be blocked, effective tonight.

Lisa Hershman, the Pentagon’s chief management officer, said that the department is stress-testing telework opportunities. Given that, Miller noted a 240 percent increase in the help-desk requests.

Officials also explained that increased telework provides a larger cyberattack surface for adversaries to exploit, though, officials noted, Secret and Top Secret information is not available in a telework environment.

“They’re already taking advantage of the situation and the environment that we have on hand. With that, we’re developing best practices for you to use as you move from working in the office into a telework environment,” Miller said, without offering any additional information. “If you walk away from nothing else, it’s please, please, please, the same practices that you use in an office environment need to convey to wherever you’re teleworking from … We are creating a do’s and don’ts for healthy, clean hygiene on the network that we will make sure we give to WHS to distribute.”

The Washington Headquarters Service issued guidance for employees on cyber hygiene and best practices.

“[S]ome of the inherent security measures that we take for granted while working directly within a DoD network may not be fully articulated while working remotely at home. For this reason, DoD personnel need to be especially alert and attentive to cyberattacks, malware, phishing expeditions, network security protocols, encryptions requirements, et al, which may threaten government information stored on telework devices and transmitted across external networks,” the website states. “Employees who telework from home need to keep government property and information safe, secure, and separated from their personal property and information. Some helpful tips to keeping your home WI-FI, computers and mobile devices protected can be found in a ‘Protect Yourself’ booklet published by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)

12 Mar 20. The Pentagon wants to ‘reconsider’ its JEDI award decision. The Department of Defense requested 120 days to “reconsider certain aspects” of its decision to award its controversial enterprise contract to Microsoft. The request from the DoD in a March 12 court filing comes after Court of Federal Claims Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith issued a temporary restraining order directing the Pentagon to stop all work on its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract, after AWS alleged that the DoD made mistakes in its source selection process.

The court granted Amazon’s request for an injunction Feb. 13. While Amazon challenged both the technical evaluation and political interference, the court’s decision to impose the injunction rested on AWS’ technical challenges to the DoD selection, which included issues with how the Pentagon considered data storage capabilities.

“DoD wishes to reconsider its evaluation of the technical aspects of Price Scenario 6, and intends to issue a solicitation amendment and to accept limited proposal revisions addressing the offerors’ technical approach to that price scenario,” Defense Department lawyers wrote in the document.

Industry leaders say that the DoD’s enterprise cloud will allow the warfighter to access data quicker, consolidate data and develop artificial intelligence. Andrew Eversden

In the court filing, the DoD also said it wants to reconsider its evaluation of Microsoft and AWS’ online marketplace offerings and “may conduct” clarifications with the two tech giants. The DoD will reconsider other technical challenges presented by AWS, but “does not intend to conduct discussions with offerors or to accept proposal revisions with respect to any aspect of the solicitation,” other than price scenario six of the RFP, which deals with storage capabilities.

In a statement, Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw said the DoD made the “correct decision.”

“However, we support their decision to reconsider a small number of factors as it is likely the fastest way to resolve all issues and quickly provide the needed modern technology to people across our armed forces. Throughout this process, we’ve focused on listening to the needs of the DoD, delivering the best product, and making sure nothing we did delayed the procurement process. We are not going to change this approach now,” Shaw said. “Over two years the DoD reviewed dozens of factors and sub factors and found Microsoft equal or superior to AWS on every factor. We remain confident that Microsoft’s proposal was technologically superior, continues to offer the best value, and is the right choice for the DoD.”

The JEDI cloud contract is potentially worth $10bn over 10 years. This court filing is another significant setback for the DoD, even after the continuous challenges the contract has faced for about two years.

Earlier in the court battle, Amazon sought to depose President Donald Trump, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, DoD CIO Dana Deasy and several other DoD officials involved in the in the final decision. An Amazon spokesperson said the company was “pleased” with the decision.

“We are pleased that the DoD has acknowledged ‘substantial and legitimate’ issues that affected the JEDI award decision, and that corrective action is necessary,” a spokesperson said. “We look forward to complete, fair, and effective corrective action that fully insulates the re-evaluation from political influence and corrects the many issues affecting the initial flawed award.”

A DoD spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Source: Defense News)

13 Mar 20. New IDF C4I system now operational. An upgraded version of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF’s) Digital Army Program (DAP) C4I system for linking together multiple military branches and domains has entered service, according to Elbit Systems, the system’s manufacturer.

Called Gideon, the new version of the DAP, which originally entered service 15 years ago, was developed by Elbit in a joint effort with the IDF’s Ground Forces Command, C4i and Cyber Defense Directorate, air force, and navy. It is based on Elbit’s E-LynX software-defined radios (SDRs) and the E6 (TORCH-X) C4i framework. Haim Delmar, executive vice president and general manager of the C4I and Cyber Division at Elbit Systems, said DAP Gideon represents the “implementation of the Ground Forces’ vision of multi-branch, multi-domain, lethal, and survivable combat, which makes available all of the knowledge and capabilities to all of the fighting forces”.(Source: Jane’s)

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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.

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