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22 Sep 22. BAE Systems to develop filter technology to improve radar, communications, and electronic warfare capabilities. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded BAE Systems’ FAST LabsTM research and development organization a $6.5m contract for the COmpact Front-end Filters at the ElEment-level (COFFEE) program. COFFEE aims to provide filter technology to improve performance of critical Department of Defense (DoD) Radio Frequency (RF) and microwave systems with stringent power and size constraints such as digital Active Electronically Scanned Arrays. Highly integrated and high channel-count RF systems are pervasive for DoD applications. The COFFEE program aims to provide elemental-level protection for these systems against interferers that could adversely impact the operation in congested environments.
“Wideband, highly integrated RF systems are essential to enable mission critical operations; however, high-bandwidth receivers often have limited dynamic range that can leave them vulnerable to electronic jamming,” said Chris Rappa, chief technologist at BAE Systems’ FAST Labs. “COFFEE will provide filtering technology to protect systems and make them more robust and resistant to interference.”
BAE Systems will develop filter technology that can address a broad microwave frequency range that DoD radio systems generally operate in, with element-level integration and without sacrificing performance. The company will ensure the filters are manufacturable with reproducible performance. BAE Systems’ work on the COFFEE program is a part of DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative, a five-year, upwards of $1.5bn investment in the advancement of the U.S. semiconductor industry. The work is part of the company’s advanced electronics portfolio, which includes collaboration with Purdue University. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
21 Sep 22. New Boeing and Red 6 partnership could launch F-15EX, T-7 into the metaverse. Boeing will begin integrating Red 6’s technology on a TA-4 test plane next month, a company executive said, with “campaign-level” metaverse training dreams in the future.
A new partnership between Boeing and Red 6 could bring augmented reality to the F-15EX and T-7 trainer, allowing human pilots to encounter virtual wingmen and enemies while actually flying in their aircraft.
Under a joint agreement announced Tuesday night at the Air Force Association’s annual conference, Boeing and Red 6 — a California-based defense startup — will work together to integrate Red 6’s technology onboard Boeing’s T-7 and F-15EX.
“We’re going to start by integrating some Red 6 hardware on one of our test and chaser aircraft in St. Louis,” said Dan Gillian, vice president of US government business for Boeing Global Services. “We’re going to start that next month with the TA-4. We’re going to learn how to work together with an eye towards integration on platforms like T-7 and F-15EX down the road.”
There is no target date currently associated with integrating Red 6’s technology with the T-7 and F-15EX, he said, but the information learned during the initial tests will inform how Boeing moves forward with additional internal research and development funding.
Boeing plans to experiment with two Red 6 products: the Advanced Tactical Augmented Reality System (ATARS), and Augmented Reality Command and Analytic Data Environment (ARCADE)
ATARS is the system currently under development that is meant to let human pilots experience augmented reality elements while flying a real aircraft, allowing the pilot to rehearse aerial refueling with a virtual tanker or fight against virtual versions of Chinese fighters. The pilot wears a helmet outfitted with an augmented reality headset, which projects virtual images into the physical environment that the pilot can see out the window.
Meanwhile, ARCADE uses “real-time 3D visualizations” to help pilots visualize sorties during the mission planning or debrief stages.
Together, the two technologies could lay the foundation of a pilot training metaverse that is continually active and evolving, said Daniel Robinson, founder and CEO of Red 6. “It means we can start to look at things like campaign-level training over two to three week periods” with pilots inheriting the consequences of actions taken during previous missions and having to respond to a virtual adversary that may also be learning and adapting.
Boeing is the first fighter manufacturer to partner with Red 6, which is working with the US Air Force on to integrate its ATARS system with the T-38 trainer, the precursor to the T-7 used to teach basic fighter maneuvers to fighter pilots before they move on to operational jets like the F-15, F-15, F-22 or F-35.
Currently, Red 6 is in a “manufacturing phase” as it ruggedizes its hardware modules, Robinson said. That work will be finished by the end of the year and delivered to the Air Force in 2023. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
22 Sep 22. As semiconductor shortages linger, one defense firm gets creative. Defense firm L3Harris Technologies says it bought back and cannibalized its own radios to meet customer demands amid shortages of computer chips and some components.
The company and others across multiple sectors have been hampered by a semiconductor shortage that stretches back nearly two years. Industry executives said they expect supply chain challenges to last longer than originally anticipated and that the chip shortage will drag into mid-2023 or beyond — potentially forcing businesses to get creative.
Speaking at a Morgan Stanley event last week, L3Harris Chief Financial Officer Michelle Turner said a “big-name chip supplier” she did not identify wasn’t able to meet her firm’s demand heading into the fiscal quarter that began in July. That forced the company to find circuits, called field-programmable gate arrays, from an unusual source.
“We went to one of our customers, where we knew they were disposing of some old radios. We took those radios back, we broke them down. We’re using the [field-programmable gate arrays] within those radios to rebuild them into the current formation, to be able to meet the demand and deliver,” Turner said.
L3Harris, also known for making intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance gear; avionics; and night vision equipment, considers the chip shortage “an acute pain point,” Turner said. Wider supply problems, she said, have forced the company to stockpile products in its supply chain to ensure it can ship its wares quickly, she told the Morgan Stanley conference.
The chief executive of America’s No. 2 defense firm Raytheon Technologies, said microchips could continue to be scarce beyond mid-2023.
“We’re working with our distributors ― and it is just a day-to-day challenge,” Greg Hayes said Sept. 14 at the Morgan Stanley event. “We don’t see that rectifying itself until probably sometime in the middle of next year if we’re lucky, and as people are bringing on more capacity.”
“We’ve all talked about electronics, chips. We remain hand-to-mouth just like everybody else. We are seeing some stabilization, I would tell you, in the supply chain there,” he added.
Defense officials said earlier this year production of Raytheon’s Javelin and Stinger missiles, a key part of U.S. aid for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, has been hamstrung by persistent semiconductor manufacturing delays. The Javelin anti-tank weapon is made by a joint venture with Lockheed Martin. (Source: Defense News)
21 Sep 22. Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, Inc., Investigating New Commercial and Government Markets for Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Air-Independent Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power Systems. Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, Inc. today revealed that it is actively exploring new markets for its air-independent non-flow-through hydrogen fuel cells in the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) market.
Infinity has been developing technology for this market with funding from the U.S. Office of Naval Research for several years. This is the next logical step to developing a commercial product.
In addition to military applications, UUVs are used extensively for commercial applications such as oil and gas exploration, underwater infrastructure inspection (cables, pipelines, etc.) scientific research and even underwater salvage. The successful 2021 discovery of the Antarctic site of Robert Shackelton’s 1915 Endurance shipwreck was carried out with the help of an unmanned underwater vehicle.
The primary advantage of hydrogen fuel cell power in larger UUVs is the ability to extend underwater time to weeks or even months. Infinity is working on one design that will enable such vehicles to run missions up to 70 days long. This eliminates the major expense of tender boats required to frequently resurface and refuel UUVs powered by other more conventional fuels.
“A dock-launched UUV powered by Infinity’s patented air-independent hydrogen fuel cell has the potential to save its commercial sponsor hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single mission, potentially paying for itself on its first use,” said Infinity CEO William F. Smith, “we are uniquely positioned to capture this market.”
Founded in 2002, Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, Inc. is a market leader in the design and manufacture of air-independent, zero-gravity electrochemical systems including fuel cell systems for space and underwater applications. Infinity is also developing electrolysis technologies that can generate hydrogen and oxygen directly at 2000 psi and above. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
21 Sep 22. Hydrogen strategy: Rheinmetall presents solutions in South Africa for producing, storing and transporting green hydrogen. At this year’s Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) expo at AFB Waterkloof in Centurion, the technology enterprise Rheinmetall AG is presenting innovative, turnkey, mobile modular solutions for producing, storing and transporting CO2-free hydrogen. The mobile solution offered by Group subsidiary Rheinmetall Denel Munition in South Africa assures climate-neutral energy security for stationary and mobile infrastructure in civil and industrial settings as well as for expedition and outdoor applications. Suitable for use in undeveloped terrain, it does not require an external power supply. Moreover, because the system can simultaneously produce oxygen, it offers an all-encompassing solution for mobile field hospitals. Armed with this technology, Rheinmetall is not only expanding its civil sector operations as part of its hydrogen strategy: the Group’s plant engineering skills have put it on the path to becoming an energy producer.
The concept is based on electrolysis technology, in which water molecules are separated into hydrogen and oxygen. The electricity necessary for this is produced with solar panels, making it CO2-free. Wind and Hydropower can also be used to produce the required electricity. The green hydrogen produced in this way is gaseous, meaning that can be stored indefinitely and transported anywhere worldwide.
Developed by Rheinmetall, all the components of this modular system can be combined into a fixed stationary system mode as well as into mobile applications of various scopes. With larger mobile set-ups, such as field hospitals, the conversion of solar power, electrolysis, storage of the hydrogen produced, and fuel cell based electrical generation takes place in separate containers. The necessary modules can all be concentrated in a single container, operated by solar panels for producing electricity as well as water, thus further enhancing its potential for mobile operations. Mobile production of green hydrogen lends itself to industrial, private and expedition contexts as a means of generating power and heat. Byproducts such as oxygen can either be used for their own requirements or sold into the global commodity market. Basically speaking, the hydrogen produced by the system can either be kept in situ or transported to a different destination, meaning that it can be stored at a distant location for subsequent use.
Production volume can be tailored to meet individual requirements. A container solution consisting of four standard sea containers can supply power for 30 to 40 households. The different systems, whether for tent cities, field hospitals, or stationary solutions, enable not just the production of green hydrogen as a future energy source, but also self-sufficiency and maximum mobility in undeveloped places or in off-grid commercial applications where electricity is lacking.
This technology solves one of the great problems of the Energy Revolution, the ability to store and transport energy. But it is also a sustainable, secure source of power, including in undeveloped areas. As well as expanding Rheinmetall’s portfolio as a reliable energy partner, this modular system adds a further element to its hydrogen strategy: a self-sufficient, customizable, mobile solution. The Group now offers solutions for completely solar-powered energy production. It is also a global supplier of green hydrogen and complete turnkey solutions as well as large-scale stationary H2 factories in addition to the mobile modular solutions outlined above.
At its locations in South Africa, Rheinmetall offers turnkey industrial solutions for renewable energy, extending from the initial concept to final commissioning, coupled with full lifecycle support, training, maintenance, and operator models. Regardless of the individual use, key objectives here include cutting carbon emissions, gaining independence from energy suppliers, and adapting to the needs of the user, while simultaneously assuring low maintenance costs and adequate scope for meeting individual customer requirements.
The African Aerospace and Defence Exposition takes place every two years at AFB Waterkloof in Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa. A combined trade fair and air show, AAD Expo runs from 21 to 25 September 2022.
20 Sep 22. Curtiss-Wright Introduces New 25-hour Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorders for the Defense Aviation Market. New cost-effective crash-protected FDR and CVR bring latest technologies to military aviation platforms. Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division, a leading supplier of flight data recorder solutions engineered to succeed, today introduced a 25-hour flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR) designed for use on military fixed-wing and rotor aircrafts. The latest additions to Curtiss-Wright’s industry-leading compact, lightweight Fortress® product family, the extremely rugged Fortress FDR-25 and Fortress CVR-25 are designed in accordance with RTCA/DO-178C and RTCA/DO-254 (DAL D) standards and meet or exceed all current FAA and EUROCAE ED-112A standard requirements. These recorders provide aircraft system integrators with a cost-efficient solution that leverages advanced technologies developed for compact commercial and military platforms. For many applications, these recorders provide form and fit replacements that require no change to the airframe. They are ideal for use on new aircraft, or for upgrading older platforms requiring flight data recorders that satisfy commercial regulatory compliance.
“We are proud to lead the industry in bringing extended operation and greater survivability for flight recorders to the military aircraft market,” said Chris Wiltsey, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions division. “Our Fortress FDR and CVR products build on Curtiss-Wright’s long legacy in the flight recorder market, with new cost-effective, lightweight and compact modern recorders that meet the latest regulations.
About Fortress CVR-25
Fortress CVR-25 provides 4 channels of cockpit voice recording and 1 channel of CPDLC datalink recording, each for 25 hours minimum capacity supporting EUROCAE class 6 CVR requirements. The CVR’s audio recording performance exceeds ED-112A requirements, with each channel providing area microphone performance and quality of 150 Hz to 6 kHz bandwidth to deliver superior recording clarity. The advanced cockpit voice recorder provides an integrated web-based interface running across a gigabit physical Ethernet interface to enable rapid data access and recovery.
About Fortress FDR-25
Fortress FDR-25 supports parametric flight data recording for 25 hours minimum with data recording capacity up to 3,500 hours of data before the oldest data is overwritten, with a maximum data rate of 4,096 words per second . It also supports real-time data streaming for the swift and remote retrieval of flight data from the aircraft for storage or analysis.
Both flight recorders also include a 90-day underwater locator beacon that provides improved battery safety features, including a new non-restricted Class-9 lithium battery and containment of thermal runaway, which reduces the need for special handling, storage, and shipping.
19 Sep 22. TE Connectivity’s Raychem USB 3.1 cable provides up to 10 Gb/s data rates. Powering the next generation of aerospace applications with full legacy. USB 2.0 support and USB 3.1 power. TE Connectivity (TE), a world leader in connectivity and sensors introduces its new Raychem USB 3.1 cable, increasing data rate speeds up to 10 Gb/s. The Raychem cable was designed to support commercial and military aerospace applications and supports USB 2.0 legacy applications. With double the bandwidth of USB 3.0, the USB 3.1 cable is specifically designed for eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing), UAM (urban air mobility) and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) applications.
“Higher data rates are becoming a staple requirement for next generation aerospace platforms,” said Greg Shirk, product manager for TE’s Aerospace, Defense and Marine division. “We know how important it is for data to get to its destination quickly to keep aerospace vehicles in the air and critical data moving. That is why we designed the USB 3.1 cable to meet and exceed current industry expectations.”
TE’s USB 3.1 cable can withstand harsh environment temperatures ranging between -65˚C up to 200˚C. From IFE (in-flight entertainment) and data transfer to missile applications and avionics systems, the new cable helps reduce harnessing time and cost. Compared to industry-standard tape wrap constructions in the marketplace, TE’s construction implements the use of an extruded component and jacket which can lead to a more simplified termination.
The USB 3.1 cable is engineered for high-speed data rates, offering:
- Temperature Range: -65 °C to +200°C
- Flammability: meets the requirements of FAR part 25, Appendix F, Part 1 when tested in accordance with the 60-degree test
- Jacket tensile strength of 2000 psi minimum
- Jacket elongation of 200% minimum
For more information, visit http://te.com/usb3.1.
12 Sep 22. European Defence Agency promotes guidelines for safe integration of RPAS into general airspace. The European Defence Agency (EDA) is sponsoring a project to support the development of guidelines for the standardisation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for the safe integration of military RPAS into general airspace. Standardisation is a key enabler for the certification of remote pilot stations (RPS) which, in turn, has the potential of paving the way for future military RPAS operations while ensuring a safer airspace for all European citizens.
RPAS are composed of three main elements: A remotely piloted aircraft; a command and control data link; and the remote pilot station. The correct integration of these three elements is central to the programme. EDS is committed to the development of standards for large and tactical RPAS in close cooperation with stakeholders including NATO, EASA, Eurocontrol, the European Commission, SESAR Joint Undertaking, and Eurocae.
The EDA project includes Airbus, GMV and ALTER Technology TUV Nord, working in close collaboration with Eurocae. Eurocae is currently developing the minimum operational performance standards for remote pilot stations, focusing on airworthiness and air traffic integration requirements. To support this activity, a realistic validation campaign is being carried out in Airbus Defence and Space facilities. Here, a simulation environment creates scenarios featuring remote pilots and air traffic controllers to test interactions between the different elements.
The project paves the way for future military RPAS operations, ensuring a safer airspace. For more information visit: www.rps.core.eu (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
19 Sep 22. Fuse Joins AWS Partner Network (APN) to Empower Enhanced IoT Solutions for the Tactical Edge. Fuse Integration, a warfighter-focused engineering and design firm, today announced that it has joined the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) as a hardware provider. CORE®, Fuse’s ruggedized virtualized networking system, is qualified to run AWS IoT Greengrass, an open-source edge runtime and cloud service for building, deploying and managing intelligent device software. With CORE, APN members and Fuse customers gain the ability to create an Internet of Things (IoT) solution at the tactical edge for ground, air and sea platforms.
“Military devices and sensors require greater interconnectivity, particularly at the tactical edge. Enhancing their ability to operate and talk to each other is paramount for battlefield advantage,” said Sumner Lee, Fuse CEO. “We are honored to join APN. Combining AWS services with the innovative CORE design will be a force multiplier to the viability of an IoT solution in austere and challenging environments.”
Currently deployed to defense and aerospace customers, CORE is a flexible and minimized size, weight and power (SWaP) networking solution designed for critical missions where lives are on the line. It reliably connects airplanes, ground vehicles and ships with ground operations – across secure and unclassified networks. CORE’s tactical data link and internet protocol networking platform contains fully ruggedized physical components for military operations and provides flexibility for system software and hardware.
As a member of APN, Fuse will be able to support AWS IoT Greengrass solutions with CORE and access APN to develop future enhanced solutions.
About Fuse Integration
Fuse is a warfighter-focused engineering and design firm providing innovative communications, networking and computing solutions for defense customers. The company’s virtualized network systems, tactical edge virtual network and airborne networking gateway products improve the sharing of information, video, text and voice among warfighters throughout airborne, maritime and ground environments. Founded in 2010, Fuse is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business with headquarters in San Diego and a corporate office in Washington, D.C. www.fuseintegration.com
13 Sep 22. DSTG reorganises to tackle Australian defence challenges.
“it’s now really clear that we need the asymmetry that Science and Technology provides because of the worsening geopolitical circumstances, and we need to find ways to accelerate taking those good ideas that come from R&D and pulling them through to capability.”
Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro AC, couldn’t have put it much more succinctly. The professional head of the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) made it clear in an exclusive interview with EX2 that Australia’s worsening strategic environment has resulted in a complete change in the way the organisation handles science, technology and commercialisation.
“I think without question the whole information domain is going to become increasingly dominant,” she says. “And I mean everything from human influence right through to information warfare. All of our platforms are information platforms.”
Professor Monro, who was appointed in 2019, believes it is a 140 degree shift in defence science policy compared with 20 years ago, rather than a full 180 degree shift, but it is highly significant nonetheless.
A former Chief Defence Scientist once told EX2 that DSTO (as it was then called) didn’t do R&D anymore, except in a very narrow and targeted way – its role was to help Defence become a smart buyer and sustainer. But 20 years on, DSTG is focussing on technology development, future-proofing the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and building the scale of R&D effort needed to tackle Defence’s challenges and not simply to understand them.
To achieve that scale, along with the sheer breadth of research expertise needed to address the ADF’s needs, DSTG has vastly expanded its external research networks, most notably with the ADSUN – the Australian Defence Science University Network – alongside its existing HPRNet or Human Performance Research Network.
A related issue is that DSTG was being spread very thin – at one time it was processing, or trying to process, about 1,500 separate client requirements. With a small professional workforce this worked out at about 1.1 scientists per requirement so, as Professor Monro points out, the organisation was only ever one retirement or one illness away from losing an essential but very fragile capability.
And it is looking hard at commercialisation – the process of taking Intellectual Property (IP) from the laboratory or workshop and getting it quickly into the hands of warfighters as a useable product or service. Why the focus on speed? “The reason why there’s such a very, very, strong focus is because what we want is to be able to make sure that there’s an industry landscape that can respond to acquisition requirements,” she says.
Sovereignty and speed are related: if you can do something in-country you may be able to do it much faster than if you’re waiting for a foreign contractor (and government); and you can do it in secret, if necessary. But you can only achieve stuff in-country if the companies and skills exist to do so, a view which has underpinned defence industry policy since 2016 and informs DSTG’s change process.
“So, part of it is about creating the right ecosystem where we can actually have commercial options in Australia that can not only solve defence problems but play into international supply chains,” says Professor Monro.
To achieve all of this, some of DSTG’s biggest changes have been internal. The Australian Defence, Science Technology and Research Summit 2022, or ADSTAR, highlighted the changes that had taken place within DSTG, many of them previously unnoticed. The key takeaways for most attendees at ADSUN were the organisation’s focus on resilience, sovereignty, innovation and disruption.
The organisation has a new structure. Its focus on disruptive innovation and a swift transition to frontline service is new. And its encapsulation of Defence’s future challenges in the Science, Technology and Research Shots, or STaR Shots, signals a new way of attacking the ADF’s operational challenges.
The 2016 Defence White Paper was the first step on this journey of change. It identified the discrete technology investment priorities which would be pursued under the Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF), which DSTG administers.
The Defence Science and Technology Strategy 2030, titled ‘More, together’, introduced the STaR Shots: these are not discrete technologies, but far more complex problem statements. They are an acknowledgement that technology may be an essential part of the solution, but it isn’t the only part. There may be new ways of doing things that can add vital leverage to the technology you put in the hands of the warfighter, so the eight STaR Shots are designed to focus the organisation’s resources in a much more useful way.
For example, the Disruptive Weapon Effects STaR Shot is described as “Delivering emerging and disruptive weapon capabilities for multi-domain combat in highly contested environments.” Unpack that bald statement and two things jump out at you: firstly, no actual technology is specified; secondly, the breadth of knowledge and expertise required to deliver (or defend against) a disruptive weapons effect goes well beyond the stovepipe of a single technology. The potential for lateral thinking by teams of experts from a variety of very different backgrounds is almost unlimited.
To pull all this together, under Professor Monro DSTG has undergone a major re-structure. Its divisional structure has been reshaped into three main parts: Enabling; Program Delivery; and Capability Development. Within that structure lie ten research divisions, most of which host and support much of the research effort in related STaR Shots
The Enabling part has six leaders. Mr Ivan Zlabur is Chief Engineering Advisor while Dr Nigel McGinty is Chief Technology Officer for Strategy and National Security; he works with two Chief Technology Officers for Innovation and Strategic Research – Professor Michelle Gee and Mr Richard Bartholomeusz.
Then the actual divisions begin: Mr Mark Bazzacco is Chief of Operations Enablement Division which provides the essential enabling services that make defence R&D possible while Dr David Kershaw is Chief of Science Strategic Planning and Engagement Division which drives the strategic direction of DSTG’s R&D and shapes the organisation’s engagement with the universities and research providers who make up Australia’s broader science, technology and innovation eco-system.
Program Delivery has four Chiefs: Dr Shane Canney who is Chief of Air and Space Division; Mr Andrew Seedhouse who is Chief of Cyber, Intelligence and National Security Division; Dr Peter Shoubridge who is Chief of Land and Joint Warfare Division; and Dr Anthony Szabo who is Chief of Maritime Division.
Finally, the Capability Development part also has four Chiefs: Dr Katerina Agostino who is Chief of Human and Decision Sciences Division; Dr Dale Lambert is Chief of Information Sciences Division; Professor Emily Hilder is Chief of Platforms Division; and Dr Sylvie Perreau is Chief of Sensors and Effectors Division.
Some of these Chiefs are doing roughly the same jobs they were before and in which they have built up a formidable amount of expertise and experience. But some of the recent appointees have a clear mandate to effect change in the way the parts of DSTG work together and in how the organisation relates to its external customers and partners.
And the reason for these changes is simple: the ADF needs them. “The ADF is the reason we exist,” says Professor Monro firmly. And to support the ADF in this new, rather scary world, DSTG’s job is changing: “We do everything, from the technology horizon scanning and foresighting so that the military understands the impacts that emerging disruptive technology will have on their future operations.”
Threats and Opportunities
While DSTG responds to its main customer’s concerns as it has always done, it also needs to explain to that customer that there are often other things it hasn’t considered that could represent either a threat or an opportunity – or both. And it needs to identify ways of mitigating the threats and exploiting the opportunities. So which are the technology areas that DSTG needs to focus on in the future?
“In many ways, if you look at the names of my four Capability Development positions, it gives you a pretty clear sense of what I think are the core broad areas,” Professor Monro tells EX2. “I think without question the whole information domain is going to become increasingly dominant. And I mean everything, from human influence right through to information warfare. All of our platforms are information platforms.
“All the way through from peace time to acute large-scale conflict, we’re now in a world where information is the dominant paradigm and thus the dominant vulnerability. And so, I think that’s undoubtedly the first, second and third answer to your question.”
“Then, I think that ultimately the things that are most important now are the ones that give that asymmetry where, through a sustainable application of both human and financial resources, Australia can deliver a deterrent,” she adds.
The deterrent effect of useable combat capability can’t be under-estimated she says: this could be the uncertainty in a potential adversary’s mind when he doesn’t know what undersea assets we might have and what they’re capable of doing, or the certainty that that the ADF’s satellite communications are resilient and can be reconfigured quickly to go on working no matter what has been thrown at them.
“To me, that is what matters.”
The word ‘useable’ is significant: speed of transition into service is also important, she says, “Because potential adversaries are moving fast. And what we cannot afford is…to be locked into technology that is already non-competitive by the time it hits initial operating capability.”
Unpack that statement in your own time: it underlines the change process that Professor Monro has been driving within DSTG and a broader movement for change that is becoming more apparent across Defence as a whole. (Source: Rumour Control)
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Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.