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02 Jul 20. German Army implements new BMS for tanks. In order to improve the speed, accuracy and responsiveness of MBT crews on the battlefield, the German Army is operating a new BMS to enhance its situational awareness and C2.

By using networked technology, the improved BMS is intended to save valuable decision-making time for tank crews, allowing them to make faster and more accurate mission-critical decisions.

The army recently released images on its website of a Leopard MBT crew operating the BMS.

‘Only with this upgrade is possible for the crew to properly utilise the full potential of communication technology and to save time with it,’ the army stated.

A German Army spokesperson confirmed to Shephard that the service intends to provide its troops with the new C2 system as soon as possible, using a product that is already available on the market.

The BMS is based on the Sitaware Frontline system for commanders, produced by Danish company Systematic.

Sitaware Frontline already equips armed forces in more than 30 countries, including Germany where it equips the Marder IFV, Puma IFV, Boxer Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle and PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer, as well as vehicles operated by the Medical Service and the Joint Support and Enabling Service.

It provides tactical C2 and battle control capabilities, allowing the crew to know the exact location of its troops in an area of operational interest.

Other features include ‘blue force’ tracking; situational awareness and tactical reporting; and an open architecture for easy sensor integration.

Sitaware Frontline offers a user application containing the BMS and a vehicle application which interfaces with existing communications equipment, onboard management systems and sensors.

Users can plan and execute missions in static and mobile environments, easily implement changes of location of the command and, if necessary, destroy mission data in an emergency.

According to the German Army spokesperson, the service started using the BMS in April when it was rolled out to vehicles operated by the 37th Armoured Infantry Brigade in Frankenberg, Saxony.

These vehicles will form part of the future NATO rapid response capability, in the form of its Very High Readiness Joint Task Force 2023.

‘The goal is to be able to conduct combined arms combat based on the BMS,’ the spokesperson pointed out. (Source: Shephard)

30 Jun 20. Comtech Achieves Key ISO 27001 Information Security Re-Certification for Location Technologies. Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (NASDAQ: CMTL), a world leader in secure and highly reliable location, public safety, navigation, and communication technologies, announced today its Location Technologies group, a division of Comtech’s Commercial Solutions segment, has obtained re-certification of its ISO 27001 designation. The ISO 27001 Information Security Standard is widely recognized as the blue-chip standard for protection of individual, customer and company private and sensitive information.

To meet ISO standards, a company must show it has a systematic and ongoing approach to managing sensitive company and customer information. Comtech has implemented the prescribed ISO standards to ensure a secure environment and work processes that enable it to protect its intellectual property and assets, meet contractual security obligations and establish a robust risk assessment/treatment framework, which are critical to supporting its Location Technologies customers.

The certification is a key indicator of Comtech’s program to protect vital customer data from a wide range of cyber threats and vulnerabilities that can lead to data loss. It provides third-party verification that the company’s information security management system conforms to a standard that helps protect the integrity of customers’ information assets. ISO 27001 certification also gives Comtech, its customers, shareholders and partners added confidence that Comtech subscribes to the best information security practices in the industry.

“Achieving this re-certification means our customers have assurance our services and products operate to the highest quality standards. We are dedicated to constant improvement and development in location technologies. This re-certification demonstrates Comtech’s commitment to ensuring quality, security and the best possible service to our clients,” said Fred Kornberg, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Comtech Telecommunications Corp.

The Location Technologies group of Comtech Telecommunications Corp. is a leading provider of precise device location, mapping and messaging solutions for public safety, mobile network operators, and enterprise solutions. Sold around the world to mobile network operators, government agencies, and Fortune 100 enterprises, our platforms locate, map, track and message. For more information, visit www.comtechlocation.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)

30 Jun 20. Leonardo DRS Receives $104m Award to Provide Next-Generation Mission Command Mounted Computing Systems.  Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded a production delivery order contract for the next-generation of U.S. Army mission command computing systems called the Mounted Family of Computer Systems (MFoCS) II. This modular, scalable system supports the Army’s current modernization strategy for ground combat vehicles, combat service support vehicles and command posts. The contract value is worth $104m.

The delivery order was awarded to the Leonardo DRS Land Electronics business by the Defense Information Technology Contracting Office of the Defense Information Systems Agency on behalf of U.S. Army Program Manager, Mission Command, and U.S. Army Program Executive Office – Command, Control and Communications – Tactical.  Leonardo DRS is in the second year of a five-year contract supporting the U.S. Army Mounted Computing Environment requirements.

The MFoCS II system is a family of common computing and display systems that consolidates a range of programs and military computing users. The system will support the continued fielding and upgrades of the Army’s Joint Battle Command – Platform and features critical system capability upgrades, cybersecurity improvements and multi-touch displays. Additionally there are significant performance enhancements of the platform computing server as the Army continues to improve the JBC-P systems used for tactical situational awareness and global Blue Force Tracking and In-Transit Visibility logistics tracking.

“We are proud to be able to provide these advanced, ruggedized tactical computing systems to give our warfighters the best possible networked situational awareness on the battlefield when they need it,” said Bill Guyan, senior vice president and general manager of the Leonardo DRS Land Electronics business.  “These cyber-hardened systems have more than 20 years of experience built into them and are a key component of the Army’s Mounted Computing Environment while continuing to enable the service’s network modernization efforts to deliver next-generation Mounted Mission Command capability”

Work on this contract will be performed in the Leonardo DRS Land Electronics facility in Melbourne, Florida.

30 Jun 20. Canvas GFX, Inc, the leading technical illustration software provider, today announced that specialist Aerospace and Defense manufacturer GlenDee/MGI has selected Canvas X3 technical illustration solution to drive measurable improvements in its manufacturing workflows.

Headquartered in Moorpark, CA., MGI, has been supplying mechanical vehicle and machine components to prime US Government contractors for over 40 years. MGI products are found in numerous military equipment products, as well as land and air vehicles.

Canvas X3 allows users to import, manipulate, illustrate and annotate 3D models created in all leading CAD packages to create images for use in technical product documentation assets including installation and maintenance instructions. It puts sophisticated illustration capabilities – including the ability to rotate and explode models, and isolate and ghost individual components – in the hands of everyone involved in the design and manufacturing processes, without the need for specialist CAD software and training. The management team at MGI turned to Canvas X3 after becoming frustrated at the laborious and inefficient process of having CAD engineers provide endless product screenshots from CAD packages and provide them as images for inclusion in key documentation.

“Depending on our CAD engineers to provide 3D model visualizations for documentation wastes both time and high-cost resources,” said David Grossman, vice president at MGI. “Canvas X3 is intuitive enough for anyone to pick up and use. By making it available across our teams we expect to drive significant economic efficiencies in our documentation workflows.”

Patricia Hume, CEO at Canvas GFX, added: “Manufacturing companies like MGI are going to play a key role in rejuvenating our economy as we emerge from the pandemic. As they do so, any cost advantage they are able to derive is going to prove essential to their sustained success. MGI is a company that thinks in terms of continuous innovation in its workflows and manufacturing processes and we are delighted to welcome them to the Canvas customer family through their deployment of Canvas X3.”

30 Jun 20. VITEC shakes up ISR mission with credit card size, low bandwidth HEVC Encoder.  VITEC, a worldwide leader in advanced video encoding and streaming solutions, is pleased to announce MGW Pico+ TOUGH, a credit card size HEVC and H.264 HD/SD video encoder. Upgrading our MGW Pico TOUGH unit with next-generation HEVC/H.265 compression, it features a robust, fan-less and waterproof design, and is fully MIL-STD certified, making it suitable for use on unmanned and manned vehicles, in fly-away kits, or hand-carried in extreme conditions.

“When we launched our MGW Diamond TOUGH encoder four years ago, thanks to its low bandwidth HEVC encoding capabilities, it raised the bar for video streaming applications on military platforms and performance in harsh environments,” commented Richard Bernard, Senior Product Manager at VITEC. “Since then, there has been an ever increasing demand to obtain more video imagery or increase picture quality through the same constrained network in a form factor similar to our miniature MGW Pico TOUGH encoder. With a lightweight, robust build-quality, the MGW Pico+ TOUGH completes perfectly our rugged appliances product portfolio and offers HEVC low bandwidth, with ultra-low latency encoding, for the harsh and unforgiving demands of military applications.”

The MGW Pico+ TOUGH is extremely versatile and lightweight. It includes SDI and Composite capture and encoding as well as KLV metadata ingest and transport in compliant with STANAG / MISB standard. Designed with industrial, aeronautics and commercial integrators in mind, MGW Pico+ TOUGH is also available as a PCB-only unit, pin to pin compatible with MGW Pico TOUGH OEM board allowing an easy upgrade to our current H.264 customers. It is delivered with a comprehensive HTTP API for command and control over IP.

29 Jun 20. Hanwha Systems launches USV teaming technology development. South Korean defence contractor Hanwha Systems has launched a KRW19bn (USD15.6m) “cluster control technology” programme that seeks to develop a deployable unmanned surface vessel (USV) teaming capability for naval applications, the company announced on 22 June.

The programme is being led by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and will involve the participation of an industry-academia group that includes Hanwha Systems, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea Research Institute of Ships & Ocean Engineering (KRISO), and Donkook University. It is expected to run through 2024.

Hanwha Systems will build a communications network and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm demonstration platform that can be used to validate relevant technologies in operationally relevant environments.

The effort centres on AI reinforcement learning that will eventually enable the system to achieve comparable levels of performance with human intelligence in areas such as situational awareness and mission engagement, and designed to operate alongside crewed platforms. (Source: Jane’s)

29 Jun 20. Enhanced situational awareness lies ahead for Systematic C2 tool. Systematic is considering a range of potential upgrades for its new Sitaware Edge 2.0 dismounted C2 system, with potential for a new navigation capability and enhanced geo-tools.

Sitaware Edge 2.0 was released in early June, providing a number of improvements on the previous system for dismounted soldiers. For example, it includes a new mapping system, along with a number of features that enhance the operator experience, such as a more user-friendly interface.

The company is now considering further enhancements to the system, said Jesper Annexgaard, product manager for small and mobile devices. This includes a new navigation capability, along with additional geospatial analysis tools.

Annexgaard explained to Shephard that the latter were a key aspect of the recent upgrade, focusing on improving users’ terrain analysis capabilities or establishing LoS, for instance.

He added that the new C2 tool enhances situational awareness, as a simpler and more intuitive user experience enables operators to be ‘heads-up’ focused on the mission rather than managing the system.

Sitaware Edge 2.0 also provides a clear map interface that is not cluttered by menu bars and icons, Annexgaard noted, while ensuring these can still be easily accessed. For example, an integrated chat feature keeps the map on the screen at all times.

Enhancements were driven by internal initiatives and customer feedback, he added, with the latter including a request to align map symbology with the other parts of the Sitaware suite and to improve the chat function.

Sitaware Edge 2.0 also has a new map engine, which is the same version that is used on the Sitaware Headquarters product and includes 3D functionality along with more traditional maps and satellite imagery.

(Source: Shephard)

‘The map brings the same quality and depth of tactical graphics and symbology employed elsewhere in the suite and the 3D functionality gives a better appreciation of an area of operations,’ Annexgaard added.

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Oxley Group Ltd

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.

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