C4ISR news

Canada issues CASSAR request for proposal

By Pat Host 22 January 2021
Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND) issued a request for proposal (RFP) for its Cellular Airborne Sensor for Search and Rescue (CASSAR) programme on 8 January.  Canada seeks a mobile phone detection system for its Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) search-and-rescue (SAR) rotary- and fixed-wing platforms. The system will allow it to locate and communicate with operational mobile phones on persons in distress during missions. The device is intended for use on the Lockheed Martin CC-130H Hercules fixed-wing transport aircraft, Airbus Def...

USAF awards USD3.6bn BACN contract

By Gareth Jennings 22 January 2021
The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Northrop Grumman USD3.6 billion for continued Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) operations, sustainment, and support.  The USAF fields three Bombardier Global 6000 regional jet-based E-11A (one of the original four was lost on operations in Afghanistan in 2020) and three Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft in the BACN role. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 21 January, the award “provides for research, development, test, and evaluation...

UK orders Dismounted Joint Fires Integrators from Elbit

By Samuel Cranny-Evans & Nicholas Fiorenza 22 January 2021
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded Elbit Systems UK (ESUK) a GBP102 million (USD139 million) contract for Dismounted Joint Fires Integrators (D-JFIs) for the British armed forces, the ministry and company announced on 21 January.  The UK MoD has awarded ESUK a contract for D-JFI for the British armed forces. The photo shows a forward observer using a handheld display to examine the footage relayed by the optical system. (Elbit)  The D-JFIs, which will be delivered over a five-year period, will be deployed by British joint terminal...

US Army hosting ‘low collateral' C-sUAS demo

By Ashley Roque 22 January 2021
The US Army will evaluate counter-small unmanned aerial system (C-sUAS) technologies ideal for urban environments during an industry demonstration at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in April.  In mid-January, the service released a request for information asking interested vendors to submit White Papers detailing technologies capable of downing group 1 and 2 UAS that weigh less than 25 kg, travel at speeds less than 250 kt, and operate at altitudes less than 1,066 m.  After reviewing the White Papers, the army will select up to 10 companies to...

New European Parliament report calls for hemming in use of military AI on battlefield

By Brooks Tigner 21 January 2021
The European Parliament has set out its definitive position on the military uses of artificial intelligence (AI) in a newly adopted report. Noting that the technology can replace neither “human decision-making nor human contact”, it also insists on the need for an EU strategy to prohibit lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS).  The European Parliament has adopted a new report on the military uses of AI. (Getty Images)  “Faced with the multiple challenges posed by the development of AI, we need legal responses,” declared Gilles Lebreton, a Me...

US looking for aerostat air-defence radars for Saudi Arabia

By Jeremy Binnie 19 January 2021
The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) has released a request for information (RFI) for radars that are carried by aerostats to increase their ability to detect low-flying missiles and aircraft as part of a wider Saudi C4I modernisation study.  An example of the diagrams the AFLCMC wants companies to provide with their responses to the RFI for aerostat radar systems for Saudi Arabia. (US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center)  AFLCMC said it has already carried out a Saudi radar coverage study that concluded that “the combina...

GA-ASI, Leonardo to integrate Seaspray radar onto SeaGuardian UAV

By Gareth Jennings 19 January 2021
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) is to integrate the Leonardo Seaspray 7500E V2 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar onto its MQ-9B SeaGuardian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the manufacturer announced on 18 January.  The Leonardo Seaspray maritime search and track AESA radar will be housed in the SeaGuardian’s existing centerline pod. (GAS-ASI)  The two companies are currently working to fit the radar into the centreline pod of the SeaGuardian, which is the maritime-specific variant of the SkyGuardian UAV that is...

Vice Chief Hyten to approve joint guidance on EMSO this month

By Carlo Munoz 18 January 2021
New joint guidance governing how US armed forces’ will adopt, implement, and execute the Pentagon’s new strategy for electromagnetic spectrum operations (EMSO) is expected to be released by the end of January, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of S...

Surface Navy 2021: NAVWAR chief sees spectrum, bandwidth challenges

By Carlo Munoz 17 January 2021
The US Navy is staring down looming challenges to a wide swath of service missions, as a result of changes in access to radio frequency (RF) spectrum and overall bandwidth availability for its fleet of networked systems and platforms.  The Pentago...

US Army gains approval to move IBCS into production

By Ashley Roque 14 January 2021
Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord has green-lit production of the US Army’s new battle command system, Department of Defense (DoD) and service officials told   Janes  on 13 January.    Lord formally approved Milestone C for the service’s Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) just days before she is set to step down on 20 January. The decision enables the army to award a production contract for the Northrop Grumman-developed system. If all goes as planned, the system could be ready for initial operational test and evaluation aro...

US Air Force downselects Northrop Grumman for F-16 electronic warfare suite

By Pat Host 14 January 2021
The US Air Force (USAF) has downselected Northrop Grumman as the sole contractor to complete final project efforts to provide the electronic warfare (EW) suite for the service’s Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon fleet.  Northrop Grumman spokesman Stephen Lamb said on 11 January that the company was selected in 2019 to develop a prototype internally mounted EW suite and digital radar warning receiver for F-16s. Northrop Grumman, he said, is performing on this contract. L3Harris was also competing under this contract. However, L3Harris spoke...

Update: Raytheon's Blackjack sensor payload passes critical design review

By Pat Host 13 January 2021
Raytheon Intelligence and Space’s (RI&S’) sensor payload for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) Blackjack small satellite programme passed its critical design review (CDR) in November 2020, the company has announced.  RI&S demonstrated during CDR that vital sensor components – such as the focal plane, cryocooler, telescope, and electronics – are in fabrication. The company also provided updated sensor analysis, which dictates optimal performance parameters, such as orbit, for missions, according to a company statemen...

US Army maintaining IVAS first unit equipped goal, crafting ‘mitigation' plan

By Ashley Roque 13 January 2021
The US Army is still planning to meet its Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) first unit equipped (FUE) date sometime between July and September but is also deciding how to avoid subsequent delays after lawmakers sliced USD235 million from the technology’s procurement budget.  In late December 2020 President Donald Trump signed a USD2.3 trillion comprehensive spending bill for fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021) that included a steep IVAS spending cut and called for the service to detail additional per unit costs and fielding plans. Lieuten...

Feature article - Cyber Coalition 2020: NATO builds cyberspace situational awareness

By Gerrard Cowan 16 December 2020
NATO’s ‘Cyber Coalition 2020’ exercise, which took place virtually between 16 and 20 November, provided a means of testing the alliance’s capabilities in the domain and enabled it to trial new techniques and technologies, with a particular focus on building situational awareness within cyberspace.  While exercise controllers usually run the event from the Estonian Cyber Range 14 (CR-14), this year they and the participants were distributed internationally for the first time as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.  The Cyber Coalition 2020 exe...

Leonardo delivers Miysis DIRCMs for UK Shadow fleet

By Gareth Jennings 12 January 2021
Leonardo has delivered to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Miysis Directed Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) suites for integration aboard the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) Raytheon Shadow special mission aircraft fleet.  Leonardo staff at the company’s Edinburgh facility in Scotland marked delivery of the final Miysis DIRCM system for the UK’s Shadow fleet in late 2020. (Leonardo)  Speaking to Janes on 11 January, Head of DIRCM Campaigns at Leonardo Edinburgh, Dave Gourlay, said that despite restrictions placed on the workforce due to Covid-19, t...

US Army awaits imminent IBCS production decision

By Ashley Roque 12 January 2021
The Pentagon will announce within days whether it is green-lighting production of the US Army’s new Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) network,   Janes  has learned.     The army had anticipated that Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s acquisition chief, would hold the IBCS milestone C review in mid-November 2020 but as of early January the service had not yet been notified of a decision, according to an army spokesperson. However, Lord’s office told   Janes  on 11 January that the announcement will be coming...

North Korea developing nuclear-powered submarine, tactical nuclear missiles, says Kim Jong-un

By Gabriel Dominguez & Dae Young Kim 11 January 2021
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has revealed that Pyongyang is at different stages in the development of a range of new military platforms and weapon systems, including a nuclear-powered submarine, tactical nuclear weapons, hypersonic glide vehicles, electronic warfare equipment, and reconnaissance satellites.  On 9 January the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted Kim as telling members of the Eighth Congress of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) that the aim is to modernise the Korean People’s Army (KPA), bolster its dete...

US Navy eyes passive targeting capability for MQ-8C Fire Scout UAS

By Richard Scott 11 January 2021
The US Navy (USN) is planning to introduce an electronic intelligence (ELINT) system onto the Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout rotary-wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) to enable a capability for passive geo-location and targeting.  In a sources so...

Pentagon issues 5G integration plan, eyes experimentation expansion

By Carlo Munoz 11 January 2021
The US Department of Defense (DoD) has issued its definitive strategy for the implementation of 5G capabilities in the US armed forces’ command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) operations, just as department officials prepare to kick experimentation plans for the advanced mobile communications technology into high gear.  The implementation plan, approved by acting US Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller in December 2020, codifies four main pillars of the department’s overall 5G roa...

US Army aims to have Iron Dome deployment ready by September

By Ashley Roque 08 January 2021
The US Army is training soldiers on how to operate Rafael’s Iron Dome, with the goal of having the first battery ready to deploy by September and the second by about December, the service told  Janes  .   Israel delivered the first air-defence battery to the army in September 2020 and the weapon is now at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, Donald Herrick, a spokesman for the Air and Missile Defense Cross Functional Team, wrote in a 6 January email. The army then received the second battery in early January and Herrick said this o...
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