C4ISR news

RAF stands up new ISTAR Air Wing

By Gareth Jennings 18 May 2021
The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has stood up the new Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Air Wing, it was announced on 17 May.  An artist’s impression of the Protector RG1 in RAF service. The Protector will be part of the RAF’s new ISTAR Air Wing when deliveries commence from 2024. (General Atomics via Janes/Gareth Jennings)  The ISTAR Air Wing is located at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, and is under the command of Group Captain Chris Melville.  “The Air Wing has been formed as part of the RAF Future Opera...

Pentagon seeks ‘data advantage' in new strategic guidance

By Carlo Munoz 17 May 2021
The Pentagon is implementing new policies and procedures to codify best practices in the department’s data management operations in an effort to ensure US armed forces maintains “data advantage” over its adversaries in future conflicts.  “Data is a strategic asset [and] transforming the [US] Department of Defense (DoD) to a data-centric organisation is critical to improving performance and creating decision advantage at all echelons from the battlespace to the board room, ensuring US competitive advantage,” Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen...

US Navy's Neptune project seeks new RF payloads

By Carlo Munoz 17 May 2021
The US Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) is looking to develop a new class of subminiature radio frequency (RF) signal processor payload for the sea service’s growing arsenal of unmanned platforms, according to a 13 May industry solicitation.  The new RF processing payload system being developed under the ONR programme, dubbed the Neptune Payload Prototype Project, will be designed to “support multiple RF missions with a limited set of hardware, a wideband transceiver capability with self-contained software-defined or reconfigurable hard...

US Army Secretary nominee defends modernisation portfolio

By Ashley Roque 14 May 2021
Christine Wormuth, the Biden administration’s nominee to be the next US Secretary of the Army, vowed to lawmakers that in the role she will push forward with the service’s weapons modernisation portfolio while also examining ways to ease tensions between the Army Futures Command (AFC) and the larger acquisition office.  On 13 May Wormuth appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to field questions about how she would approach the role as the army’s top civilian. If confirmed by the Senate, Wormuth would be the first woman to hold th...

US Army defending end strength, prepares to spend USD35 billion on weapons in FY 2022

By Ashley Roque 14 May 2021
Pentagon leaders are set to unveil details of the Defense Department’s USD715 billion fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget request in the coming days but there are outstanding questions about whether the US Army should shrink its ranks to free up funds, according to Lieutenant General James Pasquarette, the deputy chief of staff in charge of programmes.  The three-star general spoke at this year’s annual McAleese conference on 13 May and highlighted some of the challenges and questions the army is facing in its quest to finalise next year’s spending...

South Korea awards contract for series production of indigenous coastal surveillance radar

By Gabriel Dominguez & Dae Young Kim 14 May 2021
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has awarded a KRW164 billion (USD145.4 million) contract to defence systems company LIG Nex1 for the mass production of the indigenously developed Maritime Surveillance Radar-II.  South Korean company LIG Nex1 has been awarded a KRW164 billion (USD145.4 million) contract to mass-produce the indigenously developed Maritime Surveillance Radar-II for use by the RoKN. (DAPA)  The agency announced in a 14 May statement that the coastal surveillance radar will be deployed by the Republ...

Update: Lockheed Martin, Pentagon establish bi-directional communications between fifth-generation aircraft, ground units

By Pat Host 11 May 2021
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and the Pentagon for the first time established bi-directional communications between fifth-generation aircraft in flight while also sharing operational and sensor data to ground forces during a recent test, according to a company statement on 3 May.  This flight test, named Project Hydra, linked a Lockheed U-2 Dragon Lady high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, five Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs), and a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor in the air and provided real-time fifth-generation d...

French defence minister details budget strategy

By Jean-Marc Tanguy 07 May 2021
French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly updated the defence committee of the chamber of deputies, the lower house of France’s parliament, on the Loi de Programmation Militaire 2019–2025 military funding programme on 4 May. Among the priorities...

Logistics and data crunching should lead AI's first applications for allies, say officials

By Brooks Tigner 07 May 2021
Artificial intelligence (AI) will impact “everything” in the defence domain, but its application to logistics, object-motion recognition, and rapid data-crunching should be among its first goals, officials and policy analysts said at a virtual conf...

Update: Australia removing Elbit software from army's battle management system

By Julian Kerr 05 May 2021
Elbit Systems Australia (ELSA) has been formally advised that the software it has provided for the Australian Army’s digital battle management system (BMS) under Project Land 200 will be removed from service as of 15 May, sources confirmed to Janes...

Advanced C2 software suite clears critical USAF milestone

By Carlo Munoz 03 May 2021
An early variant of a new, advanced suite of combat management tools and software under development for the US Air Force (USAF) has cleared a critical milestone, paving the way for the system’s eventual deployment to combat zones around the world.  Officials at Air Combat Command and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCM) declared the Kessel Run All-Domain Operations Suite (KRADOS) for the Air Operations Center Weapon System (AOC WS) as having cleared the “minimal viable product” technology threshold. This allows the nascent vari...

US Army demonstrates MUOS capability for tactical radios

By Carlo Munoz 03 May 2021
US Army tactical radio and networked communications specialists demonstrated, for the first time, the ability to integrate Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) capability to mounted and dismounted radio platforms.  The implementation of MUOS capability into the army’s tactical manpack radio system variants “provided additional beyond the line-of-sight communications … and leverage the ability to fully dominate both the data and voice spectrum”, during the exercise, said Colonel Rob Ryan, chief of operations for Army Future Command’s Network C...

JADC2 strategy, posture review in final stages

By Carlo Munoz 03 May 2021
The policy underpinnings for the United States Department of Defense’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) initiative are in the final stages of review by senior department leaders, with the end product due to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin within the near term.  The overarching strategy will codify lines of effort among the services and within the department, in terms of co-ordination and contributions to the JADC2 initiative, said Joint Staff Chief Information Officer and US Marine Corps Lieutenant General Dennis Crall.  An uncla...

Thales ramps up Antares production for French Army AFVs

By Christopher F Foss 30 April 2021
Thales LAS France SAS is ramping up the production of the Antares laser warning and local situational awareness system (LWLSAS) for the French Army, the company told Janes in April.  By early April 2021 just over 80 had been completed, and a typical Antares LWLSAS production rate is to be 100 units a year, the company added.  Antares weighs less than 20 kg, and can be integrated with a platform’s NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture (NGVA).  Thales’ Antares LWLSAS provides laser warning and local situational awareness through 360 degrees. (Chris...

South Korea to develop indigenous attack helicopter for RoKMC

By Gabriel Dominguez & Dae Young Kim 27 April 2021
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 26 April that the country is planning to develop an indigenous attack helicopter to meet a Republic of Korea Marine Corps (RoKMC) requirement for 20–24 such rotorcraft.  The country’s Defense Project Promotion Committee decided that the development and acquisition project, which has been provisionally budgeted at KRW1.6 trillion (USD1.44 billion), is expected to begin in 2022 and be completed by 2031, according to DAPA.  A concept image of the Korean Aerospace Indu...

Locked Shields cyber exercise practices for loss of satellites

By Gerrard Cowan 27 April 2021
The Locked Shields 2021 cyber defence exercise incorporated a range of new cyber physical systems, including a satellite mission control system, aiming to simulate real-life threats to military situational awareness.  Locked Shields is the world’s...

SDA opens door to expanded, space-based electronic warfare

By Carlo Munoz 26 April 2021
Ongoing work by the Pentagon’s Space Development Agency (SDA) to establish new military-centric satellite communications and networking systems has opened the door for US armed forces' leaders to pursue tactical-level electronic warfare (EW) support capabilities from space.  The SDA’s development work in standing up the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA), which is designed to detect, identify, and deter potential terrestrial and space-based threats “has offered an opportunity that we have not had before, and that is Title 10 [authori...

Update: US Air Force contracts Kinetica for NORAD/NORTHCOM Pathfinder data fusion effort

By Pat Host 23 April 2021
The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Kinetica a five-year other transaction authority (OTA) contract potentially worth USD100 million to deliver a streaming data warehouse for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and US Northern Comm...

Europe's armed forces seek to pinpoint needed ‘emerging disruptive technologies'

By Brooks Tigner 23 April 2021
Europe’s defence ministries plan to identify a common set of emerging disruptive technologies (EDTs) to develop for military application, although they differ over whether the technologies should be retrofitted to legacy systems or integrated into...

SOCOM re-evaluates Global Analytics Platform update after SolarWinds breach

By Carlo Munoz 23 April 2021
Officials at US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) are redrawing plans for a massive update to its command-wide battlefield intelligence analytics programme, in the wake of a series of major cyberattacks against US armed forces and government networks.  Command officials released a supplemental request for information (RFI) in April, as a follow-on to a June RFI for the Global Analytics Platform (GAP) update programme. The update was designed to upgrade the legacy GAP system with artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and cloud comp...
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