DSEI 2021: Italy joins Eurofighter ‘Radar 2' programme

by Gareth Jennings

The Italian Air Force has opted to equip its Eurofighter combat aircraft with the most advanced Radar 2 AESA currently being developed. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Italy has joined the United Kingdom in developing the ‘Radar 2' active electronically scanned array (AESA) sensor for the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft.

Leonardo announced on 14 September that Italy has opted to join the European Common Radar System Mark 2 (ECRS Mk2) radar, with engineers from its Nerviano radar site in Milan joining the UK development team at the company's Edinburgh site in Scotland in the coming weeks.

“The move represents the first step towards Italy's full participation in the ECRS Mk2 programme. This formation of what is known as the Industrial Joint Team follows the approval of a statement of principles document by the UK and Italian Ministry of Defence [MoD],” Leonardo said at the DSEI defence exhibition in London.

As noted by Leonardo, the focus of the team of Italian engineers will be to contribute towards the successful development of Radar 2, while acquiring system design capabilities that will ensure the Italian MoD has sovereign control over the new radar system at every stage of its operational life.

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Tunisian military to receive Ultra command-and-control system

by Jeremy Binnie

The US Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) announced on 13 October that it has awarded a contract to Ultra Electronics Advanced Tactical Systems to provide the Tunisian Armed Forces with a common operational picture (COP) system and related services.

A notice published via the US government's System for Award Management website said Tunisia's Joint Operations Command Centre (JOCC) requires a COP system that “provides integrated data from multiple sources to enhance the ability to securely share information across the Tunisian military”.

In its justification for awarding the sole-source contract to Ultra, it said Tunisia requires a system that allows joint interoperability with US forces and meets US cybersecurity requirements, including Type 1 encryption.

It said the COP system will include Ultra's Air Defense System Integrator (ADSI), which is “currently the only C2 [command-and-control] system that meets the requirements for this effort, including interfacing with Tunisian infrastructure”.

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AUSA 2021: US Army leverages data management lessons learned from Afghan pull-out

by Carlo Munoz

A US soldier attached to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division secures a helicopter landing zone in southeastern Afghanistan in 2019. (US Army)

Senior US Army leaders are in the midst of incorporating the lessons learned from data management shortfalls that plagued the US withdrawal from Afghanistan earlier this year, saying anticipated advances in the service's combat networking construct will close those gaps.

An overloaded and overworked legacy network architecture, the inability to transmit time-sensitive data between US armed forces and allied units, coupled with commanders' incapacity to access data streams outside prescribed formats, all led to data management failures during the Afghanistan pull-out in August.

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US Army and Microsoft working to ‘mature' IVAS technology, delays operational testing and fielding

by Ashley Roque

Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division use the latest IVAS prototype during a training exercise in October 2020. (US Army )

The US Army has postponed plans to field Microsoft's HoloLens 2 augmented reality (AR) system to soldiers while it ‘matures' the technology, the service has confirmed.

Janes first reported that the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology's (ASAALT's) office paused the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) programme while it worked to refine its timeline. While the army has not responded to Janes questions about what prompted this decision, it has confirmed that operational testing that had been slated to occur in July of this year had been bumped to May 2022 “in order to further mature technologies”.

If the army's revamped timeline proceeds as planned and ASAALT approves IVAS fielding, the service anticipates reaching the first unit equipped date in September 2022.

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Italy has joined the United Kingdom in developing the ‘Radar 2' active electronically scanned array ...

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