German Army to receive additional batch of Future Soldier C2 systems

by Olivia Savage

The German Army will receive additional IdZ-ES VJTF 2023 solider systems . The variant is based on Rheinmetall's modular Gladius 2.0, showing (l) the CeoTronics CT-MultiPTT 3C central operation and control unit and chest-mounted tablet and (II) the single central hub. This configuration has two radios, suited for a platoon commander. (Giles Ebbutt)

Rheinmetall is to expand delivering its latest dismounted Future Soldier command-and-control (C2) system to the German Army.

As per a company announcement on 26 January, the German Bundeswehr has contracted Rheinmetall to deliver its ‘Infantryman of the Future – Extended System' (Infanterist der Zukunft: IdZ-ES) to soldiers.

Fourteen ‘IdZ-ES' “platoon systems”, comprising 476 systems in total will be delivered to individual soldiers, the announcement said.

Valued in the mid-double-digit million euro range, the contract was placed in December 2022 after Germany's Bundestag approved a EUR100 billion (USD108 billion) defence fund, the announcement added.

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Sweden procures tactical communication centres

by Olivia Savage

Conlog Group has been contracted to deliver communcation posts for the Swedish Armed Forces. Pictured is the company's Communication Station CL-600, with a deployable mast. (Conlog Group)

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has ordered new containerised tactical communication systems for EUR20 million (USD21.75 million) from Finnish company Conlog Group.

According to a company announcement on 23 March, the contract is for the provision of its Tactical Communications Shelters with Deployable Mast Systems.

Deliveries, intended for the Swedish Armed Forces, are scheduled to begin in 2024 and conclude by 2025.

Conlog Group was unable to elaborate on the systems and units being delivered.

Containerised and mobile, the stations are designed to maintain communications for military users in challenging environments. A 24 m hydraulic deployable mast can lift radars or antennas.

In December 2022, the Finnish Defence Forces ordered containerised communication stations from the company for EUR39.1 million.

Conlog Group is a Finnish-based company that develops modular containers and vehicles intended for intelligence, surveillance, and command purposes.

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SDA, CesiumAstro to develop Link 16-capable AESA antenna

by Carlo Munoz

CesiumAstro's Cesium Mission 1 AESA satcom testbed launched in 2021. The company reached a deal with the SDA to develop a Link 16-capable AESA antenna platform. (CesiumAstro)

The Pentagon's Space Development Agency (SDA), in conjunction with Colorado-based space payload company CesiumAstro, is developing the first multibeam active electronically scanned array (AESA) antenna compatible with the Link 16 tactical datalink.

Distributed across the L-band frequency, the AESA platform under development by CesiumAstro will create a persistent, established Link 16 satellite communications (satcom) network with regional and global reach across SDA's low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network, known as the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA). The work will be conducted as part of a USD5 million development deal with SDA, awarded on 2 March.

“Link 16 is [basically] two radios coming together to share data, [and] when one of those platforms leaves, the network goes away,” Trey Pappas, vice-president of Business Development at CesiumAstro, told Janes

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Pentagon budget 2024: Chinese balloon incident prompts last-minute ISR investment

by Carlo Munoz

A Chinese surveillance balloon flies above in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the United States on 4 February 2023. The incursion prompted the US Department of Defense to include USD90 million in last-minute ISR investments in its FY 2024 budget proposal. (Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The fallout from the detection and eventual shoot-down of a Chinese high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) balloon operating in US airspace prompted several last-minute changes in the US Department of Defense (DoD) budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2024.

Roughly USD90 million has been requested to finance future initiatives to better prepare US armed forces to protect against similar threats, said US Navy Vice Admiral Sara Joyner during a DoD briefing on the Pentagon's FY 2024 spending proposal, released on 13 March.

“I will tell you today that our sensors are capable of seeing high-altitude balloons and capable of tracking them, but it is a matter [of] tuning and optimising those systems to try and get after all forms of intrusions into our airspace,” said Vice Adm Joyner, who serves as the director of Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment on the Joint Staff.

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Rheinmetall is to expand delivering its latest dismounted Future Soldier command-and-control (C2) sy...

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