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 preps new Command Post Computer Environment increment

by Giles Ebbutt

The US Army command post during Joint Warfare Assessment 2021 at Fort Carson, Colorado, which was the culmination of testing for CPCE Increment 1. (Amy Walker/US Army PEO C3T public affairs)

The US Army, making steady progress in rolling out its Command Post Computer Environment (CPCE), has started planning the next increment.

CPCE is the central computing environment developed to support command posts and combat operations. It aims to reduce stove-piped legacy systems and provide an integrated, interoperable, cyber-secure, and cost-effective computing infrastructure for multiple warfighting functions. It is to provide army programmes with a core infrastructure, including a common operating picture (COP) tool, common data strategy, common applications such as mapping and chat, common hardware configurations, and a common look and feel.

Speaking during the Association of the United States Army annual convention in early October, Colonel Matt Paul, project manager mission command in the programme executive office for command, control, communications-tactical (PEO C3T), told Janes that the CPCE software was being introduced on a two-year cycle across active, National Guard, and Reserve components. Increment 0 had been fielded to about 20% in 2019.

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US Space Force awards production contract for Meadowlands satcom denial EW

by Richard Scott

L3Harris Technologies is to upgrade the Counter Communications Systems (CCS) Block 10.2 ground-based electronic warfare (EW) system used by the US Space Force to deny adversary satellite communications (satcom).

The company was awarded a USD120.8 million contract by the Space Systems Command on 22 October. Known as Meadowlands, the upgrade package transitions the existing CCS Block 10.2 system to a more modular and scalable Block 10.3 architecture, and introduces additional classified functionality.

Achieving Initial Operating Capability in March 2020 and claimed to be the first offensive weapon system to be fielded by the US Space Force, CCS Block 10.2 provides a ground-based, deployable EW capability to reversibly deny satcom, early warning, and propaganda. A total of 16 systems are fielded, operating from Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado, Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, and classified locations outside the continental United States.

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Northrop Grumman to compete for RoKAF's ISTAR requirement

by Alessandra Giovanzanti

In partnership with LIG Nex1 and Huneed, Northrop Grumman announced on 19 October that it is working on a JSTAR-K solution (a concept of which is shown in the image) to meet the RoKAF's ISTAR requirement. ( Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman announced on 19 October that it has signed a series of memoranda of understanding with South Korean companies LIG Nex1 and Huneed to develop a ‘Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System – Korea (JSTARS-K)' solution to meet a Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) requirement for an intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR)-capable aerial system.

The company said in a statement that the JSTARS-K solution, which will be based on the Gulfstream G550 business jet, will leverage Northrop's experience in the battle management command-and-control (BMC2) domain to deliver a new “low risk airborne BMC2 capability”.

While the US firm is set to act as prime systems integrator, local companies will ensure interoperability with other platforms and systems in service with the RoKAF, it added.

Production of the G550 ended in 2020, which is why Janes

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