Pentagon eyes commercial 5G network integration into tactical systems
03 June 2022
by Carlo Munoz
A US Department of Defense rendering of the Integrated Tactical Communications Networks concept. (US Department of Defense )
The US Department of Defense (DOD) is exploring potential technologies that would enable the US Armed Forces to field advanced tactical networks integrated with commercially developed 5G communications networks, linked via air-based relay nodes.
The Beyond 5G Integrated Tactical Communication Networks programme is focused on leveraging device-to-device (D2D) or sidelink capabilities inherent in commercial and military 5G applications, to “offer multiple novel architectural options and system design opportunities”, for future tactical network systems, according to a request for solution (RFS) issued by the Pentagon.
DOD officials are poised to review and downselect industry prototype offerings for the programme by the end of June, according to the RFS issued on 25 May.
The critical capabilities being sought in the RFS include development of end-user network access to terrestrial and airborne communication infrastructures via “direct commercial 5G-enabled devices”, capable of receiving and transmitting internetwork data through 5G and non-5G radio interfaces across domains, programme officials said. On development of an airborne node element, department officials want to explore two variants of the capability.
RAAF improving Super Hornet, Growler air combat training
09 August 2022
by Akhil Kadidal
Aircrew from the RAAF's No 1 and No 6 Squadron walk towards their aircraft at RAAF Base Darwin. Australia has upgraded its training to maintain the “air combat capability edge” of its F/A-18F and E/A-18G Growler pilots and personnel. (LAC Sam Price/Department of Defence/Commonwealth of Australia)
An air combat training programme for Australia's Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler aircrews has been upgraded and extended.
The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has signed a new five-year, AUD109.7 million (USD76.4 million) contract to enhance the ground-based training of pilots and personnel.
Janes has learned that the new Electronic Attack Air Combat Training Support (EATS) contract will replace the earlier Air Combat Training Services Support (ACTSS) contract, which was providing support for F/A-18F and E/A-18G units. The ACTSS contract was in place from 2010 to July 2022.
The EATS contract was announced on 1 August. The new contract is said to be a contemporary evolution of the ACTSS to provide “key support to the F/A-18F and EA-18G capability”.
Under the conditions of the agreement, Raytheon Australia will deliver ground-based “simulator maintenance and engineering as well as aircrew training services”, a DoD spokesperson told Janes.
China ends unprecedented show of force around Taiwan with enduring repercussions
08 August 2022
by Ridzwan Rahmat
Taiwan Navy personnel stand guard on the Chi Yang (Knox)-class frigate, ROCS
, on 7 August while it was berthed near Keelung City as China conducts major drills around Taiwan's main island.
(Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)
China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) appears to have wound down the series of unprecedented military exercises it was conducting around Taiwan from 4 to 7 August.
Publicly available data on 8 August indicate that aircraft and merchant ships have largely resumed their routes through the six exclusion zones around the main island of Taiwan, which had been demarcated as exercise areas by the Chinese government during the period.
Co-ordinates of these zones were released by China's state-sponsored Xinhua News Agency on 2 August, hours after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan. Since then, there have been no further Notices to Mariners (NOTMARs) or Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) from the Chinese government on military exercises in the vicinity.
The flight path of the UAVs deployed by the PLA near Japan's south-western islands and Taiwan on 4 August. (Japan Ministry of Defense)
Japan's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that it spotted Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) near Taiwan and Japan's Nansei/Ryuku islands on 4 August.
According to the MoD, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) deployed one BZK-005 medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV, a TB-001 MALE UAV, and at least one other unmanned aircraft near the East China Sea area.
The BZK-005 and TB-001 UAV flew over the Miyako Strait, which is located between Japan's Miyako and Okinawa islands, more than once reaching the south of the Sakishima islands before reversing back on the same route, the MoD said.
The other unmanned aircraft was seen flying off the northeastern coast of Taiwan and continued to circle over the “high seas”, the MoD added.
The MoD said that the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) dispatched fighter jets from its Southwestern Air Command Support Flight to intercept the UAVs.
analysis of the BZK-005 UAV image shared by the Japanese MoD indicates that it is the modernised BZK-005E variant.
In this episode of The World of Intelligence we speak with Neil Spencer on the value of OSINT in the commercial sector.
Neil Spencer is the Director of Strategy and Partnerships for LifeRaft. He has more than twenty years of security indust...