Thales, US Army weigh radar integration into battle management systems

by Carlo Munoz

The Sikorsky–Boeing SB-1 Defiant compound-helicopter being offered for FVL. (Sikorsky–Boeing)

Programme officials at Thales are exploring options for integration of the company's new software-defined airborne radar into the US Army's latest battlefield management systems, as part of an overall effort to incorporate the radar system into the service's Future Vertical Lift (FVL) effort.

Company officials categorise the new software-defined radar (SDR), dubbed AirMaster C, as a “developmental” product, said Mike Donaldson, director of advanced programmes and business development at Thales Defense & Security, Inc. However, programme officials are on track for initial production and deployment of the AirMaster C for a third-party customer, Donaldson told Janes . He declined to comment on the details of that proposed production and deployment deal. However, during an interview, he said that the initial development of the platform will coincide with “what we anticipate for future vertical lift [requirements]” for the US Army.

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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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