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  • To update key databases, NGA looks at $1.5B in contracts

    July 11, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    To update key databases, NGA looks at $1.5B in contracts

    By: Maddy Longwell   The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has awarded contracts worth as much as $1.5 billion for companies for work on a comprehensive content database that would accelerate decision-making for analysts throughout the next decade. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contracts, awarded to 14 companies, are the JANUS program, an NGA initiative that provides geography, aeronautical and elevation information. JANUS is an unclassified cloud environment that updates and maintains geospatial databases, which can then be accessed by NGA's data partners including the intelligence community and military. JANUS includes: - a geography portion, with contracts worth as much as $920 million, - an elevation program, worth about $250 million, and - a program that features aeronautical data, worth about $320 million., “Janus, will enable near-real time access to commercially-created and enriched content (including crowd- and community-sourced data) in a cost-effective manner that improves decision-making timelines,” NGA Director Robert Cardillo said at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Intelligence in September 2016. For the geography program, Altamira Technologies Corporation, Hexagon US Federal, Inc., Centra Technology, Inc., MDA Information Systems, LLC, CACI, Inc. - Federal, Harris Corp., BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration, Inc., Boeing Intelligence & Analytics, Vencore, Inc., and Leidos, Inc. will be eligible for task orders. Those companies will compete to manage and disseminate geospatial intelligence information. They will also use predictive analytic technology to evaluate NGA databases, correct data and improve data acquisition and creation. For the elevation program, Raytheon, Hexagon, Continental Mapping Consultants, BAE, Leidos, Boeing and Harris will compete for task orders. Continental Mapping Consultants, T-Kartor USA, and Lowe Engineers could win task orders related to aeronautical feature data, according to a posting on the Federal Business Opportunities web site. “Our analytics technology provides NGA with fit-for-purpose data, reduced production costs and cloud-based access to geospatial products and content,” Bill Gattle, president of Harris Space and Intelligence Systems, said in a July 11 press release. https://www.c4isrnet.com/intel-geoint/2018/07/10/to-update-key-databases-nga-looks-at-15b-in-contracts/

  • The Marine Corps wants to protect its Hornets from GPS jammers

    July 11, 2018 | International, Aerospace, C4ISR

    The Marine Corps wants to protect its Hornets from GPS jammers

    By: Shawn Snow The Corps is looking to install antennas in its F/A-18 C/D Hornets to help the aircraft defeat GPS jammers. In a request for information posted in early June by Naval Air Systems Command, or NAVAIR, the Corps wants to install the anti-jam antennas known as the Air Navigation Warfare Program, or NAVWAR, in 120 of the legacy Hornets. The anti-jamming antenna “provides Global Positioning System (GPS) protection for Naval Air platforms by allowing for continued access to GPS through the use of Anti-Jam (AJ) Antenna Systems designed to counter GPS Electronic Warfare threats from intentional and unintentional interference,” Michael Land, a spokesman for NAVAIR, told Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement Tuesday. The development comes as U.S. aircraft have faced mounting electronic warfare attacks against aircraft in Syria. Army Gen. Tony Thomas, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, told audience members at a conference in April that adversaries were trying to bring down AC-130 gunships in Syria using electronic warfare, or EW. “Right now in Syria, we're in the most aggressive EW environment on the planet, from our adversaries,” Thomas said. “They're testing us every day, knocking our communications down, disabling our AC-130s, et cetera.” The Corps is amid an overhaul of its forces and equipment to prepare for a potential fight with near-peer adversaries like Russia and China. Both countries boast an impressive array of electronic warfare capabilities. Russia has been using the Syrian battlefield to hone its EW skills. The top Marine has oft repeated the threats posed to GPS systems from rising adversaries and says the Corps needs to be prepared to fight in GPS denied environments. The F/A-18 is the Corps' bridging aircraft as it moves to the new high-tech F-35. As the Corps transitions the older legacy Hornets are undergoing a service life extension, meaning the aircraft are being updated to handle the modern battlefield. “Installation in F/A-18 A-D helps ensure continued mission capability as the service life of the aircraft is extended and facilitates supportability by using more common equipment,” Land said. The Navy and the Marine Corps already use the anti-jamming GPS antenna in a number of airframes, according to Land. “Typical installations replace a platform's existing GPS antenna with a NAVWAR antenna and separate antenna electronics, while leaving a platform's GPS receiver in place,” Land added. The Corps expects the F/A-18 to be in sunset by 2030. As the Corps moves to the F-35 and phases out its Hornets, the legacy fighters will consolidate on the West Coast by 2018 with the exception of VMFA (AW)‐242, which will remain aboard the Corps' air station at Iwakuni, Japan until it transitions to the F-35 in 2028, according to the Corp's 2018 aviation plan. https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/your-marine-corps/2018/07/10/the-corps-wants-to-protect-its-hornets-from-gps-jammers/

  • First trans-Atlantic drone flight is set to leave from North Dakota

    July 11, 2018 | International, Aerospace, C4ISR

    First trans-Atlantic drone flight is set to leave from North Dakota

    By: The Associated Press   GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Officials say the first trans-Atlantic flight by a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft is set to take off from an aviation park in North Dakota. The General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. drone is scheduled to leave from the Grand Sky park at the Grand Forks Air Force Base Tuesday afternoon. The flight will cover more than 3,000 miles before landing in Gloucestershire, England, where the Royal Air Force is holding its centennial celebration. The aircraft is an MQ-9B, which is 38 feet long with a wingspan of 79 feet. The plane recently flew continuously for more than 48 hours. General Atomics spokeswoman Melissa Haynes says the flight is meant demonstrate the technology that allows the plane to fly alongside private and commercial aircraft. https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/07/10/first-trans-atlantic-drone-flight-is-set-to-leave-from-north-dakota/

  • Air Force moves to improve electronic warfare effectiveness

    July 10, 2018 | International, Aerospace, C4ISR

    Air Force moves to improve electronic warfare effectiveness

    By: Maddy Longwell   BAE Systems is transitioning its Compass Call electronic warfare system to a new type of aircraft. In a July 9 news release, the company said that under its Cross Deck initiative the system will be used on the more modern and capable EC-37B aircraft, replacing the aging EC-130H aircraft that has been used since 1981. “The cross-decking program enables the Air Force to maintain existing, unmatched EW mission capabilities in an economical business jet that can fly faster, higher, and farther than its predecessor, improving mission effectiveness and survivability,” said Pamela Potter, director of electronic attack solutions at BAE Systems. According to BAE Systems, the EC-37B is a special-mission Gulfstream G550 business jet that is heavily modified to meet Air Force requirements and will provide a more modern electronic attack platform thanks to reductions in weight and operating costs, as well as the ability to operate at a higher altitude and at longer ranges. The Compass Call system enables the Air Force to disrupt enemy command-and-control operations. The system also has enhanced stand-off jamming capability and allows the Air Force to counter communication and radar threats. Modifications to the first G550 have already begun and BAE Systems, which has partnered with L3 Technologies to transition capabilities, says it expects the first two EC-37B with Compass Call to be fielded by 2023, with a total of 10 planned. BAE Systems also said that it will continue to provide support for the EC-130H fleet while the cross-decking continues. https://www.c4isrnet.com/electronic-warfare/2018/07/09/air-force-moves-to-improve-electronic-warfare-effectiveness/

  • French procurement office to undergo transformation

    July 9, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR

    French procurement office to undergo transformation

    By: Pierre Tran PARIS - France seeks to shake up, speed up and closely audit its arms acquisition with a “transformation” of its procurement office, the Direction Générale de l'Armement. In a July 5 speech, Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly pointed to the need for a deep restructuring of the DGA in response to changing threats, international relations, technology and innovation. AS part of that process, the DGA will spin up an innovation office for key programs, with a budget of €1 billion (US $1.2 billion). Closer ties with industry will be part of the new approach, with prime contractors sitting down with the DGA and chiefs of staff to draw up a requirement – but industry must also assume responsibility and better share risk, Parly said. “Transformation of the DGA” was the mission assigned to its director, Joël Barre, when he took up the post, Parly told the audience gathered at the defense ministry. Efficiency and responsiveness were key goals, requiring greater dialog between the DGA and the military services, rather than working in silos, she said. There are now three phases in arms programs, half the previous number, she said. Those key stages are preparation, production and use of the equipment. The ministry seeks to simplify procedure, increase flexibility and acquire innovation, while pursuing new legal structures and financing. While greater conversations with industry will be vital going forward, Parly pointed up that there would “balance” in the government's relations with industry. France was ready to talk to industry but the government was not ready to pay any price. There will detailed audits to ensure a right price was agreed to, Parly warned. “The DGA is not a quartermaster's store, nor little old grandma with an open check book,” she said. One of the major reforms for industry will be to pressure prime contractors deliver on time, with the government seeking to move to an approach used in civil aviation, where most of the payment is made on delivery. That encourages a delivery on time, rather than the present phased payment, where defense contractors have no incentive to speed up the work. The DGA will send teams to inspect the contractors to ensure the right price was paid. Additionally, Parly said there will be greater sharing and use of engineering information between the DGA and industry, with increased use of artificial intelligence and large databases. Innovation agency To help drive the new culture, DGA will set up an innovation agency, intended to be the one number to call for inquiries on innovation, and ready to take risk and speed up official backing. There is a search on for director of the agency, which will merge various existing offices including Astrid, Def'invest and Rapid. The agency will have a budget of €1 billion (US $1.2 billion) for investment. There will be a greater cooperation between the DGA, Joint chief of staff and Chief of staff of each of the services, with teams working together in the same office area from this autumn. There are two pilot projects being considered: the Future Combat Air Systems, which will also consider the potential for cooperation with Germany and other European countries, and a maritime surveillance system. There is a search for greater speed by merging the operational requirements set by the services with the technical needs drafted by the DGA. The forces and DGA will, with a prime contractor, draw up a single document setting out requirement. This combined approach will be tested on a new internal communications system for the ministry. The DGA will seek greater flexibility in its staff management as the office relies on technical staff, which are in strong demand in the job market. That includes sending its employees to work temporarily in companies to learn best practice and boost cooperation between the ministry and industry. The DGA manages an average annual budget of €11 billion for some 100 arms programs, employs 9,600 staff, of which 56 percent are engineers and executives. The office has a major role in managing export deals. Parly, in her opening remarks, quoted former U.S. President John F. Kennedy in his 1960 acceptance speech of the Democrats' nomination for the presidential campaign: “We stand today on the edge of a New Frontier--the frontier of the 1960′s--a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils-- a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats.” The DGA was formed just a few months before the presidential candidate delivered his speech at the Democratic National Convention at the Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/07/06/french-procurement-office-to-undergo-transformation/

  • Air Force quietly, and reluctantly, pushing JSTARS recap source selection ahead

    July 9, 2018 | International, Aerospace, C4ISR

    Air Force quietly, and reluctantly, pushing JSTARS recap source selection ahead

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — Congress is waging a public battle on the fate of the JSTARS recap program, but behind the scenes, the Air Force is quietly taking steps that will allow them to award a contract for a program that leaders say they don't need. The service received final proposal revisions for the JSTARS recap program on June 22, confirmed Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Emily Grabowski in a statement to Defense News. “The Air Force wants to be postured to move forward with JSTARS recap, if required. Therefore, we are continuing source selection while we continue to work with Congress on the way forward,” Grabowski said in a statement. Usually, the government solicits final proposals and pricing information from competitors just weeks before making a final downselect. Thus, if Congress decides to force the Air Force to continue on with the program, it's likely the service will be able to award a contract in very short order. The Air Force began the JSTARS recap program as an effort to replace its aging E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System ground surveillance planes with new aircraft and a more capable radar. The initial plan was to buy 17 new JSTARS recap jets from either Boeing, Lockheed Martin or Northrop Grumman. However, the service announced during February's fiscal year 2019 budget rollout that it preferred to cancel the JSTARS recap program and fund an “Advanced Battle Management System” that would upgrade and link together existing aircraft and drones, allowing them to do the JSTARS mission. The Air Force's continued source selection efforts are necessary due to Congress, which is split on the issue of whether to continue to the program. Both Senate defense committees have sided with the Air Force, and would allow it to kill JSTARS recap as long as it continues to fund the current JSTARS fleet. The Senate version of the defense spending bill also includes an additional $375 million to accelerate the ABMS concept with additional MQ-9 Reapers and other technologies. Meanwhile, the House version of the bill would force the Air Force to award an engineering and manufacturing development contract for JSTARS recap to one of the three competitors, which had been valued at $6.9 billion. However, some lawmakers have said they might be willing to accept a truncated recap program to bridge the way until ABMS is fielded. “All of the committees understand the need for moving to the advanced battle management system,” Gen. Mike Holmes, head of Air Combat Command, told reporters in June. “If there are disagreements between the committees, it's about whether we can move straight to that and hold onto our legacy JSTARS as a way to bridge until we do that, or do we need to do one more recap of that system” The timing of final proposal revisions actually puts source selection for JSTARS recap ahead of that of the still ongoing T-X trainer jet program, which as of late June had not reached that stage. However, Congress will likely need time to resolve the JSTARS recap issue — meaning a contract decision is far from imminent. The House and Senate armed services committees began the conference process in June, which could allow them to reconcile differences in the defense policy bill as early as this summer. However, only appropriations bills can be used to fund government programs like JSTARS recap, and spending legislation could be stuck in limbo for months past that. If deliberations stretch out, “the Air Force will continue to assess contract award timelines and approvals. If necessary, the Air Force will request an extension of proposal validity or updated pricing as appropriate,” Grabowski said. Meanwhile, lawmakers continue to debate the case in the public eye. In a July 3 editorial for The Telegraph, Republican Rep. Austin Scott, one of the biggest proponents of the recap program, argued that it would be more economical to proceed with JSTARS recap than to continue to do extensive depot maintenance on the legacy aircraft. “After 10 years of work, the Air Force is considering canceling the JSTARS recap program,” wrote Scott, whose district in Georgia is home to Robins Air Force base, where the JSTARS aircraft reside. “Their arguments do not take into account the significantly improved capabilities and increased capacity that the new aircraft will provide. The Air Force has ignored its own assessments in their recommendation for cancellation.” https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/07/06/air-force-quietly-and-reluctantly-pushing-jstars-recap-source-selection-ahead/

  • The Pentagon’s latest budget is its largest counter-drone budget ever

    July 6, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    The Pentagon’s latest budget is its largest counter-drone budget ever

    By: Kelsey Atherton As the Pentagon's latest budget slouches towards Washington, a $716 billion beast waiting to be born, it is time to take a closer look at how the robots in the budget survived the various committees and drafts. As expected, the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act is a boon for drones, allocating funding for nearly three times as many uncrewed vehicles as in previous years. Most of those new drones are small, cheaper models, which is a trend reflecting in the other big spending increased in this budget: the Pentagon is set to spend almost twice as much on countering other drones in 2019 as it spend on that same in 2018. The Association of Unmanned Vehicles System International has provided an in-depth look at how exactly the 1.4 percent of the defense budget allocated to drones is spent, detailing the minute differences in the comparatively meager $9.6 billion allocation. From the AUVSI's report: Separating the President's Budget request by domain, we see that air is receiving the largest funding support with the budget for unmanned aircraft reaching almost $7 billion in FY2019, followed by $1.5 billion for counter unmanned systems (C-UxS), $1.3 billion for unmanned maritime vehicles and $0.7 billion for ground robotics. From FY2018 to FY2019, the budget for C-UxS technologies almost doubles. Figure 2 also shows the number of unique projects and sub-projects that involve unmanned systems relative to the domains in which they are operating. Cross-domain operations of air and ground unmanned vehicles are supported by the largest number of projects. Over 60 percent of these efforts are funded by the U.S. Army. The U.S. Navy is also working to provide solutions for interoperability and teaming of unmanned vehicles across multiple domains as they support over half of the projects involving operations in all domains (air, ground, and maritime). For the counter-drone mission, the Pentagon is splitting $1.5 billion between over 90 different projects, ranging from modifications to existing missiles and anti-air systems to directed energy weapons to electronic warfare software. The largest share of the 2019 budget for counter-UAS is set to go to the Army's Indirect Fire Protection family of systems, though the most interesting projects aren't always the budget headliners. Buried further down the spending list is DARPA's “Multi-Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System” (MAD-FIRES) project, which a projectile as agile and useful for interception as a missile, but cheap enough to be fired and fielded like a bullet. There's also a submunitions project from the Air Force to “Exploit the signatures of ISR targets; capture and catalog multi-spectral signatures on asymmetric threat Unmanned Aerial Systems.” That project is dubbed “Chicken Little,” perhaps with the explicit goal of making the sky fall. What the diversity of counter-drone programs, and drone programs generally, in the new Pentagon budget show is that this is still a young field, one with drone types and countermeasures all in flux. It's likely that future years will see more spending on counter drone tools, but it's also equally likely that the range of countermeasures will shrink as people fighting learn first-hand what does and doesn't work. https://www.c4isrnet.com/unmanned/2018/07/05/the-pentagons-latest-budget-is-its-largest-counter-drone-budget-ever

  • NATO advances in its new operational domain: cyberspace

    July 6, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    NATO advances in its new operational domain: cyberspace

    By: Sorin Ducaru As NATO prepares for its annual summit, to be held July 11-12 in Brussels, media attention has been focused on whether member states will boost their defense spending and readiness across the traditional operational domains of land, air and sea. This reflects a needed focus on important, but frankly longstanding alliance priorities. What many NATO-watchers are missing, however, is NATO's full embrace of its newest operational domain: cyberspace. Just two years ago, at the Warsaw Summit, allied nations recognized cyberspace as a new “operational domain in which NATO must defend itself as effectively as it does in the air, on land and at sea.” Since the Warsaw Summit, NATO has developed an ambitious roadmap to implement the cyber operational domain approach, with profound implications along lines of effort, such as: training, capability development, organizational construct, operational planning, training, exercises and strategic communications. Work in these areas is conducted with the aim to augment the cyber resilience and achieve mission success, in a cyber environment that is increasingly contested by adversaries. This is in line with the alliance's cyber pledge to prioritize investment in cyber skills and capabilities. Furthermore, the recognition of cyberspace as an operational domain opens the way for the integration of voluntary sovereign national cyber contributions into NATO operations and missions. Keeping in line with the other operational domains, NATO itself will not acquire offensive capabilities, but will rely on the contributions of its member nations. Already, the United Kingdom has led the efforts. In a Chatham House address last year, Sir Michael Fallon, former U.K. defense secretary, announced publicly that “the United Kingdom is ready to become one of the first NATO members to publicly offer such support to NATO operations as and when required.” At the NATO defense ministers' meeting last November, allies agreed on a framework of political and legal principles to guide the integration of voluntary cyber contributions from member nations. The framework ensures that any allied engagement in cyberspace will abide by NATO's defensive mandate, political oversight and compliance with international law. This is also in line with allies' support for the development of norms and confidence building measures, for security and stability in cyberspace. This year, allies' defense ministers agreed to establish a Cyber Operations Centre as part of the new NATO command structure, the first cyber-dedicated entity within NATO's command structure. This is the first step toward integrating cyber capabilities into NATO planning and operations, but specific considerations should be kept in mind. In the physical domains of land, air and sea, operational planning refers to of the physical forces or capabilities provided. In the cyber domain, integration will focus on the effects generated by the voluntary national cyber contributions, rather than the capabilities themselves, given that most cyber tools are unique and discrete. Within NATO, there has been a growing emphasis on developing the “digital IQ” of the allied military. In Portugal, a NATO Cyber and Communication-Information Systems Academy is being set-up, while cyber resilience is now featured in coordinated training curricula in every NATO member state. Cyber has been also streamlined across all NATO exercises. The NATO Cyber Center of Excellence in Estonia organizes two annual cyber-dedicated exercises. The first, “Cyber Coalition,” is testing the alliances readiness and response procedures and policies in situations of wide-reaching, persistent cyberattacks. The second exercise, under the Locked Shields banner, tests the skills of cyber experts in red-team/blue-team war games scenarios. This year, NATO's blue team won the exercises, signaling the growing interest of member nations to strengthen NATO's new operational domain. “All crises today have a cyber dimension,” noted Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier this month. Soon after in London, Stoltenberg hinted that the July NATO summit will “take decisions on integrating national cyber capabilities into NATO operations.” This reflects a game-changing approach in terms of mainstreaming cyber across strategy and tactics, training and exercises, as well as military planning in all operational domains. This is consistent with the recent U.S. Department of Defense strategy, which aims to “invest in cyber defense, resilience and the continued integration of cyber capabilities into the full spectrum of military operations.” It is no secret that, in cyberspace, we are under attack as we speak. As the threat landscape expands, so does NATO's commitment to the new cyber operational domain. Ambassador Sorin Ducaru is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Between September 2013 and November 2017, he was NATO assistant secretary general and chair of NATO's Cyber Defense Committee and Cyber Defense Management Board, having a leading role in NATO's cyber policy development and implementation. He is also a special advisor of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace. https://www.fifthdomain.com/opinion/2018/07/05/nato-advances-in-its-new-operational-domain-cyberspace

  • 5 technology trends driving an intelligent military

    July 6, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    5 technology trends driving an intelligent military

    By: Antti Kolehmainen The rise of non-traditional actors, cyberattacks and state-sponsored subversion is challenging democratic governance and creating an increasingly volatile operational and security environment for defense agencies. To address these threats, military organizations must be able to operate seamlessly and intelligently across a network of multinational partners. This year's Accenture Technology Vision identified five trends that are essential components of any intelligent defense organization: Citizen AI, extended reality, data veracity, frictionless business and Internet of Thinking. Private AI: training AI as an effective troop member Harnessing AI's potential is no longer just about training it to perform a specific task: AI will increasingly function alongside people as a full-fledged member of a team. In the high-stakes world of defense, it's especially important that AI systems act as trustworthy, responsible and efficient colleagues. AI could have a major impact for military organizations, including defense logistics and cybersecurity. An adversary equipped with advanced AI capabilities will not wait for its enemies to catch up technologically before launching an offensive. AI's ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data has significant implications across the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) loop. From augmenting our ability to detect new threats to analyzing countless variables, AI could transform surveillance and situational awareness. Extended Reality: The end of distance Extended reality (XR), which includes virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), is the first technology to relocate people in both time and place—effectively eliminating distance. For the defense sector, the ability to simulate and share a common view of an operational theatre is immensely powerful. Recently, Accenture created a mixed reality proof of concept using Microsoft HoloLens and gaming engine Unity that provides military personnel with an interactive map showing real-time location and status data for troops and resources on the ground. With a simple command, a user can order reinforcements or supplies, or create and test different scenarios through a mixed reality interface. XR technology can also enhance operational command capabilities in the field. For example, AR goggles could provide dashboards and data visualizations where and when they are needed – such as at an operating base. XR also will have major implications for training, allowing soldiers and pilots to engage in highly realistic combat simulations. Data veracity: the importance of trust As defense organizations become increasingly data-driven, inaccurate and manipulated information is a persistent and serious threat. Agencies can address this vulnerability by building confidence in three key data-focused tenets: provenance, or verifying data from its origin throughout its life cycle; context, or considering the circumstances around its use; and integrity, or securing and maintaining data. The ability to trust and verify the data that flows between multinational partners is critically important. Organizations must be capable of delivering the right data to the right recipient, at the right time – which can only be accomplished by radically reorienting how data is shared across today's armed forces. Today's vertical approach involves passing information up and down the command stack of a nation's military. In contrast, multinational military operations demand that information is also shared horizontally across the forces of different nations and partners. This shift requires a profound change in technology, mindset and culture within agencies. Frictionless defense: built to partner at scale Our recent survey found that 36 percent of public service leaders report working with twice as many strategic partners than two years ago. And when partnerships between industry, academia and military organizations are horizontally integrated and technology-based, they can expand faster and further than ever before. But legacy systems weren't built to support this kind of expansion, and soon, outdated systems will be major hindrances to collaboration. With this in mind, defense organizations must develop new IT architectures to reduce complexity. Agile IT systems will allow innovation to flourish, unimpeded by internal politics and employee resistance. A modern IT architecture will push organizations to clearly define the services they offer and turn each service into a potential enabler of collaboration. The Internet of Thinking: intelligent distributed defense capabilities Today's technology infrastructures are designed around a few basic assumptions: enough bandwidth to support remote applications, an abundance of computing power in a remote cloud and nearly infinite storage. But the demand for immediate response times defies this approach. Recent projections suggest that by 2020, smart sensors and other Internet of Things devices will generate at least 507.5 zettabytes of data. Trying to manage the computational “heavy-lifting” offsite will become limiting. The need for real-time systems puts hardware back in focus: special-purpose and customizable hardware is making devices at the edge of networks more powerful and energy efficient than ever before. Public service organizations are taking note: our survey indicates 79 percent of leaders believe it will be very critical over the next two years to leverage custom hardware and accelerators to meet new computing demands. The next generation of military strategies ride on pushing intelligence into the physical world. Defense organizations have to embrace new operating models to enable high-speed data flows, harness the potential of distributed intelligence and successfully neutralize threats. The defense sector is challenged to respond to new types of threat, political volatility and even new combat arenas, and acquiring new technology capabilities is a strategic imperative. Delivering greater situational awareness and the ability to respond rapidly to unpredictable adversaries requires investments in AI, edge computing and other emerging technologies. Likewise, today's information architectures will need to be redesigned to collaborate quickly, effectively and securely. Antti Kolehmainen is managing director, defense business service global lead at Accenture. https://www.c4isrnet.com/opinion/2018/07/05/5-technology-trends-driving-an-intelligent-military

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