7 février 2024 | International, C4ISR

Pakistani firm shows off new drone during Saudi defense show

GIDS touts the drone as able to operate autonomously with artificial intelligence-enabled payloads.


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  • The Navy needs industry to tackle software-defined networks, data sharing

    8 octobre 2020 | International, Naval, C4ISR

    The Navy needs industry to tackle software-defined networks, data sharing

    Andrew Eversden WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy needs to quickly modernize its fleet's network in order to be prepared for future fights, but one of the “greatest impediments” to that effort is that 5frwcgydtqr5s4eathe hardware inside ships requires hull cuts to be upgraded, a top Navy IT official said Monday. “These platforms need to be water-tight which means our entry points are small. The equipment that needs to be upgraded inside the hulls often requires hull cuts,” said Rear Adm. Susan BryerJoyner, Navy cyber security division chief in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. “That challenges our ability to pivot quickly in order to upgrade the traditional hardware that [delivers] the capabilities we're trying to provide to the warfighter.” The key to modernization is to get around the hull cuts, BryerJoyner said Wednesday at the AFCEA NOVA Naval IT Day. This is a time-consuming process that has long irked the Navy. Instead, the service is turning to industry for help getting around the large hardware requirements of traditional networking capabilities. BryerJoyner said that the Navy's future lies in software-defined networking. Software-defined networking relies on software applications for network management. “We need to get to software defined networks. We know we need to be able to share data more seamlessly across the Navy. The challenge is, how do we come up with modular platforms that don't require hull cuts in order for us to be able to swap in and out on board the ship,” she said. “That's honestly one of the greatest impediments to modernization.” She also added that the service is seeking help from industry for data sharing. Like the other services, Navy ships must be able to pass data in denied and degraded environments, whether that's caused by the weather, adversaries or the poor satellite connection. The service, she said, must adjust to a state of operations where applications do not have constant connectivity. The Navy also needs to understand if the data needs to be shared just locally aboard a ship or if it needs to be aggregated in some form to be shared with the rest of a strike group or across a theater, she said. Data sharing capabilities across the theater will also be a critical component for Joint All-Domain Command and Control, a major push by the services to connect sensors and shooters across domains. Tactical cloud computing in remote environments will be a cornerstone piece to data sharing. Speaking on the same webinar, Navy Chief Information Officer Aaron Weis said the shift to cloud, driven in part by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, was currently the top priority. But for tactical cloud, Weis said, “there's no better use case for tactical cloud than a ship afloat or an expeditionary marine force.” “If the end state is ‘I'm not going to be able to securely move data from anywhere to anywhere,' well, now we're back to that modernization and the network discussion," Weis said. https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/it-networks/2020/10/07/the-navy-needs-industry-to-tackle-software-defined-networks-data-sharing/

  • The Pentagon’s new space agency has an idea about the future

    4 juillet 2019 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    The Pentagon’s new space agency has an idea about the future

    By: Nathan Strout The Defense Department's next generation space architecture would consist of several layers based around a mesh network of small communications satellites, according to a document released by the Space Development Agency July 1. A request for information lays out an early outline of what that new satellite architecture would look like and how the commercial sector can contribute to the effort. The SDA is a new entity that the Pentagon established less than four months ago as part of the Trump administration's focus on reorganizing the military's space structure. The agency's initial goal is to develop a next generation space architecture for military satellites in the face of near-peer adversaries' growing interest in space. “In an era of renewed great power competition with an emergent China and a resurgent Russia, maintaining our advantage in space is critical to winning these long-term strategic competitions,” read a request for information posted to the Federal Business Opportunities web site. “These potential adversaries are developing and demonstrating multi-domain threats to national security much faster than we can deploy responsive, space-based capabilities.” The agency wants the new architecture to provide eight essential capabilities identified in a 2018 Pentagon report. In addition, the Pentagon wants to include development of deterrent capability, space situational awareness, a resilient common ground-based space support infrastructure, command and control systems and artificial intelligence-enabled global surveillance. The Space Development Agency's notional architecture is made up of several layers, each of which would contribute to at least one of the eight essential capabilities. They include: A space transport layer: A global mesh network providing 24/7 data and communications. A tracking layer: Provides tracking, targeting and advanced warning of missile threats. A custody layer: Provides “all-weather custody of all identified time-critical targets.” A deterrence layer: Provides space situational awareness—detecting and tracking objects in space to help satellites avoid collisions. A navigation layer: Provides alternative positioning, navigation and timing services in case GPS is blocked or unavailable. A battle management layer: A command, control and communications network augmented by artificial intelligence that provides self-tasking, self-prioritization, on-board processing and dissemination. A support layer: Ground command and control facilities and user terminals, as well as rapid-response launch services. The SDA's immediate goal is the development of a transport layer consisting of a mesh network for communications and data in low earth orbit. As the agency has stated previously, that effort will rely heavily on DARPA's Blackjack program - a project that will establish an initial transport layer with a 20 satellite constellation. The SDA wants to build sub-constellations around the Blackjack program to meet some of the needs it has identified, such as missile defense warnings and targeting, alternative positioning, navigation and timing services, and more. The constellation and associated sub-constellations will be made up of small mass-produced satellites in the agency's vision, ranging from 50 to 500kg. The next-generation space architecture posting is the first request for information that the agency has posted in its brief existence, and sets a tone for what it's looking for from the commercial sector. Specifically, the SDA wants to know what capabilities and concepts the commercial sector can bring to bear on satellite buses, payloads, appliques and launches. Any proposal should fall into at least one of the suggested layers, the SDA stated. “SDA intends to leverage investments made by the private sector in space capabilities (...), as well as industry best practices (e.g., mass production techniques for spacecraft buses, sensors, and user terminals),” stated the agency. Among other things, the agency wants proposals for the following items: Small and cheap payloads that can provide high-bandwidth links between satellites; software that can track missiles from low earth orbit; software that can facilitate autonomous space sensor collection, processing and dissemination, and alternative methods for positioning, navigation and timing in case GPS is unavailable. In addition, the SDA wants feedback on the overall structure of its notional architecture. The SDA is also interested in industry concerns about data rights, security and protection, acquisition approaches and more. In building this new architecture, the SDA is clear that it wants to be agile and flexible in adapting to new technology and threats, meaning it wants to be able to integrate upgrades within two year windows. While it's not clear in the document how quickly the SDA wants to have the new architecture in place, the agency does emphasize that it is looking for efforts that can be demonstrated in less than 18 months. Responses are due on August 5. The SDA plans to hold an Industry Day to connect with the commercial sector in the near future. The document's release comes shortly on the heels of Space Development Agency Director Fred Kennedy's resignation in late June. Kennedy was the agency's first director, having been originally appointed to the position by acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan when the agency was stood up March 12. Derek Tournear, the assistant director for space within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering, was named the acting director of the agency June 24. Prior to taking the assistant director position, Tournear was the director of Harris Space and Intelligence research and development. He has also served stints at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. A Department of Defense spokesperson stated that Kennedy stepping down would not change the mission of activities of the agency. All of this comes as the U.S. military has worked to revamp its efforts in space. In addition to the stand up of the SDA, the Trump administration is also pushing for the creation of Space Force, a proposed sixth branch of the military that would be housed within the Air Force. While the Senate Armed Services Committee endorsed a version of Space Force, the House Armed Services Committee proposed a Space Corps, which would not be an independent branch of the military. https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/2019/07/03/the-pentagons-new-space-agency-has-an-idea-about-the-future/

  • Rheinmetall, BAE consummate armored-vehicles joint venture

    2 juillet 2019 | International, Terrestre

    Rheinmetall, BAE consummate armored-vehicles joint venture

    By: Andrew Chuter and Sebastian Sprenger LONDON and COLOGNE, Germany – Germany's Rheinmetall and Britain's BAE Systems on Monday launched their U.K.-based military vehicles joint venture, after British authorities approved the deal in mid-June, the companies announced. The new outfit is named RBSL, short for Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land, and it's based in Telford, West Midlands. Peter Hardisty, formerly of Rheinmetall UK, is the company's managing director. The joint venture sets out to “play a major role” in manufacturing the Boxer multirole fighting vehicle for the British Mechanised Infantry Vehicle program, according to a Rheinmetall statement. Official also have an eye on “other strategic combat vehicle programs” in addition to maintenance contracts for the British Army's bridging- and armored-vehicle fleets, according to the company. “This announcement is a clear vote of confidence in the UK's defence industry as a world-leader in designing, supplying and supporting military vehicles,” Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt was quoted as saying in the statement. “This exciting venture clearly demonstrates how Defence sits at the heart of the prosperity agenda. Its benefits will be felt in the West Midlands and across the UK defence supply chain, creating jobs, boosting exports and guaranteeing our technical skills base into the future.” Some might think it was anything but. That's because the news also means Britain has lost its only big-name, armored-vehicle company in a joint venture where BAE is the junior partner. As a result, the country no longer has a domestically controlled mainstream vehicle supplier — although some would argue BAE forfeited that role a while ago. The British company retains significant armored-vehicle design and build activities in the United States and Sweden. General Dynamics UK, Lockheed Martin UK and Rheinmetall now have significant investments in Britain's armored-vehicle sector, with British involvement primarily led by specialist designers and builders like Supacat and Jankel and a still-vibrant sector supply chain. It's a far cry from 2004 when BAE acquired key domestic manufacturer Alvis, trumping an acquisition bid from General Dynamics with a last-minute offer of £355 million (U.S. $451 million) that was largely seen as a strategic move. At the time, most of the British Army's armored vehicle fleet was designed and supplied by Alvis. But that's dramatically changed. General Dynamics has recently started supplying its Ajax family of tracked reconnaissance vehicles to the Army in what is the biggest deal in the sector in three decades. Final assembly and testing takes place at company facilities in South Wales. Lockheed Martin is leading the program to update the Warrior infantry fighting vehicle as well as supply turrets for the Ajax program from a factory in southern England. Rheinmetall is a partner in the Artec consortium selected without competition to supply Britain with the eight-wheel drive Boxer vehicle. The vehicle was nominated as the preferred option last year but a final production deal between RBSL and the Ministry of Defence has yet to be announced. Rheinmetall and BAE have also been vying to supply a major upgrade of the Challenger 2 main battle tank for the British Army. Mordaunt recently labeled the Challenger as “obsolete” due to the ministry's failure to keep pace with technological advances in the sector. In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute think tank last month, she said Britain had fallen behind it's allies and rivals due to underinvestment in the armored vehicle sector. A decision on the Challenger update program is expected shortly. However, recent signals from the MoD suggest the Army may have got its wish to fall into line with other NATO members and go for the German company's solution of a new turret and 120mm smoothbore gun to replace the rifled weapon currently fitted to the Challenger 2. BAE's weapons and ammunition activities in the U.K. are excluded from the deal, as is the CTAI joint venture with Nexter to build a new 40mm cannon. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/07/01/rheinmetall-bae-consummate-armored-vehicles-joint-venture/

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