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  • Marines Test New Drone Swarms a Single Operator Can Control

    24 juillet 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Marines Test New Drone Swarms a Single Operator Can Control

    By Gina Harkins One Marine could soon dispatch more than a dozen drones to jam enemy communications and take out targets -- all from a single handheld tablet. The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab has successfully tested the ability to have a single Marine operate six drones in the air simultaneously. The goal is to get that up to 15 and to see the small unmanned systems stay in the air for hours at a time. "What we're looking at is ... minimal operator burden so [a Marine's] face isn't down in a tablet," said Capt. Matt Cornachio, a fires project officer with the Warfighting Lab's science and technology division. "It's sort of having the machines do the work for you, so you give them intent and they operate." That could help ground troops in remote or hotly contested locations augment 60mm mortar fire with precision strikes. Cornachio said they're looking for drones with a host of potentials, including swarming, automatic-target recognition, kinetic-strike and electronic-warfare capabilities. "Your swarm is multifaceted so you have several warheads that hold their own capabilities in that cloud," he said. "... We see the precise nature of loitering munitions to augment company-level fires." In order to carry out a range of missions -- from delivering explosives to jamming communications, the Marine Corps is on the hunt for drone swarms that can stay in the air for hours. The Warfighting Lab held a drone-endurance test in the desert this month, Cornachio said, during which one unmanned aircraft flew for nearly two hours straight. "It's not out of the realm of possibility that these things could be in the air for three or four hours, so the smaller, the better," he added. Getting to the point where one Marine controls a swarm of drones is a big change from unmanned systems like the Switchblade, which required one operator per drone. That kamikaze-style drone delivers a payload equivalent to a 40mm grenade. The Warfighting Lab's efforts are part of a larger Marine Corps strategy called Sea Dragon 2025. Marines are experimenting with drones, self-driving vehicles, robotics and other technology that can limit their exposure in the field. The use of unmanned technology could be especially beneficial in complex urban environments, said Brig. Gen. Christian Wortman, head of the Warfighting Lab. "We can use manned-unmanned teaming and unmanned systems to take on some of the most dangerous tasks that Marines are executing in that kind of an urban environment," he said.

  • New leader wants Cyber Command to be more aggressive

    24 juillet 2018 | International, C4ISR

    New leader wants Cyber Command to be more aggressive

    By: Mark Pomerleau In his first public comments since assuming the head of U.S. Cyber Command, Gen. Paul Nakasone said the Department of Defense is taking a more aggressive approach to protect the nation's data and networks and aims to stay ahead of malicious cyber and information-related activity. The command's new vision, called “Achieve and Maintain Cyberspace Superiority," published in April, describes the notion of “continuous engagement” and “defending forward” to understand adversary weaknesses and impose “tactical friction and strategic costs.” “Through persistent action and competing more effectively below the level of armed conflict, we can influence the calculations of our adversaries, deter aggression, and clarify the distinction between acceptable and unacceptable behavior in cyberspace,” the document reads. Nakasone speaking July 21 at the Aspen Security Forum, said adversaries have long worked below the threshold of war to steal intellectual property, personally identifiable information and undermine societal discourse. While individually, these activities don't appear sensational, taken in aggregate, Nakasone said, they have grave national economic and security implications. Many academics have criticized the U.S. response to Russian election interference and noted that the United States tends to view conflicts through the binary lens of war or peace while competitors such as Russia see themselves constantly engaged in a state of war. From the U.S. perspective, many cyber acts are considered beneath the threshold of war, denoting a lesser response. But Nakasone said the philosophy of continuous engagement is more in line with the new National Defense Strategy, one that suggests the return of great power competition with nations such as Russia and China. In practice, Nakasone articulated a more aggressive approach, one that involves entering an adversary's network to learn what they are doing as a means of improving defenses. The philosophy is “this idea that we want to have our forces to be able to enable our defensive capabilities and to act forward,” Nakasone said. “Act outside of the boundaries of the United States to understand what our adversaries are doing and be able to engage those adversaries and obviously [be] able to better protect our networks, our data and our weapon systems. Such action, penetrating a network or sovereign territory, has not typically been an action a military organization has taken outside an engaged hostility with an organization or nation vice a covert action finding. Nakasone's predecessor told Congress that the command was mulling over cyber operations in nations where the United States is not actively involved in a conflict. Then Adm. Michael Rogers, explained he is comfortable with his authorities to use offensive cyber tactics in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, however, he added that they need more speed and agility in employing these capabilities “outside the designated areas of hostility.”

  • 434 Squadron reformed as test and evaluation centre

    24 juillet 2018 | Local, Aérospatial

    434 Squadron reformed as test and evaluation centre

    Chris Thatcher When your squadron lineage includes bomber, strike, fighter, operational training, and combat support roles, and your predecessors have flown everything from the Handley Page Halifax bomber to the Avro Lancaster, Canadair F-86 Sabre, Lockheed CF-104 Starfighter, Canadair CC-144 Challenger, and CT-133 Silver Star, it's perhaps fitting that you get reborn as an operational test and evaluation squadron. At a ceremony at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont., on May 31, the Royal Canadian Air Force reformed the 434 “Bluenose” Squadron as 434 Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) Squadron, under command of the RCAF Aerospace Warfare Centre (RAWC). The squadron last served as a combat support squadron in the 1990s, based at 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S. It was disbanded in 2002 and its colours placed in the All Saints Cathedral in Halifax. “The fact that [the squadron] has flown so many different aircraft is [appropriate], in that we have now taken on OT&E for every single aircraft within the RCAF,” said LCol Graham Edwards, a long-range patrol navigator and the new commanding officer. 434 Squadron is being reformed and re-branded in response to the government's 2017 defence policy. With 13 initiatives specific to the RCAF and many aircraft due to be replaced or modernized, the workload for operational test and evaluation is going to increase. By amalgamating five existing test and evaluation flights (TEFs)–helicopter, long-range patrol, transport, land aviation, and fighter–with two new flights for search and rescue and aerospace systems under one command, the Air Force hopes to better manage its limited resources as more platforms and systems require testing and evaluation. “It was deemed that the status quo won't work if we are to achieve success with those initiatives,” said Edwards. Historically, test and evaluation has been managed within each fleet of aircraft, but it has often drawn people from the operational squadrons and into the testing seats to conduct a trial of a new aircraft or aircraft system. Each community will continue to develop its own testing expertise, but by centralizing decisions about how those people are assigned, 434 Squadron hopes to manage the strain when capabilities are being introduced at the same time that the aircraft are being deployed. Search and rescue aircraft, the CP-140 Aurora or the strategic transport CC-177 Globemaster, for example, rarely have a dip in operational tempo. “They can keep the structure of their operational force together,” Edwards said of the operational squadrons. “As the fleets convert back to operations with the new platform, we'll take the people from the test and evaluation chairs and move them back to the operational chairs. And then I can reallocate those test and evaluation [positions] to the next fleet that is undergoing the next transition.” The two new flights are intended to address the arrival of the new CC-295W search and rescue aircraft into service in 2019 and the many ground-based and airborne systems that support all the fleets being introduced in the coming years, such as navigation aids, communication systems, ground-based radars, data link systems, and even simulators. “The new Aero TEF is going to provide that body of expertise and create a body that is responsible to deliver that ground capability,” said Edwards, noting that a coordinated process will ensure interoperability between all systems during the OT&E phase. “There's no sense modifying the fleet with data link systems when we have not done the ground support with it.” By including 434 Squadron under the RAWC, which has been transformed in recent years as one of the RCAF's core pillars with 1 Canadian Air Division (operations) and 2 Canadian Air Division (training), lessons acquired during the test and evaluation phase should be more readily incorporated into the development of doctrine and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) that shape training and operations. Among Edwards' immediate priorities are the amalgamation of the TEFs and establishing a new governance structure, what he called an “air test and evaluation master plan.” But the process won't be completely new. As an exchange officer with RAF Waddington in 2008, he was part of the transformation of 56 Squadron into an OT&E unit for C4ISR (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Intelligence, Surveillances and Reconnaissance), conducting trials on unmanned aerial systems, Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, and Hawker Siddeley Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft. The return of the squadron's colours was a proud moment and the members are keen to carry on its Bluenose traditions. No. 434 Squadron, adopted by the Rotary Club of Halifax, was the RCAF's 13th overseas bomber squadron, formed on June 13, 1943, at RCAF Station Tholthorpe in England. It was reformed as 434 Strike/Attack Squadron in 1963 and as 434 Operational Training Squadron in 1968. It was then re-designated 434 Tactical Fighter Operational Training Squadron in 1970, as 434 Composite Squadron in 1992, and finally as 434 Combat Support Squadron in 1993. In its first two years of operations, the squadron accomplished eight significant battle honours, reflective of what it is trying to do now in a brief period, said Edwards. But he's hoping to break with at least one 434 Squadron tradition. “The squadron would stand down every time it switched to a new aircraft. Now that we have all the aircraft of the RCAF under the remit of 434, I hope to see a bit more longevity in the squadron.” Helicopter Operational Test & Evaluation Flight at 12 Wing Shearwater, N.S., is responsible for the operationalization of the CH-148 Cyclone Maritime Helicopter. Long Range Patrol Operational Test & Evaluation Flight in 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S., is focused primarily on the CP-140 Aurora. Transport Operational Test and Evaluation Flight, located at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont., deals with all air mobility fleets like the CC-130J Hercules, CC-177 Globemaster, and CC-150 Airbus. Land Aviation Test and Evaluation Flight is in St Hubert, Que., and supports tactical aviation helicopters like the CH-147 Chinooks and CH-146 Griffons. Fighter Operational Test & Evaluation Flight is in 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta. and deals with fighter aircraft. (new) Search and Rescue Test & Evaluation Flight will be stood-up at 19 Wing Comox, B.C., and will be responsible for the new Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue, CH-149 Cormorant, and the CC-130H Hercules and CH-146 Griffon SAR fleets. (new) The Aerospace Systems Test & Evaluation Flight will be co-located with 434 Squadron headquarters in 8 Wing Trenton and will deal with ground-based aeronautical systems such as radars, navigational aids, meteorological systems and data links.

  • Bids to be submitted today for Canadian Surface Combatant – the countdown begins

    24 juillet 2018 | Local, Naval

    Bids to be submitted today for Canadian Surface Combatant – the countdown begins

    DAVID PUGLIESE The final bids are being submitted Friday by various consortiums for the Canadian Surface Combatant program. The bids going in Friday involve the finalized portions of the bids on designs (the technical design bids were originally submitted in November but today marks the deadline for responses that deal with any questions the federal government may have had/changes needed to be made) as well as proposals for the financial elements for the project. The new ships will be the backbone of the future Royal Canadian Navy. The groups bidding include: -Lockheed Martin Canada, who will be the prime on the team that includes BAE Systems, CAE, L3 Technologies, MDA, and Ultra Electronics. The team is offering the BAE Type 26 warship for the Canadian program. The proposal will include Lockheed Martin Canada's combat management system, CMS 330, which is currently on board the modernized Halifax-class frigates. A scaled down version of the system will be used on the Royal Canadian Navy's new Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship fleet. The United Kingdom is acquiring 8 of the Type 26 ships. Australia has also identified the Type 26 as the design for its future warship. Gary Fudge, Vice President and General Manager, Lockheed Martin Canada Rotary and Mission Systems told Defence Watch that the group's bid was submitted earlier this week. He noted that the Type 26 would be excellent in an anti-submarine warfare role as it is designed to be extremely quiet. The vessel also has room to future modernization, unlike older designs, he added. The Lockheed Martin team, which is making $17 billion in value proposition commitments to Canada, will commit to spending billions in innovation across Canada's priority areas, including $2 billion in supplier development and $2 billion in research and development, and $200 million in advanced manufacturing, the company noted. -Alion Science and Technology, along with its subsidiary Alion Canada, submitted their proposal based on the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën Air Defence and Command (LCF) frigate. “Our solution delivers an effective, affordable, production-ready 21st century naval capability to meet Canada's defence needs,” Bruce Samuelsen, Chief Operating Officer for Alion, said last year while promoting the firm's bid. The De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate is a proven NATO vessel, built by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, with more than 10 years of operational excellence, the company added. Alion's combat system solution is based on the world-class capabilities of ATLAS-Elektronik and Hensoldt Sensors. ATLAS brings an open architecture Combat Management System that readily accepts new and evolving technologies, the firm noted. Hensoldt's capability and experience in developing and fielding state-of-the art radars was central to meeting the unique Canadian requirements with a fielded, non-developmental radar, the Alion team added in an earlier news release. Other key suppliers include L3 Technologies Canada, Raytheon Canada Limited, DRS Technologies Canada Limited (DRS TCL) and Rheinmetall Canada Inc. -Navantia of Spain is leading a team that includes Saab Australia and CEA Technologies. Its proposal is based on the F-105 frigate design, a ship in service with the Spanish navy. The design has also already been exported to Norway and Australia. Saab, which would provide the combat management system, has support on the CSC program from Lockheed Martin (Moorestown, New Jersey), General Dynamic Mission Systems – Canada, DRS Technologies Limited Canada, OSI Maritime Service and Rheinmetall Canada, according to Navantia. The F-105 Anti-Submarine Warfare ship will incorporate Saab's 9LV Combat Management Systems, elements of which are in service on over 240 platforms in 16 navies across the globe, including Canada's own Halifax-class frigates, the company has said. The budget for the Canadian Surface Combatant project is estimated by the federal government to be between $55 billion and $60 billion. That is a range but specific costs won't be known until contacts are signed and more details worked out. Fifteen warships will be built. Pat Finn, assistant deputy minister for materiel at the Department of National Defence, told Defence Watch he expects a winning bid to be selected by the end of this year. After that negotiations would start and a contract is expected to be signed sometime early 2019. If an agreement can't be reached then negotiations would begin with the group that came second in the competition. About half of the cost of the surface combatant price-tag is for systems and equipment that will go on the 15 ships, according to federal documents obtained by Postmedia through the Access the Information law. “Approximately one-half of the CSC build cost is comprised of labour in the (Irving's) Halifax yard and materials,” the documents added. Jean-Denis Fréchette, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, estimated the CSC program would cost $61.82 billion. He also warned that every year the awarding of the contract is delayed beyond 2018, taxpayers will spend an extra $3 billion because of inflation.

  • Troops warned about driving habits on Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles

    24 juillet 2018 | Local, Terrestre

    Troops warned about driving habits on Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Defence Watch has been told about concerns being raised about the brakes on the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle fleet. But the Department of National Defence says the issue isn't about the brakes but how the vehicles are being driven during training. “Vehicles in the TAPV fleet have not been quarantined, though we have investigated a few incidents involving stopping distances,” DND spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier explained to Defence Watch. “Investigating these types of incidents is a normal part of equipment fielding and integration into the CAF fleet. This is done to identify issues and ensure vehicle and crew safety.” Le Bouthillier said the findings thus far are that the incidents were isolated and occurred during driver training. The TAPV is a heavy vehicle and requires longer stopping distances at higher speeds than most new drivers are familiar with, he added. In over 50 TAPV Driver courses across the country, only two incidents were noted, said Le Bouthillier. Canada is in the midst of acquiring 500 Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles. In June 2012, Textron Systems Canada Inc. was awarded two contracts, one for the acquisition of 500 vehicles, valued at $603.4 million, and a second contract for their support at $105.4 million to conduct in-service support for the fleet for five years following the last vehicle delivery, the government noted. The TAPV is a wheeled combat vehicle that will conduct reconnaissance and surveillance, security, command and control, and armoured transport of personnel and equipment.

  • La bataille du futur avion de chasse de l'armée suisse a démarré

    23 juillet 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    La bataille du futur avion de chasse de l'armée suisse a démarré

    La Suisse a lancé début juillet l'appel d'offres pour les nouveaux avions de combat. Les constructeurs Boeing, Airbus, Dassault, Saab et Lockheed Martin redoublent déjà d'efforts pour convaincre la Confédération. Cinq jets doivent être évalués: le Gripen E suédois (Saab), le Rafale français (Dassault), l'Eurofighter allemand (Airbus), et côté américain, le successeur du FA-18, le Super Hornet de Boeing, et le F-35A de Lockheed-Martin. Les constructeurs pourront soumettre leur offre à Armasuisse d'ici la fin janvier 2019. En Suède, l'opération de séduction a démarré à Linköping, petite ville de 150'000 habitants et capitale du Gripen. La localité est habituée aux rugissements du chasseur et au secret défense. Alors qu'il n'était qu'un projet en 2014, le Gripen E de Saab a désormais 30 heures de vols à son compteur. "Le Gripen E mûrit très vite", explique Rustan Nicander, responsable du marché suisse chez Saab. "Le Brésil et la Suède sont déjà clients, avant que la Suisse ne décide d'acheter l'appareil. Ce sera donc un appareil très mûr quand la Suisse fera son choix." Convaincre les politiques et l'industrie Pour remporter à nouveau l'appel d'offres, le constructeur suédois tente de rassurer, tout en misant sur son réseau. "Nous avions déjà remporté la dernière évaluation il y a quelques années", rappelle Jonas Hjelm, responsable des affaires aéronautiques. "Je pense que nous apportons cette fois un ensemble encore plus cohérent." Les performances du futur appareil ne constitueront pas le seul critère pour la Suisse. L'ultra-moderne F-35A américain n'a par exemple plus grand chose à prouver. L'entreprise américaine sait donc qu'elle doit aussi convaincre la politique et l'industrie. "Tous les pays qui ont acheté le F-35 ont eu un retour économique et industriel", affirme Yung A. Le, responsable de l'Europe du Nord chez Lockheed Martin. "Ce ne sera pas différent pour la Suisse. Nous avons des collaborateurs qui rencontrent l'industrie en Suisse romande, chez les Alémaniques et les italophones afin de mieux comprendre le tissu industriel." Après le travail de l'industrie, celui de la diplomatie Les entreprises étrangères avec lesquelles des contrats seront signés devront compenser 100% de la valeur des contrats par des affaires en Suisse. Discrète, la filiale allemande d'Airbus privilégie depuis son bureau bernois les coulisses aux grandes campagnes de communication pour vendre son Eurofighter. "Nous ne sommes pas nouveaux en Suisse, nous y avons déjà des contrats avec l'industrie, mais il faut que nous les développions davantage pour atteindre les besoins demandés", indique le Dr. Alexander-Long Vinh, responsable de cette campagne chez Airbus. Après le travail de l'industrie viendra celui de la diplomatie. Ce sera au gouvernement de chaque constructeur de transmettre une offre à la Suisse. Des tests au sol et en vol seront menés dans le pays entre mai et juillet 2019. Un deuxième appel d'offre pour les jets sera mené en novembre 2019 et les réponses sont attendues pour fin mai 2020. Le choix des modèles devrait tomber vers fin 2020. Le Parlement puis le peuple devraient pouvoir se prononcer sur la facture. Loïs Siggen-Lopez/tmun

  • Boeing Pitches 'F-15X' Fighter Concept to US Air Force: Report

    23 juillet 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Boeing Pitches 'F-15X' Fighter Concept to US Air Force: Report

    By Oriana Pawlyk FARNBOROUGH, England -- There may be a new-old fighter jet on the horizon for the U.S. Air Force. DefenseOne reports that Boeing Co. is pitching a new version of the F-15 Eagle as the service defines its inventory mix of fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft. Known as F-15X, the fighter would be equipped with better avionics and radars and would carry more than two dozen air-to-air missiles, DefenseOne said, citing unnamed officials with knowledge of the plans. The strategy would mimic what Boeing did with its Block III F/A-18 Super Hornet: taking an old concept, but boosting the jet fleets to be more potent in current and future missions with a larger variety of weapons, extended range, advanced targeting and sensor systems, and better fuel efficiency, among other enhancements. "We see the marketplace expanding internationally," Gene Cunningham, vice president at Boeing for Global Sales for Defense, Space & Security, told reporters at the Royal International Air Tattoo on Friday. "And it's creating opportunities then to go back and talk to the U.S. Air Force about what might be future upgrades or even potentially future acquisitions of the F-15 aircraft." Related content: Misplaced Depot Paperwork Led to F-15 Grounding, Officials Say As UK Showcases Its Next-Gen Fighter, US Stresses Interoperability Farnborough Airshow Coverage Boeing on Wednesday did not have further comment beyond Cunningham's remarks. The move comes as officials in recent months have considered retiring the older F-15C/D fleet. Last March, officials told lawmakers they were looking at plans to retire the two models as early as the mid-2020s. The service has 212 F-15C and 24 F-15D models, according to the Air Force Association's 2017 aircraft inventory almanac. Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice at the time said the service as a total force was in "deep discussions" regarding the retirement, with plans to further assess the F-15 inventory this year. But the service is determining what it may procure for its combat-coded fleet going forward. The Air Force is expected to soon debut its aviation road map on just how many fighter aircraft, and potentially other aircraft, it needs to sustain the future fight. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson in May told the study may also outline the direction for how it trains and retains pilots for certain platforms. Congress directed the service in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to study the number of fighter and combat-coded squadrons it needs to plus-up to in order to remain ready, she said, similar to what the Navyrecently did with its 355-ship plan. "What do we really need for force structure under this National Defense Strategy ... that work is underway now," Wilson said in an interview. "We have a first look that's due in August, and a report due to Congress in March. "We've been directed to prepare for the re-emergence of great power competition," she said. "We have 301 operational squadrons today of all types, but how many do we really need and what types to confront this threat?"

  • Navy's Fire Scout Drone Helo May Be Sold to Allied Militaries Soon

    23 juillet 2018 | International, Naval

    Navy's Fire Scout Drone Helo May Be Sold to Allied Militaries Soon

    By Oriana Pawlyk RAF Fairford, England -- Northrop Grumman Corp. is looking to expand sales of its MQ-8C Fire Scout abroad as the unmanned helicopter preps for its anti-submarine warfare mission. Sitting buttoned-up on the flightline here, the Fire Scout drone -- complete with the U.K.-based Ultra Electronics' sonobuoy mission pod -- is receiving exposure just weeks after completing the first set of mission tests of its target identification, surveillance and surface warfare abilities aboard the USS Coronado. "They've matured it to a level now where [people are] recognizing the value in different missions it is able to do and the [U.S. Navy] is very excited about expanding that capability," said Brian Chappel, Northrop's sector vice president and general manager of autonomous systems. sat down with Chappel during the Royal International Air Tattoo here. Northrop did not showcase the UAS at Farnborough. "Some of those missions are going to be very interesting to customers around the world. Antisubmarine warfare, communication nodes, support to service action groups, and also with beginning to see a shift in the export policy around this class of system in the U.S., we think there's an opportunity now to take this system and its capability and what it does and find some fertile ground overseas," he said. Related content: US Still Hopes to Sway Turkey to Buy Patriot Missiles over S-400 Air Force Slowly Building Up in Eastern Europe: USAFE Commander Farnborough Airshow Coverage Chappel's comments come as the Trump administration on Monday finalized its Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) Policy. The State Department recently approved the policy, which aims to relax export rules as well as create channels for U.S. defense industry to sell weapons and drones to international customers without U.S. government sign-off. "We're in various stages in providing information to [partners] through the Navy," Chappel continued. "And by bringing it here [during] the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, a lot of different forces, a lot of people to talk to here that wouldn't normally think about a Fire Scout, and we get to ... tell them how it's a little bit different than just unmanning a helicopter that flies by itself." The Navy, which is set to use Fire Scout aboard its Littoral Combat Ships, is working with Northrop to add different capabilities, Chappel said. "There's a radar that's now being implemented on the system that when it goes operational, will extend the horizon [of it] hundreds of miles beyond," he said, referring to Leonardo's Osprey 30 lightweight active electronically scanned array radar, as well as common datalink Link 16. The UAS is a stripped-down version of the Bell 407. While the anti-sub mission pod would also be an enhancement, it is not currently used by the Navy. The Fire Scout also participated in the U.S. Navy-led RIMPAC exercises this month. The drone can stay airborne for 12 hours and fly at a ceiling of 16,000 feet. Its radar range lets it see roughly 100 miles out to detect a surface target. Chappel estimates that in 10 years additional U.S. units will be using the drone, as well as allies. He said it will evolve for different mission sets. "Do you want it to be an [anti-sub warfare] platform today, and a comms node tomorrow or mixing and matching ... in between?" he said, adding that additional sensors could be integrated for range. "That type of flexibility will make it very attractive."

  • The Army wants to build a better signals intelligence force

    23 juillet 2018 | International, C4ISR

    The Army wants to build a better signals intelligence force

    By: Mark Pomerleau The Army's top intelligence official signed the service's new signals intelligence strategy July 16, a move that defense leaders believe leaves the Army better situated to better fight despite electronic warfare and cyber attacks. The new strategy ensures "our readiness to provide timely and relevant SIGINT-support [and meet] the commander's information needs in a large scale combat operation against a sophisticated adversary,” Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, said July 18 during an event on Capitol Hill hosted by the Association of Old Crows. Officials say the integration of SIGINT, electronic warfare and cyber is critical from a material, organization and doctrinal perspective. “Not only will our four lines of effort improve our SIGINT corps' capabilities and relevance in the face of rapid changes in the global security environment, it will also enable our electronic warfare and cyberspace effort to meet new challenges,” Berrier said. The four initiatives in the new strategy include: - Organizing and building the Army SIGINT force, - Educating the force, - Equipping the force, and - Developing doctrine. The new strategy increases the Army's ability to collect intelligence against peer adversaries, such as China and Russia, and provides a firm foundation for successful electronic warfare and cyber operations, Berrier said. A key component of the convergence includes the new Terrestrial Layer System (TLS), a SIGINT/EW system projected to be fielded on vehicles and used by new military intelligence-electronic warfare (MI-EW) companies the Army is working to stand up. The Army wants SIGINT, electronic warfare and cyber systems on the same platforms in the air and ground domain, Maj. Gen. Robert Walters, commander of the Intelligence Center of Excellence, said at the event. These systems, Berrier said, should be able to not only sense the environment but employ some type of action such as electronic attack or cyber capability. Why converge? Officials have stressed repeatedly in the last year the need for colleagues in similar disciplines throughout the Army to stay in touch and reap the mutually beneficial equities on behalf of commanders in the field. Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, the head of Army Cyber Command, said commanders shouldn't have to have something explained to them by the EW guy, the SIGINT guy and then the cyber guy. “What we decided is there's a better way, we have to pull it all together” for the commander, he said at the event. “We're going to have to work together because we all operate in the same space. And so do we really need three separate tools to plan operations in the spectrum? My argument would be no.” From an organizational perspective, the 29 series electronic warfare personnel will have deep knowledge in both cyber and electromagnetic spectrum operations. On the materiel side, especially with programs like the Terrestrial Layer System, the cyber and intel community are meeting regularly to integrate their requirements, officials said. In addition, Maj. Gen. John Morrison, commander of the Cyber Center of Excellence, told reporters in June that the Intelligence Center of Excellence is working with the Cyber Center to help ensure integrated formation and integrated capabilities.

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