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  • Royal Canadian Navy getting new miniature maritime drone this summer- Update on defence industry news and contracts

    26 avril 2018 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Royal Canadian Navy getting new miniature maritime drone this summer- Update on defence industry news and contracts

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Here is defence industry news from my article in the latest issue of Esprit de Corps magazine: MDA, a Maxar Technologies company, signed a contract worth around $8 million to provide the Department of National Defence with what is being called a Maritime Miniature Unmanned Aircraft Systems (MMUAS). The contract also includes services to support training, resource and equipment development activities and development and validation of naval tactics and new capability development, according to the firm. MDA’s solution is based on the Puma AE (All Environment) unmanned aircraft built by Aeroviroment.The photo above courtesy of the U.S. Navy shows the Puma AE. The Puma has the ability to carry additional payloads as required for specific missions. The MMUAS is the first UAS project that will see the RCN operate and maintain its own capability and provide a sustainable shipborne, near real-time, Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) ISR capability with an expected introduction to the fleet in the summer of 2018 onboard Kingston-class ships. The Puma AE is operated from the same control station as the Raven UAS which has been provided by MDA to the Canadian Army since 2013. In addition, MDA, also announced it has signed a contract with an unnamed international customer for the provision of turnkey, unmanned aircraft system surveillance services. The contract includes options for additional years. MDA’s UAS service will use a fleet of Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 rotary-wing unmanned aircraft to provide surveillance information.  MDA will be responsible for all aspects of the service including acquisition of all the systems and required infrastructure, training, airworthiness, logistics, supply chain, maintenance and all flight operations, the firm noted. The S-100 aircraft is a vertical takeoff and landing UAS, which does not require a prepared area or supporting launch or recovery equipment. It operates day and night and is a very capable platform for a wide range of different surveillance payloads to meet a broad set of mission requirements. MDA’s UAS service will equip the S-100 fleet with L3 WESCAM MX-10 EO/IR payloads. The MX-10 is a high-performance, multi-sensor multi-spectral imaging system for tactical surveillance missions.  It carries multiple sensors including both high-definition day modes and night infrared modes.  The MX-10 is currently operational for twelve nations worldwide on the S-100. Pratt & Whitney Canada has signed a 12-year Fleet Management Program agreement with Specialist Aviation Services for 24 PW210A engines powering 12 Leonardo AW169 helicopters. The program has been specifically tailored to SAS’s needs and helps reduce operating costs and simplifies fleet operations management, according to Pratt and Whitney. Operating primarily in the United Kingdom, SAS provides support to emergency services and other major organizations that rely on aircraft to support their operations. SAS is one of the fleet leaders on the AW169 program. Rheinmetall has won the first request for proposals for preliminary studies relating to European Union defence research financed by the EU’s European Defence Union. Under a project known as “Generic Open Soldier Systems Reference Architecture”, or GOSSRA, the European Commission has put the Düsseldorf-based tech group in charge of a consortium consisting of partners from nine different EU member states.  Under the GOSSRA project, studies will be conducted into developing an open reference architecture as the basis of EU-wide standardized soldier systems. This includes electronics, voice and data communication, software solutions, man-machine interfaces, sensors and effectors. Rheinmetall makes the German Bundeswehr’s IdZ-ES soldier system as well as the Canadian military’s Argus system. http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/royal-canadian-navy-getting-new-miniature-maritime-drone-this-summer-update-on-defence-industry-news-and-contracts

  • Defense intelligence chief: ‘A lot of technology remains untapped’

    26 avril 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Defense intelligence chief: ‘A lot of technology remains untapped’

    by Sandra Erwin Kernan: Project Maven so far has been “extraordinarily” useful in processing intelligence but more capabilities are needed. TAMPA, FLA. — Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Joseph Kernan, a retired Navy vice admiral, is rarely seen or heard at public events. But he decided to step on the stage and address the nation’s largest gathering of geospatial intelligence professionals to relay a message that the military is in the market for cutting-edge technology. “The reason I agreed to speak is that a lot of capacity and technology remains untapped,” Kernan said in a keynote speech on Monday at the GEOINT symposium. DoD collects loads of data from satellites, drones and Internet-of-things devices. But it needs help making sense of the intelligence and analyzing it quickly enough so it can be used in combat operations. It needs powerful artificial intelligence software tools that the tech industry is advancing at a past pace. The most promising AI effort the Pentagon has going now is Project Maven. Military analysts are using Google-developed AI algorithms to mine live video feeds from drones. With machine learning techniques, software is taught to find particular objects or individuals at speeds that would be impossible for any human analyst. Kernan said Project Maven only started a year ago and so far has been “extraordinarily” useful in overseas operations. “I would have liked to have had it in my past,” said Kernan, a former special operations commander. There is such heightened interest in AI that the Pentagon got Project Maven approved and under contract in two months. More importantly, said Kernan, the “capability was tested overseas. Not in the Pentagon.” For AI algorithms to be valuable to the military, they have to produce relevant intelligence, he cautioned. “Don’t be developing capability to serve warfighters while sitting in the Pentagon. Make sure you address their needs by working with the forces out there. That’s key to Project Maven. It works with users.” Software, no matter how advanced, will not replace human analysts, said Kernan. “It’s about enabling analysts to use their cognitive process so they don’t have to jam and finger push things into a computer.” What annoys Kernan? “That we really haven’t taken all the advantage we can of technology.” That may be about to change as DoD ramps up AI efforts. Defense procurement chief Ellen Lord said the Pentagon will start bringing together AI projects that already exist but do not necessarily share information or resources. “We have talked about taking over 50 programs and loosely associating those,” Lord told reporters. “We have many silos of excellence.” Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin will oversee a new AI office that will bring in “elements of the intelligence community,” he said. But many details remain to be worked out. The speed at which the Pentagon moved with Project Maven is “truly groundbreaking,” said Mike Manzo, director of intelligence, threat and analytic solutions at General Dynamics Mission Systems. The company provides training and advisory services to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. “This community is not accustomed to rapid acquisition, and rapid deployment,” Manzo told SpaceNews. “I applaud the Project Maven staff, the government, and everybody who is involved with that.” Another reason Project Maven is “disruptive” is that it shows that analysts are beginning to trust new sources of intelligence and nontraditional methods, Manzo said. “What’s encouraging is that the outputs of these systems are being trusted by the users,” he said. “A machine comes up with an answer and the human gives the thumbs up or down,” he said. “If DoD is trusting this, it’s a tremendous step.” Even though a human is supervising, the focus doesn’t have to be on “making sure the machine is doing the things I asked the machine to do.” None of this means decisions are being made by computers, Manzo said. “But these technologies help optimize the human analyst to do what they are really good at: intuition.” As the Pentagon seeks ways to bring AI into the battlefield, “Maven has a lot of promise.” http://spacenews.com/defense-intelligence-chief-a-lot-of-technology-remains-untapped/

  • Pentagon developing artificial intelligence center

    24 avril 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Pentagon developing artificial intelligence center

    By: Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON – The Pentagon is working on a plan to stand up an artificial intelligence center in order to streamline the department’s myriad AI programs. The idea, which comes as defense officials are increasingly concerned about China’s investments in AI capabilities, has now been embraced by both Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Michael Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. Speaking at the House Armed Services Committee April 12, Mattis said “we’re looking at a joint office where we would concentrate all of DoD’s efforts, since we have a number of AI efforts underway right now. We’re looking at pulling them all together.” In hearings Tuesday and Wednesday, Griffin elaborated on the state of that AI center, saying it is very much in the early stages. “I’m working right now with folks on my staff to answer questions like ‘who should lead it, where should it be, what projects should it do, and most importantly how does such a center fit into the overall AI strategy for the department and the nation?’” Griffin said on April 18. He added that the department counts 592 projects as having some form of AI in them, but noted that not all of those make sense to tie into an AI center. And Griffin wants to make sure smaller projects that are close to completion get done and out into prototyping, rather than tied up in the broader AI project. On Tuesday, Eric Schmidt, the former Google executive who chairs the Defense Innovation Board, said he hoped the AI center would be stood up in conjunction with one or more universities, in order to maximize the number of cutting-edge voices involved. The biggest benefit from creating an AI center may come from creating a clearing house of information which can be input into training an artificial intelligence, something Schmidt, who has previously been critical of how DoD handles data, said is vital. “The DoD, broadly speaking, has a great deal of data, which is not stored anywhere. It’s stored in places which the programmers are no longer alive, [that] kind of thing,” Schmidt said. “And getting all that data in a place that’s usable and discoverable and useful for the mission at hand is crucial.” Artificial intelligence is one of the key technologies, along with hypersonics and directed energy, identified by Griffin as a major focus for his time as the R&E head for the department. Part of that drive comes from the reality that Russia and, in particular, China have made whole-of-government efforts to invest in and develop AI capabilities. Schmidt himself has warned that by 2025, China will have surpassed the U.S. in AI capabilities, and has called for a “Sputnik moment” around AI. Those comments have been echoed by former deputy secretary of defense Bob Work. Members of the defense committees appear open to the Pentagon’s goal of getting an edge on AI, with Rep. Elise Stefanik, chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, having already introduced a bill to develop a new all-of-government commission to AI. https://www.defensenews.com/intel-geoint/2018/04/18/pentagon-developing-artificial-intelligence-center/

  • Bridging the ­Procurement Divide

    24 avril 2018 | Information, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Bridging the ­Procurement Divide

    CHRIS MACLEAN  © 2018 FrontLine Defence (Vol 15, No 2)   A critically honest and engaged discussion about government and industry engagement, was held recently at the Telfer School of Management as part of the new Complex Project Leadership Programs.   The program participants (mostly federal civil servants who are involved in procurement) interacted with executive-level industry leaders – Joe Armstrong, Vice President and General Manager at CAE; Jerry McLean, Vice President and Managing Director of Thales Canada; Iain Christie, Vice President of AIAC; and Kevin Ford, CEO of Calian – who shared their leadership insights, as well as  what it is really like to do business in Canada.  Through the highlighting of mutual pain points and frustrations, as well as identifying what is being done well and ways to move forward together, efficiently, each party gained insight and understanding that is sure to improve communication and future progress. It was evident that both sides wanted to learn from each other and pinpoint the principles that would help achieve mutual success; ultimately impacting the national economic footprint and saving taxpayer dollars.  From the industry perspective, dependability equals direction. When a company can be assured that it has a fair opportunity to compete for a contract, it can set its sights on that goal and will make the necessary investments to ensure the best possible outcome. When government programs start and stop and change and restart, companies find it difficult to justify the extended costs because they lose their competitive edge and/or any ability to make a profit. Instability does not save the taxpayer, but it does have the potential to impact both quality of product and sustainability of the bidders (therefore employment numbers).  Contracts equal sustainability and confirmation that the company direction is on track for success. Profit equals growth and further investment. Employment and supply chain purchases depend on a profit margin that allows growth. This “number one” business requirement conflicts with the government’s prime directive is to ensure its bidders make a bare minimum of profit. When asked what they need from their government counterparts in order to create a better working relationship and foster a robust industry that can contribute to a strong GDP, the industry panelists identified two key elements. One was “more accuracy in the procurement process” and the other was “predictability”.  Industry must be able to foresee where profits and sustainability could potentially come from. The time it takes to award large projects is also a limiting factor to success. It was noted that, since the beginning of time, a cornerstone of success for industry has always been ensuring the satisfaction of its client. It is believed that trust in the quality of the product and ease of customer service will lead to sustainability in the form of continued business. Not so with government contracts, which seem skewed to ensure previous successes gain no advantage, and must in some cases be hidden from decision-makers. Not taking into account a company’s excellent past delivery performance, was said to contribute to industry’s lack of incentive to perform to the best of its ability at all times. A company’s ability to invest goes beyond individual contracts, which means the prospect of being evaluated for value can be a powerful incentive for going that extra mile – if exploited, not suppressed. Government employees were encouraged to exhibit courage in pursuing ways to truly streamline the procurement process, rather than repeatedly adding more and more layers of approvals and meetings.  Industry leaders across the spectrum have commented on a palpable “lack of trust” on the part of government negotiators. Does this mistrust come from contract negotiators feeling the pursuit of profit is somehow un-Canadian? Or does it mean a company does not care enough about its customers? Neither assumption is accurate, and this may be one area where a culture change could make a world of difference.   As one audience member exclaimed: “This was the best, most transparent conversation regarding the procurement process, I have ever heard.” While large-scale procurements will always be contentious due to the huge dollars and risk at stake, embracing the concept of open and unreserved dialogue, like what was experienced by this small group, has the potential to uncover procurement pitfalls and create a more progressive process.    The Telfer School of Management’s Complex Program Leadership programs focus on the hard and soft skills necessary to successfully deliver inherently complex programs and projects, while emphasizing strategic thinking, creative problem solving, stakeholder engagement, and leadership skills as key building blocks for this goal.  http://defence.frontline.online/article/2018/2/9586-Bridging-the-vast-%C2%ADProcurement-Divide

  • High-cost satellites remain vulnerable to low-cost threats

    24 avril 2018 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    High-cost satellites remain vulnerable to low-cost threats

    By: Daniel Cebul WASHINGTON ― Despite advances in satellite technology, many of the U.S. military’s most expensive and necessary assets remain vulnerable to jamming from inexpensive tools, according to a new report from the CSIS Aerospace Security Project. “The technology needed to jam many types of satellite signals is commercially available and relatively inexpensive,” the report reads. Other electronic threats such as spoofing, which attempts to trick receivers into believing manipulated data from an attacker is real, also offer low cost options to adversaries who hope to interfere with satellite connectivity. These kinds of attacks can disrupt communications or position, navigation and timing techniques. The report, released April 12 and titled “Space Threat Assessment 2018,” notes that while United States near-peer adversaries have made strides in more advanced kinetic weapons, such as direct ascent anti-satellite weapons, jamming technology also is seen as critical. For example, “China has made the development and deployment of satellite jamming systems a high priority,” according to the authors, Todd Harrison, Kaitlyn Johnson and Thomas Roberts. Another near-peer, Russia, has displayed jamming and spoofing capabilities in the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria in the last several years. The report said the use of Russian technology in these conflicts “demonstrate[s] that Russia retains advanced electronic attack capabilities, despite some analysts’ claims that Russia’s ability to jam and spoof satellites has declined since 1991.” But the threat from jamming and spoofing attacks goes beyond near-peers. Iran and North Korea, so-called rogue states, also have demonstrated the capability and willingness to interfere with satellite communications and GPS signals, according to the report. And the ability to jam and spoof signals is likely to spread. The report notes once a jammer or spoofer is developed, “it is relatively inexpensive to produce and deploy in large numbers and can be proliferated to other state and non-state actors.” But the United States is not sitting by idly. The Air Force’s Advanced Energy High Frequency satellites, reserved for secure communication, “incorporate a high degree of protection against jamming, spoofing, and other forms of electronic attack,” according to the report. The U.S. is also preparing troops to operate in GPS-denied environments. In January, the Defense Department jammed GPS-signals in western states so pilots could train in environments that will likely come to characterize combat in the age of electronic warfare. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/space-symposium/2018/04/16/high-cost-satellites-remain-vulnerable-to-low-cost-threats/

  • Air Force launches experiment to boost satellite communications

    24 avril 2018 | Aérospatial, C4ISR

    Air Force launches experiment to boost satellite communications

    United Launch Alliance successfully launched two Air Force satellites aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from a launch complex at Cape Canaveral in Florida April 14. The Air Force’s dual-payload mission included an experimental satellite bus, known by the acronym EAGLE, and a secretive communications satellite, the Continuous Broadband Augmented SATCOM spacecraft (CBAS). The Air Force had kept the identity of CBAS (pronounced “sea bass) under wraps until April 6. Even after acknowledging its existence, the service declined to identify the the contractor who built CBAS and only released a short description dressing the spacecraft’s mission. “The mission of CBAS is to augment existing military satellite communications capabilities and broadcast military data continuously through space-based, satellite communications relay links,” the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center said in a release. In the lower position of the payload shroud, attached to aft of the CBAS, sat the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) Augmented Geosynchronous Laboratory Experiment satellite, dubbed EAGLE. Developed by Orbital ATK for the Air Force Research Laboratory, EAGLE is both a satellite and bus platform hosting a suite of other experiential payloads for the Department of Defense. EAGLE’s primary mission is to demonstrate a maneuverable vehicle design which can transport up to six payloads to GEO, according to a ULA release. One payloads on board the EAGLE is the Mycroft satellite. Named after the older brother of Sherlock Holmes, the Mycroft is a mini satellite designed to deploy away from the EAGLE only to return within one kilometer of its parent spacecraft. From there it will evaluate the EAGLE’s surroundings using an space situational awareness camera and sensors to perform guidance, navigation and control functions on the EAGLE, according to an Air Force fact sheet. “Together, EAGLE and Mycroft help train operators and development of tactics, techniques and procedures during exercises or experiments to improve space warfighting,” the fact sheet reads. “Other experiments hosted on the EAGLE will detect, identify and analyze system threats such as man-made disturbances, space weather events or collisions with small meteorites.” Mycroft is a follow-up to the ANGLES satellite which was launched in 2014 and ended its mission in November. ANGLES was used by the Air Force to evaluate space-based threats and to expand techniques used to maneuver closer to specific objects on orbit. The satellites launched Saturday were part of the Air Force’s multi-manifested mission called Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)-11. The Air Force declared the launch a success shortly after 2 a.m. EDT on Sunday in a press release.  Raytheon’s Infrared Imaging Space Experiment (IRISX), was also included in the launch. The IRISX is an electro-optical instrument placed in geostationary orbit, to test new concepts for persistent Earth viewing, the company said. “IRISX will explore the applicability of advanced imaging and data processing techniques for Department of Defense remote sensing applications,” according to a release. “The results will be used to verify, validate, and update physics-based phenomenology models in order to advance the scientific knowledge underlying imaging techniques.” https://www.c4isrnet.com/c2-comms/satellites/2018/04/16/air-force-launches-experiment-to-boost-satellite-communications/

  • Turkey provides tax breaks, loans to attract investment in local defense programs

    24 avril 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Turkey provides tax breaks, loans to attract investment in local defense programs

    By: Burak Ege Bekdil ANKARA, Turkey — In an effort to boost indigenous defense programs, Turkey is providing incentives, which include generous tax breaks, tax reductions and exemptions from import duties. The incentives include additional levies and soft loans. In just the first two months of 2018, the government incorporated 13 defense investment projects submitted by 12 companies into its incentives program. These investments are worth $350 million. The largest investment program benefiting from the incentives during the January/February time frame was Roketsan’s new production line. The state-controlled missile maker’s investment plan is worth $217 million. Military electronics specialist Aselsan, Turkey’s largest defense company, has won incentives support for its new $35 million investment in electronic systems and new $40 million investment in aerial and missile systems. Official figures show a boom in private defense investment, too. According to the Ministry of Economy, $1.9 billion of defense investment by private companies will be subsidized by government incentives this year. These investment plans include a total of $220 million for armored vehicles, a laser gun and unmanned land vehicles; and $125 million in diesel tank engines by armored vehicle producer BMC, a Turkish-Qatari private joint venture. Private firm Most Makina will receive government incentives for its planned $385 million investment in steel equipment for defense systems. Turkish Aerospace Industries, or TAI, will invest $1.2 billion in its TF-X program, an ambitious plan for the design, development and production of Turkey’s first indigenous fighter jet. TAI is developing the TF-X with BAE Systems. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2018/04/16/turkey-provides-tax-breaks-loans-to-attract-investment-in-local-defense-programs/

  • How the Army plans to improve its friendly force tracking

    24 avril 2018 | International, Terrestre, C4ISR

    How the Army plans to improve its friendly force tracking

    By: Mark Pomerleau The Army is upgrading how it tracks friendly forces to increase readiness. During the fiscal 2019 budget roll out in February, Army officials at the Pentagon indicated that the service would be accelerating its Joint Battle Command-Platform, which provides friendly forces awareness information known as blue force tracking, as well as encrypted data and faster satellite network connectivity. The change is intended to solve mounted mission command problems across all formations. The new budget request shows the service is serious about the issue. The Army asked for $431 million for the program in FY2019. That’s up from a total of $283 million during the FY2018 budget. Moreover, the Army plans to procure 26,355 systems as opposed to 16,552 from the FY2018 budget. However, officials in the program office were careful to note this was not a “plus-up, so to speak,” but an effort to accelerate the fielding of the tracking systems. C4ISRNET’s Mark Pomerleau recently spoke about the program’s modernization efforts with Col. Troy Crosby, project manager for Mission Command, alongside Lt. Col. Shane Sims, product manager for JBC-P, assigned to Project Mission Command. C4ISRNET: How should we interpret the FY2019 budget request for this program? COL. TROY CROSBY: It’s important to understand that there wasn’t necessarily a plus-up. Really what happened is we shifted already approved authorizations to the left. We’re just expediting sooner. The Army asked us what we could do to modernize faster … essentially, we went back to them and said give us the funding and the resources to move a lot of those units to the left because every year the G-3/5/7 comes out with this priority list and we weren’t able to get down to that priority list because of funding. That’s really what you’re seeing with that movement of money from the out years closer in to the left. C4ISRNET: What led to the decision to baseline the program across formations? CROSBY: The Army’s looking to standardize their baselines not only on the platforms like JBC-P, but also a similar effort in the command post with software baseline reduction. Moving to the standard baseline on the platform-side helps with training, readiness and the physical constraints as we can depreciate the older versions of FBCB2/BFT [Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below/Blue Force Tracking] out of sustainment. C4ISRNET: How does standardization help the Army? CROSBY: Any time you’re greatly standardized in a organization the size of the Army, you’re going to get easier interoperability down at the tactical level. If Lt. Col. Sims is Sgt. Sims and he is in a unit at Fort Stewart and we were trained on the current systems in the force and then he gets [a permanent change of station] out to Fort Riley, he already has a base of knowledge when he hits the ground on what those systems are because they’re the same across the force. So, the training burden for his new units greatly reduced. I think it also helps in readiness as units and soldiers move around the battlespace. The other reason the Army really wants to standardize on JBC-P is, like with all systems in the tactical network, we’re always looking to improve cyber posture, and there were multiple improvements in our cyber posturing that the department felt were relevant to try to accelerate so we could get that capability to the entire force as quickly as possible. C4ISRNET: In terms of cyber, what are some modernization efforts you’re undertaking to help this platform perform in the more dynamic environments? CROSBY: I think the best way that we can characterize it is looking to … achieve a cyber posture that allows us to operate both in a counter-insurgency/counterterrorism role and a near-peer adversary role. We’re looking to answer both sides of that coin. Yes, current fight, but we’re also looking to make sure we’re cyber postured for a near-peer. LT. COL. SHANE SIMS: You can probably draw some conclusions from what you know on the commercial side. Imagine having a computer that’s over 20 years old — that’s where some of our platforms are right now when you’re talking about the FBCB2 that was fielded almost two decades ago. C4ISRNET: In terms of your FY19 funding, could it be characterized as investing in standards to help increase readiness and lethality? CROSBY: Very much so. The plus-up kind of touched a couple of areas. On the research and development side, the plus-up helps us in looking at ways to modernize and bring new capability for the blue force tracking network side. We’re really looking to expedite that fielding for better cyber posture. C4ISRNET: It sounds like standardization is very important from an Army readiness and lethality perspective. SIMS: When talking JBC-P, there are really three components: the software, the hardware and then the network. Really, what we’re doing on a couple fronts [is] we’re expediting the fielding to get the hardware out there but that’s going to set the conditions for what we’re doing in the command post with the infrastructure. That same infrastructure is going to reside on our hardware that’s in the platform. The commanders are in environments where they experience something completely different in the command post than you experience on the platforms. You hear repeatedly from the commanders, “Can I have the same type of user experience?” Data’s really what we’re addressing with the modernization of the command post and the mounted computing environment. That user experience is going to be one and the same for the commander when he or she is in the command post and then when they get in the vehicle. That is really what we’re doing with modernization for JBC-P. C4ISRNET: The National Defense Strategy has stressed prioritization on great power competition. How does JBC-P modernization and standardization fit into that strategy? CROSBY: The first one is looking to modernize JBC-P mission command on the move at the platform level. How we continue to modernize and field as fast as we can so that we can maintain both that counter-insurgency/counterterrorism fight and near-peer adversaries is one piece of this. https://www.c4isrnet.com/thought-leadership/2018/04/13/how-the-army-plans-to-improve-its-friendly-force-tracking/

  • Pentagon creates new position to help guide software acquisition, F-35 development

    24 avril 2018 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    Pentagon creates new position to help guide software acquisition, F-35 development

      By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Department is creating a new position to help formulate its software strategy and ensure it keeps pace with commercial advancements — and the most important resposiblity will be overseeing the F-35 joint strike fighter’s agile software strategy. During a Friday roundtable with reporters, Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, announced that she has tapped Jeff Boleng to the newly created position of special assistant for software acquisition. Boleng, currently the acting chief technology officer at Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute, will start April 16 as a member of Lord’s team. “Jeff Boleng will spend over 90 percent of his time on F-35. He is going to be the individual who is working amongst all of the groups to enable us to bring the right talent onboard,” Lord said. “We have a challenge, I think both within the JPO [F-35 joint program office] as well as Lockheed Martin, in terms of getting a critical mass of contemporary software skill sets to begin to move in the direction we want to.” As the F-35 joint program office embarks on a new strategy called Continuous Capability Development and Delivery, or C2D2, which involves introducing agile software development, Lord wants to ensure that both the JPO and Lockheed have employees with the right training to execute the effort and that they can attract new professionals with additional software expertise. “This is something that [Lockheed CEO] Marillyn Hewson and I have talked about,” she said. “Lockheed Martin has some excellent software capability throughout the corporation. My expectation is that they’re going to leverage that on the F-35. And as we within the Department of Defense really increase our capability for software development focused on C2D2, our expectation is that Lockheed Martin will do the exact same thing. “So they have the capability. I’m very energized about the leadership focus that I have seen in the last four to eight weeks, so I have great expectations that that will continue and that Lockheed Martin will keep pace or outpace DoD in terms of modernization for F-35 software development.” Boleng, a former cyberspace operations officer and software engineer who served more than 20 years with the Air Force, last held the position of teaching computer science at the Air Force Academy before moving to the private sector. At Carnegie Mellon, he is responsible for spearheading the institutes research and development portfolio, which includes software development, data analytics and cyber security activities in support of the Defense Department. As the special assistant for software acquisition, he will help develop department-wide software development standards and policies and “advise department leadership on latest best practices in commercial software development.” Boleng will also interface with Pentagon organizations charged with ramping up the department’s software prowess such as Defense Digital Services, a small group of former private-sector tech professionals who led the department’s “Hack the Pentagon” events and have conducted a few assessments of F-35 software. That starts with a meeting today between Lord, Boleng and a Defense Innovation Board group centered on software acquisition, which has been embedded both with the joint program office and Lockheed Martin, Lord said. https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2018/04/13/pentagon-creates-new-position-to-help-guide-software-acqusition-f-35-development/

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