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  • Marine Leaders Don't Want New Tech to Weigh Grunts Down

    8 mars 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Marine Leaders Don't Want New Tech to Weigh Grunts Down 7 Mar 2018 By Oriana Pawlyk Keep it small, keep it simple, make it work. It's what Marine Corps leaders want industry leaders and research and development agencies to keep in mind when making the latest and greatest tech for grunts on the battlefield, a top general said Tuesday. Gen. Glenn Walters, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, said the service was interested in high-end electronics and robotics, but said he didn't want to increase the load of ground combat Marines by adding on advanced gear. "Technology is great, until you have to carry it, and you have to carry the power that drives it," said Gen. Glenn Walters, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. Walters said members of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, the service's experimental infantry battalion, has been the first to test and field small tech and weapons. The service is interested in the new technology, but continues to keep the size and weight of new systems in mind, he said. "Reorganizing for the future is what's happening right now and robotics is clearly someplace where we're investing," Walters told audiences during the annual "Defense Programs" conference hosted by defense consulting firm McAleese & Associates. In a few months, 3/5 will debut its latest report on findings and lessons learned from using the newer tech, such as handheld drones and quadcopters, he said. "But we're not waiting," Walters said at the event in Washington, D.C. New, powerful equipment needs to be leveraged even more so than it is now, Walters said, adding, "they need to be more consumable." "We have 69 3D printers out and about throughout a mix of battalions," Walters said. This added gear, he said, has made Marines more agile when they need to replace a broken part or create an entirely new solution for an old design. "We have to have the speed of trust in our young people to seize and hold the technological high ground," Walters said. Amid the push for new tech, officials have been working to lessen the load for Marines who have been inundated with more equipment in recent years even as the service grows more advanced with streamlined resources. For example, program managers have said they're looking for a lighter, more practical alternative to the Corps' iconic ammunition can. Scott Rideout, program manager for ammunition at Marine Corps Systems Command, told industry leaders in 2016 that the rectangular can may be due for an upgrade. Rideout at the time made the case during the Equipping the Infantry Challenge at Quantico that emerging technologies -- such as the logistics drones that Walters mentioned Tuesday -- may also put limits on how much a future delivery of ammunition can weigh. The calculus is simple, Rideout said: "Ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain." -- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @oriana0214.

  • Federal budget shores up cyber defences but is silent on new jets and warships

    5 mars 2018 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Federal budget shores up cyber defences but is silent on new jets and warships

    By Murray Brewster, CBC News The new federal budget focuses on ones and zeros over tanks and troops by pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into new and improved cyber and national security defences. Several federal departments will not only see upfront cash but promises of long-term spending to counter both the threat of hackers — state-sponsored and otherwise — and cyber-criminals. National Defence, by comparison, is seeing virtually nothing in terms of new spending on the nuts and bolts of the military, other than initiatives outlined in the recently tabled national defence policy. The 2018 budget is, on the surface, a tacit acknowledgement that the nature of threats to national security — the nature of modern warfare itself — is changing. The budget recycles the government's $3.6 billion pledge last December to provide veterans with the option of a pension for life and better services. But cyber-security was, by far, the headline national security measure in the budget. Finance Minister Bill Morneau's fiscal plan sets aside $750 million in different envelopes — much of it to be spent over five years — to improve cyber security and better prepare the federal government to fend off online attacks and track down cyber-criminals. More for CSE It also promises an additional $225 million, beginning in 2020-21, to improve the capacity of the country's lead electronic intelligence agency, the Communications Security Establishment, to gather foreign signals intelligence. The Liberals will soon pass new national security legislation — C-59 — and CSE will receive important new powers and responsibilities to disrupt global cyber threats. "These are brand new tools. They're going to need lots of resources — technological resources, personnel resources — to engage in those kinds of operations," said Wesley Wark, a University of Ottawa professor and one of the country's leading experts on cybersecurity and intelligence, in an interview prior to the budget. The sense of urgency about getting the country's cyber-security house in order is being driven in part by the fallout from Russian hacking and meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, said a former assistant parliamentary budget officer. "With what we've seen south of the border, I think cyber-security and cyber-threat has been elevated in this budget to a high-priority item," said Sahir Khan, now the executive vice president of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy. The budget creates two new entities to deal with online threats. The first, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, will assemble all of the federal government's cyber expertise under one roof — a plan that will require new legislation. The second organization will be run by the RCMP and be known as the National Cybercrime Coordination Unit. It will coordinate all cybercrime investigations and act as a central agency to which the public can report incidents. The budget also includes cash for Public Safety's National Cyber Strategy, which not only aims to protect federal government networks but is meant to collaborate with the corporate financial and energy sectors to boost their defences. Military procurement a work in progress The budget's dearth of new spending on the real-world military — at a time of significant global insecurity — is due to reasons that are partly political and partly organizational, said Khan. The former Conservative government's inability to deliver on promises of new equipment during its nine-year tenure was a political "albatross around its neck," he said. The Liberals may have produced a clear defence policy but they have yet to straighten out the procurement system, he added. The Trudeau government has promised a lot of military capital spending down the road. Khan said it seems determined to keep the issue out of the spotlight in the meantime. What's missing from the new budget is a clear commitment that National Defence will get the cash it needs as those needs arise. "I think there was a lot of clarity in the policy direction coming out of the government [defence] white paper," said Khan. "What a lot of us are trying to understand is whether the money … is accompanying that change in direction … so that DND has a stable footing to meet its needs." He said he still has questions about whether promised future spending on fighter jets and warships has been baked into the federal government's long-term fiscal plans. A senior federal official, speaking on background prior to the release of the budget, insisted that military capital spending is welded into fiscal plans going forward into the 2030s. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has said repeatedly, since the strategy was released last June, that the defence plan was "fully costed" into the future. Up until 2016, National Defence produced an annual list of planned defence purchases. The Liberals promised to produce their own list of planned acquisitions and table it this year. Khan said it "needs to be presented to Parliament and the public." Training and retaining? The cyber initiatives in Monday's budget drew a mixed response from the high-tech sector. On the one hand, the Council of Canadian Innovators praised budget signals that suggest the Liberals are open to dealing with home-grown companies rather than buying off-the-shelf from major U.S. firms. "The imperative to build domestic cyber capacity is not just economic. It's existential," said Benjamin Bergen, the council's executive director. "Without a domestic capacity in cyber we risk becoming a client state. Innovators welcome the announcement of a new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, which will allow for information sharing between the public and private sector." What the budget didn't offer was a clear commitment to training and retaining highly-skilled software engineers and IT professionals. "We would have liked to have seen a retention strategy. There wasn't one," said Bergen. "We know Canada produces amazing graduates but we're struggling to keep that talent here." The council estimates there will be up to 200,000 job openings in high-tech by 2020, which will put pressure on the industry and on the federal government as it bulks up its cyber capability. Adam Froman, CEO of the Toronto-based data collection firm Delvinia, was blunt when asked if the federal government will be able to fill all of the cyber-security job openings created by this budget. "They're not going to be able to. Plain and simple," he said. "Or they're going to have to outsource those jobs to foreign companies."

  • Small drones in the Middle East have become a $330 million problem

    22 février 2018 | Aérospatial, C4ISR

    Small drones in the Middle East have become a $330 million problem

    The threat of small unmanned aerial systems overseas – especially in Iraq and Syria – has been a key focus of top leaders from across the Department of Defense. Groups such as the Islamic State have not only curated a fleet of commercially available drones to use for aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, but they have modified them to drop bombs resulting in a miniature air force. The problem has become so acute that top officials in the region have made counter-drones the top force protection priority. Such systems also threat installations as well, spying overhead or acting as flying bombs on one-way kamikaze missions. As such, the Army is asking for a total of $188.3 million in fiscal 2019 for counter-unmanned air systems. That request combines $69 million from the base budget and $119.3 million from the overseas contingency operations,, according to recently released documents. This strategy is part of a joint operational need statement created in 2017 for the Central Command area of responsibility totaling $332.2 million over the next five years, the line item in the Army’s research and development budget states. The counter drone effort will work to identify, develop, test, evaluate and integrate technologies to provide an overall evolutionary capability to defeat drones, especially smaller group one and group two systems that can weigh up to 55 pounds. The effort also involves a phased approach to CENTCOM that will provide interim standalone capability within the first few months eventually achieving a full networked capability by the end of the operational need period. The program will involve kinetic – or what are known as “hard kill” – solutions, development of radar and integration of multi-function electronic warfare with a “full On-The-Move” capability. The anti-ISIS coalition has previously utilized electronic warfare capabilities in theater to counter drones by interrupting their command and control mechanisms.

  • US Army requests $429 million for new cyber training platform

    22 février 2018 | International, C4ISR

    US Army requests $429 million for new cyber training platform

    In 2016, the Pentagon tapped the Army to lead development of a persistent cyber training environment, or PCTE, to help train experts from Cyber Command in a live-virtual-constructed environment. Since then, cyber officials have repeatedly said such an environment is among their top priorities. “The service cyber components have established their own training environments but do not have standardized capabilities or content,” Army budget documents say. In the Army’s research and development budget documents, the service requested $65.8 million in fiscal 2019 for the training environment and $429.4 million through fiscal 2023. Under the various line items in the Army’s research and development budget, the Army is looking to develop event scheduling for the environment. It also wants to develop realistic vignettes or scenarios as part of individual and collective training to include real-world mission rehearsal, on-demand reliable and secure physical and virtual global access from dispersed geographic locations. In addition, the Army is asking for $3 million in fiscal 2019 base budget money to find and close gaps in hardware and software infrastructure related to virtual environments needed for cyber operational training. Additional funds will go toward virtual environments such as blue, grey, red or installation control system that the cyber mission force use for maneuver terrain. Moreover, the documents indicate that the Army will use Other Transaction Authorities vehicles for contract awards. The program will be delivered through incremental capability drops. The document states a “full and open competitive contract will be awarded in FY20 for further integration of new or refinement of existing capabilities, hardware refreshes, accreditation, and software licensing.”

  • L'UE attribue son 1er contrat de recherche sur la défense

    20 février 2018 | International, Terrestre, C4ISR

    L'UE attribue son 1er contrat de recherche sur la défense

    FRANCFORT, 19 février (Reuters) - Un consortium dirigé par Rheinmetall a remporté le premier contrat relatif à la recherche sur la défense de l‘Union européenne (UE), a annoncé lundi le groupe allemand de défense. Le consortium va mener des études en vue d‘une éventuelle standardisation des systèmes de défense à l‘échelle de l‘UE, regroupant l‘électronique, les communications vocales, les logiciels et les capteurs, a-t-il ajouté. Les autres membres du consortium sont les groupes espagnols Indra et GMV Aerospace and Defence, les italiens Leonardo et Larimart, l‘Organisation néerlandaise de recherche scientifique appliquée TNO, l‘entreprise polonaise iTTi, la société portugaise Tekever ASDS et le suédois SAAB . La recherche-développement sur la défense financée par l‘Union européenne est censée redonner de l‘élan à la coopération dans ce domaine primordial et prouver aux Etats-Unis et à Donald Trump que l‘Europe entend bien financer sa propre sécurité. (Maria Sheahan Claude Chendjou pour le service français, édité par Wilfrid Exbrayat)

  • AI makes Mattis question ‘fundamental’ beliefs about war

    20 février 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    AI makes Mattis question ‘fundamental’ beliefs about war

    By: Aaron Mehta  WASHINGTON – Over the years, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has cultivated a reputation for deep thinking about the nature of warfare. And during that time, he has come to a few conclusions about what he calls the “fundamental” nature of combat. “It’s equipment, technology, courage, competence, integration of capabilities, fear, cowardice — all these things mixed together into a very fundamentally unpredictable fundamental nature of war,” Mattis explained Feb. 17. “The fundamental nature of war is almost like H20, ok? You know what it is.” Except, that might not be true anymore. During a return flight from Europe, Mattis was asked about artificial intelligence — a national priority for industry and defense departments across the globe, and one driving major investments within the Pentagon — and what the long-term impact of intelligent machines on the nature of war might be. “I’m certainly questioning my original premise that the fundamental nature of war will not change. You’ve got to question that now. I just don’t have the answers yet,” he said. It’s both a big-picture, heady question, and one that the department needs to get its head around in the coming years as it looks to offload more and more requirements onto AI. And it’s a different question than the undeniable changes that will be coming to what Mattis differentiated as the character, not nature, of war. “The character of war changes all the time. An old dead German [Carl von Clausewitz] called it a ‘chameleon.’ He said it changes to adapt to its time, to the technology, to the terrain, all these things,” Mattis said. He also noted that the Defense Innovation Board, a group of Silicon Valley experts who were formed by previous defense secretary Ash Carter, has been advising him specifically on AI issues. For now, the Pentagon is focused on man-machine teaming, emphasizing how AI can help pilots and operators make better decisions. But should the technology develop the way it is expected to, removing a man from the loop could allow machine warfare to be fully unleashed. Mattis and his successors will have to grapple with the question of whether AI so radically changes everything, that war itself may not resemble what it has been for the entirety of human history. Or as Mattis put it, “If we ever get to the point where it’s completely on automatic pilot and we’re all spectators, then it’s no longer serving a political purpose. And conflict is a social problem that needs social solutions.”

  • Canada joins alliance seeking new maritime surveillance aircraft

    16 février 2018 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    Canada joins alliance seeking new maritime surveillance aircraft

    Posted on February 15, 2018 by Ken Pole Canada has joined an international program which is expected to yield a new generation of maritime surveillance aircraft that will eventually replace platforms such as the extensively-upgraded CP-140 Auroras first deployed by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in the early 1980s. The Department of National Defence confirmed in a statement that Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, in Brussels for the latest North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) defence ministerial meeting, had signed a letter the previous day signalling Canada’s intent to join the Maritime Multi-Mission Aircraft (M3A) forum, where the allies would “share force development resources and knowledge, in the pursuit of maritime patrol aircraft recapitalization.” Poland also confirmed plans to join France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey on developing follow-on solutions for aging fleets of maritime anti-submarine and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft which are becoming increasingly costly to maintain. The original six began collaborating last June, hoping that a common approach could help to contain the cost of developing new aircraft. “This joint effort recognizes the fact that the majority of allies’ maritime patrol aircraft fleets will be reaching the end of their operational lives between 2025 and 2035,” said NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller during the signing ceremony. Gottemoeller, a United States career diplomat, said the eight countries now needed to push on to the implementation phase for the M3A. “The goal here isn’t just a drawing board design,” she said. “We need a new generation of aircraft . . . fulfilling what is an increasingly important mission.”

  • Le Canada réintègre le programme du système aéroporté d’alerte et de contrôle de l’OTAN

    16 février 2018 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    Le Canada réintègre le programme du système aéroporté d’alerte et de contrôle de l’OTAN

    Communiqué de presse De Défense nationale Le 14 février 2018, Bruxelles (Belgique) — Défense nationale/Forces armées canadiennes Le gouvernement est déterminé à assurer la sécurité et la sûreté de la population canadienne et à en protéger les droits et libertés. Le Canada joue un rôle important et constructif dans le monde en contribuant concrètement à la paix et à la sécurité internationales, y compris au sein de l’Organisation du Traité de l’Atlantique Nord (OTAN). L’OTAN est une pierre angulaire de la politique de sécurité internationale du Canada et, aujourd’hui, le gouvernement a annoncé son intention de réintégrer le programme du système aéroporté d’alerte et de contrôle (AWACS) de l’OTAN. Les programmes comme AWACS, qui effectuent des activités de renseignement, de surveillance et de reconnaissance, sont de plus en plus pertinents dans le contexte actuel de sécurité. En réponse aux défis posés par cet environnement, l’OTAN a considérablement augmenté le recours à AWACS, y compris dans des régions comme l’Europe centrale et l’Europe de l’Est où le Canada dirige un groupement tactique multinational de l’OTAN en Lettonie. Le Canada avait décidé de se retirer du programme AWACS en 2011 à la suite de l’examen stratégique de 2010 du ministère de la Défense nationale.   Citations « L’OTAN est une pierre angulaire de la politique canadienne en matière de sécurité internationale et l’une de nos relations multilatérales les plus importantes. Dans cet esprit, le Canada a décidé de réintégrer le programme du système aéroporté d’alerte et de contrôle qui est une capacité clé de l’OTAN. Nous appuierons ce programme en contribuant à son budget d’opérations et de soutien. Nous sommes résolus à maintenir l’engagement du Canada dans le monde et nous continuerons de soutenir l’OTAN et ses missions : il s’agit d’étapes importantes vers la réalisation de cet objectif. » Harjit S. Sajjan, ministre de la Défense Faits en bref Le système aéroporté d’alerte et de contrôle (AWACS) a été créé en 1978 et comprend une flotte d’aéronefs appartenant à l’OTAN, ce qui donne à l’Alliance les moyens d’effectuer une surveillance aérienne à long rayon et de commander ainsi que de contrôler les forces aériennes. Une partie de l’engagement du Canada envers l’OTAN, comme il est énoncé dans la politique Protection, Sécurité, Engagement, comprend ce qui suit : mener et/ou contribuer des forces aux efforts de l’OTAN et de la coalition pour dissuader et vaincre des adversaires potentiels, y compris des terroristes, afin de soutenir la stabilité mondiale; diriger et/ou contribuer aux opérations internationales de paix et aux missions de stabilisation avec les Nations Unies, l’OTAN et d’autres partenaires multilatéraux. Le système aéroporté d’alerte et de contrôle (AWACS) de l’OTAN compte seize aéronefs E-3A. Ces Boeing 707 modifiés sont facilement identifiables à partir du dôme radar distinctif monté sur le fuselage. L’appareil E-3A fonctionne généralement à une altitude d’environ 10 km. À partir de cette altitude, un seul appareil E-3A peut surveiller en permanence l’espace aérien dans un rayon de plus de 400 km et peut échanger des informations, au moyen de liaisons de données numériques, avec les commandants sur terre, en mer et dans les airs. En utilisant le radar à impulsions Doppler, un appareil E-3A volant dans l’espace aérien de l’OTAN peut faire la distinction entre les cibles et les réflexions au sol et est donc en mesure de donner l’alerte rapide en cas de vol à basse ou haute altitude au-dessus du territoire d’un agresseur potentiel. Personnes-ressources Byrne Furlong Attachée de presse Cabinet du ministre de la Défense nationale Téléphone : 613-996-3100 Courriel : Relations avec les médias Ministère de la Défense nationale Téléphone : 613-996-2353 Courriel :

  • La France va adapter son « secret-défense » pour mieux échanger avec ses alliés

    16 février 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    La France va adapter son « secret-défense » pour mieux échanger avec ses alliés

    Le niveau de classification « confidentiel défense » sera supprimé d’ici à fin 2019. LE MONDE | 30.01.2018 à 16h17 • Mis à jour le 31.01.2018 à 11h15 | Par Nathalie Guibert Le « secret-défense » occupe une place centrale dans la démocratie française : 400 000 personnes habilitées dans l’appareil d’Etat en 2017, 4 000 officiers de sécurité dans les entreprises et les administrations, 5 millions de documents classifiés et un accès parcimonieux imposé aux archives historiques. Il va être réformé d’ici à fin 2019, a annoncé le secrétariat général pour la défense et la sécurité nationale (SGDSN) mardi 30 janvier, en dévoilant ces chiffres. Cet organe dépendant du premier ministre publie son deuxième rapport sur le sujet en espérant en faire « la pédagogie auprès du Parlement et de l’opinion ». Une concertation interministérielle est en cours pour satisfaire deux priorités : « Faciliter les échanges de données avec les pays alliés en alignant les niveaux de classification » et « améliorer la protection de l’information classifiée dématérialisée face à la menace cyber ». Les grands alliés de la France, les Etats-Unis et le Royaume-Uni en tête, ont des classifications équivalentes et la réforme aura pour but de faciliter les échanges de renseignement bilatéraux, mais aussi dans l’OTAN et au sein de l’Union européenne (UE), qui ont édicté des cadres communs. De trois à deux niveaux de classification Paris a signé 41 accords généraux de sécurité avec des Etats étrangers, rappelle le SGDSN. Dans le cadre des exportations d’armement, le volet protection du secret est majeur : il a fait l’objet d’un long travail pour aboutir à un accord gouvernemental particulier entre la France et l’industriel Naval Group (ex-DCNS) dans le cadre de la vente de sous-marins à l’Australie. Les autorités de Canberra s’étaient vivement inquiétées après des fuites de données sur le précédent contrat de vente de navires à l’Inde. l s’agit également de simplifier les procédures, afin « d’éviter une inflation inutile de données classifiées », assure le secrétaire général, Louis Gautier, alors que chercheurs, juges d’instruction et associations de défense des droits de l’homme critiquent aujourd’hui les excès du secret-défense. Des trois niveaux de classification – « confidentiel défense », « secret défense » et « très secret défense » – seul les deux derniers subsisteront. Dans les faits, la grande majorité des informations, classées « confidentiel défense » seront intégrées au niveau supérieur « secret défense » (10 % des documents aujourd’hui). Au sein du « très secret », une classification spéciale « X secret » sera apposée sur les informations les plus sensibles, accessibles à des groupes très restreints de personnes (moins d’une dizaine) et bénéficiant de réseaux de transmission particuliers. Entrent dans la classification la plus haute la plupart des documents opérationnels (opérations militaires, de chiffrement, cyber-opérations), ainsi que les données de recherche présentant un risque de prolifération pour des armes de destruction massive et les informations de la dissuasion nucléaire. Faciliter l’accès aux archives historiques Ainsi, « une note informant le président de la République du mode d’action et du pays responsable d’une attaque informatique contre une entreprise, qui pouvait relever du “confidentiel” sera à l’avenir “secret défense” ; le planning de sortie des sous-marins nucléaires sera classé “très secret” ; et les plans de renouvellement des armes nucléaires sera “X secret” », illustre un spécialiste du SGDSN. Le gouvernement « réfléchit » par ailleurs à un moyen de faciliter l’accès aux archives historiques, avec un système d’ouverture semi-automatisé lorsque les dates de prescription (50 ans ou 100 ans selon les cas) sont atteintes. La mandature de François Hollande a été marquée par un « effort de déclassification », assure encore le SGDSN, avec 3 672 documents déclassifiés par le ministère de l’intérieur, 2 569 par celui des armées, et 38 par celui de l’agriculture pour l’année 2016. Le SGDSN cite la promesse d’ouvrir les archives de l’Elysée sur le génocide du Rwanda. Mais cet engagement de 2015 n’a pas été suivi d’effets, avait dénoncé dans Le Monde en août 2017 un collectif d’historiens et d’avocats. Le président de la République Emmanuel Macron a pour sa part promis en novembre 2017 lors de sa visite au Burkina Faso de déclassifier la part française des archives relatives à l’ancien président Thomas Sankara, assassiné lors d’un putsch dans ce pays en 1987. Une dizaine de procédures sont en cours devant la justice pénale pour compromission du secret-défense, dont deux concernent des officiers du ministère des armées.

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