The analysis of the posts published in this blog over the past three months has highlighted the following topics as real "trends" in the domain of C4I:
- The U.S. Network Integration Evaluation (NIE). The NIEs are a series of field exercises designed to integrate and mature the Army’s tactical network, as well as to evaluate deliberate and rapid acquisition solutions. Soldier feedback and test results from the NIEs are directly shaping the makeup of the U.S. Army's network Capability Set 13, which will begin fielding in fiscal year 2013 to up to eight brigade combat teams. Several reports on the last NIE (NIE 12.1) appeared on this blog in the last months, discussing the results of the experimentations in different technological areas: Network Integration Evaluation 12.1, U.S. Army concludes the NIE 12.1, The U.S. Army's assessment of Company Level network-centric capabilities, Network Management in Modern U.S. Army's Military Operations.
- Advances in manned to unmanned systems integration. An increasing family of programs and activities are dedicated on improving the level of integration of Unmanned Aerial Systems within military C4I architectures, as witnessed by the high number of entries that appeared in this blog in the last three months, such as: U.S. Navy demonstrates UAV to Weapons interoperability through a Service Oriented Architecture, Manned to Unmanned, Contract Award: Northrop Grumman to add Tactical Data Link technology on U.S. Army's "Hunter", Harris introduces multi-UAS controlling capabilities on Falcon III Radios, Controlling the drones during the battle.
- Cyber Defence goes on the Offensive. It is now clear that the new step in implementing an effective Cyber Defence capability requires the development of proper tools, procedures and legal frameworks for allowing offensive moves in cyberspace. This topic has been discussed in a number of posts, including: Finland's Cyber Strategy goes on the Offensive, U.S. Army's updated Information Operations Primer focuses on Cyber, U.S. Army's Cyber Brigade.
- Superior Quality Location Intelligence. Knowledge of the terrain over which military operations will be conducted is an essential prerequisite for their success, and as a matter of fact Armed Forces and Government Agencies are acquiring the best technologies to gather, process and distribute geographical information. Here are some of the most interesting posts on this topic: Contract Award: Thales and EADS to enhance the French Armed Forces' geographic database system, Contract Award: GeoEye to provide Web Hosting Services for US National Gospatial Intelligence Agency, SAIC unveils GeoRover Mobile software solution, RemoteView: Textron's imagery and geospatial analysis software.
- Enterprise Services Everywhere. Network Centric Warfare is no longer the the buzzword that anyone talks about, but it is still a fact that Service Oriented Architectures are effectively providing a superior level of integration among separate systems and centres. Here there are some examples: Contract Award: Lockheed Martin to improve intelligence sharing capability of US DoD, Contract Award: Alion S&T to support US Army's LandWarNet, Contract Award: TWD to provide enterprise IT services and support for US Naval Sea Systems Command, Planned Acquisition: US Navy issues draft RFP for its Next Generation Enterprise Network, Contract Award: US AOC Air and Space Operations Center Weapon System goes SOA, NGEN Update: less than five potential bidders will compete on price.
The following chart presents the entries that catched the highest level of attention by the readers of this blog.
- Contract Award: Thales and EADS to enhance the French Armed Forces' geographic database system. On last November, the French geographic Institute IGN (Institut Géographique National), acting as the contracting authority on behalf of the Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) of the French Ministry of Defence, has contracted Thales and Cassidian to carry out the second phase of the TopoBase Défense Operation. The goal of this operation is to produce data to feed into defence geographical databases.
- Contract Award: US AOC Air and Space Operations Center Weapon System goes SOA. On last October, Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract for the design, development, test, and deployment of Increment 10.2, modernization of the Air and Space Operations Center Weapon System. Increment 10.2 is intended to bring net-centric capabilities to the Geographic Air and Space Operations Center Weapons Systems, thereby allowing data to flow seamlessly across various platforms and process workflows rather than being locked in separate information technology system “silos” to be accessed and retransmitted by humans, as is the process today.
- Project Review: the Afghan Mission Network. On the battlefields of Afghanistan, the Afghan Mission Network has transformed the way Coalition Commanders share information. Independent discussions and planning efforts between separate Commanders of different nations have been replaced by data sharing across the network.
- The UK Cyber Security Strategy. After a couple of postponements, on last November the UK Government has finally published its Cyber Security Strategy, which details UK plans to secure critical infrastructure and improve the country’s cyber-defenses to protect national security and citizens from multiple cyber-threats. The UK government classified cyber-security as a "tier one" national security priority in 2010 and set aside 650 million pounds over the next four years to be used for cyber-defense.
- Exercise SUDARSHAN SHAKTI: Indian Army's biggest war game to date. On last November sixty thousand troops and 300 tanks of the Indian Armed Forces (IAF) participated in the exercise codenamed 'Sudarshan Shakti', aimed at strengthening war fighting skills of army's Southern Command and IAF's South Western Air Command by bringing together all elements including air power on one single platform. In this overall effort, Network Centric Warfare (NCW) was one of the crucial aspects being validated.
And finally, here there is the list of the five most interesting posts as selected by the editor of this blog.
- Discussing the JTRS GMR "graceful termination". Large cost overruns and numerous schedule delays forced the US Army's hand in canceling the JTRS Ground Mobile Radio system. The US Army now plans to conduct a full and open competition early next year for a lower-cost alternative, said Major Christopher Kasker, a US Army spokesman. US Army spokesmans also reiterated that the backbone of the Army's networking strategy will be the waveforms and not the specific hardware transmitting them.
- NATO approves Air Command and Control System Factory System Tests. The NATO Air Command And Control System (ACCS) is intended to combine, and automate, at the tactical level the planning and tasking and execution of all air operations. When operational, the ACCS will provide a unified air command and control system, enabling NATO’s European nations (including new Alliance members) to seamlessly manage all types of air operations over their territory, and beyond. On last September, ThalesRaytheonSystems has received approval from the NATO Air Command and Control System Management Agency (NACMA) for successfully completing the NATO Air Command and Control System (ACCS) Factory System Test.
- Forza NEC moves on. Italian Land Forces have recently completed a set of trials and exercitations aimed at evaluating the achieved level of interoperability among the newly developed units of the Forza NEC digitalized Brigade. During the exercises, all the key C4I components of the Forza NEC architecture were interconnected at both the operational and tactical level and allowed the creation of a Joint Common Situation Awareness to be exploited by ground, naval and air forces.
- Planned Acquisition: Norwegian Defence to purchase Thales' Digitised Soldier System. The Norwegian Defence has led a comprehensive program on forming the future Norwegian soldier solution in close collaboration with operational forces and Norwegian defence industry. The key program, NORMANS, has been through a 10 year process of iterative development, where Thales Norway has led the industrialisation of NORMANS digitised soldier system with Teleplan Globe as partner. Norwegian Defence has documented significant improvement in operational effectiveness and increased safety for the soldier with NORMANS compared to the current solution which is based on paper maps and hand held GPS.
- The U.S. Air-Sea Battle Office. The U.S. Department of Defense announced last week the creation of a new office to integrate air and naval combat capabilities in support of emerging national security requirements, named the Air-Sea Battle Office (ASBO). The Air-Sea Battle concept will guide the services as they work together to maintain a continued U.S. advantage against the global proliferation of advanced military technologies and A2/AD capabilities (anti-access/area denial). Air-Sea Battle will leverage military and technological capabilities that reflect unprecedented Navy, Marine and Air Force collaboration, cooperation, integration, and resource investments.
All of you are now invited to provide your comments and feedbacks on the above charts and selections. You can comment this post or, alternatively, you are encouraged to contact the editor by following the link that is specified on top of the right column. Keep in touch!!