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International

NATO Deploys Command and Control Tool In Afghanistan

July 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

Coalition forces in Afghanistan are using a situational awareness system that alerts military patrols about mined roads and warns civilian relief convoys about traffic jams and possible insurgent activity. The capability fuses intelligence alerts and real-time tracking information to provide users with the location of civilian and NATO forces.

Hainan Is the Tip of the Chinese Navy Spear

June 2009
By James C. Bussert

From humble, almost inconsequential, origins, China’s South Sea Fleet has grown to become a major maritime military force. The country is basing many of its newest naval assets in that fleet’s region of responsibility, and they are taking on more diverse and far-reaching missions. China also is acting more aggressively in these waters, particularly in recent confrontations with U.S. ships conducting peaceful operations.

France Improves Identification Crypto

April 3, 2009

The French navy and air force are adding new encryption technology to their identification friend-or-foe (IFF) systems to reduce the chance of enemy interception and analysis. The new encryption is being applied to more than 1,000 IFF systems equipping the two services. The equipment will help ensure that links between aircraft transponders and ground-based interrogators are not read or corrupted by new interception technologies now appearing in the battlespace. The existing IFF systems receiving the encryption upgrades will be able to respond quickly and reliably in an electronic warfighting environment, company officials say. The French government has awarded a 30 million contract to EADS Defense and Security for the new IFF encryption suite.

Telepresence Benefits Two Fronts

March 2009
By Adam Baddeley

NATO is exploring the benefits that telepresence capabilities offer military commanders and military families. The organization established a high-capacity communications link between several sites in Europe and Kabul to provide an immersive, face-to-face virtual meeting capability, far beyond that provided by today’s videoconferencing capabilities.

Industry Looks To Aid NATO

March 2009
By Robert K. Ackerman

International defense acquisition reform finally may come from a NATO industrial group traditionally known for generating studies rather than initiating innovative reorganization. The NATO Industrial Advisory Group, known as NIAG, is striving to redefine the relationship between industry and the 26 nations that constitute its parent alliance.

Virtual Theater Prepares Warfighters

February 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

A new virtual training facility is helping British troops hone their command and control skills before they deploy to Afghanistan. The center creates geographically accurate simulations that allow headquarters personnel to become familiar with managing intelligence data from manned and unmanned platforms during a series of operational scenarios. The networked battlefield simulator can be rapidly modified to include new lessons learned from units returning from overseas missions.

Chinese Warships Struggle to Meet New Command, Control And Communications Needs

February 2009
By James C. Bussert

China may be building a navy that features some world-class technologies aboard new ships, but its large numbers and variety of naval and air weapons still are operated in isolated methods because of the lack of effective command, control and communications and datalinks. Of 494 Chinese navy ships, the only combatant warships with credible Level III command, control and communications are four imported Russian Sovremennyi guided missile destroyers, 11 new construction guided missile destroyers, four 054A guided missile frigates, two upgraded Luda-class destroyers and 12 submarines, including nuclear strategic ballistic missile submarines.

Joint Experiment Bridges Interoperability Gap

January 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

Network-centric data transfer capabilities are swiftly moving from the battlefield into areas such as national emergency response and homeland security. A recent joint exercise between NATO and Sweden demonstrated how coalition nations and local civilian authorities can link their networks together to share information in real time.

Bowman Achieves Full Operational Capability

November 2008
By Henry Kenyon

The United Kingdom’s advanced tactical radio is finally on track. A new software upgrade has activated most of the system’s anticipated operational capabilities, providing commanders with enhanced situational awareness, and battlefield networking and information sharing. The enhancement comes as the digital radios replace legacy radios across the British military.

United Kingdom Sets up Electronic Borders

August 2008
By Adam Baddeley

The United Kingdom is securing its border by throwing an electronic net around the entire nation. The U.K. Electronic Borders program, known as e-Borders, aims at keeping track digitally of every individual who enters or exits the country.

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