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electronic warfare

Cryptography Advisory Group Addresses NIST Ties to NSA

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) primary external advisory board today announced a report calling for the agency to increase its staff of cryptography experts and to implement more explicit processes for ensuring openness and transparency to strengthen its cryptography efforts. In making its recommendations, the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) specifically addressed NIST’s interactions with the National Security Agency (NSA).

Northrop Grumman Supports Australia’s Electronic Attack Aircraft

July 14, 2014

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Bethpage, New York, is being awarded a $198,901,412 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the design, development, and implementation of the Airborne Electronic Attack requirements for software configuration set upgrades to software and ancillary hardware in support of the EA-6B and EA-18G aircraft for the United States and the government of Australia. This contract combines purchases for the United States ($179,011,271; 90 percent) and the Government of Australia ($19,890,141; 10 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, California, is the contracting activity (N68936-14-D-0018).

Tackling Big Data With Small Projects

August 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Army officials envision a future in which ground and air platforms share data and where soldiers at a remote forward-operating base easily can access information from any sensor in the area, including national satellites or reconnaissance aircraft flying overhead.

U.S. Army Explores Push-Button Networking

August 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Army’s current tactical network delivers a wide range of capabilities for warfighters, including unprecedented communications on the move. But the complexity can overwhelm commanders who have countless critical tasks to complete and soldiers’ lives in their hands. Future tactical networks will automate many processes and may be smart enough to advise commanders, similar to JARVIS, Iron Man’s computerized assistant.

The Army’s current networking technology includes Capability Set 13, a package of network components, associated equipment and software that provides an integrated capability from the tactical operations center to the dismounted soldier. It supports Army warfighters in Afghanistan and provides a host of capabilities not offered by the wide area network in use as recently as 2012. The Army has fielded the capability set down to the company commander level with a package known as the Soldier Network Extension, which delivers some challenges along with the added capabilities. “The company commander is trying to maneuver around the battlefield, and he’s trying to command a company, and he has these new pieces of kit that he has to learn how to use, and it’s complicated. That’s part of the problem,” says Jennifer Zbozny, chief engineer for the Army Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical. “If you had an iPhone with an interface you didn’t understand, and you had to do a million things and log on a million different ways, you’d probably get tired of it and decide it’s not worth the effort.”

Boeing to Support Australian Electronic Warfare Aircraft

July 8, 2014

The Boeing Company, St. Louis, is being awarded $20,753,552 for delivery order 0201 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-11-G-0001) for non-recurring engineering and associated program management, logistics and spares for the AEA-18G aircraft in support of the government of Australia under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman to Repair Electronic Countermeasures System

June 30, 2014

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Warner Robins, Georgia, has been awarded a $15,212,790 firm-fixed-price contract for the repair of the AN/ALQ-135 Electronic Countermeasures System’s Band 3 and Bands 1&2 Traveling Wave Tubes. Work will be performed at Warner Robins, Georgia, and is expected to be completed by June 25, 2015. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition and is 100 percent foreign military sales for Saudi Arabia. FMS funds in the amount of $15,212,790 will be obligated at time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity (FA8540-14-C-0009).

Raytheon to Provide Air Launched Jammer Missile

June 30, 2014

Raytheon Co. Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded an $80,768,012 firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Lot 7 Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammer (MALD-J) missile (200 each) to include: data, mission planning, process verification program, and operational flight software. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA8682-14-C-0004).

Exelis to Manufacture Tactical Jamming Technology

June 30, 2014

Exelis Inc., Clifton, New Jersey, is being awarded a $15,262,451 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the design, engineering analysis, program, manufacture and test of the universal exciter upgrade (shop replaceable assembly redesign) to support the AN/ALQ 99 tactical jamming system used on the EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G aircraft. This procurement is to design and manufacture three components of the universal exciter: the modulation direct digital synthesizer, the direct digital synthesizer and the oscillator switch to eliminate the use of obsolete parts. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy (10 percent), and the government of Australia (90 percent), under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Indiana, is the contracting activity (N00164-13-G-WM01).

Defense Spectrum Community Aims for National Strategy

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Defense Department officials intend to complete a departmentwide spectrum strategy road map this month, which will make more frequencies available to warfighters, provide greater flexibility—especially for international operations—and ultimately allow warfighters to conduct their missions more effectively. At the same time, however, some are suggesting a nationwide strategy to allow for more innovative and effective spectrum management and sharing across government and industry.

The Defense Department released its spectrum strategy in February to address the ever-increasing demand for wireless spectrum to achieve national security goals. That strategy largely was written by personnel within the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Defense Spectrum Organization (DSO) in coordination with the office of the chief information officer for the Defense Department. Now, the two offices are working on a road map for implementing the strategy.

Concurrently, some are recommending development of a comprehensive, nationwide strategy for spectrum management affecting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and all other agencies as well as the commercial sector. “What we have is a spectrum structure within the United States that was first created by the Telecommunications Act of 1934. We have created a pretty rigid system. What we’re pushing for through our spectrum strategy are changes and innovative ways to operate spectrum,” says Stuart Timerman, DSO director. “We would like to see that adopted nationally to have a national spectrum strategy where the FCC, NTIA and all of the federal agencies and commercial industry would plan for the future.”

Network Complexities Challenge Army, Force Structure Changes

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The complexities of the U.S. Army’s networks and spectrum allocation processes interfere with the need to reassign units to different tasks, creating major delays and presenting serious challenges.

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