U.S Army improvements in networking capabilities are showing significant progress toward goals in the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) system, say officers tasked with improving tactical connectivity. Yet along with these gains comes the realization that other challenges must be met to ensure an effectively networked force in the future.
Software-defined networks, commercial satellite communications, cognitive electronic warfare, intelligent radios and artificial intelligence applications all potentially offer the military advanced capabilities for the tactical environment, say Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s (APL’s) Julia Andrusenko, chief engineer, Tactical Wireless Systems Group, and Mark Simkins, program manager, Resilient Tactical Communications Networks.
The Joint Communications Support Element (Airborne), which stays on standby to deploy anytime and anywhere within 72 hours, is modernizing for multi-domain operations.
Despite the global pandemic, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has never stopped providing warfighters with critical connections needed to conduct multidomain warfare and never let up on the daily battles in cyberspace, says Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, the agency’s director and the commander of Joint Forces Headquarters for the Department of Defense Information Systems Network.
Adm. Norton made the comments during an AFCEA TechNet Cyber webinar on November 5. The webinar is part of a series of webinars leading up to the TechNet Cyber conference scheduled for December 1-3.
U.S. Army leaders are sloughing off some of the old ways of fielding technology and embracing commercial and government advances in tactical communications. Facing a technology revolution, dangerous adversaries and budgetary constraints, leaders are working to get capabilities into the hands of warfighters faster.
As U.S. Army leaders assess the future of tactical communications and networking programs, the service is moving forward with several measures to extend improved capabilities to soldiers at the platoon and squad levels.
Service officials spent most of the summer participating in a major review of the Army’s network modernization strategy. Gen. Mark Milley, USA, the Army chief of staff, informed Congress in May that he had directed a “rigorous and painful review” of tactical communication programs out of concerns that systems being developed may not be sufficiently hardened against electronic attacks.
Television Equipment Associates Inc., Brewster, New York, was awarded a $15,758,350 firm-fixed-price contract for Tactical Communications and Protective System kits. Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Work will be performed in Brewster, New York, with an estimated completion date of September 13, 2016. Fiscal 2016 other procurement (Army) funds in the amount of $15,758,350 were obligated at the time of the award. The Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W91CRB-16-F-0028).
General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited, Oakdale, South Wales, has been awarded £135 million ($193,441,053) contract from the UK Ministry of Defence to provide enhanced Bowman tactical communications systems to the British Armed Forces. The BCIP5.6 contract will allow for the Bowman tactical communications equipment currently used by the UK military to receive a series of enhancements and upgrades. These include the rollout of approximately 12,000 new data terminals and an updated version of the Battle Management System. The enhanced equipment will be delivered beginning in 2018, and will support an increased operational tempo.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Thales Communications Incorporated, of Clarksburg, Maryland, a contract to provide public safety and tactical communications products to DHS under its new Tactical Communications (TacCom) program. Through this multiple-award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) program, DHS will quickly procure vital tactical radio equipment and other products and services. The agency will use the equipment to support reliable and interoperable public safety communications for its missions to keep the homeland safe, including border protection, customs enforcement, drug interdiction, and emergency response to natural and man-made disasters.