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Special Report

Next Generation Vehicle Intercom Systems Cobham – Delivering Next Generation Systems Today An Uncertain Trend in a Highly Competitive Market Essential Features When Buying and Selling New Systems in the 21st Century British Bowman System Finally Operational After a Chequered History The Future, Austerity, BRIC Countries and ‘The Pivot to Asia’

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Vehicle Intercom Systems Cobham – Delivering Next Generation Systems Today

Contents

An Uncertain Trend in a Highly Competitive Market Essential Features When Buying and Selling New Systems in the 21st Century

Foreword

British Bowman System Finally Operational After a Chequered History

Mary Dub, Editor

The Future, Austerity, BRIC Countries and ‘The Pivot to Asia’

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Cobham – Delivering Next Generation Systems Today 3 Cobham TCS

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media

Executive Summary Helping Improve Effective Communications from Commander to Troop Level Helping Improve Effectiveness within the Vehicle The Demand for Interoperable Platform Expanding Communications to Dismounted Troops and Command Posts The Future for Next Generation VIS

Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom

An Uncertain Trend in a Highly Competitive Market

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Why the Cancellations at Such a Late Stage and at Such a High Cost to Industry and the Department of Defense? JTRS Joined the List of Cancelled Programs What Does This Mean for the Future of Communication Systems for the US Army?

Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Mary Dub Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

© 2012. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

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Mary Dub, Editor

Essential Features When Buying and Selling New Systems in the 21st Century

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Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Protecting the Military User of Communication Equipment The Marines Raise Critical Issues for Communications Capability in Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) The Salience of Stryker The Certification Process The Ubiquitous SINCGARS (Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System)

British Bowman System Finally Operational After a Chequered History

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Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Bowman on Operation The Threat of Cyber Warfare, Jamming and Control of Military Vehicles by Opposing Parties New Technologies for Development of Higher Levels of Assurance Against Cyber Attack New Products on the Market with Higher Levels of Encryption, Security Plus the Ability to Work in Urban Terrain

The Future, Austerity, BRIC Countries and ‘The Pivot to Asia’

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Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

Maximising Adaptability The Lego Analogy Looking to the BRIC Economies – Brazil, Russian, India and China Adaptability, Familiar Technologies and Off-The-Shelf Plug and Play Capabilities to the Fore

References 15 www.defenceindustryreports.com | 1


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

Foreword T

he need for effective vehicle intercom

The lessons learned from the reasons for the cuts

systems is critical to the effective operation

have resulted in a highly qualified marketplace for

of network-enabled warfare. They deliver clarity

systems which include the latest technologies, but

of communication in combat between warfighters

which cannot afford to try to deliver future capabilities

in the lethal risk and uncertainty of battle. And

that are not linked to legacy systems and a rock solid

in coalition warfare, which in the last decade

operational performance that passes an array of

has been the norm, they allow those who speak

complex tests.

English as a second language to understand

After a chequered history, which the third piece

precise instructions when working with soldiers of

alludes to, the British Bowman system is now

another country.

implemented and is picking up good reviews from

The opening article in this Special Report looks at

commanders and men in Afghanistan. However,

the importance of Vehicle Intercom Systems (VIS)

the need to meet the demands of the rising threat

and how they have become essential for supporting

of cyber warfare to embedded network systems is a

friendly forces and minimizing battlefield casualties.

new and high priority danger to which ministries of

The ability of the commanders and crew to interact

defence are increasingly alert. There are programs

with each other is a core function made possible

in the pipeline to meet these threats. One of these at

by VIS and is critical to the effective and safe

DARPA is discussed.

discharge of duties. And while audio remains the

Every prime contractor is listening and looking for

most effective means of immediate communication

signals as to where defense capabilities may be about

between crew members, future VIS will integrate

to be upgraded with the new priorities that come from

video capability providing benefits to commanders,

Obama’s pivot to Asia and the possibility that the

drivers while maneuvering, and mounted infantry,

Republican contender Romney may gain control of

prior to dismount. With forthcoming capability

the White House in 2013. This is the central theme of

enhancements, the vehicle intercom will become the

the final article. In such a high level of uncertainty, the

cost-effective component of the fighting system for

defence markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China are

audio, video and data, to deliver tactical awareness.

a source of possibility in a difficult global market. And

However, need does not automatically translate

recent deals for vehicle intercom systems in Brazil

into demand in 2012, because as the second article

should be a source of optimism.

outlines, Congressional cuts for critical vehicle updating programs have been the order of the day in the United States and much of western Europe.

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

Cobham – Delivering Next Generation Systems Today

The most important thing we build is trust

Cobham TCS

Cobham’s Vehicle Intercom Systems

Cobham and its partners are working with customers to deliver capability enhancements and increase the tactical awareness of our forces.

The world’s leading manufacturer of Vehicle Intercom Systems with over 125,000 systems in service globally

Enables fast, safe, secure communications.

Executive Summary Today’s modern armed forces depend upon having access to the most advanced equipment, particularly in the field of communications. Vehicle Intercom Systems (VIS) are pivotal to providing these communications and have become essential for supporting our friendly forces and for minimising battlefield casualties. Cobham understand the nature and requirements of these troops and end-users more than anyone. With a global installed base of 125,000 systems across six continents they truly are the specialists in the VIS field. •E  nabling fast, safe, secure and reliable communications •P  ermitting scalable and expandable solutions for wider integrated tactical pictures • Increased Video and Data capabilities built upon existing Audio communications Future systems must retain the ease of use and ruggedness that have proved to be essential in modern operational theatres. Interfaces must remain intuitive and give access to core

functions at the flick of a switch, with hands-free operation where possible. Resilience to damage remains important, and systems with distributed functionality retain an edge in this key area. Increased functionality will also be a key feature, particularly as the VIS will be part of a larger tactical awareness and communication system, encompassing the vehicle, its neighbourhood, but reaching back to the Battle Group, Formation, and Theatre Headquarters as necessary. Cobham’s next generation system, delivered as part of the US Army VIS-X program (now classified as AN/ VIC-5), has been designed with this in mind. Communication using Internet Protocols, remote access facilities, higher data bandwidths to permit transmission of high capacity data and video across the VIS backbone will emerge to permit fuller integration with other vehicle and C4I systems. Wireless capability will increasingly become available to add functionality, and is already integrated on Cobham’s and other systems. However, retaining the current strengths of proven VIS wired interfaces is important to

Cobham’s Intercom products provide: • Fast, safe and secure communications to support virtually any platform • Expandable communications to dismounted troops, command posts and beyond through Ethernet/IP connectivity • Common units for modular upgrades and capability expansion for a range of vehicles and configurations • Easy to use and maintain designs, ideal for operations in demanding conditions • Battle proven and resilient with extremely high levels of reliability

www.cobham.com/tcs

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

Future systems will expand on existing binaural presentation of information to ease interpretation of information from different audio sources, and other techniques will

Cobham’s Vehicle Intercom Systems enable fast, safe, secure and reliable communications for supporting our friendly forces and for minimising battlefield casualties.

emerge to draw the user’s attention to tactically important audio messages.

ensure covert operation and crew confidence and system reliability.

Helping Improve Effective Communications from Commander to Troop Level Vehicle Intercom Systems provide the commander and crew with the ability to interact with each other, and with the broader tactical environment through vehicle radios and communications equipment. This is a core function that must be available at all times, and the performance is critical to the effective and safe discharge of duties. Northrop Grumman and Cobham created a joint venture (NGCI) to support the future intercom developments, initially in response to the US VIS-X requirement. NGCI have demonstrated the core communication requirements in their AN/ VIC-3, AN/VIC-5, ROVIS and TacG2 systems, offering a broad range of interfaces to third-party radios, SATCOM systems and audio equipment such as active-noise reduction headphones. VIS is all about the transmission of information, be it voice within or outside the vehicle, or from radio sources. Intelligibility and the ability to differentiate key messages in difficult environments drive the performance of troops. Cobham is in the fortunate position of being able to draw on a broad range of operational and design experience in optimising effectiveness, working with its partners.

Helping Improve Effectiveness within the Vehicle Crew communications remain at the heart of 4 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

effective teamwork within fighting vehicles. The VIS is core to the delivery of this functionality, and remains an essential element of effective fighting vehicle design. The fighting vehicle is a difficult environment in many ways, as acoustic noise levels are high, vibration is severe, power supplies can be of varying quality and rotating turret slip rings introduce further constraints. Cobham brings a wealth of experience in these areas to bear in developing future VIS. In conditions of high stress, such as when under fire or in the dark, the user interface is critical. Rotary switch or simple push button based interfaces have been demonstrated to be the most appropriate under these circumstances, and key functions must be immediately and intuitively available. More complex interfaces can be used to access functions that are required less frequently, or to expand the capabilities of the VIS, but ease of use remains a paramount requirement. These can include reconfiguration of the system to meet specific mission profiles, managing access to features and resources but retaining common training and user interfaces. A further feature that has proved of great use in the field has been a very short time to audio from switch on, as this permits rapid reaction in emergencies or in response to unexpected attacks. Future systems will expand on existing binaural presentation of information to ease interpretation of information from different audio sources, and other techniques will emerge to draw the user’s attention to tactically important


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

systems into existing vehicles (an important feature in reducing overall life cycle costs of VIS systems), add-on capability to permit the transmission of video information across the existing cabling or systems would be very attractive. Such capability would permit the ready upgrade of vehicles to provide commanders with improved situational awareness while closed down, drivers with live feeds during vehicle manoeuvring, and mounted infantry with local information prior to dismount. Cobham has exploited its strong market position on current fighting vehicles by providing direct upgrades (AN/VIC-3 to AN/VIC-5, ROVIS and LV2 to TacG2) that are backwards compatible and re-use existing cabling in the vehicles to deliver these advanced features. Typical Cobham Intercom Vehicle Installation.

audio messages. Systems such as Cobham’s AN/VIC-5 offer this feature, and have been designed with the spare capacity to take these innovations forward as the need evolves. Wireless crew stations are already offered, but still retain some limitations when operating in jamming or radio silence environments. Crews must retain full confidence in their equipment, and the inherent simplicity and reliability of a cable connection remains the requirement. Developments in adaptive radio, in battery technology and in miniaturisation will make this approach more capable in the future. The interface with the vehicle will provide enhanced operability as vehicle electronics provide additional functionality. As an example, automated warning messages will inform drivers of vehicle performance issues, drawing information seamlessly from the CANbus or similar vehicle drive system data buses. These will inform crew members of potential issues and permit risk to be assessed on the fly during missions. This information can also be routed automatically to maintenance radio networks via the VIS, allowing equipment support teams to plan ahead or to advise as required in real time. Cobham’s AN/VIC-5 system has been designed to provide the capability for easy expansion in these areas as the need develops. While audio remains the most effective means of immediate communications between crew members, future VIS will integrate video capability, within the constraints of available data bandwidths. Given the investment in wiring and crew units, and the cost of installing different

The most important thing we build is trust

Cobham’s Vehicle Intercom Systems

The Demand for Interoperable Platform Teamwork within vehicles, between vehicles in a tactical unit, and between tactical units is at the heart of operational success. This demands seamless interaction at all levels, and the need to interface with existing and forthcoming communications channels. The VIS is a key element of this system of systems, and must be able to provide effective interoperability and transparency in the sharing of information. While data formats used within the VIS can be a mix of open and proprietary standards, each optimised for the particular application, future systems must be able to support high data bandwidths and communicate using internet protocols. Selection of compression and encryption must remain flexible, but military standards offer optimised performance to complement COTS options – the key is flexibility and the ability to add new modules in the future. Cobham has developed a flexible architecture in its AN/VIC-5 and TacG2 systems that maximises the appropriate use of open standards to provide this transparency and future upgrade path. Vehicles will continue to communicate with each other and with higher formations through radios. These radios will continue to evolve and to become more intelligent in their use of the spectrum, so VIS must allow these to be managed remotely and seamlessly from C4I systems or other vehicle data storage and display systems. Separate consideration may be required for audio and data links, exploiting existing and new features in VIS to reduce overall system complexity and weight. Networks will operate at different levels of security, again placing an implicit demand on future VIS to provide adequate protection for this information as it is in transit through the system.

The world’s leading manufacturer of Vehicle Intercom Systems with over 125,000 systems in service globally

Cobham’s Intercom products provide: • Fast, safe and secure communications to support virtually any platform • Expandable communications to dismounted troops, command posts and beyond through Ethernet/IP connectivity • Common units for modular upgrades and capability expansion for a range of vehicles and configurations • Easy to use and maintain designs, ideal for operations in demanding conditions • Battle proven and resilient with extremely high levels of reliability

www.cobham.com/tcs

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

Dismounted Commanders can remotely access Cobham’s VIS positions using a range of technologies including field telephones, Combat Net Radios, SIP networks and IP devices.

Expanding Communications to Dismounted Troops and Command Posts Vehicle Intercom Systems can be further enhanced by providing a link to dismounted users who require tactical voice and data communications to support operations. Dismounted Commanders can remotely access Cobham’s VIS positions using a range of technologies including field telephones, Combat Net Radios, SIP networks and IP devices. In addition to this, the Eagle Radio, Cobham’s adhoc network device, provides the capability for all dismounted soldiers in a squad to remotely access the VIS, installed radios and their own intra-group radio network. This extends capability of the group without having to provide each soldier with additional radio hardware. Interfaces to existing radios can readily be made available, but the radio must not impact on the core function of the VIS, which is to provide crew communications and access to external audio channels. Such radios should offer full duplex operation, and the ability to control and be controlled by the intercom system, if the full potential of such systems is to be exploited. System architectures can maintain the different security levels within an intercom system through appropriate design, and high-bandwidth radios, such as Cobham’s MESH, can provide full IP interoperability and access to video content for surveillance and guard functionality.

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The Future for Next Generation VIS Future VIS will remain core systems within fighting vehicles, but will allow system integrators to minimise system impact and weight through incorporating additional functionality. This will require the VIS to provide high data bandwidths in addition to excellent audio capabilities, and to support appropriate protection for classified information, though none will be stored within the system itself. The VIS will be at the centre of local tactical situational awareness, providing wireless and wired interconnectivity for both audio and video, enabling vehicle crew members to access and display both types of information as required in pursuance of their tasks. Automation will increase with voice actuation and additional visual control panels complementing the current robust mechanical interfaces. Full remote control also permits integration with other vehicle C2 systems and intelligent radios. The Vehicle Intercom is already the audio communications workhorse within the fighting vehicle, and forthcoming capability enhancements will enable it to become the cost-effective nervous system of the fighting system for audio, video and data to deliver tactical awareness. Cobham and its partners are working with customers to deliver this vision in the near future.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

An Uncertain Trend in a Highly Competitive Market

The most important thing we build is trust

Mary Dub, Editor

Cobham’s Vehicle Intercom Systems

‘After more than a decade of increasing defense budgets, the Department of Defense now must plan for $487 billion in cuts over the next decade, with still more substantial cuts possible. In this environment, the competition for programmatic dollars will be fierce. What one observer has called “the biggest military food fight in at least a generation” may already be underway.1’ Andrew Krepinevich and Eric Lindsey: ‘The Road Ahead’ for The Center for Strategic Budget Assessment (2012)

A

Vehicle Intercom Systems is a vital link to between the soldier in an armoured vehicle and his patrol and command and control. However, despite the US Army’s commitment to Network Centric Warfare (NCW) and the British Network Enabled Capability (NEC) there is now a significant period of high uncertainty about the Department of Defense’s intentions to purchase and upgrade equipment given that President Obama’s budgets have been cut dramatically by both Houses of Congress in the current administration. What does this mean for the acquisition of upgrades and new technologies, hitherto always seen as the key to dominance in the battlefield? The Congressional Research Service published a summary of the political events impacting on the defense budget over the last three years and it makes salutary reading.2 “In April 2009, then Secretary of Defense Gates announced he intended to significantly restructure the Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) program. The FCS was a multiyear, multi-billion dollar program that had been underway since 2000 and was at the heart of the Army’s transformation efforts. In lieu of the cancelled FCS manned ground vehicle (MGV), the Army was directed to develop a ground combat vehicle (GCV) that would be relevant across the entire spectrum of Army operations and would incorporate combat lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan.” The tale gets worse: “On August 23, 2011, the third team vying for the GCV technology development (TD) contract, SAIC-Boeing, filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) contending that there were errors in the evaluation process.” And worse: “The Administration’s January 26, 2012, Major Budget Decision Briefing not only introduced a new Asia-Pacific

strategic focus, but also delayed the GCV program for a year due to the SAIC-Boeing protest.” This is bad news for contractors.

Why the Cancellations at Such a Late Stage and at Such a High Cost to Industry and the Department of Defense? The Congressional Research Service had an easy answer and a more difficult one: “This review found that the GCV had too many performance requirements and too many capabilities to make it affordable and relied on too many immature technologies.” Fair enough, but the real problem is a much wider one. “Under FY2013 strategic and budget plans, the Active Army will downsize by 80,000 soldiers, but most defense analysts expect even deeper cuts in end strength, particularly if sequestration of the defense budget under the provisions of the Budget Control Act of 2011, P.L.112-25, is enacted. If sequestration does occur, Secretary of Defense Panetta has told Congress, “all ground combat vehicle modernization programs would be terminated,” meaning that the GCV program would be cancelled.”

JTRS Joined the List of Cancelled Programs The Pentagon’s JTRS (Joint Tactical Radio System) aimed to replace existing radios in the American military with a single set of softwaredefined radios that could have new frequencies and modes (“waveforms”) added via upload. This system, instead of requiring multiple radio types in ground vehicles, used circuit board swaps in order to upgrade – this also fell victim to the cuts. JTRS joined the Land Warrior Program on the list of closed programs. Even the ubiquitous Humvee, which was due for a replacement in the spring of 2012, was put

The world’s leading manufacturer of Vehicle Intercom Systems with over 125,000 systems in service globally

Cobham’s Intercom products provide: • Fast, safe and secure communications to support virtually any platform • Expandable communications to dismounted troops, command posts and beyond through Ethernet/IP connectivity • Common units for modular upgrades and capability expansion for a range of vehicles and configurations • Easy to use and maintain designs, ideal for operations in demanding conditions • Battle proven and resilient with extremely high levels of reliability

www.cobham.com/tcs

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

Even the ubiquitous Humvee, which was due for a replacement in the spring of 2012, was put on hold as the United States strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific region was announced.

Cobham has a battle proven system and an installed base of 125,000 systems worldwide.

on hold as the United States strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific region was announced. The central issue the Obama administration and Congress and the Department of Defense have yet to resolve is what equipment will the US Army need if it is not going to fight counter-insurgencies, as it has done in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade and a half? As Todd Harrison, fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments put it when discussing the upgrade to the Humvee: “If you’re not going to be doing counterinsurgencies, why do you need a vehicle that heavily armored? It’s not clear how the Army plays in the pivot to Asia. It’s not clear what their role would be.’’

What Does This Mean for the Future of Communication Systems for the US Army? The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment summarises what the general policy for the Army should be: “that given prospective resource constraints, the ground forces should seek to “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without whenever possible.” This is not exactly

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good news for industry. However, contracts have been signed for strong contenders. The Northrop Grumman Cobham Team announced in May 2010 the successful integration of the Vehicle Intercom System, expanded (VIS-X) into the U.S. Army’s Stryker systems integration lab (SIL) environment at the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command Life Cycle Management Command in Warren, Michigan. Critically important was the VIS-X hardware that seamlessly integrated into the Stryker SIL, replacing the AN/VIC-3 intercom system. The integration demonstrated the form, fit and function compatibility of VIS-X with AN/ VIC-3 and the ability to add new communications features without increasing the system footprint or re-wiring the Stryker vehicle. “During our Stryker SIL integration, we demonstrated that VIS-X reduces the total electronic box count by 30 percent and increases the number of available users, radios and alarms,” said John Jadik, vice president of Communications, Intelligence and Networking Solutions for Northrop Grumman’s Land and Self Protection Systems Division. “Existing VIC-3 highway cables, headsets and brackets were re-used, allowing for an easy upgrade to vehicles already utilizing the AN/VIC-3 and reducing the risk associated with new vehicle implementations.” VIS-X can be used in both new production and legacy vehicle platforms, allowing the warfighter to utilize the same new equipment regardless of vehicle type or age. And the system delivers a dramatically enhanced capability: 10/100/1Gbit Ethernet, VoIP, SIP calls, point-to-point calling, multiple intercom groups, remote radio control, radio re-transmission, and alphanumeric displays and menus become available to the systems integrator and the warfighter.3


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

Essential Features When Buying and Selling New Systems in the 21st Century

The most important thing we build is trust

Cobham’s Vehicle Intercom Systems

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

As military historian Michael Howard has observed, sound procurement decision making requires a “triangular dialogue between ... operational requirements, technological feasibility and financial capability.” 4

C

ommunications equipment, like much other military equipment, continues to pass through a rapid technological revolution, where the operation of Moore’s Law, that sees the number of integrated circuits double approximately every two years, works as a powerful force for continuing upgrades to retain technological advantage. However, despite the demands for ever better software, there are high practical hurdles for providers of military intercom systems or other communication equipment to overcome.

Protecting the Military User of Communication Equipment The battlefield during combat is a noisy place, but for dismounted or mounted infantry the noise levels are much higher because of the persistent noise levels of vehicles which are designed for maneuverability or force protection or other factors, not a silent ride. Military vehicles can be extremely noisy working environments and noise impairs vehicle crews in various ways, for instance, through its effect on speech intelligibility and the audibility of other useful sounds. Exposure to high noise levels may, in the long run, also cause an irreversible hearing loss. An overview of interior noise levels in different types of military vehicles and aircraft shows that (extremely) high noise levels are prolific throughout the armed forces of NATO.5 During combat, crew members in military vehicles need to be able to communicate effectively and swiftly. Radio channels and intercommunication systems are relied upon to quickly and efficiently exchange information, between crewmembers and with the outside world. If speech intelligibility becomes too low, dangerous situations may arise. In coalition warfare where English may not the first language of all soldiers, clear communication becomes an even higher priority. So first class intercom systems are essential.

Despite the demands for ever better software, there are high practical hurdles for providers of

The world’s leading manufacturer of Vehicle Intercom Systems with over 125,000 systems in service globally

military intercom systems or other communication equipment to overcome. The Marines Raise Critical Issues for Communications Capability in Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) “I’ll be honest with you. We haven’t solved the problems associated with urban combat. That’s a bloody one; it’s hard to solve. If it were easy we’d probably already have done it. We’re going to keep working it.” Major Lee G. Offen Military operations in an urban terrain (MOUT) are extremely challenging especially for clear communication between dismounted members of a patrol and their vehicles. Unless this problem is overcome, the US armed forces will be at parity or even at a disadvantage in a complex 21st century urban battlefield. Researchers in the Marines identify 36 critical capabilities on their communications wish list, and three of

Cobham’s Intercom products provide: • Fast, safe and secure communications to support virtually any platform • Expandable communications to dismounted troops, command posts and beyond through Ethernet/IP connectivity • Common units for modular upgrades and capability expansion for a range of vehicles and configurations • Easy to use and maintain designs, ideal for operations in demanding conditions • Battle proven and resilient with extremely high levels of reliability

www.cobham.com/tcs

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

Military operations in an urban terrain (MOUT) are extremely challenging especially for clear communication between dismounted members of a patrol and their vehicles.

these are highly relevant to this discussion: enhanced situational awareness for individuals/ leaders in MOUT – improved squad radio – effective in MOUT; precise position location inside buildings; and a combat ID system – effective in buildings.6 And as Major Lee G. Offen describes it, the critical need is for a radio that works for MOUT. “We’re going to have to come up with a soldier intercom that can be tailored to the available parts of the electromagnetic spectrum wherever soldiers or Marines are deployed. It also has to be powerful enough for people to communicate between buildings where there’s no line of sight, but not so powerful that they become a target as a result of their own transmissions.”

The Salience of Stryker The light workhorse vehicle of the US Army is the Stryker. The Stryker, built by General Dynamics, is designed to carry soldiers, commanders and special missions. The Stryker is deployed by the Army where its 8-wheel design allows for easy maneuverability in open terrain, close combat and urban environments. But where its aging design needs updating, this has to be done within important parameters. The procuring agencies want compatibility with legacy hardware, and software architecture, an effective bridge between classified to unclassified communications and low SWAP (Space, Weight, and Power).

The Certification Process News systems produced by contractors for approval by the Department of Defense have to go through an emerging process of certification. To obtain JTRS certification, a tactical device must fulfill criteria from the Joint Program Executive Office Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS). There are seven separate

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requirements, including testing or certifications for waveform conformance and Joint Interoperability Test Center interoperability, National Security Agency information security, programmable cryptography, National Telecommunications and Information Administration spectrum compliance and Software Communications Architecture compliance. Once a product is compliant with these standards, it has a greater chance of being accepted. The Harris Corporation Falcon III AN/PRC-117G Radio achieved “JTRS-Certified” Status and therefore saw it better able to compete for contracts.

The Ubiquitous SINCGARS (Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System) SINCGARS is a Combat Net Radio (CNR) currently used by U.S. and allied military forces. More than 500,000 SINCGARS have been purchased. The radios, which handle voice and data communications, are designed to be reliable, secure and easily maintained. Vehicle-mount, backpack, airborne, and handheld form factors are available. SINCGARS uses 25 kHz channels in the VHF FM band; from 30 to 87.975 MHz It has single-frequency and frequency hopping modes. The frequency-hopping mode hops111 times a second. SINCGARS was expected to be replaced by the JTRS, but this was cancelled in 2011. There have been reports online that it performed very badly in the heat of the New Mexico desert, as well as major cost overrun problems. When the Army started evaluating the JTRS at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. the 207-pound refrigeratorsize Ground Mobile Radio that Boeing developed lacked refrigeration and had a difficult time withstanding desert heat.7


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

British Bowman System Finally Operational After a Chequered History

The most important thing we build is trust

Cobham’s Vehicle Intercom Systems

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

I

t is not just the United States that has problems updating communication systems for its military vehicles on time and on budget. The damning report of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee8 on delivering digital tactical communications through the Bowman CIP Programme gives an unflattering insight into Ministry of Defence bungling and bureaucratic incompetence: the chapter headings provide a scurrilous summary of their conclusions: programme governance arrangements were not fit for purpose, initial decisions were not well informed to reduce later risk including the crime of excessive optimism, through life costs were not rigorously assessed and, finally, after all the costs incurred, operational benefits are limited by reductions in the programme.9 A sorry tale summarized by Sarah McCarthy-Fry giving evidence as “The system is incomplete and inflexible, conversion of vehicles and units has been slow, troops do not find the equipment flexible and intuitive to use and substantial technical challenges still remain to be solved.”

Bowman on Operation Leaving aside the criticisms of the process of procurement and the cost and weight of the final radios for dismounted infantry, Bowman has delivered a remarkable upgrade in communication capability to the British Armed Forces. 12 Mechanised Brigade was the first brigade to be converted to Bowman and successfully completed a six month operational tour in Iraq – OP TELIC 6 – in November 2005. 7 Armoured Brigade followed on OP TELIC 7, taking its Bowman-equipped Warriors and Challenger 2 tanks. Bowman has received favourable reports from the user on operations. It provides secure data at speed: high levels of security are provided, based on the UK Pritchel crypto system together with its appliqué crypto and NATO Standard Operating Modes to allow interoperability with NATO allies. The Bowman Key Variable Management System (BKVMS) provides generation and distribution

Embedded software systems form a ubiquitous, networked, computing substrate that underlies The world’s leading manufacturer of Vehicle Intercom Systems with over 125,000 systems in service globally

much of modern technological society.

of cryptographic key material. “Operational tempo is improved by secure, guaranteed communications, and we had that at Brigade level down to section level”, said Brigadier John Lorimer, the Commander 12 Brigade. Signalers in the Brigade Signals squadron were pleased with the reliability of Bowman, which worked well in the heat. Lt Col Ben Edwards, CO The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, speaking in BATUS during pre-deployment training, said that the clarity and distance of communication with Bowman had been “a revelation – much much better than anything we’ve had before”.

The Threat of Cyber Warfare, Jamming and Control of Military Vehicles by Opposing Parties One of the key criteria in updating software for communication systems of any sort in 2012 is the threat of cyber warfare or electronic warfare of any or an unknown sort. This has become a high priority under the Obama administration

Cobham’s Intercom products provide: • Fast, safe and secure communications to support virtually any platform • Expandable communications to dismounted troops, command posts and beyond through Ethernet/IP connectivity • Common units for modular upgrades and capability expansion for a range of vehicles and configurations • Easy to use and maintain designs, ideal for operations in demanding conditions • Battle proven and resilient with extremely high levels of reliability

www.cobham.com/tcs

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

The goal of the HACMS program is to create tools and techniques that can produce formally verified software for defense vehicles.

in the face of growing attacks from known and unknown agents or countries. In response to this requirement DARPA10 has come up with a new and strong program of software to combat this emerging need. Their goal is innovative research proposals in the area of the clean-slate development of software for high-assurance cyber-physical systems. Why? Embedded software systems form a ubiquitous, networked, computing substrate that underlies much of modern technological society. Examples include computer peripherals, communication devices, and vehicles. Researchers and hackers have shown that these kinds of networked embedded systems are vulnerable to remote attack and that such attacks can cause physical damage while hiding the effects from monitors.

are high-profile attack targets. The problem is that all communication devices such as cell phones and radios, and vehicles such as airplanes and satellites, include embedded systems. The result has been that there have been viruses and interference with a Landsat-7 earth observation satellite, and computer viruses infecting the ground-control systems of the Predator and Reaper remotely piloted aircraft. Current practice for dealing with this growing threat to military capability has been anti-virus scanning, intrusion detection systems, and patching infrastructure. The goal of the HACMS program is to create tools and techniques that can produce formally verified software for defense vehicles. It will be especially important for vehicles where the risk and consequences of an attacker gaining control are high.

New Technologies for Development of Higher Levels of Assurance Against Cyber Attack

New Products on the Market with Higher Levels of Encryption, Security Plus the Ability to Work in Urban Terrain

The new technologies that the DARPA researchers are trying to include are interactive software synthesis systems, verification tools such as theorem provers and model checkers, and specification languages. Recent fundamental advances in the formal methods community, including advances in satisfiability (SAT) and satisfiability modulo theories (SMT) solvers, separation logic, theorem provers, model checkers, domain-specific languages, and code synthesis engines all provide potential tools and new technologies for research engineers to produce assurance against cyber attack. And of course, this threat is of particular concern to the Department of Defense (DoD) because military cyber-physical systems

12 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

A light powerful efficient Internet Protocol Mesh Radio with low SWAP (Space, Weight and Power) is a new Cobham product, where the flexibility of a fluid self-healing mesh combined with nonline of sight characteristics have proved of value to military and security users. SWAP has been reduced from a large box weighing some 2.5kg and using 20W of power, to a solution weighing just 350g and using half as much power. The IP mesh radio, despite its small size, offers true fluid self-forming mesh, very simple set up, mobility and verifiable non line of sight communication. With fixed encryption and security options, it offers high levels of assured communication.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

The Future, Austerity, BRIC Countries and ‘The Pivot to Asia’

The most important thing we build is trust

Cobham’s Vehicle Intercom Systems

Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor “It’s not clear how the Army plays in the pivot to Asia. It’s not clear what their role would be.’’ Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow, Defense Budget Studies, the Center for Strategic Budgetary Assessments (2012)

W

ith the pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, the approaching end of the military commitment to Afghanistan in 2014, and deep cuts in current spending and future procurement, it is even more difficult than usual to look to the future. This article is written at a time when it is unclear whether Obama will win a second term. If Romney were to win, his commitment to increased levels of defense spending might not survive his arrival in office in 2013. In 2010 former Defense Secretary Gates warned that, in this age of austerity, the Defense Department could not afford to support programs based on overly ambitious or unrealistic assumptions regarding the maturity of key enabling technologies. The result has been that the ground forces now need to extend the service lines of existing systems and acquire off the shelf solutions, but only after spending vast amounts of time and money on overly ambitious programs that failed to meet the development timelines.

Maximising Adaptability How should the Department of Defense in the United States and other European ministries of defence deal with such high levels of uncertainty? Some argue that surprise will not be entirely unavoidable, so defense planners and vehicle makers and industry need to maximize the adaptability of new and recapitalized vehicles. This will enable ground forces to hedge against the possibility, indeed the likelihood that vehicles will need to be modified or upgraded to perform new or altered missions and meet new operational requirements as they emerge.

The Lego Analogy The former Secretary of the Navy, Richard Danzig, offers a thoughtful analogy of how both industry and the Pentagon should think about adaptability. In “Driving in the Dark: Ten Propositions about

Prediction about National Security”11 he argues that, at the simplest level, the ideal is the Lego set with its universal snap-in interface. Lego pieces need to be matched in only three spatial dimensions…while, of course, complex systems require compatibility in many domains. Still, he favours open architecture systems and being counter-intuitive to engineers’ aspirations to add additional features. Indeed, he argues that there is a case for Antoine de Sainte Exupery’s maxim that “perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take-away.” A growth path for platforms and systems needs to be built in to cope with geopolitical and military-technical uncertainty.

Looking to the BRIC Economies – Brazil, Russian, India and China The countries where there is geopolitical uncertainty, but crucially higher defence budgets to meet the challenge are Brazil, Russia, India and China. Some analysts include South Africa in the list. What do they have in common as defence markets? Each is large both in terms of size and population, and each has an expanding economy; and finally, each is undergoing a military modernization effort aimed at preserving their strategic interests. A case in point is Brazil12 whose economy has continued to grow and, despite a small hiccup during the global economic slowdown of 2009, is expected to expand by 7.5 percent this year. As its economy has grown so too has the recognition by government officials that a major military modernization is in order if Brazil is to underwrite its claim to hydrocarbon deposits outside its traditional offshore border and gain a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. Brazil would like to be seen as the pre-eminent power in South America. Since 2005, the Brazilian defense budget has grown by 5 percent per year and the government approved

The world’s leading manufacturer of Vehicle Intercom Systems with over 125,000 systems in service globally

Cobham’s Intercom products provide: • Fast, safe and secure communications to support virtually any platform • Expandable communications to dismounted troops, command posts and beyond through Ethernet/IP connectivity • Common units for modular upgrades and capability expansion for a range of vehicles and configurations • Easy to use and maintain designs, ideal for operations in demanding conditions • Battle proven and resilient with extremely high levels of reliability

www.cobham.com/tcs

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

Defense Secretary Gates warned that, in this age of austerity, the Defense Department could not afford to support programs based on overly ambitious or unrealistic

Cobham’s Vehicle Intercom Systems expand communications to other vehicles, dismounted troops and command posts.

assumptions regarding the maturity of key enabling technologies.

a new national defense policy in 2008 that set aside $70 billion for re-equipping the army. And Brazilian demand is scheduled to continue to rise: Brazil has planned that its annual share of defense expenditure will rise from the current 1.5 percent of GDP to 2.2 percent by 2030. As a result of this defence growth, Thales has been able to sign a contract to sell Vehicle Intercom Systems. Thales’ Brazilian subsidiary Omnisys completed delivery of the first batch of SOTAS digital intercom systems for integration into the Brazilian Army’s Urutu vehicles, VBTP-MR Guarani and M113 armoured personnel carriers. The contract was signed in 2011 September by the Brazilian Centre of Communication and Electronic Warfare (CCOMGEX). The SOTAS system establishes an integrated end-to-end information and communication network for shared situational awareness between crewmembers inside a vehicle and externally with all in-service combat net radios and field cables. The intercom system provides situational awareness capability, and can easily be adapted and expanded at any time

14 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

due to its modular concept, without interfering with the initial installation. The system delivers multi-media inter-vehicle networking including voice, data, video communications, sharing of radios, sensors and computer resources. The vehicles can be connected in any order.

Adaptability, Familiar Technologies and Off-The-Shelf Plug and Play Capabilities to the Fore Industry is responding fast to the austerity challenge. Northrup Grumman is selling its SIVAN (Smart Integrated Vehicle Area Network) product in a new way. The risk of excess cost and complexity have gone to be replaced by open architecture, plug and play systems, low SWAP products using current legacy hardware. The emphasis is on familiar displays, limits to the amount of training required to operate the new system, and great emphasis on improved readiness and adaptability to confirm to network-enabled capability or network centric warfare (NCW).


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION VEHICLE INTERCOM SYSTEMS

References: 1

 HE ROAD AHEAD: FUTURE CHALLENGES AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR GROUND VEHICLE MODERNIZATION

2

ANDREW F. KREPINEVICH, ERIC LINDSEY 2012 Center for Strategic Budget Assessments The Congressional Research Service The Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) Program: Background and Issues for Congress Andrew Feickert Specialist in Military Ground Forces May 30, 2012

3

Northrop Grumman and Cobham websites

4

THE ROAD AHEAD: FUTURE CHALLENGES AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR GROUND VEHICLE MODERNIZATION

5

ANDREW F. KREPINEVICH, ERIC LINDSEY 2012 Center for Strategic Budget Assessments Protecting Crew Members against Military Vehicle Noise Sander J. van Wijngaarden

TNO Human Factors PO Box 23 3769 ZG Soesterberg, The Netherlands vanWijngaarden@tm.tno.nl

ABSTRACT Soo James QinetiQ Group PLC Cody Technology Park, Ively Rd, Farnborough Hampshire, GU14 0LX, United Kingdom

6

RAND The Arroyo Center, in conjunction with the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab and J8 Urban Working Group, Appendix N, INITIATIVES/TECHNOLOGY

PANEL PRESENTATIONS ANNEX 1: U.S. ARMY ACTD MAJ Lee G. Offen, USA MILITARY OPERATIONS IN URBAN TERRAIN

ADVANCED CONCEPT TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION

7

http://www.nextgov.com/mobile/2012/08/pentagon-shutters-joint-tactical-radio-system-program-office/57173/

8

House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts: Ministry of Defence: Delivering digital tactical communications through the Bowman CIP Programme Fourteenth Report of Session 2006–07

9

House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts: Ministry of Defence: Delivering digital tactical communications through the Bowman CIP Programme Fourteenth Report of Session 2006–07

10

Broad Agency Announcement: High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) DARPA-BAA-12-21 February 23, 2012

11

Driving in the Dark, !0 Propositions about Predictions and National Security, Richard Danzig October 2011:

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA552782 12

Richard Danzig an BRIC MILITARY MODERNIZATION AND THE NEW GLOBAL DEFENSE BALANCE (PART 1 OF 2) By Daniel Darling http://eurodialogue.org/bric-military-modernization-and-the-new-global-defense-balance

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Special Report – Next Generation Vehicle Intercom Systems  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Vehicle Intercom Systems

Special Report – Next Generation Vehicle Intercom Systems  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Vehicle Intercom Systems