U.S Military Upgrades its C5ISR Capabilities


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The U.S. military faces a critical stage in establishing and maintaining its position as a world leader in the new technologically advanced environment of regional networking. Commanders and staff always are seeking the “next best” solution to attain supremacy over adversaries in the pivotal domains of command, control, communications, computers, combat systems, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or C5ISR.

According to afcea.org, some of that effort is shouldered by the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF), which began seeking out and quickly supplying cutting-edge materiel solutions during the early days of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq about 15 years ago. Although the vast amount of combat operations in those regions has waned, the REF remains relevant by providing the technological advances commanders need to maintain situational awareness on the battlefield and to rapidly maneuver their forces.

In spite of the many advances in technologies employed by today’s warfighters, gaps remain between tactical-edge leaders, military air platforms and tactical operations centers. Until recently, conventional units lacked a system that integrates communication systems to generate a single air and ground common operating picture. One emerging solution for this need is the Joint Expeditionary Integrated C5ISR (JEIC) kit, which provides both a complete line-of-sight package and a beyond-line-of-sight communications package for on-the-move and at-the-halt land, air and maritime applications.

The kit includes four major components, led by the move MOJO kit developed by digital communications company ViaSat. MOJO takes advantage of the fusion of technologies to integrate various waveforms and air and ground position location information (PLI) to form one common operating picture.

At the heart of MOJO is the Tactical Radio Application eXtension (TRAX) software developed by Sierra Nevada Corporation. The software routes and translates one datalink protocol to another and translates dissimilar waveforms to provide a singular robust communication network made up of multiple communication devices. TRAX effectively eliminates any proprietary interfaces and protocols, allowing commanders to receive a more sound common operating picture of their battlespace.

The third component of the JEIC kit is Ringtail Design’s Replay offering, which provides a common operating picture and allows operators to aggregate PLI and full-motion video. The Replay technology lets operators play, pause and rewind a single, interactive picture of the battlespace, which increases ISR visibility of fighter aircraft and ground forces to prevent fratricide. It delivers a “battlespace DVR” with multidimensional intelligence and data feeds and visual fusion of live operations that can include data from sensors, video and reports.

Additionally, the JEIC kit can access fourth-generation long-term evolution (4G LTE wireless), which provides situational awareness to the tactical edge using the robust cellular network and the Army’s Nett Warrior 4G-enabled end-user device.