In mid-April Systematic announced it had received a contract from the Royal Navy to help develop Message Text Formats (MTFs) and produce the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO’s) APP-11 Message Catalogue. APP-11 is a catalogue of formatted, structured and voice general purpose messages for the command and control of NATO forces at all levels of war, according to the alliance. A press release from the company said that the navy is the custodian of APP-11 on NATO’s behalf. The Royal Navy produces the catalogue and distributes it across NATO. The press release continued that “(u)nder the new contract, Systematic staff will continue to provide technical support to the (Royal Navy) for the entire lifecycle of messages from the identification of the operational need, through data capture, solution development, technical review and eventual publication.” In a written statement provided to Armada, the company said it is “specifically focused on providing technical expertise for the lifecycle development of maritime formatted messages. The primary goal is to meet the information needs of the Royal Navy and the larger NATO maritime community.” It added that “the contract includes the harmonisation efforts with national and NATO authorities, technical review of the MTFs, and the final compilation of the NATO APP-11 Message Catalogue ensuring that the Royal Navy objectives are achieved in a timely and efficient manner.”
New Comms Systems for Sweden
Conlog announced in April it had won a contract to supply the company’s Tactical Communications Shelters and Deployable Mast Systems to the Swedish armed forces. This award follows a contract the company won this February for similar products to equip Finland’s military. A written statement from Sweden’s Försvarets Materielverk (FMV/Defence Materiel Administration) procurement agency said an initial twelve units will be delivered. Contact options exist to increase this by another six to twelve units in the future. The FMV added that the shelter and mast systems will carry a variety of communications links. However, it demurred from detailing which links these include for reasons of confidentiality.
At the Edge
In mid-April Hughes Network Systems announced the availability of its Smart Network Edge software for defence network operations via a press release. Smart Network Edge is a software-defined wide area network “interconnecting at the management layer to enable network interoperability across carriers and vendors while meeting US Department of Defence (DOD) security criteria,” according to the release. The software can be used to optimise any combination of commercial and military communications networks. These networks include conventional telecommunications, cellular and satellite communications. Smart Network Edge “remotely manages multi-transport modems, autonomously selecting routing paths and distributing packetized data across multiple networks based on policies and priorities.” The software also collects “fault, configuration, accounting, performance and security data for enhanced situational awareness and policy refinement.” Dr. Rajeev Gopal, Hughes’ vice president of advanced systems, told Armada that Smart Network Edge can steer traffic across a variety of links. Management can be performed based on local traffic policy and transport capabilities. This summer, the DOD will perform a Smart Network Edge implementation, Dr. Gopal continued. He said that the software “has been tested across multiple wide area networks in the lab, successfully monitoring and configuring multi-transport, multi-orbit terminals in preparation for future deployments.”
by Dr. Thomas Withington