The Army is outlining specific technology areas that it wants industry to explore for its tactical network capabilities.
The Army’s incremental “capability set” build seeks to add capabilities to the network every two years beginning in 2021. Technologies in this area should enhance network capacity, resiliency and convergence solutions that are available for demonstration and experimentation.
The Army is starting now to identify technologies and conduct tests that will inform its network upgrades in 2023, 2025 and beyond.
The Army issued a call for white papers to the C5 Consortium Jan. 6 for technology areas it wants to insert into the 2023 tactical network, according to an Army release. This follows a briefing to industry in Austin, Texas, in November when the Army provided what it thinks its vision is for capabilities in that build.
In order to meet a two-year iterative network development timeline, the Army will need a quick turnaround on industry proposals for new technology.
Specific technology areas outlined by the Army include:
- Managed multi-orbit (Low Earth Orbit/Medium Earth Orbit/Geostationary Equatorial Orbit) satellite Communications services for forces — the Army is interested in managed services to mitigate bandwidth challenges associated with increased terminals for communications services where existing services are lacking.
- C4ISR/electronic warfare modular open suite of standards (CMOSS) compliant satellite communications modem, next generation blue force tracking and radio waveforms — the Army wants open source standards to converge hardware on a common platform.
- Non-propriety open suite of consolidated tools for unified network operations — the Army is looking for a smaller suite of tools to assist in planning, installation, managing, fault detection, communication restoral, analysis, security and data collection of the network.
- Segregation of data by identity access and management enabling multi-level security with mission partners — the Army wants an unclassified software solution in the prototype phase that can be used in the Mission Partner Environment, a network used by the military and coalition partners, that will include a reliable, protected and configurable network.
- Hardened network transport and reduced electronic signature for command post and mounted formations — the Army is interested in mitigating vulnerabilities that impact command post survivability and network resiliency by developing countermeasures within the electromagnetic spectrum.
- Optimizing compute, storage and applications on a distributed computing architecture to automate data tagging, synchronization, containerize services and efficiency of compute resources — the Army is looking for a common data fabric to reduce stovepipes, enable automation and improve data context for decision-makers.
The Army will evaluated the technical solutions submitted and select contractors to participate in a no-cost technology demonstration, which could lead to a prototype supporting experimentation, the release said.