Quantico Tactical

Archive for the ‘Comms’ Category

Atlantic Signal Receives Orders in Excess of $2 Million for Below H2O Maritime Headset Originally Developed for US Naval Special Warfare

Thursday, January 7th, 2021

(4 JAN 2021 Topeka, KS) Atlantic Signal recently received orders totaling in excess of 2 million dollars for the company’s Below H20 headset, various maritime push-to-talks assemblies and radio interface cables.

Atlantic Signal developed the Below H20 headset several years ago to meet the requirements established by USSOCOM for maritime communications and a Program of Record. Ultimately, the company was awarded a multi-year contract for the headset and accessories for Naval Special Warfare and MARSOC with deliveries beginning in 2018.

During the Below H20 headset’s development, the company began development of three all-new push-to-talk assemblies: * a single comm known as the Below H20 Single Comm Push-to-Talk, * a dual comm known as the Below H20 Dual and * a multi-comm Push-to-Talk known as the Anaconda. The company debuted an all-new Maritime multi-comm Push-to-Talk during the fourth quarter of 2020 known as the SHIELD. The SHIELD PTT was developed initially, specifically, for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s nationwide Special Operations Units and Hostage Rescue Team. The PTT will be universally available to clients in early 2021.

USSOCOM’s maritime requirement changed several years ago for ancillary communication devices from a 2 hour / 20-meter exposure to 10 hours / 10 meters in both salt and freshwater.

Atlantic Signal began working with the 3M/Peltor ComTac headset to modify the ground/swimming headset traditionally offered by 3M (1 meter / 30 minutes). Modifications included multiple custom headset downleads, sealing of the earcups, development and manufacture of an ambidextrous boom microphone designed to withstand the harsh conditions associated with maritime operations / exposure and silicone replacement ear shell seals among other modifications.

While the initial orders from USSOCOM were specific to an interface to another company’s push-to-talk, the demand for alternative PTTs from non-program clients was overwhelming.

“We were receiving sometimes weekly calls requesting alternative push-to-talks to the model the program office had chosen for one specific client at the time of the contract award which was Naval Special Warfare, stated Randall Hedrick, President and Managing General Member of Atlantic Signal. “We recognized at that point that the demand for a new maritime headset for the U.S. Military must include alternative push-to-talks. We reached out immediately to our select group of military and Federal law enforcement clients who assist us with the development of nearly every single product we eventually bring to market. The requirements were across the board and we therefore decided to design and manufacture multiple maritime push to talks simultaneously. From meetings, to design, 3D model and functioning prototypes, re-works and eventual production – the total time was less than 90 days before products were completed and an initial purchase was made. This scenario is indicative of how we operate. There is a demand, we hold meetings with the client and assess marketability. Traditionally a decision is made internally within one week whether or not to move forward. Once a project is accepted, CAD drawings are created and sent to the client. After discussions with the client, non-functioning 3D models are generated and shipped out. Further meetings are held with the client and modifications made to the 3D model. Following ergonomic acceptance, functioning prototypes are created and shipped for user fielding. Once accepted, first articles are produced, a bill of materials is generated, production time studies are completed and eventually a new product is born and introduced to the marketplace. I’ve literally seen concepts brought to the table by clients and a finished product ready for the market within 30 days. It is commonplace for us to be in the development, prototype and production phases of multiple products simultaneously. We have become highly adept at meeting customer expectations in a timeframe rarely achieved by others”, stated Hedrick.

The Below H20 headset, PTTs and cables have proven to be highly sought after solutions for both the U.S. and foreign militaries as it has been over two decades since a new circum-aural maritime headset had been available. The company offers simple maritime PTT solutions all the way to PTTs that will interface up to four nets, various ICS platforms and smartphones all in EMI shielded designs with added cross banding capabilities. The company has developed and manufactures maritime radio cable assemblies for old school PRC 148 and 152 radios to modern day multi-band portables including manufacturers such as Trellisware, Silvus, Thales and Harris RF.

The Below H20 headset, maritime PTT solutions and various accessories including custom cables can be viewed on the company’s website at www.atlanticsignal.com.

New U94 GEN-II PTT from TEA

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

The new U94 GEN-II W/Nemesis connector is specifically designed for today’s modern multichannel handheld and manpack radios currently being fielded by SOF and others. There are currently 5 different configurations available, single Comm PTT, Dual Comm PTT W/O EUD Port, Dual Comm with in line port for EUD/KDU use, TRI – Comm with additional 3rd Net “Stealth PTT” W/O EUD and TRI – Comm with additional 3rd Net “Stealth PTT” and in-line EUD/KDU port.

All PTT’s with in-line EUD/KDU support S7 through S9 androids using either KAGWERKS or Juggernaut cases. The junction also has a unique charging circuit that allows the EUD to stay continuously charged while the radio is on.

The PTT also supports either “Split Ear” or “Both Ear” for incoming audio depending on user preferences.


I MEF Information Group, NIWC Pacific Put Next-generation Technology to the Test

Saturday, January 2nd, 2021

Marines with I Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group and personnel from Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific conducted characterization testing of the Mobile User Objective System at Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, on Camp Pendleton, California, in September 2020.

MUOS is a satellite communications system that provides voice and data communications for U.S. service members, anytime and anywhere in the world.

The testing supported PMW 146, the Navy’s Communications Satellite Program Office, which reports to Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence and Space Systems.

The focus was on three areas of satellite communications: susceptibility of detection and geolocation of MUOS transmissions; susceptibility of detection and geolocation of legacy transmissions; and the performance of the MUOS radio in the presence of in-band radio-frequency interference.

“The purpose was to test the capabilities of the system, in a field environment, in a manner that Marines employ the system,” said Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Meser, the electromagnetic space operations chief at I MIG. “The testing allowed us to identify gaps and determine if the underlying issues were related to the equipment, training or procedures.”

Aside from testing various frequencies and equipment sets, one of the key takeaways from the event was furthering Navy-Marine Corps integration with the MUOS.

“This is part of supporting naval integration; being able to understand we are key stakeholders, both Navy and Marine Corps,” said Meser. “They provide the technical expertise, and we provide the field expertise.”

This is just one way that Marines with I MIG have been working side-by-side with the innovative minds at NIWC Pacific. During the past several months, I MIG Marines have provided hands-on feedback to help drive future research, development, test and evaluation, and engineering.

“Integration between I MIG and NIWC-PAC is good because we are able to provide them a firsthand look at how the equipment is employed in a real-world environment, which provides feedback to the engineers on how the system performs,” said Meser. “We are the end-users and being able to conduct a field-user evaluation further ensures the security and functionality of the equipment’s capability.”

Capt. Josh Gonzales, a space operations officer with PMW 146, said the participants operated the MUOS radios at various operational data rates in three data transmission types that included burst, flow, and stream. All three data types worked successfully and they were all clear and precise.

The results confirm the MUOS Wideband Code Division Multiple Access performed significantly better than legacy UHF in a contested environment. This is the second of three planned tests, the third test is planned for 2021, and will incorporate additional assets and more terminals to better simulate an operational environment.

Story by LCpl Isaac Velasco, I MEF Information Group

INVISIO Acquires Racal Acoustics, a World-Leading UK-based Supplier of Communication and Hearing Protection Solutions

Thursday, December 31st, 2020

INVISIO has signed an agreement to acquire all the shares in Racal Acoustics, a UK-based supplier of communication and hearing protection systems for high noise environments, with annual sales of approximately SEK 130 million.

Racal Acoustics Ltd, a subsidiary of TransDigm Group Inc. prior to INVISIO’s acquisition, is a world-leading brand with a history of more than 100 years in the design, develop­ment and manufacture of communication and hearing protection systems, focused on audio ancillary equipment for the military, first responder and aviation sectors. The London-based business has 55 highly skilled employees and a global footprint.

The acquisition is aligned with INVISIO’s growth strategy and the ambition to further strengthen its global market-leading position within communication and hearing protection systems. 

The acquisition means that INVISIO will broaden its offer with a complementary new product category, consisting of advanced and rugged hearing protection and communications headsets for environments with constant high noise, often found in larger military vehicles and around aircraft.

The acquisition will provide INVISIO with access to customers and prospects in the attractive market niche for communication and hearing protection in vehicles, which is a highly relevant area for the new INVISIO Intercom System.

The purchase price to be paid by INVISIO is approximately SEK 170 million and is expected to be cash and debt-financed. Racal Acoustics has recently completed a successful restructuring. The acquisition is expected to contribute to INVISIO’s revenue for 2021 with more than SEK 130 million and with a positive result. No material integration costs are anticipated.

Under the terms of the acquisition, INVISIO will also acquire Racal Acoustics Inc, a US based sales company through which Racal Acoustics markets and sells its products to the US market. The acquisition, which is expected to close during the first quarter of 2021, is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

“We are very excited to welcome Racal Acoustics into the INVISIO-family. The deal is a perfect fit as the two companies are largely complementary. Over many years Racal Acoustics has built a strong position for communication and hearing protection in high noise environments such as military vehicles, while INVISIO has built a strong position for users in the field. Our combined product offerings and market footprints will strengthen our world leading position as the communication and hearing protection expert for users within military, first responder and aviation markets, whether in the field or in a vehicle,” says Lars Højgård Hansen, CEO of INVISIO.

“Joining INVISIO is the perfect next step to fully explore the potential in Racal Acoustics. As the companies to a large extent share the same business-DNA but target different market segments and sales channels, we have all the elements for a strong growth story and future together,” says James Ewing, Managing Director at Racal Acoustics.

DroneShield Releases US DoD Compliant DroneSentry-C2

Thursday, December 17th, 2020

DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield”, or “Company”), is pleased to release a US DoD MIL-STD-2525 compliant version of its DroneSentry-C2TM command-and-control system, as part of its continued work with the US Department of Defense.

MIL-STD-2525 refers to a standard structured set of symbology for the display of information in command and control systems and applications, by use by the US Department of Defense, and non-DOD entities such as other Federal agencies and NATO partners. DroneSentry-C2 TM now provides users with industry leading enterprise features and MIL-STD-2525 compliance.

DroneSentry-C2 TM is a common operating picture for the Counter-UxS mission. DroneSentry-C2 TM enables its users to visualize their operational space, integrate with existing perimeter security and C2 systems, and leverage multi-sensor fusion capabilities unique to DroneSentry-C2TM. As a sensor agnostic, open architecture platform, DroneSentry-C2 TM brings advanced interoperability and flexibility to users.

Oleg Vornik, DroneShield’s CEO, commented, “DroneShield has continued to rapidly scale our US efforts. In support of that, we work closely with our customers and partners to incorporate real-world feedback into the continuous development of our solutions.  The specific shaping and standardizing of our offerings to meet the requirements of the US Department of Defense and MIL-STD-2525 is an important part of this work and a testament of our commitment to our customer and their mission.”

For enquiries, please contact [email protected].

New Digital Communication for the Dutch Military

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

According to the Dutch Ministry of Defence, they have signed a contract with the Israeli firm Elbit for the PNR-1000 E-LynX Soldier Radio for use by combat arms Soldiers for Squad and Platoon communications. They also purchased the Raptor tablet for digital data sharing by commanders.

These purchases were made as part of the VOSS project (Improved Operational Soldier System). Director of Projects at the Defense Materiel Organization Commander Dick Kreiter commented that the Dutch armed forces will soon be among the front runners within NATO when it comes to communications.

New Cap Badge for UK Special Forces Communicators

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

According to the latest issue of the Royal Signals magazine, “The Wire” the new SFC cap badge was endorsed on 18 Aug 20 and was marked by a small ceremony in the church on Stirling Lines by the Unit Padre, with the Master of Signals Lieutenant General Nick Pope KCB CBE and HQ 1 (UK) Signal Brigade Commander Brigadier John Collyer in attendance.

Male members of all the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and the Royal Air Force are eligible to become Special Forces Communicators. They, along with Royal Signals soldiers in trade, are assigned to Hereford based 18 (UKSF) Signal Regiment and provide close support to the SAS, the SBS and the SRR.

The Regiments consists of:

• SBS Signal Squadron

• 264 (SAS) Signal Squadron

• 267 (SRR) Signal Squadron

• 268 (UKSF) Signal Squadron

• 63 (UKSF) Signal Squadron

18 (UKSF) Signal Regiment fulfils several roles:

•Provides highly secure communications for UKSF operations

•Provides electronic warfare and signals intelligence for special forces operations

•Intercepts and monitors enemy communications at short range in difficult circumstances for strategic purposes

Assessment, Selection and Training is quite comprehensive. Candidates must successfully complete a five day Briefing Course. Next, is an optional SFC Preparation Course.

The Special Forces Communicator Course itself consists of six phases:

• Technical Trade Assessment (one week)

• General Support Comms (six weeks)

• Physical Aptitude (five weeks)

• Close Support Comms (five weeks)

• Conduct After Capture (two weeks)

• Military Training (three weeks)

• SF Parachute Training (three weeks)

Candidates must also complete SERE training.

Once qualified, SFCs are eligible for specialty pays.

AeroVironment Introduces Extended Range Antenna, Expanding UAS Command and Control up to 40 Kilometers in a Lightweight, Portable Form Factor

Thursday, December 10th, 2020

• Cost-effective optional antenna array kit designed to integrate seamlessly with AeroVironment’s standard RF head antenna  

• Provides operators 100 percent greater controllable range over standard RF head antenna with minimal logistical footprint

• Add-on kit narrows antenna beam width, extending command and control range up to 40 km

AeroVironment’s new Extended Range Antenna (Photo: AeroVironment)

SIMI VALLEY, Calif., Dec. 10, 2020 – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), today announced the introduction of its Extended Range Antenna (ERA), the latest addition to AeroVironment’s growing line of network connectivity solutions. The ERA is a lightweight, portable antenna array kit designed to integrate seamlessly with AeroVironment’s standard RF head antenna to support a diverse range of missions.

The ERA add-on kit narrows the antenna beam width, extending the command and control range up to 40 kilometers (24.9 miles) with minimal impact to its size, weight and power (SWAP) footprint. Similar to the standard RF head antenna, the ERA is manually positioned. The included RF Unit switch allows users to toggle between omnidirectional mode, for short-range operations, and extended range mode, for longer-range operations. The ERA supports both M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 Digital Data Link (DDL) operating bands.

By adding the ERA kit to their existing AeroVironment RF antenna, UAS flight operators can immediately expand their operational capabilities, gaining actionable battlefield intelligence at greater stand-off range to maximize their stealth and safety. When used in combination with other AeroVironment network connectivity options, the ERA provides an enhanced level of operational flexibility. This enables teams to coordinate command and control transfer of UAS, such as Puma LE, easily over greater distances, maximizing the aircraft’s multi-mission capabilities, in day or night operations, across dynamically changing environments.   

“AeroVironment continues to incorporate direct customer and user feedback into our product development investments to address increasingly complex and dynamic mission requirements,” said Rick Pedigo, AeroVironment vice president of sales and business development. “Not only do operators benefit from available options in terms of UAS capabilities, but they can also benefit from a selection of antenna options that are portable, easy to operate and provide extended range and multi-mission capabilities.”

Further expanding its connectivity solutions, AeroVironment recently announced updates to its Long Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA), which it now offers in two versions to support M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 DDL frequency bands. AeroVironment’s network connectivity product line includes the pocketable, short-range pDDL (5 km), standard RF antenna (20 km), ERA (40 km) and LRTA (60 km) capabilities in both M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 bands.

For more information on AeroVironment’s network connectivity solutions, visit www.avinc.com/tuas/network-connectivity.