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Archive for the ‘ISR’ Category

SMX Awarded Competitive $2.3B U.S. Africa Command ARIES Task Order

Thursday, October 6th, 2022

HERNDON, Va., Oct. 03, 2022 — SMX, a leader in Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C5ISR), next-generation cloud, and advanced engineering and information technology (IT) solutions, announced today that it has been awarded a prime contract to continue its support of U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) ISR mission operations and intelligence analysis. With an estimated value of $2.3 Billion (inclusive of option periods), the task order, titled “AFRICOM Reconnaissance Intelligence Exploitation Services (ARIES),” was competed and awarded on GSA’s ASTRO Data Operations Pool contract (see

Over 30 companies were eligible to bid on the ARIES task order. Dedicated to equipping decision makers with accurate, relevant and timely intelligence information to achieve continued decision superiority across the vast and complex AFRICOM area of responsibility, this new award has a seven-year period of performance and will allow SMX and its teaming partners to extend their support through 2029 if all option periods are exercised.

ARIES, like its predecessor task order, is a complex, multi-tenant task order providing cutting-edge full lifecycle intelligence solutions through cloud-enabled data insights and decision analytics. ARIES’ objective is to improve the United States’ ability to observe, orient, decide and act faster and more effectively on the information provided through an innovative system of systems intelligence collection and dissemination eco-system.

“We are honored and excited to have been selected to continue our support of and partnership with USAFRICOM and GSA FEDSIM. We look forward to building upon our world-class C5ISR solutions in support of the critical missions USAFRICOM executes. We are grateful to our employees and teaming partner subcontractors who work alongside our clients wherever and whenever the mission demands,” said Peter LaMontagne, Chief Executive Officer.

Dana Dewey, President of the C5ISR business unit, commented, “SMX and our industry partners will continue to work seamlessly to identify and deliver emerging technologies and innovative approaches that will accelerate mission execution on this critical National Security requirement. We are thrilled to deliver collection modernization and non-traditional ISR solutions that will leverage multi-modal all source data insights, curated to mission need, both remotely and with edge compute technologies.”

Persistent Systems to Unveil Next-Generation ISR at AUSA

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

Solution offers seamless, bidirectional, air-ground video connection without cumbersome receivers

Persistent Systems, LLC (“Persistent”), a leader in mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) technology, will demonstrate for the first time its Cloud Relay™-powered Next-Generation ISR concept at the Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA) 2022 Annual Meeting and Exposition, held October 10-12, in Washington, D.C.

Leveraging Persistent’s Cloud Relay™ solution, which extends the company’s powerful Wave Relay® mobile ad hoc network to beyond line of sight (4G/LTE, SATCOM, or standard Internet), Next-Generation ISR offers warfighters a seamless, persistent, bidirectional air-ground video connectivity that greatly speeds up the tempo of operations.

“Currently, troops on the ground are passive recipients of airborne video,” says Christopher Knapp, Director of Business Development at Persistent Systems. “They rely on cumbersome receiver hardware to get video, and even then, the operator with the gear has to be out in the open to watch the feed. All this slows downs operations.”

But with Next-Generation ISR, Persistent has reimagined air-ground video transmission for the networked battlefield.

Now video can be instantly accessible to warfighters, whether they are operating near an aircraft—or at an operations center half-way around the world. Next-Generation ISR also reduces the cognitive load on the soldier and makes mission-critical information available to the entire team.

“When we click on a video on our smartphones, it immediately starts playing. We don’t think about whether we are on Wi-Fi or 5G. With Next-Generation ISR, soldiers can now realize this same convenience on the battlefield,” said Knapp.

By utilizing the Wave Relay® and Cloud Relay™ networks for video transmission, Next-Generation ISR eliminates the need for special receiver equipment. Now a soldier’s MPU5 networking radio is enough. This change both reduces weight and increases capability. Indeed, dismounted users can also talk directly with the sensor operator and control the camera on the aircraft.

“In building this capability, we’ve collaborated with aircraft camera manufacturers to ensure that the dismounted warfighter can control their cameras,” Knapp said. “We’ve also collaborated with the TAK Product Center to ensure that the feeds and camera control information is auto-discovered in TAK. This is really an industry-wide initiative.”

Persistent Systems will be demonstrating its Next-Generation ISR capability during the upcoming AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition, at the company’s exhibitor booth (#4552), at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in Washington, D.C. Visitors will get to see how a user of Persistent’s Wave Relay®-powered MANET with Cloud Relay™ can receive video and control cameras from anywhere in the world.

For more information about Persistent’s solutions, visit our website:

AeroVironment’s New Mantis i23 D Multi-Sensor Imaging Payload Delivers Superior Daytime Surveillance Performance

Thursday, September 1st, 2022

• Mantis i23 D is a compact, high-performance daytime imaging payload system for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations at an extended range

• Features 24X digital zoom video for extended ISR without compromising image quality

• Payload provides 50 percent wider HFOV and more than four times the target detection capability over the current Mantis i23 for improved situational awareness

The Mantis i23 D daytime imaging payload system allows operators to capture ISR at a greater aircraft standoff distance without compromising image quality. (Photo: AeroVironment, Inc.)

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 30, 2022 –AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in intelligent, multi-domain robotic systems, today introduced Mantis™ i23 D, a multi-sensor daytime imaging payload compatible with the Raven® B small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS). An enhanced daylight variant of its predecessor, the Mantis i23, Mantis i23 D maintains its ruggedized design and utilizes the same modular interface to allow for quick and simple swapping between payloads with no software updates required to the avionics or ground control systems.

At 13.4 ounces (380 grams), the ultralight imaging system features dual 18 MP electro-optical sensors and class-leading 24X digital zoom, providing four times improved target detection over the current Mantis i23 payload during daytime missions. Through its advanced suite of sensors, extended zoom capability, onboard processing and digital imaging stabilization, the Mantis i23 D payload allows operators to increase aircraft standoff distance without compromising image quality.

“With the introduction of the next-generation Mantis payload, we have expanded the capabilities and adoption of the combat-proven Raven SUAS,” said Charles Dean, AeroVironment vice president of global business development, sales and marketing. “Customers can now operate their Raven systems at a greater standoff distance than before, enabling eyes-on-target from several kilometers away and reducing the risk of the target detecting or hearing the SUAS overhead.”

To learn more about Mantis i23 D and AeroVironment’s expansive Mantis product line of micro-gimbals, visit:

USSOCOM Science and Technology Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) 22.4 Round 2 & 3 Pre-Release

Saturday, August 13th, 2022

The USSOCOM Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small
Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs will soon be accepting submissions for the technology areas of interest below.

Special Areas of Interest

(Round 2) PHASE I:
SOCOM224-007 Topological Anomaly Detection

SOCOM224-D005: Artificial Intelligence-Driven Voice Control at the Edge
SOCOM224-D006: Canine In-Ear Hearing Protection

On 23 August, SOFWERX will host virtual Q&A sessions for each of the areas of interest. RSVP to the Q&A session(s) that interest you here.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Operation Magic

Sunday, August 7th, 2022

If you follow history, there is a lot said about how different battles were, this group took this hill, or this guy did this. But a lot needs to be said about what goes on behind the scenes. While the United States Army Signals Intelligence Section (SIS) and the Navy Communication Special Unit worked in tandem to monitor, intercept, decode, and translate Japanese messages during World War II, Operation Magic was the cryptonym used to refer to the United States’ efforts to break Japanese military and diplomatic codes. The Office of Strategic Services received the intelligence information acquired from the transmissions and forwarded it to military headquarters (OSS). It is widely acknowledged that the capacity to interpret and understand Japanese communications was a crucial component of the Allied triumph in the Pacific.

Early in 1939, the United States began its efforts to decipher Japanese diplomatic and military communications, even before the outbreak of World War II in Europe. In 1923, a United States Navy intelligence officer got a contraband copy of the Japanese Imperial Navy Secret Operating Code from World War I. Afterward, after all of the additive code keys had been discovered, the codebook was photographed and sent to the Research Desk, arranged in red folders by the cryptologists. The simple additive code was given the name “Red” in honor of the directories in which it was initially kept.

In 1930, the Japanese updated the Red code with Blue, a more sophisticated code for high-level communications. However, because the new code was too similar to its predecessor, cryptologists in the United States could fully decrypt the new code in less than two years after its introduction. At the onset of World War II, the Japanese were still using both Red and Blue color codes for various communications purposes. Listening stations were set up all across the Pacific by the United States military intelligence to monitor ship-to-ship, command-to-fleet, and land-based communications between ships.

The Japanese acquired encryption and security assistance from Nazi Germany after World War II erupted across Europe. Since 1935, the Germans have known that U.S. intelligence is monitoring and decoding Japanese communications, but they have not instantly informed the Japanese of this fact. Later, Germany delivered a modified version of its iconic Enigma encryption machine to Japan to assist the country in securing its communications. As a result of this, American intelligence was unable to understand Japanese intercepts. The tedious job of United States cryptologists was restarted.

Cryptanalysts in the United States gave the new code the moniker Purple. Purple, used to decrypt numerous variants of the original Enigma code, was the most severe obstacle to American and British intelligence throughout World War II.

After receiving information from Polish and Swedish cryptologists, the British military intelligence cryptanalysis unit at Bletchley Park became the first in the world to decrypt the German Enigma code in 1942. They then created advanced decoding bombes and the world’s first programmable computer to aid in the deciphering of the complex Enigma cipher. By 1943, British intelligence could use information obtained through translated Enigma intercepts received in near real-time.

For years, cryptologists in the United States sought to break the Purple code by hand. However, the format of Japanese signals, always opening with the exact introductory phrase, enabled code breakers to establish the sequencing of the multi-rotor Japanese cipher machine. By 1941, code breakers in the United States had made significant headway in cracking the Purple code, and they had gained the capacity to decipher multiple lines of intercepted messages. The procedure remained sluggish, and the information obtained from Purple was frequently outdated when translated into another language.

United States military intelligence became aware of British victories against Germany’s Enigma machine and requested that their allies share code-breaking information. Top Bletchley Park cryptographers and engineers were dispatched to the United States to assist in training code breakers and constructing decoding bombes. But they were highly protective of and didn’t want anyone to know about their Enigma code-breaking activities (codenamed Operation Ultra), which involved Colossus, the Bletchley Park decoding computer, and which they were involved.

United States intelligence made significant headway against Purple in a short period, thanks to the assistance of the British. A copy of the Japanese Purple machine, created in 1939 by American cryptologist William Friedman, was used to adapt a German Enigma bombe to decode Japanese Purple, which was then used to decode the Japanese Purple machine. Even though each message’s settings had to be determined by hand, United States intelligence improved its ability to read Japanese code with greater ease and timelier by 1942, six months after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entry into World War II.

With the help of their vast network of listening stations in the Pacific, the United States intelligence services could intercept and decode various other sorts of communications. In conjunction with JN-25 intercepts, the Diplomatic Purple transmissions, another broken Japanese Navy code, provided critical information to the United States military command about Japanese fortifications at Midway. The intercepts from Operation Magic provided valuable input during the ensuing Battle of Midway, which helped to turn the tide of the Pacific War in the allied forces’ favor and ultimately win the war. Approximately a year later, Purple intercepts provided the United States with intelligence about a diplomatic aircraft on which Japanese General Yamamoto, the mastermind behind the Pearl Harbor assault, was scheduled to travel. The Japanese aircraft were shot down by American planes.

Operation Magic was a vital source of intelligence information in both the Pacific and European theaters of conflict during World War II. Diplomatic messages between Berlin and Tokyo, encrypted with the Enigma and Purple codes, provided British and United States intelligence with information about German defenses in France during the Second World War. This information aided leaders in their preparations for the D-Day invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

The Japanese government remained uninformed despite the fact that the United States had broken the Purple code. According to the United States government, Japanese Imperial forces continued to employ the principles decrypted by Operation Magic throughout the war and in the weeks following the Japanese surrender in 1945.

USSOCOM Selects L3 Communications Integrated Systems AT-802U Sky Warden for Armed Overwatch Aircraft

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

USSOCOM has made a decision for it’s Armed Overwatch program which will add 75 aircraft to provide dedicated Close Air Support, precision strike, and airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) from austere locations in a permissive environment.

It’s the Sky Warden from the L3 / Air Tractor team.

DoD made this announcement on 1 August:

L3 Communications Integrated Systems, Greenville, Texas, was awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (FA8637-22-D-B001) in the amount of $3,000,000,000 (maximum ceiling value) in support of Armed Overwatch. Research, development, test, and evaluation; and procurement funds in the amount of $170,000,000 were obligated at time of the award. Armed Overwatch will provide Special Operations Forces deployable, affordable, and sustainable crewed aircraft systems fulfilling close air support, precision strike, and armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, requirements in austere and permissive environments for use in irregular warfare operations in support of the National Defense Strategy. The contract will be a mixture of firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, time and materials, and cost reimbursement no-fee for the procurement of up to 75 aircraft, training systems, mission planning systems, support equipment, spares, and logistics support, with a period of performance from July 2022 to July 2029, including all options. The majority of the work will be done in Greenville, Texas. This action is a follow-on production contract in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 4022(f) authorized or required by statute. U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity. (Awarded July 31, 2022)

Here is the L3 Harris Press Release:



• Sky Warden™ system to expand SOCOM’s irregular warfare capabilities

• SOCOM weapon system testing begins in 2022

• Six new aircraft will be delivered under the low-rate initial production Lot 1

MELBOURNE, Fla. — U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has selected L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) and Air Tractor, Inc.’s AT-802U Sky Warden™ system for its Armed Overwatch program. Award of the Indefinite Quantity, Indefinite Delivery contract includes a cost ceiling of $3 billion. The program includes delivery of up to 75 manned, fixed wing aircraft, with an initial program contract award of $170 million.

The fleet of modern multi-mission aircraft will address SOCOM’s need for a deployable, sustainable single-engine fixed-wing, crewed and affordable aircraft system. It will provide close air support, precision strike, armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), strike coordination and forward air controller requirements for use in austere and permissive environments. The aircraft will be used in irregular warfare operations.  

“An important part of our Trusted Disruptor strategy is listening closely to combatant commanders’ needs, and responding faster than the evolving threats,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, L3Harris. “We want to deliver game-changing, modular solutions to U.S. special operators for their hardest missions, and Sky Warden does just that.” 

L3Harris expects to rapidly modify last summer’s Armed Overwatch prototype demonstrator into the production configuration and provide for customer weapon system testing in approximately six months. Production of new, fully-modified, Armed Overwatch mission-configured aircraft will begin in 2023 at L3Harris’ Tulsa, Okla. modification center, following initial production at Air Tractor’s Olney, Texas aircraft manufacturing facility. Six new aircraft will be delivered under the low-rate initial production Lot 1.

“Sky Warden will bring powerful and affordable close air support, precision strike, armed ISR, and command and control capabilities directly to special operations forces in the battlefield,” said Sean Stackley, President, Integrated Mission Systems, L3Harris. “We are ready now to begin work on this modern, multi-mission system for the SOCOM Armed Overwatch program.”

The production-ready Sky Warden system is tailorable for a variety of mission requirements to meet U.S. mission needs.

“The Sky Warden design reflects our commitment to America’s national security and the AT-802U will be equipped with everything we’ve learned manufacturing aircraft over the past 46 years,” said Jim Hirsch, President, Air Tractor, Inc. “The L3Harris team is an excellent partner, and our production and engineering staff are ready to immediately deliver this world-class product to our nation’s special forces.”

Learn more about Sky Warden at

OpEx 22 – Recon Robotics

Thursday, June 2nd, 2022

Recon Robotics is introducing a new controller which features a larger view screen and has integrated antennas for a more streamlined design. Additionally, you can record video right on the controller. It is also compatible with future upgrades.

L3Harris and Air Tractor Display AT-802U Sky Warden ISR Strike Platform at SOFIC

Monday, May 16th, 2022

L3Harris and Air Tractor, Inc. are teamed to produce the affordable, production-ready aircraft designed for airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike missions in extreme combat environments.

L3Harris also will have an interactive Sky Warden systems integration lab in SOFIC Booth #813 to demonstrate the multi-sensor operator experience.

The multi-mission platform provides the operator agility and flexibility to identify, track and react to counter threats and merges the capabilities of larger ISR and armed aircraft into one resilient package. It is also capable of takeoff and landing on unimproved airstrips – allowing the aircraft to be deployed and co-located with special mission operators. Learn more at