The JTNC Pushes Framework for Electronic Warfare and Resiliency Evaluation of Tactical Communications Products

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by Kathy Klinar, JTNC Innovation Branch Lead

 

As part of the Department of Defense (DOD) and under the executive management of the Army’s Program Executive Office, Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), the Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC) is collaborating with key stakeholders across DOD organizations and the services to establish a framework for evaluating current and future communications products using a consistent and repeatable process. This effort addresses two primary objectives:
  • Equipping government decision makers, program managers and service users with consistent, trusted, searchable and readily available information on a variety of programs of record and commercial products
  • Establishing a forum for vendors to showcase new and emerging products that satisfy electronic warfare and resiliency requirements, and address capability gaps or provide cost-effective alternatives

In order to meet these objectives, the JTNC formed the Resiliency Sub Working Group (RSWG) within the Communications Technology and Waveform Working Group (CTWWG).

The stated purpose of the RSWG is to establish common terminology, processes and resources to design, test, compare and field tactical radio products most capable of mitigating adversary detection, interception, geolocation and jamming threats in accordance with the intent of National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, Section 168.

Beginning in 2017, the JTNC developed a framework for characterizing tactical communication products that involved creation of the JTNC Communication Product Categories and Capabilities Framework, which established 22 capability areas across five major product areas. Since the advent of the framework, the JTNC has identified a set of over 200 evaluation objectives that serve to broadly characterize various product features and performance. Additionally, the JTNC is working with a number of DOD test agencies, vendors and working groups to evaluate test capabilities that enable advanced electronic attack threat-based testing. JTNC is also coordinating with several groups to expand its evaluation framework to include low probability of detection, low probability of intercept and low probability of geolocation test objectives.

Product information is collected and stored in the JTNC Joint Communications Marketplace (JCM) https://jtnc.sites.crmforce.mil/ using two methods. First, product information is collected directly from programs of record and product vendors through questionnaires that align to the established evaluation objectives. Secondly, the JTNC conducts product capability characterizations in a laboratory environment to supplement and verify information provided by vendors. The JTNC has conducted 10 characterization events to date on various products ranging from single-channel handheld commercial radio products to tactical satellite communication routers. Most recently, JTNC completed a prototype electronic warfare characterization on the L3Harris ARROW waveform on the AN/PRC-158 Multi-Channel Manpack radio. Government and military users can request the technical report for this product along with other product reports from the JTNC JCM.

Vendors interested in either showcasing or requesting a government evaluation of their products can submit a request via the JTNC JCM or contact the JCM support team at support_jcm.fct@us.navy.mil.

   

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