Drones are now a significant piece of the electronic warfare (EW) puzzle, capable of carrying sensors for surveillance or high-yield explosives for offensive engagements. Autonomous and remotely controllable unmanned aerial systems (UAS) pose a threat to soldiers in the field, although some countermeasures—such as large directed-energy weapons systems—have been developed as a defense against UAS weapons. For added protection, the U.S. Army has just awarded a contract worth as much as $16 million to Leonardo DRS to develop more mobile counter-UAS (C-UAS) capability.
Leonardo DRS will work with partner Moog, Inc. on the development of the C-UAS capability. Leonardo will combine its mast-mounted surveillance and battlefield reconnaissance equipment (SABRE) with Moog’s patent-pending Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP) turret (Fig. 1). To provide mobile C-UAS capability, the systems will be fully integrated on two mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) all-terrain vehicles, which are designed to withstand attacks from improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The mobile systems are being designed to detect, identify, track, and destroy UAV threats.
“We are proud to support the Army’s urgent requirement to protect soldiers from the growing threats by small unmanned aircraft,” said Aaron Hankins, vice president and general manager, DRS Land Systems. “This effort is a great example of industry collaborating with the Army to quickly provide soldiers with a crucial capability, and we are grateful for the opportunity to lead the effort.”
The C-UAS contract is part of the U.S. Army’s Mobile Low, Slow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Integrated Defense System, Increment 1 effort. The work will be performed by Leonardo DRS’ business unit, DRS Land Systems, in St. Louis, Mo.
Meanwhile, the Common Range Integrated Instrumentation System (CRIIS) System Program Office at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Fla. recently awarded an Interim Contractor Support (ICS) contract to Rockwell Collins in support of the CRIIS program (Fig. 2). The contract includes field support, repair, and security maintenance of the currently fielded CRIIS program. The program will allow test ranges to stay certified under the new Risk Management Framework (RMF) and the legacy Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (DIACAP).
Rockwell Collins will provide traditional product maintenance and repair, training, logistics, and sparing support. The contractor will also be involved in quarterly reviews and updates to the system security controls to maintain compliance with applicable Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs).
“RMF provides a disciplined and structured process to integrate information security and risk management activities,” said Troy Brunk, vice president and general manager, Communication, Navigation and Electronic Warfare Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “We’ll be doing periodic system updates under the RMF process through ICS so the ranges will always have a current authority to operate.”
The primary function of the CRIIS program is to collect test data on land, sea, and airborne platforms and to maximize interoperability among test range. One of the goals of the program is to develop and maintain secure data links among different defense electronic warfare systems, including communications, avionics, and weapons targeting systems. CRIIS is being realized in three distinct increments, in many different configurations, including in man-portable and vehicle-mounted versions.
Along with this latest contract, Rockwell Collins, CRIIS System Program Office personnel, and DoD test and training range personnel will continue to work together to ensure the multiple independent levels of security (MILS) certifications completed will continue to meet the DoD’s needs for advanced and high assurance security operational requirements.