How to Future-Proof Military Connectivity Against Complex Threats (Studio)


Presented in partnership with Bittium

The vulnerability of communications and GPS systems was clearly illustrated in March when the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency revealed widespread disruption of GPS signals.

This last happened in 2018 when authorities accused Russia of widespread signal jamming during a large-scale NATO exercise in northern Norway.

According to Bittium’s Vice President for Defense and Security, Harri Romppainen, armed forces today need new tactical communications capabilities to overcome many of these modern operational restrictions.

For each echelon to benefit from maximum levels of situational awareness and C2, even when operating in the most contested environments, they must be able to share optimum amounts of data over narrowband, broadband band and internet protocol (IP).

As Finland’s national champion in tactical communications, Bittium is ready to meet the connectivity needs of the world’s most advanced armed forces.

Romppainen explained that the company provides innovative connectivity to those who need it most, whether they are undertaking asymmetric warfare or great power conflict.

At the heart of Bittium’s connectivity solution is the Tactical Wireless IP Network (TAC WIN), a broadband and mobile Internet Protocol (IP) backbone network designed to provide forward deployed brigades up to battle groups with a data rate of up to 50 Mbps.

Optimized connectivity

TAC WIN is already in service with, for example, the Finnish Defense Forces (FDF), the Estonian Defense Forces, and is in the integration phase with the Austrian Armed Forces, delivering high levels of performance across the entire spectrum of mission sets.

It is a field proven system with thousands of tactical routers and radio heads supplied since 2011. The latest framework agreement with the FDF is for the years 2021-2024, with orders coming in every year , said Romppainen.

TAC WIN is a modular system that supports mobile ad hoc (MANET), point-to-multipoint and point-to-point networks, optimized to create and maintain maximum levels of command and control, situational awareness and safety of information, no matter where and when the troops are operating.

TAC WIN is currently available in three configurations: Radio Head I (225 – 400 MHz), Radio Head III (1350-2400 MHz) and Radio Head IV (4400-5000 MHz).

The system allows simultaneous transmission of mission critical data to up to 1000 nodes in a network. It supports data rate levels between 12 and 50 Mbps, depending on signal strength, and provides low levels of latency associated with voice and data calls at less than 20 ms between hops.

Romppainen said the system is future proof against the threats of today and tomorrow. Indeed, TAC WIN deliveries come with Bittium’s latest Waveform design, which keeps pace with the emerging demand signals of the contemporary operating environment.

Bittium’s proprietary waveform portfolio includes the TAC WIN wideband waveform and the Bittium narrowband waveform. The company is also a major R&D contributor in the continued development of the pan-European ESSOR High Data Rate waveform.

The waveforms enable armed forces to perform frequency hopping, anti-jamming, jamming detection and interference cancellation operations as efficiently as possible, even in the harshest operating environments. contested.

TAC WIN also provides users with built-in electronic countermeasure protection that secures critical communication paths regardless of attempted interference from highly capable adversaries.

The TAC WIN system does not depend on external time sources, including Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as GPS.

TAC WIN can also aggregate various network types to support Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Contingency (PACE) communications plans for commanders.

Options include various types of tactical radio connections and fiber optic and field wire communication networks. TAC WIN routes automatically to ensure the most robust and reliable voice and data traffic path.

Even in areas of limited connectivity, TAC WIN supports QoS classes that allocate throughput to the most critical systems to ensure end users can continue a mission.

For example, battle management systems will be prioritized to provide necessary levels of situational awareness during missions over less critical battlefield applications that may be left unserviced for a period of time.

Intelligent Interfaces

Configuration of TAC WIN is accomplished through an intuitive graphical user interface accessible using a web browser on end-user devices, including laptops and rugged tablets.

Additionally, Bittium’s Tactical Network Management System provides users with a toolkit for continuous network planning, real-time network monitoring, and network behavior analysis. This allows operators to visualize nodes likely to be affected by enemy jamming and illustrate optimal battlefield connectivity paths.

The management system also allows TAC WIN to verify network connectivity and to take into account and overcome topology restrictions.

As a self-healing, resilient, low-latency network, TAC WIN supports the full spectrum of military operations. As a multi-domain solution, it enables the integration of air, land and sea assets into the battlespace.

As confirmed by Romppainen, in addition to providing TAC WIN to ground forces, Bittium offers the integration of TAC WIN into air defense networks, radar and sensor networks and anti-piloted air systems.

For maritime applications, TAC WIN provides broadband connectivity for surface-to-earth and surface-to-surface communications.

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