Australian Army Looks For Innovative Ideas

Australian Army Looks For Innovative Ideas

The Australian Defence Innovation Hub has published a Call for Submissions inviting the industry to submit innovative defense-related ideas and products for the Australian Army. The key four priority areas that the Army is focused on are Network, Joint Fires, Protected Manoeuvre, and the Enabled Soldier, as specified by the Chief of Army.

The Australian Army will select about 15 respondents to participate in the Request for Proposal process and display their ideas and innovations in Army Innovation Day 2019 (AID19) on September 25, 2019. After the AID19, the Army will select participants to enter Innovation Contract with Defence. The companies will have to be able to provide the testing and evaluation samples of their products and technologies within 12 months after AID19. Up to 5,000,000 AUD are allocated for the procurements within this project.

Here is a more detailed description of the areas and technologies the Army is looking to see innovations in (quoted from the Call for Submissions):

Challenge context
Defence is seeking innovation proposals that meet the following capability theme:

The Challenge
Accelerated Warfare, a Futures Statement released on 8 August 2018 by the Chief of Army, focuses on conducting and sustaining land combat operations in an effective and efficient manner by leveraging new technologies to provide a balanced, agile and sustainable fighting capability.

Whilst the contested battle space is enduring, technological disruption is rapidly changing war’s character. These characteristics include the convergence of big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine-learning, robotics and unmanned and autonomous systems.

Our challenge is to underpin technological change with a focus on conducting land combat operations in a more effective and efficient manner by leveraging new technologies to provide a balanced, agile and sustainable fighting capability.

Synchronise Land Force combat effects using user-friendly robust resilient and agile communications networks in complex, congested and contested, high cyber-security threat environments to ensure timely combat effects occur at the right time and place.

Specifically for this Special Notice, Defence is seeking innovative proposals that increase network resilience and redundancy; defend the network through reducing an adversary’s ability to deny, disrupt or exploit our information; and/or deceive an adversary as to the nature, disposition and characteristics of land networks and associated force elements. Examples may include:

A. Resilience: Physical or Non-physical

1. Develop /maintain land force tactical data links for machine to machine communications (Targeting verse command and control systems).
2. Explore autonomous systems supporting the future network – range extension, signature management, deception and sustainment, including exploring the options of using uninhabited vehicles/platforms as communication nodes in challenging terrains.
3. Conduct predictive network repair using Artificial Intelligence (AI) that identify and rectify communication network issues, in support of network functions.
4. Maintain Land Command, Control and Communications (C3) agility by generating suitable ADF sovereign cryptographic solutions to increase the ability of Australian Industry to support and adapt to future Land C3 networks.
5. Develop a systems approach to Situational Awareness (SA) /Position Location Information (PLI) and Timing using multiple paths, e.g. celestial and terrestrial solutions, including passive systems options to reduce Electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) signatures; including integration into existing Defence systems.

B. Deception: Electromagnetic, Physical & Cyber

1. Develop agility through adaptive waveforms, enabling deception and signature management – supported by the conduct of spectrum operations (sensing the spectrum and deciding the most appropriate communications options dependent upon the nature of the operation).
2. Signature emulation

C. Defence: Electromagnetic, Kinetic & Cyber

1. Develop innovative means to counteract an adversary’s ability to exploit our information, namely, develop cyber security protection systems that operate in disconnected and connected environments using AI and cognitive technologies that detect deviations and/or anomalies to baseline configurations, network traffic and user heuristics.
2. Army is also interested in technologies that provide agility that respond to low cost swarming technologies (anti access/area denial) that may compromise our major systems.

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