At Purple Nectar 2016, a test & evaluation (T&E) exercise for C4I solutions, BSS Holland took the initiative, with 7 partners, to test an integrated solution from a command post level to the dismounted soldier. The test and the 3day exercise was carried out in close cooperation with the Defence Centre of Expertise for Soldier and Equipment (DEC M&U) and an operational unit. The technology components are separately operational in organisation like , Coast Guard, Defence, Police and Offshore companies and where for the Purple Nectar 2016 exercise integrated in one concept.
The following companies participated in the exercise in order to demonstrate and test the total C4I solution:
- Radionor with digital C-band network – phased array antenna radios;
- SAVOX the integration of radios in CP, vehicle and dismounted mode SA techniques and smart devices;
- Nordic Unmanned with Lockheed Martin Indago UAV;
- Defenture with the Vector SF vehicle;
- ARA with ARC4 heads up display system;
- Pacstar with secure network technology;
- GATR with their 2.4 portable tactical satelite terminal.
BSS Holland represents the participating companies which demonstrated their product into a total C4I concept.
The solution setup
The network of Radionor was connected to the soldier systems of SAVOX, the Indigo UAV, the Vector vehicle and a command post truck. The test unit was delivered by 11 Air Assault Brigade, 13th INFBAT; a section of the parachute unit and a section of the reconnaissance unit with 2 tactical vehicles (total 16 men). The two sections conducted several missions with different scenario’s using the complete C4I solution. After every mission the unit evaluated the technology and changes to the concept where immediately made by the engineers standby for constant support. The command element of the unit in the truck served as Command Post (CP). Nordic Unmanned controlled the UAV. The unit that executed the scenarios was divided into an assault group of eight infantry operating dismounted and a recce-group of 6 men operating with two vehicles. The reconnaissance team had the availability of the Vector tactical light vehicle. The scenarios consisted of a recce mission in the training area (Vlasakkers) up to 3 km from the CP, followed by an attack on a training facility with the arrest of two men OPFOR “IED facilitators”. Both by day and by night. All levels were supported by images and video from the UAV, images from helmet cameras and vehicle mounted cameras via the IP network. TV monitors were available in the CP and smart devices provided the video for mounted and dismounted level. The IP network also facilitated a chat function on all devices. Besides that a situational awareness management application on all devices (an easy alternative for a battle management system for T&E) on which a map of the area was visible and the symbols of the units and areas of interest. These symbols moved ‘near real time’ on this map during the movements. The CP retrieved and viewed images through this system, created and managed chat groups, plus chat messaging and video logging.
In addition, a augmented reality helmet system from ARA was used for T&E providing a heads up display that was allowing the operator to see his bearing, his own position, way points, areas of interest and blue force tracking while on the move. The augmented reality helmet operated during the T&E exercise as a standalone solution.
The Purple Nectar T&E provided a clear picture of the added value of the different products. Besides that creating such a working T&E concept with the ability to amend the concept while testing proved to be a valuable asset for evaluating future requirements. Adding a tactical mini UAV to the units with the ability to share video when needed with the appropriate level was indicated as a game changer with a direct effect to their TTP’s.
For any further questions please get in touch with our team. Below pictures provide you with a visualisation of the T&E during Purple Nectar 2016.