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New "IFF" kit for Army

bossi

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(obviously we‘d have to read the full report in order to fully appreciate the rationale behind this purchase - i.e. completely incompatible with any of our allies, but then again we‘re been bitching about sovereignty lately ... and it might very well turn out that this kit could be marketed to our allies, in which case it would work out well for Canada ... but on the other hand it might turn out that General Dynamics donates heavily to the Liberal party, or there are people just itching to retire and get a jammy job with General Dynamics ... human frailties being such as they are ...)

New defence systems lacks ability to talk to allies

By DANIEL LEBLANC

Saturday, July 6, 2002 – Print Edition, Page A1

OTTAWA -- The Armed Forces are buying a $60-million communications system that is designed, in part, to reduce the risk of friendly fire accidents. But the system is not compatible with equipment used by U.S. and other allied forces, a federal report says.

The Situational Awareness System, built by General Dynamics Corp., will provide updates of troop positions every two to five minutes. But the report says that ideally, data that would prevent accidents should be updated every 15 to 20 seconds, to account for the rapid movement of military vehicles.

The report by Defence R&D Canada was commissioned by the Baril inquiry into the deaths of four Canadian soldiers bombed by a U.S. fighter jet in Afghanistan.

The inquiry placed the blame for the tragedy on the pilot who was unaware the Canadian troops were engaged in a live-fire exercise.

The new system will use thousands of global-positional satellite receivers that will allow officers to view on computer screens the positions of their troops and vehicles. But had the system been employed by the Armed Forces in Afghanistan, it could not have quickly alerted the U.S. pilot to the presence of "friendlies" below.

"The system is not yet made to communicate with allied systems. So it will be very, very good, on the condition that we are among ourselves," said Christian Carrier, the report‘s lead author.

"The great challenge for the Canadian Forces is that, to meet their needs as a ground force, the system they‘re in the process of buying is sufficient. But when we try to link that with allied systems, then it becomes very, very, very complex."

The report says there is no technology on the shelf or being developed that can eliminate friendly fire, but that some available equipment can diminish the risk.
With multinational deployments in faraway places such as Afghanistan and East Timor, numerous Canadian experts said a key challenge for the Forces is the ability to integrate quickly with allies.

But Colonel Chuck MacLennan said that the communications equipment is so advanced it is not surprising it cannot be connected to systems used by other countries. He added that the British are buying a similar system also built by General Dynamics.

"Virtually every modern country in the world that has an army is trying to field some sort of capability to do situational awareness. Canada is one of the first in the NATO nations to do this. So to talk about ours not being compatible for somebody else‘s, I think is a bit premature," he said, adding that there is much work going on within NATO to allow various systems to interconnect.

Col. MacLennan added that Canada‘s new situation-awareness equipment is not designed to prevent friendly fire incidents but to allow Canadian military commanders to plan, direct and monitor operations. He said that to prevent an incident such as the deaths of the Canadians in Afghanistan, the Forces would need equipment that quickly tells pilots whether targets are friend or foe.

The system will be available in six to 12 months. It calls on soldiers to carry lightweight GPS receivers that periodically transmit information (including their location, altitude, speed and direction of movement) to commanders receiving the information on computers.

Defence R&D Canada said that to compensate for the Canadian system‘s inability to communicate with its U.S. equivalent, the Canadian Forces‘ "current interoperability plan" is to place a Forces liaison officer in the U.S. military‘s air-operations centre.

However, the report says that placing a human element in a computerized system would create delays in preventing air attacks against Canadian troops.

Still, Mr. Carrier said the system is a major step forward. "My intuition is that they had a choice between doing nothing and doing something, and they chose to do something, even if it‘s not the ideal situation."
 
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Cdn Soldier

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Although this is something "new" it‘s not new in the sense of how long it‘s been in the making. This is the next step in the TCCCS project, which has been dragging on for, what, 12 years or more? LC2IS is the what this stage of the project is called I believe.
 

Zoomie

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It‘s funny how something that has been in the works for such a long time, now comes to the fore-front. The IRIS system incorporated with the whole TCCSS meal deal has been forecasted for release for a long time. Now that the "Baril" report has been released, it makes the average civi think that our government is actually doing something to prevent this from happening again. What a crock!!
 
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the patriot

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This is very interesting. They‘re spending this much on this project, meanwhile it sounds like ultra high-tech Miles (spelling) gear. In layman‘s terms, this could have been done a very longtime ago!!! Yes, sounds like a nice cushy retirement contract for retiring brass. :blotto:

-the patriot- :cdn:
 

bossi

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I agree - the trend to hire newly retired CF members as contractors is alarming.

On one hand it robs the CF of uniformed members, and then inflicting parasites upon the host ... (i.e. for the sake of argument, we hope the loyalty of uniformed members is firstly to the military, whereas the only certainty about a contractor is that they‘re in it to make a profit, or extend their contract again, and again, and again ...).

I acknowledge I‘m being narrow-minded, but it‘s my right to have a personal opinion contrary to the "party line".

MB, Esquire
 
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