While digitization is on each priority list near the top, without appropriate hardware and software purchases, however, this remains mere lip service without More value for the soldiers.
Since the VJTF (L) 2023 no similar embarrassment - based on modern communication technology - to see how the VJTF 2019, there are a number of projects in the works. On the state of the current (digitization) project as well as developments in other armed forces said ES & T with Sven Trush, Vice President of Business Development at Systematic.
ES & T: Last year, the inspector of the army gave the starting signal for digitization. What has developed since then?
Trush: The army has been involved in our perception out intensively with the conceptual foundations for digitizing, creating the base for specific projects. Personnel and structure, one can observe that the digitization is growing and becoming more important. A prime example of this is the test and trial Association of the army in Munster, which was set up in no time and the work has started. We have rarely seen in this quality and we are sure that this is a key component for future digitization projects was created.
ES & T: What projects - as far as you can overlook it - were launched?
Trush: For Systematic currently is in particular the project "BMS VJTF (L) 2023" in the foreground. After the deployable command posts of the army with SitaWare Headquarters already have a state-of-the-art management information system, it is now time to expand with a BMS skills to the combat vehicles inside. An important and logical step towards digitization. At the same time the beginning of multinational cooperation in the digitization of the land forces was decided by the German-Dutch TEN. How this will affect the concrete armament projects, is not yet possible for us now.
ES & T: What new opportunities does SitaWare?
Trush: SitaWare Frontline provides as BMS a comprehensive and situational awareness on the mobile level. Besides Friendly Force Tracking the tactical operation planning and management is paramount. The capabilities are complemented among others through chat, messages and logistical functions. In particular SitaWare Frontline provides as C4I ecosystem is also the possibility for vendor-independent expansion and integration through existing programming interfaces and the Software Development Kit. This is what makes SitaWare unique!
ES & T: What happens to the currently existing FüInfoSys TSK?
Trush: In the armed forces joint field goal each FüInfoSys TSK in Mission Enabling must be to combine service of the Bundeswehr. Under Hafez first measures were implemented to the effect here already. For the army, it is again important to transfer the individual FüWES gradually into the BMS ecosystem or to implement new in it. The use of centrally present in the ecosystem services reduces the variety of services and increases efficiency. The army moves thus towards a true service-oriented architecture, in which the individual IT services are modular and can be provided depending on the situation.
ES & T: What improvements can be expected through the introduction of the new BMS?
Trush: The introduction of the BMS will be a major milestone for the digitization of land-based operations. It is the starting point to connect sensors and effectors to each other, thus increasing the use value of the forces significantly. It will not only bring a technological progress, but also the basis for the adaptation of operational processes - that is the doctrine - give. This is accompanied by a change in the way how our land forces will fight in the future. As you see, this is much more than just a technological advance.
ES & T: How could a possible timetable look imposing?
Trush: The Bundeswehr would obtain a market-available software, which can provide Systematic immediately after conclusion of the contract. A Erstbefähigung can therefore be produced in a short time. The connection to the existing radios SEM family as well as compatibility with the imported hardware has already been proven. For the next steps of implementation, we recommend an iterative and agile approach. We have already made in other IT projects with the Bundeswehr good experience. This industrial enterprises caused the Provision of appropriate skills on their behalf as well as an open and agile approach on the part of all involved.
ES & T: What would the new BMS - it should be SitaWare - mean for the cooperation in the VJTF?
Trush: SitaWare Frontline is a useful addition to the imported product SitaWare Headquarters, which already ensures the interoperability of deployable command posts of the Army in multinational operations for the army. This has re-tested this year on the interoperability exercise CWIX 2019 NATO successfully the army. Now one should opt for SitaWare Frontline as BMS, the seamless and efficient exchange of information on all levels of management can be ensured away. This then goes far beyond the mere exchange of friendly force tracking information out and facilitates an integrated picture of the situation at all levels - national and international.
ES & T: What kind of reactions you received from other armed forces after the introduction of your BMS?
Trush: We have now been fitted with 30 nations SitaWare. Especially users of SitaWare Frontline denote the introduction of a BMS often as game changers, the one does not want to miss. The radiotelephone portion can be reduced significantly, the speed and accuracy in the operation guide is increased with a simultaneous reduction of errors in the transmission of tactical information. We get a lot of feedback about our products in use and exercise the user nations that we in turn can feed into the ongoing development. In this way, the experience of individual nations throughout the user community will benefit.
ES & T: Where would you say is the armed forces in terms of digitization compared to other forces?
Trush: As an army of a leading industrial nation, the Bundeswehr has good conditions, considering staff and available technology. At the same time too little has been invested in the armed forces, and in particular in the digitization, in recent years. You can feel clearly one considers the status quo of the IT used. However, to me it seems as if in recent years a rethinking used, and the course was set significantly in the future. A strategy for digitizing available today and consciousness is sharpened. Now you have to move from words to deeds and still begin with the actual implementation.
ES & T: From her experience, the direction in which the digitization of the armed forces in Germany and the world is moving?
Trusch: We are currently seeing how the mega-trends of commercial IT, so as augmented reality, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and big data to move toward the IT system of the armed forces. These technologies include a lot of potential for military applications, although specific applications are often still to be defined. In the area of command and control, we are conducting intensive research, jointly with partners such as the guidance systems of the future will look. We believe that at present all potentials are not exhausted and targeted research should be intensified in interaction between the armed forces and industry. Institutions such as the Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub this are certainly helpful.
Interview by Dorothee Frank.