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Defence industry and militaries need better network support for disconnected operations, report finds

A recent report published by IFS has found that militaries and defence businesses identified better network capabilities within disconnected environments as a priority for mission success.

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Tue, 16 Nov 2021
Defence industry and militaries need better network support for disconnected operations, report finds
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As part of a new suite of defence industry research released this week, global cloud company IFS uncovered that a majority of militaries and defence companies require better network capabilities in disconnected environments to achieve mission success, with current structures unable to cope with the burden of relaying information in denied or intermittent terrain.

The research, conducted as a poll of military forces, in-service support providers and defence manufacturers found that “over half of respondents (54.5 per cent) need better support for missions taking place in disconnected scenarios; many have concerns that software infrastructure is not keeping pace”.

The findings were reiterated with over two-thirds of respondents noting that the ability to operate in disconnected, intermittent and limited bandwidth environments were crucial for military success.

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“When asked what aspect of disconnected operations require the most improvement, 54.5 per cent of respondents highlighted the need to maintain a single version of truth and keeping an asset’s status in sync. This was followed by keeping consistent connectivity between a main operating base (MOB) and distributed forward operating bases (FOBs) at 23 per cent,” a release from IFS read.

The research, however, unveiled that there was a large gap between undertaking missions in “dark mode” and relaying information throughout disconnected environments, prompting approximately one-fifth of respondents to cast doubt that their current software infrastructure would cope with such situations.

“These findings show that disconnected operations is a nascent and growing field that is gaining more attention from all types of defence organisations – from military operators through to in-service support providers and manufacturers themselves,” Matt Medley, IFS defence manufacturing industry director, said.

“Re-syncing information such as engineering and maintenance data, technical records and more may sound simple, but this is a very difficult task to manage from a data architecture perspective. Supporting software must prove it is up the challenge to mitigate any outage and keep a single picture of the truth between operating bases during mission-critical disconnected operations.”

The poll was conducted via the IFS disconnected operations webinar in April 2021.

[Related: Leidos tapped to deliver cyber capability for defence program]

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