MOD and industry technology collaboration at its best
QinetiQ is again taking the lead in providing the secure UK integrated wide area network infrastructure and core information management capability for CWID (Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration) the largest research event of its kind in the world.
CWID is a unique MOD and industry partnership that demonstrates ground breaking technological solutions and connects 15 countries around the globe. An on-line virtual battlefield exercise using military staff, CWID uses real data and security constraints within a realistic military scenario to support innovation and experimentation, identify MOD capability gaps, and reduce risk in current procurement projects.
"QinetiQ's support to CWID 07 has been exceptional: They bring skilled and knowledgeable people with a unique background in supporting Defence, and have worked extremely hard to make this CWID the biggest, most complex and best yet," stated Wing Commander Stephen Borthwick, CWID National Lead. "CWID 07 is an extraordinary venture with over 40 complex trials, demonstrating joint and coalition interoperability, made possible by the superb technical planning, support and infrastructure provided by QinetiQ. Firsts at CWID 07 include a preview of NEC - Initial State Communication Networks and the use of a service-orientated approach in a realistic military context.”
A number of demonstrations are planned including a preview of the UK’s NEC (Networked Enabled Capability) integrated end-to-end communications infrastructure, various MOD equipment programme de-risking activities, and numerous industry demonstrations. For military command and control, access to the right information at the right time is vital for operational success. The NEC vision means that timely and useful information will be made available to a wide military audience.
The UK has a diverse variety of mission and command support systems in service and QinetiQ’s role at CWID is to provide and ensure interoperability and interconnectivity between them all. Over 500 distinct ‘security assured’ network node connections have been established at the CWID facility to enable all industry players, information providers and MOD users to integrate into the UK mission planning community and be interoperable with both UK and coalition C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) environments. QinetiQ has also developed and is delivering the core information management capability to provide a framework and guidance for the fundamental activities required and the supporting engineering management tools.
QinetiQ is also contributing several demonstrations at CWID. The information management capability developed for DEC CCII enables providers to contribute to a catalogue of information in a consistent and controlled manner, and consumers to identify and locate data or sources of it that are appropriate to their needs. The capability also provides common mechanisms that can be exploited by applications to locate and advertise information, providing benefit by improving accessibility to the data, plus opportunities for exploitation and increased awareness of information quality.
Also building on the MTNC2 tactical intranet fitted in a number of Royal Navy ships in 2006, a new capability now enables all platforms to access the common operational picture and command and control systems using ship’s already fitted HF radios. Historically HF radios have provided low bandwidth links; these rapidly become overloaded with management and operational traffic when used to support TCP/IP network connections.
Run as part of a wider US-led coalition, this is the 13th consecutive year of UK participation at CWID which takes place between 02nd and 22nd June, in the Joint Command and Battle Management Laboratory at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) facility at Portsdown West, near Portsmouth.
Further industry statements in support of QinetiQ’s activities in delivering CWID comprise:
“Thales Air Operations have participated in CWID (formally JWID) since 2002 and QinetiQ continue to be the driving force behind engineering activities for the UK element of the event,” stated Martin Boughen on behalf of Thales Air Operations. “The annual CWID cycle begins and ends with QinetiQ’s network and infrastructural support that is the backbone for other industrial partners to demonstrate their capabilities. Without this the event would simply become a trade event. Participants are advised from the start that the network and infrastructure will be realistic and therefore challenging. This realism coupled with the considerable technical challenges provide the environment that is required to satisfy the UK MoD in its goal for future NEC, DII and GII vision.”
Ian Smart of Symantec added: “Systematic Software Engineering has participated in CWID for the past four years, demonstrating the operational benefits of standards based information exchange using the Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP) Common Interface, as well as XML, Message Text Formats and other standards. The benefit of standards based information exchange is most clearly seen where heterogeneous systems collaborate in a networked environment.
“Each year we are, therefore, indebted to QinetiQ for their expertise in delivering a network and environment representing that in which the UK warfighter finds himself and in which we can demonstrate and improve our contribution to UK Network Enabled Capability. QinetiQ’s attention to detail in providing a realistic replication of NEC State 1 for CWID 2007 and their dedicated efforts to assist participants, both large and small, to integrate successfully provide a firm foundation from which we, as part of 'Team CWID' can deliver the art of the possible.”