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Activity title

Platform-level EW Architectures for Joint/Coalition Air Operations

Activity Reference



Systems Concepts and Integration

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coalition operations, data fusion, interface control documents, interoperability, networked, open interfaces, open systems, platform-level, rapid integration, reduced through life costs, situational awareness, standardisation


Defensive Aids Systems (DAS) / Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) contribute to survivability by providing self-protection capabilities to the warfighter, the platform and the mission. The problem is that it takes too long and costs too much to upgrade and maintain these systems through life. Furthermore, DAS / ASE systems traditionally employ proprietary closed communication links between sub-systems. This restricts information sharing to the wider system that could be used to enable enhanced survivability capabilities such as: improved situational awareness, better decision making and improved countermeasure response. This activity addresses two main capability gaps: 1. Survivability of the platform (on-board): The ability to rapidly upgrade survivability, taking into account legacy systems and through-life cost. Open communication between sensors, effectors and on-board aircraft mission systems. Optimisation of self-defence through intelligent system decision making and programming. 2. Information sharing (off-board): The ability to integrate to the network and share information to enable improved situational awareness, including threat geo-location capability. To address these capability gaps, there is a need to develop a coherent DAS / ASE architecture approach across platform types. This approach will be enabled by the joint development of open interfaces and agreed use of existing standards where possible. Open interface in this context means a government agreed, non-proprietary, standardised interface that is available to and widely endorsed by all relevant system and subsystem stakeholders. NATO collaboration on this activity offers the following benefits: enhanced survivability, improved interoperability and reduced integration cost and time. Furthermore open interfaces support industrial strategies by enabling faster integration of novel and niche technical capabilities from small and medium enterprises as well as large organisations.


Agree open architecture definitions. Define the problem: o Understand current DAS / ASE architecture approaches and programmes across NATO participants by conducting a stock-take activity. o Define associated architecture requirements. Research methods and input data: o Research relevant open architecture best practice within other domains (e.g. air, land and maritime) and other industries. o Survey existing standards and methods for off-board networking, e.g. information pull / push. o Define near, medium and long term objectives for off-board networking. Define solutions o Define architecture concepts with a focus on priority areas/points, e.g. interface gateways, processing approaches, algorithms, programming and associated test and evaluation (T&E). o Define corresponding NATO open interfaces. o Define a NATO architecture roadmap identifying participants architecture evolution. Make conclusions and recommendations: o Including those relating to the potential development of a DAS / ASE Open Architecture STANAG.


1. Consideration of priority threat scenarios. 2. Workshops to capture requirements from warfighters / operators and maintainers. 3. Identification of priority areas within the architecture concepts where collaboration across NATO would achieve maximum benefit and develop open interfaces at those points. 4. Liaison will be maintained with two other parallel SCI task group activities focused on: i. Operational Assessment of real time Emitter Geolocation Algorithms for Enhanced SA (SCI-257) ii. Distributed EW Architectures for Joint/Coalition Ops (SCI-259) 5. Comprehensive industry engagement. 6. Close liaison with NATO ACG3 / SG2.

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