The Joint Counter Office (JCO) on Friday revealed base requirement capabilities for counter small unmanned aerial systems (C-sUAS) including command and control (C2), detect, track, identify, defeat, and exploit abilities during an Industry Open House.
The Joint Counter UAS Capability Requirement Document was signed by the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sept. 28. However, the Army will not be releasing that document because it is classified.
Industry partners will have to work through acquisition channels to receive the document, Army Lt. Col. Dave Morgan, who works with requirements capabilities at the JCO, said during a virtual presentation last Friday at the industry event. The document will be reviewed every 18 to 24 months for revisions to keep pace with emerging technologies.
These requirements will achieve three goals: codify existing requirements, provide industry guidance, and provide overarching capability requirements for future technology, according to Morgan.
“The requirements were structured in a base document with three annexes for fixed, semi-fixed, mobile, and dismounted modalities,” Morgan said. “The base document identified the requirements that are applicable across all modalities, while the annex outlined specific requirements to enable the creation of a family of systems for each modality.”
The base document included six primary capabilities: command and control (C2), detect, track, identify, defeat, and exploit. C2 capabilities are important because they will serve as the enabling capacity for the other capabilities, Morgan said. The C2 capabilities will use Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA).
“What was the critical portion of the base document was where we build in requirements for a modular open system architecture to enable integration and interoperability of feature material solutions by acquiring data conformity through shared interoperable standards,” Morgan said. “We expect that a common C2 will enable the componentization of detect, track, ID, defeat, and exploit capabilities by enabling plug and play components to establish a tailorable defense design and to rapidly integrate new technologies.”
The JCO will require detect capabilities to use active and passive means and tracking capabilities to cover unmanned aircraft and ground control stations. It will look for capabilities to identify system attribution and make friend, foe, or neutral identification. The JCO also wants kinetic and non-kinetic defeat capabilities.
The JCO is focused on system maturation and risk reduction efforts. Morgan said this involved recognizing that focusing on low, slow, small, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) was an issue. To solve this problem, they included group 3 in the unmanned aircraft category group, which includes the Russian made drone Forpost.
“In essence, we wanted to ensure that there was no daylight between the beginning of the short-range air defense capabilities and the end of the counter UAS capabilities,” Morgan said.
The JCO will leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to reduce operator stress and speed up response and reaction. It will also reduce technical training requirements and establish pathways for the development and improvement of training aids.
Col. Greg Soulé, director of acquisition and resources at the JCO, said the JCO is looking to include industry touchpoints throughout the year. He said one of these efforts was creating a master data library. The data repository will allow industry and the services to collaborate. The JCO is now looking to have a joint test range for C-sUAS.
“We were tasked to look at what small number ranges we could use to make sure that we have a common environment to conduct testing,” Soulé said. “We will certainly bring industry to those locations as well for you to be able to demonstrate your capabilities to us.”
Soulé said the test locations have been identified and are currently in a decision memo that is being staffed through the board with Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph Martin.
Adam Martin, lead for the test team under Soulé, said that the testing locations will not cover all environments, but they will include an urban test working group to establish procedures for those environments.
Martin said the JCO is working on a Joint Test Protocol that will develop common standards for joint C-sUAS testing. It is currently in the signature process and is expected to be released on Nov. 6.