Digital Battlespace

Battle management modernisation efforts continue

5th November 2019 - 14:37 GMT | by Thomas Withington in Toulouse


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The German Army is modernising its battle management and communications systems which will enhance command and control, and situational awareness at the brigade, battalion, company and platoon levels.

Central to these efforts is the procurement of Rohde and Schwarz’ SVFUA (Streitkraeftegemeinsame, Verbundfaehige Funkgeraete-Ausstattung/Armed Forces Joint Composite Radio Equipment) vehicular radio. 

The SVFUA programme got underway in 2017 following the award of a contract to the company by the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support to equip a host of army vehicles with the system. Platforms to receive the architecture include the Puma infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and Boxer armoured fighting vehicle (AFVs, pictured).

Additional armoured vehicles are expected to also receive the radio in the future, although contracts are yet to be awarded to this end. 

The SVFUA is a multiband radio covering a waveband of 1.5MHz to 3GHz. This will be used to carry a high data rate (HDR) waveform being developed by Rohde and Schwarz, alongside other standard waveforms such as NATO’s HAVEQUICK-I/II digital ground-to-air/air-to-ground waveform.

In the near future, the SVFUA may also carry the pan-European ESSOR (European Secure Software Defined Radio) HDR waveform should Germany join Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden in this initiative. This will provide HDR communications between disparate radios equipped with the ESSOR waveform used by jointly deployed national armies to enhance coalition networking. 

HDR waveforms will be integral for the carriage of the German Army’s MOTIV and MOTAKO networking software and battle management system (BMS). MOTAKO is an IP (Internet Protocol) based BMS which will be hosted by the MOTIV software.

Over the long term up to 30,000 vehicles will carry the MOTIV/MOTAKO architecture with a battalion-strength formation receiving this by 2024. The German Army is adopting a spiral approach to the implementation of MOTIV/MOTAKO and will then spin lessons learned from this battalion implementation on to the architecture which will then equip a brigade-sized formation. 

This approach will then be repeated until seven German Amy brigades have received the MOTIV/MOTAKO ensemble by circa 2040. 

This initiative forms part of a wider modernisation of the German Army’s tactical radios. Over the long term the force is expected to replace over 90,000 individual radios, comprising 30 different types. Alongside the SVFUA the force has embarked upon an initiative to outfit its dismounted troops with new personal role radios. 

Elbit Systems is delivering its PNR-1000 transceivers to fulfil the requirement. These radios cover a 225MHz to 512MHz waveband and use IP standards to carry voice and data traffic. Up to 64 users can be hosted on a single PNR-1000 network, and each radio has 225 channels available allotted into 15 groups each containing 15 channels. Up to 320kb-per-second of data can be carried by these radios using bandwidths of up to 200kHz. 

The PNR-1000 radios will be used by mounted and dismounted troops equipping IFVs and AFVs such as the Puma and Boxer, and also dismounted platoon and company leaders.

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