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Anduril launches Menace-X C4 solution, broadening tactical communications for SOF

3rd May 2024 - 14:00 GMT | by Andrew White in Tampa


Anduril introduces Menace-X, a vehicle-based C4 solution, at SOF Week 2024. (Photo: Anduril Industries)

Anduril introduces Menace-X, a vehicle-based C4 solution enhancing SOF communications that supports complex missions with advanced networking.

Anduril Industries unveiled its Menace-X expeditionary C4 solution ahead of the SOF Week convention in Tampa, Florida.

Officially announced on 29 April, the new vehicle-based solution has been designed to provide ‘strategic and operational-level capabilities’ to special operations forces (SOF) operating at the tactical edge of the battlefield, particularly in denied, disrupted, intermittent, and limited (DDIL) communication environments, a company statement confirmed.

Menace-X is being showcased at SOF integrated on board a Polaris Government and Defense MRZR light tactical all-terrain vehicle, although a company spokesperson confirmed to Shephard that the solution has also been integrated on board an Oshkosh Defense Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).

‘We’re exploring a number of different host-vehicle integrations with several potential customers,’ the spokesperson said.

‘Menace-X can be integrated on and employed from a number of different DoD and allied ground, air, and naval platforms,’ it was added.

The spokesperson also confirmed there is a launch customer for Menace-X, although he was unable to provide further details.

‘Menace-X is in production and being delivered to customers but we are not sharing specifics,’ he said.

According to Anduril, Menace-X ‘enables resilient command and control of complex mission sets, such as deep sensing and coordination of maritime surface fires, in a highly-mobile form factor’, with the company statement suggesting legacy C2 systems often require ‘large logistical footprints, significant set-up time, and specialised training’.

‘With logistics and communications networks of forward-deployed and stand-in forces increasingly at risk of adversary targeting, warfighters need to quickly disperse, manoeuvre and communicate across distributed forces to sustain operations at the edge while under multi-domain attack.

‘This is where Menace-X comes into play,’ the statement continued before confirming the solution is also air transportable on board MV-22, CH-53, MH-47 and C-130 air frames.

Specifically, Menace-X features Anduril’s Lattice Command and Control (C2) suite, which is used to task assets and coordinate effects across multiple domains. The software suite also includes battlespace analytics, collaborative planning, automated threat detection and high-value targeting.

Communication nodes are plug-and-play in nature and Menace-X retains capability to run Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite communications; UHF/VHF; HF/WBHF; and Link 16 networks in addition to the unidirectional receipt of IBS, ADS-B and AIS data feeds.

Such a concept is particularly suited to supporting complex communications plans of SOF teams which typically require access to primary, alternate, contingency and emergency (PACE) networks, a defence source informed Shephard.

‘Menace-X features resilient, software-defined communications infrastructure that can be orchestrated on a user-defined basis, allowing operators to use the electromagnetic spectrum as a manoeuvre space.

‘And with integrated mesh networking and Anduril’s AutoPACE software, Menace-X monitors the performance of network pathways and intelligently selects the optimal link with the ability to adjust based on mission requirements,’ the company statement read.

In a written statement, senior vice president of engineering at Anduril, Tom Keane, described how Menace-X could be ‘fully operational within minutes of aircraft roll-off, [which] allows teams at the tactical edge to C2 forces, fires, and effects at the speed and scale necessary to achieve overmatch of the pacing threat’.

Menace-X has already taken part in the USMC’s Weapons & Tactics Instructor course and US Army’s Project Convergence Capstone event and is scheduled to take part in several exercises over the course of the year both at home and abroad, the spokesperson said before concluding: ‘Priority customers are the FVEY [Five Eyes] partner nations.’

Andrew White


Andrew White

Andrew is a former editor of Digital Battlespace and Unmanned Vehicles magazines. Andrew joined Shephard …

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