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ISR Innovation in the Drone Age

The vision of a joint all-domain ISR enterprise is much closer and more realistically achievable today than it was in 1983 when General Dynamics acquired the GNAT and the Drone Age was born. Since then, there have been numerous undeniable technological advances in ISR platforms and technologies, and a few near misses as well. A quick Google search will reveal timelines of past drone hardware developments and concepts of future software applications that leave little to the imagination. “Innovation”, or so it’s called.

In this paper, innovation of a different brand will be on display, highlighting the genius thoughts, decisions, and events that made it possible for the U.S. and NATO to modernize and integrate ISR within and across global defence strategy, plans and operations.

The following white paper will outline:

  • The top three developments of the last thirty years in terms of ISR modernization, including policy changes enacted by General Scaparotti, data sharing and new acquisition models
  • Offer predictions and recommendations for the next three big innovations in the 2020s and beyond
  • The challenges associated with the popular definition of “innovation” to mean more than the sum of investment in new tools and widgets

Airborne C2ISR 2020 Market Report

The Airborne C2ISR market is projected to grow at a compound growth rate of 5.1% and will reach over US$9.6 billion by 2025. Ahead of the Airborne C2ISR 2020 conference, Defence iQ compiled a market report outlining ongoing programmes and key requirements of the next few years. 

Download the report on the right >>

Key benefits of downloading the report:

  • Know top acquisition priorities from countries that will be present at Airborne C2ISR 
  • Develop business strategies by meeting the right people from countries having active programmes and key requirements at Airborne C2ISR
  • Gain insights into investment trends from your peers

In downloading the report, you will learn more about programmes and requirements from countries and organisations that will attend Airborne C2ISR 2020, such as:

  • Belgium – acquisition of four MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPA through a Foreign Military Sale with the U.S.
  • France – upgrade of the French Navy’s MPA to extend service life until 2030 continues
  • Italy – procurement of three additional ATR 72MPs for EUR150 million
  • NATO – EUR1.4 billion released in business opportunities until November 2020 in satellite communications, cyber security, deployable communications and information systems and joint ISR
  • Ukraine – delivery of Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 armed UAVs
  • United Kingdom – order of five Boeing E-7 AEW&C aircraft to replace the Air Force’s current fleet of six E-3D Sentry; acquisition of 16 Protector RG1s to replace the Reaper fleet; upgrade on the Sentinel R1 fleet which includes directional infrared countermeasure and threat warning sensors
  • The U.S. – Leidos to provide full-spectrum ISR support to troops through a contract awarded by the Air Combat Command; activation of the 16th Air Force to provide global cyber, electromagnetic spectrum operations, ISR and information operations to commanders; the U.S. Air Force’s SMC 2.0 reorganization; General Dynamics Information Technology’s US$217 million contract to support the Air Force’s 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing 

Other information available in the report include:

  • Australia – AU$2.46 billion procurement of four modified Gulfstream G550 aircraft
  • Brazil – delivery of a second E-99 AEW&C aircraft
  • Germany – U.S. approved a potential sale of four MQ-4C Triton UAS for US$2.5 billion
  • The Netherlands – letter of acceptance signed for four MQ-9 Reaper UAS
  • Pakistan – entry into service of an ATR 72-212A converted into maritime patrol configuration
  • Panama – delivery expected of a Beechcraft King Air 350 for coast guard surveillance missions
  • Poland – planned acquisition of a new medium-range tactical UAV under the Gryf programme
  • Russia – maiden flights of three UAVs conducted this summer
  • Sweden – potential plans of acquisition of new air-based sensors to replace the Argus after 2025
  • Turkey – two Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft are to be suited with an indigenous EW suite

Airborne C2ISR 2020 is themed around ‘embedding innovation at speed and at scale’ with an emphasis on optimizing the decision advantage of the future war fighter across the full spectrum of operations. To view the full conference agenda and details about speaker presentations, you can download the agenda here

How AI, Machine Learning and Big Data is transforming ISR & C2 capabilities

Multi-domain concepts of operation and the proliferation of sensor networks require new and enhanced forms of data processing. Big data must be fused, exploited and turned into actionable intelligence quickly to enable the ISR and C2 communities to improve their decision-making abilities and outmatch their adversaries. 

Ahead of Airborne ISR & C2 Battle Management 2019, Dr Thomas Killion, Chief Scientist at NATO, discusses here the key areas where AI and machine learning have already started to enhance military decision-making and accelerate the acquisition of actionable intelligence and how these technologies will revolutionise the ISR space in the future.

Attendee List - Airborne ISR

Download the attendee list to see who will be in attendance at March's Airborne C2ISR Summit. 

You can view the conference agenda here

The Alliance Future Surveillance and Control Programme: A transformative re-think of NATO's future capability

In this exclusive interview with Dr Çağatay Soyer, Alliance Future Surveillance & Control Project Manager, NATO Support and Procurement Agency and speaker at Airborne ISR & C2 Battle Management 2019, learn more about NATO’s AFSC programme to replace the E-3 aircraft fleet once it retires in 2035. In this Q&A, he shares exclusive insights on:

  • The process of developing requirements
  • The challenges of conceptualising a capability that will be operational from 2035 onwards
  • The role of industry in the design and delivery of the new capability

Airborne ISR & C2 Battle Management: Global Market Report 2018-2019

The global Airborne ISR market will reach US$28,105 million in 2018 and is expected to grow significantly over the next decade, marked by increasing investments in unmanned aerial systems. Ahead of Airborne ISR & C2 Battle Management 2019, Defence IQ compiled its annual global market report, putting three programmes under the spotlight: NATO’s Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) Programme; the RAF replacement of its Sentry fleet; and the USAF Advanced Battle Management System. The rest of the report will elaborate on programmes from countries that will be present at the conference, such as:

  • New Zealand’s RNZAF P-8 project
  • The transformation of the RAF’s ISTAR force
  • Bahrain’s recapitalisation of its attack/ISR helicopter force
  • Pakistan’s requirement for a medium-altitude long-endurance UAV

Download the report below to find out more.

Airborne ISR & C2 Battle Management: Global Market Report 2017-2018

This year, airborne ISR capabilities have been a vital resources to deployed troops on the Middle East battlefields, by providing them with situational awareness and enabling them to achieve the desired effect. While the acquisition still remains strongly focused on today's challenges, both governments and industry are starting to turn towards tomorrow's fights.

Each year, Defence IQ provides the community with an extensive and comprehensive global market report on active programmes and emerging acquisitions of ISR capabilities and aicraft holdings. Discover in this report key programmes from countries that will be present at this year's Airborne ISR & C2 Battle Management conference, such as Brazil, the UK, the US, France, Turkey and Jordan. 

Deter and defend: The enduring need for airborne C2ISR capabilities to support NATO's strategic objectives

The geopolitical events of this year have been a sobering reminder need for global airborne ISR and early warning capabilities and the support they provided to the ground forces has been vital in the operating space. Commanders have been working hard to de-conflict what has become an increasingly congested airspace in order to commit air strikes and this would not have been executed effectively without the use of coalition airborne ISR assets.

Senior military leaders from across the world will be coming to the Airborne ISR & C2 Battle Management conference to share their perspectives on the issues that affect the international community. Ahead of the event, Defence IQ had the opportunity to speak with one of the conference's keynote speakers, Lieutenant General Steven Shepro, Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, to get his thoughts on how NATO's airborne early warning and ISR capabilities are supporting their strategic military objectives.

A New Asymmetric Advantage: DARPA's Mosaic Warfare concept

Acknowledging that innovation is required to maintain asymmetric advantage in warfare, NATO nations are looking to adopt more innovative concepts of operation to help direct investment into R&D and S&T. Part of this is a movement away from more expensive, monolithic military systems towards more adaptable, resilient systems of capabilities that can support multiple types of operation across multiple domains.

Ahead of the Airborne ISR & C2 Battle Management conference taking place in March 2018, Defence IQ had an opportunity to interview the Director of the Strategic Technology Office at DARPA, Dr Thomas Burns. In this exclusive transcript of the conversation, Dr Burns discusses DARPA's development of the 'Mosaic Warfare' concept, a new vision for U.S. strategic asymmetric advantage underpinned by the use of dynamic, lower cost, coordinated and autonomous systems.

Airborne Battle Management - The Importance of Verified Intelligence for Real-Time Command and Control in NATO

At this year’s Airborne ISR & C2 Battle Management conference (London, UK; 14-16 March, 2017), Major General Andreas Kraak will be briefing international representatives of military, government and industry on the importance of verified intelligence for real-time command and control (C2) in NATO. Ahead of the event, Defence IQ asked him where the priorities – and limitations – lie…

NATO ISR facing a "mounting threat", say intelligence chiefs

The emergence of new conflicts in the past twelve months has forced new demands on airborne ISR assets. In response, intelligence chiefs are calling for major changes to spending priorities before these problems become insurmountable. Defence IQ's Richard de Silva speaks with Rear Admiral Brett Heimbigner, director of the Intelligence Division at the NATO International Military Staff; Brigadier David Evans, the Royal Navy’s Head of Information Superiority; and Matt Roper, Chief of the Joint ISR Team at NATO’s Communications and Information Agency (NCIA); all of whom will be briefing this year's Airborne ISR & C2 Battle Management delegation.

Military UAV-Civilian Airspace Integration Makes Progress

As far as militaries are concerned, there is now a pressing operational need for this problem to be resolved. Testing these systems, training remote pilots and utilizing their benefits for homeland security are all increasingly vital given the emphasis most European nations are placing on ISR. While current restrictions convolute development for armed forces and local authorities, they can also prevent solution-providers from knowing exactly what their products need to possess in order to operate legally in the future...

Airborne ISR & C2BM Report 2017

Each year, this leading international symposium looks to understand how both existing and emerging airborne C2 and ISR capabilities can produce the desired effects in the battlespace through the networking of sensors, operators, battlespace managers, commanders, analysts and warfighters. Through the integration and interconnection of knowledge nodes across domains, across networks and across agencies and armed forces we can achieve true information dominance, and it's this vision for multi-domain, information and decision-making superiority that will underlie the focus of the 2017 symposium, bringing together senior military leaders and industry innovators from every region to establish new methods of thinking, operating and integration.

As a complimentary offering to the community, this annual report provides the latest information available on worldwide airborne ISR assets – from airborne early warning to reconnaissance aircraft, both manned and unmanned – in order to help end-users and industry understand the requirements at hand.

Joint ISR in the 3rd Age of NATO - CAPT Scott R. Whaley

Captain Scott R. Whaley (USN), Joint ISR Chief, NATO Intelligence Directorate, gives a detailed analysis of NATO’s doctrinal expansion - from Collective Defence to Collective Defense, Crisis Management, and Cooperative Security - and the implications for its ISR requirements and concept of operations.