Aim

Chief of Army has identified four priority areas on which Army will focus – Network, Joint Fires, Protected Manoeuvre, and the Enabled Soldier.

The Department of Defence via the Defence Innovation Hub (Defence) is seeking innovative proposals that will address the Chief of Army’s focus area of Network Assurance, under the ‘Network’ priority area.

Details about this theme are set out below in the Challenge Context section.

Overview

This Call for Submissions comprises of this Challenge Statement, the Terms and the Assessment Criteria and Process.

This Call for Submissions is Stage 1 of a two-stage procurement process. Defence’s objective in this Call for Submissions is to select approximately 15 respondents to participate in the Request for Proposal process (Stage 2). As part of Stage 2 assessment, respondents will be invited to display their innovations at Army Innovation Day 2019(AID19) on 25 September 2019.

Defence’s objective, following Stage 2, is to select a number of respondents to enter into an Innovation Contract with Defence to deliver a demonstrator of the technology for user trial and evaluations with the Australian Army within 12 months after AID19. If your technology will not be ready in this timeframe, you should not respond to this Call for Submissions and may instead prefer to submit a proposal to the Priority Innovation Notice at https://www.business.gov.au/Centre-for-Defence-Industry-Capability/Defence-Innovation-Portal

Closing Time

You must submit a response to this Call for Submission using the ‘Special Notice Proposal Submission Form’ at https://www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au/call-for-submissions/ by 3 pm (local time in the Australian Capital Territory) on 9 July 2019.

A submission lodged after the Closing Time may be excluded from consideration.

Challenge context

Defence is seeking innovative proposals that meet the following capability themes:

The Challenge

Accelerated Warfare, a Futures Statement released on 8 August 2018 by the Chief of Army, focuses on conducting and sustaining land combat operations in an effective and efficient manner by leveraging new technologies to provide a balanced, agile and sustainable fighting capability.

Whilst the contested battle space is enduring, technological disruption is rapidly changing war’s character. These characteristics include the convergence of big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotics and unmanned and autonomous systems.

Our challenge is to underpin technological change with a focus on conducting land combat operations in a more effective and efficient manner by leveraging new technologies to provide a balanced, agile and sustainable fighting capability.

Synchronise Land Force combat effects using user-friendly robust resilient and agile communications networks in complex, congested and contested, high cyber-security threat environments to ensure timely combat effects occur at the right time and place.

Specifically for this Special Notice, Defence is seeking innovative proposals that increase network resilience and redundancy; defend the network through reducing an adversary’s ability to deny, disrupt or exploit our information; and/or deceive an adversary as to the nature, disposition and characteristics of land networks and associated force elements. Examples may include:

Resilience: Physical or Non-physical

1) Develop /maintain land force tactical data links for machine to machine communications (Targeting verse command and control systems).

2) Explore autonomous systems supporting the future network – range extension, signature management, deception and sustainment, including exploring the options of using uninhabited vehicles/platforms as communication nodes in challenging terrains.

3) Conduct predictive network repair using Artificial Intelligence (AI) that identify and rectify communication network issues, in support of network functions.

4) Maintain Land Command, Control and Communications (C3) agility by generating suitable ADF sovereign cryptographic solutions to increase the ability of Australian Industry to support and adapt to future Land C3 networks.

5) Develop a systems approach to Situational Awareness (SA) /Position Location Information (PLI) and Timing using multiple paths, e.g. celestial and terrestrial solutions, including passive systems options to reduce Electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) signatures; including integration into existing Defence systems.

Deception: Electromagnetic, Physical & Cyber

1) Develop agility through adaptive waveforms, enabling deception and signature management – supported by the conduct of spectrum operations (sensing the spectrum and deciding the most appropriate communications options dependent upon the nature of the operation).

2) Signature emulation

Defence: Electromagnetic, Kinetic & Cyber

1) Develop innovative means to counteract an adversary’s ability to exploit our information, namely, develop cyber security protection systems that operate in disconnected and connected environments using AI and cognitive technologies that detect deviations and/or anomalies to baseline configurations, network traffic, and user heuristics.

2) Army is also interested in technologies that provide agility that respond to low cost swarming technologies (anti-access/area denial) that may compromise our major systems.

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