Supplementary memorandum submitted by
Sir Kevin Tebbit KCB, CMG, Permanent Under-Secretary of State,
Ministry of Defence
In response to your request for a note (Question
129), I offer the Committee the following list that I made for
my personal use in preparing to give evidence. These are the "13
activities" that I mentioned at the hearing, covering the
three strands of Combat Identification: situational awareness;
target ID; and tactics, techniques and procedures. These are the
major programmes or initiatives (excluding various upgrades to
in-service equipment and improvements to operational training
1. BOWMAN. The BOWMAN system will
provide a secure tactical communications infrastructure, incorporating
automated position, location, navigation and reporting for increased
situational awareness, thereby improving combat effectiveness
and reducing the risk of fratricide. This £2.2 billion contract
will see BOWMAN equipment fitted to some 20,000 vehicles, 149
naval vessels and some 350 aircraft from 2004. Early acquisition
of 45,000 BOWMAN Personal Role Radios have been achieved, with
delivery into Service beginning in January 2002. These radios
have been used in Afghanistan to great effect, significantly improving
the situational awareness of tactical forces.
2. Successor Identification Friend or
Foe (SIFF). The SIFF programme will equip 38 different platform
types (aircraft, ships and ground based air defence), including
the High Velocity Missile System and Rapier mentioned in the NAO
Report, with a secure "Question and Answer" capability
to positively identify friendly air platforms. These platforms
will receive NATO standard Mk12 Identification Friend or Foe equipment,
which will be interoperable with our allies. the first contract
for this £396 million programme was placed with Raytheon
in December 2000. Fitting of SIFF equipment will begin in 2002,
with programme completion in 2008.
3. Link 16. The tactical data link
"Link 16" has been progressively fitted to major UK
platforms (aircraft and ships) since 1991. A key capability of
Link 16 is the Precise Participant Location and Identity message
transmitted by all Link 16 equipped platforms that are active
within the battlespace. This capability supplies positive identification
to all recipients of the "Link 16 picture" and hence
provides extensive situational awareness. This is a rolling acquisition
programme, with the intention to fit Link 16 to over 600 platforms
by 2012. Link 16 is widely available to allies and hence significantly
enhances interoperability with NATO and other coalition forces.
4. Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD).
A two year assessment programme of our future GBAD (High Velocity
Missile and Rapier ) requirements is beginning. This programme
will assess how to improve GBAD's Command, Control, Communications,
Computers and Intelligence (C4I) capability, with a target date
for initial operating capability of January 2007. The enhancements
to C4I will improve situational awareness, thereby improving combat
effectiveness and reducing the risk of fratricide. In addition,
a trial programme is underway to provide some Rapier units with
connectivity to the Link 16 picture to demonstrate enhanced situational
awareness. This enhanced capability will be fielded by the end
5. Airborne Stand Off Radar (ASTOR).
ASTOR is a new capability, which will provide a long range
all weather theatre surveillance and target acquisition system,
capable of detecting moving, fixed and static targets. The system
will comprise a fleet of five air platforms, each with a dual-mode
radar sensor, and eight mobile ground stations. The first aircraft
and ground stations are due to be delivered in 2004, with final
deliveries being made in 2008. The prime contract with Raytheon
Systems Ltd was let in December 1999. The current acquisition
programme value is £930 million.
6. Battlefield Target ID (BTID) System.
Since the Gulf war a common programme of work has been undertaken
to identify and select the most cost and operationally effective
technology for a ground based BTID system. In 1997, following
a "Four Power" (UK/US/GE/FR) technology assessment,
the decision was taken to adopt a millimetric wave question and
answer system. The UK then took the initiative and prepared a
NATO BTID standardisation agreement (STANAG 4579), which was issued
in June 2000. This STANAG has now been ratified by eight nations
including the UK. In parallel, the UK began a risk reduction programme
in February 1999, drawing on studies carried out in the 1990s,
to provide a technical solution that was STANWAG compliant (total
programme cost is £2.4 million). A key output was the successful
demonstration of a UK BTID prototype system conducted in September
2001. The programme has now entered Phase 4 to de-risk crypto,
miniaturisation, and system integration.
7. Coalition Combat Identification Advanced
Concept Technology Demonstrator (CCID ACTD) Programme. Conscious
of the need for a multinational BTID solution, we therefore welcomed
the US Initiative in 2001 to invite NATO Allies to take part in
their CCID ACTD. A key output from this programme is a planned
demonstration of technical interoperability of national BTID systems
(STANAG 4579 compliant) in a major coalition exercise in 2005.
The Department has allocated £6.2 million for the UK to support
this demonstration. Another important objective of the CCID ACTD
is to develop and test Combat Indentification Concepts of Operations
for coalition operations in the ground-to-ground and air-to-ground
8. Airborne System for Target Recognition,
Identification and Designation (ASTRID). We are investing
in improving air-to-surface detection capabilities through the
ASTRID programme. The programme began in 2001, when £91 million
was allocated to cover the concept phase throught to integration
into Service of up to 40 systems from 2010. ASTRID aims to deliver
the capability to identify mobile, re-locatable and fixed targets
at much greater stand-off ranges than the current in-Service equipment.
ASTRID is also expected to deliver automated search, detection
and identification of targets as well as support both laser and
GPS guided weapons.
9. UK Co-operative Engagement Capability
(CEC). We are planning to introduce the CEC for RN ships,
which will significantly improve situational awareness and provide
interoperability with the US Navy. In addition, CEC will provide
faster and more reliable automatic Combat Identification of tracks
leading to a reduced potential for "blue on blue" engagements.
The programme is currently in its assessment phase, with a planned
delivery of an initial operational capability on a Type 23 Frigate
in 2008. Total acquisition cost is approximately £220 million.
Studies are also under way to investigate new and improved methods
for networking these and other related capabilities to provide
enhanced situational awareness across the battlespace.
10. Single Integrated Air Picture (SIAP).
The US has established a Systems Engineering Task Force (SETF)
to improve their air defence warfighting capability by addressing
the requirements for a SIAP. The SIAP, created by fusing data
from a variety of sensors and platforms, promises consistent,
uninterrupted, and unique tracks for all airborne objects in the
battlespace, forming a tactical air picture that everyone can
share. The SETF has a budget of $100 million over a two year period.
The UK's involvement with SIAP began in 2001 and has been focused
in three areas: participation in a UK/US Tactical Data Link bilateral;
technical analysis of the SETF output; and studies within the
Applied Research Programme to determine the implications of the
US SIAP on the UK. Through closer involvement in the SIAP programme,
we expect to benefit from increased shared awareness and improved
interoperability with the US.
11. Multinational Interoperability Programme
(MIP). Since 1998, we have been actively involved in the six
nation (US/UK/GE/FR/IT/CA) MIP; this was recently expanded to
include an additional 10 nations. A key objective of the programme
is to facilitate interoperable Command and Control (C2) systems.
The programme is aiming to deliver an automated data exchange
capability in 2003. This capability represents an important enhancement
to the Coalition Common Operational Picture and will improve the
quality and confidence in the identification of entities within
the battlespace, particularly land units. The Department regards
the MIP programme as a key mechanism by which improved interoperability
between land forces in future coalition operations can be achieved.
12. Shared Tactical Ground Picture (STGP).
We are actively involved in the development of the STGP. This
is a 5-Power (FR/UK/IT/US/GE) capability integration initiative,
which originated in 1998 and will attempt to combine the Combat
Identification components of existing projects into an accurate,
comprehensive and commonly understood tactical picture. This ambitious
programme is expected to be completed by 2009. A key benefit to
the UK is greater integration of the Common Operating Picture
than previously envisaged and the ability for Combat Identification
systems to operate across international boundaries.
13. Doctrine. In conjunction with
Combat Identification equipment capability improvements, new doctrine
has been developed by the Joint Doctrine and Concepts Centre and
the single Service Warfare Centres and promulgated through a series
of "Tactical Notes". Liaison between the Services has
aslo improved following the establishment of the Permanent Joint
Headquarters (PJHQ) in 1996 with much greater awareness across
the Services of their respective activities. Furthermore, joint
training has provided the opportunity to practise Combat Identification
related tactics, techniques and procedures to ensure that they
are understood. This has lead to improved combat effectiveness
and has reduced the risk of fratricide.
I would not pretend to think that the list is
of great value to the Committee in this form, not least because
the technical detail and complexity, while interesting to defence
specialists, does not shed a great deal of light on value for
money considerations. But it does illustrate the range of programmes
that are underway and the extent of the interdependencies with
potential coalition partners.
Sir Kevin Tebbit, KCB CMG
Permanent Under-Secretary of State
Ministry of Defence