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August 24, 2023

Delivering security capability over a complex battlespace

Japan’s annual Defence White Paper, published in late July, highlighted a variety of major security challenges that the country has had to address over the past decade. These include the increasing nuclear and missile threat posed by North Korea, a more assertive and aggressive China, and Russia’s defence modernisation and increased ties with China.

Noting that the world is currently at a turning point, Minister of Defence Yasukazu Hamada remarked that the Russian invasion of Ukraine and threats to use nuclear weapons, combined with Chinese and North Korean aggression had put the international community “at its greatest trial since World War II”.

The White Paper went to outline “Seven fields of the fundamental reinforcement of Defence Capabilities” for the country, which include stand-off weapons, integrated air and missile defence, unmanned systems, cross-domain operational capabilities, command-and-control (C2) and intelligence-related functions, mobile deployment platforms and civil protection, and sustainability and resiliency.

To underline its seriousness on its capability expansion, the Japanese government is more than doubling its planned defence procurement expenditure over the next five years to JPY43.5 trillion, up from JPY17.2 trillion in the previous five-year period. C2 and intelligence-related function spending is more than tripling, from JPY300 billion to JPY1 trillion, and cross-domain operational capabilities are more than doubling to JPY8 trillion.

Japan’s area of operations is significant and comes with a high degree of complexity. The country’s total landmass is 38,000 km², with territorial waters and an exclusive economic zone of 4.47 million km².  Monitoring civilian and military traffic in this space – for both surface and sub-surface threats, as well as airborne threats – requires a significant amount of technological collaboration and co-ordination. Add in the presence of US and other friendly military forces operating in the area, and there is a substantial requirement for advanced capabilities in C2. 

Reducing the friction in co-ordination and collaboration helps to ensure the right information gets to the right people, at the right time.

Such a significant investment in C2 and intelligence – an equivalent of USD7 billion over a five-year period – represents an effort to substantially improve its spatial awareness. With great power comes great responsibility, and with large procurement budgets comes an obligation for smart spending on appropriate solutions.

Finding and acquiring a solution is not as straightforward as it may seem. Ensuring it is fit for purpose, scalable to a user’s needs, and futureproof are fundamental requirements. With projects of this financial scale, programme delivery comes with associated risk and implementation issues. Integration of new and legacy subsystems – ranging from radios to radars, open-source intelligence feeds to streaming UAV videos – further adds to the complexity.

Systematic’s SitaWare suite is a proven C4ISR solution, working to bring simplicity to a commander’s work and improve collaboration, co-ordination, and operations within an area of operations. Its deployment concept means that countries can retain sovereign control over the system, the data generated, and their userbase and configuration history – enabling security and freedom of operation.

SitaWare Headquarters supports battlespace awareness, friendly force tracking, and plan development and distribution for command centres at the brigade level and above, including joint operations centres. SitaWare Headquarters works across a wide variety of communications standards, as well as ingesting data from a range of advanced and legacy technologies. Support for radio networks – vital for maintaining situational awareness and sharing a common operational picture (COP) – is achieved through the SitaWare Headquarters Communication and SitaWare Tactical Communication protocols, which can support current and legacy radios over a range of bandwidths and in complex operating conditions that can include jamming and spoofing.

SitaWare Maritime is specifically designed for use by naval and maritime operators and allows for the easy fusion and dissemination of intelligence, delivery of plans and orders, and provision of situational awareness through a recognised maritime picture (RMP). The system benefits from the SitaWare Headquarters Fusion product, which helps to detect duplicates across sensor feeds and reduce the likelihood of successful spoofing, thereby helping operations room staff track and monitor an area of interest by creating redundancy in inputs.

The SitaWare suite also has joint interoperability and coalition operations at its heart. This includes the ability to share COP layers, connect to allied networks easily, and transfer intelligence through a decentralised approach to information governance.

Over 50 countries and organisations employ SitaWare, including the US Army, Australian Defence Force, NATO, the United Kingdom, and Germany, meaning that there is a solid userbase to exchange ideas and support development.

Being a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) product, the SitaWare suite is fully de-risked and ready for deployment at scale. The extensive and growing userbase ensures that it is constantly being developed and improved upon, with multiple updates delivered to users each year. A software development kit and open architecture means that users and equipment manufacturers can easily develop their own add-ons and integrations of new technology.

Systematic stands ready to support Japan in its efforts to ensure its national security and collaboration with security partners and allies. For further information or support, please contact: [email protected]

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