The Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) is an annual event which provides the British Army with the opportunity to engage with industrial partners to explore and test new and emerging technologies which could bring advantages to defence. Following the contribution of the Land Systems Reference Centre (LSRC) to the successful AWE20 event, for the second consecutive year the LSRC was again tasked to support AWE21.
With this year’s focus being on transforming the Urban Training Environment, the LSRC is providing access to MANNA, a flexible and deployable test support network, used in this instance as a communications backbone to enable vendors to communicate and to distribute services in austere conditions.
MANNA, originally developed for use during AWE20, provided access to a Battlefield Management Application (BMA), Voice over IP (VoIP) capability, Wi-Fi connectivity and network edge security incorporating a Demilitarised Zone along with the provision of 60x User Access Devices. This capability has since been enhanced, and MANNA will now provide the Army and the AWE21 vendors with a whole gambit of deployed infrastructure. Enhancements include the addition of a Radio Frequency sub-system including StreamCaster MANET Radios and RADWIN Point to Point, and Point to Multi-Point radios, external ruggedised Wi-Fi Connectivity and the provision of 20x ruggedised tablets.
“The LSRC, is a truly unique capability within the Ministry of Defence and we are proud to again be contributing to the annual AWE event by providing the critical comms infrastructure,” said Richard Budd, Head of UK and US Secure Communications at Airbus Defence and Space.
About the LSRC
In 2019, the UK MOD awarded a contract to Airbus Defence and Space to manage test and reference services to support the delivery and assured release of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capability for deployed operations around the globe. Located at Blandford Camp in Dorset, the Royal Corps of Signals’ headquarters, the LSRC provides the MOD with a through life ‘Systems of Systems’ Test and Reference service. It provides an appropriate test, integration and transition capability that assures release packages for introduction onto the Defence Network and in support of operations and exercises. The LSRC can provide support and specialist advice for deployed and base ICT capabilities throughout their lifecycle. The LSRC has the capability to test applications and application upgrades on reference systems to assess their impact on other applications and the network as well as the network’s impact on the application.