Strengthening Asia’s military and defence teams with COMINT, Counter-UAS and Tactical Data Links

British army soldiers operating BLACKTALON counter-UAS system (image credit SPX Communication Technologies)

By Jackson White, Business Development Director of Tactical Data Links and VP Marketing at SPX Communication Technologies.

Nations across Asia are experiencing growing tensions and an increasingly complex threat landscape. For example, the heightened dispute between the Philippines and China over the South China Sea, and China’s combat drones circumnavigating Taiwan in ongoing sea and airspace disputes. Such incursions highlight the need for greater real-time intelligence and more sophisticated security measures. In response, nations are investing in modernisation programmes, such as the Philippines’ Re-Horizon 3 armed forces initiative to bolster maritime and air defence capabilities.

A critical part of such initiatives is strengthening radio frequency (RF) spectrum monitoring and data transmission capabilities to help protect their borders, citizens and infrastructure. SPX Communication Technologies is working closely with defence teams across Asia to help them meet their individual communications intelligence (COMINT), counter-unmanned aerial systems’ (counter-UAS) and Tactical Data Link requirements.

With over 85 years of experience in the RF industry, the business empowers its partners to command the spectrum within civilian, law enforcement, intelligence, and defence environments, keeping ahead of threats.

Addressing present challenges

As security and defence teams gather and transmit ever larger volumes of data over longer ranges – from the air and sea to the ground as well as between aircrafts – it becomes harder to receive insight in real time. Intelligence requires input from a wide range of sensors to enhance airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and guarantee teams are seamlessly connected across land, sea and air.

SPX Communication Technologies’ Evenlode Series, currently deployed by users across Asia, addresses these challenges by optimising the RF spectrum to enable secure, real-time transfer of mission-critical data between aircraft and ground forces. Its latest iteration, the Evenlode Video and Audio Encoder / Decoder, delivers improved low-latency, long-range, high-definition video and audio transfer for faster and more accurate intelligence-gathering. Its enhanced video and audio compression capabilities also allow the simultaneous transfer of up to four videos over a lower bandwidth pipe, with all data transmitted using sophisticated encryption software.

Evenlode Air Data Terminal Stack
Evenlode Air Data Terminal Stack (image credit SPX Communication Technologies)

The increased use and rapid evolution of hostile Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and drones presents other important challenges. SPX Communication Technologies’ BLACKTALON counter-UAS system is able to effectively jam every combination of global navigation satellite system (GNSS), command, control, and telemetry signals used by commercial and military drones. This scalable solution ensures a decisive advantage in countering UAS threats while safeguarding friendly RF signals from unintended inhibition.

ECS, part of SPX Communication Technologies, has been supporting customers in the region for over a decade with its Tactical Data Link solutions, working closely with them to understand their unique operational requirements. This has been key to developing solutions that are simple to deploy and use while reliably operating in the harshest conditions.

Keeping one step ahead

While these solutions are actively helping teams across land, sea, and air, SPX Communication Technologies’ network of global in-country partners is vital to keeping up with local challenges, identifying specific needs, and delivering the right capabilities at speed. This translates into essential support for defence teams, especially those in difficult-to-reach locations where there may be geopolitical or social restrictions, or due to the inevitable complexity associated with conflict. Only by combining proven solutions with local expertise can teams be one step ahead and effectively address their existing challenges.

A great example of this is the recent partnership between SPX Communication Technologies and Philippines-based 88 Electronics. As a well-established local business, it provides on-the-ground technical support for the ECS Tactical Data Link solutions, including installations, maintenance and training. Having local knowledge and cultural understanding is key to ensure the right support for every customer.

Looking ahead, as technologies advance and improve, the business will continue to work with defence teams across Asia to uplift their current capabilities in line with the latest cutting-edge technologies and innovation.

Jackson White, Business Development Director of Tactical Data Links and VP Marketing at SPX Communication Technologies
Jackson White, Business Development Director of Tactical Data Links and VP Marketing at SPX Communication Technologies