The US Marine Corps has grounded several new, small drones including its ‘Quads for Squads’ amid ban on commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS), Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) by the Pentagon and assessment on the cyber-security.
The USMC has been forced to ground COTS, it has been fielding to infantry units “until the DoD identifies and fields a solution to mitigate known cybersecurity risks,” according to a recent Department of Defense policy memo written by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan.
“The DoD Inspector General found that the DoD has not implemented an adequate process to assess cybersecurity risks associated with using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Unmanned Aerial Systems,” the memo states.
The USMC has however requested defense officials to exempt eight systems, so as to continue to use and train with drones.
Exemption requests were being drafted and reviewed by senior leaders and for submission to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for these systems: Black Hornet 2 and Black Hornet 3, manufactured by FLIR Systems, Inc.; SkyRanger (Aeryon Labs); InstantEye Mk-2 Gen-3 and InstantEye Mk2 Gen-5 (Physical Sciences Inc.); Indago (Lockheed Martin); and DJI Phantom 3 Pro and DJI Phantom 4 Pro (DJI), Capt. Joshua Pena Marine Corps Combat Development Command spokesperson was quoted as saying by USNI news Monday.
The US Navy and Marine Corps had ordered an additional 800 additional 800 InstantEye Mk-2 GEN3-A0 sUAS systems in February this year. The InstantEye family of products includes the Mk-2 GEN4, which is capable of carrying payloads up to 4 pounds; the mid-sized, highly agile Mk-2 GEN3 can carry payloads up to 1.5 pounds; and the palm-sized integrated Mk-2 GEN5, with advanced vehicle-borne computer processing power that will allow the system to adapt to future capability needs.
InstantEye is a centrepiece of the ‘Quads for Squads’ initiative to equip infantry units with high-tech capabilities to make Marines more lethal and effective in a cyber-battle space, including micro and small drones, USNI reported.
But the Pentagon’s decision has forced Marines to stop using InstantEye until it can get the green light from the Pentagon. It’s considered a COTS product, Pena said, and “the system has been grounded.” The ban “also applies to all UAS ground command and control elements including smartphones or tablets with associated software and hardware,” he added.
So far, the first battalions have received 600 of the Marine Corps’ initial buy of 800 Mk-2 Gen-3 drones for the “Quads for Squads,” and the remaining 200 are pending shipment, he said. “The policy has not affected that schedule,” he added.
In suspending all COTS unmanned aerial systems, Shanahan cited a May 14 DoD inspector general finding that “the DoD has not implemented an adequate process to assess cybersecurity risks associated with using COTS UAS.”
Shanahan noted his authority to approve any “requests for exemptions, on a case by case basis, to support urgent needs.” He directed military officials and agencies to report to him within 30 days “to identify and account for all COTS UAS.”
The memo doesn’t indicate what prompted the suspension of the military’s use of drones, which include some popular commercially-available drones sold to consumers and manufactured by US or foreign companies.
However, last month, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., wrote to Defense Secretary James Mattis about “a potential national security threat” in products manufactured by DJI, or Da-Jiang Innovations, a technology company based in China.
The Estonian Ministry of Defence has delivered cybersecurity training and a cyber-range exercise to cyber defenders in the Ministry of Defence, Singapore, and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Following the Memorandum of Understanding signed on the 19th of January 2018. The training took place at Singapore's Cyber Defence Test and Evaluation Centre (CyTEC) and was delivered by the Estonian Defence Forces Cyber Range which provides training opportunities from individual level training up to large scale international exercises, Estonian MoD said in a statement Monday
The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) is planning to outsource part of its cber-security operations to private sector personnel on short term contracts to respond to cyber-attacks. The ministry is eyeing to increase personnel at its cyber-threat units and will include outsourcing plan in a mid-term defense program from April next year, unnamed sources were quoted as saying by
A Cyber-security event in Ukraine will challenge participants with simulated hacking of presidential elections in 8 countries. The "HackIT-2017" to be held in on September 23 in Kharkov, Ukraine, is expected to be attended by cyber security experts from all over the world, according to its
The US Cyber Command activated a National Guard unit of 138 cyber specialists this week, said to be the largest mobilization of cyber forces from reserve units. The specialists of Task Force Echo, which will support the U
Lockheed Martin is expanding its work with Guardtime Federal to integrate a variety of integrity and cyber-related capabilities into Lockheed Martin aircraft products and processes. The new contract builds on specialized mission support testing in 2015, and the integration systems and support contract related to supply chain risk and software development management in 2017
BAE Systems Wins $225M US Navy Contract For Additional APKWS Kits
BAE Systems To Develop Autonomous Software For Air Mission Planning
Norway Procures Leguan Bridge Layer Systems For Leopard 2 Tank
India’s Tejas Fighters Leave For LIMA-2019
Pakistan Unveils Light Attack Super Mushak Turboprop Aircraft
Pakistani JF-17 not to Participate in LIMA 2019
Russian S-400 Capability Overrated: Swedish Defense Research Agency
Russia to Upgrade Su-30SM Jets to Su-35 Standard, Offers the Same to...
Russian state-run Almaz-Antey has released additional data on its latest export-version of Buk-M3 Viking air defense missile system (ADMS)
The MiG-29, one of Russias most exported military jet has been upgraded in India that expands its capabilities from an...
Russian fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) Su-57 will for the first time perform flights during the ARMY 2018 event near...
The American-made Patriot and Russian S-400 Triumf air defense systems are currently hogging international orders despite their price tags running...
The Russian ministry of defense on Thursday published a series of videos showcasing the production, deployment and installation and testing...
The market for fighter jets in countries which are expected to have open competitions is estimated at US$50 billion to...