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Esterline CMC Electronics

Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID) Final Report

 
©  Frontline Defence Vol.8 No.2
March 2011
 

The Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration issued its final report on Esterline CMC Electronics’ TacView Portable Mission Display (PMD) in November 2010. During demonstrations held in June, eight CMC TacView systems were tested at four locations: the Canadian Experimentation Center in Ottawa; the Hanscom Air Force Base near Boston; the NATO base in Lillehammer, Norway; and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego.

 

What is CWID?

The Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration , an annual exercise led by the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (www.cwid.org), enables combatant commands, military services and national civil authorities in the U.S. and its allied countries to investigate and assess new technologies. The program addresses identified capability gaps and supports the accelerated and deliberate acquisition of selected technologies.  Each year, CWID conducts trials to evaluate new and emerging technologies in a realistic environment with collaboration from allied countries.

 
 
Canadian Air Force pilot briefs VIPs about the CMC TacView Portable Mission Display during the CWID demonstration at Hanscom Air Force Base.
 

CWID interoperability trials are hosted on the world-wide, Combined Federated Battle Laboratory Network (CFBLNet) which enables simulated “releasable” data exchange among coalition partners. International participants and observers included Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, NATO member nations, and Partnership for Peace nations.

 

The Canadian Air Force sponsored the TacView interoperability trial. To perform the assessment, pilots from the Canadian Air Force, trained to use the TacView PMD and its software suite, were stationed at the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts (USA), the Canadian Forces Electronic Warfare Centre (CFEWC) in Shirley’s Bay (Canada), and the NATO Jørstadmoen Command and Control Training Center in Lillehammer (Norway).

 

These lab environments were extremely well suited to demonstrate enhanced operational effectiveness and coalition interoperability through the ­presentation of significant technology advancements.

 

A realistic Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) scenario was used as the starting point to demonstrate how the TacView Portable Mission Display (PMD) improved command and control coordination and ­situational awareness as part of the CWID trial. Air force pilots executed a total of nine simulated combat search and rescue missions over a period of two weeks to evaluate how well the TacView PMD will operate in theatre.

 
TacView Portable Mission Display
CMC’s rugged, avionics grade TacView system is a portable, smart display used as a multi-function tool for the rapid implementation of tactical data link communications and streamlined airborne operations. This Night Vision Imaging System compatible display is designed for rapid and inexpensive installation in fixed and rotary wing aircraft. The TacView interfaces seamlessly with most aircraft data networks, and can often be installed without modification to the aircraft’s legacy systems. TacView runs Microsoft XP compliant software, providing a wide range of options and capabilities to the aircrew.


Warfighter Comments

The Canadian Air Force pilots’ assessment of TacView was published in the 2010 CWID Final Report.

 

The demonstration exercise allowed the Canadian Air Force pilots using TacView and its software to validate the following key features:

  • support mission planning while on the ground;
  • transfer the flight plan to the aircraft;
  • streamline processes of executing checklists and consulting manuals;
  • remain aware of the current battle space situation while in flight;
  • overlay tactical information over a moving map display;
  • re-profile a mission in mid flight;
  • access onboard sensor data and remote networked imagery in real time; and
  • review mission execution and results back on the ground again.

 

The final report also included quotes from the actual air force pilots who tested the TacView. Here are a few examples:

 

“Planning missions with the TacView is great, with its 2 USB ports we can connect a keyboard and/or a mouse and use it as a desktop computer.”

“TacView can increase situational awareness and decrease workload because it saves a lot of time.”

 

“The TacView device provides the pilot with improved situational awareness by showing the aircraft’s position on the map in relation to its desired track. It provides valuable information such as Link 16 tracks, weather updates, check lists and approach plates.”

The pilots based at Hanscom noted: “We were able to plan missions while in communication with players in Norway and Canada. Adobe Connect worked well with TacView.”

 
TacView CWID Testing - Hanscom Air Force Base – June 2010
 

Conclusion

In its final report, issued on November 4, 2010, CWID stated: “CMC successfully demonstrated the features and functions of TacView to provide the flight deck crew with improved situational awareness and critical real-time information which in turn can enhance mission effectiveness and safety.”

 

This independent assessment from the Canadian, U.S. and NATO armed forces reinforces CMC’s position as a leader in tactical, portable mission displays.

 

To read the final report go to: (http://www.cwid.org/2010%20Final%20Report/START_HERE.html)
 
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©  Frontline Defence 2011

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