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Connecting the Joint Force


The year is 2027, and a U.S. Army unit has been tasked to seize a foothold in a dense urban environment.

Before troops deploy into the area of operations, Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites pass overhead to collect intelligence using electro-optical, infrared, synthetic aperture radar and other electronic intelligence payloads. This data is fused into a shared, connected common operating picture. Simultaneously, fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, operating at safe distances, deploy air-launched effects to answer specific intelligence requirements while conducting electronic warfare operations in support of the ground team.

Decision makers benefit from resilient and robust levels in connectivity supported by anti-jam waveforms, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to optimize situation awareness, determine appropriate tactics based on real-time data and, ultimately, drive mission success.

Although theoretical, this operational vignette illustrates just some of benefits the U.S. Army expects from the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) - the U.S. Department of Defense's concept to converge multi-domain network platforms, sensors and personnel into a single operating environment.

And U.S. Department of Defense acquisition officials are pushing to transition JADC2 from concept to operational as quickly as possible.

We're seeing feasibility of connecting across the joint force using current systems and future systems, Doug Bush, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology said at a National Defense Industrial Association symposium in July. Scale is really important, taking it to the next level to actually understand what the network could support in a contested environment.

The Army is just beginning its radio fleet modernization journey, and the service is limited in how fast it can deploy next-generation assets by where it can and needs to allocate its budget.

One of the land service's most notable annual JADC2-targeted exercise is Project Convergence, a discovery experiment comprising a series of demonstrations showcasing innovations that accelerate speed, range and decision dominance of soldiers to achieve overmatch and the service's vision for the total Army to be a multidomain force by 2035.

L3Harris has increased its participation in Project Convergence since the inaugural event in 2020.

The Army plans to enhance the complexity of the scenarios each year, to include more partner services and allied forces and various mission environments. The company in turn has bolstered the number of capabilities it provides for the demonstration each year to meet the demands of the specific challenges and to introduce new technology.

This has provided the Army the opportunity to review more options for multi-domain communications and intelligence transport that can meet their needs and budget.

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