Cubic Global Defense (CGD), a business unit of Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB), today announced the completion of its first live flight demonstration of the Cubic Miniature Encryptor (CME) in Lakeland, Florida with partner Draken International, operator of the largest privately-owned fleet of ex-military aircraft. During the flight demonstration, Cubic successfully showcased airborne encryption of the P5 Combat Training System (P5CTS) on tactical fighter aircraft, matching the environment of an air combat training mission. The CME is a mature encryption solution readily available to the P5CTS which will accomplish increased security for advanced air combat training as well as P5CTS pod and ground station encryption compatibility with the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)’s P5 Internal Sub-system.
The P5CTS is designed to provide real-time and post-mission training for air-to-air, air-to-ground and surface-to-air combat missions by displaying the live-air picture, recording mission data, and relaying Time, Space and Positioning Information (TSPI) between participating aircraft during training sorties. Key components of the system include GPS-enabled, aircraft-mounted airborne instrumentation “pods” plus ground stations, which help aircrew conduct, monitor and control air combat training and post-flight debriefing.
During the demonstration, two Draken fighter aircraft carried the encrypted P5 pods. A P5CTS Live Monitor ground station was also upgraded with CME, allowing the engineers to track the aircraft for the full duration of the flight, including taxi, takeoff and landing. The TSPI data and uplinked manual kill notification were successfully passed across the P5CTS encrypted data link. In addition, Cubic was able to verify backwards interoperability of the CME through an unmodified P5CTS Live Monitor ground station and an unencrypted pod on a third aircraft. This allowed the encrypted system to ‘see’ and relay the unencrypted data from the P5 pod, while the unencrypted system could relay, but not ‘see’ the encrypted P5 pods.
“As I go around the world and visit many of our international P5 customers, they make it clear that the demand for encryption is immediate. In response to this urgent need, Cubic invested in the development of the CME in order to fulfill that demand,” said Bill Toti, president of Cubic Global Defense. “The CME will help maximize investments made by the Department of Defense and our allied nations for P5CTS products and infrastructure, while minimizing disruptions to training worldwide.”
“Cubic is a leader in the Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) industry and we continue to make advancements with innovative, cost-effective and validated new offerings such as the CME,” said Michael Knowles, vice president and deputy general manager of Air Ranges, Cubic Global Defense. “The CME is a migration path for upgrades to air combat training system ranges, and encryption is one of the incremental upgrades needed to develop a true live, virtual and constructive (LVC) training capability.”
Cubic’s CME has the capability to encrypt sensitive information including increasingly complex fighter tactics, offering an immediate layer of security protection. Not only is CME a low-cost encryption solution for P5CTS pods, it is also designed to be interoperable with the JSF P5CTS, making it backwards and forwards compatible with P5CTS ranges. The CME has an additional advantage of serving as an inexpensive drop-in replacement of the Data Guard Processor (DGP) in P5CTS pods. This dual-purpose benefit allows combat training ranges to upgrade all or just some of their P5CTS pods as a DGP replacement, and choose when to use the encryption capability on training missions.
The successful flight demonstration of CME follows Cubic’s recent LVC demonstration at the Air Force Association’s annual Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in September. At the Air & Space Conference, Cubic teamed with industry partners to integrate a ‘live’ P5 ACMI pod with ‘virtual’ simulators and ‘constructive’ air and ground weapon systems in a virtual training environment. This particular demonstration was the first of its kind to show virtual and constructive entities through an architecture of Department of Defense’s fielded systems to the cockpit radar and radar warning receiver displays.
YouTube video of Cubic’s successful live flight demonstration of the CME is available for viewing at CGD’s YouTube channel or https://youtu.be/N6SVs8XBGIM.
Source / Author: Cubic