The "Field Communication System" for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force maintains communication even under harsh conditions
Hello everyone. I'm here at the Fuchu Plant to report on a major announcement regarding NEC's defense business today. There are people from the media and the Ministry of Defense here, and I'm a little nervous about covering an event with such a different tone, but I'll do my best to report on the facts. The announcement today concerns the "Field Communication System" to be used by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.
The Self-Defense Force is tasked with the important duties of performing rescue and restoration work when disaster strikes, as well as defending our national territory if it should ever be threatened. Under extraordinary circumstances, such as times of disaster or when defending our homeland, it is necessary to convey accurate information and instructions to troops out in the field, and have them communicate their situation in real time. This requires a different level of functionality than the communication systems we normally use in every day and business situations.
Defense Network Systems Business Unit
A member of the Field Communication System development team. He specializes in software-based radio communication. He has also played a role in developing unique products other than those for the Self-Defense Force.
The NEC Fuchu Plant is mainly involved with broadcasting systems for broadcasting stations, air traffic control systems, systems and devices for supporting infrastructure such as satellites, and mainframe computers. We came here to hear about the "Field Communication System." There are tons of media staff at the press conference! I'll have to pull my weight for MiTA TV.
- AFirst, I'd like to discuss the characteristics of defense communications. The fact that it is self-contained is a significant difference compared to private sector solutions. When the Self-Defense Force head out into the field in an emergency, it is highly likely that infrastructure has suffered damage, so private-sector communications infrastructure can't be relied upon. This calls for a communication system that is self-sufficient from first deployment to withdrawal. Another characteristic is confidentiality. Tight security is essential. Also, you may not be familiar with the term, but a super mission critical solution is required.
- MitaI've heard the phrase "mission critical" before. It brings to mind highly reliable systems that cannot be allowed to go offline, such as financial systems. Does the extra "super" at the beginning mean that even higher reliability is required?
- AThat's right. In tense defensive situations, being out of contact for even a moment or using the wrong data can lead to dire consequences, so the communication system needs to be extremely reliable. It is also necessary to presume that systems will be used under adverse conditions. This is of course because there are times when duties must be carried out in heavy rain or storms.
- MitaIt must be a tough job... I can see how they must operate under extraordinary conditions.
- ANEC's "Field Communication System" is being used for the defense communications of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. First, let us take a look at the device. Troops travel with "Mobile Type II" wideband multi-purpose radios equipped, which are used to share information by audio and email. Then there's the "Mobile Type I" device featuring greater transmission output, which is equipped by commanding officers, among others. Additionally, there is an airborne version for use in aircraft such as helicopters, and a vehicle version that is equipped to vehicles such as tanks.
- MitaThe "Mobile Type II" is a handheld device kind of like a transceiver, right? And the "Mobile Type I" is carried on the back like a backpack. Both have devices that resemble smartphones. The vehicle version also comes with something like a tablet device.
- AIn the past radios were hardware-based, and simply processed wireless communication using hardware incorporating a range of electronic circuits. However, this meant that modifications or additional hardware were required whenever new functions were added, increasing the cost. Additionally, when communications are eventually integrated with other entities such as the Air Self-Defense Force and Maritime Self-Defense Force in the future, it would be necessary to replace purchased radios with new ones, which would be an extremely large undertaking.