Saab DENMARK – Heino Lundgren, CEO
ESD: What requirement does Tacticall fulfil – why is it useful? Lundgren: TactiCall was originally developed for the Royal Danish Navy’s land-based centres and radio stations in 1983 with delivery in 1985. After this the system was implemented for the Royal Danish Navy’s ships towards the end of the decade and since then TactiCall has been put into operation all over the world and in all possible domains. This means that different customized adaptations of TactiCall is in use on all continents aside from Antarctica both within the military and civilian domains.
TactiCall interconnects all communication subsystems into one single IP platform infrastructure, making it possible to control everything from one single interface thus making it possible for the operator to have a complete overview of all ongoing communication from a single system. This includes different classification levels with an assurance level of EAL 5+.
In the latest deliveries to Norway and Finland TactiCall has gone from being a system delivery to be only part of a full solution including Ship communications, external and internal communication, communication infrastructure, comms management, security and even services such as topside design, ILS and EMC/EME management etc.
ESD: How was Tactical developed?
Lundgren: TactiCall was originally developed for the Royal Danish Navy’s land-based centres and radio stations in 1983 with delivery in 1985. After this the system was implemented for the Royal Danish Navy’s ships towards the end of the decade and since then TactiCall has been put into operation all over the world and in all possible domains. This means that different customized adaptations of TactiCall is in use on all continents aside from Antarctica both within the military and civilian domains.
ESD: What are the other joint programmes in Denmark between Saab and Academia or innovation clusters?
Lundgren: Saab in Denmark is involved in running R&D projects and studies tied to communication and communication security run in both national and international scopes examples of these are:
The Mobile ComNode R&D project for providing naval mobility is a joint project with the Danish MoD’s Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation and partly funded by the Danish Defence; and, Participation in the future Generic Open Soldier System Reference Architecture (GOSSRA) study funded by the European Defence Agency.
In addition to this, every year, Saab actively works with local university students in developing thesis projects which, in time, can contribute to technological advances as part of our existing portfolio or even lay the foundation for future solutions to bring to market.
ESD: Because ESD often focuses on how military and public order services cooperate in special circumstances, how does TactiCall facilitate joint operations?
Lundgren: The challenge with joint operations is to create a common situation awareness across different armed forces. TactiCall is built to facilitate the chain of command within armed forces for joint operations, and supports the operators’ ability to effectively manage operational duties.
Tasks are complex and require efficient coordination and cooperation between
individuals, which in turn requires access to a variety of communication channels of different security classification levels. With TactiCall the operator can easily monitor and share information across organizations while maintaining strict multi-level security controls.
TactiCall is designed as one integrated communication platform serving multiple domains with voice and data communication capabilities. The core TactiCall Integration platform is today delivered in both Civil, Air, Sea and land deployments providing multi-level secure voice and data communication and the ability to share information via connected voice and data communication infrastructures.
ESD: Why is TactiCall a secure communications platform?
Lundgren: A unique feature of TactiCall is the ability to handle multi-level security, using conventional IT technology and Common Criteria EAL5+ certified security Guards from Saab. These could be, UNCLASSIFIED, RESTRICTED AND SECRET in a simple but fully secure system as the user terminals do not need to be directly hardwired with the individual networks simplifying red/black and TEMPEST installations.
ESD: How is TactiCall differentiated from other integrated communication platforms?
Lundgren: The TactiCall architecture is built to be modular and can be tailored both against the customer’s threat environment, but also to meet customers’ environmental requirements ranging from civil office environments to military rugged air, sea and land deployments.
TactiCall supports a cost effective buy as you grow approach – a single “UNCLASSIFIED” level TactiCall system can easily be upgraded to a multi-level secure system without loss of the initial investment.
The unique separation mechanism in the certified TactiGuard security modules enables customization of HMI, workflows and environmental requirements to meet customers’ changing needs without requiring expensive and time consuming security re-certification work.
ESD: What is the future for TactiCall?
Lundgren: Within Integrated Communication Systems, some new naval trends drive the future ICS solution and needs for secure mobility:
First, economy has become a major factor – focus on lifecycle cost
Need for expandable communication solutions based on IP, COTS and less expensive commercial technologies for wireless IP access and information security.
Conduct an increased variety of missions – multi-role ships
Second, need for extra space and optimized control room layout. By e.g. reducing the side consoles housing communication terminals and integrating the Communication HMI into the Command & Control application.
Third, minimum crew manning and increased tempo when carrying out complex task
Need for flexible communications not limited to certain locations on ship, to allow freedom of movement outside and inside the entire ship. Need for tactical mobility and simultaneously access to secure and non-secure communication channels.
Our upcoming Mobile ComNode product will address these needs and challenges and will be delivered to the Finnish SQ 2020 vessels
Being able to extend the current TactiCall multi-level secure communication capabilities with a secure mobile communication platform will be unique and retain and expand our current market position within secure communication solutions.
Thank you for your time and unique insights.