Continue Funding NCO Programme

KUANTAN: Continue Funding NCO Programme. Chief of Defence Forces General Zulkifeli Mohd Zin yesterday urged the government to continue funding the Armed Forces Network Centric Operations (NCO) project though the cost might be high.

He said the failure to fund the next phase of the NCO project – Phase 1B – would render the efforts and sacrifices in developing the first phase – Phase 1A – worthless. Phase 1A is the proof of concept stage while Phase 1B from 2017 to 2023 is the implementation part of the project.

Among others under Phase 1B will be the introduction of tactical data link to the RMAF’s F/A-18D Hornet fleet and later the Su-30MKM.

Mobile X-band link fitted on Land Cruiser Prados.
Mobile X-band terminals fitted on Land Cruiser Prados. This will allow X-band while on the move and pause

Zulkifeli said this in his speech during a demonstration of the NCO capability together with the X-Band Satellite communication system at the Kuantan air base here. Phase 1A of the NCO – developed by the Armed Forces with Sapura Secured Technologies as the lead vendor – cost some RM2 billion.

Man-packable and deployable  X-band equipment.
Man-packable and flyaway X-band terminals.

Zulkifeli did not mentioned the cost of the Phase 1B but it is expected to cost as much as Phase 1A. Later, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein told the media that despite the current economic conditions, the ministry will ensure that the next phase of the NCO will be funded.

“NCO is a phased project, planned in line with the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) to the 14MP (2011-2035), and includes Phase 1A, Phase 1B, Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 4.

“We’ve gone through Phase 1A, and it was handed over to the MAF on Dec 12, 2015, and today, a demonstration was carried out to show the ability of NCO’s Phase 1A operation.

“The ministry will ensure that all plans for subsequent phases are implemented accordingly,” he added

NCO Phase 1A became operational in Dec 2015 with the implementation of the X-Band satellite communication link. Under the NCO, using the X-band satellite link, the Armed Forces now have shared situational awareness and common operating picture. It was hoped under the NCO, the three services will achieve self-synchronisation in operations.

A retired soldier posed with a 12th RMR soldier who is part of the FSS Experimental Platoon. 12th RMR have been conducting user trials with the FSS since 2012.
A retired soldier posed with a 12th RMR soldier who is part of the FSS Experimental Platoon. 12the RMR have been conducting user trials with the FSS since 2012.

At the moment, most of the NCO capability are mostly with the RMAF and RMN although some of the Army’s legacy system have also been integrated with the same system.

The battery pack for the FSS.
The battery pack for the FSS.

Among the legacy systems which had been NCO-enabled are the Army’s Grup Pertahanan Artileri Udara TRML-3D radar, Battery Control Post, Igla Vehicle Mounted Manpads, the Future Soldier System experimental platoon and ACV 300 command and control vehicle and the Land Rover Fixed for Radio.

The inside of the ACV300 Command Control enabled for NCO.
The inside of the ACV300 Command Control enabled for NCO.

Bahagian Staf Perisikan Pertahanan (the Armed Forces military intelligence) which operates a Schiebel Campcopter S-100 UAV system (2 air vehicles, one ground station and a radar system) will also transmit live video feed of the system using the NCO system in
operations.

Schiebel Campcopter S-100 of the BSPP> Note the civil registration M-IRIZ-02.
Schiebel Campcopter S-100 of the BSPP> Note the civil registration M-IRIZ-02.

The UAV system was purchased in March, 2015 but the contract was only announced at the function yesterday. Although the UAV is civil registered its operations completely under BSPP under the Company Owned, Military Operated concept.

At LIMA 2015, the Armed Forces signed an MOU for the procurement of the UAV with Petronas under a PFI scheme.

An MB339 and a MIG-29N Fulcrum  demonstrates the interception of an unknown bogey using the NCO.
An MB339 and a MIG-29N Fulcrum demonstrates the interception of an unknown bogey using the NCO.

Apart from fixed NCO sites, the Armed Forces also operate a number of mobile and man-packable X-band satellite terminals so NCO-enabled systems could be linked in the field. These vehicles and deployable satellite terminals systems are integrated by Siecom System Sdn Bhd.

The main node of the Armed Forces satellite communication is based at the Paya Jaras Camp in Sg Buloh, Selangor. The X-band satellite capability is leased from Measat.

— Malaysian Defence

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