From battlespace to office space, solutions that help our armed forces be more effective and efficient
The requirement for fast, accurate and usable information is vital in the defence sector. It can provide the necessary tactical or strategic advantage required to win. Providing pertinent information to the commander or manager, soldier or assistant is HPE’s mission. It enables that person to act and fulfill their task effectively. HPE is integral to the UK Defence sector and provides the services, technology and advice to enable NATO and coalition information sharing across the world quickly and securely, at all levels.
A partnership built on 40 years of mutual respect
HPE has supplied solutions and systems to the MOD for the last 40 years, and our Defence team in the UK comprises people who really understand the needs of their customer. Many of our team are ex-military, others work on military bases throughout the UK and some are deployed on operations in direct support of the Armed Forces. In addition to providing the technology, essential to the preparation and deployment of frontline troops, HPE works side by side with our Armed Forces to devise and establish new IT services. We’re dedicated to delivering agile and standardized services that meet a diverse range of IT challenges and built to satisfy government security standards. With a proven track record, HPE supports the MOD in delivering business and military information capability to enhance operations and we deliver economies of scale.
Delivering Information securely world-wide
The Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) has replaced thousands of disparate IT systems run previously by the MOD a decade ago. DII is now a single, unified platform that allows users to share information seamlessly for the first time. It is one of the biggest, most complex infrastructure rollouts in Europe to date and is being implemented by the ATLAS Consortium, led by HPE. The network has saved the MOD over £1bn in operating costs over the previous network.
The rich functionality of DII and its advantages over the systems it replaces is most obvious in deployed environments whether on land, sea or air. The ATLAS Deployed and Battlespace Team has the job of delivering the infrastructure to make DII available wherever forces are deployed. British Forces need to operate in hostile environments around the world and rely upon DII connectivity. Consequently it is provided to troops as highly transportable ‘nodes’ which provide a local ‘data center in a box’ and enable deployed troops and embassies to be connected to DII anywhere in the world. Running the UK network 24/7 for over 200,000 users is comparatively straight forward.
Development will save resources
A new deployed solution will make more effective use of the radio systems used in hostile environments. Rather than having a DII node at every location, the Optimised Footprint Distributed Client (OFDC) solution connects one node to multiple laptops over existing Government Furnished Equipment radios. The system will save resources and reduce the number of supported nodes. The MOD has contracted HPE to allow users of the Advanced Mission Planning Aid access to DII. This will open up a range of new applications and services to improve information sharing and efficiency.
DII on the naval fleet is being rolled out according to an MOD sequence determined by the availability of vessels and it is installed in 30 ships and submarines. Continuous process improvements to the on-board build require less manual intervention and have reduced the build time by 120 hours and improved node stability. ATLAS has also introduced an extended handover period for new Maritime DII installations, with an experienced member of the Deployed team staying on board the vessel for two weeks after the system has gone live, to help RN users efficiently transition to the new system.
One-stop mission planning for the 21st century
The much loved ‘Kick the tyres and light the fires’ mission preparation statement in military aviation could not be further from the actual requirements of today’s complex and extremely data hungry air platforms. Pre-flight planning and preparation is critical to a successful mission and the majority of RAF aircraft rely on an HPE system.
The Advanced Mission Planning Aid( AMPA) replaces the manual mission planning process, conducted with pencil and paper charts, with a system providing digital maps and target images, constantly updated with hazard information and an overlayed intelligence picture. This allows aircrew to calculate fuel requirements, timings and all other critical elements for the mission as it is planned. It gives access to an unparalleled level of information that simply was not possible before, all on one system and instantly.
The dynamic maps and images available in AMPA have changed the nature of mission planning and it is now routine to use images of target locations, landing zones and other geographical features. Aircrew can interrogate multiple layers of information to understand their mission in far greater context, viewing the terrain in a 3D rendering updated with the latest intelligence. With every tweak and change in the mission plan, the system dynamically updates all the other variables so the crew is always looking at the latest critical information on timings, fuel and weapons. Once the plan is complete, on particular aircraft, AMPA is able to upload the data to the onboard mission system.
From training to the front line
AMPA is used extensively across the RAF from fast jets and helicopters to transport planes and in both the operational and training environments. The extensive footprint of AMPA means a pilot following the Fast Jet training system will use AMPA at every stage of their training involving Tucano, Hawk T1 and Hawk T2 aircraft before moving on to a Typhoon or Tornado on reaching their front line units, again using an AMPA system for front line operations. AMPA is used by the Royal Navy in their Lynx Mk8 maritime attack helicopter and by the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command as the common Mission Planning system for deployments and operational theatres with its Support Helicopter fleet.
AMPA in action
Within hours of the launch of Operation Ellamy, the UN-backed mission to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, a team of up to 12 people had established a round-the-clock help desk to support the RAF jets using AMPA in the skies over North Africa. A response team was immediately dispatched to the aircrafts’ home bases around East Anglia for critical software enhancements prior to operations commencing.
The level of support, which remained in place for the opening phase of Operation Ellamy, was outside the contractual agreement with the MOD and earned the AMPA team an official commendation from the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support & Technology.
Training Administration and Financial Management Information System
Timely and effective training of military and public safety personnel is critical to the security interests of any country and the ongoing protection of its citizens. The HPE Training Administration and Financial Management Information System (TAFMIS) provides defence and first responder organizations with the tools needed to manage training resources in a coherent and organized manner.
TAFMIS is a fully functional and deployable solution that is in use by our clients today. For nearly two decades HPE has provided uninterrupted support to the UK’s military training organizations through, TAFMIS. It now supports the recruiting and training of 15,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen of all three Armed Services through a web-enabled application.
Expertise, innovation and total commitment for almost twenty years has resulted in a new contract for the complete training management of every member of the Armed Forces. With Defence Individual Training Management (DITM), HPE provides a complete training management system that considers the strategic training objectives and manages everything down to individual course timetables and exams. Individuals are tracked throughout their chosen career path, providing an audit trail of their training, right up to retirement. DITM was first launched with the Army in 1996 and thanks to its success, has since been adopted by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. It is applicable to all personnel whether Regular or Reserves.
Transforming military logistics through the management of the Joint Deployed Inventory
Managing the Joint Deployed Inventory (MJDI) has always been a difficult task but as costs increase, with increasingly limited stock holdings, rising shipping costs and rapid global deployments, the challenge increases.
Now, for the first time in its history, and due to the commitment of the HPE defence team, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has a single virtual warehouse through which it can manage the entire military stock held by all three armed services.
Everything used by the Armed Forces from nuts and bolts, to clothing, ammunition and vehicles is now listed and tracked through MJDI. One of the largest application technology and integration programmes ever undertaken by the MOD, MJDI has been more than five years in the making. Its latest iteration was delivered a year in advance to allow the MOD to identify every single piece of equipment in theatre in Afghanistan so that command and financial decisions about whether to ship it back to the UK, leave it in theatre or dispose of it can be taken in advance of the withdrawal of troops. This single, sophisticated ICT application will save the UK taxpayer millions, thanks to HPE.
Responding to the Whole Force Concept and the need for ICT on deployed operations
Modern military operations increasingly rely on ICT applications and services, so it is important to our forces that they have as much technical support within their local control as possible. Though members of the forces are trained to maintain their systems, with rapid advances in technology it makes sense to let the military focus on their role and let the technical experts support them.
HPE staff are frequently deployed alongside British and coalition troops overseas, working and living as members of the military, providing critical mission support. Members of HPE’s defence staff are frequently deployed alongside British and coalition troops overseas, working and living as members of the military, providing critical mission support.
Contractors Supporting Operations (CSO) provide essential service management support in theatre, helping the Armed Forces to resolve specialist IT issues and roll out new applications and service enhancements. Working out of the main UK bases the teams deal with every aspect of IT Services by applying their professional knowledge gained from HPE and their previous military and civilian experience to overcome the challenges on behalf of their Armed Forces users.
Commitment and dedication through action
One of the challenges is matching the right HPE staff to the fluctuating needs of the Armed Forces, often at short notice, and ensuring that there are enough members of the team trained with the specialist knowledge for deployment. HPE’s CSO staffs are always volunteers and go or stay on the deployments which suit their preferences.
The result is that the HPE CSO staff are some of the best ambassadors for HPE, showing their commitment and dedication through actions not words. They are effectively on call 24/7 and can be called out to do almost anything and everything. This requires special people and we are proud to call them our colleagues. Each one is expected to be flexible and to work as a member of the Armed Forces, often in challenging conditions; the teams have strong team camaraderie and pull together to get a job done. Many have been rewarded with Campaign Medals by Her Majesty the Queen for their commitment.
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