South African companies work together to demonstrate joint command post

Several prominent South African defence companies have come together to demonstrate a simulated joint command post. The command post was exhibited at Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2016 last month. The command post included Saab Grintek Defence’s Chaka command and control system, Saab Impi blue force tracker, Cobham and Inmarsat satellite modems, Reutech Radar Systems radar at Fort Klapperkop, Airbus Defence and Space Optronics camera and imagery from Paramount Advanced Technology’s new tethered surveillance drone. The setup allowed the Institute for Maritime Technology’s maritime domain awareness picture and the CSIR’s Cmore awareness system to be overlaid onto the Chaka system. During the demonstration for AAD, a Paramount Naval Systems vessel and a light vehicle were fitted with Impi blue force trackers and tracked by the command post. A Grintek Ewation signal interception antenna was supposed to be integrated but there was not enough time before AAD. Paramount Industrial Holdings CEO John Craig said that the company is taking the lead in systems integration and joined 13 companies to establish the command post. A Paramount employee said that all the companies were keen to be part of the command post and that there was a lot of interest in the system at AAD as it is a solution required by every country in the world. For example such a system would be useful during the Olympics as information can be shared by multiple agencies from police to disaster management and homeland security.

Ivor Ichikowitz, founder and Executive Chairman of Paramount Group, said: “As a South African company, we know from experience that stabilising asymmetric conflict demands real-time, streamlined intelligence. This is especially true for developing countries which must combat mounting terrorist threats with limited resources.” Paramount said the joint command post at AAD is the first of its kind to be showcased in Africa. Amongst others, the display included data from commercial sea traffic, along with an overlay of commercial air traffic in Gauteng. The integrated command post also hosted a Military Situational Awareness display along with another Incident-related display featuring integrated and real-time video, images, photos and data. The live demonstration showcased the South African defence industry’s ability to provide Integrated Combat Management, as well as Incident and Event management and show potential customers the value and force multiplication effect of this type of technology. Ralph Mills, CEO of Paramount Advanced Technologies, said: “We’re proud to offer our customers the future of integrated command and control systems. Our joint command post offers decision makers the display features and analytics support they need to effectively manage crises.”

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