The Importance of Digital Communication on the Battlefield | KWESST

Communication has always played an integral role in military strategy and combat. From the usage of messenger pigeons in the 12th century to morse code in World War I and radio communications in World War II, innovations in military communications technology have helped militaries gain an edge over their opponents and outmaneuver them to ensure more favourable wartime outcomes. Today, military communication has been rapidly evolving to ensure all aspects of military operations remain connected on the battlefield. For instance, the U.S. Army has invested in smartphone-like communication devices to enable efficient and secure communication between military units and personnel. Additionally, militaries worldwide have also been experimenting with 5G technology on the battlefield, for quicker transmissions and to improve the delivery of critical information.

Maintaining good communication lines during combat has become more critical than ever. With soldiers and military vehicles being more dispersed throughout the battle region and the presence of other modern military threats, providing soldiers with digital communication that can withstand the harsh conditions of war is imperative.

Enable Soldier Survivability With Digitized Soldier Technology

A critical component of a tactical commander’s and soldier’s ability to operate effectively and survive on the battlefield is to inform and to stay informed. Tactically, this is known as mutual situational awareness. Knowing where one is geographically in relation to other friendly units, and knowing where the enemy is – all in real time – is critical to tactile success. However, with constant advancements in military technologies and the emergence of new military threats, digital communication in the military must be made as efficient as possible in order to maximize soldier effectiveness and survivability. In recent conflicts, soldier survival rates have actually increased, despite more lethal weapons and deadlier injuries. This is largely due to more effective and accessible digital communication.

Digital communication is also crucial for strategizing purposes as well. During a military conflict, obtaining information is critical. Whichever side obtains and communicates more information is usually able to make more informed decisions, which can ultimately lead them to achieve positive military outcomes. With increased digital communications, soldiers can be given the ability to easily share crucial information with their commanding officers. Increased communication can also enable militaries to plan tactical maneuvers more efficiently in order to avoid ambushes or enemy-occupied areas.

Stay Connected With Digital Military Technology

Recent technological advancements in the military have seen next-generation technology like artificial intelligence (AI), smartphones and 5G technology used as communication tools. Recently, commercial smartphone technology has also been utilized by the military. Soldiers in the U.S. army were provided with commercial smartphone technology with the hopes that it would provide greater connectivity and more effective communication. Ultimately, smartphone technology was very effective in improving communication due to features like text messaging and video calling. However, it had its shortcomings as well. These devices required constant access to a cellphone tower, which is often not found in a military environment. Additionally, these devices also had to communicate with older analog military devices in order to deliver crucial data.

However, with the usage of newer devices built specifically for military purposes, many of these issues can be solved. For example, militaries have been experimenting with 5G technology in order to achieve stable wireless communication, even in areas without an abundance of cell phone towers.

AI technology used in the military is also on the rise. The market size for AI in the military has grown and is projected to reach $19 billion within the next 5 years. AI technology can be used for cyber security purposes and can prevent jamming or enemy interference in soldier communication channels. It can also be used to run simulations and can be used to assist in soldier training. If soldiers know what to expect on the battlefield, the communication of critical information can be made easier and more efficient.

Digitizing the Tactical Edge Using Team Awareness Kit (TAK)

The Team Awareness Kit (TAK) is a tactical application that enables the efficient, real-time sharing of geospatial information on the battlefield. The TAK application is optimized for smartphones, tablets, and personal computers, and allows for convenience and portability. TAK is a very powerful tool that accommodates the integration of weapons, sensors, optics, and mesh networking means to aid in team collaboration and communication. TAK is an agnostic application, meaning its features can be accessed anywhere supporting the Prime, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency Protocol (abbreviated as PACE).

The TAK application is always sharing location and geospatial data through a mesh network, allowing for more effective route planning and navigational strategizing. TAK also allows locational marking, sharing and history, online and offline mapping, collaborative mapping, altitude profiling, file sharing/streaming, and integrated target management. The TAK software is also compatible with Samsung S20TE, a ruggedized smartphone built for and proven by military operators.

With authorization to work with TAK, and by integrating the TAK software into communications devices, KWESST is working to ensure that soldiers are provided with persistent communications in multi-domain operations, classified data security, and the DeX feature for advanced mission planning. KWESST is an experienced and capable Canadian company having had sponsorship from the U.S. Department of Defense for specialized MilTAK plug-in development and integration work.

The Future of Digital Communication

Communication is one of the keys to a successful military operation. Soldiers, commanding officers, medics, and military units must all be in sync in order to ensure successful outcomes on the battlefield. With technology like KWESST’s TAK integrations and advancements in cell phone and AI technology, communication during military operations has never been more effective and convenient. The way modern wars are being fought is continuously changing, and it’s time that military digital communications technology adapts to change with it.

About KWESST
KWESST deveops and commercializes high-value ultra-miniaturized technology applications that make a critical difference to the safety and operational effectiveness of personnel in the defence and security community. The company’s current portfolio of unique proprietary offerings include: its signature TASCS™ (Tactical and Situational Control System) for real-time awareness and targeting information from any source (including drones) streamed directly to users’ smart devices and weapons; the autonomous Grey Ghost™ kinetic impact missile system that defends against small hostile drones including swarms; a Ground Laser Defence system to counter the emerging threat of weaponized lasers against personnel; and, the Phantom Tactical Electronic Decoy to mask the electromagnetic signature of friendly forces with decoy “phantom” signatures at false locations to deceive and confuse adversaries. All systems can operate stand-alone or integrate seamlessly with OEM products and battlefield management systems including Frontline, Edge, Killswitch and ATAK (Android Tactical Assault Kit) among others. KWESST also has developmental “smart ordnance” projects including its “Shot Counter” system, which records the number and type of rounds fired, for optimized firearms maintenance and performance. The Company is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with representative offices in Washington, DC, London, UK and Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The Company trades on the TSXV exchange under the symbol KWE. For more information please visit kwesst.com.