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Digitization of Ukrainian army: Capacities of Hermes-C2 tactical control system

Author : Defense Express Media & Consulting Company

Source : Defense Express

Ukrainian army will soon be able to carry out a real digital revolution thanks to automated control systems that are already being tested during the exercises
10:00, 5 October 2020

Defense Express

Ukrainian army will soon be able to carry out a real digital revolution thanks to automated control systems that are already being tested during the exercises. These systems make it possible to significantly increase the combat effectiveness of subunits thanks to the online digital exchange of information.

In simple terms, instead of a heap of papers and voice transmission of commands through a walkie-talkie, the Ukrainian military will be able to instantly receive data on the real situation, which is accumulated by all combat vehicles, drones, and other reconnaissance means.

In fact, our military would have access to all information about the battlefield online: from the location of the hostile units and forces, affected areas, movement routes, lines, and the like. And commands from top management to a specific combat vehicle will come in just a matter of seconds.

Defense Express has already talked about the capabilities of the automatic Bell system, which operates at the operational level, that is, to control brigades and battalions. At the same time, the developer of this system, UaDefense, the Ukrainian private company, part of the Everest group of companies, has created an automated tactical control system - Hermes-C2. It is designed for installation on combat vehicles: infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, tanks, artillery installations, and other equipment.

Defense Express

Hermes-C2 allows to significantly reduce the combat control cycle

Hermes-C2 consists of several unified modules: a central computer processor, a switch, a radio router, information display and input terminals, a GPS receiver, and a power system module. But after installing the system in the car, its commander will work only with the terminal - a tablet on which all information is displayed.

Defense Express

Hermes-C2 terminal interface

An important element of the system is precisely the communication system, which makes it possible to create a "military Internet of things" on the battlefield. That is, combat vehicles can independently, without the participation of an operator, create a network and transmit encrypted information at frequencies from 47 MHz to 6 GHz, simply in language at 5G speeds. And we are talking not only about the transfer of coordinates, but about the exchange of data on the amount of ammunition, the condition of the chassis, the amount of fuel, and the like.

And all this data is sent to the commander, who receives real information about the state of his unit in order to redistribute forces, targets, and means of destruction based on the real situation that exists at that moment, and not wait for reports.

Defense Express

The modern battlefield requires a high level of coordination between units

According to preliminary estimates, the automation of tactical-level activities on the battlefield can increase the combat capabilities of troops (forces) by 15-20% and, at the same time, reduce by 50% the time that command and control agencies spend on planning and bringing tasks to subordinates.

One of the latest examples of the use of Hermes-C2 in conditions as close to combat as possible took place during a comprehensive exercise of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the involvement of forces and assets of the Missile Forces and artillery in July this year.

The Hermes-C2 system in real-time was integrated into the so-called reconnaissance and strike fire complex - when artillery is combined with reconnaissance means.

With the help of the Fury drone, the coordinates of the targets were determined, directly loaded into the Hermes-C2 system, and automatically sent to the artillery battery without being processed by the operator.

That is, as soon as the target's mark came, the calculation of fire for the artillery and the "Destroy"command immediately took place. At the same time, the Hermes-C2 system joined the Kropyva artillery control system, in which all ballistic deductions passed. In practice, this led to a six-fold reduction in the preparation time for opening fire.

Thus, a number of exercises proved the real capabilities of Hermes-C2, which significantly increases the effectiveness of combat units due to the reduction in the time for combat control. The US Army has already passed this path, it is armed with the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) system. Similar developments are underway in Russia, where the Andromeda is deployed in the airborne troops.

At the same time, Ukrainian development is distinguished by its price. Equipping hundreds of combat vehicles with the Hermes-C2 system costs about UAH 34 million. One BTR-4 costs about the same.

In practice, this means that each of our brigades can be made "digital" for the price of only two armored personnel carriers, taking into account the number of vehicles in combat battalions, artillery divisions, and the like. Therefore, the question of which variant is better – two new combat vehicles or a whole brigade that operates many times more efficiently – is rather rhetorical.

Oleh Katkov

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