Mobile Ad-hoc Interoperability Networking GATEway (“MAINGATE”)
Recently, STA’s technical staff supported the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with its development and testing of the Mobile Ad-hoc Interoperability Networking GATEway (MAINGATE) communications system, which enables high data rate, on-the-move interoperable communications among US, coalition, and local forces. Developed under DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office (STO), the MAINGATE program provides tactical networking capabilities that deliver soldiers reliable, real-time battlefield information.
This system involves a radio architecture enabling a versatile high-capacity IP network, and a radio gateway enabling legacy analog and digital communications systems to be internetworked–providing seamless battlefield connectivity among units using different communications gear. MAINGATE permits affordable, tactical, real-time, high fidelity video, data, and voice services to be simultaneously deployed in a networked environment to support tactical operations in either Maneuver or Dismounted operations.
STA supported the program by providing technical leadership in the form of technology and design inputs, performance assessments, field experimentation, and assistance with transition efforts.
MAINGATE excelled in multiple testing venues, including the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) at Fort Benning, GA, and at the Network Integration Evaluation at Fort Bliss, Texas. At both events, the system provided continuous, reliable connectivity, and facilitated communications amongst soldiers and devices.
STA is proud to be a part of this program, supporting the technology’s evolution from concept to reality—with more than 100 units currently deployed.
Javelin / “Tank Breaker” Anti- Armor Missile
STA is proud of its role supporting the development of the Javelin “Tank Buster” Anti-Armor missile. Members of our technical staff were intricately involved with the conceptualization and development of this man-portable, shoulder-launched, game-changing weapon—our personnel defined the concept and assisted in establishing program requirements and structure.
Replacing Dragon, Javelin was designed with thrust vector control to enable launch from enclosures and allow for a unique, top-attack, flight trajectory that maximizes lethality. Additionally, the missile system utilizes fire-and-forget, autonomous-homing-after-launch technology, which enables the warfighter to seek cover following launch. This advancement was critical because, previously, the warfighter had to remain in position to track the target and be vulnerable to counter-fire while Dragon was in flight. Compounded with Dragon’s larger launch signature, the old system created a dangerous situation for the soldier—the missile’s firing announced the soldier’s presence, and the soldier had to remain exposed for the duration of the missile’s flight.
Javelin’s use of on-board trackers alleviated this risk. Now, the soldier aims, fires (with a substantially reduced launch signature), and can seek safety immediately after firing. Additionally, Javelin was one of the first missiles to employ infrared imaging homing technology, which enables a high degree of accuracy—even against moving targets. Because of its top-attack launch trajectory, Javelin is also capable of striking low flying helicopters and ground fighting positions.
Javelin’s success is evident in the numbers: the missile system was conceptualized in the mid 1980’s; began initial phases of development in 1986; entered production in 1994; and first deployed in 1996. Since then, it has been in large-scale production and, today, there are currently thousands of units deployed in theater. Eighteen countries—the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, and United Arab Emirates—employ Javelin to meet their anti-armor requirements.
Its ease of set-up, portability, self-guidance, and minimal launch signature have allowed Javelin to become one of the modern-day Warfighter’s preferred weapons.