Hercules offers sovereign EW network to Army


Two Australian defence suppliers have come together to offer the Army a slimmed down electronic warfare capability, the HERCULES EW, that should be more versatile and capable of taking communications into difficult to penetrate areas.

Melbourne-based AOS and South Australian company Asension will launch the HERCULES EW at Land Forces 2022 today, offering a sovereign EW network to increase ADF ground forces’ survivability.

AOS managing director Andrew Lucas said: “Historically, the EW equipment that offers protection and enables offensive operations has been bulky and expensive.

“It has been housed in fixed locations, such as a deployed HQ, or more recently, under LAND555, as equipment installed in a number of Bushmasters.”

Lucas said the HERCULES EW, which combines Asension’s Wombat, AOS’s iWatchdog, the AOS autonomous KelpieTM vehicle and DST Group’s HARLEQUIN in a single vehicle was a ‘game changer’.

“HERCULES EW is a sophisticated, AI-driven system that will allow the Army to penetrate difficult areas with the communication network resilience they need, without risking the lives of our soldiers.

“With the HERCULES EW…we have a cost-effective solution that delivers what the Army needs right now.” Lucas said.

The four-component combination ensures mobile network resilience including reach and survivability. It comprises:

  • The AOS iWatchdog a distributed multi-vehicle tasking system capable of coordinating a number of autonomous vehicles and systems to meet mission goals
  • The AOS-designed autonomous, off-road Kelpie vehicle
  • DST Group’s HARLEQUIN, which is a radio planning and optimisation tool that is able to dynamically address network survivability in complex environments
  • And the Wombat– a sovereign, software-definable, intelligent transceiver that supports user-configurable RF applications.

Asension CEO Ian Spencer said that the Wombat provides a sophisticated EW capability packaged into a compact and ruggedised box for deployment into the field.

Spencer said: “It is a remotely configurable EW transceiver that works in a coordinated manner providing a distributed, efficient, electronic attack capability and a defensive ESM function.”

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