Case Study: Exercise Bold Quest 2010

Client: UK MoD
Contract Date: January – December 2010

Contract Type:

3SDL was selected by UK MOD to prime the contract to deliver UK Combat Identification Server (CIDS) participation at Exercise Bold Quest 10 (BQ10) in Norway during August 2010. The Bold Quest series of exercises examine a range of coalition Combat Identification (ID) technologies aligned with a variety of military mission threads, such as Close Air Support (CAS). 3SDL subcontracted the remainder of the UK CIDS industry team (General Dynamics UK, QinetiQ and Rockwell Collins UK) to provide both CIDS equipment and technical support for the event.

Needs and Benefits:

Following a successful CIDS Technology Demonstration Programme (TDP), UK MOD decided to conduct further live trials of the UK CIDS capability during the BQ10 event. The primary aim of the exercise was to operate specific Combat ID technologies in a representative operational environment and to provide de-risking for the subsequent BQ11 event. Norway was the host and lead nation for BQ10, with other international participants that included the US and Denmark, plus observers from Canada, France, Finland, Germany and Sweden.

From a UK CIDS perspective, the two main exercise aims were to:

  1. Prove interoperability with coalition systems including US CIDS.
  2. Demonstrate a robust Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 UK CIDS solution.


During the exercise, static tests were undertaken using known Blue Force (BF) positions. Dynamic tests were also conducted using Norwegian mounted and dismounted soldiers exercising controlled scenarios. Both UK and US CIDS servers were configured to support user requests for BF information from the following networks/systems: MIDS/Link 16, BOWMAN, Ground Asset Tracking System (GrATS), Variable Message Format (VMF) plus Norwegian FAC NAV, NORTaC and NORMANS.

Throughout the exercise period, the UK CIDS capability proved to be highly reliable, accurate and timely. It provided active responses to over 90 dynamic user BF information requests. These responses provided users with BF position data to a sub 5-metre accuracy within a sub 3-second response time.

The exercise was supported by two Norwegian MIDS/Link 16 equipped F-16 aircraft that successfully participated in the static and dynamic scenarios by making requests via UK CIDS for BF information. Denmark also provided one of its Link 16 fitted F-16s to participate in dynamic testing during the second week of the exercise. Despite not being involved in the exercise planning phase, the Danish aircraft arrived in the target area and were immediately able to make successful requests of the UK CIDS capability, thereby demonstrating one of the original UK CIDS requirements that requesting platforms should not require any modification in order to request and exploit UK CIDS information.


UK CIDS successfully met UK MOD’s exercise aims and objectives by:

  1. Demonstrating interoperability of UK CIDS and US CIDS and the system’s integration with other national systems/tactical data sources which were readily available.
  2. Achieving a TRL of 7+
  3. Informing further development of UK CIDS Concept of Employment (CONEMP), in particular, employment in a multi-national CIDS operating environment.


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