Global Command and Control Technologies sees upsurge in demand amid global tension


Global Command and Control Technologies (GC2T) has seen an uptick in business prospects following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over a year ago as countries, particularly in Africa, are looking for products that neither Ukraine nor Russia can supply at present.

This is according to Cobus Valentine, Chief Commercial Officer & Head of Product Management at GC2T, who told defenceWeb that this also ties in with a growing shift towards export business. Several years ago, most of GC2T’s revenue was from within South Africa, but now it stands at about 30% as the export market has taken over.

GC2T was established primarily to serve the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), as the 2015 Defence Review deemed command and control a sovereign capability, and GC2T was subsequently spun off from Saab as a 100% Black owned South African company. However, the SANDF has little money to spend on procurement, and Armscor has no funding for research and development. In fact, GC2T funds 100% of its research and development through own funds.

Valentine warned that if the SANDF does not acquire its systems, it faces challenges in future exercises with other African countries, as many African nations are buying and using GC2T solutions. Indeed, Africa is a key focus market for the company, especially as GC2T is the only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in South Africa – and indeed the African continent – that develops indigenous enabled awareness and constructive simulation solutions.

GC2T’s products are “made in Africa, for Africa,” Valentine said. The company is, for example, providing Chaka command and control systems to the African Union for the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in the Sahel region.

Global Command and Control Technologies focusses on decision augmentation and enabled awareness with over four decades of experience in the C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers & Intelligence) domain. Valentine said the company offers a wide range of cost-effective hardware and software solutions as well as products and services to support customers’ dynamic demands. “GC2T has not only carved a niche for itself as an industry leader but also as a trusted and long-term partner, for both international and local military and security forces and other government agencies,” he told defenceWeb.

Valentine said GC2T has moved away from a product to a solutions-based approach as more customers are looking for integrated solutions complete with full life cycle support.

At much of GC2T’s core is its MALT backbone architecture, a strategic building block that is operating system and communication system agnostic and represents a radical departure from the traditional embedded software approach. “This allows for the rapid establishment of customer-specific functional building blocks and allows GC2T to meet the international demand from customers to achieve a large degree of self-sufficiency with complex software-based solutions,” Valentine explained.

A flagship product is the Chaka suite of secure, digital command and control solutions, which is in SANDF service amongst others. It provides near real time situational awareness and messaging across a range of communications systems and devices.

The Chaka Dismounted Soldier Command and Control System is designed to provide dismounted soldiers with enhanced situational awareness, enabling them to make better informed decisions in a rapidly changing battlefield environment. By allowing soldiers to communicate and coordinate more effectively, the system also helps to improve mission effectiveness and reduce the risk of friendly fire incidents, Valentine explained.

GC2T offers an airspace situational awareness system (Surveillance Control and Air Defence System) that includes both military and civil aircraft monitoring, integrating all available resources into a single, efficient air command and control solution.

The Distributed Ancillary Information Display (DAID) is a system that enables the distribution of ancillary information or content across multiple displays in a network. Integrating DAID with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) offers numerous benefits, including access to real-time data, enhanced capabilities, improved operational efficiency, and better engagement with customers and attendees, Valentine said. The DAID offers numerous benefits for border safeguarding, management of national key points, safe cities, ports and harbours, etc. “The DAID is an advanced, multi-sensor multi-site system designed to deliver information where it is needed, when it is needed, in a concise, user-friendly format,” Valentine added.

BattleTek is a constructive simulation/war gaming system for the training of decision-makers and support staff to prepare for a range of scenarios and contingencies. It caters for the modelling of “what if?” situations and allows the end user to prepare and respond to the unforeseen. GC2T offers the latest BattleTek 4 version.

One product that has been doing well on the export market is the CheetahNav tactical navigation system, which was developed in conjunction with local company Etion. It has been designed for navigation in GPS-denied areas. An integrated inertial measuring unit ensures jamming-free operation.

Through Saab Grintek Defence, GC2T has some 40 years of experience, including supplying solutions to the South African National Defence Force. The SA Army, Special Forces, Navy, and Air Force use GC2T systems, including Chaka, Impi, Air Picture Display System, Current Intelligence System, Ground Command and Control System and Distributed Ancillary Display System products.

GC2T is able to provide support to other government agencies for things like disaster management, ports and maritime security and management, airports management, border management, environmental protection, police command and control etc.

Diversifying into the commercial sector, GC2T is working on a cellphone tower protection system that alerts when a tower is being tampered with. Other solutions with commercial applications include access control systems; CCTV and video management systems; city-wide surveillance systems; mobile and static command and control solutions for police, emergency services and borer security; and covert surveillance vehicles.

GC2T also offers asset tracking solutions that enable the end user to track anything from a human to a combat platform thus providing the decision-maker (military or commercial) with positional information globally in real-time.

“GC2T is a world-class system supplier and integrator with value-adding to the equipment from third-party ‘best of breed’ manufacturers specialising in communications, encryption, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management equipment to provide customised turnkey solutions to our customers,” Valentine said.

“GC2T’s Enabled Awareness Systems’ excellent track record has been achieved through developing a detailed understanding of our customer’s requirements and the willingness to work closely to establish and develop an environment that promotes cost-effective programme execution to the customer’s overall satisfaction,” he concluded.