Command and Control

Home>Topics>Command and Control
Refine Results
  1. All
  2. Product
  3. Company
  4. Press Releases
  5. Online Articles
  6. Magazine Articles
  7. Videos
  1. Not your old timer's electronic warfare

    The new frontier of U.S. military land-based electronic warfare (EW) has been energized by the fight against improvised explosive devices, and is emerging to encompass EW, cyber warfare, signals intelligence, and a host of other disciplines. By J.R. Wilson As part of the "peace dividend" following the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Army disbanded its organic electronic warfare (EW) capability, a decision that was to prove problematic less than a decade later. The post-9/11 wars in Southwest Asia brought about massive changes for the U.S. military, with the introduction and ever-growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), precision-guided munitions, increased integration and networking of the battlespace, personal armor, advanced forward medical care, and enhanced communications-even down to the individual warfighter. The enemy's use of radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIEDs), however, set the stage for what may be one of the biggest changes for the future of the U.S. Army-a return to land forces electronic warfare. "When we got rid of our communications EW battalions in the 1990s, that was a mistake," admits Col. Jeffrey Church, chief of the Army's EW Division. "We cannot ignore the electromagnetic spectrum as a modern Army. I don't think you will see the Army walk away from EW the way we did then. It is now a core competency and we have to be able to maneuver in the EM spectrum through our folks in EW and spectrum management." Fixed-site electronic warfare transceivers have advantages in power, range, and endurance, yet can be difficult in using to support warfighters on the move. The Army's confrontation with radio-controlled roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan-and its resulting grisly casualties-serves as a grim reminder of the need for land-based EW. "Even with a smaller force and a smaller budget, I think we learned our lesson in 2004-05, when the Army saw the need to reinvest in EW," Church says. "Our science and technology base and industry are very competent to meet EW requirements from the maneuver commanders." Still, the lingering effects of abandoning land-based EW in the 1990s continue to be felt up and down Army command echelons. "I think we can write very demanding requirements, get those validated and have industry able to fill those," Church says. "If we had not stopped in the 1990s, we would be awesome in EW today. But the good thing is we don't have a lot of old systems to consider and can just acquire the best new technology." The best new technology This may be an advantage to the Army and Marine Corps-given sufficient funding-as EW technology and applications are evolving rapidly and often in unpredictable ways. The enemy in Southwest Asia was relatively unsophisticated in a technological sense, but still forced the Army to scramble to defeat RCIEDs and begin the resurrection of land forces EW. Future conflicts, however, could involve non-state adversaries with similar low-tech capabilities, more sophisticated nation-states, or highly sophisticated near-peer or peer states with advanced offensive and defensive EW capabilities. "It's not just the European theater, but also part of our focus shift to the Pacific," the Army's Church explains. "The Chinese consider EW to be part of their information operations and a fourth dimension to secure victory-a very critical maneuver space. They and the Russians have taken a big liking to EW in the past 10 to 15 years. As the Army develops future EW capabilities, we are looking at the full range of operations from a peer perspective all the way down to RCIEDs." The truck-based version of Prophet, shown here, is the division and armored cavalry regiment commander's principal signals intelligence and electronic warfare system and preprocessor of organic SIGINT. The competitive landscape in international land EW may end up as a big benefit to Army planners. "We've really opened up what EW means to the Army," Church says. "Because of our adversaries' EW doctrine and capabilities, we're also looking at electronic protect, which is very important. A lot of what the Army does relies on the spectrum, so EW is a major consideration we are looking at to incorporate into our future war plans." Looming EW threats throughout the world are forcing Army planners to get serious about all aspects of EW-and very quickly. "There have been clear instances of a relative peer adversary more than willing to employ EW to enable freedom of action and attack by ground forces," explains Lt. Col. Steve Oatman, capability manager for EW at the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Eustis, Va. "In Ukraine, the Russians used EW to support ground maneuver by separatists. Potential adversaries in the Pacific region have demonstrated an intent to develop and invest in EW, so the expectation is, should the time come, they would be more than willing to employ that investment. Identifying and understanding their capabilities and areas of focus reinforces the need for not only the Army but DOD as a whole to respond to the importance of EW," Oatman adds. "The state-of-the-art for [U.S.] land forces EW really only exists in one realm-the Counter RCIED EW system (CREW), which is one of only two existing programs of record that support Army land EW operations. So SOTA is a relative term for land forces," Oatman says. "However, the Air Force and Navy do have additional very robust capabilities in the EW arena, developed for their specific requirements, that, in the past 12-plus years, we have been able to employ in support of our ground force operations, along with some additional quick reaction capabilities built to support specific theater operations." Still, reliance on Air Force and Navy EW and Counter-EW assets in future environments is insufficient to maintain the land warfighters' ability to survive and win in a more challenging environment, experts say. This is the reason that the Army's next-generation land-based EW will center on a family of systems called the Integrated EW System (IEWS), providing a three-tier capability. The AN/ULQ-35 Counter Remote Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (RCIED) Electronic Warfare (CREW) Duke system is the most widely deployed counter-IED system protecting warfighters from roadside bombs today. Integrated EW System "The first tier is what we call the EW Planning and Management Tool [EWPMT], which will allow an EW officer and a spectrum management operations officer or NCO to effectively integrate EW into the ground force commander's scheme of maneuver by planning, synchronizing and deconflicting EW capabilities in support of ground maneuver operations," Oatman says. "That tool also will provide capability to support remote control for the second tier-Multi-Functional Electronic Warfare [MFEW], a system-of-systems with a ground variant and an airborne variant. Primarily, it will be focused on electronic attack and support-two of the three EW focuses, along with protect. That will work from the corps down to the brigade level for organic EW ability at the Brigade Combat Team to allow the BCT commander to dominate the electronic spectrum at the time and place of his choosing. The third tier is defensive electronic attack, which will be a more enhanced version of the current CREW system, able to go after other targets than just the RCIED." Land-based electronic warfare approaches make use of mobile EW transceivers, as well as fixed-site equipment. Dave Kroetsch, president and CEO of Aeryon Labs Inc. in Waterloo, Ontario, identifies two forms of EW-one involving active interception or jamming, the other a more passive, data-gathering approach. "Many of those technologies exist today, but will need further miniaturization to more covertly deploy," Kroetsch says. "There also will be some elements to take data from those deployed assets and integrate them back up the network chain. The overall trend in all technology is miniaturization and increased capability at those smaller scales. You could drop a cell phone-type device that could do network intercept, jamming, acoustic surveillance. So, as a broad trend, things will be more multi-mission, multi-function at a much smaller scale. "Miniaturization will bring more capabilities, but also counter-EW and counter-counter that will play out over the next couple of decades. Right now, a small swarm of remote-controlled aircraft bought at a hobby store, loaded with explosives and flown toward a target, would be almost impossible to stop. Those kinds of threats will drive counter-EW. In addition, the more you increase reliance on one mechanism or broader, more deployed things, the more likely you are to have a network the enemy can get onto and even use to access greater data stores and intel." Defensive Electronic Attack (DEA) will help protect vehicles, convoys, foot soldiers, and fixed sites from enemy electronic warfare attacks. In a presentation at the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA) last January in San Diego, Col. Gregory Breazile, director of the U.S. Marine Corps Command & Control/Cyber & Electronic Warfare Integration Division (C2/CEWID), defined the three pillars of Electronic Warfare: Electronic Attack (EA): The use of electromagnetic energy, directed energy, or anti-radiation weapons to attack personnel, facilities, or equipment with the intent of degrading, neutralizing or destroying enemy combat capability; considered a form of fires; Electronic Protection (EP): Actions taken to protect personnel, facilities, and equipment from any effects of friendly or enemy use of the electromagnetic spectrum that degrade, neutralize, or destroy friendly combat capability; and Electronic Support (ES): Actions tasked by, or under direct control of, an operational commander to search for, intercept, identify, and locate or localize sources of intentional and unintentional radiated electromagnetic energy for the purpose of immediate threat recognition, targeting, planning, and conduct of future operations. Compared to three comparable pillars for cyberspace operations: DOD Information Network (DODIN) Operations: Actions taken to architect, build, configure, secure, operate, maintain, and sustain DOD networks to create and preserve availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and non-repudiation of information; Defensive Cyber Operation (DCO): Actions taken to protect, monitor, analyze, detect, and respond to unauthorized activity within DoDIN, employing information technology, information assurance, intelligence, counter-intelligence, law enforcement, and other military capabilities to defend DoDIN; and Offensive Cyber Operations (OCO): Includes the use of computer networks to disrupt, deny, degrade or destroy information resident in computers and computer networks, the computers and networks themselves or to enable future offensive operations; Computer Network Attack (CNA) is a subset of offensive cyberspace operations where the anticipated effect of the operation is equivalent to a military attack. As the elements of EW, CW, spectrum warfare, information operations, signals intelligence, and further advances in battlespace networking evolve, sometimes combining, sometimes acting independently, they also are becoming a greater challenge, offensively and defensively, to land forces-Army, Marine Corps, and special operations. At the same time, efforts to provide infantry with the capabilities needed to successfully engage in such oper- ations also is reflected in needed changes and adaptations throughout the chain of command. Military planners expect to bring even small unmanned aerial vehicles like the Shadow, shown above, into future land-based electronic warfare efforts. At a separate conference in Washington last May. Breazile also called for a major shakeup in how the Marine Corps is structured to handle the growing complexities of EW and cyberspace. "Our headquarters is not functionally aligned to support cyberspace operations," Breazile said. "We are fractured. We've got a CIO over here, we've got intel guys over there. We're not unified in this effort. [And] we realize there are a lot of risks out there if we don't get this right." As requirements and technologies for EW have grown across all the services and combat domains, so has the debate over terminology and where EW fits into a world also dominated by cyberwar as well as traditional signals competencies and concerns. Some say that EW enables weapons systems. Others say an EW system is a weapon in itself. Last November then-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced a new Defense Innovation Initiative (DII) with three basic components for increasing competitiveness: attracting talent, including the future of the all-volunteer force, the way the services train the force and their leaders and the way the department trains the future civilian and contractor force; technological superiority and operational excellence; and accountability and efficiency throughout the Defense Department. Each of those plays into the evolution of military EW, as well as cyber and signals intelligence-all part of what the Chinese call Informationalized Warfare: The combination of cyber, information operations, EW, and deception and denial to disrupt enemy command and control. Hagel's successor, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, later expanded the DII with what is called the "third offset strategy." Medium-sized unmanned aircraft like the Army Gray Eagle, shown above, are expected to be integral components in electronic warfare architectures of the future. "The whole purpose of the third offset strategy is to identify the technologies, the operational and organizational constructs and the new operational concepts to fight our future adversaries," said Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work in a keynote address on international security and future defense strategy at the U.S. Army War College last April. Work described how that will fit into a future battlespace in which warfighters and machines work together in a multidimensional "informationalized" zone while facing a daunting array of challenges involving regular warfare, hybrid warfare, nonlinear warfare, state-sponsored proxy hybrid warfare, and high-end combined-arms warfare. Those may include guided rockets, artillery, mortars, and missiles (G-RAMM) with GPS capability and laser guidance, infrared homing, anti-radiation weapons, fire-and-forget anti-armor weapons, guided .50 caliber rounds, and sensor-fused weapons that home in on the biometric signatures of human beings. "I like the way Dwight Eisenhower explained it after World War II: 'While some of our allies were compelled to throw up a wall of flesh and blood as their chief defense against the aggressor's onslaught, we were able to use machines and technology to save lives.' But our technological superiority is slipping. We see it every day... The fact is we want to achieve an overmatch over any adversary from the operational theater level all the way down to the fighter plane, Navy ship, or infantry squad. Battlefield advantages in the future are going to be very short-lived because the amount of technology that is out there right now is unbelievable. The THOR III is a counter-radio-controlled improvised explosive device (IED) jammer for infantry warfighters. The system, built by Sierra Nevada Corp., has been used by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps in Afghanistan. The system uses three transceivers mounted on backpacks to jam radio-controlled IEDs operating at low, medium, and high bandwidths. "When I went to Afghanistan to visit Marine units, Gen. Joe 'Fighting Joe' Dunford [told me] the record for the disaggregation of a single infantry battalion across the battlefield [was] 77 discreet units spread over a wide area. In an informationalized warfare environment in which the enemy is constantly trying to get into your networks and disrupt your command and control, [that has big implications for leadership and command and control]. If we combine them into well-trained, cohesive combat teams with new advances in robotics and autonomy and unmanned systems, three-play combat at the squad level, we can create super-empowered squads, super-empowered small units with enhanced situational awareness and lethality." According to the Concepts & Programs project, the Marine Corps is addressing the rapidly changing dynamics of Electromagnetic Operating Environments and complex problem of Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) control through a new approach called Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Electronic Warfare, an integrated system of distributed, platform-agnostic EW capabilities on manned and unmanned assets enabling the MAGTF to "unite air, ground and space-based technologies to ensure collaborative, efficient and effective control of the EMS." While planning for future growth to include evolving technologies and capabilities from other services and industry, the MAGTF EW portfolio of active and developing elements includes Intrepid Tiger II (IT-II): An EW pod for communications-based targets. The Intripid Tiger II is expandable to radar-based targets, currently deployed to CENTCOM and with MEUs; IT-II Version 1 involves fixed-wing assets, V(2) UAVs, V(3) rotary- wing and Block X radar-based targets. The portfolio also includes Electronic Warfare Service Architecture (EWSA), an extensible data exchange and hardware protocol to connect EW/SIGINT airborne nodes to ground operators, Cyberspace and Electronic Warfare Coordination Cells (CEWCCs), and other air EW nodes. EWSA will facilitate "on-demand EW fires" in operational conditions under CEWCC control and will unite air and ground EW with SIGINT via an adaptive network with multiple waveforms, as well as basic digital interoperability between air platforms. "Our Corps' operational dependence upon the EMS is increasing in amount, type, density and complexity. Active pursuit of the MAGTF EW strategy provides an opportunity to replace the low-density, platform- centric EA-6B Prowler capability with a scalable, organic, adaptable and cost-effective system-of-systems for EMS control," according to the project office. "This system will be equally applicable across the Range of Military Operations (ROMO). Once MAGTF EW has been fully realized, it will constitute an improvement over current capabilities." The ongoing Squad X Core Technologies (SXCT) program of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., is another approach to increasing human and machine collaboration at the lowest tactical level to address EW requirements. The goal is to speed the development of new, lightweight, integrated systems to give dismounted infantry capabilities that have involved equipment with size, weight, and power requirements beyond the carrying capacity of individual warfighters or squads. "SXCT aims to help dismounted infantry squads have deep awareness of what's around them, detect threats from farther away and, when necessary, engage adversaries more quickly and precisely than ever before," says DARPA Program Manager Maj. Christopher Orlowski. "We are working towards advanced capabilities that would make dismounted infantry squads more adaptable, safe and effective." At the Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Ga., cyber electromagnetic activities (CEMA) incorporate three pillars of EW: electronic attack; electronic sup- port-what frequencies and technologies do friendly forces use to defeat the enemy; and electronic protection-keeping U.S. and friendly forces safe from fratricide and enemy EW. Now domain experts are starting to focus on how to synchronize EW and cyber to achieve spectrum dominance in the future. This approach is a fundamental part of the future term spectrum warfare. "DOD [and] its industry partners face an uncertain global security environment driven by adversaries who recognize that the EMS has become vital to the success of their campaigns," says Antonino Amoroso, regional director of the Association of Old Crows (AOC) EW trade association in Alexandria, Va. "Adversaries are aggressively fielding electronic warfare systems and cyber systems/technologies that significantly erode DOD's ability to use and control the EMS while conducting military operations," according to Symposium Chair Antonino Amoroso, AOC's regional director. The AOC annual Symposium in December will examine how EW and cyber enables military capabilities-sensors, weapons, and networks-to dominate in spectrum maneuver warfare scenarios, says Amoroso, who also serves as the AOC symposium chair. "We will also examine the underlying EW/Cyber technology base and its implications for future warfighting capabilities... Rapid transition of key EW/Cyber technologies are critical and they must be shared and organized with our joint and coalition partners," Amoroso says. It is presumed by military strategists that everything the U.S. is doing to enhance its next-generation land forces EW capabilities also is being done by potential adversaries-from China and Russia to Iran and North Korea-as well as by allied nations. U.S. and NATO Electromagnetic Environment Operational (EEO) concepts reportedly are converging to ensure the ability of friendly forces to employ offensive and defensive EW without hurting blue forces. NATO's Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff (JEWCS) was created to provide the Alliance and its individual members with a wide range of EW capabilities. Individual allies also are moving forward with efforts to integrate EW into their militaries, such as India's "Digital Army," the Canadian Forces Land Electronic Warfare Modernization project, the Royal Saudi Land Forces EW Department, and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation's Cyber and Electronic Warfare Division. Whether it is called electronic warfare, cyber warfare, spectrum warfare, information warfare, electronic maneuver warfare, hybrid warfare, etc., the ability of future land forces to implement those capabilities alongside traditional rifles, tanks, and missiles is becoming increasingly vital. As noted in a TRADOC paper on the subject, "Mission command, intelligence, and protection all rely on effective and secure cyber systems for successful movement and maneuver, fires, sustainment, and engagement. Cyber operations support the conduct of unified land operations and are yet another form of strategic maneuver and expeditionary warfare. The application of Strategic Landpower is now expanded from the human domain to include cyberspace... Innovation and agility are driving tenets as cyber operations strengthen the application of Strategic Landpower at the speed of cyber." "The Army is not planning on fighting yesterday's battle. We're talking about developing an EW capability that will allow us to fight and win in a peer environment where the EM spectrum is congested and contested. That will allow us to maneuver and dominate at a time and place of our choosing," Col. Church says. "The Army is not just looking at technological solutions to EW. We're also looking at the organizational structure-the facilities, leadership and training required. So technology is not a silver bullet-it needs all those. And we are structuring Army EW to take on the most advanced adversaries in the most contested battlespace. Any lesser adversary would just be that much easier."

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Wed, 19 Aug 2015

  2. Navy researchers ask industry for ideas on how to defend against helicopter RPG attacks

    ARLINGTON, Va., 19 Aug. 2015. U.S. Navy researchers are asking industry for ways to design equipment that can detect, track, and shoot down incoming rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) that threaten helicopter RPG attacks on U.S. and allied aircraft operating on or near the ground.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 19 Aug 2015

  3. Navy hires two companies for potential $1.7 billion job to install C4ISR gear aboard ships

    SAN DIEGO, 14 Aug. 2015. U.S. Navy intelligence and communications experts are spending as much as $1.7 billion to install and certify electronics equipment aboard Navy surface ships, submarines and shore sites that handles command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 14 Aug 2015

  4. Air Force chooses 25 companies in $20.9 billion contract for simulation and training

    WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 12 Aug. 2015. U.S. Air Force simulation and training experts are spending as much as $20.9 billion and involving 25 U.S. flight simulation companies in an effort to streamline their simulation and training acquisition and procurement process.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 12 Aug 2015

  1. L-3 Link to upgrade F-16 flight simulators to reflect latest systems aboard jet fighters

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 13 Aug 2015

  2. Defense companies move forward with effort to repackage Joint STARS radar for smaller aircraft

    HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass., 13 Aug. 2015. Three U.S. defense prime contractors are moving forward with a cost-cutting program to redesign the sophisticated ground-monitoring radar system of the U.S. Air Force Joint Surveillance and Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) for a business jet or other ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 13 Aug 2015

  3. Air Force eyes embedded computing and sensors to enhance networking for command and control

    ROME, N.Y., 27 July 2015. U.S. Air Force researchers are asking industry for new ways of using embedded computing and sensors to improve military networking.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 27 Jul 2015

  4. Unmanned command and control

    Displays, graphics, and data links for unmanned vehicle command and control

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Wed, 15 Oct 2014

  5. Son of a Hellfire: JAGM meets long-overdue need for improved air-to-ground missile

    THE MIL & AERO BLOG, 4 Aug. 2015. The U.S. Army and Navy are taking another step toward deploying a new-generation air-to-ground missile for helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the form of a $66.4 million development contract last week to Lockheed Martin for the Joint Air-to-Ground ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 4 Aug 2015

  6. Lockheed Martin gets go-ahead to develop new Joint-Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM)

    REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., 3 Aug. 2015. Missile experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. are gearing-up potentially to build thousands of new missiles as part of the Joint-Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) program.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 3 Aug 2015

  7. DARPA to brief industry next month cyber security defenses against denial of service

    ARLINGTON, Va., 6 Aug. 2015. U.S. military researchers will brief industry next month on an upcoming cyber security project to develop fundamentally new defenses against distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyber attacks on U.S. military data networks.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 6 Aug 2015

  8. IT looking like a winner as U.S. military awards $14.4 billion over last four months

    THE MIL & AERO BLOG, 21 July 2015. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has been ordering military information technology (IT) and IT services at a dizzying pace over the past four months, awarding IT contracts worth at least $14.4 billion.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 21 Jul 2015

Get More Results