JED - December 2010 - (Page 24)

US Army’s Next-Generation EW Gets By Glenn Goodman The US Army has an ambitious vision for its planned next-generation groundbased Integrated Electronic Warfare System (IEWS), development of which is slated to formally begin in Fiscal Year 2012. (See October JED, “What’s Next in IED Jammers?” on page 40.) The Army is eager to move beyond the limited capabilities of its more than 45,000 Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device EW (CREW) jammers. Their single mission has been protection of vehicle convoys and foot patrols from the lethal roadside bombs planted by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. The CREW systems detect and block the radiofrequency (RF) communications signals emitted by the bombs’ triggering devices, such as cell phones. Meeting CREW force-protection requirements will remain a high-priority subset of IEWS. However, the Army wants its new ground-based EW system to provide a broader capability for electronic attack (EA) of an adversary’s communications links, particularly mobile phones, to disrupt his command and control. This counter-C2 mission will require wider frequency coverage and greater jamming power and range than the current predominantly vehicle-borne CREW “boxes.” It also will require sophisticated software for EW battle management, which the Army is already researching. mers that also disrupt friendly and civilian communications is no longer a viable option. Limiting communications fratricide and maximizing jamming effectiveness in the dense and diverse urban signal environment, Army technologists say, mandate that IEWS use advanced surgical EA techniques that minimize needed output power and transmit time. Those techniques also require that IEWS be able to perform not just EA using jamming transmitters, but that it concurrently utilize the electronic support (ES) capabilities of co-located RF receivers to detect, identify and target a significant number of threat communications devices simultaneously and rapidly in a dynamic operational environment. IEWS systems on different vehicles will be linked in a secure distributed network using existing Army radios, such as the standard Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) VHF-FM combat net radio. This will allow the EW systems to share RF situational awareness/threat information gathered by their ES sensors and to execute cooperative jamming missions, rather than having several systems indiscriminately jamming the same threats in an uncoordinated fashion. OPEN ARCHITECTURE CRUCIAL As Army technology research official Giorgio Bertoli co-wrote in a 2008 conference paper, “Legacy and modern EW systems in use today cannot execute simultaneous ES and EA missions against a diverse and target-rich battlespace, nor can they coordinate among each other to generate a complete Common Operating Picture of the RF environment. This leads to significant EW capability shortfalls. “The Army’s next-generation EW system must be based on an open software architecture that is f lexible enough to allow for the rapid development and integration of new EA/ES techniques against emerging threats. This architecture must be able to minimize and abstract hardware dependencies, allow for rapid development and integration of new THE IRREGULAR WARFARE CHALLENGE The service’s desire to expand its counter-C2 jamming capabilities stems from the growth of irregular warfare in urban areas, aided by the rapid advance of commercial mobile wireless cellular communications technology available to insurgent groups. To meet this irregular warfare challenge, the use of legacy “brute-force” noise jam-

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - December 2010

JED - December 2010
The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
EW Battle Management
Technology Survey: EW Simulators
2011 EW/SIGINT Resource Guide
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - December 2010