Data from mobile device signals such as GSM may be an untapped resource for signals intelligence on the battlefield. Although the payload of a communication system is encoded, information about the nature of the communication that is included in the GSM signal is not and should not be overlooked. This information, known as metadata, could prove to be an important tool for warfighters, experts say.
For three years, the U.S. Army has been asking questions about how to converge cyberspace operations, electronic warfare and spectrum management capabilities at the corps level and below to deny, degrade, destroy and manipulate enemy capabilities. Now, officials say, they are drawing closer to answers.
In 2015, the service created a pilot program known as Cyberspace Electromagnetic Activity (CEMA) Support to Corps and Below. The CEMA concept integrates elements from offensive and defensive cyber, electronic warfare, and intelligence into expeditionary teams that support tactical units.
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., doing business as Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Sector, Bethpage, New York, is awarded a $697,029,788 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for system upgrades for the EA-18G system configuration sets, Airborne Electronic Attack and Electronic Warfare systems and final upgrades for the EA-6B system for the Navy and the government of Australia under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in Pt. Mugu, California (50 percent); Baltimore, Maryland (29 percent); Bethpage, New York (20 percent); and Rolling Meadows, Illinois (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2023.
The U.S. Army’s Cyber Blitz experimental exercise September 17-28 turned out to be an eye-opener for one maneuver officer regarding cyber’s capabilities on the battlefield.
Military leaders often describe the “speed of cyber” as being measured in milliseconds or microseconds, which means the operations tempo in the cyber realm is incredibly high and decisions are made rapidly. But an offensive cyber campaign can sometimes take much longer than maneuver commanders might expect. In a teleconference with reporters to discuss Cyber Blitz results, Lt. Col. John Newman, USA, deputy commanding officer, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, reports that the experiment proved to be a revelation.
Work is needed to improve temporal, spectral and information understanding within the layers of the cyber domain to facilitate useful cyber-spectral and information maneuver. These advances could be incorporated into tactics, techniques and procedures as well as tactical and operational systems to enhance the overall military commanders’ decision process to achieve information dominance.
Most of the tactical cyberspace domain is spectrum-dependent and administered solely at the physical layer. Currently, warfighters cannot comprehend, much less maneuver within, a space that is inaccessible to them because they are not in a dimensionality to understand it. They operate in a cyber-spectral flatland.
DCS Corp., Alexandria, Virginia, has been awarded a $16,252,479 modification (P00045) to previously awarded FA2486-16-F-0032 for Technical and Management Advisory Services Electronic Warfare support. The contractor will provide additional research, development, test and evaluation, and acquisition support services. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; and Edwards Air Force Base, California, and is expected to be completed by September 30, 2019. Fiscal year 2018 and 2019 research and development; procurement; and operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $2,161,841 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $30,469,693.
Northrup Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Maryland, is awarded a $9,000,000 cost-only modification to previously awarded contract N00024-15-C-5319 for long lead material for Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 low-rate initial production. The SEWIP is an evolutionary acquisition and incremental development program to upgrade the existing AN/SLQ-32(V) electronic warfare system. SEWIP Block 3 will provide select Navy surface ships a scalable electronic warfare enterprise suite with improved electronic attack capabilities. Work will be performed in Linthicum, Maryland (98 percent); and Los Angeles, California (2 percent), and is expected to be completed by November 2020.
SRC Inc., North Syracuse, New York, was awarded a $33,280,064 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Electronic Warfare Integrated Reprogramming, analysis, production and process support services. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of August 26, 2023. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W911W5-18-D-0002).
The U.S. Army is making multiple changes to the way it educates soldiers fighting in the cyber and electronic warfare domains. Rather than training soldiers on step-by-step processes, the service is educating personnel to come up with their own solutions on a technologically complex battlefield.
The U.S. Army is poised to implement five force design changes related to the integration of multidomain capabilities, including intelligence, cyber and electronic warfare. The integration of such capabilities is designed to allow commanders to act more quickly on the cyber-era battlefield.
David May, senior intelligence advisor, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia, explained the changes while serving on a multidomain panel at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference.
As electronic warfare is re-emerging as a key battlefield function, the commercial sector is striving to offer advanced technologies. Land-based systems are needed to combat both ground and airborne adversarial threats, while airborne electronic warfare tools provide maneuverable tactics to marque aircraft.
The focus of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC’s) dismounted electronic countermeasure system, known as Modi, has evolved from defeating radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIEDs) to being a multi-function electronic warfare (EW) tool, explained Jerry Coburn, director, business development, SNC, during a recent interview with SIGNAL Magazine.
Harris Corporation, based in Melbourne, Florida, reported that it would be supplying electronic warfare (EW) systems to other allied militaries to protect international F-16s from advanced radio frequency threats, according to an August 6 company statement. Under the award, which is a $400 million increase to the ceiling value of a single-award indefinite deliver/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, the company will provide AN/ALQ-211(V)4/9 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS) systems, spares and engineering support to several allied countries.
Raytheon Co., Fort Wayne, Indiana, was awarded a $49,025,060 modification (P00005) to contract W15P7T-14-D-C006 for the development of Electronic Warfare Program Management Tool, Capability Drop 4 (CD4) along with interim contractor support required for the maintenance and fielding of CD3 through CD4. Work will be performed in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with an estimated completion date of September 30, 2022. Fiscal year 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
Leidos Innovations Corp., Gaithersburg, Maryland, is awarded $15,948,573 for cost-plus-fixed-fee order N6893618F0598 against a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N68936-16-D-0018). This order provides for the procurement of 135 Joint Threat Emitter spare parts for the repair and sustainment of Electronic Warfare Target/Threat systems deployed at test and training ranges in support of the Air Force. Work will be performed at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, California, and is expected to be completed in July 2019. Fiscal year 2016 and 2017 other procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $5,948,674 are being obligated at the time of award, $96,095 of which will expire at the
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., McLean, Virginia, been awarded a $23,608,513 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development of the precise reference sensing for collaborative electronic warfare program. The purpose of the will be to perform on-site positioning, navigation and timing technology development; prototyping; integration; and modeling, simulation, wargaming and analysis. Work will be performed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by June 29, 2023. The award is the result of a competitive acquisition.
After years of lagging behind competitors in the battle for electromagnetic spectrum dominance, the U.S. Army may be catching up with reinforcement from technology researchers. But it may be the application of technology rather than the systems themselves that truly gives the Army an edge.
Service leaders say they lost focus on electronic warfare and information warfare capabilities while preoccupied with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where cutting-edge technologies were not a necessity. Now, they contend, the next war likely will be against a foe capable of formidable offense and defense in the electromagnetic domain.
U.S. Army officials are applying a streamlined acquisition process known as an IT box to offensive cyber technologies.
The IT box acquisition concept includes four sides: developing the capabilities requirement, determining development costs, analyzing sustainment and operations costs, and providing oversight and management of the product.
Maj. Gen. John George, USA, force development director, Office of the Army Chief of Staff G-8, told the the AFCEA Army Signal Conference in Springfield, Virginia, that the Army is focusing on the IT box concept pretty heavily.
U.S. military officials may be enjoying increased funding under the fiscal 2018 and 2019 budgets, but an Army general is warning that the 2020 budget could return to sequestration levels—and young soldiers on the battlefield will be the ones paying the price for a failure to plan ahead.
To succeed in the battlespace of the future and to ensure combat superiority over peer adversaries, the U.S. military must be equipped with capabilities to defend information networks in cyberspace and to secure unimpeded access to the electromagnetic spectrum. Adversaries are developing cyber and electronic warfare capabilities to conduct information operations against U.S. systems that will likely threaten the speed and accuracy of military communications, intelligence and data sharing channels, while maliciously altering or stealing the information itself. These capabilities often have complementary effects, which means integrating cyber and electronic warfare could provide a stronger protection and attack capacity for U.S.
Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Liverpool, New York, is being awarded an $11,525,263 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-17-C-5353) to exercise options for engineering, manufacturing and development for advanced off-board electronic warfare (AOEW). The AOEW program will provide an electronic warfare mission package to integrate with a flight vehicle.