Europe’s increasingly contested environments have required increasingly complex electronic warfare planning tools. Vehicles, however, can’t house the power of command posts, so the Army is adapting an existing system for the tactical edge.
The Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool, or EWPMT, is a command-and-control planning capability that allows commanders and soldiers to visualize on a screen the effects of electronic warfare in the field. As part of efforts to provide soldiers additional capabilities for EWPMT ahead of the program’s scheduled add-ons — an effort dubbed Raven Claw — the Army received feedback that troops at the vehicle or platform level don’t need the full application required at command posts.
This feedback coincided with other observations from the Raven Claw deployment, which officials said were mixed.
“It does what it’s supposed to do, but it requires a lot of computing capacity and also it requires a lot of inputs from the [electronic warfare officers] right now,” Col. Mark Dotson, the Army’s capability manager for electronic warfare, told C4ISRNET in a November interview.
In response, a new effort called Raven Feather “will address both processing consumption and critical EW tasks required at the vehicle/platform level,” Lt. Col. Jason Marshall, product manager for electronic warfare integration at Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, told C4ISRNET in response to written questions. “Raven Feather will provide a more tactically focused Graphical User Interface as part of the EWPMT Raven Claw system mounted in the vehicle or loaded into the Mounted Family of Computer Systems (MFoCS).”
Dotson added that the Army is eyeing lighter versions of the capability that could be available for lower echelons that may not need as much modeling and simulation.
“We’re looking at ways to tailor it specifically to the echelon, and then that will help us with the platform we need to put it on,” he said. The modeling and simulation might be important at the staff officer level, he added, but he questioned whether that computing power is needed at the micro-tactical level.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.