The Army is moving into the final phase of bringing its electronic warfare visualization and planning tool to the entire force.
The system is a command-and-control planning capability that allows commanders and soldiers to visualize the potential effects of electronic warfare in the field. It also helps chart courses of action to prevent jammed capabilities.
The Army believes it can accelerate the development of a key electronic warfare program, and in the process, provide a road map for how the service might improve acquisition.
The program — Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool, or EWPMT — is broken into four batches, each with a separate release date, and will provide leaders with incremental improvements.
Raytheon began work on the final batch, known as a capability drop, in September. This group will use artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as a more open architecture to allow systems to ingest swaths of sensor data and, in turn, improve situational awareness. Such automation is expected to significantly ease the job of planners.
Niraj Srivastava, product line manager for multidomain battle management at Raytheon, told reporters Oct. 4 that thus far the company has delivered several new capabilities, including the ability for managers to see real-time spectrum interference as a way to help determine what to jam as well as the ability to automate some tasks.
In addition, the technology now allows electronic warfare officers to conduct electronic support and electronic attack operations with the remote control management of sensors.
The most recent set of capabilities, known as capability drop 3, has been delivered to military forces. The set included a raft of capabilities, such as those that were carved out from the program itself to meet the urgent needs of soldiers in Europe. These capabilities, dubbed Raven Claw 1 and 2, sought to immediately bolster soldiers’ capabilities before the formal release date of the technology to the entire force.
A rapid response capability program is delivering software updates that allow Army soldiers to address specific on-the-go, offline EW planning and management needs in Europe.
Srivastava told C4ISRNET that another experimental effort called Raven Feather, while not included in the EWPMT program, is no longer needed. Raven Feather aimed to address a concern that modeling and simulation capabilities required too much computing power, which was already at a premium on tactical servers.
“What we have done in [capability drop] 3 and continue to do in CD 4 is really focus on performance and streamlining the system, the software itself,” he said. “Already at the end of CD 3 and the last exercise, some of the soldiers who have been using the system for the last three years are saying the performance is so much better, the user interface is a lot easier to use.”
At the conclusion of capability drop 4, which is expected around 2021, Srivastava said most of the Army will begin to field EWPMT.
He also told C4ISRNET that capability drop 4 includes a requirement to integrate with the Command Post Computing Environment, which aims to consolidate disparate command post tools. Under current Army timelines, EWPMT is slated to be integrated into CPCE between 2021 and 2023.
After capability drop 4, the first increment of the program will conclude. Army leaders are still deciding what a second increment will include.
Srivastava told C4ISRNET that increment 2 would begin to turn EWPMT into more of an “ecosystem.”