One of the Army’s major electronic warfare program will fly next year, according to one top official.
Maj. Gen. John Morrison, commander of the Cyber Center of Excellence, told C4ISRNET in a Aug. 22 interview at TechNet Augusta that the Multi-Function Electronic Warfare Air, an electronic attack capability that will be mounted to MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones, is in prototyping and will fly next year.
The original MFEW program was slated to be phased across the next several years, first with aerial capabilities, ground vehicle capabilities and dismounted soldier capabilities.
Recently, however, the Army decided to delay MFEW ground in favor of a new integrated capability with the military intelligence tribe.
The developers of MFEW ground realized that their intelligence brethren were developing almost an identical capability, leading them to join forces.
The Army has identified that there needs to be a closer relationship between the electronic warfare/cyber cadre and signals intelligence force.
The new air capability, the Terrestrial Layer System, is a SIGINT/EW system projected to be fielded on aerial vehicles to provide brigade commanders a means to deliver the electronic attack effects.
MFEW Air will not go the way of MFEW ground, Morrison said, However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be integrated EW-SIGINT air platforms designed in concert with the intelligence personnel in the future.
“We do have greater opportunities to team with our MI partners there and we will stay closely nested with them,” Morrison said.
Similarly, Maj. Gen. Robert Walters, commander of the Intelligence Center of Excellence, said in July that the Army wants SIGINT, electronic warfare and cyber systems on the same platforms in the air and ground domain.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.