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VIDEO: Army & Raytheon Build New AI-Empowered EW "Jamming" System

By Kris Osborn - Warrior Maven

(Washington, D.C.) What if an advancing Army armored unit were maneuvering through mountainous terrain to “close with an enemy” when it is suddenly hit and disabled by an incoming artillery attack... because a small, hovering enemy drone finds its location and transmits an electronic signal back to an enemy firebase? With its location compromised, the unit is paralyzed by enemy fire and denied freedom of maneuver.

However, what if the armored unit is able to change its location and obscure itself from enemy fire when an EW detection system finds the electronic signature emitting from the enemy drone, deconflicts it from friendly electromagnetic emissions and then “jams” the data link connecting the drone to its operators, immediately disrupting the enemies’ ability to know the location, speed and direction of the attacking friendly force. Simply put, the maneuvering force can no longer be targeted by the enemy because the drone’s electronic sensors and transmission systems have been destroyed or rendered ineffective.

Or, how about if a reconnaissance unit of dismounted soldiers scouting through enemy territory encounters massive interference with its radio links to headquarters, due to EW attack. However, what if the attack is instantly thwarted by a multi-function, software defined EW sensor is able to find and track the hostile electronic signal and help facilitate the reallocation of communications frequencies for the recon unit, therefore enabling the continuation of secure communications? In order to “hop” from a jammed frequency to a clearer one, an operator or automated technical system would need a complete, integrated understanding of the spectrum and how its many variables intersect.

These kinds of solutions are increasingly becoming a tactical reality for Army soldiers by virtue of ongoing service efforts to synchronize computer systems with EW applications and engineer innovative kinds of EW software systems.

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Raytheon weapons developers are working with the Army to maximize this growing cyber-electronic warfare synergy to upgrade an EW application intended to help distinguish, analyze, emit, compare and disseminate time-sensitive, combat-crucial electromagnetic signatures in combat.

Engineers from Raytheon are now preparing a new “Capability Drop 4” software drop for its Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool (EWPMT), an EW-capable, software driven multi-functional computer system built to find, track and analyze the increasingly complex and lethal electromagnetic spectrum in war.

Drawing from advanced algorithms, EWPMT software is intended for precisely these kinds of aforementioned scenarios and offers an irreplaceable type of on-the-spot analysis to soldiers operating within a forward-positioned Tactical Operation Center (TOC).

“EWPMT is designed to synchronize and assess all of the cyber electromagnetic activity in the TOC to allow the Commander to make informed decisions regarding things that are going into the spectrum,” Jeffrey Polhamus, Product Line Lead, Multi-Domain Battle Management, Raytheon Intelligence and Space, told Warrior in an interview.

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-- Kris Osborn is the Managing Editor of Warrior Maven and The Defense Editor of The National Interest --

Kris Osborn is the new Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics& Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.