Spectrum Battle Management

EWPMT
The EWPMT heralds a step change in how the force commands and controls electronic warfare at the tactical and operational levels. The system will be fully integrated with other C2 systems to ease the sharing of relevant data and intelligence.

The US Army’s Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool (EWPMT) should reach full operational capability by 2025. 

The EWPMT heralds a step change in how the force commands and controls electronic warfare at the tactical and operational levels. The system will be fully integrated with other C2 systems to ease the sharing of relevant data and intelligence.

The US Army’s RTX Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool (EWPMT) is the Command and Control (C2) systems the force will use for operational and tactical Electronic Warfare (EW) missions. The EWPMT facilitates Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) analysis and spectrum management. The C2 system is also used for the planning and execution of electronic or cyberattacks against hostile emitters. Once engagements are performed, the EWPMT aids battle damage assessment.

Command and Control

The force has been deploying the EWPMT since 2018 chiefly to US Army units stationed in Europe. Initial recipients included the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 1st Infantry Division of the 2nd Brigade. The system represents one of the army’s major EW programmes alongside the Terrestrial Layered System (TLS). The TLS will provide electronic attack, support and protection capabilities to US Army formations. Two distinct systems constitute the TLS family: The TLS–Brigade Combat Team (TLS-BCT) is being developed by Lockheed Martin. This TLS configuration provides electronic and cyberwarfare capabilities at the tactical level for brigade–sized formations and below. The TLS–BCT architecture will be mounted on a General Dynamics M1133 medical evacuation vehicle. The M1133 is a variant of General Dynamics’ M1126 Stryker wheeled armoured fighting vehicle. The medical evacuation variant was chosen by the army because of the number of electrical power points available inside the vehicle.

Heavy brigades are receiving the same TLS–BCT architecture mounted onboard the BAE Systems M1283 Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicle series tracked platforms. There appears to be no word in the public domain regarding which M1283 variant will accommodate the TLS–BCT fit. Larger formations are receiving the TLS–EAB (Echelon and Above) system. As Armada reported in August, Lockheed Martin is building a prototype TLS–EAB. The TLS–EAB configuration will deliver EW and cyberwarfare capabilities to support land manoeuvre and joint forces at division and corps levels.

The EWPMT has been rolled out via several Capability Drops (CDs): CD1 allowed the EWPMT architecture to perform EW mission planning and electronic attack targeting. CD2 conferred the ability to perform dynamic spectrum management. CD3 covered the integration of additional US Army sensors beyond those already connecting with the EWPMT architecture. Finally, CD4 moved the overall EWPMT architecture towards Full Operational Capability (FOC). This capability drop saw the addition of machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to the EWPMT. These tools will take raw SIGINT gathered from across the battlefield and help turn this into useful data for EW cadres.

A key element of the EWPMT is that it can receive and share data with other users in the manoeuvre force and beyond, according to US Army documents. The system connects with the army’s Intelligence Broadcast Service (IBS). The Intelligence Broadcast Service lets BCTs receive relevant signals and other intelligence from sources not organic to the formation like SIGINT aircraft. The IBS is a secure communications protocol that handles this data. Data is moved through systems like Leonardo DRS’ Joint Tactical Terminal using conventional radio and satellite communications.

Into Service

The EWPMT is being managed by the US Army’s Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors Programme Executive Office (PEO IEWS). A spokesperson for the office told Armada that the EWPMT reached its full deployment milestone this May. Reaching this milestone allows full EWPMT deployment across the army in 2024. The spokesperson said that, so far, the army has received 25 EWPMT units “based on operational need.” While they did not provide details on precisely which formations have got the EWPMT they did say that the architecture will be used by all echelons. In practice this means that the will EWPMT support manoeuvre force tactical- and operational-level electronic warfare. The spokesperson continued that current plans call for the EWPMT to reach FOC by late 2025.

The US Army’s expected FOC for the Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool coincides with the entry of the TLS incarnations in the latter half of this decade. The advent of new EW platforms coupled with a new electronic warfare C2 system is an important step forward for US Army electronic warfare capabilities.

EWPMT Screenshot
The EWPMT will present information to electronic warfare cadres in an intuitive manner, depicting the locations and parameters of friendly, hostile and neutral emitters.

by Dr. Thomas Withington