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The US Army has been pursuing a new electronic warfare program. The Terrestrial Layer System (TLS) is an integrated EW and signals intelligence system for ground use that the US Army decided to pursue instead of the old Multi-Functional Electronic Warfare Ground and Dismounted system. The Army asserts that the capabilities the electronic warfare and cyber enterprise were pursuing for MFEW Ground were nearly identical to what the signals intelligence enterprise was pursuing. Thus, they decided to integrate the capabilities.
The shift in the Army’s strategy reflected several processes: Urgent requirements from Europe and elsewhere to close capability gaps; three years of rapid prototyping; convergence of EW, signals intelligence, cyber and space; availability of national assets and advanced software capabilities from the intelligence community; a new national defense strategy that prioritizes near-peer competition; and approval for rapid EW force structure growth in the Army, according to c4isrnet.com.
The new TLS approach integrates signals intelligence, EW and cyber capabilities, which will be adaptable and tailored for Army tactical formations and continues technology innovation over the system’s lifecycle, securing an enduring competitive advantage.
The Army noted that its approach thus far is subject to change given the availability of software-based capabilities combined with rapid prototyping and real-world soldier feedback leveraging urgent capability needs.
Initial design tenets for TLS must be expeditionary to support a maneuver unit, modular leveraging open architectures, software defined framework enabling rapid integration of signal libraries, automated machine learning reducing the soldier workload and rapid and agile.