Blurring the lines
Managing the threat where cyber and electronic war converge
You can't see it. You can't hear it. But on the battlefield, it's as real as the fighter at your side.
Future conflicts will be dominated by the electromagnetic spectrum. Command cyberspace and the spectrum, and you command the fight. But how does a combatant avoid detection by a signal that can't be seen?
Raytheon has developed technology to help navigate the electromagnetic battlefield. It's called Cyber and Electromagnetic Battle Management, and it showed its stuff at the recent U.S. Army Cyber Quest, an exercise designed to reveal how well cyber warriors manage the digital threat. CEMBM brings electronic warfare, cyber and the spectrum together in one tool to plan, coordinate and manage EW and tactical cyber activities in the field.
“This isn’t about someone sitting at a desk and hacking into a system,” said Travis Slocumb, vice president of Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems. “It’s about the ability to plan defensively or offensively while maneuvering through a battlespace undetected.”
Cyber Quest was designed to mimic a potential battlefield scenario. A colonel and commander of the brigade oversaw a tactical operations center and through sensors, soldiers in the field. The sensors fed information back to cells in the TOC, including cyber-electromagnetic activities, artillery, network cyber operations and intelligence.
When radio frequencies spiked, they used the current Army program, the Electronic Warfare Planning and Management tool, and CEMBM to see what and where the signal was emitting, its frequencies and power. Once they had a lock on it, command determined a non-kinetic attack was the right call for the situation, and an unmanned aerial vehicle was dispatched to deliver a digital payload, cutting off the enemy’s communications.
Here's what it demonstrated: What used to be find, fix and track is now find, fix, track, execute and assess. Rather than teams rushing in on the basis of a less-detailed assessment, they can perform a cyber battle damage assessment to ensure the execution worked. In this case, the operators in the TOC used the current tool to plan the mission and CEMBM for live-sensor input, execution and assessment.
CEMBM can also jam adversary systems without their knowledge; use wireless computer networks to talk to each other; and, use radars and sensors to find not only the enemy but friendly teams.
“The road ahead is full integration, a convergence of cyber and electronic warfare,” said Slocumb. “Tools such as CEMBM will protect our forces from adversaries that are quickly advancing their ability to take over and interfere with the spectrum."
This document does not contain technology or technical data controlled under either the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations or the U.S. Export Administration Regulations. E16-54MK.