Army awards Raytheon $49 million contract
By Doug LeDuc | Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly
The U.S. Army has awarded the Fort Wayne operations of Raytheon Co. a $49 million contract to develop the next capability drop for the electronic warfare program management tool it supplies the U.S. Armed Forces branch.
In addition to developing Capability Drop Four, the funding for the modification to contract W15P7T-14-D-C006 covers interim contractor support required for the maintenance and fielding of Capability Drop Three through CD4.
The Army has been increasing its use of the kind of electronic warfare capabilities the public often associates with improved protection of soldiers from radio-controlled improvised explosive device attacks.
EWPMT is a system designed to improve commander understanding of what is happening with the electromagnetic spectrum where they are operating or where they plan to operate and help them change it or adapt to it through their electronic attack, protection and support capabilities.
Important add-ons were planned to become available about every 15 months, and the first capability drop focused on better integrating electronic warfare officers into the brigade combat team environment, partly by automating that process.
Additional capability drops would allow incorporation of electronic warfare tools that provide information directly into EWPMT via a tactical operations center, according to a 2015 Army statement on the system.
A modeling and simulation capability was planned that would allow maneuver commanders to see the predicted impact of electronic warfare decisions on friendly and enemy capabilities as they are coming up with a course of action. The simulation also shows the effects of variations in terrain on the range of electronic warfare systems.
Future capability drops also were to include upgrades for mission planning, electronic warfare targeting, spectrum management and cyberspace support operations.
Capability Drop Two enables commanders to detect, identify and manage signals in the crowded electromagnetic spectrum and offers stand-alone, embedded training, allowing users to simulate a real, deployed environment for training, according to a description Raytheon provided early this year.
“For the first time, electromagnetic spectrum operators can plan electronic warfare and control the battlefield spectrum in one standard tool,” Frank Pietryka, electronic warfare systems director at Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business, said in the statement.
The system features a composable, open architecture, which the company said means it can be customized for different military services and fielded in nearly any deployment environment. EWPMT has been an Army program since 2014.
“The beauty of EWPMT is that we designed it from the ground up as a buildable architecture; the end product is determined by which plug-ins are included,” Dan Kilfoyle, technical director of electronic warfare systems, said in the statement.
The work for CD4 is scheduled to take place in Fort Wayne with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2022.
The U.S. Army Contracting Command in Maryland is handling the Army’s EWPMT contracting activity.