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Electronic Warfare

04 May 2021

Thinking Together

Dr. Thomas Withington
The advent of the US Army’s TITAN scalable intelligence sharing tool holds promise for the closer coordination of electronic, cyber and kinetic effects.

The advent of the US Army’s TITAN command and control tool has positive implications for electromagnetic manoeuvre.

On 19th January the US Army selected Palantir Technologies and Raytheon to deliver a prototype ground station to fulfil part of the force’s Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node requirement, better known as TITAN. The award follows a similar contract received by Northrop Grumman in September 2020.

TITAN is best described as an intelligence clearing house. A written statement from the US Army explains that “TITAN is a scalable and expeditionary intelligence ground station that supports commanders across the entire Multi-Domain Operations battlefield with capabilities tailored by echelon.”

Multi-Source Intelligence

Using an elastic ensemble of hardware and software configurable to brigade, division or corps levels TITAN will accept intelligence from diverse sources not necessarily organic to that echelon. These could include “national, commercial and joint sensors across all domains,” the statement surmises. TITAN will process this intelligence into targets for engagement. The rationale behind the programme is to improve situational awareness by gathering all relevant intelligence in one location regardless of the source, processing this intelligence into aimpoints and then distributing these to relevant units for engagement. All in all, the army hopes that TITAN will significantly shorten sensor-to-shooter times, getting the force around the famed OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loop faster than one’s adversary; the very essence of manoeuvre warfare.

For example, an orbiting uninhabited aerial vehicle might share imagery of an artillery position. Its location will be confirmed by triangulating the position’s communications traffic via an overhead Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) gathering aircraft. This imagery and communications intelligence could be fused at the TITAN ground station. The precise coordinates of the artillery position will be shared with the Brigade Combat Team’s (BCT’s) supporting artillery for kinetic engagement.

Collaborative Targeting

The advent of TITAN has implications for the electronic warfare posture of the US Army’s manoeuvre force. As Armada has chronicled in the past the US Army is making significant investments into EW platforms and Command and Control (C2) systems. Raytheon’s Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool (EWPMT) notably provides a fixed electronic warfare C2 and situational awareness system deployable at the headquarters level to facilitate electronic warfare battle management.

There is clear potential for the EWPMT and TITAN to work together. For instance, the former will collect SIGINT from a BCT’s organic electronic support assets. This intelligence will be processed by the EWPMT to determine targets that will support the commander’s intent. The EWPMT will then task the BCT’s EW platforms to use electronic and cyber effects against these targets.

TITAN will provide a useful additional source of SIGINT on radar, communications and computer networks in the BCT’s area of operations for engagement with electronic or cyber effects. Likewise, SIGINT gathered by the EWPMT could be shared with TITAN and thence to other non-EW units and platforms within or without the BCT to enable these targets to be engaged kinetically.

Into Battle

US Department of Defence (DOD) plans call for two TITAN working ground stations to be delivered by January 2022 for evaluation. The written statement added that TITAN production could commence in 2023 with systems being fielded in 2024.

By Dr. Thomas Withington, Armada International

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