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Intelligence Electronic Warfare Common Sensor
(IEWCS)

In mid-1999 both versions of the Ground Based Common Sensor (GBCS Heavy and Light) as well as the Advanced Quickfix [AQF] program were replaced by the Prophet System. The Prophet ORD was approved by TRADOC effective 26 April 1999. This officially transitioned the program from the Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Common Sensor (IEWCS), Ground Based Common Sensor - Heavy/Light (GBCS-H/L), and Advanced QuickFix (AQF).

The Intelligence Electronic Warfare Common Sensor (IEWCS) was the future division-level signals intelligence (SIGINT) electronic support and electronic attack system. The IEWCS was intended to provide targeting, detection, identification, electronic attack and location reports in near real time to division and brigade commanders. It was designed to pass targeting data to TACFIRE in support of a quickfire or sensor-to-shooter link.

The Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Common Sensor (IEWCS) systems will provide the division commander with an organic capability to detect, intercept, identify, precision locate, target, surgically jam, and exploit for situation and target development both threat voice and digital communications and noncommunications in the high frequency through the super high frequency radio spectrum. These systems will provide the division commander with a new robust capability to "own the electronic spectrum" and dominate his battle space.

IEWCS was developed to replace six separate and unique signals intelligence/electronic warfare (SIGINT/EW) legacy systems. Each of these legacy systems were technically limited in their ability to deal with the frequency spectral coverage of newer threat emissions and with advanced forms of modulation, such as spread spectrum. These legacy systems also lacked any meaningful degree of interoperability among themselves or with other Army battlefield systems. Furthermore, although each legacy system performed a functionally similar SIGINT/EW mission, they had virtually no commonality of hardware, firmware, or software. As a result, each system required somewhat different operations and support personnel and facilities.

The GBCS-L/H ranges are extended beyond the FLOT by use of the AQF aerial platform which interoperates with the GBCS-L/H. The IEWCS provides highly accurate location data via its precision location subsystems. All the subsystems mounted on the three different platforms are the same.

Each of the three IEWCS subsystems was integrated together within three different Army tactical platforms to provide three highly diverse, but functionally identical and interoperable, IEWCS system configurations to support the SIGINT/EW mission of Army heavy divisions, light divisions, and airborne divisions. The IEWCS system consists of

  • AN/MLQ-38, Ground-Based Common Sensor-Heavy (GBCS-H).
  • AN/MLQ-39, Ground-Based Common Sensor-Light (GBCS-L).
  • AN/ALQ-151(V)3 Advanced QUICKFIX (AQF)

A fourth system called the Mobile Electronic Warfare Support System (MEWSS) is the U.S. Marine Corps' IEWCS system. The IEWCS design supports interoperability with the U.S. Marine Corps' Mobile Electronic Warfare Support System, an IEWCS system itself. Together, these Army and Marine Corps systems will provide the commander with a seamless, near-real-time targeting system that can cross Service lines in joint warfighting situations.

The GBCS-H and GBCS-L will interoperate with the AQF to precisely acquire and locate targets within the division commander's battle space. The divisional analysis and control element will accomplish automated tasking using the All-Source Analysis System via the Tasking and Reporting Data Link (TRDL). In addition, the division will transmit technical situational awareness and targeting information via the TRDL. The IEWCS systems will send targeting information using the Combat Net Radio with Applique to the Army Field Artillery Tactical Data System at the fire direction center or fire support element. Situational awareness and targeting data can also go to the Common Ground Station at the brigade level.

For deployment with heavy divisions, the GBCS-H will be mounted on an Electronic Fighting Vehicle System (EFVS). The EFVS is a member of the Bradley family of fighting vehicles. Major components of the EFVS are common to the M2 Bradley and M993 Multiple Launch Rocket System. The GBCS-H will be deployable on C-17 and C-5 transport aircraft. The GBCS-L will be mounted on a heavy variant of the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle for deployment with light divisions. The GBCS-L will be deployable on C-130, C-141, C-17, and C-5 transports. Found in the division aviation brigade, the AQF will be mounted in the Army's EH-60L, a variant of the Army's UH-60 BLACKHAWK utility helicopter. The AQF will be capable of self-deployment.

Each platform will be equipped with modular subsystems. They will include COMINT, ELINT, electronic attack (EA), communications, and precision location subsystems. Platforms will also contain appropriate antenna suites, workstations, and software. Each sensor platform will be able to locate the active electronic signatures of threat critical nodes, high value targets, and high priority targets, as determined by collection management and targeting processes. IEWCS will help satisfy the commander's priority intelligence requirements and information requirements, target development, target acquisition, and EA requirements in a 24-hour, all-weather tactical environment.

When fielded, these IEWCS systems would replace the following divisional intercept, location, and jamming systems in the force structure:

  • TEAMPACK (AN/MSQ-103)--Collect and report ELINT data (ground-based).
  • TEAMMATE (AN/TRQ-32)--Collect and report COMINT data (ground-based).
  • TRAILBLAZER (AN/TSQ-114)--Collect and report COMINT data (ground-based).
  • TRAFFICJAM (AL/TLQ-17A)--Jam/deceive/harass communications links (ground-based).
  • TACJAM (AN/MLQ-34)--Jam/deceive/harass communications links (ground-based).
  • QUICKFIX (AN/ALQ-151)--Collect and report COMINT data, as well as jam, deceive, and harass communications links (helicopter-based).

Initial fielding consisted of the GBCS-L (FY97) and the AQF (FY98) only. In FY02 the GBCS-H was to be ready for fielding. At that time, heavy divisions would replace their GBCS-Ls with GBCS-Hs. Light divisions will then receive these redistributed GBCS-Ls. Fielding would continue until all divisions have the full complement of IEWCS systems as outlined by the current basis-of-issue plan (BOIP). The current BOIP provided four AQFs per division plus one of the following: four GBCS-L per light division, four GBCS-H per Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR), or six GBCS-H per heavy division. Fielding of the IEWCS systems was to be complete in 2010.



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