Under the Integrated Cyber and Electronic Warfare program (ICE), the U.S. Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Communications-Electronics Center (CERDEC) is working to identify ways to develop advanced technologies and systems to address the changing battlefield dynamics of the digital age.

The initiative seeks to combine electronic warfare capabilities (EW) with cyber warfare tactics and enable more rapid deployment of new and improved capabilities.

“Currently, within cyber and EW disciplines there are different supporting force structures and users equipped with disparate tools, capabilities and frameworks,” said Paul Robb Jr., chief of the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate’s Cyber Technology Branch of CERDEC.

“Under the ICE program, we look to define common data contexts and software control mechanisms to allow these existing frameworks to communicate in a manner that would support the concurrent leveraging of available tactical capabilities based on which asset on the battlefield provides the best projected military outcome at a particular point in time,” Robb explained.

The strategy acknowledges the phenomena known as convergence, where technologies that utilize the electromagnetic spectrum and are traditionally categorized as EW are increasingly overlapping with technologies that have previously been classified as cyber, such as exploiting vulnerabilities.

“The concept of technology convergence originated as a means to describe the amalgamation of traditional wired versus wireless commercial services and applications, but has recently evolved to also include global technology trends and U.S. Army operational connotations — specifically in the context of converging cyber and EW operations,” said Bertoli.said Giorgio Bertoli, a senior engineer for CERDEC.

“This blending of networks and systems, known as convergence, will continue and with it come significant implications as to how the Army must fight in the cyber environment of today and tomorrow,” Bertoli said.

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