Soldiers fend off tank assault with cyber, EW

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A simulated tank assault was deterred using cyber weapons and electronic warfare technology during a training exercise, according to published reports.

Trainers stopped a simulated assault by targeting the tank crew’s radio and communication systems during the exercise at the Army’s National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

“These tanks had to stop, dismount, get out of their protection, reduce their mobility,” Capt. George Puryear, an Irregular Operations Officer at Fort Irwin said. The vulnerability allowed the tanks to be easily defeated.

The Army Rapid Capabilities Office and U.S. Cyber Command are working on technology to protect against cyber and electronic warfare attacks.

The broad category of cyber warfare includes jamming communication signals and infiltrating networks, both of which were demonstrated during the exercise. If a network is successfully infiltrated, it can be disabled or manipulated, allowing enemies to halt communication or relay false information to troops.

The demonstration allowed the Army to explore the possibilities of infiltrating civilian networks to subdue the populace and invade territories, an official told Defense Systems.

These exercises help the Army determine the technology that is needed in the field, and the Army RCO helps to develop and distribute the needed technology. The technology is not only focused on offensive and defensive strategies, but also part of an effort to obtain protection capabilities using EW and cyber, as well as having GPS alternatives, which are being explored.

Fort Irwin and Europe will continue to test and train cyber offensive and defensive weapons because “if we don’t win the cyber and EW fight, then the [next] maneuver may not matter, because we may not get it,” Maj. Gen. Wilson A. Shoffner, director of operations at the Army RCO, told Defense Systems.