The Army has awarded Mastodon Design LLC a $1.5 million agreement to prototype a dismounted electronic jamming system, the service announced Friday.
Dubbed the Terrestrial Layer System Brigade Combat Team Manpack, the platform is the first dismounted electronic attack capability soldiers can use to conduct jamming on the move.
To date, such systems were quick-reaction capabilities in response to urgent operational needs. The capability is essential, as the only other electronic warfare systems in development are either airborne or are mounted on large platforms such as Stryker vehicles. Dismounted capabilities will be needed to allow soldiers to be more mobile and agile, especially in theaters such as the Pacific with dense terrain and many islands.
TLS-BCT is the first brigade-organic integrated cyber, signals intelligence and EW system.
The other transaction authority agreement comes after six months of competitive white papers, and it will include a nine-month period of performance for a phase 1 prototype build and demonstration.
The manpack solution will provide brigade commanders a tactical advantage with improved intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting, the Army said. It will be a tailorable, modular solution capable of collecting processing, exploiting, reporting and creating effects for signals intelligence teams and electronic warfare teams.
“The TLS BCT Manpack compliments the TLS BCT and TLS Echelons Above Brigade (TLS EAB) family of systems with a shared and open systems approach that creates the flexibility and efficiencies needed against a highly adaptive threat,” Kenneth Strayer, project manager for electronic warfare and cyber at program executive office for intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors, said in a statement.
The goal is to transition TLS-BCT Manpack from prototyping to production in fiscal 2024.
Officials previously told DefenseScoop that the TLS-BCT Manpack would likely be a commercial off-the-shelf capability that currently exists, with follow-on procurement and fielding decisions expected in 2024.