Boeing ES&IS Adds Focus on Early Warning for Missile Defense
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — A new Boeing business unit with specialization in signals intelligence (SIGINT) and other electronic warfare areas is branching into the strategic missile defense area.
Electronic Sensors and Intelligence Solutions (ES&IS) is part of a new unit called “Strategic Defense and Intelligence Solutions, combining the company’s strategic missile business with the electronic sensors and intelligence business,” said Jeff Brown, a former Navy cryptography officer and now general manager of Boeing ES&IS.
“At a very high level that does not seem to be a natural thing to put together, but the reality today is the missile business is about understanding as early on in the cycle what’s going on, getting to the left of launch, if you will,” Brown told Seapower. “The intelligence side of that business is pretty good for that.”
Brown said it made sense to put “all indications and warning of launch together with the business unit that is responsible for providing both strategic and tactical missile defense.
“On the ES&IS side, at a very high level, it’s about an 80 percent SIGINT business — electronic warfare and information operations — and then 20 percent big-data analytics at the back end of that process,” he said. There are “lots of sensors out there, finding and collecting data, and then the back end of that process making sense of that data for either the national intelligence community or for the tactical warfighter.
“As technology has advanced and our ability to collect basically everything, it’s, ‘How do you take that collection, aggregate the data, make it discoverable and then provide the Sailors, Airmen, Marines the tools that will allow them to discover what they need to make recommendations?’ For me, growing up in the Navy, we spent 80 percent of our time looking for information and then 20 percent making sense of that and reporting on it. We spend very little time looking now. The systems are very strong and automated, so the Sailor get to spend most of their time making sense of the data.”
Boeing ES&IS is headquartered in Fairfax, Va., and is the prime contractor for Ships Signals Exploitation Equipment — now in Increment F — the Navy program of record for shipboard SIGINT since prior to 2000 that always has been a spiral development program, Brown said.
“We continue to support NAVAIR [Naval Air Systems Command] in light capabilities for airborne platforms,” Brown said. “We are tied in with Triton [the MQ-4C unmanned aerial vehicle]. We support the Navy’s submarine programs, principally as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin for the BLQ-10 [submarine electronic surveillance measures] program.”
ES&IS also produces the SLQ-25 Nixie surface ship torpedo defense for the U.S and allied navies.
Brown praised today’s distributed architecture in electronic and information warfare.
“We have a very different target set today for the Navy,” he said. “Much more diverse, not as predictable, and the capabilities being delivered by industry today in partnership with the Navy are really exciting. It is a different problem set, and the new architecture suits it well.
“As we develop SIGINT capabilities either for the DoD [Department of Defense] or the [unspecified] three-letter agencies, those technologies are shared and the cost margins [are reduced], so that’s good for the customers,” he said.