MENU

Teal Group gathers, classifies, and analyzes information from a wide range of sources. Our analysts publish News Briefs several times a year. Subscribe via email to receive each News Brief when it is published

Get News Briefs Delivered Via Email

By Analyst

  • Dr. David L. Rockwell

    Dr. David L. Rockwell

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Joel Johnson

    Joel Johnson

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Marco A. Cáceres

    Marco A. Cáceres

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Philip Finnegan

    Philip Finnegan

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Richard L. Aboulafia

    Richard L. Aboulafia

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Steven J. Zaloga

    Steven J. Zaloga

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Thomas J. Zoretich

    Thomas J. Zoretich

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • William C. Storey, Jr.

    William C. Storey, Jr.

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

02 January 2019

AN/MLQ-40(V) Prophet

Author: Dr. David L. Rockwell, Drawn From: Military Electronics Briefing

AN/MLQ-40(V) Prophet

This month we focus on the US Army’s AN/MLQ-40(V) Prophet program, born out of the US Army’s failed Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Common Sensor (IEWCS). Prophet has existed since 1998 and is still the primary US Army integrated all-frequency signals intercept/emitter location/countermeasures system which searches, intercepts, locates, identifies, and applies countermeasures to enemy fire control and command and control (C2) emitters. Taking over from IEWCS, Prophet became the major Army ground forces EW program (aside from counter-IED systems), replacing a rag-tag collection of non-interoperable systems which had previously made up the Army’s signals intelli­gence (SIGINT) and electronic warfare capability.

The aim of the earlier 1990s-era IEWCS/MEWSS (Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Common Sensor/Mobile Electronic Warfare Support System) program was to standardize the IEW assets of Army/USMC divisions, using new technology. After ten years of delays, the aim of the new Prophet program was to simply get something in the field which didn’t present the reliability and maintain­ability problems of the existing decades-old EW systems. Prophet Block I’s requirements reflected this. Basically, capabilities matched systems already fielded, but in much smaller, more transport­able and maintainable packages, exclusively mounted aboard HMMWVs. This gave the US the same capabilities already in service with most European and other international armies. By going with the off-the-shelf Titan Systems/L-3 Communications AN/PRD-13 for Block I, the Army and Marines Corps. probably made the best decision to get systems in the field immediately.

On the down side, a lot of money was wasted on IEWCS (almost $1 billion), and Prophet Block I production systems were much simpler, less capable, and less expensive. Despite all the early hype over the Army’s Prophet SIGINT system, until FY06 Prophet was a small program in terms of funding. That changed with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as detecting ground signals – everything from cell phones to IEDs – became perhaps the most vital EW need in the Global War on Terror, and annual Prophet procurement funding of more than $100 million per year continued until early this decade.

In February 2009, an upgraded version, the AN/MLQ-44(V) Prophet Enhanced (PE), entered production with a $70.8 million contract to General Dynamics. However, Prophet procurement funding was cut sharply after FY09 and FY12, with another decline planned after FY16 (but then budgeted to recover slowly after FY17).

In 2014, Teal Group doubted total Army ground SIGINT funding would decline as precipitously as planned in the Army budgets, and we increased our speculative funding lines, both for Prophet and for Other Ground-based SIGINT & EW (non-counter-IED) systems. Some of this funding has since been restored to the budget, and by February 2018 funding had increased again for future Prophet upgrades.

By the middle of this decade, Prophet Enhanced was still the baseline Prophet system, and the US Army tactical commander’s sole organic ground-based SIGINT/Electronic Warfare system for the Multi-Function Teams (MfTs), Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs), and Expeditionary-Mili­tary Intelligence Brigades (E-MIBs). PE’s primary mission is to provide 24-hour Situation Devel­opment and Information Superiority to the supported maneuver brigade to enable the most effective engagement of enemy forces. PE provides a modular, scalable, open architecture-based system solution optimized for ease of use in a variety of configurations (Stationary-Fixed, Mobile, and Manpack). It also incorporates product modification, integration, and test of equipment for rapid integration of Technical Insertions (TI) and product development to ensure operational relevance.

In June 2017, the U.S. Army awarded General Dynamics, GD Mission Systems, a five-year, $250 million contract to modify, test, train, and sustain the Prophet (PE) system.

The contract supports continuing non-recurring engineering upgrades to the PE Signals of Interest (SOI) baseline, enabling Theater Netcentric Geolocation (TNG) capabilities to leverage collabora­tive networks. Specifically, new signal capabilities will be developed, integrated, and tested/accredited to ensure that Prophet keeps pace with the constantly changing signal environment and to ensure that Prophet maintains its operational relevance against key enemy threats.

NOTE: Many Army and Marine Corps. ground-based SIGINT systems are now funded as classified programs. There is a remarkable absence of SIGINT funding lines in DoD budgets, aside from Prophet and some dedicated counter-IED programs (the counter-IED market is also highly “black”). Thus, we also include a speculative funding line for Future Ground-based SIGINT & EW Systems. Also note that our forecasts here do not cover classified or IED-specific programs. If including classified funding, even without counter-IED systems, our “Other” forecasts could be more than doubled.

About the Author

Dr. David L. Rockwell

Dr. David L. Rockwell

Dr. David L. Rockwell has been Senior Analyst, Electronics at Teal Group since 1995, where he is editor of Teal's Military Electronics Briefing (MEB) as well as co-author of Teal's annual World Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems; Market Profile and Forecast. He also contributes regular monthly military electronics News Briefs to the Teal Group website.

Respected Analysis
Highly respected analysis and opinions on global aircraft supply and demand and the competitive profiles of leading manufacturers.
UAS/UAV Authority
The leading authority on the global markets for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), including military, government and commercial markets.
Comprehensive Coverage
The industry’s most comprehensive coverage of the global aerospace sector, including military and civilian markets.