Electronic Warfare Systems Operator

Royal Signals

Intercepting and attacking enemy communications

"Electronic warfare is what keeps our Army on top of its game and ahead of its enemies when we are in a combat situation"

Knowing what the enemy is saying – and what their plans are – can make a huge difference in battle. You listen to enemy communications and find out useful information, giving us an advantage over our enemy. You can also use hi-tech kit to jam the enemy’s communications. Our first-class, accredited training will teach you to how to best use these systems. In fact, you’ll soon be an expert. The information you find out is sent to all kinds of units across the battlefield, giving them details that could save lives and bring victory.


  • Become an expert in operating a range of communication systems, from radios to satellites and computer networks.
  • Learn to drive and operate vehicles that communications equipment is transported in,from Land Rovers to HGVs with trailers.
  • Get promoted immediately after finishing phase 2 training.
  • Enjoy continuous professional development, including a Level 3 NVQ in ICT and civilian accredited training, right up to a foundation science degree.
  • Be fast tracked through the ranks to Staff Sergeant.


Step 1
You'll start with your initial military training which will teach you how to be a soldier - this will cover everything from fieldcraft to how to handle a rifle. If you join as a Junior Soldier (under 17 years 5 months), you’ll do a 23-week basic military training course at Harrogate. If you join as a Regular Soldier (over 17 years 1 month), you’ll do the regular 14-week adult basic training.

Step 2
Next you’ll develop your communications and radio operation skills. You will develop a high level of IT skills and learn about radio waves, antennas and propagation. Subject to successful security clearance, you will move to Chicksands to learn about the EW element of your role. Here you will spend roughly 6 months concentrating on the interception of radio messages and how to find the enemy based on their communications before returning to Blandford. Here you will spend time developing your leadership skills to allow your promotion to LCpl upon arrival in the field Army.:


Age: 16 years 6 months - 35 years 6 months

QUALIFICATIONS: GCSE Grade A–C/9-4 in at least English Language and Maths and GCSE Grade A–C/9-4 in a science, foreign language or IT

FITNESS: Lift 30kg, Carry 30m, 1.5 mile run in 14 min (14 min 30 sec for junior entry)

From 1 April 2019, the tests you take at the Assessment Centre will change:

Mid Thigh Pull 94kg
Medicine Ball Throw 2.9m
2km run 11m 15s (11m 30s for Junior Entry)

More information about the fitness test


  • Driving Licences: B+E and C+E
  • Level 2 functional skills in Maths, English and IT
  • Technical Certificate in Telecommunications (AES)
  • BTEC Level 2 certificate in ICT
  • Advanced Apprenticeship as an Information Technology Professional (ICT (P))
  • Professional registration with IET
  • Higher apprenticeship in ICT (P) (Level 4)


Learn about rank progression here.


Earn £15,230 during training. When your Initial training is finished, and you join your unit as a Signaller your pay will rise to £18,859.


“An Electronic Warfare Systems Operator (EW Sys Op) does a similar job to a Communications Systems Operator: running radio, satellite and digital communications. However, the EW Sys Op also has to listen to what the enemy is saying and if necessary intercept messages, locate the enemy on the battlefield and jam their frequencies. We locate possible targets and report findings up through the chain of command too. This helps officers build a battle plan. In short, electronic warfare is what keeps our Army on top of its game and ahead of its enemies in a combat situation.”


Once your online application has been approved, you'll meet with a local recruiter. This is your chance to tell us about the role that you're interested in. When you go to the Assessment Centre,you'll take tests - the results will show whether you'd be suitable for this role, or should consider a different role.