Electronic Warfare Systems Operator

Royal Signals

Sense, Locate, Hack and Jam enemy communication systems.

“My training and experience enables me to configure, deploy and maintain complex communications intercept and denial systems on military operations worldwide”

Your role provides both tactical electro-magnetic, cyber and signals intelligence on the battlefield and close tactical support to and advice to bomb disposal units throughout the country. You provide intelligence on adversaries by operating close to enemy units to intercept voice and data transmissions. This is used to inform your commander of enemy units’ locations, intentions and movements.

You will operate multi-million-pound specialist equipment that is designed to locate, identify, exploit and disrupt enemy communications. Being employed within Electronic Warfare and Signals Intelligence you will be a specialist at disrupting the enemy commander’s battlespace and are vital to the combat efficiency of the force that you operate under.

Within Explosive Ordnance Disposal, commonly referred to as Bomb Disposal, the Electronic Warfare Signals Intelligence soldier is a vital part of the 4-man team tasked with disposing of Improvised Explosive Devices by disrupting control over Radio Controlled bombs. You will receive a level 4 (HNC Equivalent) qualification in Communications Information Exploitation from initial training and follow a path on the Intelligence Analyst Level 4 Apprenticeship scheme.


  • You will be promoted to LCpl after initial trade training.
  • Become an expert in exploiting communications to provide high level intelligence.
  • Providing briefs to commanders at all levels on enemy actions and likely intent.
  • Get continuous personal and professional development including civilian accredited transferable qualifications.
  • Learn to drive and operate military vehicles ranging from a Land Rover or HGV to fully armoured fighting vehicles.
  • Learn to instruct and pass on your expert skills and knowledge.


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
You will begin your training within Electronic Warfare and Signal Intelligence at the Royal School of Signals in Blandford. Here you will learn the basics of the Intelligence Cycle and the critical role intelligence plays within the battlefield. You will learn the basics of Electronic Warfare and the processes involved within interception, locating the source and analysis of enemy communication systems to build a picture of enemy actions and intent. With this new knowledge you will then move to the Joint Intelligence Training Group facility in Chicksands, where you will learn advanced techniques to exploit and hack communications used in modern systems.


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


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.