This electronic warfare (EW) resurgence has been pushed forward in great part by the Defense Department, which has boosted its investment in electronic warfare capabilities as it gears up for great power competition.
Electronic warfare has been a feature of modern conflict since the first battlefield radios were introduced, but it has come a long way from simply jamming radio comms. The U.S. military now leans on electronic warfare systems to sense, exploit, and control the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) to enable armed forces to conduct operations.
Military personnel rely on the EMS for navigation, positioning, communications and other capabilities, ensuring those capabilities for allies and denying them to adversaries.
There are three main elements to EW:
- Electronic support intercepts, identifies and locates signals emitted from threats
- Electronic attack directs energy toward threats to disrupt and neutralize their effects
- Electronic protection protects people, facilities, and equipment from enemy or friendly disruption or electronic attack
Officials in the DoD have gone on record as saying that EW is the future of military warfare. Consequently, new EW avenues are being looked at for development. For example, currently under development is the Modular Electromagnetic Spectrum Deception Suite (MEDS).
MEDS would be able to replicate the emissions an army unit of different sizes would produce. This means an adversary would waste time investigating it or avoid the area altogether; it would also create noise to obscure genuine signals.
In total, the Defense Department plans to spend $27.8 billion on procurement and $25.8 billion on RDT&E over the course of the future years defense program.
Much of this emphasis on new electronic warfare development comes from U.S. adversaries spending more on EW projects. Analysts report that China and Russia in particular are upping their electronic warfare warfighting strategy.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Electronic Warfare Short Course, a 3-day course that covers the fundamentals of Electronic Warfare (EW) designed for analysts, engineers, project managers, and electronic warfare professionals who build, manage and operate electronic warfare systems.
Tonex also offers:
Electronic Warfare Threat Modeling and Simulation Training (4 days)
Electronic Warfare Training Crash Course (4 days)
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.