Electronic warfare (EW) is any action involving the use of the Electro-Magnetic (EM) spectrum or directing energy to control or attack an enemy or impede enemy use of EM spectrum.
The purpose of EW is to deny the opponent the advantage of and ensure friendly unimpeded access to the EM spectrum. EW can be applied from air, sea, land, and space by manned and unmanned systems, and can target humans, communications, radar or other assets, military and civilian.
The Department of Defense has confirmed that electronic warfare is once again a priority because there’s a need for today’s military to sense deeper and to assess more of that data that it’s now collecting through deeper sensing.
Analysts contend that electronic warfare and radar systems are on the verge of rapid innovation toward new capabilities, longer ranges, and improved performance. So many underlying technologies, from advances FPGAs to MIMO antennas, are overcoming limitations in existing systems.
In fact, modern warfare has made impressive strides in the areas of communications, radar and surveillance. Military Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) platforms are trying to cover the spectrum from HF to Ka band, sometimes over an enormous dynamic range. While cognitive EW is a work in progress, the miniaturization and density of electronics components continue to increase. If cooling technology keeps up, this will drive Radio Frequency (RF) system functional consolidation and enhance sensor performance.
Experts in the EW field predict that the future will see multi-spectral, multi-mode and multifunction capability. Active Electronically Scanned Arrays (AESAs) are already multi-mode but over a narrow band. The aim is to build large or small totally digital arrays, where the electronics behind every element in the array, is digital and can be controlled in every aspect at the element level.
All this of course opens up for job possibilities for systems engineers in the EW space. Analysts predict that a decade from now may bring all-digital, precisely controlled arrays that are multi-function, multi-mode and capable of learning to be cooperative or disruptive as required.
The electronic warfare market is expected to grow from $12.8 billion in 2020 to $15.6 billion by 2030. A focus on directed energy weapons, rapid change in technological advancements in the domain, and the growing concern for electronic protection capabilities are expected to drive the global demand in the EW market.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Introduction to Electronic Warfare, a 3-day course that covers the basics of Electronic Warfare (EW) foundation designed for analysts, engineers, electrical engineers, project managers, electronic warfare technical professionals.
Introduction to Electronic Warfare provides the foundation for understanding the basic concepts underlying electronic warfare (EW). This course uses a practical building-block approach to facilitate student comprehension of the essential subject matter associated with the combat applications of EW.
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