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Closing the Gap: How the US Military’s Next-Generation Electronic Warfare Systems Are Reducing Russia’s Military Edge

All modern forces depend on unimpeded access to, and use of, the EM spectrum in conducting military operations. Therefore, there is a requirement to gain and maintain an advantage in the electromagnetic spectrum by countering adversary’s systems and protecting one’s own systems. Adversary can disrupt and degrade the navigation systems on precision guided munitions (PGMs) and cause missiles to go off course, as well as suppress a country’s air defense systems through jamming.


Thus the EM spectrum can no longer be viewed as an enabler, but rather as a primary warfighting domain, on par with land, sea, air and space operations. This is leading to race among all Militaries to introduce innovations in sensors and communications, countermeasures, and counter-countermeasures in an attempt to gain an advantage over their enemies.


Electronic warfare provide means to counter adversary’s systems while protecting one’s own systems through  Electronic Attack (EA), Electronic Protection (EP) and Electronic Support (ES). EA is the electronic countermeasure which includes jamming and deception of enemy radars, electro-optic and communication systems. It also includes use of anti-radiation missiles (ARM), electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and directed energy weapons (DEW). Electronic protection (EP) is the ECCM including such measures as emission control (EMCON), communication security (COMSEC) and electromagnetic hardening. Electronic support (ES) includes all actions taken for the purpose of real-time threat reorganization in support of immediate decisions involving EA, EP, weapon avoidance, targeting or other tactical employment of forces e.g. Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) and Communication Intelligence (COMINT).


Russian Electronic Warfare Systems

Russian dominance in electronic warfare systems has been a major concern for the US military and its allies. Russia has a long history of investing heavily in electronic warfare technology, and their systems are among the most advanced and effective in the world.

Russia’s EW force is one of the largest in the world. It is composed of a variety of units, including EW battalions, brigades, and regiments. These units are equipped with a wide range of EW systems, including jammers, decoys, and electronic intelligence (ELINT) systems. Russia has deployed Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) and SIGINT aircraft, such as the Il-20, an offshoot of the United States’ P-3 Orion, and the newest Tu-214R, ELINT and SIGINT  collection and targeting  aircraft.

Russia has a wide range of EW systems. These systems include jammers, decoys, and electronic intelligence (ELINT) systems. Jammers are used to interfere with enemy radars, communications systems, and other electronic systems. Decoys are used to trick enemy radars into thinking that there are more friendly forces than there actually are. ELINT systems are used to collect information about enemy electronic systems. Russian jamming systems are designed to disrupt enemy communication and navigation systems, making it more difficult for the enemy to coordinate their operations.

“Among key advantages of domestic electronic warfare equipment compared to foreign analogues can be named its greater range, which is achieved thanks to the use of more powerful transmitters and more efficient antenna systems,” said Russian Electronic Warfare Forces commander Maj. Gen. Yury Lastochkin,  as reported by TASS.

Russia’s EW doctrine is based on the principle of “information superiority.” This means that Russia seeks to gain an advantage over its adversaries by denying them access to information. Russia’s EW forces are used to jam enemy radars, communications systems, and other electronic systems. This can be used to blind enemy forces, disrupt their operations, and make them more vulnerable to attack.

Russia’s EW forces have been used to great effect in recent conflicts, such as the Syrian Civil War and Ukraine Wars

US Neglected EW


The U.S. currently has too few EW assets, with many of them being old and outdated compared to Russia. While the Navy is doing slightly better than the other services, possessing aircraft such as the EA-18G Growler electronic attack plane, the Army and Air Force have largely allowed their EW expertise atrophy. This has created information warfare asymmetry with US military who must now fight their way through a degraded information environment, facing a diminished ability to synchronize and execute operations.


U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command told the House Armed Services Committee: “They [Russians] have invested a lot in electronic warfare because they know we are a connected and precise force and they need to disconnect us to make us imprecise.” During his testimony, Breedlove admitted that the Pentagon had neglected electronic warfare during the past two decades—which has allowed the Kremlin to gain an advantage.


Pentagon  refocusing on electronic warfare

Recently, the Pentagon seems to be refocusing on electronic warfare. The vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is mulling the possibility of designating the electromagnetic spectrum as a warfighting domain—like the air, sea or land. “Spectrum operations are so important that we ought to look at declaring the electromagnetic spectrum a domain.” “In equipping our forces, we plan to develop advanced electronic attack, advanced electronic warfare support, harden our kill-chains with electronic protection and invest in electromagnetic battle management to manage the numerous assets in the battlespace,” Pentagon spokesman Maj. Roger Cabiness told Defense Systems.


EW Strategy

In Oct 2020,  the Department of Defense announced the release of the DOD Electromagnetic Spectrum Superiority Strategy. It recognized, “The  Freedom of action in the electromagnetic spectrum, at the time, place, and parameters of our choosing, is a required precursor to the successful conduct of operations in all domains.” This 2020 Strategy builds upon the successes of and supersedes both the DoD’s 2013 EMS Strategy and 2017 EW Strategy.


“The Department is transitioning from the traditional consideration of EW as separable from spectrum management to a unified treatment of these activities as Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations (EMSO),” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper wrote in the foreword to the publication released in October 2020. “Consequently, this 2020 Department of Defense EMS Superiority Strategy builds on essential objectives from the 2013 DOD EMS Strategy and the 2017 DOD EW Strategy, and takes the Department another critical step forward in implementing the 2018 National Defense Strategy. This Strategy seeks to align EMS resources, capabilities, and activities across the DOD to support our core national security objectives while remaining mindful of the importance of U.S. economic prosperity. Additionally, this Strategy lays the foundation for a robust EMS enterprise, prepares EMS professionals to leverage new technologies, and focuses on strengthening alliances to achieve the Department’s vision of Freedom of Action in the Electromagnetic Spectrum.”


The EMS Superiority Strategy includes five goals: develop superior EMS capabilities; evolve to an agile integrated EMS infrastructure; pursue total force EMS readiness; secure enduring partnerships for EMS advantage; and establish effective EMS governance.


Jonathan Leitner, the radio frequency (RF) product marketing engineer for Menlo Microsystems Inc. in Irvine Calif., notes that “Battlespace dominance requires the upper hand in tactical and strategic troop and asset capabilities, and superiority with C6ISR — command, control, communications, computers, cyber-defense and combat systems and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. All of these are interconnected in a fabric that is reliant on the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly radio frequencies from HF to millimeter-wave. The U.S. will need to maintain a level of supremacy in the core RF technologies, from the component to the systems level. This will require that domestic companies stay far ahead of adversaries in core research in semiconductors, materials sciences, architectures, software tools, and manufacturing.”

For deeper understanding of Electronic warfare technologies and applications please visit: Electronic Warfare: Defending the Spectrum

Next Generation EW systems

The US Military is developing next generation electronic warfare (EW) systems to counter the increasing threat posed by advanced adversaries. These systems will be designed to detect, identify, and jam enemy radar and communications systems, and to protect friendly forces from electronic attack.

As the U.S. looks to the future, some capabilities it may need to invest in include “penetrating” jammers, such as fifth-generation stealthy aircraft, that can stay out of range of Russian EW equipment and surface-to-air missiles. With smaller radar cross sections that make them difficult to detect, fifth-generation jets such as the F-35 will be harder to target and can better slip into adversary airspace in order to conduct EW and strike operations.

One of the key challenges in developing next generation EW systems is the rapid pace of technological change. Adversaries are constantly developing new radar and communications systems, and the US Military must be able to keep pace. This requires the use of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, to develop systems that can adapt to changing threats.

Another challenge is the need for EW systems to be integrated with other systems, such as air defense and missile defense systems. This integration is essential to ensure that EW systems can be used effectively in a joint and combined environment.

US Military is developing advanced electronic warfare systems. Electromagnetic weapons can destroy, intercept or jam approaching enemy missiles, drones, rockets or aircraft at much lesser cost than firing an interceptor missile which can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This tactic would both force enemies to spend money on expensive weapons while decreasing the offensive and defensive weaponry costs to the U.S., therefore advancing a “cost-imposing” strategy, as Cabiness explained.


some of the specific systems that the US Military is developing:

  • The Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) is a new electronic attack system that is designed to replace the aging AN/ALQ-135 jamming pod. The NGJ will be able to jam a wider range of enemy radars and communications systems, and will be more effective at disrupting and degrading enemy air defenses.
  • The Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool (EWPM) is a new software system that will help the US Military to plan and execute electronic warfare operations. The EWPM will provide commanders with a single view of the electronic battlespace, and will help them to coordinate the use of EW assets to achieve desired effects.
  • The Terrestrial Layer System-Brigade Combat Team (TLS-BCT) is a new integrated EW, cyber, and signals intelligence system that is designed to be mounted on a Stryker armored vehicle. The TLS-BCT will provide brigade combat teams with the ability to detect, identify, and jam enemy radar and communications systems, and to protect friendly forces from electronic attack.

These are just a few of the next generation EW systems that the US Military is developing. These systems will play a critical role in future conflicts, and will help to ensure that the US Military maintains its technological edge.


US Army

The US Army is making significant advancements in electronic warfare (EW). These advancements are focused on improving the Army’s ability to detect, identify, and jam enemy radar and communications systems, and to protect friendly forces from electronic attack.

One of the key areas of focus for the Army’s EW advancements is the development of new and improved jamming systems. The Army is developing new jamming systems that are more powerful, more accurate, and more difficult for enemy forces to jam. These new jamming systems will be used to disrupt and degrade enemy air defenses, communications, and other critical systems.

The Army is also making advancements in the development of new EW sensors. These new sensors will be used to detect and identify enemy radar and communications systems. This information will be used to target enemy systems with jamming systems or other weapons.

The Army is also making advancements in the development of new EW doctrine. This new doctrine will provide commanders with a framework for planning and executing EW operations. The new doctrine will emphasize the importance of integrating EW with other Army capabilities, such as air defense and missile defense.

U.S. Army announced that it would be ensure every brigade combat team will have an EW platoon and a separate signals intelligence (SIGINT) network support team. This gels with the preface penned by Maj. Gen. Robert M. Dyes Jr. for the U.S. Army Concept for Cyberspace and Electronic Warfare Operations 2025-2040.

“Defeating future enemies that possess advanced capabilities calls for land forces operating as part of integrated joint teams that conduct simultaneous and sequential operations across multiple domains,” Dyes wrote in 2018. “In multi-domain battle, future Army forces will fight and win across all contested spaces to create windows of advantage across multiple domains that enable Joint Force freedom of action to seize, retain and exploit the initiative.

“The Army will operate in and through cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum and will fully integrate cyberspace, EW, and electromagnetic spectrum operations as part of joint combined arms operations to meet future operational environment challenges,” Dyes continued. “These operations provide commanders the ability to conduct simultaneous, linked maneuver in and through multiple domains and to engage adversaries and populations where they live and operate. They also provide commanders a full range of physical and virtual, as well as kinetic and non-kinetic, capabilities tailored into combinations that enhance the combat power of maneuver elements conducting joint combined operations.”


US Army developing Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool, or EWPMT

The US Army is developing an Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool (EWPMT) to manage and control electronic warfare assets to support unified land operations. The EWPMT enables the maneuverability of forces and improves spectrum management operations while assisting with the intelligence-gathering process.

According to Army News Service, through the EWPMT, the Army can now visually synergize its EW attack, targeting, and surveillance capabilities to enable the maneuverability of forces. The tool also improves spectrum management operations and assists with the intelligence-gathering process.

The program initiates automated workflow and can generate tactical graphics for support. The tool is still under development and is being leveraged based on user feedback to support electronic warfare officer’s techniques, tactics, and procedures.

Future iterations of the EWPMT program, officials said, will focus on pacing the threat’s capabilities within a disconnected, intermittent, and latent environment. In turn, the program will help refine the Army’s ability to conduct cyberspace electromagnetic activities in support of multi-domain operations and enable the Army to fight and win on a complex battlefield.

US Air Force planning cognitive artificial intelligence (AI)  F-15 aircraft electronic warfare (EW)

The U.S. Air Force is planning to integrate “cognitive” capabilities that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning into electronic warfare systems on F-15 variants. The goal is to automate critical processes and speed up tasks like analyzing electronic intelligence and developing new electronic warfare countermeasures in real-time across multiple platforms. The forthcoming Eagle Passive/Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) is the most likely candidate for these cognitive capabilities, which could potentially understand adversarial systems and develop countermeasures rapidly.

The main goal is to be able to increasingly automate and otherwise speed up critical processes, from analyzing electronic intelligence to developing new electronic warfare measures and countermeasures, potentially in real-time and across large swathes of networked platforms. True cognitive EW systems, should be able to enter into an environment not knowing anything about adversarial systems, understand them and even devise countermeasures rapidly.

Niedzwiecki, of BAE, said that in decades past when forces would deploy to a theater and observe a type of jamming signal, frequency, wavelength or bandwidth, troops would collect evidence and take it to a laboratory for analysis and countermeasure development. Months later, a countermeasure or antidote would be programmed in the system and used in theater. The advances in software and reprogrammable radios make this previous paradigm infeasible, he said, leading to a new shift in leveraging machine learning.


US Navy continuous upgrades for shipboard electronic warfare system

The US Navy is continuously upgrading its shipboard electronic warfare (EW) systems to keep pace with the evolving threat environment. The Navy’s current EW system, the AN/SLQ-32(V)1, is a suite of sensors and jammers that can detect, identify, and defeat a variety of threats, including radar, missiles, and torpedoes. However, the AN/SLQ-32(V)1 is becoming increasingly outdated, and the Navy is looking to upgrade it with a new system called the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP).

The SEWIP program is a multi-phased effort to develop a new EW system that will provide the Navy with a more comprehensive and effective EW capability. The first phase of the SEWIP program, SEWIP Block 1, was completed in 2016. SEWIP Block 1 provides the Navy with a new radar warning receiver and a new missile defense system. The second phase of the SEWIP program, SEWIP Block 2, is currently underway. SEWIP Block 2 will provide the Navy with a new electronic support measure (ESM) system and a new electronic attack (EA) system. The third and final phase of the SEWIP program, SEWIP Block 3, is still in the early stages of development. SEWIP Block 3 will provide the Navy with a new integrated EW system that will combine the capabilities of the SEWIP Block 1 and SEWIP Block 2 systems.

The SEWIP program is a critical part of the Navy’s effort to maintain its technological edge over potential adversaries. The new EW systems that will be developed under the SEWIP program will provide the Navy with a more comprehensive and effective EW capability, which will help to protect its ships and sailors from a variety of threats.

In addition to the SEWIP program, the Navy is also pursuing a number of other initiatives to improve its EW capabilities. These initiatives include the development of new EW sensors, jammers, and countermeasures. The Navy is also working to develop new EW tactics and doctrine. By taking these steps, the Navy is ensuring that it has the EW capabilities it needs to meet the challenges of the 21st century.


BAE Systems to develop next-generation full spectrum electronic warfare technology

The ONR Full-Spectrum Staring Receiver (FSSR) is a next-generation electronic warfare (EW) technology that will quickly detect, locate, and identify emitters of radio frequency signals. FSSR will provide near-instantaneous detection, identification and location of RF signal emitters over a very broad span of the electromagnetic spectrum. Conventional situational awareness systems are not able to deliver the high level of coverage and responsiveness that FSSR will provide.

FSSR is a phased array receiver that can simultaneously receive signals from multiple directions. This allows it to track and identify emitters much more quickly than traditional EW systems, which can only receive signals from one direction at a time. FSSR also has a much wider frequency range than traditional EW systems, allowing it to detect and identify a wider variety of emitters.

FSSR is still in development, but it has the potential to revolutionize EW. It will give warfighters a much better understanding of the electromagnetic environment, which will allow them to make better decisions about how to use electronic warfare to protect themselves and their assets.

The FSSR is part of the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Electronic Warfare Discovery & Invention Program, which seeks to develop and demonstrate a broad range of next-generation EW systems that exploit, deceive, or deny enemy use of the electromagnetic spectrum while ensuring its unfettered use by friendly forces.

The FSSR team includes BAE Systems (the prime contractor), S2 Corporation, University of Colorado Boulder, Montana State University, Purdue University, HRL Laboratories, and the Naval Research Laboratory.


Next-Generation Jammer

EA-18G Growlers, Billed as the only operational tactical jamming fighter in the world, is a specialised version of the F/A18-F Super Hornet, and since achieving initial operational capability in September 2009, it has been equipped with the AN/ALQ-99 airborne EW system.


U.S. Navy had commissioned a $279.4-million contract to enhance the jamming features of the EA-18G Growler airframe to maintain air superiority in the modern battle space when adversaries employ latest radar technologies to counter stealth, advanced surface-to-air (SAM) missile systems and other anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) systems.


The goal of the upgrade is to present a platform for airborne electronic attacks (AEAs) that could adapt to the latest in EW requirements, which include suppression of enemy air defenses, stand-off/escort jamming, non-traditional electronic attack, self-protect/time-critical strike support, and continuous capability enhancement.


Enter the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ), a new, more capable EW system that combines agile, high-power beam-jamming techniques and state-of-the-art solid-state electronics to give wider threat coverage, greater precision and enhanced mission flexibility. According to the US Naval Air Systems Command, it “will provide enhanced airborne electronic attack capabilities to disrupt and degrade enemy air defence and ground communication systems.”


The contract called for standoff jamming technology that brings next-generation jamming assets to the U.S. Navy— Such features rely on the ability to locate, record, replay, and jam hostile communications while tracking across an extremely broad frequency range. Maintaining the ability to communicate with allied forces while operating jamming electronics is another critical requirement.


The NGJ programme aims to jam three radar and communications frequency ranges used by adversaries by developing three jammers: NGJ Mid Band, NGJ Low Band and, eventually, NGJ High Band.


Raytheon has implemented a highly efficient AESA-based (actively electronically steered array) jamming system with high power and wideband gallium-nitride (GaN) technology.   “Due to the nature of it being an AESA, you can form many beams or a super beam with a lot of energy. It is agile, so you can dart from one system to another system on the ground almost instantaneously,” says Andy Lowery, the NGJ chief engineer for Raytheon.


The array modules include electronics that use GaN high-power amplifiers (HPAs). Those amplifiers drive the power signals through the circulators and apertures to the array elements. The AESAs can therefore form high-energy RF beams with advanced signal capability that can be steered by a highly advanced and rapidly reprogrammable computer.


The NGJ is built with open architecture technology using Raytheon’s airborne radio frequency systems, jamming techniques, combat-proven antenna array technology, and sophisticated, solid-state electronics. Proprietary and closed system designs limit rapid, innovative technology insertion and hamper the ability to match or out-pace emerging threat developments. The Next-Generation Jammer (NGJ), for aircrafts and unmanned aerial vehicles, has an open architecture.



Cyber-warfare capability

The NGJ reportedly goes beyond traditional jamming too, adding signals intelligence and a communications hub capability to the more usual EW and radar tasks for the AESA array. There have also been some reports that the system has the potential ability to launch a cyber-attack, involving inserting rogue data packets into enemy systems in a so-called “network invasion.” Such an attack is rumoured to have played a part in the 2007 Israeli ‘Operation Orchard’ raid on a nuclear plant near the eastern Syrian city of Dir A-Zur, in which BAE’s ‘Suter’ airborne network attack system was said to have shut down Syria’s Russian-made air defences.


The US Navy alluded to its interest in the idea in its 2015 ‘A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower’, adding ‘all-domain access’ to the traditional four functions of the fleet, and according anti-access/area denial threats almost the same priority as nuclear deterrence. It would hardly come as a big surprise, then, if the reports of the new system’s additional cyber offensive capability were ultimately to turn out to be true.


US Navy EA-G Growler & EW Technology

One of the key next-generation electronic warfare systems being developed by the US Military is the US Navy’s EA-18G Growler. The EA-18G Growler is a two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather electronic warfare aircraft based on the F/A-18F Super Hornet. It is operated by the United States Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. The Growler is used to suppress enemy air defenses (SEAD) by jamming radars and communications systems. It can also be used to provide electronic reconnaissance (ELINT) and electronic attack (EA) support to friendly forces.

The Growler is equipped with a variety of electronic warfare systems, including the AN/ALQ-218 receiver, AN/ALQ-99 jamming pods, and AN/ALQ-228 infra-red jamming system. It can also carry a variety of weapons, including air-to-air missiles and bombs.

The Growler is equipped with advanced electronic warfare systems, including the ALQ-218 receiver, ALQ-99 jammer, and Next Generation Jammer. The ALQ-218 receiver is a passive receiver that can detect and identify signals from enemy radar systems. The receiver can also analyze the signals to determine the type of radar system being used and the location of the radar. This information is then used to determine the best way to jam or disrupt the radar.

The ALQ-99 jammer is an active jamming system that can disrupt enemy radar and communication systems. The jammer can be used to cover a wide range of frequencies and can be tailored to specific threats. The jammer can also be used in conjunction with the ALQ-218 receiver to provide a complete electronic warfare package.

The Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) is the latest addition to the Growler’s electronic warfare suite. The NGJ is a high-powered jamming system that is capable of jamming enemy radar and communication systems over a wide area. The NGJ is also capable of operating in a variety of modes, including standoff jamming and escort jamming.

The Growler’s electronic warfare systems make it an important asset in both offensive and defensive air operations. The aircraft can provide jamming support to other aircraft, allowing them to operate more safely in hostile environments. The Growler can also be used to jam enemy radar and communication systems, providing a significant advantage on the battlefield.

The Growler has been deployed in combat in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. It has been credited with helping to suppress enemy air defenses and protect friendly forces. The Growler’s capabilities will play an important role in the future of modern warfare, and it is clear that the US Military will continue to invest in electronic warfare systems to maintain its technological edge on the battlefield.


Emerging EW Technologies

Some of the emerging and future Technology areas in Electronic Warfare include:

  1. Broad-band multifunctional jamming system: A system that can jam multiple frequency bands simultaneously.
  2. Full spectrum electronic warfare: A system that can operate across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to light waves.
  3. AESA-based jamming system with high power and wideband gallium-nitride (GaN) technology: A jamming system that uses an actively electronically steered array (AESA) antenna with high power and wideband GaN technology for better jamming performance.
  4. Adaptive and responsive jamming: A system that can adapt and respond to changing electronic warfare environments in real-time.
  5. Cognitive EW: A system that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze and respond to electronic warfare threats in real-time.
  6. Network Centric EW: A system that integrates electronic warfare capabilities across a network of platforms for better situational awareness and coordinated responses.
  7. Precision electronic attack: A system that can target and disable specific electronic systems with high precision.
  8. Counter-space capabilities (kinetic and non-kinetic): A system that can disrupt or destroy space-based assets, such as satellites, through both kinetic (physical) and non-kinetic means.
  9. Metamaterials for electromagnetic and auditory cloaking: A system that uses metamaterials to hide electronic systems from detection.
  10. Autonomous decoys: A system that uses autonomous drones or other devices to mimic electronic signatures and distract enemy systems.
  11. Quantum encryption techniques: A system that uses quantum cryptography to protect communications links from interception and eavesdropping.


Unmanned EW

Unmanned platforms, such as drones, are increasingly being equipped with electronic warfare capabilities. These platforms can provide a complementary role to manned systems in areas such as command, control, and communications, and enable large numbers of drones to swarm together. However, the use of unmanned platforms also has limitations, as they may not be able to discern nuances that only well-trained personnel can detect.


Network Centric EW

The current platform-centric EW systems are limited in their ability to generate essential EW effects required to counter emerging threat system developments and employ advanced EW concepts. The adversaries are fielding increasingly sophisticated networked and agile systems, RF sensing and communications systems, including short-range tactical communications, long-range command and control (C2) communications networks, networked defensive systems, and RF seekers. This is partly due to rising commercial investments in RF materials, components, and subsystems thereby reducing the cost to deploy high power, agile systems.

Network Centric EW refers to the use of a network-enabled, coordinated and spatially distributed EW system-of-systems to counter emerging asymmetric threat capabilities by providing time-critical situational awareness of adversary dispositions and activity, denial of the enemy’s situational awareness of friendly force dispositions and activity, and camouflage and deception to dilute enemy engagement capacity.

This approach aims to provide objective capabilities, such as real-time location determination of adversary emitters, automated recognition of threat emitter operating modes, adaptive electronic attack response to threat emitters, wide area camouflaging, wide-area deception, and denial or corruption of enemy sensing capabilities.

DARPA is focusing on developing next-generation EW systems using technologies such as distributed systems, coherent systems, disposable systems, and close-in remote sensing coupled with advanced jamming and spoofing to counter increasingly sophisticated networked and agile systems being fielded by adversaries.


Open-systems standards

Electronic warfare platforms also are following military and aerospace industry trends in embracing open-systems standards.

Open-systems standards are being embraced by electronic warfare platforms as they make it easier to build highly integrated and scalable EW systems that can adapt to changing application requirements. “For example, increased sensor bandwidth could be accommodated by upgrading the RF and data converter board(s), while upgrading to newer DSP or GPGPU boards satisfies increased processing requirements.”

The use of open standards eases integration between different pieces of the EW system technology chain, allowing for components from different companies to be integrated more easily.

Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) standards help build upon existing VITA VPX standards, and different types of processing can be easily and more readily applied in the same physical environment thanks to standardized and defined pin-outs, making upgrades simplified because of standardization. Open standards are attractive in electronic warfare as they offer a smooth path for upgradeability, crucial to keep up with the continually evolving challenges.



The US military’s next-generation EW systems are helping to reduce Russia’s military edge in several ways. First, these systems are highly effective at disrupting enemy communication and navigation systems, which are critical to the success of any military operation. Second, these systems are highly flexible and can adapt to different types of threats, making them more effective than previous EW systems. Finally, these systems are highly advanced and can operate autonomously, allowing them to respond quickly to changing battlefield conditions.

In conclusion, the US military’s next-generation electronic warfare systems are helping to close the gap between the US and Russia in terms of military capabilities. These systems are highly advanced and effective at disrupting enemy communication and navigation systems, and they are highly flexible and adaptable to different types of threats. With continued investment in research and development, it is clear that the US military will continue to be at the forefront of electronic warfare technology and maintain its technological edge on the battlefield.


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