Electronic Warfare

Electronic Warfare is commonly known as Electromagnetic Warfare, it functions by the electromagnetic spectrum (EM Spectrum). Electromagnetic spectrum such as signals such as radio, infrared, or radar to sense, protect and communicate. Electronic warfare is a military tactic used to detect, interpret, control, and disrupt signals in the electromagnetic spectrum, typically radar, radio, or infrared transmissions, to protect military assets from potential threats. Electronic warfare is used to protect land, air, and sea.

Modern military capabilities rely increasingly on the electromagnetic spectrum. Warfighters depend on the spectrum to communicate with each other and their commanders, to understand the environment and inform decisions, to accurately identify and engage targets, and to protect them from harm. EW provides a vitally important function – protecting our access and use of the spectrum while simultaneously denying and degrading an adversary’s use and access.

Electronic warfare is defined by the United States of America Department of Defence (DOD). The electronic warfare system is majorly configured to attack, protect, and support the military, it collects and makes sense of the signal in its environment. The main common capabilities of electronic warfare systems are sensing the environment using a receiver sensor, analyzing the environment – signal analysis, and responding to the environment using technique generation and high power transmission. The EW can disrupt, deny, and degrade the adversaries’ ability to use these signals.

Sense and understand the environment:

The sense and understand part is configured to attack, protect, or support the environment, this segment collects and makes sense of the signals in the environment, it finds what is out there understands the spectrum, and defines the threat. This is the system’s “receive” capability, and it is usually performed by a subsystem called a radar warning receiver (RWR).

Address threats head-on:

The Radar warning receiver detects a signal means it analyses and defines whether the threat is unavoidable or not, then the EW system neutralizes it and passes the threat data to the technique generator which determines how the system should respond to address the threat. The technique generator selects the jamming technique with the highest success rate, based on several factors including the particular threat’s characteristics, the EW system’s host platform, and the domain of battle – land, sea, or air

Jam, broadcast, transmit:

EW systems make electronic attacks or electronic protection missions, they must be able to broadcast signals of their own to dominate the electromagnetic spectrum. Once the threat is analyzed and a response is generated, The EW system will transmit the electromagnetic energy to jam, spoof, and deception.

Electronic warfare can operate in three ways

  • Electronic Attack – Sensing EM activity Informative activities and cyber measures to detect threats.
  • Electronic Protection – Safeguarding EM activity Defensive activities and cyber measures to neutralize threats.
  • Electronic Warfare Support – Preventing threatening EM activity

Electronic Attack:

The electronic attack is used to degrade, disable, and destroy an adversary’s use of the spectrum. And its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) function of Electromagnetic Warfare. In this part, it senses, intercepts, identifies, and tracks electromagnetic energy sources to recognize threats, collect targeting (geolocation) and signals intelligence data, and provide information for future operational plans.

For example, jamming radar signals to prevent enemy detection or disrupting communications networks.

Electronic Protection:

Electronic protection is also used to deny adversarial forces’ use of the electromagnetic spectrum, but its posture is defensive. EP is suppressing threats using a range of cyber and multispectral radio frequency/infrared (RF/IR) tools to prevent EW receivers from being jammed or deceived by Electronic Attacks (EA) from adversaries. It also protects against accidental signal disruption by “spillover” jamming signals emitted by nearby friendly forces.

Electronic Warfare Support:

It analyses threats and calculates a response. This part of the mission uses either EMS signals, directed energy pulses, or integrated cyber effects to disrupt, deny, degrade, deceive, and otherwise neutralize an enemy’s hostile electromagnetic actions. These attacks are often executed by an advanced EW jet or helicopter platforms, but can also be carried out by unmanned vehicles, aboard ships, on-ground vehicles, and more.

In any deployment, controlling and mining the electromagnetic spectrum for information is a primary objective: both tactical and strategic decisions depend on it. But, as bandwidth becomes ever more congested, the technical challenges faced by detection equipment are immense.

Electronic Warfare is used in several domains such as:

  • Surface Electronic Warfare – It provides an Advanced Off-Board Electronic Warfare (AOEW) program that delivers persistent electronic surveillance and attack capabilities.
  • Ground Electronic Warfare – It Terrestrial Layer System-Echelons Above Brigade (TLS-EAB) is designed as part of the multi-platform TLS family of systems specifically developed to support cross-platform collaboration to provide optimized and integrated Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Electronic Warfare (EW), and Cyberspace support operations to Joint All Domain Operational (JADO) enabled forces.
  • Airborne Electronic Warfare – The passive sensor systems protect the warfighter by functioning as the “ears” of advanced tactical aircraft, identifying and locating sources of radio frequency emission and providing a full range of electronic support operations.
  • Cyber Electronic Warfare – the Department of Defence and its allies are increasing their ability to see and control the virtual battlefield thanks to an integration of capabilities from ISR, EW, Cyber, IO, and 5G, but a lot of work remains – that’s where we can help. By converging these technologies, the U.S. military and allies gain an advantage, where digital attacks can cripple enemies in advance of, and in coordination with, strikes across air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace

Technology Trends of Electronic Warfare:

  • Software-Defined Radio (SDR)
  • Cognitive Electronic Warfare:
  • Advanced Signal Processing:
  • Cyber Electronic Warfare Integration
  • Directed Energy Weapons (DEW)
  • Miniaturization and Integration
  • Resilient Communications
  • Networked Electronic warfare
  • Autonomous EW Platforms

AI-based Electronic Warfare

AI-based STAP (space-time adaptive processing) is the AI-enabled electronic warfare method. AI-based STAP uses machine learning algorithms to autonomously and adaptively probe, sense, and characterize threats and then automatically generate countermeasures to new, undefined threats in real-time. The Pentagon is also investing in offensive capabilities, broadly referred to as AI-based CEW (cognitive electronic warfare). These technologies help the military more effectively jam or spoof an adversary’s radar. DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency), is working on three closely related projects that apply AI to the EMS and target either radar or wireless communications.

Recent Work:-

  1. Tactical Communication Systems
  2. C4ISR Insights: Navigating The Future Of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, And Reconnaissance
  3. Network-Centric Warfare
  4. Mastering The Skies: A Comprehensive Guide To Air Defense Systems
  5. The Versatile Workhorses Of The Sky: Exploring Multirole Military Transport Aircraft
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