JED - October 2015 - 44

EW 101

Directed Energy Weapons
Part 1

By Dave Adamy

T

The Journal of Electronic Defense | October 2015

44

his month's column is
based on information
in an excellent report
by Mark Gunzinger and
Chris Dougherty from
the Center for Strategic
(Approach at
and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA).
The report is titled "Changing the
low mulitple
Game: The Promise of Directedof speed of
Energy Weapons." It discusses the
sound)
vulnerabilities of the way The US
and its allies project power against
potential adversaries and the tactics
those adversaries are developing to
counter our defensive measures. It
also includes a great deal of information about the nature and advantages of Directed Energy Weapons
in overcoming enemy Anti Access /
Figure 1:Figure
Kinetic1:defending
weapons require
one orrequire
more defenders
per attacker
and per
approach at low
Kinetic defending
weapons
one or more
defenders
Area Denial (A2/AD) weapons.
multiples
of speedand
of sound.
attacker
approach at low multiples of speed of sound.
As shown in Figure 1, the current approach to defeating attacking weapons that cannot be
SWARMING
defeated by electronic warfare techniques (like decoys, chaff or
US military forces project power by establishing large, netjamming) is to destroy them one at a time using kinetic weapworked reconnaissance-strike complexes (RSCs) from which
ons, which attack at small multiples of the speed of sound. The
they deploy assets to identify and locate enemy weapons,
defending weapons are very expensive and complex, and one or
which can then be attack with kinetic weapons. These RSCs
more defensive weapons is required
per attacker. In Figure 2, a directed
energy weapon (DEW) meets each
of the attacking weapons at the
speed of light. A single DEW can sequentially deal with each of many
attackers during their window of
vulnerability. While the DEW is expensive, the cost per shot is very
low, and the ratio of attackers to
DEWs can be very high.
As shown in Figure 3, an attacking weapon can be attacked by
a DEW in several ways:
*	 	T he	 sensor	 can	 be	 temporarily	
dazzled to blind it
*	 	T he	 weapon's	 sensor	 can	 be	
degraded or destroyed
*	 	T he	 attacking	 vehicle	 can	 be	
destroyed
Figure 2: Directed energy weapons attack many attackers at the speed of light.

Attacking
Weapons

Attacking
Weapons

Kinetic
Defending
Weapons

Attacks at
Speed of Light

Directed
Energy
Weapon

Figure 2: Directed energy weapons attack many attackers at the speed of light.



JED - October 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - October 2015

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
World Report
Going Small: Jamming the Mini-Drones
EW Simulation and Testing: Keeping Up With the Threat
Technology Survey: EW and SIGINT Antennas
EW 101
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - October 2015 - cover1
JED - October 2015 - cover2
JED - October 2015 - 3
JED - October 2015 - 4
JED - October 2015 - 5
JED - October 2015 - The View From Here
JED - October 2015 - 7
JED - October 2015 - Conferences Calendar
JED - October 2015 - 9
JED - October 2015 - Courses Calendar
JED - October 2015 - 11
JED - October 2015 - From the President
JED - October 2015 - 13
JED - October 2015 - 14
JED - October 2015 - The Monitor
JED - October 2015 - 16
JED - October 2015 - 17
JED - October 2015 - 18
JED - October 2015 - 19
JED - October 2015 - 20
JED - October 2015 - 21
JED - October 2015 - World Report
JED - October 2015 - 23
JED - October 2015 - 24
JED - October 2015 - 25
JED - October 2015 - Going Small: Jamming the Mini-Drones
JED - October 2015 - 27
JED - October 2015 - 28
JED - October 2015 - 29
JED - October 2015 - 30
JED - October 2015 - EW Simulation and Testing: Keeping Up With the Threat
JED - October 2015 - 32
JED - October 2015 - 33
JED - October 2015 - 34
JED - October 2015 - Technology Survey: EW and SIGINT Antennas
JED - October 2015 - 36
JED - October 2015 - 37
JED - October 2015 - 38
JED - October 2015 - 39
JED - October 2015 - 40
JED - October 2015 - 41
JED - October 2015 - 42
JED - October 2015 - 43
JED - October 2015 - EW 101
JED - October 2015 - 45
JED - October 2015 - 46
JED - October 2015 - 47
JED - October 2015 - 48
JED - October 2015 - Index of Advertisers
JED - October 2015 - JED Quick Look
JED - October 2015 - cover3
JED - October 2015 - cover4
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