JED - October 2015 - 46

E W101

The Journal of Electronic Defense | October 2015

46

must be defended against attack
by enemy guided rockets, artillery, mortars, missiles, and fast attack aircraft. The US approach to
defending against these weapons
Dazzle
currently employs expensive, comSensor
plex kinetic weapons which cost
much more per shot than the weapons they counter. These defensive
SENSOR
weapons also require extensive logistic networks.
The bottom line is that we
use weapons that cost millions of
dollars per shot to defeat enemy
Penetrate and
weapons that cost orders of magDisable or
Disable or Destroy
nitude less per shot. The enemy
Destroy
Vehicle
strategy identified in the CSBA
Sensor
report is for our potential enemies
to deploy such large numbers of
these
relatively
inexpensive
weapons that we cannot afford
Figure 3: Directed energy weapons can attack an enemy weapon by dazzling or
Figure 3: Directed energy weapons can attack an enemy weapon by dazzling or disabling its sensor or by
to have enough kinetic defensive
disabling its sensor or by disabling or destroying the vehicle carrying it.
disabling or destroying the vehicle carrying it.
weapons to adequately defend our
RSCs and other assets. The CSBA report proposes a change in
pitting lenses or mirrors or warping movable parts by overapproach that incorporates high-energy electronic weapons,
heating them. With enough power, lasers can penetrate the
and it describes the state of the art in the required techweapons to detonate their warheads or destroy the weapon's
nologies involved in these weapons. One of the messages
body. High power microwave weapons can saturate sensitive
is that there is much technology development required to
front-end electronic components or, with enough power, can
achieve this.
burn them out.
Over the next few months, we will discuss the different
The point of this paragraph is to point out that directed
types of high-energy weapons and their related technologies.
energy weapons do not need to "blast enemy weapons out of
the sky" to be effective. Currently available systems allow the
use of directed energy to:
COSTS OF COMPLEX KINETIC DEFENSIVE WEAPONS
Table 1 shows the unit cost of a few kinetic defensive weap*	 	guide	kinetic	weapons	to	precise	target	locations
ons identified in the referenced paper.
*	 	jam	or	dazzle	enemy	guidance	sensors
The paper does the math for defense against a salvo of 30
*	 	deny	 personnel	 access	to	 areas	 without	 employing	 lethal	
missiles using a shoot-look-shoot approach with two defenforce
sive missiles against each attacker
to maximize the probability of a
DEFENSIVE MISSILE
ABBREVIATION
UNIT COST
successful defense. The cost to
Patriot Advanced Capability 3
PAC-3
$3.3 million US
defend against this salvo would
be about $700 million US. The enTerminal High Altitude Area Defense
THAAD
$9 million US
emy's cost for the salvo would be
Standard Missile-3
SM-3
$10 to 15 million US
10-to-15 percent of the cost to deTable 1: Cost per shot of modern defensive missiles
feat it.
The referenced paper points out
that multiple current and potential enemies are building im*	 	destroy	land	mines	and	improvised	explosive	devices
pressive stockpiles of these relatively inexpensive weapons. It
*	 	a nd	many	more	militarily	valuable	activities.
councils that we should be developing a robust DEW capability
As the supporting technologies mature, the applications
that will allow a defensive posture featuring extremely low
will continue to expand and the effectiveness of these existcost per shot in order to meet this challenge.
ing techniques will increase.

TYPES OF DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS

WHAT'S NEXT

The two main types of directed energy weapons are high
power lasers and high power microwave transmitters. Lasers
can dazzle weapon sensors to degrade or defeat their guidance.
They can also permanently degrade their guidance sensors by

Next month, we will continue our discussion of directed energy weapons with consideration of the supporting technologies. For your comments and suggestions, Dave Adamy can be
reached at dave@lynxpub.com. a



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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