JED - November 2013 - 6

the view

f ro m h e re


The Journal of Electronic Defense | November 2013


ack in 2001, months before the 9/11 attacks, I co-authored a 10-year
EW market forecast commissioned by the Office of the Secretary
of Defense. Reflecting the strategic thinking of the day, we were
tasked to look at specific areas, such as missile warning, RWR/ESM,
directed IR countermeasures, RF jammers, towed decoys, etc., to
help the DOD assess certain aspects of the US EW industrial base. Compared with
today, forecasting the EW market wasn't too difficult in 2001. EW was generally
limited to a relatively small portion of the DOD's weapons systems inventory,
such as fighter aircraft, helicopters, bombers and transport aircraft, as well as
frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers. Threats were limited to a fairly
well understood set of radars and IR- and RF-guided missiles. The difficult part
of developing the EW market forecast was identifying how threat trends, operational needs and defense budgets would translate into EW spending.
Since that time, the target set for EW has grown to include a wide range of
commercial and military communications systems, satellite navigation systems
and, of course, more radars and IR threats. This means multi-spectral EW solutions are being designed for weapons systems, such as ground vehicles, UAVs,
soldiers, and even land-attack missiles, which were not driving the core EW market in 2001.
The EW market for the smaller weapons systems is still emerging, and it
doesn't behave like the "traditional" EW market that focuses on manned aircraft
and ships. When I was in London for the DSEI exhibition in September, I saw
at least 25 exhibitors on the show floor who supplied RCIED jammers. This was
nearly double the number that came to DSEI in 2011. Another observation worth
noting is that in 2011, there were several ground vehicles on the DSEI show floor
that were displayed with RCIED jammer antennas. In 2013, I didn't see any vehicles displaying jammer antennas. What's happening?
While the RCIED jammer market has been shrinking for the past two years, I
think that many countries outside NATO and other established EW users are buying basic IED jammers in fairly small quantities for special operations units and
VIP protection. These are typically described as RCIED inhibitors, because they
are simple noise jammers. But, they are certainly popular, and they represent a
new entry point for getting EW into the hands of users. Over time, these EW users
will develop more sophisticated communications EW requirements, and they will
evolve from using "inhibitors" to more sophisticated jammers.
This is a trend that I would never have expected when I was writing about the
EW market for OSD in 2001. Today, we have a very dynamic situation in the electromagnetic environment. Below 6 GHz, there's lots of innovation and proliferation of commercial technology. At the same time, we're seeing the rapid spread of
AESA and cognitive technologies in military applications. EW requirements will
need to catch up to these trends, and that makes for a very bright future for the
EW market over the long term. - John Knowles

NOVEMBER 2013 * Vol. 36, No. 11

Editor: John Knowles
Managing Editor: Elaine Richardson
Senior Editor: John Haystead
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Col Jim Pryor
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Warfare and Sensors, USA

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JED - November 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - November 2013

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
World Report
What’s New in Naval ESM
Technology Survey: COMINT/DF Receivers
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - November 2013 - cover1
JED - November 2013 - cover2
JED - November 2013 - 3
JED - November 2013 - 4
JED - November 2013 - 5
JED - November 2013 - The View From Here
JED - November 2013 - 7
JED - November 2013 - Conferences Calendar
JED - November 2013 - 9
JED - November 2013 - Courses Calendar
JED - November 2013 - 11
JED - November 2013 - From the President
JED - November 2013 - 13
JED - November 2013 - 14
JED - November 2013 - The Monitor
JED - November 2013 - 16
JED - November 2013 - 17
JED - November 2013 - 18
JED - November 2013 - 19
JED - November 2013 - 20
JED - November 2013 - 21
JED - November 2013 - World Report
JED - November 2013 - 23
JED - November 2013 - What’s New in Naval ESM
JED - November 2013 - 25
JED - November 2013 - 26
JED - November 2013 - 27
JED - November 2013 - 28
JED - November 2013 - 29
JED - November 2013 - 30
JED - November 2013 - Technology Survey: COMINT/DF Receivers
JED - November 2013 - 32
JED - November 2013 - 33
JED - November 2013 - 34
JED - November 2013 - 35
JED - November 2013 - 36
JED - November 2013 - 37
JED - November 2013 - 38
JED - November 2013 - 39
JED - November 2013 - 40
JED - November 2013 - 41
JED - November 2013 - 42
JED - November 2013 - 43
JED - November 2013 - EW 101
JED - November 2013 - 45
JED - November 2013 - 46
JED - November 2013 - AOC News
JED - November 2013 - 48
JED - November 2013 - Index of Advertisers
JED - November 2013 - JED Quick Look
JED - November 2013 - cover3
JED - November 2013 - cover4