JED - November 2015 - 6

the view

f rom he re

KEEP THE
"J" IN AEA

www.crows.org

The Journal of Electronic Defense

NOVEMBER 2015 * Vol. 38, No. 11

EDITORIAL STAFF
Editor: John Knowles
Managing Editor: Elaine Richardson
Senior Editor: John Haystead
Technical Editor: Ollie Holt

F
The Journal of Electronic Defense | November 2015

6

orging a future path for the airborne electronic attack (AEA) mission
is not easy. The good news is that most of the Pentagon leadership
agrees that the AEA mission is important. The bad news is that the Air
Force and the Navy disagree on exactly how AEA should move forward.
Unfortunately, this discussion too often focuses on technology and
does not go into what really should drive this debate: Joint Warfighting.
AEA has been one of the DOD's most successful Joint Warfighting areas over
the past 25 years. From the Gulf War to today, Air Force EC-130H Compass Call
aircraft, US Navy and USMC EA-6B Prowlers and US Navy EA-18G Growlers have
provided suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), counter-IED and communications jamming support to aircrews, soldiers, Marines and sailors without any
thought for which Service branch is receiving the support. This is a testament
to the jointness that is hardwired into the AEA mission.
If this is true, then why does the DOD seem to have such a hard time laying
out a path for AEA modernization? The real cause of the friction in the Joint
AEA debate comes from the individual Services, which must develop the specific AEA capabilities that support two different types of strike missions. The
Air Force's Global Strike Mission includes deep strikes against an adversary. The
Navy's Carrier Strike Mission generally focuses on the littoral zone. They share
similar needs, like AEA, but these respective strike missions don't necessarily
require the same AEA capabilities. The Air Force, for instance, has invested
heavily in RF stealth technology in order to boost the survivability of strike
aircraft against an advanced integrated air defense system (IADS). This focus
on low-observable (LO) platforms has enabled the Air Force to invest in AEA
capabilities such as close-in jammers (MALD-J, for instance) and high-power
electromagnetic weapon (HPEM) programs, such as the counter-electronics
high-powered advanced missile project (CHAMP) and the non-kinetic counterelectronics (NKCE) demonstrations. The Navy has opted for a slightly different approach that balances investment in LO aircraft, such as the F-35C, and
manned AEA platforms, such as the EA-18G. Based on their other investments
in strike platform survivability, each Service has come up with an AEA strategy
that suits its needs. The question is: How do the Services invest in AEA capabilities that cover each other's needs? This is the "joint" question facing the
DOD as it pursues AEA modernization to address anti-access area-denial (A2AD)
threat environments.
The good news is that AEA is a very flexible mission area. Think of how EC130H and EA-6B aircraft, which were originally designed to take down enemy
IADS during the Cold War, were easily leveraged for counter-IED and communications jamming operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. We sometimes forget that
AEA's flexibility makes it well suited to Joint missions because the Electromagnetic Spectrum is inherently a Joint environment - photons don't seem to care
who uses them. Maybe it is worth remembering this as the DOD pushes forward
with AEA modernization. - J. Knowles

Editorial Assistant: Brittany Bowen
Contributing Writers: Dave Adamy, Luca Peruzzi,
Richard Scott, Gàbor Zórd
Marketing & Research Coordinator: Kent Agramonte
Proofreader: Shauna Keedian
Sales Administration: Candice Blair

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Mr. Petter Bedoire
Vice President and Head of M&S and EW Systems,
Electronic Defence Systems, Saab
Mr. Edgar Maimon
General Manager, Elbit Systems EW and SIGINT - Elisra
Mr. Jeffrey Palombo
Senior VP and GM, Land and Self-Protection Systems Division,
Electronic Systems, Northrop Grumman Corp.
Mr. Steve Roberts
Vice President, Strategy, Selex Galileo
Mr. Travis Slocumb
VP, Electronic Warfare Systems, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems
Gp Capt P.J. Wallace
Assistant Head Targeting, Military Strategic Effects, UK MOD

PRODUCTION STAFF
Layout & Design: Barry Senyk
Advertising Art: Elaine Connell
Contact the Editor: (978) 509-1450, JEDeditor@naylor.com
Contact the Sales Manager:
(800) 369-6220 or sales@crows.org
Subscription Information: Please contact Glorianne O'Neilin
at (703) 549-1600 or e-mail oneilin@crows.org.
The Journal of Electronic Defense
is published for the AOC by

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©2015 Association of Old Crows/Naylor, LLC. All rights reserved. The
contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in
whole or in part, without the prior written authorization of the publisher.
Editorial: The articles and editorials appearing in this magazine do not
represent an official AOC position, except for the official notices printed
in the "Association News" section or unless specifically identified as an
AOC position.
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2015/JED-M1115/1754


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JED - November 2015

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

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
World Report
Airborne Electronic Attack for A2AD
52nd Annual AOC International Symposium and Convention Guide
2016 EW/SIGINT Resource Guide
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - November 2015 - cover1
JED - November 2015 - cover2
JED - November 2015 - 3
JED - November 2015 - 4
JED - November 2015 - 5
JED - November 2015 - The View From Here
JED - November 2015 - 7
JED - November 2015 - Conferences Calendar
JED - November 2015 - 9
JED - November 2015 - Courses Calendar
JED - November 2015 - 11
JED - November 2015 - From the President
JED - November 2015 - 13
JED - November 2015 - 14
JED - November 2015 - The Monitor
JED - November 2015 - 16
JED - November 2015 - 17
JED - November 2015 - 18
JED - November 2015 - 19
JED - November 2015 - 20
JED - November 2015 - 21
JED - November 2015 - 22
JED - November 2015 - 23
JED - November 2015 - World Report
JED - November 2015 - 25
JED - November 2015 - Airborne Electronic Attack for A2AD
JED - November 2015 - 27
JED - November 2015 - 28
JED - November 2015 - 29
JED - November 2015 - 30
JED - November 2015 - 31
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JED - November 2015 - 40
JED - November 2015 - 52nd Annual AOC International Symposium and Convention Guide
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JED - November 2015 - 2016 EW/SIGINT Resource Guide
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JED - November 2015 - EW 101
JED - November 2015 - 81
JED - November 2015 - AOC News
JED - November 2015 - 83
JED - November 2015 - Index of Advertisers
JED - November 2015 - 85
JED - November 2015 - JED Quick Look
JED - November 2015 - cover3
JED - November 2015 - cover4
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