JED - December 2016 - 38

The Future of Airborn
Building a "Smarter"

I
The Journal of Electronic Defense | December 2016

38

It's already clear that US airborne forces and platforms will need to operate
in much more highly-contested Anti
Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environments than they have ever faced before. This already daunting challenge
is only expected to increase, and as a
result, the Services' airborne electronic
attack (AEA) capabilities and overall
AEA strategy will need to be dramatically improved and restructured to keep
pace with the threat. The DOD has determined, however, that this requirement cannot be met with incremental
improvements to existing systems, but
rather must represent an exponential
advancement and implementation of the
very latest technological capabilities,
specifically artificial intelligence (AI)
architectures and machine-learning
techniques and algorithms. In the context of AEA, these technologies are described as cognitive EW - self-learning
systems combined in highly-integrated
networks able to detect, react and adapt
to threats in real-time.

STAND-OFF TO STAND-IN
The most pressing concern for AEA
planners is the increased operating
range and sophistication of advanced
integrated air-defense systems (IADS)
incorporating both active and passive
surveillance and targeting capabilities. Current approaches rely almost exclusively on dedicated AEA platforms,
such as the EA-18G Growler and EC-130H
Compass Call aircraft, with high-power,
wideband jamming systems. These low
density, high-demand systems, however, are intended to primarily operate
outside the range of threat systems, so
with the increasing reach of the threat,
the effectiveness of these "stand-off"

platforms' high-power jamming is significantly reduced. At the same time,
the beamwidth of their jamming signals
is simultaneously expanded with range,
making they themselves more visible
and vulnerable to a broader range of
threats. Improved systems, such as the
next-generation jammer (NGJ) being developed for the EA-18G, will somewhat
address the problem, but they will not
solve it.
As pointed out by Bryan Clark, Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic
and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA)
(Washington, DC), and co-author of
the authoritative study, "Winning The
Airwaves: Regaining America's Dominance in The Electromagnetic Spectrum," "With longer-range air defense
systems, we won't be able to generate
the same level of effects (with standoff jamming) that we've been able to
in the past." Still, says Clark, although
"some people have been writing off
these big jammers positioned outside
the range of enemy aircraft and antiaircraft fire, as sort of a legacy mission, I would argue that there is still
a role for stand-off jamming, but it
will be much more of a discreet, verynarrow-beam, very-controllable-power
level approach, trying to minimize
your probability of detection."
In any case, additional AEA capabilities will be needed to complement
stand-off capabilities. These are expected to take the form of small, low-probability of intercept/low-probability of
detection (LPI/LPD) UAVs or expendable
systems, such as the Air Force's Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD)-X and
the US Navy's version, MALD-N. Clark
says, "We're already seeing AEA evolving from basically a stand-off, side-lobe

jamming approach to something more of
a stand-in nature for highly-contested
environments. These systems allow you
to get in closer and generate effects at
lower power without being exposed to
attack themselves."

AEA AND THE THIRD
OFFSET STRATEGY
Sitting atop the expectations and
plans for next-generation AEA is the



JED - December 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - December 2016

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Interview: Col Jeffrey N. Aldridge, USAF
Interview: US Rep. Joe Pitts
The Future of Airborne Electronic Attack
Regaining the Advantage – Cognitive Electronic Warfare
Technology Survey: Flightline and Portable EW Simulators
AOC EW Singapore Preview
New Products
Report from the 2016 EW GCC Conference
Crows in the Community
The Heat is On
EW 101
Report from the 2016 AOC CEMA Conference
2016 AOC Award Winners
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - December 2016 - cover1
JED - December 2016 - cover2
JED - December 2016 - 3
JED - December 2016 - 4
JED - December 2016 - 5
JED - December 2016 - The View From Here
JED - December 2016 - 7
JED - December 2016 - Conferences Calendar
JED - December 2016 - 9
JED - December 2016 - Courses Calendar
JED - December 2016 - 11
JED - December 2016 - From the President
JED - December 2016 - 13
JED - December 2016 - 14
JED - December 2016 - The Monitor
JED - December 2016 - insert1
JED - December 2016 - insert2
JED - December 2016 - 16
JED - December 2016 - 17
JED - December 2016 - 18
JED - December 2016 - 19
JED - December 2016 - 20
JED - December 2016 - 21
JED - December 2016 - 22
JED - December 2016 - 23
JED - December 2016 - 24
JED - December 2016 - 25
JED - December 2016 - Washington Report
JED - December 2016 - 27
JED - December 2016 - World Report
JED - December 2016 - 29
JED - December 2016 - Interview: Col Jeffrey N. Aldridge, USAF
JED - December 2016 - 31
JED - December 2016 - 32
JED - December 2016 - 33
JED - December 2016 - Interview: US Rep. Joe Pitts
JED - December 2016 - 35
JED - December 2016 - 36
JED - December 2016 - 37
JED - December 2016 - The Future of Airborne Electronic Attack
JED - December 2016 - 39
JED - December 2016 - 40
JED - December 2016 - 41
JED - December 2016 - 42
JED - December 2016 - 43
JED - December 2016 - 44
JED - December 2016 - 45
JED - December 2016 - 46
JED - December 2016 - 47
JED - December 2016 - 48
JED - December 2016 - 49
JED - December 2016 - 50
JED - December 2016 - 51
JED - December 2016 - 52
JED - December 2016 - 53
JED - December 2016 - 54
JED - December 2016 - 55
JED - December 2016 - Regaining the Advantage – Cognitive Electronic Warfare
JED - December 2016 - 57
JED - December 2016 - 58
JED - December 2016 - 59
JED - December 2016 - 60
JED - December 2016 - 61
JED - December 2016 - 62
JED - December 2016 - Technology Survey: Flightline and Portable EW Simulators
JED - December 2016 - 64
JED - December 2016 - 65
JED - December 2016 - 66
JED - December 2016 - 67
JED - December 2016 - 68
JED - December 2016 - 69
JED - December 2016 - 70
JED - December 2016 - AOC EW Singapore Preview
JED - December 2016 - 72
JED - December 2016 - 73
JED - December 2016 - New Products
JED - December 2016 - 75
JED - December 2016 - Report from the 2016 EW GCC Conference
JED - December 2016 - 77
JED - December 2016 - Crows in the Community
JED - December 2016 - 79
JED - December 2016 - The Heat is On
JED - December 2016 - 81
JED - December 2016 - 82
JED - December 2016 - 83
JED - December 2016 - 84
JED - December 2016 - 85
JED - December 2016 - EW 101
JED - December 2016 - 87
JED - December 2016 - 88
JED - December 2016 - 89
JED - December 2016 - Report from the 2016 AOC CEMA Conference
JED - December 2016 - 91
JED - December 2016 - 92
JED - December 2016 - 2016 AOC Award Winners
JED - December 2016 - 94
JED - December 2016 - 95
JED - December 2016 - 96
JED - December 2016 - 97
JED - December 2016 - 98
JED - December 2016 - 99
JED - December 2016 - AOC News
JED - December 2016 - 101
JED - December 2016 - 102
JED - December 2016 - 103
JED - December 2016 - 104
JED - December 2016 - Index of Advertisers
JED - December 2016 - JED Quick Look
JED - December 2016 - cover3
JED - December 2016 - cover4
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