JED - March 2010 - (Page 26)

washing ton repor t 2010 QDR RELEASED The Department of Defense (DOD) has released its 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which provides strategic guidance for defense planning, including weapons acquisition. While cyberspace operations predictably receive a lot of attention in the new document, the need to bolster US military electronic attack capabilities is mentioned frequently, second only to specific QDR initiatives to increase the numbers of rotary-wing aircraft, Special Operations Forces, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, particularly unmanned aerial vehicles. For example, the document states, “The capabilities, flexibility and robustness of US forces across the board will be improved by fielding more and better enabling systems, including ISR, electronic attack, communications networks, more resilient base infrastructure, and enhanced cyber defenses.” Under the heading “Defeat enemy sensor and engagement systems,” the QDR states, “In order to counter the spread of advanced surveillance, air defense and strike systems, the Department has directed increased investments in selected capabilities for electronic attack.” The document also notes, “Enhanced long-range strike capabilities are one means of countering growing threats to forward-deployed forces and bases and ensuring US power-projection capabilities. Building on insights developed during the QDR, the Secretary of Defense has ordered a follow-on study to determine what combination of joint persistent surveillance, electronic warfare, and precision-attack capabilities, including both penetrating platforms and stand-off weapons, will best support US power-projection operations over the next two to three decades. Findings from that study will inform decisions that shape the FY2012-2017 defense program.” Defeating the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) will continue to receive great emphasis, the QDR says. “Doing so necessitates a multipronged approach that includes synchronizing counter-IED efforts Department-wide, providing specialized training, attacking the networks that make and deploy IEDs and defeating the devices themselves. Airborne EW assets in particular have been in high demand in Iraq and Afghanistan in the fight against IEDs and will be valuable in future conflict environments as well … We must assume that the IED threat will evolve and persist even as better countermeasures are developed.” The DOD is taking several steps to strengthen US military capabilities in cyberspace, the QDR notes. These include developing a more comprehensive approach to DOD operations in cyberspace; developing greater cyber expertise and awareness; centralizing command of cyber operations; and enhancing partnerships with other agencies and governments. “Strategies and policies to improve cyber defense in depth, resiliency of networks, and surety of data and communication will allow the DOD to continue to have confidence in its cyberspace operations.” “DOD must actively defend its networks. A failure by the Department to secure its systems in cyberspace would pose a fundamental risk to our ability to accomplish defense missions today and in the future. To ensure unfettered access to cyberspace, our missioncritical command-and-control systems and networks must perform and be resilient in the face of cyberspace attacks.” The DOD is taking steps to identify those mission-critical systems and networks, examining how best to further protect them and exploring ways to develop operational approaches and logistics that better address potential vulnerabilities. The need for acquisition reform, a major thrust of Defense Secretary Robert Gates tenure, receives some strong language in the QDR. “Over several decades and across multiple administrations, the Pentagon’s acquisition system has developed major problems that hamper our ability to acquire critical platforms and capabilities in a timely manner and at acceptable cost. First, the requirements for new systems are too often set at the far limit of current technological boundaries. Such ambition can sometimes help produce breakthrough developments that can significantly extend America’s technological edge. But far too often the result is disappointing initial performance followed by chronic cost and schedule overruns. The Department and the nation can no longer afford the quixotic pursuit of high-tech perfection that incurs unacceptable cost and risk. Nor can the Department afford to chase requirements that shift or continue to increase throughout a program’s life cycle. “The conventional acquisition process is too long and too cumbersome to fit the needs of the many systems that require continuous changes and upgrades – a challenge that will become only more pressing over time. The Department will improve how it matches requirements with mature technologies, maintains disciplined systems engineering approaches, institutionalizes rapid acquisition capabilities, and implements more comprehensive testing. We must avoid sacrificing cost and schedule for promises of improved performance.” – G. Goodman a The Journal of Electronic Defense | March 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - March 2010

JED - March 2010
The View From Here
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Modernizing EW Ranges
Shooting Down the Good Guys
USAF EW Sustainment
Technology Survey: TWTs and MPMs
EW 101
AOC News
Industry/Institute/University Members
JED Sales Offices
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - March 2010