JED - March 2010 - (Page 30)

By Wing Commander PJ Wallace MA RAF A personal view from an EW training environment provider ously difficult to predict and, therefore, plan for, the next big combat op, so surely it is easier to simply focus on the here and now? Focusing on the “known knowns” as Donald Rumsfeld would say. As we all know, past wars alone should not drive the future. Yet, as we look forward, if aircraft and aircrew are required to rely more and more on sophisticated self-defense capabilities, then we need to provide those warfighters with a realistic way to learn how to use them effectively. It is paramount that we afford the best protection to all our warfighters, not just in the provision of equipment but also training. This has become increasingly important as we rely less and less on organic Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) assets to defend us. Whenever anyone discusses EW facility “modernization,” the debate inevitably turns to high-tech threats such as the S-400 system, but is that really what we need to train our manned platforms against? If so, can we acquire it or emulate it? Or should we focus on the highly mobile, less modern but widely proliferated threats. After all, a 2001 TRADOC report stated that SA-6 and SA-8 proliferation had extended to more than 20 countries; that figure is unlikely to have reduced. The fact that some nations have funded upgrades to these systems makes them hard to ignore. There are many out there who would question the requirement to modernize EW ranges and training facilities. After all, provision of a comprehensive EW training capability can be difficult to source, and often necessitates a significant investment in personnel, time and funds. Adding fuel to the fire, it is no secret that on current operations, such as Afghanistan, we face asymmetric threats that do not always require the use of some of our traditional EW capabilities! Indeed, one of the many lessons identified in Kosovo was that older generation SAM systems can have a significant impact on air operations. So what is the requirement for upgrading EW ranges? What are we expected to train against? It is notori- HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? Whatever the threat, at the end of the day, we also have to consider our training requirements carefully. How much training is enough? To what fidelity do we need to train? Do we pay for expensive real systems or accept that emulators can satisfy the “enough” caveat? Real threats undoubtedly add authenticity and credibility but are expensive; however, emulators are also credible and, generally, more reliable. The trade between real and emulated threats is more complicated when considering how to provide a representative modern integrated air defense system (IADS), particularly if land and air space is at a premium, as it is in many parts of Europe.

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