JED - May 2009 - (Page 12)

message f rom the p re s i d e nt Association of Old Crows 1000 North Payne Street, Suite 300 Alexandria, VA 22314-1652 Phone: (703) 549-1600 Fax: (703) 549-2589 PRESIDENT Kermit Quick VICE PRESIDENT Christopher Glaze SECRETARY Judith Westerheide TREASURER Kenneth Parks AT LARGE DIRECTORS Matthew Smith-Meck CDR Scott Martin, USN Linda Palmer Richard Morgan David Hime Kenneth Parks Michael “Mick” Riley William “Buck” Clemons Steven Umbaugh REGIONAL DIRECTORS Central: Judith Westerheide Northeastern: Nino Amoroso Mountain-Western: Lt Col Jesse “Judge” Bourque, Joint EW Center Mid-Atlantic: Harvey Dahljelm International I: Col René Kaenzig, Swiss Air Force International II: Gerry Whitford Southern: Col Tim Freeman, USAF Northern Pacific: Joe “JJ” Johnson Southern Pacific: Vince Battaglia APPOINTED DIRECTORS Mary Ann Tyszko Robert Giesler IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Walter Wolf AOC STAFF Don Richetti Executive Director Norman Balchunas Director, Operations Carole H. Vann Director, Administration Shelley Frost Director, Meeting Services Ken Miller Director, Government, Industry & Public Relations Kent Barker Director, Conferences Glorianne O’Neilin Director, Membership Operations Joel Harding Director, Education Stew Taylor Director, Marketing Jackie Kelly Manager, Meeting Services Tanya Miller Membership Services Jennifer Bahler Registrar Justin O’Neilin IT Manager EW INTEROPERABILITY L 12 The Journal of Electronic Defense | May 2009 ast month, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) celebrated its 60th anniversary. Born from need during the Cold War, it has transformed itself and remained extremely relevant in the post-Cold War era. As security alliances go, it is one of the most successful in history. However, it still has some issues to deal with regarding EW interoperability. From industrial, operational and political perspectives, the alliance is extremely complex. Its military forces operate a diverse range of aircraft, ships and ground vehicles, most of them fitted with very different radar, EW, IFF and communications systems. Many of these weapons systems provide some degree of interoperability. In the EW arena, however, much work has to be done before “true interoperability” in the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is achieved. By this, I mean that any NATO aircraft, ship or ground vehicle can share ESM and SIGINT data on a battle network in real time. As threat systems continue to proliferate and expand their engagement envelopes, it becomes more important to build a collective situational awareness picture on the network. This only can be achieved through EW interoperabilty. Shortfalls in EW interoperability were a problem during Kosovo operations 10 years ago, and they are a lingering problem for NATO today. As NATO expands into Eastern Europe and extends membership to nations that are equipped with Warsaw Pact equipment, the interoperability problem becomes even more pronounced. This will be solved partly by modernization of these forces. But EW interoperability needs to be a solid requirement in these upgrade programs. When I look beyond NATO, I see that the discipline required to develop EW interoperability is sporadic at best. Some countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East do extremely well at planning for interoperability with potential coalition partners. However, the execution of these plans is suspect, and it jeopardizes control of the EM spectrum by coalition forces. I often wonder why any nation that is willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire advanced EW systems would not insist on EW interoperability as an essential requirement. Yet in my job, I see international customers again and again ignoring EW interoperability, which renders the weapons system they are buying far less effective. At the same time, no one else in the acquisition process seems to address it, either – not the exporting government or EW system manufacturer or supplier. It is not simply the responsibility of the customer to insist on EW interoperability. Everyone involved in the acquisition has a responsibility to address it. If a customer nation enters into a coalition operation (perhaps to defend its own territory!), its coalition partners certainly are going to wish someone had addressed interoperability requirements when he or she had the opportunity. – Kermit Quick

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - May 2009

JED - May 2009
The View From Here
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Protecting Helicopters
Ground-Based COMINT Steps Up
Roost Profile
EW 101
AOC News
Index to Advertisers
JED Sales Offices
JED Quick Look

JED - May 2009