JED - May 2010 - (Page 26)

washing ton repor t EW TASK FORCE REPORT DUE SOON In prepared testimony before the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities on March 23, Zachary Lemnios, the DOD’s Director of Defense Research and Engineering, noted that he had established an Electronic Warfare (EW) Technology Task Force last year. It was one of a number of short-deadline, fast-ramp studies he launched after initial meetings with the combatant commanders and the Joint Staff. He charged each study with developing a thorough understanding of emerging threats and technical challenges and recommending capability concepts to mitigate the challenges. “I chartered the EW Technology Task Force in response to concerns that a common denominator among current and potential adversaries is a determined strategy to expand capabilities in the electromagnetic spectrum domain for offensive and defensive purposes. The mission of the EW Technology Task Force is to assess the military implications of the ubiquitous availability of high-performance analog, digital, electro-optical, radio-frequency and signal components, high-performance signal and data processors, and an increased ability to create sophisticated algorithms that will enable these systems. “The trend is clear,” he noted. “The globalization of advanced electronic technology has made it easier for adversaries to develop effective EW capabilities, especially in a domain that is becoming increasingly congested by commercial competition for use. Additionally, we are seeing the convergence of underpinning technologies in areas such as space, cyber, electronic warfare and communications – areas traditionally considered to be independent.” Lemnios told the House members, “We must not only develop new concepts and capabilities to control and dominate the electromagnetic spectrum domain, but we must also be equally agile in fielding those capabilities. Success is crucial to the effectiveness of our forces. The EW Task Force findings are a first step in helping us identify potential solution paths.” Lemnios told an industry symposium last month that the EW Technology Task Force’s report “is due shortly, and I intend to recommend funding increases in new concepts and capabilities to control and dominate the electromagnetic spectrum.” – G. Goodman NEW EXPORT CONTROL REGIME PLANNED In a major speech on April 20, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told members of Business Executives for National Security that the US export control system is severely flawed and the Administration is poised to implement needed reforms. The Cold War-era regime no longer adequately protects crucial US technologies, he said, and makes it extremely difficult to quickly share needed equipment, including even parts, with allies and partners. “The current arrangement,” Gates said, “fails at the critical task of preventing harmful exports while facilitating useful ones.” Providing an example, he noted, “Today, the US government reviews tens of thousands of license applications for export to EU and NATO countries. In well over 95 percent of these cases, we say ‘yes’ to the export. Additionally, many parts and components of a major piece of defense equipment require their own export licenses. It makes little sense to use the same lengthy process to control the export of every latch, wire and lug nut for a piece of equipment like the F-16, when we have already approved the export of the whole aircraft. We need a system that dispenses with the 95 percent of ‘easy’ cases and lets us concentrate our resources on the remaining 5 percent.” Gates proposed a new tiered approach to export control that he said would allow the US to build higher security walls around truly critical technologies while lowering the walls around others. A major shortcoming of the current system, Gates said, is that it does not differentiate among crucial and non-crucial technologies. The secretary outlined a number of recommendations that grew from a study President Barack Obama directed last summer. “Our plan relies on four key reforms: a single export-control list [one is currently maintained at the State Department and one at the Commerce Department], a single licensing agency, a single enforcement/ coordination agency and a single information technology system,” he said. “The single list, combined with a single licensing agency, would allow us to concentrate on controlling those critical technologies and items – the ‘crown jewels’ – that are the basis for maintaining our military technology advantage, especially technologies and items that no foreign government or company can duplicate,” Gates said. The single licensing agency would have jurisdiction over both munitions and dual-use technologies, streamlining the licensing process. It is not clear how the reforms introduced by Secretary Gates will affect the process and policy regarding EW exports. Some US EW manufacturers have criticized the military equipment export apparatus as slow, bureaucratic and overly restrictive, which sometimes prevents their ability to pursue opportunities. These companies have expressed hope that the reforms will eventually lead to better guidelines for EW exports. – G. Goodman and J. Knowles a 26 The Journal of Electronic Defense | May 2010

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

JED - May 2010
The View From Here
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
European EW
The Future for Airborne Expendables
Protecting Low-Cost and Non-Traditional Platforms
Technology Survey: Missile Warning Systems
New Products
EW 101
Book Review
AOC News
JED Sales Offices
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - May 2010