JED - September 2009 - (Page 39)

The Journal of Electronic Defense | September 2009 Let’s Get on With the Fix By Tom Brannon I ID 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 t is hardly news that aircraft (fi xed and rotary wing) electronic warfare (EW) systems are emerging much faster today than verified, validated, and accredited threat test resources. The implication is that complex and expensive aircraft threat warning and self-protection systems may arrive at operational squadrons with unresolved key performance parameters (KPPs) and unresolved critical operational issues (COIs). It is not a single service problem. The USAF F-22 and CV/MV-22 are becoming operational in militarily significant numbers and in need of threat test resources. Figure 1 is a notional depiction of the gap between the projected threat test resources (blue bars) and emerging systems (fuchsia bars) to be tested. The then Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Thomas P. Christie, in a Dec 13, 2003 memorandum to the SecDef said that to strengthen our joint warfighting capabilities, the Department should not only “train as we fight” but also “test as we fight.”(1) That there is a gap is not particularly news worthy; that the gap is likely to widen is significant. The critical question: are we putting precious aircrew and air assets in harm’s way with aircraft self-protection and warning systems that are not fully tested and evaluated when there may be reasonable alternatives? What has changed? Today the US Government borrows about 50 percent of Federal Budget placing extraordinary pressure to reduce cost in all Federal budget areas. John Young, former Pentagon Acquisition Chief, referring to UAVs, encouraged the test community to be more agile and able to deliver systems quickly to the field. (2) This article is not a call to abandon long standing T&E processes or to co-mingle Major Range and Test Facility Base assets with traditional service Title 10 acquisition or service training functions. Rather, it proposes a new look at some old ideas to accomplish robust test and evaluation. To do nothing means we watch the gap between threat test resources and systems under test grow. Unacceptable. Worse, if we cannot test a system until long after it is fielded; do we have a legitimate test requirement? The problem: technological innovation by threat nations has increased 39 Task Name Threat Test Resource Projected Availability Threat Test Resource Projected Availability Threat Test Resource Projected Availability System Under Test Requirement System Under Test Requirement System Under Test Requirement System Under Test Requirement 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Figure 1: Notional depiction of Threat Test Resource Projected Availability vs. System Under Test (SUT) Requirement. Depicted is a gap between the test requirements and threat system availability.

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

JED - September 2009
The View From Here
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Defeating Threats to Large Aircraft
The Threat Test Resource Gap
EW 101
AOC News
JED Sales Offices
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - September 2009