JED - October 2011 - (Page 6)

the view f ro m h e re A WAKE-UP CALL FOR NATO OCTOBER 2011 • Vol. 34, No. 10 EDITORIAL STAFF Editor: John Knowles Managing Editor: Elaine Richardson Senior Editors: Glenn Goodman, John Haystead Technical Editor: Ollie Holt Contributing Writers: Dave Adamy, Barry Manz, Dr. David Rockwell Marketing & Research Coordinator: Heather McMillen Sales Administration: Esther Biggs B   6 The Journal of Electronic Defense | October 2011 y most standards, NATO’s operation in Libya has been a major success for the alliance. The collapse of the Libyan government in August was partly the result of a well-planned, well-fought air and naval campaign conducted in coordination with Libyan rebels on the ground. NATO certainly dominated the electromagnetic aspects of the conflict. NATO aircraft and ships had full use of their radars, communications systems and navigation systems, as well as unfettered access to the NATO battle network. From an electronic warfare perspective, NATO aircraft suppressed Libya’s air defenses and jammed enemy communications, while SIGINT systems monitored Libyan military communications and located active command centers. NATO’s military success in Libya, however, can lead to erroneous and dangerous conclusions. The biggest concern is that the victory in Libya will lead many NATO members to believe that their military forces are capable and adequate to meet the future needs of the alliance. Political leaders in the US and Europe may determine that military spending can be cut back and modernization programs delayed in the near term without dangerous consequences. These conclusions would be wrong. As a fighting force, NATO is in dire need of modernization. Libya’s SA-2, -3s and -5s, while dangerous, hardly represent the state of the art in air defense technology. Despite this, NATO forces were still highly dependent on US F-16CJs, EC-130H Compass Call aircraft and EA-18Gs in order to establish and maintain air superiority over Libya. The important lesson from Libya is not what air defense systems NATO faced there, but rather what NATO didn’t encounter. The Libyan government did not own any SA-10s or SA-15s. If these types of advanced SAMs had been present around Tripoli or Sirte, even in small numbers, NATO’s EW weaknesses (especially among some of its European partners) would have been all too apparent. Earlier this year, Lt Gen Friedrich-Wilhelm Ploeger, Deputy Commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command, spoke at an unclassified EW conference where he told the audience about some of the early lessons from air operations over Libya. In discussing the difficulties of automating threat reporting in a networked environment, General Ploeger mentioned an incident in which a non-existent SA-10 was erroneously identified inside Libya and then broadcast across the NATO battle network. The reaction? Just about every NATO aircraft in the area immediately exited Libya’s air space. That is one of the more important lessons that NATO should take away from the Libyan operation. It has very few aircraft that can operate in a threat environment with double-digit SAMs. For NATO, Libya was a war of choice rather than a war of necessity. In the future, NATO may be forced to fight countries more like Syria and Iran (both are equipped with double-digit SAMs) rather than middling military forces like Libya’s. How will NATO be able fight against such adversaries if its members continue to trim military spending and fall further behind today’s threats? The answer is simple: it won’t. – John Knowles EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Mr. Tom Arseneault President, Electronic Systems, BAE Systems Mr. Chris Bernhardt President, ITT Electronic Systems Mr. Gabriele Gambarara Elettronica S.p.A. Mr. Tony Grieco Former Deputy for Electronic Warfare, OSD Mr. Itzchak Gat CEO, Elisra CAPT John Green Commander, EA-6B Program Office (PMA-234), NAVAIR, USN Mr. Ron Hahn VP, EM Spectrum Strategies, URS Corp. Mr. Micael Johansson Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area, Electronic Defence Systems, Saab Mr. Mark Kula Vice President, Tactical Airborne Systems, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems Mr. Anthony Lisuzzo Director, Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate, CERDEC, USA CAPT Paul Overstreet Commander, ATAPS Program Office (PMA-272), NAVAIR, USN Mr. Jeffrey Palombo Senior VP and GM, Land and Self-Protection Systems Division, Electronic Systems, Northrop Grumman Corp. Mr. Kerry Rowe President and COO, Argon ST Wg Cdr P.J. Wallace Military Strategic Planning 2, International Policy and Planning, UK MOD Mr. Richard Wittstruck Chief Engineer, PEO Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, USA Mr. Walter Wolf Chairman, JED Committee, AOC PRODUCTION STAFF Layout & Design: Barry Senyk Advertising Art: Carrie Marsh Contact the Editor: (978) 509-1450, Contact the Sales Manager: (800) 369-6220 or Subscription Information: Please contact Glorianne O’Neilin at (703) 549-1600 or e-mail The Journal of Electronic Defense is published for the AOC by Naylor, LLC 5950 NW 1st Place Gainesville, FL 32607 Phone: (800) 369-6220 • Fax: (352) 331-3525 ©2011 Association of Old Crows/Naylor, LLC. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written authorization of the publisher. Editorial: The articles and editorials appearing in this magazine do not represent an official AOC position, except for the official notices printed in the “Association News” section or unless specifically identified as an AOC position. PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2011/JED-M1011/5299

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - October 2011

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
RF EW Program Forecast
EW Ideas and Innovation
Technology Survey: Portable and Flightline EW Testers
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - October 2011