JED - November 2010 - (Page 6)

the view THE POLITICS OF PROTECTING t JED, we often make the point that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have profoundly changed electronic warfare (EW) in many ways. This month, we are publishing an article about protecting helicopters that looks at a how EW systems are forming the heart of new capabilities well beyond “traditional” EW. Helicopters of all types have proven to be critical assets in current irregular warfare operations, not only because they provide essential air power in support of ground forces, but also because of their ability to transport troops and equipment to the right places at the right time. Unfortunately, their strategic importance has not escaped the enemy, who targets them with SA-7s, RPGs and AK-47s, among other weapons. Today, many countries are in the process of improving the aircraft survivability equipment (ASE) on their helicopters, mostly because of pending commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan operations. Missile warning systems (both UV and IR sensor types) are adding the capability to perform hostile fire indication (HFI) against small arms and RPGs. IR decoys and flares have improved. Laser-based directed IR countermeasures (DIRCM) systems are becoming operational. In short, a lot of new EW capabilities are being introduced that have become baseline requirements for current and future upgrades. What is particularly interesting is how this new technology is changing the thinking of the helicopter user. With the advent of IR missile warning sensors, a helicopter crew doesn’t just have a missile warning system; it has an IR camera that can extend the situational awareness of the aircrew, help prevent collisions with other helicopters and avoid hard landings in low-visibility conditions. As more capable laser-based DIRCM systems are developed, these could provide additional functionality beyond jamming IR-guided missiles. They could help aircrews to avoid hard-to-see obstacles, such as power lines. They could also be used for laser communications or as an “optical disruptor” countermeasure cued by HFI (although this is likely to spark a policy debate about the UN’s 1998 Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons). These ASE advances cannot be fielded too soon, because the low-altitude threat environment is likely to become far more deadly in the coming years. With the advances in commercial radar, laser and IR sensor technology, and the enemy tactics learned from remote controlled IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is very likely that future adversaries will search for unrecognized EW weaknesses within the world’s helicopter fleets. One only needs to consider the appalling age of many helicopter ASE equipment designs (or the lack of helicopter EW at all, in some cases) to identify those vulnerabilities. This is the major challenge facing the helicopter user today. At a time when many countries are freezing or cutting their defense spending, can helicopter ASE remain as a front-burner defense issue and squeak past the budget axe before it falls? Or do we forfeit this opportunity until we begin losing helicopters in a future conflict and everyone decides this is an unacceptable situation (again)? – John Knowles f ro m h e re NOVEMBER 2010 • Vol. 33, No. 11 HELICOPTERS EDITORIAL STAFF A Editor: John Knowles Managing Editor: Elaine Richardson Senior Editor: Glenn Goodman Assistant Editor: Jon Pasierb Technical Editor: Ollie Holt Contributing Writers: Dave Adamy, Ron Hahn, Barry Manz, Marketing & Research Coordinator: Allie Hansen Sales Administration: Esther Biggs EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD 6 The Journal of Electronic Defense | November 2010 Mr. Tom Arseneault President, Electronic Solutions, BAE Systems Mr. Roy Azevedo Vice President, Advanced Concepts and Technology, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems Mr. Chris Bernhardt President, ITT Electronic Systems Maj Gen Bruno Berthet Deputy Director for International Development, DGA, French MOD Mr. Pierre-Yves Chaltiel Senior Vice President, Solutions for the Government Sector, Thales Aerospace Lt Col Dean Ebert Warfighter Integration, Aviation Weapons Requirements Branch, HQ USMC Mr. Gabriele Gambarara President, 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 Deputy Director, EW Directorate, JIOWC, US Strategic Command Mr. Micael Johansson Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area, Electronic Defence Systems, Saab 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. Rep. Joe Pitts (Honorary Member) US Congress, Founding Member, EW Working Group Mr. Kerry Rowe President and COO, Argon ST Wg Cdr P.J. Wallace Commander, RAF Spadeadam 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: Elaine Connell Contact the Editor: (978) 509-1450, JEDeditor@naylor.com Contact the Sales Manager: (800) 369-6220, ext. 3407, or (352) 333-3407 sales@crows.org Subscription Information: Please contact Glorianne O’Neilin at (703) 549-1600 or e-mail oneilin@crows.org. 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 www.naylor.com ©2010 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 OCTOBER 2010/JED-M1110/4238 http://www.crows.org http://www.naylor.com

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

JED - November 2010
Table of Contents
The View From Here
Calendar
From the President
Letters
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Protecting Helicopters: Why ASE is About to Change the Game
The Rise... and Further Rise of FPGAs in EW
Physics of the Cyber-EMS Problem – Why We Have the Language Wrong
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - November 2010

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