Even with many defense budgets and programs being slashed, the electronic warfare (EW) program is one area of defense that will receive a boost in spending.
The reason is that the U.S. military has fallen behind other countries when it comes to electronic warfare, which is a key element in defeating enemy air defenses, said Frank Kendall, deputy under¬secretary of defense for acquisition and ¬technology.
“We’ve not invested in the EW side of the house recently as we should be inclined to do,” Kendall said in Aviation Week. “I would say it will receive increased emphasis as our focus shifts” to squeezing more costs out of the defense budget.
Electronic management has been a problem in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The electronic pollution in Baghdad produced an environment where new electronic equipment that was used would interfere with other equipment. Electronic pollution in Afghanistan has been an ongoing problem.
The plan to bring back research and development in EW comes when the U.S. has arrived at the intersection of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), directed energy, cyberoperations, and the need for electromagnetic battlefield management (EMBM), writes Aviation Week.
“We used to regard ourselves as much more competitive in the EW environment than we have been in the last decade or two,” Kendall said. “Our capabilities and the degree to which we are ahead of the [threat] power curve has atrophied. We have to take a look at that and get our strength back.”