The US president John F Kennedy once quoted “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.” The world has witnessed numerous wars, battles that inflicted unfathomable pain on mankind. But the rapid progress of science and technology has changed the face of modern-day warfare completely. Today, virtually everybody is familiar with fighter aircraft, battle tanks, warships, and submarines. A majority of people have optically discerned them in action, either directly or via television or movies. But there is another kind of invisible fight involving the utilization of radio and radar emissions which is always going on in the atmosphere. This silent battle of beams is commonly called Electronic Warfare.
Electronic Warfare (EW) is not rigorously ‘electronic’, i.e., it is not conducted utilizing electrons; rather it is electromagnetic, and uses the entire range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Because of this, some people withal call it Electromagnetic Warfare.
The rudimentary concept of EW is to exploit the enemy’s electromagnetic emissions in all components of the electromagnetic spectrum in order to provide perspicacity on the enemy’s order of battle, intentions and capabilities and to use countermeasures to gainsay efficacious use of communications and weapons systems while protecting one’s own efficacious use of the same spectrum.
- ELECTRONIC SUPPORT MEASURES (ESM): It involves actions taken to probe for, intercept, locate, record and analyze radiated electromagnetic energy, for the purport of exploiting such radiations to fortify military operations. Thus, ESM is a paramount source of EW information to carry out electronic countermeasures and electronic, counter-countermeasures. ESM involves, in general, accumulation of EW information through Electronic Perspicacity (ELINT), Communications Perspicacity (COMINT) and ESM receivers.
- ELECTRONIC COUNTERMEASURES (ECM): Electronic Countermeasures are the actions taken to avert or reduce the enemy’s efficacious utilization of the electromagnetic spectrum
- ELECTRONIC COUNTER COUNTERMEASURES(ECCM): The actions taken to ascertain cordial, efficacious, utilization of the electromagnetic spectrum despite the enemy’s utilization of EW are termed as ECCM
The battlefield of electronic warfare is ecumenical and its intensity varies according to different national interests and perceptions of potential threats. In fact, electronic warfare is towards the maintenance of regional and ecumenical balances which deter the outbreak of armed conflict. The mere possession of a certain number of ESM or ECM contrivances is not enough to ascertain prosperity in war. In EW what works today may not work tomorrow, and the developments in EW systems must always proximately and opportunely follow developments in the threat. With the illimitable evolution of applied military technology, electronically-guided weapons are coming more proximate and more proximate to perfection and thus constant updating and refinement of EW equipment are required.