Electronic Warfare

Electronic Warfare – The Future

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.

Electronic Warfare
The electromagnetic spectrum. (Credit: MicroWorld)

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 Warfare
Basic components of EM
  • 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 Warfare
Classification of ECM
  • 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.

Electronic Warfare
Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Off-Board Electronic Warfare (AOEW) Active Mission Payload (AMP) system, a pod hosted on an MH-60R or MH-60S, will enhance the way the U.S. Navy detects and responds to anti-ship missile threats. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Mr. Ankur Jyoti Sarmah is presently working as a Guest lecturer in the Department of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering of Assam Engineering College, Guwahati. He completed his Bachelors in Electronics & Communication Engineering from Annamalai University and Masters of Technology in Control Systems from Manipal Institute of Technology. A well-decorated teacher with a scientific endeavor for learning has a healthy experience of working at the National Aerospace Laboratory, Bangalore. He also holds a handful of scientific publications in the field of signal processing and communication.