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Types of Electronic Warfare

Electronic Warfare
Electronic Support
Measures (ESM)
Electronic Counter
Measures (ECM)
Electronic Counter-
Countermeasures (ECCM)
- Intelligence
- ELINT
- COMINT
- Detection
- Direction finding
- Analysis
- Identification
Anti-Active
Anti-Passive
Active
Passive
Deception
Jamming
Chemical
Mechanical

Figure 1: Elements of Electronic Warfare

Electronic Warfare
Electronic Support
Measures (ESM)
Electronic Counter
Measures (ECM)
Electronic Counter-
Countermeasures (ECCM)
- Intelligence
- ELINT
- COMINT
- Detection
- Direction finding
- Analysis
- Identification
Anti-Active
Anti-Passive
Active
Passive
Deception
Jamming
Chemical
Mechanical

Figure 1: Elements of Electronic Warfare

There are three basic types of electronic warfare:

Electronic Warfare
Electronic Support
Measures (ESM)
Electronic Counter
Measures (ECM)
Electronic Counter-
Countermeasures (ECCM)
- Intelligence
- ELINT
- COMINT
- Detection
- Direction finding
- Analysis
- Identification
Anti-Active
Anti-Passive
Active
Passive
Deception
Jamming
Chemical
Mechanical

Figure 1: Elements of Electronic Warfare

One of the problems with the last two types is the continuous development of one equipment to counter the other. As the ECM specialist produces systems to provide jamming and decoy methods so the ECCM engineer develops equipment to overcome these methods. Frequently the same manufacturers are doing both!

The electronic warfare scene is a continuously evolving battle between the various aspects of ESM, ECM and ECCM. With the complexity of modern weapons, and the speed of reaction necessary to combat them, the weak link in the chain would appear to be the human being who has to make the decision! This is not necessarily the case, because in some instances an operator is far better than an automatic processor. He can interpret situations based on previous experience more readily and can alter his thresholds easily to perform basic functions such as detecting a signal in heavy background clutter, whereas a machine can only operate at the threshold for which it has been programmed. Nevertheless, great strides have been made in artificial intelligence systems and, although there is still a long way to go, the era of complete automation will eventually arrive. The amount of raw information from modern sensor systems is so vast that better and better processors, employing highly complex software programs, are vital to analyse the inputs. This speed and complexity is such that the operators must be highly efficient, and an extensive business in providing EW training and simulation systems has grown up over the past years. Even so, this does not help, say the pilot of a single-seat fighter who is being presented with a vast amount of electronic information and, perhaps, only a second or so to react against a missile attack. All that this means, in that type of situation, is that the warning system must be fully automatic in its countermeasures role, with an overriding manual facility as a safety measure.

Another vital component is the provision of programmable software so that the system program can be changed easily. It is interesting to note that EW systems used in the Gulf War were designed to cope with Soviet missiles and radars but, in some cases, found themselves faced with Western systems. Fortunately the most up-to-date radar warning receivers and jammers are software controlled and were able to be reprogrammed to meet the threats.

Publisher: Christian Wolff
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