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Electronic Warfare: The Part Of The F-35 Fighter Story You Haven't Heard

Thursday, January 11, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brock Sheets

JAN 9, 2018  |  Forbes  |  by Loren Thompson

Modern warfare is waged largely on the electromagnetic spectrum. Although bombs and missiles get the headlines, they are just the kinetic step in a "kill chain" that relies heavily on electronic sensors and computers to detect, track, prioritize and target enemy assets. If the enemy is technologically advanced, it will be using its own array of electronic devices to deceive, disrupt or destroy attacking forces. These defensive measures will typically include methods for interfering with the electronic signals that smart bombs depend on for accuracy.

The struggle to control and exploit the electromagnetic spectrum makes today's conflicts fundamentally different from those of the past. Although Sun Tzu understood 2000 years ago that success in war often depends on deception, the opportunities to confuse, disorient and demoralize adversaries have multiplied as the military enterprise came to depend so heavily on electronic tactics and tools. Electronic warfare thus is a central feature of military strategy for the foreseeable future.

Which brings me to the Pentagon's biggest weapons program, the F-35 fighter. Begun at the dawn of the new millennium two decades ago, the F-35 program is providing the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps with replacements for most of their Cold War tactical aircraft (nearly 300 have already been delivered). Three distinctly different variants of the plane will supply each service with performance features tailored to their unique requirements, in an exceptionally agile and versatile aircraft designed to be far more survivable than those that came before...  

...But there is more to F-35 survivability than stealth. All three variants of the fighter are equipped with a highly automated electronic-warfare system that disrupts and deceives enemy electronic capabilities -- not just radars, but heat-seeking missiles, communications networks and navigation signals...  READ FULL ARTICLE


With over 13,000 members internationally, the Association of Old Crows is an organization for individuals who have common interests in Electronic Warfare (EW), Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Operations, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA), Information Operations (IO), and other information related capabilities. The Association of Old Crows provides a means of connecting members and organizations nationally and internationally across government, defense, industry, and academia to promote the exchange of ideas and information, and provides a platform to recognize advances and contributions in these fields.