Cyber Defense

Navy, Air Force looking for new electronic warfare tech

In continuing a recent trend, the military is looking for ways to increase its capabilities in electronic warfare. Two recent solicitations by different service branches requested research pertaining to electromagnetic spectrum operations, one researching defensive tactics and one more on the offensive. 

The Naval Research Lab is interested in investigating current and innovative techniques that can assess the susceptibility Navy ships and other assets in marine environments to EW and improve their defenses, with a focus on radio frequency and electro-optical/infrared techniques. NRL said it also will consider ultraviolet, sub-millimeter wave, millimeter wave, acoustics, magnetic and non-traditional technologies. 

Major technical areas NRL will address include research, development, test and evaluation of prototype force protection and electronic warfare sensor and systems, electronic warfare modeling and simulation studies, signature control studies and hardware in the look and signal processor in the loop studies.

The Air Force, meanwhile, is looking to take the offensive, releasing a proposal for an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity type contract for research into innovative concepts for using high-power electromagnetic, (HPEM) technology to complement and enhance cyber and electronic warfare (CEWA) concepts. 

The program could run as long as five years and will offer as much as $10 million worth of task orders.

The Air Force’s Directed Energy Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory started the HPEM CEWA program in 2013 to investigate ways to use HPEM technologies in support of the cyber and EW communities. The directorate said it is interested in single-shot and multi-shot HPEM technologies, as well as specialized waveform technologies. The military services have recently been working on ways to combine cyber and EW operations, and the Defense Department is considering declaring the electromagnetic spectrum a domain of warfare

Proposals are due for the Navy are due by Feb 5; for the Air Force by Feb. 26, 2016. 

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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