Rethinking Electronic Attack

There is about $103 million designated for electronic warfare and electronic protection research in the President’s Fiscal 2015 budget request, Air Force Research Laboratory head Maj. Gen.Thomas Masiello told reporters Tuesday. “I think this is an important area,” said Masiello at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. Electronic Warfare will become even more important as the US transitions from the “low air threat regime” in Iraq and Afghanistan to new anti-access, area-denial challenges, he added. That’s why AFRL is focusing on a program called “Cognitive EW,” where radar and electronic signals are nalyzed on board an aircraft before a response is sent out, said Masiello. In legacy air combat, radar signals are detected then compared to a table of known signals to base a response on. AFRL also is working on tools to increase the ability for aircraft like F-16s to protect and scan information that is sent and received, without detracting from other mission tasks or taking too much time to do so. “We are doing a whole host of work in this area,” Masiello said.