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AOC Electronic Warfare Europe – Stockholm 2019 - Speaker Questions

by Asif Anwar | Mar 22, 2019

Strategy Analytics will be speaking at the 24th AOC Electronic Warfare conference which will focus on examining the technological and conceptual means of ensuring capabilities including EW, SIGINT, Navigation and NAVWAR, Communication, C4ISR are able to work together in a unified way. Strategy Analytics will discuss the growing opportunity for solid state technologies such as GaN as reflected in developments across military radar, electronic warfare and military communications systems.

Ahead of the show, I was interviewed on some of the main themes for this year’s event and related issues.

  1. The theme of AOC EW Europe 2019 is ‘Unifying Electromagnetic (EM) Warfare in a Complex World - Together’ – why is unifying EM capabilities (such as EW, SIGINT, Spectrum Management, C4ISR and Navigation/NAVWAR) currently so important? Being able to unify the different EM capabilities is central to the issue of dealing with the data tsunami that is presented to the warfighter in the digital battlefield. Spectrum management will be central to unifying EM capabilities across systems so that the available bandwidth can be optimised in conjunction with the latency and economics of the EM environment, aka the network, in which systems are operating. This will be achieved using increasingly complex modulation schemes in conjunction with phased arrays and underpinned by solid-state semiconductor technologies. Doing so will enable systems to scale across platforms and domains while enhancing commonality and efficiency of operations and this will evolve towards AI-enabled multi-RF systems.
  2. Are the extent and capabilities of EM Operations coupled with Information Operations / Warfare sufficiently well understood across the military and government in the free world? At this stage, we still have a long way to go before we are intrinsically linking EM Operations with Information Operations/Warfare. We’re starting to peak outside of these individual stovepipes, but I would suggest that EM Operations are still associated with hardware and battlefield operations while IO/IW is linked to exerting soft power through intelligence capabilities and political strategizing.
  3. Thinking about hybrid warfare, A2/AD and the multi-domain battle, as examples, how should government, industry and the military prepare? Scalability and open architectures will be key to addressing these different facets of the modern battlefield. A “one size fits all” solution will not work, and the ability to take a capability and scale it according to the different needs is essential if we are to move away from designing ad hoc systems in silos.
  4. How do you feel the EW community has evolved over recent years and is it going in the right direction? The EW community is becoming more of an integrated solution provider to the broader military machine, rather than being viewed as a group of experts that provide a niche capability that no one else really understands. This continued inclusion of the EW community is essential if we are to avoid the mistakes of the past, where for example, traditional EW skillsets were eroded on the assumption that asymmetric warfare requirements would be the norm moving forwards, even as near-peer adversaries continued to hone their EW capabilities.
  5. What do you think are the particular challenges facing EW capabilities in Europe specifically? Europe faces some unique challenges, but chief amongst this is the increasing threat from a common near-peer adversary, i.e. Russia, that is challenging individual countries on a near daily basis. Countering these advances at an individual country level restricts the ability of Europe to leverage scale and open architectures, and leads to a disparity in capabilities, which can then be exploited by Russia. Having a way to maintain autonomy and continue to support indigenous capabilities while also working off a common “reference design” so to speak is a challenge that needs to be addressed by Europe.
  6. What can delegates expect to take away from your session? Strategy Analytics presentation will discuss the growing opportunity for solid state technologies such as GaN across military radar, electronic warfare and military communications systems. In the area of electronic warfare, there are several programs and platforms that are looking to use GaN to underpin electronic attack capabilities. One of the core drivers is the ability to use AESA architectures in conjunction with the capabilities offered by this technology to achieve both high power as well as digital flexibility. Delegates that attend the Strategy Analytics presentation will leave with a grounding on how, where and why the GaN defense sector will grow and who the major players are supplying this enabling technology.
  7. Why is AOC EW Europe a must-attend event for those working in the EM environment / domain? AOC EW Europe provides a truly international gathering of attendees working in the EM domain, while also offering a unique opportunity to savour the individual flavour and capabilities offered by the host nation.
Thanks for reading. Join Strategy Analytics at the 24th AOC Electronic Warfare conference from May 13th to May 16th, 2019 to explore how our strategic consulting processes and research provide strategic and tactical support to global clients through a range of customized solutions.
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