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Complex Operation in Urban Environments – Challenges for Radar, EW and Communication Technologies

by Asif Anwar | 10月 07, 2016

Strategy Analytics annual lunch and learn session at the EuMW 2016 Defence, Security & Space Forum discussed the complex operating challenges for radar, EW and communications in urban environments. Some of the key points discussed and observations included:

  • Asymmetric threats and border protection are amongst the key drivers that will dictate defense spending through 2025.
  • Requirements to look both inwards as well as across borders will be enabled via a layered surveillance structure that will allow operators to “see everything everywhere all the time”, while remaining situationally aware so that they “see what they need to see”.

The urban environment is a key target for asymmetric/hybrid threats, and ISR tools will be central to counteracting these threats. However, with the commercial market spectrum land grab continuing unabated, these operations will need to be conducted under challenging operational conditions in an increasingly congested spectrum environment, while also combatting new potential threats such as the use of unmanned systems, in conjunction with emerging military system technologies.

Military systems will not be able to compete with commercial systems for spectrum availability - will the speed at which the commercial market continues to gobble up spectrum provide an opportunity or hindrance to future military operations in an urban environment?

  • Operating in a (RF) congested theatre will require systems that can adapt to the complex spectrum environment. This will eventually lead to future military systems that are cognitive but the human-in-the-loop will remain integral to the whole process.
  • The abundance of illuminators in the urban environment represent “signals of opportunity” allowing new approaches in radar, EW and communications to leverage the commercial spectrum environment.

Urban operations will also mean dealing with emerging challenges such as drones. While unmanned systems bring a host of capabilities, they also represent an additional asymmetric threat and the question of how these systems are neutralized safely brings with it a range of options including the use of laser-based directed energy weapon systems that still need to be optimised.

Finally, the continuing move towards IP-centric systems in both the defense and commercial realm e.g. IoT, opens the door for cyber-based attacks which will require future operations to include a revision of TTPs to accommodate the cyber element within the EMS domain.

See, if you were not at EuMW this week, and want to discuss gaining access to the full presentation.
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