Last month SpaceX stopped a Russian electromagnetic strike in Ukraine WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of State has issued a statement saying that According to Pentagon specialists, Russia’s efforts to conduct electromagnetic warfare in Ukraine have been halted, demonstrating how critical it is to respond rapidly to such strikes and to shut them down as soon as possible.
However, they stated during the C4ISRNET Conference on Wednesday that the United States must improve its own EW rapid response capabilities, and that it can learn a lot from how the private sector has dealt with similar circumstances.
Modern battles, according to Brig. Gen. Tad Clark, chief of the Air Force’s electromagnetic spectrum superiority directorate, will increasingly employ electromagnetic warfare, particularly to shape the battlefield when hostilities first break out.
A recent demonstration by SpaceX, whose Starlink satellite broadband service was critical in keeping Ukraine connected to the Internet and thwarting Russian attempts to jam it, was highlighted by Dave Tremper, director of electronic warfare for the Department of Defense’s Office of the Secretary of Defense. Elon Musk, the inventor of SpaceX, directed thousands of Starlink terminals to Ukraine after a government official asked him on Twitter for assistance in keeping the besieged country connected.
As soon as allegations of the Russian jamming effort reached the public, Starlink flung a line of code and solved the problem, according to Tremper. It seemed as though the [Russian jamming effort] had suddenly lost its effectiveness.” That is wonderful from the standpoint of [the] EW technologist… … the manner in which they accomplished this was jaw-dropping to me.”
However, the government has a “significant delay to make such types of changes” as it muddles through studies of what happened, chooses how to solve it, and puts a contract in place to carry out the fix once it has decided how to fix it.
As Tremper put it, “we have to be able to move with that quickness.” The capacity to adjust our electromagnetic posture is required in order to be able to change what we’re trying to do in a dynamic manner without losing capability along the way.
Tremper stressed the importance of redundancy in order for the United States to be able to continue functioning on another system if an EW attack was successful in taking out one.
Last month SpaceX stopped a Russian electromagnetic strike in Ukraine
When it comes to developing new electronic warfare equipment, the United States must be more creative, according to Clark. In his opinion, simply upgrading legacy systems would not suffice; instead, the United States must develop entirely new systems that are much more resilient and fast in their operation.
He explained that this includes embedding artificial intelligence and machine learning into next-generation systems in order for them to be able to respond more quickly, among other things. In addition, increased usage of digital engineering can aid in the military’s ability to model new equipment on a computer and work out the kinks before going through the time-consuming and inefficient traditional acquisition and testing procedure.
As an illustration of how digital engineering is changing the way the Air Force approaches new electromagnetic warfare weapons, Clark pointed to the Air Force’s EC-37B, which is now in development.
According to Clark, software developers and engineers are collaborating with Compass Call operators on the ground to come up with innovative techniques to block hostile radio transmissions.
Russian invasion of Ukraine has taught the United States a great lot about the sophistication and dependability of Russian weapons, as well as their forces’ capacity to carry out operations in a coordinated manner, according to the military officials.
According to Tremper, the incident has demonstrated how critical it is to properly train the troops who are assigned to conduct electromagnetic warfare activities. Attempting to conduct out EW while moving forward within the land you’re invading and not in a protected position makes it considerably more difficult to do.
“It’s a very difficult problem to solve if you don’t have operators who are well-trained,” Tremper explained. “Because of the high level of coordination and synchronization required for these types of activities, an inexperienced operator will have a more difficult time pulling off those types of events successfully.”
Tremper stated that the Pentagon anticipated a “much stronger” EW performance from Russia — but stressed that this does not imply that all of Russia’s efforts have been in vain.