Understanding the relationship
between EMS and EW is critical. For
example, U.S. military aircraft are controlled through software and use communication, datalink and navigation
systems that transmit all their critical data via EMS. It is imperative to
not only understand, but also fully
appreciate the connections between
EMS and EW so that adversaries cannot take out aircraft receivers, corrupt software or take down aircraft—
doable without firing even one missile.
Before military leaders can hope to
beat a threat, they must know exactly
how the threat operates and its capabilities and limitations.
While cyberspace pervades all the
other domains of land, air, sea and
space, EMS actually permeates them.
Cyberspace is a man-made entity,
made up of computers, routers, cables,
switches and wired and wireless sys-
tems. The wired and wireless systems
enable cyberspace access to the elec-
tromagnetic spectrum, which then
provides cyber access to the other
Warfighters are trained to rely
on facts and think in terms of tangible objects. They think in a physical world, a touchable world. Cyber
changed that, requiring warfighters
to understand an intangible world.
To ensure the effective development,
implementation and operations of the
spectrum, EW and cyber must converge and establish a common understanding and culture.
It is past time to get rid of the
multiple oversight communities and
bring the disciplines under one com-
mand. Future conflicts will involve
the use of both EW and cyber oper-
ating within EMS. To defeat such
threats, the community must develop
an integrated EMS/cyber system of
systems manned by personnel who
grasp the needs and capabilities of
the electromagnetic-cyber environ-
ment. This would provide a synergis-
tic capability that greatly exceeds the
current individual capabilities. But
it can only happen if leaders fix the
failure to communicate between dif-
Jim Loerch retired from the U.S. Navy
as a commander after serving for 24
years. He works for Raytheon as an
engineering manager supporting the
Space and Airborne System, Electronic
Warfare, System Verification Center.
The views expressed here are his alone.
Contact Jim Loerch,
www.ikey.com | 512.837.0283
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