Jammers. Radars. Signals engineered to deceive. In electronic warfare, the attack can come from a wide range of sources on the ground or in the air.
And systems like sophisticated radars and surface-to-air missile installations are operating in new ways. They are targeting faster, fusing multiple sensors, creating unexpected waveforms and operating at increasingly higher and lower frequencies, where they are harder to detect and jam.
The U.S. Air Force faces a range of advanced technology in the crowded arena of the electromagnetic spectrum. There’s only one way to meet the challenge: with a full suite of electronic warfare technologies.
Based on open systems
Those EW systems can help protect USAF fighter jets, large body tankers and cargo aircraft – and make enemy systems unreliable.
Raytheon has demonstrated EW tech that is based on open systems architecture. OSA allows systems to be rapidly upgraded and easily maintained. It also enables use of third-party technologies, similar to the way apps are used to give smartphones new powers.
Take, for example, the modular, non-proprietary Multi-Function Integrated Receiver-Exciter, or MFIRES. It’s built with OSA and can be installed on a variety of aircraft and other platforms, from fourth- to fifth- and even sixth-generation systems.
MFIRES and other EW tech, like advanced jammers and battle management systems, already have machine learning and cognitive features and enough processing power for future autonomous functions. Cognitive EW interprets radar signals and adapts to keep the platform hidden, even in a congested and unpredictable signal environment.
Raytheon’s Electronic Support Critical Experiment and Reactive Electronic Attack Measures programs are already embracing this futuristic tech, allowing EW systems to quickly determine new threats based on existing information about how those threats behave.