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Electronic Warfare: Comprehensive Strategy Still Needed for Suppressing Enemy Air Defenses


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U.S. military aircraft are often at great risk from enemy air defenses, and the services use specialized aircraft to neutralize or destroy them. In January 2001, GAO reported that a gap existed between the services suppression capabilities and their needs and recommended that a comprehensive strategy was needed to fix the situation. In response to GAOs report, DOD emphasized that a major study underway at the time would provide the basis for a Department-wide strategy and lead to a balanced set of acquisition programs between the services. This report updates our previous work and assesses actions that DOD has taken to improve its suppression capabilities. GAO continues to recommend that the Secretary of Defense develop a comprehensive, cross-service strategy to close the gap between DODs suppression capabilities and needs. In addition, an effective coordinating entity is needed to develop and monitor implementation of the strategy. In answer to a draft of GAOs report, DOD concurred with its recommendations. Staff changes are being made to address crosscutting issues, and an integrated product team process established to form a comprehensive approach to the electronic warfare mission.



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