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Outsmarting Agile Adversaries in the Electromagnetic Spectrum
Adversaries and competitors are seeking to offset the United States historical ability to operate within and through the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) by making their systems more complex and adaptable and therefore more difficult for U.S. platforms to detect, identify, evade, or counter. This presents an enormous challenge to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) electronic warfare integrated reprogramming (EWIR) enterprise. The USAFs EWIR enterprise is responsible for the fully integrated operations of compiling intelligence on adversary threats that emit in the EMS (in particular, radars and jammers) and configuring electronic warfare (EW) equipment to enable aircraft or other USAF resources to react to and/or respond to adverse changes in the EMS environment. The USAF is actively exploring how best to achieve faster, cutting-edge EMS capabilities. To assist in this effort, RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF) examined how adversary capabilities in the EMS are evolving, how fast EW-related software re-programming needs to be to keep up with the threat, what obstacles exist within the current intel-to-reprogramming process, and what advanced technologies are needed to achieve necessary improvements. PAFs work is centered on what is currently known as EWIR but is scoped to cover the broader range of issues related to the role of data and software in enabling EMS operations and is intended for a broad audience concerned with military planning, budgeting, and operations.
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