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Army, Air Force Continue Focus on EW Upgrades


The Army and Air Force continueto enhance EW capabilities after they were given short shrift after the Cold war ended, as a conflict with China or Russia would involve significant amounts of digital-first tactics, including jamming, spoofing, hacking, and influence campaigns.

John Sherman, the Pentagon’s chief information officer, has told a Congressional panel that the U.S. must “regenerate” its electronic warfare capabilities after years of neglect to ensure dominance on battlefields of the future, according to Defense News.

“As we get ready for China, we better be able to fight and dominate the electromagnetic spectrum,” he told the House Armed Services Cyber, Information Technology and Innovation subcommittee hearing on defense in the digital era. Sherman said that although funding has so far been sufficient, as the U.S. moves from smaller scale fighting in the Middle East to confronting world powers around the globe, it underscores the need to get things right in EW, and quickly.

“As we’ve seen on the Ukrainian battlefield, the dynamics of electromagnetic spectrum operations, how the Russians are trying to use it, and how the Ukrainians are using it, we have to able to make sure we can conduct combat operations,” Sherman said.

The Army last year awarded contracts to Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics Missions Systems for the Terrestrial Layer System designed to give soldiers a package of EW, cyber, and signals intelligence capabilities. The Army is also deploying batches of upgraded communications equipment to infantry and armor every two years. In addition, the Air Force has been identifying deficiencies and working to fix them.