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Fading Signal: The Neglect of Electronic Warfare.



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 15th 08, 09:37 PM posted to rec.aviation.military,rec.aviation.military.naval,sci.military.naval
Mike[_7_]
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Posts: 111
Default Fading Signal: The Neglect of Electronic Warfare.

Fading Signal: The Neglect of Electronic Warfare.
Lexington Institute.
http://lexingtoninstitute.org/1223.shtml

When you consider how much money Americans spend on defense -- about
$4 trillion so far in this decade alone -- it's amazing what a poor
job we do of maintaining our military arsenal. In the years since the
cold war ended, the Navy's fleet has shrunk by half to fewer than 300
ships, the Air Force's planes have "matured" to twice the age of the
commercial airline fleet, and the Army has largely abandoned the
production of heavy armored vehicles. There's a simple reason for all
these signs of military decay: the threat went away. No peer
adversary has taken the place of the Red Army or the Imperial Navy.

The decline of electronic warfare is harder to explain, because there
the threat never went away -- it got worse. Electronic warfare is the
fight for control of the electromagnetic spectrum, the medium via
which all of our communications and information systems operate.
During the cold war, each military service nurtured a community of
specialists adept at blocking or manipulating enemy transmissions
while countering enemy efforts to do the same to us. They jammed
radars, disrupted command links, confused sensors and in general made
it difficult for adversaries to employ any electronic device.

When you're really good at electronic warfare, your enemy is nearly
helpless. He can't see, he can't hear, he can't even turn on the
lights. Electronic warfare is the reason why Syria's military didn't
know it was under attack last year until Israeli bombs began exploding
at its sole nuclear-weapons facility -- even though the jets dropping
the bombs had to transit Syrian air space to get to the target. Like
cyber warfare, it's the kind of warfighting skill that only a
technologically advanced country can be really good at, so you'd think
U.S. military planners would want to exploit it for maximum
leverage.

Well, guess again. Aside from the U.S. Navy and a small band of
dedicated congressmen called the Electronic Warfare Working Group,
this arcane specialty has become an orphan in the budgeting process.
The Air Force walked away from electronic warfare when it decided that
stealthy aircraft could be invisible to any radar (it later learned
that wasn't entirely true). The Army aborted plans to build an
"aerial common sensor" that could find hostile emitters on the
battlefield, only to discover that insurgents in Iraq were using cell
phones and electronic bomb detonators to great effect. And the
Marines just stopped thinking about the subject.

The Navy held on, developing a replacement for the aging Prowler
jamming plane called the Growler (a variant of the F/A-18 Super
Hornet). Part of the reason was that naval aviators weren't as
impressed with stealth as their Air Force counterparts, and so they
continued investing in other approaches to defending aircraft. The
Army has now rediscovered electronic warfare as a result of setbacks
in Iraq, and has sent soldiers to train with Navy specialists. But
even the Navy has lagged in funding next-gen capabilities, which
probably require unmanned aircraft that can get closer to hostile
emitters.

Perhaps the time has come to put the Navy in charge of all joint
electronic warfare activities. The other services don't have their
acts together, and the Navy is less stressed at the moment than the
ground forces. That could change, but the problem right now is that a
vital skill is being neglected, and the Navy may be the only service
with enough expertise and imagination to keep it alive.
Ads
  #2  
Old February 16th 08, 11:00 PM posted to rec.aviation.military,rec.aviation.military.naval,sci.military.naval
Derek Lyons
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Posts: 30
Default Fading Signal: The Neglect of Electronic Warfare.

"W. D. Allen" wrote:
EW test question: How did Halsey know to send Air Force P-38s to knock
Admiral Yamamoto out of the sky in the South Pacific during WWII?


Cryptography and signals intelligence - which aren't usually
considered forms of EW at all AFAIK.

D.
--
Touch-twice life. Eat. Drink. Laugh.

http://derekl1963.livejournal.com/

-Resolved: To be more temperate in my postings.
Oct 5th, 2004 JDL
  #3  
Old February 17th 08, 12:09 AM posted to rec.aviation.military,rec.aviation.military.naval,sci.military.naval
William Black[_1_]
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Posts: 176
Default Fading Signal: The Neglect of Electronic Warfare.


"W. D. Allen" wrote in message
...

EW test question: How did Halsey know to send Air Force P-38s to knock
Admiral Yamamoto out of the sky in the South Pacific during WWII?

The Old Crows know!


With nothing at all involving electronic warfare...

--
William Black


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Barbeques on fire by the chalets past the castle headland
I watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off the Newborough gate
All these moments will be lost in time, like icecream on the beach
Time for tea.




  #4  
Old February 17th 08, 12:45 AM posted to rec.aviation.military,rec.aviation.military.naval,sci.military.naval
christoph
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Fading Signal: The Neglect of Electronic Warfare.

In article ,
"W. D. Allen" wrote:

In 1966 the North Vietnamese with their Russian instructors began shooting
down U.S. aircraft over NVN. Someone in the Navy had the wisdom and
foresight to have on hand 1,000 ALQ-51 deception repeaters originally
dedicated to aircraft protection during execution of the Navy portion of the
SIOP.

Those ALQ-51s were rounded up from all over the globe (some were found in
Antarctica)


I have to ask, is there a story behind the presence of ALQ-51s in
Antarctica?

Thanks!

--
"Hope. Wonderful thing; should be a controlled substance"

xristoph at earthlink dot net
  #5  
Old February 17th 08, 06:26 AM posted to rec.aviation.military,rec.aviation.military.naval,sci.military.naval
dott.Piergiorgio
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Posts: 56
Default Fading Signal: The Neglect of Electronic Warfare.

Derek Lyons ha scritto:
"W. D. Allen" wrote:
EW test question: How did Halsey know to send Air Force P-38s to knock
Admiral Yamamoto out of the sky in the South Pacific during WWII?


Cryptography and signals intelligence - which aren't usually
considered forms of EW at all AFAIK.


I was to write the same.... I have only to add that in the EW & Crypto
environment is easy to steal merits... Even very high brasses don't have
necessarly all the various "need to know" clearances to effectively
adjudge merits and esp. the following promotions & increase in resources....

Best regards from Italy,
Dott. Piergiorgio.
  #6  
Old February 17th 08, 12:52 PM posted to rec.aviation.military,rec.aviation.military.naval,sci.military.naval
Jack Linthicum
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 301
Default Fading Signal: The Neglect of Electronic Warfare.

On Feb 17, 12:26 am, "dott.Piergiorgio"
wrote:
Derek Lyons ha scritto:

"W. D. Allen" wrote:
EW test question: How did Halsey know to send Air Force P-38s to knock
Admiral Yamamoto out of the sky in the South Pacific during WWII?


Cryptography and signals intelligence - which aren't usually
considered forms of EW at all AFAIK.


I was to write the same.... I have only to add that in the EW & Crypto
environment is easy to steal merits... Even very high brasses don't have
necessarly all the various "need to know" clearances to effectively
adjudge merits and esp. the following promotions & increase in resources....

Best regards from Italy,
Dott. Piergiorgio.


It is the "decision-making" that is the key to the primacy of the
brass, IIRC the decision was made to hit Yamamoto despite the belief
that the act would reveal the Allies ability to read Naval codes.
JN-25D the latest.

"President Franklin D. Roosevelt requested Secretary of the Navy Frank
Knox, "Get Yamamoto." Knox instructed Admiral Chester W. Nimitz of
Roosevelt's wishes. Nimitz first consulted Adm. William F. Halsey,
Jr., Commander, South Pacific, and then authorized the mission on
April 17." wiki

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/hti.../20060423.aspx
  #7  
Old February 17th 08, 03:45 PM posted to rec.aviation.military,rec.aviation.military.naval,sci.military.naval
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Fading Signal: The Neglect of Electronic Warfare.

On Feb 16, 6:45*pm, christoph wrote:
In article ,
*"W. D. Allen" wrote:

In 1966 the North Vietnamese with their Russian instructors began shooting
down U.S. aircraft over NVN. Someone in the Navy had the wisdom and
foresight to have on hand 1,000 ALQ-51 deception repeaters originally
dedicated to aircraft protection during execution of the Navy portion of the
SIOP.


Those ALQ-51s were rounded up from all over the globe (some were found in
Antarctica)


I have to ask, is there a story behind the presence of ALQ-51s in
Antarctica?


Don't know for sure, but at teh time, the Navy was operating ski-
equipped P-2 Neptunes in Antartica. Seems a likely source.

--
Pete Stickney
  #8  
Old February 17th 08, 04:13 PM posted to rec.aviation.military,rec.aviation.military.naval,sci.military.naval
Ed Rasimus[_1_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 185
Default Fading Signal: The Neglect of Electronic Warfare.

On Sat, 16 Feb 2008 13:50:59 -0800, "W. D. Allen"
wrote:

"...Perhaps the time has come to put the Navy in charge of all joint
electronic warfare activities...."

Now it can be told...

In 1966 the North Vietnamese with their Russian instructors began shooting
down U.S. aircraft over NVN. Someone in the Navy had the wisdom and
foresight to have on hand 1,000 ALQ-51 deception repeaters originally
dedicated to aircraft protection during execution of the Navy portion of the
SIOP.


Let's note that the North Vietnamese air defenses began claiming US
aircraft in 1964 and throughout 1965 as well. The ill-fated first SAM
raid in which six F-105s were lost was conducted in July of 1965.
Let's not rewrite history.

The first USAF Weasels, the F-100F aircraft equipped with APR-25/26,
began flying SAM suppression raids on 1 December 1965.

When I started F-105 training at Nellis in September of 1965 we began
to get aircraft back from depot maintenance with three cannon plugs
installed in the inner bulkhead of the main gear wheel wells to
provide the power connection to the QRC-160 ECM pods, a software
upgradeable noise jammer.

You are correct that the Navy had the ALQ-51 in many aircraft by late
1965. It was a "gate-stealer" which delivered a delayed pulse back to
the emitting radar to confuse the range estimation of the system.

The essential difference is that the noise jammer was broad-band and
worked on a number of frequencies including those of both Fan-Song and
Firecan (gun-tracking) radars. The gate-stealer was optimized for SA-2
freqs.

The USAF lagged in getting the pods to the field with the first pods
not showing up until October of 1966. (I flew my entire 100 mission
NVN tour without ever carrying an ECM pod.) We did however lead the
USN in deployment of our RHAW gear and the delivery of the relatively
sophisticated Wild Weasel aircraft, particularly the F-105F which
arrived in theater in May of '66. The Weasel equipment and tactics
proved considerably more effective than the USN's A-4 led Iron Hand
systems.

Rapid delivery of upgrades to the AGM-45 Shrike software as well as
pod deployment after the summer of '66 pretty much kept the USAF ahead
of the sailors after that period.

Today I don't think either service is doing poorly when it comes to
degradation of defenses.
Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
www.thunderchief.org
www.thundertales.blogspot.com
  #9  
Old February 17th 08, 05:07 PM posted to rec.aviation.military,rec.aviation.military.naval,sci.military.naval
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Fading Signal: The Neglect of Electronic Warfare.

On Feb 16, 4:50*pm, "W. D. Allen" wrote:
"...Perhaps the time has come to put the Navy in charge of all joint
electronic warfare activities...."

Now it can be told...

In 1966 the North Vietnamese with their Russian instructors began shooting
down U.S. aircraft over NVN. Someone in the Navy had the wisdom and
foresight to have on hand 1,000 ALQ-51 deception repeaters originally
dedicated to aircraft protection during execution of the Navy portion of the
SIOP.

They weren't all for SIOP airplanes - and it's not a question of
wisdom and foresight - The USAF had a very active ECM program as
well. All their bombers carried huge batteries of jammers and about a
half ton of chaff, with dedicated receivers for detection of threats,
and dedicated system managers to run them.
The USAF had also been procuring podded jammers through the QRC (Quick
Reaction Contract) program. More on this later.

The Air Force, with bigger airplanes with more electric power
available, went in for large, powerful Noise Jammers, which would
blank out any weaker signals (Like returning blips, which are very
weak) coming into the radar's antenna. Since the reception pattern of
a radar antenna isn't simply where it's pointed, but also includes
sidelobes and backlobes, a strong signal can blot out a huge sector of
the radar's coverage. (Unless they lower the gain (Turn down the
volume) of the receiver to isolate the jamming transmitter,s azimuth -
but if they do that, they lose any weaker blips from non-jamming
airplanes.
These systems work well against Early Warning and GCI systems,
but not so well against weapons control radars - since they blatently
broadcast their Azimuth and Elevation angles (but not range) to the
receiver. If you're lucky, and can shoot enough watts into an
antenna,
you can either burn out the amplifiers in the receiver, or, if the
receiver has self-protection circuits (Most do) force the radar to
automatically shut down. (And a big radar takes from 5-15 minutes to
bring back on line if this happens. That's a long time with airplanes
moving at 8-10 miles/minute)

The Navy, with smaller airplanes and less electricity available, went
in for Deception Jammers. These are very sophisticated in concept,
automatically listening to, and analyzing the characteristics of an
incoming radar, and putting out pulses of its own that, hopefully,
will fool the automatic tracking circuits in a fire control radar
(Deception jammers work best against dedicated tracking radars.) and
make it point somewhere else. Two things to remember here - the only
work well against automatically tracking radars, and they are only
really effective against fire control radars looking at that
particular airplane.


Those ALQ-51s were rounded up from all over the globe (some were found in
Antarctica), refurbished, and sent to Southeast Asia for installation in
carrier aircraft. Meanwhile the Air Force was compelled to use ALQ-76 pod
noise jammers, which the Navy considered little more than tracking beacons..
In fact, USAF found it necessary to ask the Navy for fifty of the ALQ-51s
for their RF-101 recce aircraft that were flying solo over NVN.


And it was discovered that, against SA-2s (And, later, SA-3s) that,
once the Pod formations were developed, which blanked out a volume of
the sky that made very unlikey for an SA-2 launched into it to hit one
of the 4 airplanes in that volume, the Air Force noise jammer solution
worked much better.
The problem is, the Navy through both necessity (small airplanes, not
much electricity) and mirror-imaging, (Thinking that the Bad Guys were
doing the same things that they were, in this case, building
sophisticated automatic tracking systems) built jammers that worked
fairly well at fooling the automatic systems.

But the Soviets (And, hence, their clients) didn't do that.
Early Soviet SAMs didn't use automatically tracking conical scan or
monopulse trackers. They used a pair of overlapping pulse radars, one
searching in azimuth, and one in elevation, on slightly different
frequencies, so that they didn't interfere with each other, and both
reporting their angle and range information. The tracking wsas
actually done by 3 guys in the radar van, one using a handwheel to
hold a marker over the Azimuth blip, one over the Elevation blip, and
another over the combined range blips. This gave the fire control
system a smoother track than an autmatic system, was easier to make
and maintain, and, inadvertently, negated most of the Navy's clever
deception techniques. A pair of eyes with a human brain behind them
is unexcelled at recognizing patterns, and pulling out information
from a seemingly worthless hash. It didn't take long for the tracking
opertors to learn which of the returns coming from an airplane
carrying a Deception Jammer was real, and which were the false
signals.
The noise jammers with their stronger signals and wider frequency
ranges (Which would cover both the Az and El radars of an SA-2,
usually), used singly, would pinpoint an individual airplane in
Azimuth and Elevation, but block out range infomration.
This allowed the shooters to guide their missile, which used a
collision course (make the target's bearing to the missile constant)
approach to make it likely that the missile would get close enough to
the target for its fuze to activate. And an SA-2 had a big warhead -
the fuze would activate about 100 yards out.
This turned the USAF away from using noise jammers on fighters -
until some clever folks at AFSD (The Air Force Systems Division)
figured out that if you put noise jammers on avery airplane in a
flight, and put the airplanes in the proper relation with each other,
the combined jamming signals would blank out a large volume, and that
a missile fired into that volume was unlikely to come close enough to
an airplane to fuze.

Electronic warfare is an occult and complex discipline that doesn't go bang,
has no tailhook and won't go Mach 2+. It's damn hard to push for black boxes
when knuckle draggers want more boom for the buck. They have to learn the
hard way they can't haul their bomb load to the target before they recognize
they need electronic protection as well as missile protection, bullet
protection, etc.


That's true, in a lot of ways, but we've also reached a point where we
don't need as many dedicated assets - We've come a long way at making
our passive systems (Elint receivers and such) smarter and more able
to make it possible to avoid threats, and at making our transmitters
(Which are largely a measure of last resort, since if you transmit,
you tell everybody where you are) more powerful, more economical in
their use of electricity, and smarter, (Used to be that deception
"False Target" generators could only analyze a pulse after it had been
received, so the first target in line was the real one.
(You get a bunch of tranmitters weaving and dodging past each other,
and it gets a bit more difficult to sort out who is who).
Now, the jammer will map the radar's characteristics and make its
pulses wherever it wants to - the false target generator on an EA-6B
or B-52 can white out a scope with individual blips forced into
sidelobes and backlobes.
Stealth airplanes, with much reduced signatures, and hence, detection
ranges, don't benefit from onboard transmitters.
And, with modern satellite elint and photint, it's hard to spring a
radar from a surprise location.
That all being said - there's not a lot of public visibility for
electronic warfare. It perks away, in its own small corner of the
budget, and nobody ever hears about it until some slighted Congressman
comissions a GAO report to criticize a particular program.
(Which leads the Press to leap after something that they can't
understand, being fed soundbites from others who can't, or won't
understand, and who have some axe to grind.)


EW test question: How did Halsey know to send Air Force P-38s to knock
Admiral Yamamoto out of the sky in the South Pacific during WWII?


SIGINT, of course.

The Old Crows know!

Even better - how did we map out the Soviet's Tall King air defence
radar network without direct photo coverage, and the Sovs going silent
whenever the ELINT airplanes were flying around?

--
Pete Stickney
  #10  
Old February 17th 08, 06:57 PM posted to rec.aviation.military,rec.aviation.military.naval,sci.military.naval
Jim Wilkins
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Posts: 57
Default Fading Signal: The Neglect of Electronic Warfare.

On Feb 17, 11:07*am, wrote:
...

Even better - how did we map out the Soviet's Tall King air defence
radar network without direct photo coverage, and the Sovs going silent
whenever the ELINT airplanes were flying around?

--
Pete Stickney


OTH?

Nice writeup. Thanks.

Jim Wilkins
 




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