LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technavio’s latest report on the global electronic warfare (EW) market provides an analysis of the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2017-2021. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
The driving force behind the global EW market is the need for superior intelligence, stealth capabilities, and precision attack. The advantage of present-day EW systems is that they combine support, protection, and attack functions in a single unit. They offer a variety of countermeasures (which can be automatically initiated) and enable real-time impact recording for the same. This helps defense agencies to assess the operational efficiency of a tactic and subsequently update their tactics in future in line with the evolving threats.
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The top three emerging trends driving the global electronic warfare market according to Technavio aerospace and defense research analysts are:
- Development of next-generation electronic jammer
- Advancements in EW technology
- Increased preference for man-portable jammers
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Development of next-generation electronic jammer
Radar jamming is a crucial EW capability sought by defense agencies. Radar jammers are devices that can intentionally interfere with the radar receiver of enemies by saturating it with noise or false signals.
“The growing need for greater precision, speed, and directivity to counter evolving airborne threats have led vendors to develop sophisticated jamming technologies. It is expected that such improved jamming solutions will gain popularity among countries. For instance, Raytheon's Next-Generation Jammer won a USD 1 billion contract from the US in April 2016 and will replace the ALQ-99 systems on the US's EA-18G Growler fighter jets,” says Moutushi Saha, a lead analyst at Technavio for research on defense.
Advancements in EW technology
EW equipment is advancing in its functionality owing to the progression in algorithms and underlying software that impart operational capabilities to the EW systems. Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) have developed an improved RF jamming technology, where the jammer uses Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) and has an open architecture. The project is called Angry Kitten, and it aims to develop an improved adaptability jammer.
“Angry Kitten has the ability to choose an optimal jamming technique from multiple options. This feature is currently unavailable in jammers. The system can assess the effectiveness of a particular technique against a threat and modify it in real-time. The system was tested using a GTRI-designed tool, called the enhanced radar test bed, allows prototyping a software approach to test against a simulated enemy hardware,” adds Moutushi.
Increased preference for man-portable jammers
The use of man-portable jamming devices is gaining popularity in EW. As the use of IEDs has increased in recent times, improved countermeasures, such as man-portable jamming devices, are being used by ground troops. IED attacks by Pakistani Army and militants prompted the troops of the Indian Army along the Line of Control to be equipped with portable jammers.
In November 2015, the US Marine Corps awarded a contract worth about USD 73.2 million to Sierra Nevada to provide 581 units of the latest version of portable EW systems that can block IEDs and perform offensive operations against enemy communications. The EW systems called Modi II can be carried in backpacks and used over platforms such as vehicles, fixed sites, and aircraft. They provide threat identification and monitoring during intelligence and threat neutralization missions.
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