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Across the spectrum: US Army overhauls electronic warfare training

US Army 125th Intelligence and Electronic Warfare (IEW) Battalion, Electronic Warfare team, trained 25th Infantry Division soldiers on the V-MAX jamming backpack during the ‘Super Garuda Shield 23' exercise in September. (US Army)

As the US Army works toward revamping its force by 2030, it hopes to capitalise on new technologies such as warfare on the electromagnetic spectrum and tackle the complexities of training soldiers to operate in the unseen world.

The army wants to expand training on weapons that jam, suppress, and dominate the electromagnetic spectrum to all centres of excellences by 2030, army officials first announced in August. Current training capability is limited because of regulations, funding, and technology, however, new simulations and training grounds are in the works in the next few years, officials said.

Three factors have made the threat of unmanned aerial systems (UASs) more challenging for the army's electronic warfare (EW) capabilities – speed, mass, and autonomy, said General Sean Gainey, director of the Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO). Some Group 3 UASs are approaching cruise missile speeds, while swarms of UASs are also becoming more frequent, he said during the annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium in August.

“As the adversary continues to move more and more towards autonomy, our predominantly electronic warfare systems are continuously challenged,” he added.

JCO is exploring kinetic systems to tackle the UAS threat, but taking out threats is easier when EW systems work alongside the kinetic effects, Gen Gainey said.

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