Defence is seeking expressions of interest to support the research and development of next-generation maritime-based electronic warfare capabilities, with a particular focus on supporting Australian SMEs and the R&D sector.
Late last year, the Commonwealth released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking to understand the sovereign industry capacity and maturity that is available to support delivery of the Modernisation of Maritime Electronic Warfare Program.
Although the RFI had a good response, the criteria to respond may have precluded some organisations with capability in this area from participating in the RFI.
The Commonwealth is keen to support Australian sovereign capability, particularly SMEs without existing security clearance, and publicly funded research organisations likewise currently lacking this accreditation or otherwise may have thought that the scope of the technology was not in their realm.
Electronic warfare covers a broad range of R&D areas and as such the Commonwealth is interested in exploring and connecting with others who may not currently comply with the original RFI’s participation criteria.
The program will enable superior levels of command and control through improved battlespace situation awareness, relevant and timely intelligence and information products, innovative electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) tools that encompass electronic warfare (EW) capabilities, and communication and information management systems.
This includes the following:
Sense: Measures the EMS, which is required to manage, navigate, shape and manipulate the EMS.
In the program construct, the sense function represents not only the core (EMS) measurement function but also the fusion of data across an integrated sensor network (being platform, task group, joint force).
Analyse: Takes the output from the Sense function and integrates it with additional information (i.e. radar tracks, geographical location etc) and provides an integrated situation awareness picture (with a strong EMS bias).
Under the program, it is anticipated that this function is almost entirely automated. This function includes pre and post-mission data analysis activity.
Effect: Represents the “active” electronic attack capability that the program ultimately delivers.
Under this model, the effect function includes all actions that the entity may perform in order to manage and/or manipulate the electromagnetic environment.
This includes the switching off or reconfiguration of systems, active management of signatures (both active and passive), passive countermeasures (flares and chaff) and active emissions and/or electronic attack.
Command/Control and Co-ordinate: Underpins the timely delivery of capability effect in a co-ordinated and controlled manner.
Activities performed by this function include EMS battle management, situation understanding and co-ordination of passive and active effects. These activities are scalable across the platform, task group and joint force operations.