New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (aerospaceanddefense.frost.com), U.S. Electronic Warfare Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of $1.25 billion in 2008 and estimates this to reach $1.31 billion in 2013.
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"U.S. military operational and technological domination has resulted in adversaries using 'asymmetrical' methods to counter U.S. strength," notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Brad Curran. "The U.S. is sometimes slow to counter these unconventional threats that exploit gaps in technology, techniques, and procedures. Potential large nation-state adversaries have also begun to research ways to exploit the seams in U.S. conventional power."
The Army's Electronic Warfare Technology program funds systems to enhance EW offensive operations and lethality, as well as protect ground forces against IEDs.
Airborne EW planning remains hampered by the DoD and Air Force not committing to funding or building a follow-on stand-off jamming capability to replace the Navy Growler program in 2014. A serious airborne EW capability gap by 2010 caused by fewer U.S. assets and weapon advancements made by potential adversaries continues to raise concerns. Overall, a lack of decisive DoD leadership and a coordinated joint-service plan hinder the industry from anticipating the technological needs of the armed forces to make the appropriate engineering and manufacturing resource investments.
"The U.S. DoD has a shortage of airborne radar and communications jamming capability," explains Curran. "Under the current AEA doctrine, the Navy is primarily responsible for the EW mission and the suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD). The Air Force is scheduled to take over in 2012."
Industry participants would benefit from pooling resources and building teams to compete for contracts as the number of EW programs, engineers, project managers, and platforms decreases. This cooperative approach, which has proven successful in other areas such as communications and surveillance technologies, would emphasize each firm's strengths and provide a better and more cost-efficient solution.
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