HAF Colonel (Veteran) Athanasios Chouliaras
The theme of AOC EW Europe 2019 is ‘Unifying Electromagnetic (EM) Warfare in a Complex World - Together’ – why is unifying EM capabilities (such as EW, SIGINT, Spectrum Management, C4ISR and Navigation/NAVWAR) currently so important?
The operating environment is becoming exceedingly more difficult along the evolution of target profiles, advanced threat capabilities, continued innovative weapons proliferation, increased UAV, stealth assets utilisation as well as the cyber attack risk.
According to this EM environment, all systems must coordinate and establish connection with an interoperable and high-dense demanding integrated network.
In the context of joint operations, all domains (EW, SIGINT, Spectrum Management, C4ISR and Navigation/NAVWAR) need to interoperate with multi sensor platforms in order to support and optimise the mission planning, data process, information fusion, dissemination and targeting, using smart weapons for soft and hard kill.
To ensure the synergy and avoid electronic fratricide, all actors must consider the EME when planning and employing all the above domains. Therefore one focus is the development of state-of-the-art tools for command and control of EW and the capability to enable fast exchange of ISR/EW data as a key to success.
Are the extent and capabilities of EM operations coupled with information operations / warfare sufficiently well understood across the military and government in the free world?
Ι believe that military and government services gradually understand the important of EM operations coupled with information operations (IO)/warfare (IW).
For this purpose, according to recent efforts the consists of the above formal domain and electromagnetic spectrum management (EMSM) is a part of EW/CYBER Concepts. In joint EM operations, EMSM is one of the military capabilities that are integrated to conduct IO.
IO seek to affect adversary information and information systems while defending friendly information and information systems. IO strategies support military missions and are in consonance with guidance provided in NATO and partners unified command plan, joint strategic capabilities plan, and defence planning guidance documents. These strategies require integrated and synchronised offensive, defensive, and exploitive actions to counter, protect against, and learn of threats presented at any given time.
Since the collection, processing, storage, and transmission of information often rely on EM energy, EW is an essential part of IO and EMSM consist of a part of IO activities conducted during time of crisis or conflict.
Thinking about hybrid warfare, A2/AD and the multi-domain battle, as examples, how should government, industry and the military prepare?
The military operations against hybrid threats and A2/AD must integrate IO into a ‘Concept of Operations’ regarding to Joint ISR/EW operations in order to respond to the new geostrategic challenges. The whole of the governments and industries must also work towards more effective dissemination of new requirements and new threats evolution.
Since hybrid warfare attempts to defeat a nation’s will, a comprehensive information effort is necessary to: generate effects for military operations; attack the hybrid adversary’s will; isolate the adversary diplomatically; and maintain international support for the military campaign.
All the government and military services, trying to prevent war must develop a ‘concept of operation’ which will support establishing information conduits into conflict areas in short time and collaborating with joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multi-national partners.
Technical enablers such as electronic warfare and cyber activities are critical to combating A2/AD threats, as is controlling how adversaries view our operations through use of operations security and military deception.
How do you feel the EW community has evolved over recent years and is it going in the right direction?
The efforts of the EW community help us to coping against future threats and develop further our doctrine bases. In the electronic operations, which take place from the strategic and military-strategic level through the operational to tactical tasks together with cyber, begins as a common capability idea in the armed forces with the idea of electronic operations. In this context, I can mention that the development, in terms of responses to modern and, above all, hybrid threats, can very dynamically affect our EW community in the area of anticipation in the electromagnetic operation sphere.
In particular, I expect that the asymmetric, hybrid sector will increase in the future and the time to react will by much shorter. For this purpose, it is recommended closer interactive with the international data link community in order to exchange requirements in how to upgrade the integration and interoperability of ISR and EW systems with C2 battle management platforms.
What do you think are the particular challenges facing EW capabilities in Europe specifically?
The biggest challenge for European forces and the NATO Alliance is to investigate how quickly and effectively they can respond to new requirements and perspectives in order to be protected against the new ‘threats’, following the ‘modern trends’ in the context development of ‘strategic concept’ which will ensure the ‘defence and security’.
Following the ‘hybrid and information warfare’ challenges, it is mandatory a ‘concept of operation strategic concept’ to be developed, according to which the armed forces are able to carry out joint operations with all domain assets which have to interoperate in order to optimise the ‘joint ISR/EW operation effectiveness’, saving resources.
Particularly the DL interoperability is a major challenge in order to achieve the Joint ISR/EW effectiveness with ‘integrated network-centric C2BM systems.
What can delegates expect to take away from your session?
My session will focus on a proof that a ‘concept of operations’ needs to develop the next generation requirements regarding the ‘integrated network – centric C2BM systems’ with innovative open architecture and DL interoperable implementation which will play a significant role in the information process, exploitation, dissemination (PED), creating a common tactical picture and C2BM enhance, optimising thus the joint ISR and EW operation interoperability and effectiveness.
My presentation will highlight the importance of ‘DL interoperability’ in the interface capability of joint forces assets via ‘integrated DL networks’ in order to enhance the joint operation effectiveness into all domains.
Why is AOC EW Europe a must-attend event for those working in the EM environment / domain?
EW Europe affords the opportunity to bring together militaries and industry partners from across the European continent as well as other countries involved in European defence and NATO alliance.
Future capabilities should ensure that they provide the level of support necessary to overcome todays challenges in order to keep NATO at the edge of operations within the EME.
Forums like EW Europe provide the almost unique opportunity for liaising civilian and military end users, scientists and industry. Given the rapid developments in the operational environment and the security situation, discussions about challenges and possible solutions can be supported by bringing all the actors together. Technical solutions alone will not guarantee EME superiority, only the integration of modern systems, people and processes into the decision making cycle will support superiority in operations.