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Thursday, March 4th, 2021

NATO committee discusses electronic warfare strategies

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held its Electronic Warfare Advisory Committee (NEWAC) meeting this week to discuss electronic warfare (EW) and strategies and initiatives to counter it.

Electronic warfare (EW) is a military action that exploits electromagnetic energy to provide situational awareness and achieve offensive and defensive effects. It can also be used to deny adversaries the ability to either disrupt or use the Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS).

EW can be applied in the air, sea, land, and space. It can be used to attack radars systems, jam communications and navigation systems, and mask intelligence gathering. Thus, NATO must be prepared to counter any adversary’s use of EW.

EW has continuously evolved over the years and remains a challenge for the NATO alliance. Technologies have developed so NATO’s capabilities must follow. NEWAC is responsible for overseeing the development of NATO’s EW policy and monitoring EW support to NATO operations.

The meeting — held at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels — was presided over by Colonel Ziya Kabasakal, chair of the committee.

“The need for military forces to have unimpeded access to and use of the electromagnetic environment is essential to the success of most military operations. It will also determine the efficiency of our counter-measures in the Electronic Warfare domain and our ability to protect our capabilities and troops,” Kabasakal said. “Implementing this strategy will require trained and experienced personnel so it must be recognized as a training discipline, he said.

They also discussed improving the NATO EW Policy.

“Over the last year, NATO has been significantly active in Electronic Warfare’s use, developing, testing, and training new capabilities and tactics. One recent example is the NATO Electromagnetic Operations (NEMO) exercise held last month, where 13 NATO countries trialed advanced techniques against simulated modern anti-ship missiles to divert them away from their targets, using state-of-the-art electronic defenses. It was a great example of how Allies are developing new defensive technology to meet emerging security challenges. Observations and lessons identified from such exercises help identify the gaps and shape the appropriate recommendations to prepare NATO for future Electronic Warfare,” Kabasakal added.

The NEWAC Plenary meeting is a bi-annual event that gathers military representatives from all 29 NATO Nations.