What is Electronic Warfare and Electronic-warfare aircraft – How it works

Electronic Warfare - The Unseen Battlefield - How it works

Electronic warfare (EW) is any action involving the use of the electromagnetic spectrum (EM spectrum) or directed energy to control the spectrum, attack an enemy, or impede enemy assaults.

The purpose of electronic warfare is to deny the opponent the advantage of, and ensure friendly unimpeded access to, the EM spectrum. EW can be applied from air, sea, land, and/or space by manned and unmanned systems, and can target humans, communication, radar, or other assets (military and civilian).

Electronic Warfare (EW) represents the ability to use the electromagnetic spectrum—signals such as radio, infrared or radar—to sense, protect, and communicate. At the same time, it can be used to deny adversaries the ability to either disrupt or use these signals.

EW is divided into three (3) major areas:

  • Electronic Attack: Disrupt, deny, degrade, destroy, or deceive
  • Electronic Protection: Preventing a receiver from being jammed or deceived
  • Electronic Support: Sensing of the electromagnetic spectrum

Electronic-warfare aircraft

What is Electronic Warfare and Electronic-warfare aircraft - How it works
An EF-111A Raven with a tail pod for receiving and an underside transmitting pod, accompanied by an F-111F (Credits:Wikipedia)

An electronic-warfare aircraft is a military aircraft equipped for electronic warfare (EW), that is, degrading the effectiveness of enemy radar and radio systems by using radar jamming and deception methods.

In 1943, British Avro Lancaster aircraft were equipped with chaff in order to blind enemy air defence radars. They were supplemented by specially-equipped aircraft flown by No. 100 Group RAF, which operated modified Halifaxes, Liberators and Fortresses carrying various jammers such as Carpet, Airborne Cigar, Mandrel, Jostle, and Piperack.

The Boeing EA-18G Growler is not the average warplane. While most military aircraft were built to attack enemies physically, the Growler was created for a very different kind of warfare.

This Aircraft Is a Marvel of Electronic Warfare

List of electronic-warfare aircraft

  • Shenyang J-16D (China)
  • Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler (United States)
  • General Dynamics/Grumman EF-111A Raven (United States)
  • Lockheed EC-130H Compass Call (United States)
  • Boeing EA-18G Growler (United States)
  • Kawasaki EC-1 (Japan)
  • Shaanxi Y-8EW (China)
  • Embraer R-99 (Brazil)
  • IAI 202B Arava (Israel)
  • Tornado ECR (Germany)
  • Douglas EF-10B Skyknight (US)
  • Antonov An-12BK-PPS (Soviet Union)
  • Mi-8PP (Soviet Union)
  • Ilyushin Il-22PP (Soviet Union) / (Russia)
  • Antonov An-26REP (Soviet Union)
  • Tu-16RM-2 (Soviet Union)
  • Denel TP1 Oryx EW[1] (South Africa)
  • Douglas C-47TP EW[2] (South Africa)

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