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EW Europe: NATO to tackle SEAD gap
« Reactie #1 Gepost op: 13/05/2016 | 20:42 uur »
EW Europe: NATO to tackle SEAD gap

13th May 2016 - 13:04  by Tim Fish in Rotterdam

NATO is pushing ahead with a programme to fill its capability gap in the suppression of enemy air defence (SEAD).

The programme intends to develop a next generation system that can meet the challenges of combating enemy air defences, such as Russia’s new S-400 system (SA-21) and anti-access area denial (A2AD) systems.

Speaking at EW Europe in Rotterdam, NATO officials said that following the alliance's summit in Wales in 2015, the US stated it wanted Europe and Canada to provide 50% of NATO’s SEAD capability and reduce reliance on Washington.

An initial operating capability is slated for December 2023, just seven years away with a full operational capability in 2030. In 2023 they need to show a viable European SEAD capability with the full 50% force mix ready by 2030.

To do this in just seven years is a challenging timetable. Five European NATO nations are close to signing a letter of intent to establish a SEAD capability and NATO officials investigating this completed a workshop on developing a timetable in early May 2016.

A ‘vision paper’ is being produced in next few weeks that will start the steps moving towards procuring a SEAD capability. Roadmaps also being produced for SEAD and electronic attack that to get deliverables from now to 2023 and 2030.

However, a SEAD capability is not just the aircraft and bombs - it is the entire intelligence gathering, surveillance and targeting network that can enable a more efficient and smarter strike capability.

The plan is to ‘peel back the onion’ of air defence layers to allow aircraft to enter these ever-increasing engagement zones to allow missions to be carried out against a target or to destroy the radar themselves.

Launching a weapon may not destroy a radar but could force it to switch off. There are also jamming activities that can help but high power jamming to defeat a low frequency radar standing off with a Joint Strike Fighter at 1,000km is a challenge.

NATO officials said they want to make sure that existing national SEAD programmes are in-line with what NATO is doing and they want industry to help look at the kind of capabilities they will need in 30 years’ time that can be achieved if work began now.

To get a SEAD capability the NATO officials said they need the right EW database that is shared across the alliance, alongside ‘the whole mission set, tools for planning and activity and information to enable it’.

This includes intelligence, joint precision strike, ISR as well as cyber, which is part of the solution. The threats have to be detected and located - without this there is no mission.

Coordination was highlighted as an issue as future SEAD missions could involve ten nations or more, so this needs to be put together and validated before going to theatre. This includes test, training and synthetic environments to make sure that the SEAD mission works across 20 aircraft types and the mission planning is viable. Information sharing is vital.

According to a timeline shown at EW Europe, following a NATO summit in July 2016, the following April NATO plans to start initial three-year R&D phase. The NATO Industrial Advisory Group will report in December that year followed by another NATO summit in June 2018.

In December 2021, NATO’s SEAD policy will be revised and NIAG will report again before IOC is expected in 2023.

https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/digital-battlespace/ew-europe-nato-tackle-sead-gap/