Navy Expands Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare for ‘Victory at Sea’
DAHLGREN, Va. — New electromagnetic maneuver warfare (EMW) capabilities are emerging from laboratories to make a vital operational impact in the fleet, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) leaders announced.
The announcement — made in the wake of NSWC Commander Rear Adm. Tom Druggan’s call for a renewed focus on EMW at a recent conference — means that the Navy and its Warfare Centers are serious about investing in electromagnetic maneuver warfare while new innovations such as directed energy and high energy lasers expand capabilities within the electromagnetic spectrum.
“The logic behind our refocus is simple,” Druggan said. “The point is victory at sea. The point is sea control.”
This strategic focus begins with research, development, test and evaluation at NSWCDD and other Navy labs to ensure that Sailors and Marines have the technological capability to seize the initiative across the electromagnetic spectrum.
“We must be able to fight and win in an increasingly contested and congested electromagnetic operating environment,” said Capt. Godfrey ‘Gus’ Weekes, NSWCDD commanding officer. “This will require the integration of cross domain capabilities designed to disrupt or disable our adversary’s kill chain.”
The goal of combining EMW capabilities in the sea, air and land domains to generate enhanced combat effects will enable warfighters to anticipate future conflicts in the battlespace created where cyber and the electromagnetic spectrum converge.
“Managing and fighting in the spectrum is becoming paramount to how U.S. naval forces must operate,” said Dale Sisson, NSWCDD deputy technical director. “Modern warfare is moving beyond traditional hard kill, so we must deny our enemies access and use of the spectrum while actively managing and controlling our own emissions. Therefore, we will maintain electromagnetic maneuver warfare as an NSWC Dahlgren strategic goal in order to maximize our warfighters’ battlespace awareness and their advantage in the electromagnetic maneuver spectrum.”
Consequently, Navy scientists, engineers and warfighters are busy working to integrate EMW technologies throughout the fleet by leveraging the cyberspace domain and the full electromagnetic spectrum for offensive and defensive effects. This requires coordination and simultaneous integration across all domains — land, sea, subsurface, air, space and cyber.
“We want to expand this capability,” Druggan said in his keynote speech at the Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare Systems Engineering and Acquisition Conference sponsored by the Association of Old Crows, Sept. 26. “The Navy is going through a unique transition. We’ve always had improvements to our systems, but we’re going through a generational shift — a generational upgrade from military specification analog to digital solid state systems, and that digital solid state is computer control that gives us an affordable growth path to the future.”
For example, the Navy’s next generation integrated air and missile defense radar — the AN/SPY-6(V) — is currently under development as a solid-state digital system to address emerging threats, increase signature control and streamline operational training for technicians.
Similar Navy investments in radars and a myriad of electromagnetic spectrum technologies coupled with its EMW warfighting approach to gain decisive military advantage in the spectrum will enable freedom of action across all mission areas. Subsequently, battlespace awareness, or knowledge of the operating environment, is increasing as warfighters find, penetrate and predict the enemy’s operations by making better decisions faster.
“The Navy is serious because we see value,” Druggan said, “but more than just value, we see warfighting capability that gives us a competitive advantage on the battlefield.”
The advantage requires seamlessly integrated communications, command-and-control, signals intelligence, spectrum management, electronic warfare and cyberspace disciplines to permit the Navy’s freedom of action across the spectrum.