In recent wars, many countries have widely used electronic warfare, and have shown the danger and fear of this type of warfare.
According to the wiki, 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.
According to American military doctrine, whoever controls the electromagnetic spectrum will gain a huge advantage in any war. In modern warfare, electronic warfare activities take place on six main battlefields: Air, land, sea, space, cyberspace and electromagnetic spectrum.
EW is military operations on the electromagnetic spectrum, including: Radio communication, to transmit and receive information, data, direct and continuous battlefield command and control between many combat forces at all levels.
- Second, radar reconnaissance to detect and track enemy targets.
- Third, optical and infrared reconnaissance aims to detect, intelligence, track and analyze targets.
- Fourth, reconnaissance and satellite communications.
- And finally, lasers across the entire spectrum and powerful electromagnetic attacks to jam and destroy targets.
The effectiveness of these operations greatly affects the battlefield situation. Therefore, at present, militaries of countries always want to control the electromagnetic spectrum, or frequency spectrum, through electronic warfare. In modern warfare, the role of EW corresponds to 3 main areas:
- First, electronic attacks to prevent or degrade the opponent’s ability to operate, such as disrupting communication lines; disable radar, optical, and satellite reconnaissance equipment, create an advantage before using the next attack tactics.
During the armed conflict in the Donbass region, Eastern Ukraine (from 2014 to present), a lot of electronic warfare equipment has been used to attack and jam the Ukrainian army. Making it very difficult for the Ukrainian military because it could not communicate, could not even make phone calls, and the radar and GPS navigation systems did not work.
In the battlefield in Syria, since 2015, the Russian military has used many electronic warfare equipment to support the Syrian government forces against the rebels and the Islamic State (ISIS).
- Second, electronic protection against threats from the enemy, ensuring the safety of forces. In recent years, military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have shown their benefits and changed the face of modern warfare.
The most obvious example is the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020, where the suicide drones of Azerbaijan attacked and caused great damage to the Armenian forces, giving Azerbaijan an overwhelming advantage in a short time. The EW systems are a quintessence of UAVs.
Today’s military aircraft and ships are equipped with electronic self-defense systems to help avoid the risk of attack or reconnaissance from the enemy. For example, the US Navy destroyer USS Mason is equipped with radio jamming and reconnaissance systems. Along with infrared jamming system, active and passive radar jammer, combined with fire weapons. This has helped the USS Mason repeatedly neutralize missile attacks by the Houthi rebels fired from the mainland while in the waters off Yemen in 2016.
- Third, supporting electronic warfare, reconnaissance, intelligence, information gathering, monitoring, analyzing the enemy’s status, synergize with other components to improve accuracy and efficiency in combat.
Modern warfare tends to use high-precision weapons, narrow range of damage, and minimize the impact on unrelated objects, especially civilians.
EW support systems, especially satellite reconnaissance, respond very well to this trend. In 2011, during the operation to kill terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, the US used satellite data to accurately identify the subject’s residence in Pakistan, thereby carrying out a lightning attack, killing the terrorist leader in a short time without affecting to local people.
Through recent wars, it has been shown that EW combined with high-tech weapons plays a particularly important role in modern warfare, becoming the main method of combat, directly affecting victory.