EW Under Invested

A high-level Pentagon panel on electronic warfare recently met to “inventory” the various major systems available in the EW field and to plan a Defense Department-wide approach to correct “under investment” in it, Air Force acquisition chief William LaPlante said in an interview with Air Force Magazine in his Pentagon office. LaPlante said the group, which was announced by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work in March, is following up on a Defense Science Board study from last year, which found insufficient investment in EW, “not just in dollars but in terms of technology.” The panel, of which LaPlante is a member, will look for “where the holes are” enterprise-wide, not just at the tactical level, but also on the operational level, “both on the command and control of it and the situational awareness,” he said. One vulnerable element might be air operations centers, he observed. LaPlante emphasized the panel is focused not on the individual services, but on the broader DOD. “I would give a different answer for the Air Force” versus the DOD, he said. “We are doing everything we can in the Air Force for our missions to cover” EW. He agreed the USAF strategy “can’t be” simply updating pods.