Empowering Electronic Warfare To Save Carrier Strike Groups

By Jim Loerch, SIGNAL Magazine

“The U.S. Navy needs an integrated approach to improve antiship missile defense.

Integrated electronic warfare is the best and most efficient form of defense against the growing antiship missile threat that targets deployed U.S. carrier strike groups. Some experts may even argue that an integrated electronic warfare system of systems is the only capability that can protect the U.S. fleet from this threat.

The inability to defend against these missiles has been a longtime U.S. weakness. In 1987, a missile launched from an Iraqi warplane crippled the USS Stark. The U.S. Navy frigate detected the sea-skimming missile known as the Exocet too late for its defenses to destroy it. The Exocet is a subsonic antiship missile with a 360-pound warhead. If the Navy failed to destroy an Exocet, what happens when its vessels are attacked by much more capable antiship missiles? Today’s missiles have better guidance, longer ranges, greater speeds and more destructive power than the Exocet.”

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