Sunday, September 11, 2011

Electronic Warfare Would Be The Norm In Future

Electronic warfare is assuming the centre stage in the present day’s warfare. Signal intelligence (SIGINT) is often combined with electronic warfare to make it more effective. Incidences of use of technology for electronic warfare and SIGNIT are on rise.

For instance, approximately two years before, the Pentagon fixed a security breach that allowed insurgents to hack into data feeds from pilotless "drone" aircraft that provide real-time video of war zones.

Iraqi militants developed a mechanism to track the drones and attack them before they could have strike. They used commonly and cheaply available software named SkyGrabber to shoot down highly sophisticated US drones. SkyGrabber helped in capturing the drone feeds in order to neutralise the same.

This means, in this era of electronic warfare we have to apply common sense first before relying upon and procuring technology worth of millions.

In a recent example, a US military reconnaissance plane came under electronic attack from North Korea and had to make an emergency landing during a major military exercise in March.

The plane suffered disturbance to its GPS system due to jamming signals from the North's southwestern cities of Haeju and Kaesong as it was taking part in the annual US-South Korea drill. The incident was disclosed in a report that Seoul's defense ministry submitted to Ahn Kyu-baek of parliament's defense committee. Spokesmen for the defense ministry and US Forces Korea declined to comment.

Jamming signals, sent at intervals of five to 10 minutes on the afternoon of March 4, forced the plane to make an emergency landing 45 minutes after it took off. The signals also affected South Korean naval patrol boats and speedboats, as well as several civilian flights near Seoul's Gimpo area, according to the report.

Seoul mobile users also complained of bad connections, and the military reported GPS device malfunctions as the South and the US were staging the drill, which was harshly criticised by the North.

The Communist state has about 20 types of jamming devices, mostly imported from Russia, and has been developing a new device with a range of more than 62 miles (100 kilometers) near the heavily-fortified border.

Signal jamming is also used for blocking radars to perform their designated tasks. Further, signal jamming can also be used to jam mobile or wireless communications. In future, signal jamming may be used more severely and frequently.