The age-old electronic warfare adage “friend in war, enemy in peace” is about to be tested again.
With the drawdown of military forces in Afghanistan clearly on the horizon, the era of relatively healthy levels of spending on improvised explosive device jammers and helicopter self-protection equipment may be drawing to a close. The potential turning point comes as many technologies are just starting to come into their own, such as two-color missile-warning equipment and detectors programmed to act as hostile fire indicators (HFI) that can alert pilots when they are being fired at by rocket-propelled grenades or small arms.
In Europe, where spending levels and, commensurately, the pace of technical development lags that of the U.S., some of these technologies are on the cusp of entering the market, which could mean that a sharp funding decline would cut those developments off at their knees. Research for HFI detection “will mature in the next few years,” says Steve Roberts, Selex Galileo vice president and chief technology officer for electronic warfare. “We are getting that sorted.”...
-bth: European advanced military R&D is in full retreat across all major areas. I doubt much will remain.