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Marine Corp to Invest $1B in Electromagnetic Warfare Research

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The Marine Corps plans to invest approximately $1 billion in electromagnetic warfare systems over the next five years. The Corp wants to develop future electromagnetic systems that fall into four categories, platform-agnostic, widely distributed and scalable, capabilities on-demand and mutually supporting networks, C4ISRNET reported the story on Friday. 

“If the operational or the tactical situation calls for electronic attack, there’s a full understanding of the entire spectrum and the decision can be made to do that. If a targeting solution is required based on the spectrum data, then that sensing solution can be provided to a targeting solution and maybe a kinetic strike will occur,” commented Col. Dave Burton, program manager for intelligence systems and portfolio manager for command element systems at Marine Corps Systems Command.

“We can see the spectrum as another part of the information environment that is crucial for future operations and understanding the spectrum and being able to maneuver in the spectrum either for electronic attack, electronic protection, to deny the adversary the use of spectrum is just another aspect of warfare,” Burton added.

The Corps doesn’t want systems designed for one platform or system, but rather systems that can spread around to fit multiple airborne or ground systems, which will increase resiliency. The systems need to be scalable, meaning equipment that individuals can hold, be mounted on vehicles and more. 

The service requires system capabilities on-demand instead of exquisite systems that help marines operate inside an enemy’s sphere of influence. The systems’ networks will be designed to be mutually supportive as well.

“Realizing that gray zone activities, particularly in INDOPACOM, it’s going to help us in competition to build targeting,” Barton said. 

“We’re going to be in competition 99 percent of the time, so having that sensing capability that we could actually use is going to be huge. In conflict, I want to have those electronic attack capabilities that are going to deny, degrade, disrupt the decision cycle of an adversary. I want to have non-kinetic options that I can provide the Marine force or the joint force.”