Collaboration essential to fight electronic warfare threats

Governments are now realising that they cannot and should not act alone.

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ABU DHABI // Collaboration will prove vital in fighting the emerging threats in electronic warfare, global and regional experts said on Tuesday.

With many changes taking place in the defence and military fields, governments were now realising that they could not and should not act alone.

“We’re seeing more non-state actors operating across borders,” said Chris Bushell, a retired British Royal Air Force officer. “Alliances are also useful, necessary and powerful.”

He said the current change was going to accelerate.

“Non-state actors are increasingly troublesome and new threats add to the sum of danger, rather than replacing old threats,” he said. “Cyber is a new threat to national infrastructure maintenance and it poses a real challenge to our electronic warfare fighting capabilities. So if there isn’t collaboration between nations and industries, future capabilities, which we try to bring to the battle-space, will be severely limited.”

Royal Navy Commander Dave Hewitt, who oversees the executive wing at the Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Centre, said the UK was working more with the Gulf.

“We have not serviced that arrangement very well in the Middle East,” he said. “But this is about to change.”

He said talks had started with the UAE.

“I’m optimistic,” Commander Hewitt. “We’d like to work more with Gulf partners where there are the most complex challenges. We can’t keep global tabs on information and data.”

Sharing the challenge will be beneficial, he added.

“Or the proliferation of stuff within our space, military or civilian, will grow to the point where we’ll have no idea about what we’re operating in and everything will be some sort of strategic [shot]. If our troops aren’t supported correctly, they won’t come back from operations because we fail to give them the means to fight through.”