Air Force asks industry for artificial intelligence (AI) cognitive electronic warfare (EW) for F-15 jets

March 15, 2021
AI and machine learning could help F-15 EW avionics handle emitter ambiguities and emerging threats in sparse and dense signal environments.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio – U.S. Air Force airborne electronic warfare (EW) experts would like to apply artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to existing and developmental EW avionics for the Air Force F-15 combat jet.

Officials of the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, issued a request for information (AFLCMC-WAQ-F15) on Thursday for the AFLCMC Cognitive EW project.

This project is surveying industry to find companies able to apply cognitive AI and machine learning algorithms to advance the capabilities of F-15 airborne electronic warfare (EW) systems in development or in production.

The Air Force wants to find companies with strong EW experience in algorithms and technologies that could enable EW systems aboard the F-15 to respond to emitter ambiguities and emerging threats quickly and intelligently in sparse and dense signal environments.

Related: Adaptive and bistatic electronic warfare

The goal is to develop and build cognitive EW technologies at least as mature as a laboratory breadboard version (TRL-4), and investigate challenges of adaptive, agile, ambiguous, and out-of-library complex emitters that operate inside RF background noise. The Air Force also is interested in cognitive technologies that provide rapid EW reprogramming and learning capability for improved system performance.

The Air Force F-15 Program Office is looking for cognitive EW technologies that could be installed in the next two years into EW systems in development for the F-15 combat jet.

EW systems aboard the F-15 aircraft today include the BAE Systems Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS), which this year entered low-rate initial production; the Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-135 automatic EW system that manages and defeats several different threats simultaneously; and the Northrop Grumman externally mounted ALQ-131 self-protection jammer pod.

Related: Army surveys industry for the latest artificial intelligence research for cyber and electronic warfare

Companies interested in participating on this airborne cognitive EW project should email responses no later than 12 April 2021 to the Air Force's Michael Crane at [email protected]. Those responding should use the RFI response form that is available online at

Email questions or concerns to the Air Force's Capt. Max Harkavy at [email protected], Maj. Joel Sanders at [email protected], or David Black at [email protected].

More information is online at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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