Air Force hires two companies to create simulated spectrum warfare battlefield
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 30 Oct. 2015. U.S. Air Force researchers are creating a simulated spectrum warfare battlefield designed to try out new electronic warfare (EW) and electro-optical warfare systems to help U.S. military forces control the electromagnetic spectrum in future conflicts.
Officials of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, announced contracts to two U.S. defense technology companies Thursday for the Spectrum Warfare Assessment Technologies (SWAT) program.
Spectrum warfare describes the U.S. military's struggle to control radio communications, radar, electro-optical sensors, GPS satellite navigation, precision timing, data networking, and other facets of the electromagnetic spectrum, as well as deny these abilities to the enemy.
Spectrum warfare blends electronic warfare, optical warfare, cyber warfare, and other aspects of controlling the ability to sense the environment, communicate, navigate, and keep weapons on target.
The Air Force on Thursday awarded contracts to CACI Technologies Inc. in Chantilly, Va., and Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., for the SWAT program.
The companies will provide applied and advanced research and development in leading-edge system-of-systems spectrum warfare applications and advanced technology development.
Company researchers will use a multispectral synthetic battlespace simulation to integrate sensor and electronic warfare technologies; identify and resolve technology issues and risks; demonstrate technology applications and benefits; and perform rapid technology insertions and transitions.
The SWAT program will demonstrate and verify the value of new spectrum warfare technologies based on electronic warfare skill sets. CACI and Ball Aerospace experts will deliver hardware, software, and data.
The two companies will share a pot of money as large as $49.5 million over the next seven years. CACI will receive $3.5 million up-front, and Ball will receive $950,000 up-front. The companies will perform SWAT work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The SWAT program will last through October 2022.