As Electronic Warfare continues to transform tomorrow’s battlespace, the benefits of integrating Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) are becoming increasingly clear. Simon Croall talks assimilation and adaptation
The Cyber and Electromagnetic Environment. Now there’s a phrase to quicken the pulse of military planners the world over. It refers, of course, to all that IT and electromagnetic spectrum chatter created by the myriad of wireless technologies which now underpin our everyday lives – particularly in lockdown. Created when we go online, send emails, do video calls (or even phone calls if we remember those), stream music, watch TV – and much else besides.
For those in uniform, however, the data-rich information age in which they now operate has unlocked all manner of possibilities to reshape warfare as we know it. As I’ve written elsewhere, no military operation or military domain is immune to this revolution. Exploiting the information which ricochets across these interconnecting sensors and systems is now at the forefront of gaining a strategic and tactical advantage over adversaries.
At least that’s the plan.
Unfortunately, what sounds good in theory does not always translate into reality. It’s not about appointing individual system integrators to do a defined task, but more about integrating the activities of all involved – from budget holders and procurers, to users, partners and suppliers. And that’s where a CEMA Integrator comes in.
A CEMA Integrator coordinates capabilities in Electronic Warfare, Cyber and Security from the get-go. It ensures that CEMA is baked in, not bolted on, and fundamental to new and legacy platforms alike.
It can also be hugely influential to budget holders and procurers. And let’s face it, theirs is no easy task. Somehow they have to prioritise strategic versus tactical spending. But saving money while also accelerating capability can be done, especially if viewed through the prism of a CEMA Integrator:
Value for money – By bringing together the necessary technical, programme and delivery skills and processes, a CEMA Integrator can help deliver a comprehensive capability which incorporates multiple suppliers more efficiently.
- A supply chain ecosystem – Security barriers can inhibit the involvement of SMEs or prevent commercial companies from entering the defence and security markets. A CEMA Integrator, however, can help stop that happening by helping develop specialist expertise and skills across the supply chain.
Continuous Improvement – Open solutions overseen by a CEMA Integrator can deliver capability that remains unchecked by vendor lock-in or commercial resistance – all funded by a smoother and longer Continuous Improvement budget.
Economic leverage – A CEMA Integrator using open standards may be able to bring together components of the system that have repaid their costs across larger international markets, whilst still preserving national security.
Supporting the warfighter
With warfare becoming increasingly dynamic and agile, we must provide capabilities that enable the users of a CEMA Integrator – our servicemen and women, in other words – to react, adapt and predict. Our military personnel are expert at this in theatre so it is vital to give them the flexibility and options they need.
We should also allow a degree of experimentation with data feeds and analytics, not force a pre-determined answer by over-constraining the question. Fortunately, a CEMA Integrator offers many benefits to its users in this regard:
Enables adaptable warfare – A CEMA Integrator allows the user to configure and adapt the capability to their mission requirement, or provide support to a wider mission capability, with such updates even being delivered mid-mission.
Delivers multi-functionality – By working across the Electromagnetic Spectrum as a whole, areas such as force protection, signals intelligence, cyber effects and platform defences can be made multi-functional and offer integrated solutions.
Integrates information - By bringing together different sources of information that can be triaged, a CEMA Integrator enables action to be taken according to risk appetite and confidence, as well as supporting greater adaptability to changing circumstances.
But what about a CEMA Integrator’s partners and suppliers – those who design, develop and deliver the capability? What is in it for them? Actually, quite a lot:
Increased share of market – Because CEMA is increasingly important to the warfighter, it will consume an increasing proportion of the budget. Suppliers into a CEMA Integrator have the opportunity for greater national and also international exploitation.
Strengthened competitiveness – Under a CEMA Integrator, the best way to assure a future revenue stream is by being a high performing trusted partner and applying the best in class from the wider ecosystem of suppliers. Focusing business priorities this way will help sustain the industry in the long term by rewarding performance and innovation.
Through Life Revenues – CEMA capabilities benefit from regular technical refreshes and improvements. This also benefits the supply base and facilitates where appropriate the development of service based models.
A CEMA Integrator offers a myriad of benefits and is fundamental to winning in the future battlespace.
That’s why we believe a CEMA Integrator is key to future capability development and supports the flexibility and adaptability five domain integrated (5DI) operations will demand.
Learn about our CEMA products and services and get in touch with the CEMA team at CEMA@baesystems.com
Learn more about our Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) Integration capabilities
Integration and orchestration of CEMA enables full exploitation of the wireless spectrum to support better decision making and operational flexibility across multi-domain operationsFind out more
About the author
Simon Croall is Military Cyber and EW Director at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
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