An electronic attack (EA) is a
|“||[d]ivision of electronic warfare involving the use of electromagnetic energy, directed energy, or antiradiation weapons to attack personnel, facilities, or equipment with the intent of degrading, neutralizing, or destroying enemy combat capability and is considered a form of fires.||”|
An electronic attack, most commonly referred to as an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), disrupts the reliability of electronic equipment through generating instantaneous high energy that overloads circuit boards, transistors, and other electronics. EMP effects can penetrate computer facility walls where they can erase electronic memory, upset software, or permanently disable all electronic components.
An electronic attack includes —
- Actions taken to prevent or reduce an enemy's effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as jamming and electromagnetic deception.
- Employment of weapons that use either electromagnetic or directed energy as their primary destructive mechanism (lasers, radio frequency weapons, particle beams).
- Offensive and defensive activities including electronic countermeasures.
Common types of electronic attack include spot, barrage, and sweep electromagnetic jamming.
Electronic attack actions also include various electromagnetic deception techniques such as false target or duplicate target generation.
Activities related to electronic attack are either offensive or defensive and include —
- Electromagnetic deception
- Electromagnetic intrusion
- Electromagnetic jamming
- Electromagnetic pulse, and
- Electronic probing.
Some assert that little has been done by the private sector to protect against the threat from electromagnetic pulse, and that commercial electronic systems in the United States could be severely damaged by limited range, small-scale, or portable electromagnetic pulse devices. Some military experts have stated that the United States is perhaps the nation most vulnerable to electromagnetic pulse attack.
Offensive electronic attack Edit
Offensive electronic attack activities "are generally conducted at the request and onset of friendly force engagement of the enemy. In many cases, these activities suppress a threat for only a limited period of time."
Examples of offensive electronic attacks include —
- Jamming enemy radar or electronic command and control systems.
- Using antiradiation missiles to suppress enemy air defenses (antiradiation weapons use radiated energy emitted from the target as their mechanism for guidance onto targeted emitters).
- Using electronic deception techniques to confuse enemy intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems.
- Using directed-energy weapons to disable an enemy's equipment or capability.
Defensive electronic attack Edit
Defensive electronic attack
|“||uses the electromagnetic spectrum to protect personnel, facilities, capabilities, and equipment. Examples include self-protection and other protection measures such as use of expendables (flares and active decoys), jammers, towed decoys, directed-energy infrared countermeasure systems, and counter-radio-controlled improvised-explosive-device systems.||”|
- ↑ U.S. Department of Defense, Joint Pub. 1–02: DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (Nov. 8, 2010, as amended through May 15, 2011) (full-text).
- ↑ Electrical systems connected to any wire or line that can act as an antenna may be disrupted.
- ↑ Kenneth R. Timmerman, "U.S. Threatened with EMP Attack," Insight on the News (May 28, 2001) (full-text).
- ↑ House Armed Services Committee, Committee Hearing on Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack (July 22, 2004); "Experts Cite Electromagnetic Pulse as Terrorist Threat," Las Vegas Rev.-J. (Oct. 3, 2001).
- ↑ Seth Schiesel, "Taking Aim at An Enemy’s Chips," N.Y. Times (Feb. 20, 2003).
- ↑ Joint Publication 3-13.1, at I-5.
- ↑ Joint Publication 3-13.1, at I-5 and I-6.