Canadian and Australian experts run experiments at Shirleys Bay

March 14, 2017

For the first time, Canadian and Australian experts recently conducted joint electronic warfare targeting experiments at the Canadian Forces Warfare Centre (CFWC) in Shirleys Bay,

Ottawa. The Joint Non-munitions Effects Experiment 1 (JNEX-1), along with subsequent experiments, will help the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) develop a process called the joint targeting capability that will enable the CAF to use both munitions based capabilities, such as bombs, and non-munitions-based capabilities, such as electronic warfare, to neutralize current and future threats like terrorist attacks before they happen.

“It would be extremely expensive and hazardous to develop and test the [electronic warfare] targeting process in the real world,” said Derek Elsaesser, Senior Scientist at Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and electronic warfare expert. “Fortunately, the CFWC as the joint command and control range for the CAF is also the Joint Targeting Centre of Excellence for the Canadian Joint Operations Command.

The CFWC has the staff, automated command and control systems, and virtual wargame simulation systems required to conduct joint fires and targeting exercises and experiments.” Participants from military and government organizations managed operations in a simulated, real-time, operational-level theatre to explore conflict within the electromagnetic spectrum (range of radio frequencies or wavelengths). The JNEX-1 team collected data to identify lessons applicable to the ongoing CAF targeting capability development.

These experiments are key components in anticipating, preparing, and countering the emergence of future threats in today’s global security environment.

“JNEX-1 allowed the CFWC to experiment and validate for the first time the CAF targeting process using non-munitions-based effects at the joint operational level,” said Dr. Ahmed Ghanmi, Lead Scientist of JNEX-1 and the manager of the Non-Munitions Targeting Science (NMTS) project. “It also allowed them to identify capability requirements and concepts for incorporation in the CAF Joint Targeting Doctrine and Lessons Learned processes.”

Through partnership, JNEX-1 collaborated with the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group. The Australian Defence Force is equally interested in incorporating electronic warfare into its targeting process, and provided Australian-developed software and the scientific experts needed to include electronic warfare as part of the experiment.

Cumulative program of experiments

As one of the lead partners, DRDC’s Centre for Operational Research and Analysis developed the NMTS project to examine how to apply a broad set of capabilities that better reflects the reality of modern warfare in the future joint targeting capability. The NMTS project is a cumulative program consisting of four distinct JNEXs.

In addition, the project intends to provide the scientific foundation to establish the CAF’s Centre of Excellence for Joint Targeting at the CFWC. Over the remaining series of JNEX experiments, the team will integrate non-munitions experimentation initiatives with the work of allied research institutions to explore emerging interoperability standards and solutions. The next experiment,

JNEX-2, is anticipated to take place later this year.

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