NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: “We have lost the electromagnetic spectrum,” said Alan Shaffer, the Pentagon’s research and engineering chief, this morning. “That’s a huge deal when you think about fielding advanced systems that can be [countered] by a very, very cheap digital jammer.”
We’ve heard senior Pentagon officials fret about electronic warfare before, most prominently the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, but this is the bluntest and most alarming statement yet.
“We have got to, in my opinion, regain some dominance in the electromagnetic spectrum, or at least parity, so things that we buy continue to operate as we intended them to,” Shaffer said. For example, the Pentagon’s biggest program ever, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, has much-touted information technology built-in, but, he told reporters cryptically after his public remarks, “if we don’t really pay attention to the EM spectrum, it is not a good news story for the F-35.”