DARPA envisions a future where electronic warfare systems are autonomous. In order to make that dream a reality, the agency awarded BAE Systems a $13.3 million award to develop technologies that will allow future systems to effectively jam and deceive enemy radar on their own.

Artificial intelligence and autonomy are gaining popularity with government and military agencies taking note and looking for ways to integrate this technology into weapons and warfare systems.

BAE explains that current systems are limited in their ability to quickly adapt to new and advanced threats. This is largely due to the fact that they rely on a database of known threats with predefined countermeasures.

Communications systems send and receive messages thanks to the electromagnetic spectrum — which is highly congested these days thanks to cell phones, radar systems, and a whole host of classified and unclassified systems. Combing through all that noise is a huge challenge.

BAE systems is developing technology that will enable electronic warfare systems to jam enemy radar.
BAE systems is developing technology that will enable electronic warfare systems to jam enemy radar. 

This is why DARPA awarded BAE $13.3 million to further develop an intelligent system known as Adaptive Radar Countermeasures — a technology which will help EW systems counter new and unknown threats, as well as enable the system to adaptively learn how to defeat all threats.

The award is giving BAE the funding it needs to develop smarter algorithms and move the system into production.

“We have successfully demonstrated the ability to characterize and adaptively counter advanced threats in a closed-loop test environment,” Louis Trebaol, ARC program manager at BAE Systems said in a statement. “We will now continue to mature the technology and test it against the most advanced radars in the U.S. inventory in order to successfully transition this important technology to the warfighter.”

Photos via BAE Systems, DARPA