Electronic warfare (EW) is military action to exploit the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS), encompassing: the search for, interception and identification of electromagnetic emissions; the employment of electromagnetic energy, including directed energy, to reduce or prevent hostile use of the EMS; and actions to ensure its effective use by friendly forces.
EW is divided into three categories:
a. Electronic support. Electronic support (ES) involves actions taken to search for, intercept, locate, record and analyse radiated electromagnetic energy for the purpose of exploiting such radiations in support of military operations. EW information is required to conduct electronic attack (EA) and electronic protection (EP) and to enable other air power missions.
b. Electronic protection. EP involves actions taken to protect personnel, facilities, and equipment from effects of the use of the EMS that degrade, neutralise, or destroy friendly combat capability. EP is also considered a form of force protection.
c. Electronic attack. EA involves the use of electromagnetic energy or directed energy to attack personnel, facilities or equipment with the intent of degrading, neutralising or destroying adversary combat capability.