L3Harris: Winning the airwaves of modern electronic warfare

On the modern battlefield, there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. Playing a critical role in current military operations, electronic warfare, or EW, is a hidden battle – conducted from land, sea, air and space – that protects warfighter’s access and use of the electromagnetic spectrum while simultaneously denying and disrupting the enemy’s access and use.

This game of cat and mouse is a contest to control the spectrum through EW, and for more than 60 years, L3Harris has dominated this environment, continuing its position as the Trusted Disruptor for U.S. and allied forces.


L3Harris’ ES-5080 technology gives users the definitive edge in that game. An electronic intelligence (ELINT) and electronic support measures (ESM) system, driven by state-of-the-art digital receiver technology, it ensures spectrum-wide superiority at all times, in all domains – essentially winning the airwaves.

Radar and radio frequency (RF) communications pervade every aspect of modern warfare. L3Harris’ advanced wideband digital receiver technology intercepts, detects and identifies a wide variety of radar and communication emissions from submarines, surface ships, aircraft and land-based emitters, providing real-time situational awareness and electronic intelligence.

“Our customers and partners know L3Harris brings innovative and advanced solutions to the global warfighter and our ELINT systems are employed around the world,” said James Beasley, ESM/ELINT Chief Systems Engineer, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris. “Our technology is being used by joint and allied forces for surveillance across countries around the Baltic and Black Seas. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has resulted in a significant increase in demand for EW systems from neighboring NATO nations looking to monitor and protect their borders.”


ESM systems provide situational awareness and understanding of threats in the electromagnetic battlespace. This technology is used to detect, identify and locate sources emitting RF energy. ESM techniques provide a tactical advantage by preparing the warfighter to respond to potential threats in real-time and provide electronic intelligence in conflict zones. Using advanced signal processing techniques, ELINT develops a collection of signal and emitter data that is used to develop and maintain comprehensive threat libraries.

The key to L3Harris’ ES-5080 is the combined ESM and ELINT digital receiver system designed for air, land and coastal surveillance in a portable or fixed-site application. The ES-5080 system provides flexible operations through customizable system configurations such as single or multi-channel receiver and local or remote monitoring by a single or multiple operators. It uses a Windows interface for emitter graphical analysis and display. The user-friendly, graphics-based human-machine interface (HMI) allows operators to easily interpret and understand the signal environment and can be run on multi-function consoles.

“L3Harris is committed to keeping our warfighters ahead of current and emerging threats,” said Beasley. “Our ability to provide superior ELINT capabilities to NATO and allied forces has resulted in new orders exceeding $65 million since 2021, with ongoing efforts projected to result in more than $100 million in potential sales.”

The future of warfare has changed. The hidden battle is happening all around us in the electromagnetic spectrum and L3Harris is at the ready, meeting the challenges of these new threats and providing cutting-edge solutions to position our forces with a strategic advantage in this modern battlespace.

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