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April 1, 2021

Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) Battle Tracking Challenges in Contested Environments

The offensive counterair-SEAD campaign is central to joint air forces achieving effects in the contested and degraded operations (CDO) environment. (For brevity, offensive counterair-SEAD will be referred to as SEAD hereafter.) SEAD efforts create localized air superiority through avoiding, suppressing, or destroying the enemy’s integrated air defense system (IADS). The ability to achieve effective SEAD grows in complexity with the advancement of enemy systems and countertactics. The next evolution of automated battle tracking systems offers an opportunity to aid warfighters in tackling these evolving SEAD tactical problems. This article aims to identify tactical challenges in SEAD and suggests potential remedies for inclusion in next-generation, battle-tracking software suites.