AOC gearing up for electronic warfare conference


The Association of Old Crows (AOC) Aardvark Roost Chapter is getting ready to host its biennial Electronic Warfare South Africa (EWSA) 2017 Conference and Exhibition in November and has announced its key speakers.

The conference will take place at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria between 6 and 8 November. The event will consist of a one-day workshop (6 November), followed by a two-day conference and exhibition (7 and 8 November), hosting local and international thought-leading EW experts. The exhibition will showcase the latest local and various international technologies as well as provide a global perspective of the capabilities within the electronic warfare (EW) community.

The conference will include three separate workshops on 6 November, followed by a two-day plenary conference respectively on operations, capability and defence lines of development, and industry developments and inventiveness, the organisers said on Monday.

Aardvark Roost is the official AOC chapter of South Africa, driven by individuals that share a common goal to foster and preserve the art of EW. With the desire to further promote collaboration between South African EW stakeholders and the wider community, this event will host a truly international audience.
“EWSA will provide a forum for EW professionals from the military, government, industry and academic fields, to discuss issues related to the requirements of EW programs, platforms and operations”, said Ryno van Staden, President of the Aardvark Roost. Therefore, the timing of this event on the African continent is seen as very appropriate. “This capstone event will focus on the identified gaps and technologies the services require to ensure EW maintains freedom of manoeuvre through the Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) in support of achieving commanders’ objectives”, van Staden said.

Speakers this year will include leaders and operators from the military, government, academia and research communities and crucially, industry. Although the list is not quite finalised yet, the lineup is set to include Product manager within Product Area Gripen, EW Division, at Saab Surveillance Linda Klevard; Christer Zätterqvist from Saab Sweden; Chief Executive Officer of Armscor Kevin Wakeford; the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) Dr Francois Maasdorp; Associate Professor in Radar at University of Cape Town Prof. Daniel O’Hagan; Darren Nicholls from Keysight Technologies; Managing Member of Sysdel Abel van der Merwe; and GEW’s Wimpie van den Berg.

One of the speakers who is expected to attract wide attention is world renowned defence analyst, Helmoed Römer-Heitman, who will deliver a presentation on Electronic Warfare in all its forms, from intelligence gathering through jamming to electronic or digital attack and discuss the challenge – and opportunities – of remote attack on electronic and IT systems.

Delegates can look forward to a keynote presentation by Deputy Chief of the South African Navy Rear Admiral Guy Jamieson, who will discuss surface warfare and EW in the missile age – lessons to be learned from a SAN Historical Perspective.

AOC International Region 1 Director Dr Sue Robertson will also be a keynote speaker touching on the role of the global AOC, and how they are- influencing and shaping Electronic Warfare for the future as well as trends in EW equipment and systems which have been identified by AOC experts.
“The above examples represent just a small sample of what can be expected at the conference. We will make more information available about the programme as invited speakers confirm their participation”, said van Staden.