What are the Key Activities, Capabilities, and Importance of Communication Intelligence?
Communication intelligence (COMINT) is the information gathered from the communications of individuals, including telephone conversations, text messages, and various types of online interactions. COMINT systems are broadly used to decode military, fax, and radio traffic signals into actionable information such as images, sounds, or data.
Communication Intelligence (COMINT) is a part of SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) which is dedicated to electronic warfare actions. It is the study of all electromagnetic signals that are used to send information from point A to point B. COMINT gathers information from the communications of individuals such as telephonic conversations, text messages, or different types of online interactions. This gathered information is then converted into actionable information including images, sounds, or data. In this way, COMINT systems use communication signals to improve field awareness, and support organizations or various sectors in real-time decision-making with detection, analysis, and direction finding of targeted communication emissions.
With the increasing applications of COMINT in the defense industry, the global communication intelligence (COMINT) market is expected to witness remarkable growth in the upcoming years. The market is anticipated to generate a revenue of $12,930.3 million and rise at a CAGR of 6.06% during the analysis timeframe from 2022 to 2031. The major players of the market include Raytheon Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Thales Group, and many others.
What Activities Do COMINT Systems Perform?
COMINT systems are intended to determine details about the communications which include the following activities:
- To identify who the communicating parties are.
- The organizational function of the transmitter.
- Where exactly the communicating parties are located.
- Frequencies and other technical details of note in the transmission.
- Time and duration of a particular communication.
- Finding out the type of encryption used in communication and whether it can be decrypted or not.
What are the Capabilities of a Conventional COMINT System?
A COMINT system provides users with a lot of capabilities in a frequency range that covers at least very high frequency (VHF) and ultra-high frequency (UFH) bands, which are discussed below:
- High-accuracy measurement of electromagnetic parameters of intercepted emitters that include frequency, bandwidth, amplitude, DOA, etc.
- Automatic track synthesis and picture compilation.
- Detection and DF (Deterioration Factor) of communication emissions.
- Generation of automatic alerts.
- Providing full azimuth coverage.
- Enabling access to communication signal content that includes demodulation & decoding, audio listening, and many more.
- Localization of selected emitters.
What is the Importance of COMINT for Electronic Warfare & Intelligence?
COMINT systems play a major role in military force on a battlefield. The reasons that make COMINT capabilities more important assets for military force are listed below:
- COMINT helps in detecting the enemy’s intentions and command actions through communications on the battlefield.
- Sometimes, on the battlefield, many air platforms are silent and stealthy but they need communication links to act and coordinate. COMINT systems help in providing communication links to these air platforms that include data links, and communication networks.
- In a battle, communication intelligence including decryption is a key asset to winning wars as it provides superiority to the battle space.
- On a battlefield, COMINT also helps many weapon systems that are interconnected through communication links.
- In many military operational scenarios, communication is the only way to detect, localize, and know the enemy’s intentions. COMINT holds a vital role in providing required information to military professionals to operate such missions successfully.
- To master the spectrum of electronic warfare, which is a global approach, the implementation of solutions that covers the fields of communication and cyber warfare is needed. In this case, COMINT is a crucial element that can expand the scale of electronic warfare.
Why Should COMINT Systems Have the Capability of Mobile Communications?
Nowadays, a COMINT system must have the capability to use mobile communication. This is mainly because COMINT can help in the implementation of modern technologies which include the use of pirate antennas that can emit a powerful signal that can connect all nearby phones automatically instead of choosing the operator’s antenna. To avoid any kind of errors, 3G, 4G, and 5G mobile network technologies can strengthen their protection systems with the interpretation of COMINT systems.
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