The problem set of battlefield helicopters and related photonics in asymmetric scenarios is addressed with emphasis on
survivability and electronic warfare. The problem set is identified starting from an operational perspective, asking how
different the asymmetric battlefield is from the traditional Cold War scenario, and by identifying relevant characteristics
of battlefield helicopters. Based on this information requirements for photonics are deduced. It is concluded that the shift
to asymmetric conflicts brings evolutionary-but not
revolutionary-challenges for photonics, mostly so for the laser
community. Main causes for the evolutionary drive are shortened engagement ranges, increased threat from ballistic and
CBRE weapons, stringent ROEs, and assassination operations.