Wars in the future may not look like a mechanized armored force-on-force engagement on a linear battlefield. Instead, they can involve dispersed, multi-domain platforms moving at faster speeds than previously imagined.
Weapons, explosives, guns and bombs will be extremely important, especially when it comes to range and precision targeting. But their effectiveness in reaching a margin of superiority will depend almost entirely on speed. The speed at which information is gathered, processed, analyzed, and transmitted from sensor nodes to shooters or weapons will likely determine victory in war.
With the array of sensors and the increasing extent to which planes, ships, ground forces and even satellites can send information packets to each other at high speed, war will “spread” to vast areas. otherwise disconnected areas of operations. This anticipated reality informs leading weapon developers as they design weapons, sensors, and platforms to fight in the decades to come. Technologies are developed with a spirit specific to emerging operating concepts. There is an evolving and entirely new concept of combined arms maneuver warfare.
“The maneuver must be joint because it will evolve. War will get faster and the battlespace will expand on the basis of robotics, space and cyberspace, ”said Major General Ross Coffman, director of the cross-functional combat vehicle team at new generation. National interest in an interview.
The traditional combined arms maneuver is based on an integrated blend of combat effects to include artillery, ground assault, close air support and the positioning of mechanized armored vehicles. Each element of the overall effort is designed to contribute to a desired overall effect. Long-range rockets and artillery will seek, for example, to suppress enemy defenses, soften target locations, and open an attack lane for forward ground forces to position themselves. When moving towards contact, approaching infantry and armored forces will operate with close air support from helicopters, drones and even some fixed-wing fighters.
New possibilities for information transfer mean that data not only has to travel greater distances, but will also have to move much faster to achieve information dominance. It is the basis of the Army’s current effort to dramatically reduce the time between sensor and gunner, allowing an attack force to operate within or faster than the decision cycle of an enemy.
“We have to go faster. We have to do it more efficiently, so we make decisions that not only beat our opponents, but we are able to do it in a way that we can do it faster than anyone on earth, ”Coffman said.
Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National interest. Osborn previously served in the Pentagon as a highly trained expert in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Osborn also worked as an on-air presenter and military specialist on national television networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.