Preparing Army Forces for the Multi-Domain Battlespace
Fighting a multi-domain war requires integration across platforms, systems, military branches and coalition forces. Winning a multi-domain war requires agility, innovation, flexibility and adaptability, according to the U.S. Army’s Vision for 2025.
The Army’s arsenal of capabilities - including autonomous systems, combat vehicles, Future Vertical Lift, expeditionary mission command, cross domain fires and advanced protection – demands industry collaboration and innovation to increase agility and flexibility on the battlefield.
The future of warfare is multi-domain. Threats will come from air, land, sea, and space, simultaneously, but also in the cyber domain and across the electromagnetic airwaves, where information becomes a tool for both attack and defense.
Why Integration Matters
At the heart of this integration across domains is the command, control, computing, communications technology that gathers and distributes intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) data. Today, pockets of cross-domain integration exist in the U.S. military. The U.S. Air Force’s Air Operations Centers integrate air and space operations, and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s C2BMC system brings together sensor data from space, land and sea. These efforts exemplify how the power of the joint force is more powerful than individual systems and platforms.
“With a focus on U.S. Army readiness, Lockheed Martin is engineering the software and communications technology that will make the integrated multi-domain force a reality by connecting sensors, platforms and weapons systems into a “system-of-systems” that operates as a single unit,” says Dr. Rob Smith, vice president, C4ISR.
With the Future Vertical Lift program comes a more powerful platform that is designed for future software upgrades and rapid insertion of sensors and equipment.
Developing the Future Force
Critical to the Army’s success is the Future Vertical Lift program. With a return to dispersed, small units, the Army will need to operate from longer ranges. Increased speed, maneuverability and payload options help to transport soldiers to and from the fight quicker and safer.
With the Future Vertical Lift program comes a more powerful platform that is designed for future software upgrades and rapid insertion of sensors and equipment. The aircraft’s architecture will allow for modular upgrades that boost reliability, endurance and survivability – all of which will be key to taking on new missions in increasingly challenging environments, including high altitudes and hot temperatures.
For all forces, receiving timely and accurate information can be the key to mission success, but the information environment has become increasingly congested and contested.
Operating in a Contested Information Environment
The Army’s focus on increasing its expeditionary capabilities doesn’t end with Future Vertical Lift. Forces must be able to exercise expeditionary mission command, or the coordination of forward deployed, mobile and dispersed forces.
For all forces, receiving timely and accurate information can be the key to mission success, but the information environment has become increasingly congested and contested. Advanced protection capabilities – including kinetic, non-kinetic, lethal and nonlethal systems – protect combat vehicles on the ground and in the air. These technologies help deployed forces to dominate both the physical and electromagnetic fights.
Already, the U.S. military has invested in upgrades to its electronic warfare capabilities.
Technologies like the ground-based Symphony counter-IED system and the airborne electronic support measure (ESM) systems for Apache AH-64D/E aircraft detect potential dangers. On the Apache aircraft, passive sensor systems identify and locate sources of radio frequency emission. And to help detect and defeat future threats, Lockheed Martin is miniaturizing the digital receiver ESM systems for fixed, rotary wing, and unmanned aerial system application.
Laser weapons systems will provide the Army with a mobile and versatile protection system for its combat vehicles.
Integrating Fire and Counter-Fire Measures
In the battlespace of the future, not all firepower is kinetic, with directed energy weapon systems taking a complimentary role alongside missiles. Laser weapons systems will provide the Army with a mobile and versatile protection system for its combat vehicles.
This year, Lockheed Martin will supply the U.S. Army with a 60-kilowatt laser to mount on the Army Space and Mission Defense Command High Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck (HELMTT). The Army plans to test the upgraded HELMTT against a wide range of threat targets.
To effectively combat longer range threats, the U.S. Army and other military branches are looking to precision-guided weapons and cross domain fires to combat a variety of targets – like surface-to-air missiles. In the event of an incoming surface to air missile, the U.S. Air Force can work with the U.S. Army to conduct a deep strike with the combat-proven Tactical Missile System (TACMS) or Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) to defeat/destroy the associated launch system.
“We’ve worked hand-in-hand with our Army customer for many years to provide systems that support cross-domain mission prosecution,” said Scott Greene, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems. “Whether in support of counter-insurgency operations, precision engagement of known enemy strongholds, or suppression of enemy air defense sites, GMLRS and TACMS always deliver for our warfighters.”
Developing the future force would be impossible without the proper training for individuals and squadrons.
People and Squadrons Bring it all Together
Developing the future force would be impossible without the proper training for individuals and squadrons. To effectively optimize soldier and team performance in an affordable way, the Army is including more simulation-based training to build leaders’ decision-making skills.
Training new soldiers can be very expensive (consider the cost of fuel for tanks and ammunition); however, today’s simulators provide a realistic training environment without requiring the same expendable materials. Virtual training technologies can be networked together for immersive, effective training across locations. And while live training will always be important for Army readiness, systems like the Digital Range Training System and WARSIM enable today’s soldiers to experience real world challenges anytime, anywhere.