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Old 06-19-2015, 09:07 AM
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Default Future Wars, Future Military Capability

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Extremely interesting speech on the future wars we may fight and how we'll fight them, but also on the future tech that our military will have. I got the impression that our leaders are under the impression that we may be facing off against China and/or Russia in the near future.

A few highlights:

"But if the streets of Baghdad and the valleys of Afghanistan were a laboratory for irregular warfare, I believe that ground forces will increasingly need to prepare for future hybrid war, which my good friend Frank Hoffman, who I see in the audience today, defines as combat operations characterized by the simultaneous and adaptive employment of a complex combination of conventional weapons, irregular warfare, terrorism and criminal behavior to achieve political objectives."

"But as many of you know, especially here in the Army in our heavy forces, in our mechanized forces, these skills [conventional warfare] are very perishable. And over the course of the Second Intifada which lasted from 2000 to 2006, the Israeli army started to focus almost exclusively on irregular warfare. Dave Johnson from RAND in a study, estimated that in the years leading up to the 2006 Lebanese war, the IDF trained for high-intensity combat only about 25 percent of the time. The remainder of their time, they focused on irregular warfare and counterterrorism operations.

As a result, when the IDF crossed swords with Hezbollah, they were caught by surprise. Hezbollah – fighters were armed with advanced anti-tank missiles, thousands of long-range rockets, Chinese-made Silkworm anti-ship missiles, advanced man-portable anti-air missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They had very simplistic, but very effective battle networks to employ them. They practiced irregular warfare, but at the same time maneuvered effectively against Israeli armored columns, proved proficient in indirect fire, and they used swarms of heavy anti-tank missiles to great effect.

In the future, without question, hybrid adversaries will pose a qualitative and quantitative challenge. But they probably will be smaller, but like Hezbollah, they will be disciplined, organized, have effective command and control, and will be equipped with standoff weapons with large quantities. "
[How many sold to them because of Hillary?]

"Historically, as you all know, artillery has been the biggest killer on the battlefield, and that is proving once again to be the case in Ukraine. Separatist forces use advanced counter-battery radar to accurately pinpoint Ukrainian fires capability and command and control. They use UAVs to identify targets Ukrainian commanders are telling us that within minutes of coming up on the radio, they were targeted by precise artillery strikes. As Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe, told an Army audience last week, none of us have ever been under -- as massive as a Russian artillery attack in the way that Ukraine -- the Ukrainians have.

Now, making matters much worse. In addition to this new era of precision and guided fires, Russian-backed separatists and their state sponsors were very definitely using advanced electronic warfare equipment, which we were just trying to understand how effective they were in jamming GPS frequencies, command and control networks. And these technologies are proliferating as widely as conventional guided munitions.

So in the future, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine forces and our allies that fight with us, are going to have to fight on a battlefield that is swept by precision-guided munitions, but also one that is swept by persistent and effective cyber and electronic warfare attacks."

"We're not too far away from guided .50 caliber rounds – we’re not too far away from a sensor-fused weapon, and instead of going after tanks, we'll go after the biometric signature of human beings. Now, our air and naval forces have been faced with fighting and a guided-munitions regime for decades. Our ground forces will now have their chance to do so, and it is a formidable challenge that we have to prepare for."

"Now as any good student of Clausewitz knows, the fundamental nature of war is an interactive clash of wills. It's a two-sided dual. Any action we take is going to cause a reaction to the enemy, which will cause our reaction to that reaction. Battlefield advantages in the future are going to be very short-lived, because the amount of technology that is going out there right now is unbelievable. And different adversaries will pick technologies in ways that will surprise us. Without question, we have to be very, very adaptable."

"Tyler Cowen wrote a book called "Average is Over." He's an avid chess player. What he said was, "It used to be a matter of faith that a machine would never beat a human," because a machine would not have the intuitive cognition. You know, it just wouldn't be able to have the intuitive spark to think through an interactive dual like chess. That proved to be wrong. Now machines consistently beat grandmasters. And what he found out in a thing called three-play chess is the combination of a man and a machine always beats the machine and always beats the man.

I believe that what the Third Offset Strategy will revolve around will be three-play combat in each dimension. And three-play combat will be much different in each dimension, and it will be up for the people who live and fight in that dimension to figure out the rules."

"DARPA's Squad X program, among others, is working on a number of ideas right now to increase human and machine collaboration at the lowest tactical level, including ground robots, small micro-drones, and trying to figure out how to push the squad situational awareness and lethality out to a large, large battlespace area.

And this is not as far away as you might think. The Army is -- right now is kind of leading the way in manned and unmanned teaming with the Apache in the shadows, which is going on in the Army's Aviation Restructure Initiative, which we think is exciting and kind of a leading indicator of where we need to go."
[I'm getting flashbacks to Heinlein's books...]
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Old 06-24-2015, 12:12 AM
Herd Sniper Herd Sniper is offline
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Interesting. Especially about the combination of man and machine beating either a lone machine or the lone man. That one sentence right there almost forecasts the eventual development of a man/machine all interlocked and operating with automatic responses. In other words the first cyborg or android is just a few years away. That means that what was 1960s fiction, Ironman, will come true for the military in pretty short order. I wonder how much kevlar their version will require or Chatham Armor?
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:55 PM
DWwolf DWwolf is online now
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Chatham ?
Pehaps you refer to chobham armor ? ( note : we dont even know if its on the US tanks anymore ).

The armoring of the human body is the problem of weight, mobility and range of motion while offering usefull protection.
Torso protection offering 7.62 nato protection isnt that hard to do once you enable the soldier to carry more weight via some sort of exoskeleton.

The arm joints and leg joints are going to be much harder. Look at medieval armor and look at where the are not protected by plate armor due to mobility concerns ( with the exception of the Henry the VIII'th suit, but good luck trying to do that with half inch thick ballistic armor).


The problem is that soft armor isnt likely to stand upto to current rifle calibre rounds any time soon.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:59 PM
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It`ll be fought with mouse clicks and programming.

Just fry your enemies power grid.
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:58 PM
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The Army's last foray into "gee-whiz" technologies, their Future Combat System project, was mostly a flop. They've been slowly extracting bits of technology from it and incorporating them into traditional Army units, but otherwise look to maintain slow, conservative adoption of incremental improvements on existing doctrine and equipment.

That having been said, there are some interesting developments that will or may show up in future conflicts:

* The M855A1 is a new bullet for the 5.56x45mm NATO rifle cartridge which fragments more reliably in flesh, for more consistent terminal effects, and provides better barrier penetration over M855 as well. Operating pressure was increased to induce more predictable powder burn rate and increase muzzle velocity in short-barreled rifles.

* The M80A1 is a new bullet for 7.62x51mm NATO which incorporates the same improvements as M855A1, for improved terminal effects and penetration of hard targets (steel vehicles and body armor). I don't think the M80A1 is in production yet, but it will be soon.

* The .264-USA is a prospective new cartridge of which little is known, but extrapolating from what has been published it roughly halfway between 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm in power, and superior to both in exterior ballistics. Its weight is projected to be closer to the latter, though, so it is unclear whether this cartridge will be supplementing 5.56x45mm or replacing some instances of 7.62x51mm, or replacing both as a General Purpose Cartridge. More information about it may be found here and here.

* Rheinmetall, from whom the M1 Abrams' M256 120mm main gun is licensed, has had a 140mm drop-in replacement gun for more than twenty years. It has not been put into production because the 120mm gun is still capable of penetrating every tank it is likely to encounter, and going to 140mm would dramatically reduce the number of rounds the vehicle could store. Recent advances in Russian, Ukrainian, and Chinese tank armor (both passive and active, particularly Ukrainian Nozh and Russian clones thereof) might prompt the upgrade, however. The gun is designed to fit in existing M1A2 Abrams and Leopard2 tanks.

* Alternative means of enhancing 120mm main gun performance have been researched under the broad category of "Electro-Thermal Chemical" (ETC) technologies. The general idea is to use electrical charge or lasers or both to extract more energy from burning propellant and increase propellant gas velocity, and thus increase muzzle velocity. The thought is that retrofitting existing 120mm guns with such enhancements would be cheaper than replacing them all with 140mm, and avoid the stowed-kills penalty. There is some doubt, however, that the equipment would stand up to the punishment of main gun recoil (since the propellant would be boosted after ignition, the ETC equipment would need to be rigidly attached to the gun's chamber and exposed to propellant gasses).

* Western militaries are fielding more active defense systems for its vehicles, such as Israel's Trophy hit-to-kill ballistic defense. American defense companies are developing their own hit-to-kill systems, which would protect vehicles from slow-moving ballistic threats such as RPGs and ATGMs.

* The Air Force is determined to retire their A-10 fleet, so as to secure procurement of as many F-35s as possible, which would leave the Army without a realistic source of CAS. The F-35 hasn't the weapons, nor the numbers, nor the loiter hours, nor a sufficiently low stall speed to provide CAS comparable to the A-10. The Army is unlikely to take this sitting down, but their options are limited as they are prohibited by law from fielding their own fixed-wing attack aircraft. Drones are an exception to this, however, so we may see an Army-sponsored CAS-oriented drone in the future.
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Old 07-12-2015, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by usmc0331 View Post
It`ll be fought with mouse clicks and programming.

Just fry your enemies power grid.
One side fries the other side's power grid...

I would suggest they learn to fight effectively without a power grid.

All adversaries have a weakness. Exploit that.
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Old 07-12-2015, 12:17 AM
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About the only thing that is new in warfare now is the drones and the very long range sniper rifles.

Everything else is still about the same.

Insurgency is not new. It has been around since at least 1776 when Gen. Washington fought an insurgency war against the British same as the VC and NVA fought against the USA in Viet Nam.

And during Iraq-1 there were several incidents of friendly fire killing our own guys, so the munitions are not that smart after all -- only as smart as the gunner pulling the trigger. Same is also true of the drone strikes.

War will always be war. It starts with a political motive. Armed forces then engage either from the air, from the sea, or from adjacent countries. Forces then meet and collide -- normally first air power (this has been true since WW2), then sea power (this has been true since the Trojan War), then land armies (this has been true throughout known history). Tanks and mechanized infantry normally begin the ground war (at least since WW2). Dismounted infantry then mops up. Artillery and logistics are both in the rear with the gear (this has been true since WW1).

Insurgency happens when your mopping up infantry cannot neutralize the cities, villages and towns. The resistance by the original enemy continues.
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