17 août 2020 | International, Terrestre, C4ISR

‘No lines on the battlefield’: Pentagon’s new war-fighting concept takes shape


WASHINGTON — For most of this year, Pentagon planners have been developing a new joint war-fighting concept, a document meant to guide how the Defense Department fights in the coming decades.

Now, with an end-of-year deadline fast approaching, two top department officials believe the concept is coalescing around a key idea — one that requires tossing decades of traditional thinking out the window.

“What I’ve noticed is that, as opposed to everything I’ve done my entire career, the biggest difference is that in the future there will be no lines on the battlefield,” Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during an Aug. 12 event hosted by the Hudson Institute.

The current structure, Hyten said, is all about dividing areas of operations. “Wherever we go, if we have to fight, we established the forward edge of the battle area, we’ve established the fire support coordination line, the forward line of troops, and we say: ‘OK, Army can operate here. Air Force can operate here,’ ” Hyten explained.

“Everything is about lines” now, he added. But to function in modern contested environments, “those lines are eliminated.”

What does that mean in practice? Effectively, Hyten — who will be a keynote speaker at September’s Defense News Conference — laid out a vision in which every force can both defend itself and have a deep-strike capability to hold an enemy at bay, built around a unified command-and-control system.

“A naval force can defend itself or strike deep. An air force can defend itself or strike deep. The Marines can defend itself or strike deep,” he said. “Everybody.”

That “everybody” includes international partners, Hyten added, as the U.S. operates so often in a coalition framework that this plan only works if it can integrate others. And for the entire structure to succeed, the Pentagon needs to create the Joint All-Domain Command and Control capability currently under development.

“So that’s the path we’ve been going down for a while. And it’s starting to actually mature and come to fruition now,” Hyten said.

The day before Hyten’s appearance, Victorino Mercado, assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans and capabilities, talked with a small group of reporters, during which he noted: “We had disparate services [with] their concepts of fighting. We never really had a manner to pull all the services together to fight as a coherent unit.”

Mercado also said the war-fighting concept will directly “drive some of our investments” in the future and tie together a number of ongoing efforts within the department — including the individual combatant command reviews and the Navy’s shipbuilding plan.

“I can tell you there’s some critical components [from those reviews] — how you command and control the forces, how you do logistics; there are some common themes in there in a joint war-fighting concept,” he said. “I can tell you if we had that concept right now, we could use that concept right now to influence the ships that we are building, the amount of ships that we need, what we want the [combatant commands] to do.

“So this war-fighting concept is filling a gap. I wish we had it now. Leadership wishes we had it now,” he added. “It would inform all of the decisions that we make today because now is about positioning ourselves in the future for success.”

Like Hyten, Mercado expressed confidence that the concept will be ready to go by the end of the year, a deadline set by Defense Secretary Mark Esper. But asked whether the department will make details of the concept public when it is finished, Mercado said there is a “tension” between informing the public and key stakeholders and not giving an edge to Russia and China.

“I think there is an aspect that we need to share of this joint war-fighting concept,” he said. “We have to preserve the classified nature of it. And I think I have to be careful what I say here, to a degree.”


Sur le même sujet

  • UK: Magazine of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S): desider: issue 126, January 2019

    2 janvier 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    UK: Magazine of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S): desider: issue 126, January 2019

    desider is the monthly corporate magazine for Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). It is aimed at readers across the wider MOD, armed forces and industry, and covers stories and features about support to operations, equipment acquisition and support. It also covers the work of people in DE&S and its partners in industry, and other corporate news and information. Published 1 January 2019 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/767541/January-desider-v1-Online.pdf

  • Boeing’s new F-15X may replace an aging fleet of F-15C/D Eagles

    31 juillet 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Boeing’s new F-15X may replace an aging fleet of F-15C/D Eagles

    By: Kyle Rempfer  The Air Force’s fleet of F-15 C and D Eagle fighters are aging faster than F-35 joint strike fighters are being fielded, a gap in the transition that some think needs to be filled. And even when more F-35s have been fielded, F-15s could still fill a tactical role to help the Air Force carry out its mission. Boeing’s new, single-seat F-15X design may be the Air Force’s answer to that issue. Very little has been made known about the F-15X initiative, which was first reported by Defense One, and the Air Force’s Pentagon officials could not provide comment on it, only telling Air Force Times that “there is no acquisition program” with respect to the new platform. But multiple media outlets still reported this week that the F-15X was being pitched to the Air Force by Boeing. Alternatively, some reports state that the Air Force first solicited Boeing for the new fighter. Regardless, the possibility of a new platform to replace aging the fourth-generation F-15 fighters could alleviate the strain put on F-22 Raptors and make up for the F-35s slow roll-out. Created during the Cold War, the more than 40-year-old F-15 has been the U.S. Air Force’s primary air-to-air fighter jet for decades. The aircraft has been known for its range of operational roles, however, to include close-air support in the Global War on Terrorism. Dan Grazier, the Jack Shanahan Military Fellow at the Project On Government Oversight, writes extensively on military procurement, to include the F-35 acquisition. He said that while he can’t comment on the specific designs of the F-15X, it is generally better to develop weapon systems from “an evolutionary approach.”   “Whenever the military possesses a proven basic design like the F-15, the Pentagon should focus its efforts on maintaining and improving it until the state of technology changes to the point where the basic design is no longer viable,” Grazier told Air Force Times. “Until that happens, there is no reason to continually reinvent the wheel. If it is possible to incorporate improved technology into a design that has already been bought and paid for, then it only makes financial and common sense to do so.” “There will doubtless be arguments made that the unit flyaway costs of the F-15X and F-35 will be roughly comparable," he said. "When you factor in the development costs of both into the program unit average cost, I bet the F-15X will be much less expensive.” While the F-35 is a supposed to be a multi-role aircraft — capable of a stealth mode, as well as an air-to-ground combat mode once air dominance is achieved — it has been questioned whether the F-35 can outperform an F-15 in an air-to-air dogfight, or an A-10 Warthog in close-air support missions. As to what the F-15X includes that separates it from older F-15s, not too much is definitively known. Citing sources close to the initiative, The War Zone reported the most extensive breakdown so far. The F-15X reportedly came out of an Air Force inquiry to Boeing and Lockheed Martin about fielding an aircraft that could easily transition into the service’s existing air combat infrastructure, specifically to help counter the Air Force’s shrinking force. There were some caveats to the solicitation: it needs to be cost-effective, low-risk and not considered an alternative to the larger F-35 procurement program, The War Zone reported. It seems those requirements were met, based on the reported features. The F-15X armament would be designed for a mixed air-to-air and air-ground-role, including “eight air-to-air missiles and 28 Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs), or up to seven 2,000-pound bombs and eight air-to-air missiles," according to The War Zone. The F-15X would allegedly be very affordable, as well. The aircraft reportedly costs roughly $27,000 per hour to fly. Meanwhile, the F-35A costs more than $40,000 an hour to fly, according to The War Zone. Finally, The War Zone said the F-15X will have a 20,000-hour service life, meaning it could be flying for several more decades. Still, Boeing officials have not outright confirmed they were pitching the F-15X. “We see the marketplace expanding internationally and it’s creating opportunities then to go back and talk to the U.S. Air Force about what might be future upgrades or even potentially future acquisitions of the F-15 aircraft,” Gene Cunningham, vice president of global sales of Defense, Space & Security, told DefenseOne. The Air Force has been considering retiring its F-15 Eagles for some time. In March 2016, service officials said they were considering a retirement for the more than 230 F-15 C and D fighters, and replacing them with F-16 Fighting Falcons. Speaking before the Senate Armed Services air land forces subcommittee in April, Lt. Gen. Jerry Harris, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, said the service was still looking at options for the F-15 fleet. “There’s nothing off the table,” Harris said. “We’re looking at, as we bring F-35s in, can we grow our capacity rather than just replace one-for-one? If we can’t do that, what’s our least-capable asset to retire, based on the value that it would provide for us?” https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2018/07/30/boeings-new-f-15x-may-replace-an-aging-fleet-of-f-15cd-eagles/

  • Congress looks to gut funding for the Corps’ futuristic sea drone

    30 juillet 2018 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    Congress looks to gut funding for the Corps’ futuristic sea drone

    By: Shawn Snow In the latest version of the annual defense legislation Congress has gutted nearly $14 million for the Corps’ futuristic expeditionary sea drone known as the MUX. The original funding request was $25,291,000, but the approved funds are only $11,291,000, that’s more than a 50 percent slash. But the steep cuts pale in comparison to the $100 million Senators originally approved in their mark-up of the Senate version of the annual defense authorization bill in late June. House members argued in a report there were a number of capabilities and platforms across the services that could “likely mitigate” the Corps’ identified shortfalls. “The committee believes the Marine Corps underestimates the required communications, data link, launch, mission execution and recovery infrastructure, or the human capital resources required to train, operate, maintain and sustain such a system,” the House Armed Services Committee, or HASC, said in a report that followed their version of the defense bill in May. “The Marine Corps also underestimates the necessary human capital resources required to meet current deployment-to-dwell policy and guidance issued by the Secretary of Defense," the report added. The HASC also called for a report from chairman of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council by February 2019 on how existing capabilities across the services can plug the Corps’ perceived gaps. “The committee also directs the Secretary of the Navy to provide a briefing to the House Committee on Armed Services, not later than February 5, 2019, that explains the acquisition and funding strategy of the Marine Corps to affordably develop and field an unmanned capability of this nature, and then personnel, funding, infrastructure, and mission-execution resources that would be needed to viably sustain and support this capability, the report reads. The Corps is amid plans to develop a futuristic group five drone capable of landing on amphibious ships at sea. The Corps wants its high-tech platform to conduct electronic and kinetic strikes and come with an early airborne warning capability. The airborne warning feature will afford Marine Expeditionary units the ability to operate independent of aircraft carriers. Carriers deploy the E2D Hawkeye for early airborne warning. The MUX will also have long-range networking capabilities allowing the drone to patch into and cue weapon systems from other ships and aircraft. The Corps held a conference with industry leaders in early June to hash out its wish list for the MUX. Currently, the Marines do not operate a large group five drone. To make up for the lack of experience, the Corps has been sending Marines to work with the Air Force. Marines do operate smaller tactical surveilance drones like the RQ-21 Blackjack. The House passed the latest version of the defense bill on Thursday. The Senate is expected to vote on it early next week. Inside Defense first reported the potential cuts to the MUX. https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/your-marine-corps/2018/07/27/congress-looks-to-slash-funding-for-the-corps-futuristic-sea-drone/

Toutes les nouvelles