When it comes to defense and security, it is imperative to recognize that the battlefields of today and tomorrow are not those of old and that many technologies of yesterday will be obsolete in the future. Three main developments are transforming warfare in an arms race system: an asymmetric battlefield, increasing prices of advanced weapons and maintaining deterrence.
Due to the battlefield’s asymmetric and scattered nature, adaptable, effective, and robust fighting capabilities are essential. The cost of labor and the production of conventional man-powered battle platforms are rapidly rising. Using multiple types of vehicles ( piloted and unpiloted, ground forces, and remote operations), today’s organized battlefield is characterized by synchronized land, air, and sea operations. In unified, coordinated war, force efficiency is enhanced substantially by rapidly utilizing all-source intelligence, sharing situational images, coordinating activities in all weather conditions, avoiding fire-friendly casualties, and coordinating day and night activities.
The new tanks produced by leading defense electronic equipment suppliers have sensors. They can gather and use high-value battlefield data through the use of traditional Vetronics. These enable military supervisors to control data and increase operational speed using C4I (Command, Control, Computers, Communications, and Intelligence) applications.
Across the globe, there has been a dramatic increase in armed conflicts in the past few years. Modern warfare has become increasingly asymmetrical and non-lethal, which has created a need for strategic defense by military forces. We can cite several examples of present disputes, including the conflict over ISIS in Syria, the Indo-Pak conflict over Kashmir, the Syrian civil war, and the US-North Korea nuclear standoff. In the face of global uncertainties across borders and between nations, the demand for sensor-embedded ballistic defense products has increased, such as autonomous vehicles, autonomous systems, bulletproof helmets, eyewear, armored vehicles, and missiles. Future combat helmets are a key vertical within the soldier systems market. One such example of a future combat helmet is the introduction of Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems which is presently adopted by the US Airforce and Navy. Future combat vests are also poised to redefine the present stance of the market.
In the future, the robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) and artificial intelligence nexus may change how warfare works. It has a wide range of vehicles capable of performing challenging, dangerous, and dirty tasks, minimizing soldier deaths. One of the reasons AI is likely to be adopted is its broad applicability. Beyond combat helmet, AI can prove valuable and efficient. As a result, supply lines will be better, troop training will run more effectively, and intelligence will be collected and processed more efficiently. They appear particularly effective in combat helmet operations, however. Rather than revolutionizing the battlefield, AI is a logical next step in digitizing and mechanizing it.
The Army Research Laboratory of the Army Combat Capability Development Command has identified many research projects as crucial to future soldier system capabilities. AIMM, the Army’s main flagship program, focuses on reducing Soldier disruptions on the battlefield by leveraging autonomous systems. An essential goal of this research program is to develop autonomous systems capable of assisting the Army in conducting multi-domain operations.
Increasingly, technological superiority will determine the outcome of wars in the future. For future joint wars, fighters are developing a wide range of defense-related technologies. In addition to being affordable, timely, dual-use, base-technology-enabled, and modular in design, it is vital to ensure that defense personnel can develop and transform superior technology into cheap and critical military capabilities. Therefore, the national laboratories would have the opportunity to concentrate on particular capability requirements and develop the appropriate technologies required to fulfill them.
Defense personnel have to be able to search deeper, that is, into the physical realm of the battlefield, to gain knowledge about their adversaries. As a means of improving situational awareness, future technology should integrate information gathered from different sensors. Using tech-enhanced tools to facilitate decision-making can contribute to knowledge security, management, and representation in a concise, understandable manner. While this would result in inefficient resource use, it would also increase combat helmet productivity.
In particular, armies relying on conventional radio in the field have long wished for the development of man-portable communications systems. Although a military communications network using battlefield-secure smartphones may be years away, the U.S Army’s new “tactical network backbone” is the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T). Armed forces can communicate securely without fixed infrastructure on the battlefield.
With rapid advancements in communications information technology and the changing nature of modern warfare, tactical communications must become more intelligent and coordinated. In Russia, for example, the Central Military District received 2,218 units of advanced tactical command-and-control equipment in 2019. The Azart R-187P1E radio stations and Prestige telephones, which replaced Selenite telephones, numbered in the thousands. As well, troops from Russia’s Central Military District’s C2 center deployed modular contact points for the first time using the new APE-5 systems. With the APE-5 systems, formation staff and units in the field can manage and share data easily with the command staff. They also cut deployment time in half, distributed more workspaces and computers, and created a local network.
Defense forces must prepare for potential conflicts, modernize, forecast, or respond to changes in trends and emerging technologies, and develop the capabilities required in the event of an unexpected major crisis. For the U.S. military to function at its optimal level, it must be modernized, efficient, resilient, and long-lasting. Modernization aims to reduce the capability deficit, provide qualitatively improved capabilities, and reduce costs. A revolutionary change in military equipment is required to modernize the military. One such modernization initiative is the introduction of the future soldier exoskeleton.
The US Army has been researching the potential military applications of commercial exoskeletons, which can enhance strength and endurance and protect future soldiers from strain injuries. Warfighters can benefit from exoskeletons by running faster, lifting heavier objects, and minimizing the strain they experience during physical activities. Exoskeletons account for an integral component of future super soldier systems. The design of the future soldier system is adopted from the popularly known Marvel series that showcases futuristic technology. The adoption of a future combat vest within the armed forces is also anticipated to increase lethality and combat abilities.
In a bid to assess whether exoskeletons could be used for military purposes, the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) has descended on some high-tech designs. As a result, the Soldier system Center agreed for a transaction of USD 6.9 million in 2019. It included USD 2 million for an evaluation of all exoskeleton systems developed. The increased proliferation of technology within the global markets is another factor which is anticipated to instate the requirement for future soldier training. Therefore, capital expenditure based on training and simulation for soldiers is anticipated to increase with the introduction of new technologies.