[section_title title=Revolution in Military Affairs]
Revolution in Military Affairs and Future Battlefields
The major differences in the wars of future from the present day’s wars will be the increased tempo, increased complexity and increased lethality. The consequences flowing from these key changes are that commanders will have less time for decision making, they may have to deal with greater ambiguity and they have to take into account the increased consequences of their decisions. The systems and technologies of future battles are geared up to provide information that reduces ambiguity and improve decision making. The future systems should focus on timely, accurate, relevant information availability and increased probability of making right decisions.
Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) has been defined to take place when one of the participants in a conflict incorporates new technology, organization and doctrine, to the extent that victory is attained in the immediate instance, but more importantly, that any other actors who might wish to deal with that participant or activity must match, or counter the new combination of technology, organization and doctrine in order to prevail. The IT based RMA capabilities are impacting C4ISR, System Integration, Joint Force Doctrine and Integrated Logistics and maintenance. To this list one should add Space and Electronic Warfare (SEW) capability and Precision Guided Munitions (PGM).
RMA is not focused on tanks, ships or aircraft but on what these platforms carry and IT that enables them to work together effectively. Technology will help the commanders to ‘understand’ what is occurring in a large geographical area and to communicate that information to the forces which should respond with speed, precision, accuracy and deadly effectiveness over greater ranges. This integration of diverse systems as a ‘system of systems’ is the key to RMA and future military scenarios. The main components of RMA are intelligence collection, surveillance and reconnaissance; C4 system and technologies; integration of complex information systems in real time and the development of joint doctrines to take advantage of this technological potential.
It is in the area of joint operations that the future wars will depict a radical departure from traditional old fashioned wars. The
trend of joint operations which started with Air Land Battle doctrine will be further improved and implemented in the next two decades. The benefits of joint operations are discernible from the fact that better effectiveness will be achieved by fewer resources. However these resources must be trained, bound, and integrated within the intellectual fabric of a joint military doctrine. This Joint Force Doctrine (JFD) combining all dimensions – Air, Land, Sea Underwater, Space and Time, of warfare will be the key to the future of warfare. Future commanders should be trained and educated to visualize and achieve the ‘best fit’ of available forces needed to produce the immediate effects and achieve the desired results. Indian forces are not trained to operate in joint operations. They continue to fight individual battles in the wars of future. A major pre requisite in this system of systems operating in joint operations is the need to provide logistics which are timely and good enough to support the higher tempo of battles.
It is in the area of logistics and maintenance that one may find it difficult to meet the requirements of future war operations. The concept of integrated logistics is the crux and most crucial factor that will dominate the future warfare. A country may find problems in achieving focused logistics due to lack of infrastructure for achieving them. Building the necessary roads, railways and air strips to supply and support our forces during crisis situations is the required step which should flow from our economic doctrine.
The future wars will be greatly influenced by the rapid developments taking place in tactics, equipment and organization of the logistic systems. The integrated logistics means that the various subareas within logistics have important interactions with one another and should be treated as a unified discipline. The subareas that are generally considered key elements of integrated logistics support system are supply and inventory, transportation, maintenance, and electronics and communications. Logistics support to military forces is a prime factor in combat operations. Rapid deployment to regions of low, mid and high intensity conflicts will become a common scenario for future military forces. When deployments are constrained, an important problem is to find out the support requirements to be sent when war objectives cannot be compromised. To address this problem, one has to model the integrated logistics support system using sophisticated methodologies and then analyze the integration of logistics support and combat models.
Integrated Logistics Support System
Any organization that continues to operate with a logistics system designed for one environment, but operating in another, is bound to incur economic inefficiencies and operational ineffectiveness. Most of today’s military organizations face just such a situation. The Future warfare will have two fundamental impacts upon logistics system. Firstly, mobility of field forces has been a keystone. But mobility is greatly limited to the extent that the logistics system constrains it, particularly with the requirement of co-location. Mobile forces require flexible logistics systems. Secondly, the monetary value of field equipment, resulting from the introduction of electronics and advanced weaponry has risen rapidly. Overstocking rifles and ammunition may not have been relatively expensive, but overstocking electronic direction finding equipment is. Hence, two prime requisites of future logistics support are that it must enhance rather than detract from mobility and it must be accurate in its knowledge of what material is where.
The complexity of modern day support suggests that the needs of the user will be best served by an integration of the functional specialists within a single support organization that has direct access to the most vital logistic information. This indicated that the creation of an ILSS could provide visibility of assets including: quantity, condition, authorized stock levels, location and items in transit. An ILSS specialist, provided with a single command structure, should be able, upon direction, to redistribute assets anywhere within his command on a priority basis within a very short time frame.