Video Above: What comes after the Abrams? Assistant Secretary of Army Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Talks Future of Tanks
Two distinct, yet closely synchronized Army entities are collaborating to optimize the service’s ability to prevail in future ground war, by maturing multi-pronged analysis related to emerging technologies and the growing need to adapt warfare strategies and tactics.
Combined Arms Maneuver
Army Futures Command and the services acquisition arm called the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army - Acquisition, Logistics and Technology are working together to navigate the uncertain and potentially turbulent waters of future conflict.
Army Acquisition Executive Mr. Douglas Bush says his office is focused on the timing of prototyping, new weapons development and timely funding to ensure technological innovations support emerging concepts of Combined Arms Maneuver.
“I'm eagerly anticipating the work being done by futures on new force designs, I think they are correct in identifying the technology is changing. So as always, the Army's formations probably need to change at some point. So I think that that's good analysis work that's ongoing, and I think they're doing well based on a little bit that I've seen,” \Mr. Douglas Bush, Assistant Secretary of the Army, Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, told Warrior in an interview.
The partnership between Army Futures Command and ASA ALT is intended to align innovations and weapons development with the need to change and adapt combat maneuver formations in response to a changing threat landscape. Future warfare will be faster, multidomain and more dispersed, something Bush said will be driven by the growing existence of much longer-range fires and increased precision. Therefore, there continues to be careful and detailed collaborative work between the two interwoven entities to ensure paradigm-changing new technologies correctly inform emerging concepts of operation.
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“I think my role will be to try to get ahead of that and think in terms of time if we're going to have new formations at some point. When would the new equipment come in? And then when would you need to start acquisition programs and line up the funding for those things,” Bush said.
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As Bush indicated, timing will be critical to properly synergize new Combined Arms Maneuver tactics and strategies with the specific ways in which new technologies enable different operational possibilities.
For instance, longer-range precision fires, fortified by aerial sensors through secure multi-domain connectivity, will continue to enable more dispersed yet interconnected warfare. An ability to use AI to “truncate” sensor-to-shooter time, with the aim of getting ahead of or inside of an enemies decision cycle, will increasingly enable forward shooters to close in on and destroy enemy targets. Naturally, this means groups of interconnected forward-operating weapons systems, platforms and networked manned-unmanned formations can attack much faster and with much greater precision from multiple domains.
A mechanized force, for instance, will be less condensed and better connected by a meshed net of long-range sensors and therefore able to maintain a more dispersed, precision attack. Longer range sensors, hardened networking, faster data-processing and multi-domain connectivity can enable attacking forces to disaggregate, operate with unmanned systems and launch coordinated, precise, fast-moving attack formations.
Kris Osborn is the President of Warrior Maven - Center for Military Modernization and the Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.
Warrior Maven and the Center for Military Modernization support the US Military and the need for continued US Modernization. However, Warrior Maven and the Center for Military Modernization do not speak for the US military or any US government entity. The Center is an independent entity intended to be a useful and value added publication for thought leadership and important discussion about modernization. Warrior Maven discusses and explores technologies, strategies and concepts of operation related to modernization and the need for deterrence and continued US military readiness, training and preparation for future conflict in a fast-changing threat environment. Warrior Maven does receive some support from private industry but all thoughts are those of the authors.