Anti-Access and Area Denial (A2AD) and modern close-in air defence system (CIADS) present a challenge for amphibious forces and joint forcible entry operations (JFEO) in mutually contested
spaces. The realities created by the proliferation of precision long-range fires, mines, and other smart-weapons must be accepted and innovative ways to overcome those threat capabilities must be sought.
Troops making landfall in the amphibious operations of today do so in much the same way that their grandfathers and great-grandfathers did during World War 2: via amphibious assault vehicles and landing craft. Today, we can add air-cushioned vehicles to these modes of transports, along with rotary-wing aircraft. But the fact remains that the process of getting troops from ship to shore takes about as long today as it did in 1944 – but now our troops are faced with the additional challenge of the A2AD threat, which renders whole swathes of ocean impossible (or at least unreasonably costly) to navigate – and the traditional large, slow connectors unacceptably vulnerable on their approach to the shore. The challenge of meeting the ship-shore demand in an environment where there is an active A2D threat is therefore probably the greatest challenge faced by any amphibious force today.
This panel will look into the role of Organic Aviation in mitigating this threat, as part of a wider Joint Force approach. We will examine new technologies and new doctrines that are – or will – make it possible for amphibious forces to answer the ship-shore connector challenge, in the era of the A2AD threat.
- Leaving aside the technologies of tomorrow, is there a ‘go-to’ approach for the application of organic aviation today which can mitigate the A2AD threat?
- What is the likely contribution of UAS and EW technologies in reducing risk to not only the amphibious force itself, but also manned air platforms providing support to the landing force?
- How can forces meet the connector challenge in environments where aviation is denied? Does the answer lie in light vehicles that can navigate A2AD detection systems undetected?
- Unmanned systems offer the ability to deceive and misdirect using assets that can be risked, what role can robotics and unmanned systems play to deliver mass and lethality at reach on target?
Lieutenant General Sir David Capewell (Ret)
Former Chief of Joint Operations
British Armed Forces
Senior Fellow, Naval Forces and Maritime Security
International Institute for Strategic Studies
Colonel Patrik Gardesten
Commander, First Marine Regiment