IAV Top 5 Key Takeaways
5 Key Takeaways from IAV 2019
1) How will technology impact the ‘trinity’ of Mobility, Protection and Fire Power?
Conventionally much importance has been placed on finding the correct and necessary balance between Mobility, Protection and Fire Power on armoured vehicles. IAV 2019, however, highlighted how the aggressive pursuit of disruptive technologies in AI and Robotics might revolutionise this debate.
2) Integration and defence against autonomous systems
The proliferation of consumer drones retrofitted for military purposes, as demonstrated by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, has presented a new range of challenges for armoured vehicles to offset. Colonel James Schirmer, the manager of the US Army’s ‘Next Generation Combat Vehicle’ programme spoke of the importance of exploiting new technologies such as AI and Robotics to enhance the lethality of AFVs and the need to understand ‘drone swarming’ strategies
3) Managing the gap between future tech and current requirements
The need to invest in future technologies, whilst at the same time ensuring the procurement and maintenance of current platforms formed a core tenet of General John Murray of the U.S. Army Future Forces Command’s talk. General Murray outlined how the US Army was partnering with innovative start-ups in ‘accelerator hubs’ to ensure American leadership in future AFV capabilities. In a word of warning, he called for the length procurement cycles to be slashed and he upon traditional industry to be at the forefront of innovation.
4) Ensuring interoperability with allies
As expected, ensuring the inseparability of allies formed a central theme of IAV 2019. The need to ensure no partner nation was left behind by the rapid advances in technology was felt in the keynote address by Major General Jürgen-Joachim von Sandrart, Commanding General of the Bundeswehr’s First Panzerdivision. He highlighted the utility of integrated command structures like NATO’s ‘Very High Readiness Joint Task Force’ and the German-Dutch 414 Panzer Battalion.
5) Move from counter-insurgency to near-peer combat situations
The modernisation of Chinese and Russian armoured vehicles and the expansion of their Area-Denial/Anti-Access platforms remained a core concern of IAV 2019. After nearly two decades of counter-insurgency conflict, the modernisation and development of capabilities to ensure victory in a near-peer conflict have withered. IAV 2019’s panel discussions highlighted the need for forces to adapt to these new norms and the probable characteristics of the next war.