Military Embedded Systems

Articles 21 - 40
Radar/EW

Radar and the kill web - Blog

July 31, 2019
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: This is a complex topic, broad in applications and deep in technical details. Radar can be studied from several different angles: by the domain covered (land, sea, undersea, air, and space), by the frequencies used (the IEEE, EU/NATO, and ITU all use different frequency band designations, making things even more confusing), by the range of the signal (long range surveillance, intermediate-range theater coverage, and short-range fire control radar), by application (offensive radar vs defensive radar), or by radar types (there are about 13 of them). Each of these approaches spill over into the next, creating a convoluted mess if you?re not careful. So, the safest way to eliminate the confusion in a short article like this is oversimplification. Therefore, we will look at what radar does in the kill web, and a little about how it works.
Radar/EW

Enemy ships and the kill web - Blog

June 27, 2019
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: Since our primary enemies (Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea) have some capacity for naval warfare, it might be instructive to examine how they can confront the kill web at sea. To do that, we need to look at the hull count (total number of warships) and the total tonnage (water displacement of their fleet) for each country. Hull count will tell us how many ships they can deploy in a fight, and tonnage will tell us their range, and how large and deadly those ships are. That will give us the big picture and we can start assessing their capabilities from there.
Radar/EW

Strategic intelligence and the kill web - Blog

May 31, 2019
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: In previous articles, we explored the technologies and tactics going into the Kill Web, and how they work. Now, we need to look at how strategic intelligence feeds into the Kill Web, and into the order of battle (OB). That's the structure of our troops and weapons, and how they will be deployed against an enemy.
Radar/EW

Problems with the kill web: Moving from C4ISR to SNAI - Blog

March 27, 2019
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: By now, you know the kill web is a dynamic networked "system of systems," that can act (offensively or defensively) at the speed of computers against our enemy's tactics and strategies on the battlefield. There are a number of technical problems to be solved in communications, computer architectures, sensors, and software, but the engineering brainiacs are working on those. The bigger issues are actually on the operational side of the kill web. Decisions involving many variables must be made in milliseconds or microseconds. The human mind cannot possibly handle all the data from the intelligence sources and sensors, assimilate that data, and make critical decisions in those timeframes. So let?s consider some examples, to expose the complications and contradictions in the kill web.
Unmanned

Future weapons and the kill web - Blog

January 31, 2019
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: Come with me now as we travel to another dimension, a realm far beyond the mundane incremental improvements in traditional military weaponry. It?s a curious domain where warfare is bounded only by our imagination. The technology to implement the weapons you will see is available now, give or take some miniaturization of the components here and there. Not since the invention of gunpowder has mankind experienced such a revolution in the tools of armed conflict. So gear-up, and keep your heads down, as we embark upon this mission. You are now entering the kill web of the future.
Radar/EW

C4ISR systems and the kill web - Blog

December 20, 2018
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG. In previous articles, we looked at the market research reports and forecasts for fighter planes, bombers, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and ground combat vehicles. All those platforms contain C4ISR systems (command, control, computers, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance). The openly available data about this market is much foggier than the information on the military platform markets. Making things more complicated, C4ISR is further divided into radar, sonar, signals intelligence (SIGINT), sensors, electronic warfare (EW), cyber warfare (CW), COMM (networked military communications), and administrative systems. Moments of clarity do surface in the reports, but you have to dig for them.
Unmanned

UAVs and the kill web - Blog

October 31, 2018
UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are already part of the kill web for the U.S. military, forming teams with manned aircraft, dropping bombs, and providing persistent surveillance across the globe and soon will be equipped with lasers to provide even more lethality. UAVs have reshaped warfare in modern times, but you may be surprised to learn that they have actually been around since 1849.
Radar/EW

Helicopters and the kill web - Blog

September 28, 2018
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: Helicopters will have a role in the kill web as they have in the kill chain dating back to their first uses in warfare. Starting with the Korean War, and later in Vietnam, the helicopter became the cavalry. Anyone serving in the Army during the 1960s and 1970s knows about the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in Vietnam. You could hear their UH-1 Iroquois helicopters (nickname: Huey) coming from miles away. These aircraft carried troops into battle and provided fire support for ground forces in a fight.
Comms

Ground combat vehicles, tanks, and the kill web - Blog

August 31, 2018
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG. When I started researching ground combat vehicles (GCV) and tanks, I suspected it was going to be messy from the start. I was not disappointed. There's a plethora of research reports and articles containing hundreds of pages on this topic.
Avionics

Long-range bombers and the kill web - Blog

July 30, 2018
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: In our last article, we examined how U.S. fighter planes fit into the kill web, along with a review of European Union (EU), Russian, and Chinese fighters. And, we looked at some of their flight characteristics and design parameters. Now, it?s time to explore long range heavy bomber aircraft.
Avionics

Fighter jets and the kill web - Blog

June 28, 2018
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: In the previous article, we explored the transition from the static kill chain to the dynamic kill web in future warfare scenarios. Now, let?s look at how fighter jets fit into this new model. That requires a review of the fighters being flown by the U.S. and our allies today. We also need to consider what the Russians and the Chinese are doing with their fighter jets.
Comms

Transitioning from the kill chain to the kill web - Blog

May 30, 2018
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: My last post outlined the strategic reviews and national defense priorities that sit on top of the kill chain. Defense planners at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are now looking at transitioning to a concept they've dubbed the kill web.
Radar/EW

Integrating warfare models with the kill chain - Blog

April 27, 2018
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: My previous article covered what sits on top of the kill chain from a strategic perspective. Now, it?s time to integrate the other models: RMAs (revolutions in military affairs), warfare domains (land, sea, air, space, cyberspace, electromagnetic (EM) spectrum), strategic offsets, generations of warfare (1GW through 8GW), and the OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act).
Radar/EW

What sits on top of the kill chain? - Blog

February 27, 2018
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: In my previous article, I promised that we would integrate the warfare models (RMAs [Revolution in Military Affairs], warfare domains, strategic offsets, the OODA Loop, and generations of warfare) with the kill chain.
Radar/EW

Fire and finish: The middle of the kill chain - Blog

December 22, 2017
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: As stated in previous articles, we need to reduce the complete kill chain down to 10 minutes or less, according to General John Jumper. So, all new systems and weapons must fit inside the kill chain somewhere (find, fix, fire, finish, feedback). And, they must speed things up significantly. We also established that the latest radar, sonar, SIGINT, IMINT, and other sensor systems fit in the find and fix phases. Now, it?s time to take a look at some of the latest developments going into the fire and finish phases.
A.I.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial stupidity (AS) - Blog

October 31, 2017
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: Isaac Asimov first published the three laws for super-intelligent robots in 1942, and we are ignoring them. Although Department of Defense (DoD) directive 3000.09, dated November 2012, says that a human must always pull the trigger or press the button on our weapons, we violated that when we created the Phalanx CIWS and the Aegis missile defense system, although those weapons are defensive. Now, everybody with a lot of money, or a lot of education, is claiming that Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) will take us to a ?singularity,? sometime between 2020 and 2040, where machines become exponentially smarter than humans. At that point, the machines and killer robots will eliminate humans and take over the world.
Radar/EW

Find and fix: The front-end of the kill chain - Blog

August 31, 2017
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG. I can speak to this topic with some level of experience. My old military intelligence unit, Army Security Agency (ASA) was the military arm of the National Security Agency (NSA). Our primary mission was to find, identify, fix, and track every significant military unit on the planet, including both our enemies and our allies. As Sun Tzu is credited with saying (or maybe it was Machiavelli, or Petrarch, or Michael Corleone): "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."
Comms

A quick update on activity in North Korea - Blog

July 26, 2017
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: In our last episode, I promised that my next article would be on the ?find and fix? phases of the kill chain. The recent news coming out of North Korea compels me to interrupt that plan. However, these new developments seem to fit the proposed topic well, especially at the tactical level. So, let?s throw-in a quick update on Kim Jung Un?s (KJU) latest malfeasance and how our intelligence systems and people are involved.
Unmanned

Shrinking the kill chain - Blog

June 28, 2017
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: When I first started researching this topic, I thought writing this article would be straight-forward and easy. As with many other subjects in this series, that was not the case. Targeting models are integrated into kill chains, or vice-versa, and that creates some confusion. The available stream of information about this subject is both narrow and shallow. However, we are seeing a sequence of evolving kill chain models, at the strategic and tactical levels.
Radar/EW

And then there's submarines - Blog

May 30, 2017
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: Submarines were harder to count than aircraft carriers in my previous blog. According to scattered web information, there are about 533 submarines in the oceans today, operated by 40 countries. But that number moves around, mostly because (1) there are a number of new submarines coming into service and (2) it?s hard to say how many antiquated Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and North Korean submarines are still operational.
Articles 21 - 40