In the ever-evolving world of military technology, the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are racing to keep pace with the most formidable adversary yet: time. The rapid development of new technologies, particularly in the maritime sector, has necessitated a reevaluation of procurement and acquisition processes, as well as an embrace of modular acquisition and improved data analysis.
The WEST 2024 Conference: Addressing Technological Challenges
The WEST 2024 conference, held in San Diego, California, serves as a platform for addressing these challenges head-on. With a focus on enhancing operations and decision-making by leveraging new technologies and capabilities, the maritime services are looking to strike the right balance between manned and unmanned systems. The conference brings together key stakeholders from the military, industry, and academia to discuss and strategize on the best ways to navigate the shifting technological landscape.
One of the most pressing issues facing the maritime services is the unique set of technology challenges posed by the harsh environment of ships. Customized solutions are required to ensure that new systems can withstand the rigors of the open sea, while still providing the necessary capabilities to maintain a tactical edge.
AR Technology and Military Training: A New Era
On February 6, 2024, cadets and staff of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point experienced a glimpse into the future of military training. An Augmented Reality (AR) technology demonstration, presented by Magic Leap and ARTAK, showcased potential applications for AR in military training and education.
The AR platform, which allows for precision navigation and interaction, has the potential to revolutionize tactical planning, communication, and collaboration. Examples of its potential applications include an AR sand table, which provides a comprehensive and data-rich environment for strategizing and decision-making.
Anduril Industries: A Quantum Leap in Capability
One company at the forefront of this technological revolution is Anduril Industries. Their family of autonomous systems, powered by Lattice OS, an AI-powered open operating system, is automating defense missions and providing integrated, persistent awareness and security across land, sea, and air.
Their autonomous air vehicles, such as Roadrunner and Fury, and autonomous underwater vehicles like Dive-LD, are all tasked, connected, and controlled by Lattice. These systems are designed to save crucial time by autonomously identifying and surfacing threats, freeing personnel to focus on more complex tasks.
The potential of uncrewed systems in military operations is vast, as they have the ability to transform warfare. These systems, which vary in cost and capability, are being employed in remote, semi-autonomous, and autonomous operating modes, and are undergoing rapid development.
The combination of uncrewed systems, digitized command and control, and new era meshed networks of civilian and military sensors will make it possible to fight differently, benefiting Western militaries. This combination will enable the democratization of high-quality information, changing how military institutions command and control forces, group and regroup joint and combined arms teams, apply tactics and the operational art, and train and educate people.
As the WEST 2024 conference comes to a close, it is clear that the challenges facing the military in keeping up with the pace of technological development are complex and multifaceted. However, by focusing on procurement and acquisition processes, leveraging new technologies and capabilities, and embracing modular acquisition and improved data analysis, the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are well-positioned to meet these challenges head-on.
With AR technology demonstrating its potential for military training and education, and companies like Anduril Industries pushing the boundaries of autonomous systems, the future of military technology is not only exciting but also essential for maintaining a tactical edge in an ever-changing world.