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Number 33
November 2020

"SpearUAV unveils Ninox 40 handheld encapsulated drone system."

Army recognition, 8 October 2020

(source cross-checking)

The Israeli company SpearUAV has unveiled its new models of "encapsulated drones" that can be launched by a grenade launcher or from a land vehicle. Once launched, these drones deploy automatically, stabilize in the air without operator intervention and immediately provide ISTAR(Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Reconnaissance) capabilities thanks to a day and night vision camera. Designed for single use, they have an autonomy of 40 to 60 minutes depending on the model. Their very light weight (from 250 grams to 1.5 kilograms) facilitates an individual carrying by each soldier and their launch in a few seconds allows a great reactivity on the battlefield.

"US Army to upgrade bigger units with new electronic warfare gear"

C4ISRNET, October1, 2020

(single source)

The prospect of the return of symmetrical conflicts is leading to a renewed focus on higher echelons in the brigade. TheU.S. Army therefore wishes to upgrade its electronic warfare equipment to conduct operations at the divisional level. Thus, new capabilities, grouped under the name Terrestrial Layer System-Echelons Above Brigade (TLS-EAB), are being developed to enable land forces to deliver long-range cyber and electromagnetic effects to counter, degrade, disrupt, or manipulate targeted forces. The TLS-EAB is therefore expected to counter denial-of-access (A2/AD) strategies by detecting, locating, and targeting enemy systems at depth.

"The U.S. Military Is About to Launch Its Largest 5G Experiments Yet"

Defense One, October 8, 2020

(single source)

At five U.S. military sites, the Department of Defense will test 5G technologies on a large scale in association with a dozen industries. This experiment will make it possible to coordinate the Pentagon's various services and weapons, making C2(Command and Control) more mobile. In addition, the aim is also to test the reuse of 4G frequency bands for 5G, a technology called "dynamic spectrum sharing".

"Вертолет с гибридной силовой силовой установкой разрабатывают в России"

(Russia is developing a helicopter with a hybrid engine)

TASS and, 30 September 2020

(source cross-checking)

The Russian industrialist Vertoletov Rossii ("Russian Helicopters ") is developing a helicopter with a hybrid engine, capable of alternating between kerosene and electricity consumption. Artificial intelligence would manage the hybridisation of the turbine. This helicopter would be used mainly for reconnaissance and rescue missions and would have a flight autonomy of almost seven hours. The construction phase of the prototype has begun.

"Russia's combat helicopters to be armed with suicide drones"

TASS, 2 October 2020

(source cross-checking)

Russian industrialist Zalson is developing a cluster missile module that would allow Mi-28NM combat helicopters to launch ISR mini-drones and suicide drones in swarms. The B8V10-UV module features an adjustable number of missile launcher tubes. Although it was originally designed to equip Mi-28NM helicopters, it could be used by other helicopters equipped with a mission programming computer system (Mi-28, Ka-52 and Mi-8 attack helicopters).

"In Search of the Augmented Soldier: Hopes and Illusions of a Promising Concept."

Jean-Christophe NOËL (Associate Researcher at Ifri's Centre for Security Studies), Strategic Focus, No. 99, September 2020

(single source)

The purpose of the Strategic Focus is to examine the technologies under development related to the augmented soldier, to study their ethical limitations and their impact on the way the soldier operates. The focus is not on weapon technologies, but on those that allow the body to interact with its environment, to move around in it, or to minimise the constraints of violence or combat stress. For the author, the "enhanced soldier" benefiting from advances in many fields (connectivity, night vision, AI, camouflage, UAVs, etc.) will only truly become an "augmented soldier" capable of extra-human performance with significant progress in the field of life sciences and the introduction of new augmentation techniques in the soldier's body (pharmacology, genetic engineering, implants, prostheses, etc.). Nevertheless, physical or intellectual "augmentations" also imply a great risk for the soldier's physiological balance. The reversibility of "augmentations" and the assurance that the rights of the individual and of war are always respected are therefore principles that could protect soldiers. In addition, the author identifies two major operational consequences in the medium term: the increased connectivity of infantrymen will improve the fluidity of manoeuvres but will lead to their dispersal on the battlefield and a risk of overinformation; and command will naturally tend towards more subsidiarity in order to take advantage of the opportunities offered.

"Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter launches the Integrated Operating Concept.

Ministry of Defense, September 30, 2020

(source cross-checking)

On 30 September 2020, General Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, presented the new concept of employment for the British Armed Forces. This new doctrine is part of an environment marked by constant strategic competition in all areas, in the image of "grey area" strategies that blur the traditional boundaries of the notion of conflict. The United Kingdom believes that its adversaries are engaged in a form of conflict that is more political than kinetic, through non-military operations, in particular in immaterial fields (informational, cyber and electromagnetic), in order to remain below the threshold likely to lead to a response by fire. For the Ministry of Defence, this evolution of the strategic context therefore implies a response that integrates the effects of all the instruments of political leadership(statecraft): ideology, diplomacy, finance, trade policy and military power. Moreover, it is necessary to fight below the threshold of armed conflict and to achieve superiority there, in order to prevent escalation and prevent adversaries from achieving their objectives. Particular emphasis is placed on superiority in information fields in order to destabilize enemy capabilities by non-lethal means.

"The Defense Department just published a summary of the National Defense Strategy's Irregular Warfare Annex. Here's why it's so significant."

Modern Warfare Institute, October 2, 2020

(source cross-checking)

On October 2, 2020, the United States Department of Defense (DoD) issued the Annex to the 2018 National Defense Strategy on Irregular Warfare. Renewed attention to conventional conflict should not mean abandoning the tools and expertise for irregular warfare. Preparation for high-intensity conflict and mastery of superior technology and firepower are insufficient to preserve the influence and credibility of the United States against adversaries who compete below the threshold of armed conflict. Thus, the paper emphasizes that the experience gained in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism over the past two decades can provide important advantages against symmetrical adversaries in a hybrid strategy.

"How the Defense Department is reorganizing for information warfare."

Mark Pomerleau (reporter), C4isrnet, July 26, 2020.

(single source)

Last August, the commander of the U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) expressed its intention to rename the ARCYBER "Army Information Warfare Command ". This prospect is indicative of a paradigm shift within the US military: information warfare now brings together the fields of cyber, electronic, psychological and space operations under its umbrella. It also marks the willingness to adopt an "effects-based approach" and to integrate information warfare into Multi Domain Operations(MDO). Furthermore, a reorganisation of forces along these lines is already under way in the various armed forces corps, right down to the tactical level. TheU.S. Army has equipped its electronic warfare brigade with cyber capabilities, while an "information warfare" command has been created at the 16th Air Force Base. In addition, the Marine Corps has created separate Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Information Groups to produce "mixed" tactical maneuvers that combine simultaneous effects across cyber, information and electromagnetic fields. This restructuring of the Department of Defense around information warfare follows a change in American threat perceptions, yet each service preserves its own approach to "information warfare".

"Antifragile Adversaries: How to Defeat Them?"

Samuel Zilincik (Ph.D. student at Masaryk University), Military Strategy Magazine, volume 7, issue 2, summer 2020

(single source)

The author proposes typical ideals of adversaries by placing them on a scale ranging from "fragile" to "antifragile" to "resilient". He defines them according to their behaviour in the face of adverse strategies. Antifragile adversaries are those whose attrition enhances military capabilities; they benefit from being challenged. For the latter like muscles The challenge, the effort, stimulate the aptitudes (muscular tissue for one and military capabilities for the other). The author distinguishes four ways of defeating antifragilic opponents. The first option is based on the temporality adopted in the conduct of the strategy: do not give the opponent time to become stronger. The second option is to impose an insurmountable challenge, a decisive battle, destroying the opponent's military capabilities. The third option is to cumulate different strategies to overwhelm the enemy, especially with continuous attacks below the level of the opponent's capabilities. This strategy, however, remains limited: if the opponent sees a reason to engage militarily, he will increase his capabilities. Finally, the last option is peace enforcement.

"This Is What Ground Forces Look Like To An Electronic Warfare System And Why It's A Big Deal"

Joseph Trevithick (Research Associate -, The Drive, May 11, 2020.

(single source)

The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment of theU.S. Army has challenged the use of certain modern deception methods by posting the electromagnetic signature of its camouflaged troops on social networks. Indeed, although physical camouflage of equipment remains effective, it becomes obsolete if it is not coupled with electronic camouflage. With the introduction of increasingly robust "electronic warfare" systems that incorporate cyber functionalities, the risk of being revealed is multiplied. Thus, creating virtual decoys that appear on enemy sensors, or directly on their electronic warfare systems, becomes a very judicious deception manoeuvre. Moreover, the possibility of geolocating an enemy makes it possible to launch strikes, the effect of which will be multiplied if they are combined with cyber and electronic aggression manoeuvres. Intelligence techniques are not only applicable to military equipment, they can also target civilian aircraft carried by the military and thus reveal their electromagnetic signatures. This type of manoeuvre is an important component of Russian tactical doctrine, as is the usurpation of GPS signals. To counter this, we can use intelligence sensors on our own troops to detect their vulnerabilities.

"Grand Strategy Is Total: French Gen. André Beaufre on the Nuclear Age"

Michel Shurkin (Rand Corporation researcher), October 8, 2020

(single source)

According to the author, General André Beaufre (1902-1975) represents better than anyone else the two traits that make up the richness of contemporary French military thought. Firstly, failure, because this general fought in 1940 and in 1956 two defeats that prompted his generation to rethink modern conflict. The second trait relates to an ancient intellectual tradition. General Beaufre's Cartesian thinking enabled him to build a system of very rigorous intellectual structures. From the American point of view, General Beaufre's writings are a key to a different view of the consequences of contemporary conflicts. Driven by his desire to understand the nature of war in the modern nuclear landscape, Beaufre proposes a new strategic method to the power-states that integrates the nuclear fact. In France, he notably shared his research with Generals Ailleret, Gallois and Poirier, considered the architects of French nuclear strategy and nicknamed "the four generals of the Apocalypse".

"Climate Wars and Jus ad Bellum", Parts I and II

Craig Martin (Professor at Washburn University School of Law), Opinio Juris, August 13, 2020

(single source)

According to the author, countries that are over-contributing to climate change will soon constitute "the most vulnerable countries in the world". climate rogue states "("Climate rogue states"). Indeed, in conjunction with the announced intensification of ecological disasters, it will no longer be only the consequences of climate change that will be perceived as a threat by States, but its causes themselves. Considered as a threat to international peace and security, the " climate rogue states " will therefore be potential targets for collective action ranging from the threat to the use of force. In this respect, the US blame against China after the coronavirus pandemic (invoking the law of state responsibility) provides the most recent example of a strategy to designate a scapegoat and then rely on the existing legal framework to evade responsibility. This logic is likely to lead to a significant change in the jus ad bellum. Since some of the permanent members of the UN Security Council are among the worst contributors to climate change, calls for action against " climate rogue states " are likely to come from the UN General Assembly instead. C. Martin thus envisages the emergence of an "atmospheric intervention" clause that would allow for a new interpretation of Article 39 of the UN Charter. Article 39 currently provides that measures may be taken in the event of "threats to the peace", "breach of the peace" or "acts of aggression"; a revision of this article would considerably broaden the spectrum of interventions under a UN mandate.

"Alphonse de Neuville: The Last Cartridges "

Musée d'Orsay

Bullets raining down on a shattered inn: this is the state of La Maison Bourgerie on this gloomy1 September 1870. Inside, Commander Lambert's naval troops are resisting as best they can. The wounds worsened as the cartridges dwindled. What the picture does not show is that only fifteen porpoises out of the fifty entrenched at Bazeilles (a village in the Ardennes) will surrender to the Prussian invader. This defeat precipitated the capitulation of Napoleon III at Sedan the very next day. However, it was in homage to the courage of his compatriots that Alfred de Neuville represented this relentless struggle with a tragic outcome. "No matter what anyone says, we were not defeated without glory, and I think it is good to show it! ", argued the painter. With this oil on canvas, national pride prevails over humiliation. The last cartouches inspire the greatest French artists of the 19th century, from Emile Zola to the Lumière Brothers.

The Pathfinder is a subject-oriented watch for prospective studies on air-land operations, currently conducted by the Command Doctrine and Training Centre (CDEC).
This document is based solely on unclassified sources. Its purpose is to provide a quick bi-monthly overview of information disseminated in the media and likely to be of interest to the defence community. The briefs collected are limited to raw summaries of the documents analysed and cross-checked whenever possible by interviews conducted by its editors. It is therefore up to each reader to contextualise this information, particularly when it comes from official foreign sources, according to the use he or she wishes to make of it and the nature of the conclusions that he or she must draw from it.

The Pathfinder is an open-source newsletter, produced by the editors of the CDEC's Studies and Foresight Unit. Its objective is to support the prospective work on air-land combat, conducted within the framework of the Forum de la pensée mili-terre. The short reports are a synthesis of raw information; it is up to the reader to put them into context.