Innovating Warfare: Inside the Army Warfighting Experiment

The Army Warfighting Experiment presents a unique opportunity for cutting-edge military technology to be showcased and tested in real-world scenarios. Each year, the Army releases a new ‘hypothesis’ around a capability that they require fulfilling.

Hypothesis and Objectives

This year’s Army Warfighting Experiment is focused on the ability to achieve a kinetic, ‘blunt & dislocate’ effect in urban environments. These advancements are not solely about enhancing troop effectiveness in such complex settings; they are also about examining how these emergent technologies can be seamlessly woven into existing military strategies to strengthen intelligence gathering and generate decisive results in urban warfare.

This hypothesis has four key stages, and started in the Summer of 2022 when Coptrz & Brigantes began with a paper submission (Level A), followed by a ‘Dragons Den’ style elimination round (Level B). This third round (Level C) is the physical showcasing of the most successful capability submissions. This will culminate in February 2024 with an opportunity for VIP’s to see the technology that has made it through this gruelling process.

Training and Stages of the Level C Testing

The Level C testing of the Experiment unfolds over four weeks:

  • Week 1 – The Crawl Stage: This initial phase focused on training the troops with new technologies, ensuring hands-on familiarity.
  • Week 2 – The Walk Stage: Here, the emphasis shifted to integrating these technologies into troops’ tactics, techniques, and procedures.
  • Week 3 – The Run Stage: In this final phase, the troops fully implement their training in simulated operational environments, reflecting a significant leap from theory to practice.

During our visit, the troops had already been hands-on with the technology, meaning that they were able to integrate it into their Warfighting operations. Coptrz & Brigantes had brought forward the Farsight software by Reveal Technology, a real-time mapping software that helps plannners and officers at the tactical edge visualise the area of siege.

Sam Denniff & Terry Bryan CGC, our representatives, were able to be ‘on the shoulder’ of the troops as they moved through battle lanes in an urban village, advising, and giving support, but allowing the soldier to operate Reveal Farsight independently of our direct involvement.

Role of Reveal Farsight in AWE

Reveal Farsight software plays a pivotal role in the planning and operational stages. This innovative tool aids in understanding the deployment environment, assisting troops in making informed decisions about equipment and strategies before entering combat zones. Its real-time 2D mapping and near real-time 3D modelling provide comprehensive situational awareness and planning tools. The system’s hardware and OS agnosticism ensures broad compatibility, while in-app measurements contribute to precise operational planning.

Troops awaiting data retrieval from UAS technology prior to route guidance being relayed

Tactical AI leverages artificial intelligence for deeper insights, and local computing on devices enhances field operability without network dependency, maintaining a low electronic signature. Farsight’s AI capabilities include:

  • Line of Sight Tool – The Line of Sight tool within Reveal Farsight enhances tactical situational awareness by allowing operators to ascertain visibility lines in a given terrain. This tool is crucial in both detecting and understanding adversary positions, aiding in stealth and strategic planning. It enables users to craft inventive solutions for combat scenarios, such as avoiding detection.
  • Field of View Tool – The Field of View tool in Reveal Farsight is designed to help users understand and analyse the visible area from a specific vantage point, which can be crucial for both avoiding enemy detection and understanding the enemy’s perspective. By utilising this tool, operators can plan movements and positions more effectively, ensuring that they remain out of sight from adversaries or gain insights into where an adversary can see.
  • Route Planning Tool – This tool enables users to strategically generate routes directly onto the 3D Farsight models. This feature allows for detailed planning and visualisation of potential movement paths in an operational environment. When combined with the Line-of-Sight analysis, it provides a comprehensive overview, letting operators evaluate the visibility of these routes to the adversary, thus assessing the risk of detection.
  • Vertical Measurement Tool – The Vertical Measurement Tool within Reveal Farsight enables users to accurately measure the length, height, and diagonal distances from a specific point within a 3D model, helping to determine the success of operational activities, such as assessing what equipment is necessary for scaling buildings or obstacles.
  • Helicopter Landing Zone Surveying Tool – This tool within Reveal Farsight is designed to enhance the safety and efficiency of helicopter operations in challenging environments. It considers doctrinal limits and the capabilities of different airframes to recommend suitable locations for helicopter landings.

Reveal Farsight can process multiple UAS streams, allowing for efficient mission monitoring and reducing network load by pre-processing full-motion video streams, streamlining the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance process.

Real-Time Strategy and Tactical Advancements

Using soldier-portable drones, such as Parrot Anafi USA, with 3D mapping capabilities enables troops to create detailed maps of their surroundings, allowing for meticulous planning of attack routes and the identification of enemy positions.

Officers wait for an order to begin an assault on the POI and clear buildings.

The troops were tasked with conducting assaults on several buildings within a village, employing the Reveal Farsight technology to plan their movements, pinpoint access points, and coordinate the necessary resources.

This process is highly efficient, with the mission taking around 15 minutes —a 7-minute drone flight coupled with 8 minutes for data processing. During the live tests this week, we effectively created usable models with Parrot Anafi USA GOV drones within 15 minutes of pinpointing the target buildings to be cleared.

Conclusion

The Army Warfighting Experiment stands as a testament to the evolving nature of military operations, where technology and strategy intertwine to create more effective, safe, and intelligent combat tactics. The experiment’s success in integrating new technologies into practical military applications heralds a new era in urban warfare and beyond. As we look towards the final showcase in February 2024, there is a sense of anticipation as to how these advancements will shape the future of the British Army. The experiment is more than just a test of new technology; it’s a glimpse into the future of warfare where innovation leads the charge.


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