Thursday, 21 October 2004

Army tests blimp as eye in sky

Army tests blimp as eye in sky
The Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment System [RAIDS] looks promising as a "persistent stare" surveillance platform. opswarfare previously came across the High Altitude Airship [HAA] which is a similar concept. This class of airships can complement the Predator and Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicles [UAV] currently used by the USAF.

Passive Surveillance Systems :: VERA-E

ERA :: Products :: Passive Surveillance Systems :: VERA-E
An electronic intelligence [ELINT] and Passive Surveillance System from the Czech Republic. opswarfare was alerted to this system after a Jane's report that the Czechs have clear the sale of 1 unit for testing purposes to the US, the purchase being compensation for the US government's intervention into the sale of six systems to China. More details and capability to come after more research, but initial opinion is that a system that warrants this level of attention by the US should be quite effective.

Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Getting the basics right [Part II]

Increasing realism at the rifle firing range
Realism can be injected into a normal firing range without much physical changes. A figure 15 [1/5 of a person exposed, typically the head & just the top of the shoulder] target is the size of the foresight tip on a M16 rifle at 100m. A soldier would have problems positively identifying a threat using the naked eye at that range, let alone the usual firing range of 300m which would present an even smaller target to identify. Unless rules of engagement are so lax, which opswarfare does not advocate, it would be more effective to
  1. either shorten the range [from 300m to 100m],
  2. or incorporate binoculars or rifle scopes into the firing procedure. [for foxhole sandbag supported scenarios]

This ensures the good practice of positive identification of targets before firing.

For even more realism,

  1. different targets can be used [differentiate between enemy soldiers, friendly soldiers, civilians]
  2. targets appear at different distances at the same time [foster decision making to engage nearer targets first]
  3. night firing conducted using night vision goggles [NVG] instead of illuminating targets

Quick-aiming techniques, like aiming with the foresight tip only at very short ranges should also be taught. Built-in 1.5x scope on newer rifles should also be operationalised, that is, a scanning procedure be taught that maximises the increased vision range without compromising the reduced field of vision caused by the scope. opswarfare recommends scanning with both unaided eyes for targets, and using the scope for target identification and subsequent engagement, if needed.

opswarfare advocates that the techniques mentioned above be taught only after soldiers have learnt the basics, i.e. hitting where you aim.

Saturday, 16 October 2004

Red Team Journal

Red Team Journal: Strategic Vulnerability Assessment Through Better Red Teaming
A comprehensive source for people learning about red teaming, whether military-related or otherwise. Articles range from definitions to techniques.

Monday, 4 October 2004

Army Technology - Viking (BVS10) Armoured All Terrain Vehicle

Army Technology - Viking (BVS10) Armoured All Terrain Vehicle
In a previous article on Russian logistics for urban combat in Chechnya, a lack of an armoured supply & ambulance vehicle was cited as one of the problems. The BVS10 is a possible solution, with armoured cabins and low pressure rubber tracks.

Sunday, 3 October 2004

NZ Army's open policy towards procurement

Even though some answers are debatable, the Q&A on New Zealand's decision to buy the LAVIII shows its willingness to explain its purchase. This thread of being open seems to run throughout opswarfare's brief look at the various official NZ defence websites.

Friday, 1 October 2004

Avoiding a US-centric view of warfare

As with many other subjects, many discussions on warfare have been done by US-based entities. Part of the reason is that they have openly embraced information freedom on the internet. Language also plays a part, with English being the defacto language of choice, for better or worse. opswarfare has also been guilty of looking at warfare in a US-centric way. While doing research on red teaming [the article is experiencing delayed delivery], opswarfare has realised the fallacy of such a view. With that in mind, opswarfare will sought to cover warfare through an international outlook from now onwards.

Air Force Rethinks Approach To ‘Electronic Attack’

National Defense Magazine
This article outlines the future of US electronic warfare [read: jamming] aircraft. However, opswarfare feels that a UAV solution, either based on the Predator or Global Hawk platform, would be much more effective in terms of cost, time & quality.

  • Cost: lower costs [equipment & running costs] compared to manned aircraft
  • Time: faster to operationalise the requirement, as both UAVs were designed to carry sensors in a package
  • Quality: longer loiter times, smaller radar "footprint", reduced health risks of RF exposure on humans