An analysis of degraded communications in the Army's future force
Lindquist, Joseph M.
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The US Department of Defense is currently pursuing the most comprehensive transformation of its forces since the early years of WWII. This transformation is a holistic approach to update both the equipment that the forces will fight its conflicts with and the way in which they will fight. This transformation relies heavily on fully networked air, ground and space based platforms. While many experts agree that in the course of the next 10 years communications equipment will emerge to support the networking of these systems, there remains much uncertainty on how operations will be effected if the technology does not mature enough to meet expectations. This research shows that even a 25 percent degradation in communications range could pose significant challenges for this Future Force. Additionally, even small delays (latencies greater than one minute) and constraints on network throughput can increase the Future Force casualties and the duration of battle. While the end result in all analysis shows that the Future Force is a superior element with the same battle end state-victory, the cost of that victory depends significantly on effective communications.
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