Digital Battlefield, Real-Time Information

Posted on: March 15, 2017 by Claus Larsen

Warfare has changed. On today’s battlefield, information is the strongest weapon; and the most valuable form of defence.

Armies have always needed to be prepared, ready to mobilise at the first sign of a threat. This means having soldiers trained and proficient in the latest tools and techniques that will allow them to reach a decisive victory against whatever enemy they are called upon to face. And in the modern age, as threats have become increasingly fragmented across larger areas, technology has been forced to adapt.

Today’s soldiers need access to real-time information to secure a tactical advantage against opposition forces. On a practical level, it means that tools must be intuitive and easy for soldiers to use. Unlike previous generations, we are now accustomed to using advanced technology within our civilian lives; this has led to a new approach when it comes to military grade technology. Digital Natives have forced those developing battlefield tools to factor in a ‘train as you fight, fight as you train’ approach. New technology is now far more familiar – so users can pick up the controls quickly, mastering the tech faster and becoming more effective when using it.

As with the civilian sector, military IT is no stranger to the recent boom in connectivity. With everything from weaponry to vehicles being connected to an army’s network, we can see the positive impact that technology has already had on fighting methods.

Atos’ work with the French Army offers a great example of the new, data-rich approach to combat. Having made the decision to rationalise its Operational Information Systems, the French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) began replacing its existing systems with the Scorpion Combat Information System (SICS). The new solution offers a simpler, more intuitive and robust user experience.

Connecting vehicles, troops, and weapons systems, it provides commanders with a holistic view of the battlefield, allowing the best-possible decisions to be taken with the latest updates. Communication is more efficient and orders can be sent quickly and clearly, helping to eliminate mistakes. Additionally, as a more robust system, it is more reliable and will always be on hand with no downtime, no disruption to leave soldiers or unity isolated and without commands.

Of course, as military hardware becomes more connected, its possible attack surface increases too. If not managed properly, these cyber-threats could pose a significant – and potentially deadly – danger to the units. Information must be shared, but it must be shared securely. Connecting complex, and often very different environments, and part of Atos’ work on the project was about bringing security solutions from the civilian world and making them robust and reliable enough to function under the pressures of a military situation.

Although warfare has changed, the need for a tactical advantage has not. In modern warfare, information offers this advantage, giving soldiers an edge on their enemy. Thanks to a network-centric system, allowing all hardware and personnel to be connected, army units are able to better collaborate, ensuring efficiency in operations and helping to reduce the number of casualties incurred during any combat situations. Improving conditions within the battlefield has always been of critical importance, able to be the decisive factor during times of active duty. And with lives on the line there is no room for error.

Atos showcases in HOMSEC 2017, VI International Exhibition of Technologies of National Security, its latest innovative solutions in border control and maritime traffic management, checkpoint control, tactical communications, solutions for State security forces, etc. More info here.

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About Claus Larsen
Global Director, Business Development, e-Government, Security & Alliances for the Public and Defense sector
Claus is Global Director, Business Development, e-Government, Security & Alliances for the Public and Defense sector in Atos. He joined Atos in January 2013 as market lead for the Siemens Account in Benelux and the Nordics and as Global Account Executive for Siemens Wind Power. In 2015 he joined the Global Public and Healthcare team with responsibility for the Defense and Homeland Security sectors. Before joining Atos, Claus held a number of management positions at international IT and management consulting companies providing IT security services and solutions to the defense and homeland security sector. Having served as an officer in the Danish Army for over 20 years, Claus understands exactly how soldiers and homeland security forces can use real-time information as a tactical advantage in counter-terrorism and modern warfare. He knows how a network-centric solution connecting troops, vehicles and weapon systems can offer commanders a truly holistic view of the field of operations and support optimal decision-making. Part of Claus’ remit is to ensure that cyber security strategy has the highest priority within organizations.