How to look better in the fog of war

Of course, the outcome of a conflict depends not only on technology, but also on the morale of the troops … The fact remains that innovation is a key factor in ensuring the operational dominance of the military. A race where the Defense Innovation Agency (AID), launched three years ago, plays the role of conductor. “We’ve committed 1.4 billion euros to innovation, identifying 800 start-ups and SMEs we didn’t know about, including 300 received through our services.”, Points out AID Director Emanuel Chiva. Another figure: 94 labeled projects and 170 research projects were launched last year.

Provides responsiveness, visibility, transparency and efficiency, “Aid is a real helper”Admiral Pierre Vandier, Chief of Staff of the French Navy, added. As Chief of Staff of the Air and Space Force, General Stephen Mill praised AID’s agility and ability to think outside the box to accelerate technological leaps affecting battlefields. “Technologies that could bring something very new to aviation warfare, and especially aircraft excellence, I would mention allied warfare, the connections that come with it, artificial intelligence (AI), guided power weapons and hypersonic vectors.He is explaining.

What a priority

Above and below the sea, several advances are emerging: the connection of platforms to detect threats, especially hypersonic ones, and especially multi-position synchronization. “Today, a frigate is also connected by space”, Specifies Admiral Vandier. Among these areas of innovation, AID has the task of identifying what it chooses to accelerate as a priority. To this end, it publishes a reference document each year for defense orientation and innovation. “This year, it’s a major edition that will be released around July 14”, Says Emanuel Chiva. In 2019, the focus was on AI, cyberspace and space, especially New Space. In 2020, the company added guided energy weapons, Quantum, Hypervelocity. He is working on a project around cognitive warfare as well as the war against drones. Whether they’re as groundbreaking as Quantum or part of a continuum, these technologies are “Now it has reached a level of maturity that was still uneven.”Emmanuel Chiva Summary.

Drones will play a key role in tomorrow’s war. Especially within the framework of SCAF (Future Associate Air System). “We have ideas that allow us to consider cooperative warfare with objects, some manned and some unmanned, with drones that are usable and others reusable.”, Explains General Stephen Mill. With the SLAMF program (the future anti-marine mine system), drones will also sail with tomorrow’s mine war. Other tracks, “A solar drone project makes it possible to secure routes with very high autonomy”, Says Emanuel Chiva. The Defense Innovation Agency also closely follows the fight against drones. “The real threat we’re focusing our efforts on today is on all the swarms of drones that can quickly communicate or even replenish an area’s arsenal.”AID Director added.

Turn on

Outside of drones, it also puts the cyber security of naval units at risk. “Digital is a huge factor in progress, including the exploitation of big data to better see the ‘war fog'” Admiral Pierre Vandier said. What do you think of the computing centers on the boat? In other areas, Americans, Russians and Chinese today have operational power lasers on the battlefield. This is not the case with us, but I hope it will be by the end of the decade. ” He added.

If the tri-color fund for military innovation continues to grow, how can we go further? “There are delays due to budget gaps with the United States. But extraordinary budgets also allow for extraordinary mistakes. Warns Navy chiefExample: “The American Surface Fleet is in big trouble today because of the failed choice of renewal. In France, we think a lot before launching and we rarely make a mistake.” He assures.

The fact remains that France is enrolling in digital technology, knowledge and data exploitation “Clear delay”, Admiral admits. In other areas, on the other hand, Nuggets like Quandella, which is building the first photonic quantum computer, are promising. “And in the case of quantum sensors, France is ahead.”, Welcomes the Director of AID. There are many ways to regain strength in world competition …