Multi-domain operations: Like bringing Waze to the battlefield

In about a month?s time, the U.S. Air Force will host the first demonstration of its Advanced Battle Management System ? the networking concept that will serve as the technological backbone of the military?s shift to an advanced way of seeing the battlefield.

Through multi-domain operations, the military services aim to link together air, sea, land, space, cyber and information assets to better identify and eliminate threats. And while the idea could leave to revolutionary jump forward in awareness and information sharing for warfighters, the technology necessary to achieve it isn?t at all revolutionary, said Will Roper, Air Force?s assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.

?We?ll connect F-22s, F-35s, SpaceX Starlink satellites, Navy ships, Army soldiers,? Roper said at a recent Center for a New American Security discussion. ?We?re going to connect them in an internet-like style. What we?re really doing to enable multi-domain is finally building the internet in the Air Force. It?s all the stuff that you know. There are no show-stoppers here.?


Five Reasons The Air Force’s Digital Century Series Is Doomed To Failure

The Air Force has embarked on a revolutionary approach to aircraft, satellite and software development that it hopes will greatly compress the time required to bring major advances into the active force. Dubbed the ?Digital Century Series? after a burst of early Cold War innovation, the new approach could reduce the time required to develop new combat aircraft to five years, with additional years of time saved in developing military spacecraft and major software advances.

At least, that?s what the service?s charismatic chief weapons buyer, Dr. Will Roper, proposed at the Air Force Association?s annual air, space and cyber exposition last week. In an eloquent call for faster progress in fielding weapons, Roper talked about high-leverage development tools such as agile software generation, open architectures and digital engineering with the confidence that you would expect from an intellectual who earned his doctorate in mathematics at Oxford.