- Reaction score
If the things that are flying around the front battlespace are unmanned the Airspace coordination isn't a big issue and folks should be happy to leave things to the "big sky, little bullet" system of non-management. Its once you start operating manned aircraft in shared space that things become interesting. One should note, however, that the maximum ordinate for artillery can be pretty damn high which means that manned (or even very expensive unmanned systems) need to be watched for.Airspace isn’t something that Platoons or Companies or even Battalions control.
All of the theory behind loitering munitions seem to ignore the fact that there will be rockets, tube arty and potentially AC using that air space.
I find this to be the biggest issue when we discuss how all these guided systems will be distributed and used throughout the bde/division. It's not so much the launchers - that's principally a range issue - but its the question of who controls these things vis a vis target acquisition and engagement. And that can change dramatically as between reconnaissance/cavalry forces and line infantry.I’ve been too a number events that industry players are crowing about capabilities— but when you ask them who controls the munitions they generally don’t have a solid grasp — until you get to the bigger players with their much larger systems that are designed to be used by Div+ level arty.
Why I keep seeing much of this as an artillery function, I don't do it so much from a rice bowl viewpoint, but by virtue of the fact that artillery is already the prime integrator of supporting fires on the battlefield. It increased the number of the FOO parties, their establishments and the skill levels required by its members to cater to a better simultaneous management of both guns and air resources. I see loitering munitions (the bigger ones) as a capability that falls between those traditional guns and traditional close air support. In many ways, the loitering munitions are just a more survivable Predator which became a workhorse for us in Afghanistan.
There's a big difference in fighting the deep battle and the close one. We need to be configured for both and become good at it.