A European army's battlefield digitalization initiative has reached maturity with the wide-scale production of a networked command, control, communications and intelligence system for its mechanized forces. The equipment provides commanders with a near-real-time representation of the theater of operations and marks the location of all known allied and enemy forces on a digital interface. It also allows units such as infantry, artillery, armor and attack helicopters to share information to enhance situational awareness and reduce decision-making time.
The international community is pulling up alongside the U.S. armed forces in transformation efforts that will increase speed, agility and efficiency to defeat today's global threats. With a new command structure in place, NATO now moves on to the business of getting the doctrinal, educational and training processes into place so it is aligned with future U.S. concepts of operations and can better address the need for a more proactive approach.
China's procurement of additional modern Kilo-class submarines for the People's Liberation Army Navy, development of second-generation nuclear attack and ballistic missile submarines, and continued production of improved indigenous diesel boats present a threat to the U.S. Navy and other antisubmarine forces. However, these submarines may present an even larger challenge to Chinese crews and support assets.
A number of advanced unmanned aircraft systems are poised to enter service with military forces across Europe. This is the result of a continentwide investment in robotic aerial vehicles representing advances in current vehicles and new platforms. The aircraft all share a modular design approach for rapid mission customization and versatility.
Planners for the Israel Defense Forces have directed their infantry systems development program to focus on the growing challenges of urban warfare. The country's future combat soldier program is delivering both technological and conceptual solutions to provide advanced communications, navigation and lethality in an integrated package to the infantry.
The Swedish military is preparing the way for fielding its own soldier modernization program by 2010 with field trials beginning this year. In support of the effort, one company is developing its own soldier ensemble to meet Swedish requirements and to compete in the international market at both the system-of-systems and subsystems levels.
Sweden pursued its own path in defense procurement and development throughout the Cold War, keeping pace with the latest defense technology in military and industrial terms while remaining strictly nonaligned. Industrial consolidation in Sweden with the acquisition of Celsius by Saab, Linkoping, Sweden, was the catalyst for development of the Saab Warrior soldier ensemble.