In a world of uncertainty and emerging threats around the globe, disruptive technology will be a critical factor in the success of future Army operations, a panel of military and industry leaders said Jan. 14.
Speaking at an Association of the U.S. Army Hot Topic themed "Army Aviation: An Asymmetric Maneuver Advantage for the Nation," Maj. Gen. John Wharton said, "Disruptive technologies significantly affect doctrine and effectively reshape the way we do business."
Wharton, the commanding general of U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, said in the future, the Army is looking at advanced affordable turbine engines and tactical unmanned aircraft systems, among other technologies.
Col. Thomas von Eschenbach, director, Capability Development and Integration Directorate, said that innovation does not come from technology alone – it means integration of doctrine, organizational design, and improvements in training.
He also emphasized the importance of future vertical lift (FVL), saying that this technology will give Army aviation units "tactical capabilities at strategic distances."
The feasability of a quick turnaround time is key when considering new disruptive technologies, said Col. Rich Koucheravy, USA, Ret., deputy director of corporate business development operations, Lockheed Martin.
Adding, "Without quick iterations during the development process, it’s hard to find additional opportunities" to increase effectiveness and efficiency.
From the perspective of the end user, it comes down to survival, lethality, and measureable capabilities, said CW5 Joseph Roland, Army aviation standardization officer, deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7.
Communication with users throughout the process is also important. "[As the users] we have to ‘sync’ early on, so we can train on how to be effective warfighters, rather than learning new technology," Roland said.
This AUSA Institute of Land Warfare Hot Topic was sponsored by Bell Helicopter, an AUSA sustaining member.