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Military Technology

Land Force Air And
Missile Defence
Dealing With The Complexities
Of Future Warfighting
Lieutenant Colonel Inger Lawes

Abstract
In the future, land force commanders will need to manage the use of airspace to enable multidimensional manoeuvre—coordinating joint and coalition assets and denying adversaries.
Battlespace management, in an era of uninhabited and automated systems, is becoming increasingly complex. The author argues for the development of a ‘land force air and missile defence’ (LFAMD) to enhance friendly capability and defeat conventional and asymmetrical enemy manoeuvre.

Introduction

T

he Australian Defence Force (ADF) Future Warfighting concept asserts that
‘the challenges of complex environments reinforce our view that warfare is multi-dimensional.’ 1 In future warfare, because of the presence of both conventional and asymmetric air threats, air and missile defence will become an essential capability in enabling the land force to conduct multi-dimensional manoeuvre.

Australian Army Journal • Volume III, Number 2 • page 109

Military Technology • Lieutenant Colonel Inger Lawes

The Future Land Operating Concept Complex Warfighting describes the contemporary operational environment in terms of defining characteristics such as complex physical, human and informational terrain and urban environments, increased threat diversity, diffusion and lethality. These characteristics necessarily impose a broader spectrum of challenges, increase unpredictability and ultimately give rise to ambiguous and asymmetric threats, including terrorism. 2
‘Airspace’ is the third dimension of the operational environment. Within the
Complex Warfighting scenario, airspace appears much more complex in terms of both the air threat and the demands of airspace battle management. Future adversaries are unlikely to rely exclusively on conventional air power. Using a diverse mix of asymmetric and conventional air power, adversary groups will seek to exploit real or perceived weaknesses conventionally, while
… adversary groups will seek selectively attempting to counter friendly strengths asymmetrically. Further, as to exploit real or perceived friendly airspace use increases, so the weaknesses conventionally, demands and complexity of airspace battle while selectively attempting management increase commensurately.
I have divided this discussion of the to directly counter friendly complexity of future airspace into two parts. strengths asymmetrically.
The first part analyses the airspace environment of twenty-first century conflict so as to establish its impact on the future Army.
This analysis will also incorporate the identification of possible future capability needs.
The second part of my discussion will focus on addressing the impact of twenty-first century conflict, in particular the airspace dimension, by providing an overview of the land force air and missile defence system in terms of basic system attributes. I intend then to define an operational concept for land force air and missile defence.

The complexity of future airspace: the importance of the third dimension
In order to create the necessary conditions for multi-dimensional manoeuvre, the land force will require a significant volume of airspace that is free from adversary interference. 3 Control of the air is a prerequisite to the prosecution of successful ground operations and requires joint layered effects. The land force commander will be required to deny airspace to the adversary within his tactical area of responsibility while exploiting the third dimension to enable his own freedom of manoeuvre. To meet these twin requirements, the land force will need to contribute to the generation of joint layered effects to defeat the air threat while effectively managing friendly airspace.

page 110 • Volume III, Number 2 • Australian Army Journal

Land Force Air And Missile Defence

The increasing complexity of the air threat
Air power, of any level of sophistication, is a significant force multiplier because it has the ability to deliver a lethal effect disproportionate to the size of the force committed. The combined use of aerial sensors, weapons and delivery platforms has the capacity to quickly overwhelm the land force commander, reduce his situational awareness and inflict significant casualties.
The land force
Confronted by a technologically superior force capable of generating the conditions for commander will be air supremacy, adversaries will no longer be required to deny airspace able to rely on strictly conventional air power to the adversary … such as fixed and rotary wing aircraft. 4 As a result, adversary groups may resort to the use of adaptable strategies aimed at avoiding direct confrontation and that seek to counter, rather than match, superior air power capabilities. These strategies may involve the use of terrorism, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAV), air-launched stand-off weapons
(SOW), ground-launched precision rockets, artillery and mortars. 5
Adversary groups, driven by the need to overcome a mismatch in capabilities and exploit the strategic defeat threshold of Western powers, are increasingly turning to the use of uninhabited systems, in particular cruise missiles and UAVs. 6 Cost is a further driver of this trend. 7 For the price of a single new fighter aircraft, it is possible to obtain a significant number of cruise missiles and UAVs, and these weapons systems are increasingly available on the world market. 8 Even rudimentary versions of these systems pose a significant danger to the deployed land force. UAVs optimised for surveillance and target acquisition can detect land force operations and provide the basis for near real-time
For the price of a single new targeting. 9 Helicopters also pose a significant threat to the land force, given that they fighter aircraft, it is possible are relatively cheap and their low-level flight to obtain a significant characteristics make them capable of number of cruise missiles evading detection by fighters and long-range tactical radars. In addition, helicopters have and UAVs … the ability to deliver SOW optimised for the defeat of manoeuvre platforms.

Australian Army Journal • Volume III, Number 2 • page 111

Military Technology • Lieutenant Colonel Inger Lawes

Fixed wing aircraft also continue to evolve as highly capable weapons systems.
However, these aircraft are expensive and their cost will prevent many actors from acquiring the latest generation of fixed wing aircraft. Despite this, the comparative low cost and abundance of second-hand fixed wing aircraft means that they cannot be discounted as a threat. 10

The increasing complexity of airspace battle management
There is no doubt that effective airspace use contributes to success in complex warfighting. Within the land force commander’s airspace, a high concentration of friendly weapons systems and aerial vehicles—with overlapping operating envelopes and flight profiles—must operate freely so as to realise their maximum combat effectiveness without interfering with one another.
Airspace battle management aims to maximise force effectiveness without hindering the combat power of
… effective airspace any friendly element. 11 use contributes to
The airspace battle management system comprises the control, coordination, integration, and regulasuccess in complex tion of the use of airspace of defined dimensions. It warfighting. also provides for identification of all airspace users.
Coordination is that degree of authority necessary to achieve effective, efficient, and flexible use of airspace.
Through integration, requirements for the use of this airspace are consolidated to achieve a common objective. Through regulation, activities within this airspace are supervised to prevent real-time conflict among the various airspace users while achieving the necessary flexibility to ensure the greatest combat effectiveness. Identification ensures timely engagement of the air threat while reducing the potential for fratricide.
The term ‘battlespace’ recognises the inherent third dimension of modern warfare. The Complex Warfighting force multipliers—versatility, agility and orchestration—describe the characteristics of successful combat operations. 12 These three force multipliers—particularly orchestration—require airspace control and an effective airspace battle management system. 13
Orchestration is the ability to synchronise and coordinate effects to achieve precise, discriminate application of force. Orchestration occurs within the Army through battle grouping into combined arms teams. It also occurs within the
ADF and with other government agencies through joint inter-agency task forces.
Orchestration with coalition partners occurs through combined joint task forces. 14

page 112 • Volume III, Number 2 • Australian Army Journal

Land Force Air And Missile Defence

Airspace battle management aims to maximise the effectiveness of joint force assets by ensuring the concurrent employment of airspace users, orchestrated in time, space, and purpose to produce maximum combat power at the decisive point.
As armed reconnaissance helicopters, additional troop lift helicopters and tactical
UAVs are delivered, the airspace below 15 000 feet will become increasingly frenetic as users compete for space. Surface-to-surface offensive support adds to the complexity of this battlespace. As friendly airspace user requirements increase and in the absence of the means of near-time positive control, the land force
Airspace battle commander will find it more difficult to exploit the third dimension and orchestrate effects. management aims…
The land force commander will be confronted to produce maximum with the need to control airspace use and, at the same combat power at the time, orchestrate effects. Orchestration and control of friendly airspace use will become more complex decisive point. as the Army seeks to reduce reaction time through the introduction of networked land systems.

Increasing airspace complexity—the impact on Army
As indicated earlier, the third dimension of the operational environment will have a number of key impacts. I intend to examine each of these key impacts in turn. The first of these concerns multi-dimensional manoeuvre.
To affect multi-dimensional manoeuvre, the land force commander will require a significant volume of airspace that is free from adversary interference. To achieve this, the commander needs land force systems that are capable of denying the adversary entry to a significant volume of airspace, yet allow friendly forces freedom of manoeuvre.
In the face of friendly air supremacy, the adversary is forced to turn to a diffuse mix of asymmetric and conventional air power as a counter. Adversaries may come to rely more heavily on uninhabited air power such as cruise missiles, UAV and
SOW. The relative threat posed to the land force by fixed and rotary wing aircraft is decreasing but will not disappear completely. An evolving air threat defines the need for the land force to be protected from an eventual diverse and complex air threat that will increasingly rely on uninhabited platforms.
Using adaptable strategies, the adversary may seek to avoid direct confrontation and counter, rather than match, superior air power capabilities. This will generate the need for modular and versatile land force systems with the agility to detect, identify and defeat air threats of varying complexity from asymmetric terrorism to conventional fixed wing aircraft.

Australian Army Journal • Volume III, Number 2 • page 113

Military Technology • Lieutenant Colonel Inger Lawes

As friendly airspace use intensifies, so the demands and complexity of airspace battle management increase. In order to orchestrate effects, the land force commander will aim to exploit the third dimension. Further to this, and just as importantly, he will seek to deny the adversary use of the third dimension.
Consequently, a land force airspace battle management system capable of near realtime automated airspace control, coordination and integration will be needed in the very near future.

Existing capability
By 2014, the ADF air defence system (AADS) will comprise interdependent elements of intelligence, long- and short-range surveillance sensors (including airborne early warning and control aircraft, tactical air defence and over-the-horizon radars), fixed and mobile communication and control centres, fighter aircraft, anti-air warfare ships and ground-based air defence
(GBAD) systems.
… a land force airspace battle
The Army’s GBAD capability is based management system capable on the RBS-70 man-packable shortof near real-time automated range air defence weapon system. 15 The airspace control, coordination
RBS-70 has a range of 8 kilometres and a maximum ceiling of 15 000 feet and and integration will be needed is optimised for the defence of ‘points’ in the very near future. against helicopters and fixed wing aircraft delivering conventional unguided ordnance at low level. 16 The RBS-70 capability includes organic locally networked early warning sensors, centralised control and threat assessment, weapon cueing and a night engagement capability. The RBS70, however, is not capable of sharing target tracks or threat assessment with other elements of AADS in near real time.

Dealing with the future complexity of airspace: land force air and missile defence—an overview
In order to deal effectively with the complexity of future airspace, I propose that the Army acquire a new capability which I have termed ‘land force air and missile defence’ (LFAMD). I would envisage LFAMD as an evolution of the existing GBAD capability. The LFAMD capability would combine the elements of surveillance, identification, response, and command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I). The first order effect of the LFAMD capability would be to deter

page 114 • Volume III, Number 2 • Australian Army Journal

Land Force Air And Missile Defence

or counter violation of the deployed task force, battlegroup or combat team’s airspace. LFAMD capability second order effects would include, but not be limited to, contributing to three-dimensional situational awareness and friendly airspace battle management. Beyond generating these effects, the LFAMD capability will need to be an essential and integral component of the AADS and would operate independently or in conjunction with other air
… I propose that the Army missile defence weapons. The effectiveness of the LFAMD capability would be dependent acquire a new capability on the near real-time integration of surveilwhich I have termed lance, response and C4I. The basic attributes
‘land force air and missile of the proposed LFAMD capability are illustrated in figure 1. defence’ (LFAMD).
The LFAMD capability, as I propose it, is to be a fully distributed network of three functional components: C4I, sensors, and response. Each component is capable of being ‘plugged’ into the network at any point, allowing the LFAMD capability the requisite flexibility to support the entire spectrum of operations. The backbone of the LFAMD capability will be the C4I

Coalition data net
Joint Sensors
AADS Data Net
Joint C2
Component

LFAMD C41
Component
Fire Control Net

Joint Response
Component
Army C2
LFAMD
Response
Component 1

LFAMD
Response
Component 2

LFAMD
Sensor
Component

Army

Joint

Figure 1. LFAMD capability basic attributes

Australian Army Journal • Volume III, Number 2 • page 115

Military Technology • Lieutenant Colonel Inger Lawes

system. The purpose of the C4I element of the LFAMD is to integrate all means of defence against an identified threat in the most efficient and effective manner, while also safeguarding and providing flexibility for the movement of friendly air assets.
The C4I element of the LFAMD capability provides the airspace situational awareness that empowers the land component commander to shape, control, and coordinate airspace and set conditions for the fight. It comprises command support, tactical data and air picture systems that fuse data from various sources to provide a near realtime link between the command and
… airspace situational control (C2), sensor and response functions. The C4I element will be capable of awareness … empowers the conducting positive near real-time airspace land component commander battle management to control, coordinate to shape, control, and and orchestrate friendly airspace users.
The critical function of the LFAMD coordinate airspace and set
C4I system is to effectively and efficiently conditions for the fight. coordinate a response to defeat the air threat. The C4I system controls one or more distributed networks, and is itself tied into the joint or coalition air defence C2 network. The C4I system will receive the recognised air picture from the joint or coalition air defence C2 network and distribute it to the land force.
The C4I system should be capable of networking and fusing data from a number of sensors, producing a localised air picture. This system will be flexible and have the ability to sustain damage or loss of elements of its functionality without catastrophic loss of performance. Secure, near real‑time, digital data transfer is essential to the
C4I element of LFAMD.
The control function of the C4I element will evolve to allow cooperative engagements. Targets evaluated by sensors and target allocation systems in one area of the battlespace may be allocated to a response element in another area of the battlespace or the response element of another Service and vice versa. This may include third party targeting through airborne early warning and control systems or maritime assets.
The C4I element is the backbone of the requisite LFAMD system: it is the essential factor that enables network centric warfare. Identification and target allocation will be achieved through electronic, electro‑optic, electronic support, third party information or by a combination of these means. Identification solutions will include cooperative systems and non‑cooperative target recognition systems such as acoustic recognition or analysis of radar signature.

page 116 • Volume III, Number 2 • Australian Army Journal

Land Force Air And Missile Defence

LFAMD sensors will perform specific surveillance, detection and tracking functions. LFAMD sensors will be required to detect a variety of high‑speed, manoeuvring, low radar cross-section and stealthy targets in all environmental extremes. LFAMD sensors will be distributed and modular in design. These sensors will be capable of sufficient elevation to operate clear of close screening, thus enhancing deployment flexibility and aiding survivability. Use of multiple active and passive sensors will create functional redundancy, provide spectral diversity and further improve survivability.
For effective control of engagements beyond visual range, LFAMD sensors will require three-dimensional active sensors. If missiles are used as a response option, these sensors may need to supply updated target data to the missile, post-launch.
The systems architecture will be such that the LFAMD capability will have the capacity to operate as part of an integrated system. In practical terms, this means the LFAMD capability will be able to receive secure digital air and missile defence information while itself contributing to a common air defence picture. Sensors used by the LFAMD capability will operate independently, as an organic component of a response option, or a combination of both. LFAMD capability sensors will be highly mobile. Those operating in support of manoeuvre forces will have commensurate protection and mobility.
The LFAMD response allows the capability to strike the air threat. The diversity of the air threat described earlier means that a single response option is unlikely to be capable of dealing with the entire threat spectrum. Separate, yet complementary, response elements are required. An active beyond-visual-range response option will be required to strike air threats before they deliver SOW or conduct surveillance of the land force. The terminal guidance of these systems also increases the likelihood of defeating cruise missiles. A protected and mobile response option is also required to provide close protection to manoeuvre platforms from late unmasking attack helicopters and the UAV threat. This response option will need to be automated to facilitate rapid engagement.

Operational concept
The operational concept envisages the LFAMD capability as a modular and networked
C4I, sensor, and response component, optimised for versatility, agility and orchestration. The LFAMD capability will be enabled by layered defence relying on employing surveillance, C2 and response systems in concentric overlapping zones, centred on the area to be protected, and focused (whenever possible) on the direction of the threat. Each element of a layered system has its strengths and weaknesses. However, the sum of the individual elements determines the overall effectiveness of the air defence system. In order to achieve a coherent defence, all system elements must be appropriately integrated. The LFAMD operational concept is illustrated in figure 2.

Australian Army Journal • Volume III, Number 2 • page 117

Military Technology • Lieutenant Colonel Inger Lawes

Deployment options
Modular and networked C4I, sensor, and response components will enable the
LFAMD capability to be tailored to deployment options spanning the entire conflict spectrum. Indicative deployment options include, in particular, military operations other than conventional war (MOOCW). In MOOCW, the LFAMD capability will be deployable to deliver airspace battle management, surveillance and intelligence collection through the use of C4I and sensor components. The LFAMD capability also has the potential to become a crucial element in protecting sovereign Australian territory (PSAT). Within PSAT, the LFAMD capability will be deployable to provide layered air missile defence of vital assets through the use of C4I, sensors, and response components.
LFAMD will also possess the ability to contribute to coalition operations worldwide (CCOW). Modular LFAMD capability components will have the versatility to be deployed to support coalition operations in several combinations: airspace battle management, surveillance and response components; airspace battle management component only; surveillance component only; response component only; or any other combination. Effective realisation of these deployment options will require high levels of interoperability with ABCA armies. 17
Upper

Vertical Defence in Depth

Lower

Inner Tier

Outer Tier

Horizontal Defence in Depth

Figure 2. LFAMD operational concept

page 118 • Volume III, Number 2 • Australian Army Journal

Land Force Air And Missile Defence

Conclusion
This discussion has examined the importance of the ‘third dimension’ of the battlespace from the perspective of the land force commander and argued the requirement for an air and missile defence system. My primary contention is that the land force commander will be required to deny airspace to the adversary within his tactical area of responsibility while exploiting the third dimension to enable his own freedom of manoeuvre. Analysis of the future air threat shows that adversary groups, driven by the need to overcome a mismatch in capabilities and exploit the strategic defeat threshold of Western powers, are exhibiting a clear trend towards the use of uninhabited systems, in particular cruise missiles and UAVs.
Effective airspace use will clearly contribute to success in complex warfighting.
Within the land force commander’s airspace, there will be a high concentration of friendly weapons systems and aerial vehicles with overlapping operating envelopes and flight profiles, all of which must be free to realise their maximum combat effectiveness without interfering with one another. The land force commander in the future battlespace will be confronted with the need to control airspace use and orchestrate effects. Orchestration and control of friendly airspace will become more complex as the Army seeks to reduce reaction time through the introduction of networked land systems.

Endnotes
1
2
3
4

Australian Army, Complex Warfighting (Future Land Operational Concept), Army
Headquarters, Canberra, 2003, p. 8.
Ibid., p. 9.
The ‘2020 Objective Force’ manoeuvre paper defines the battlespace as being about
250 square kilometres.
NATO defines ‘air supremacy’ as the condition in which ‘the enemy air force is incapable of effective interference. Through the complete destruction of the enemy air forces, this condition is the ultimate goal of an air campaign. Under the condition of air supremacy, the air commander employs all of his aircraft at will [emphasis added].’
It should be noted that the term ‘air supremacy’ does not embrace control of air threats that may be ground launched or controlled, such as, but not limited to, cruise missiles and uninhabited aerial vehicles.

Australian Army Journal • Volume III, Number 2 • page 119

Military Technology • Lieutenant Colonel Inger Lawes

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Coalition enjoyed overwhelming air supremacy.
This, however, did not prevent the Iraqi Army from launching Seersucker antishipping cruise missiles against US Army and Marine ground forces. On 28 March
2003 the forward elements of the 3rd Infantry Division were subjected to surveillance overflight by ultralight aircraft. See US Department of the Army, 32nd Army Air
Missile Defence Command After Action Review, 2004, pp. 45–7.
6 Dennis M. Gormley, ‘Missile Defence Myopia: Lessons from the Iraq War’, Survival,
Vol. 45, No. 4, Winter 2003/2004, pp. 61–86.
7 The complex warfighting scenario envisages a battlespace in which there are numerous different actors, and this diversity creates asymmetry—a mismatch of capabilities, cultures, technology, objectives, or will. Asymmetry, in turn, exploits a mismatch in ‘defeat threshold’—how much one must damage a force to defeat it.
Western forces tend to have high tactical defeat thresholds: they are difficult to defeat in battle. However, their strategic defeat threshold may be lower than their tactical threshold—they may be vulnerable to changes in public opinion, political will and
(perceived or actual) casualty aversion. The use of Scud tactical ballistic missiles against Israel is an example of this.
8 See Dennis Gormley and Richard Speier, ‘Controlling Unmanned Air Vehicles: New
Challenges’, Report by the Non-Proliferation Education Center, March 19, 2003.
9 Single and joint service experimentation conducted in 2003 demonstrated that the ADF does not have an effective counter to the UAV threat. In 2004, US Army experimentation showed that the deployment of ground-based air defence (GBAD) into an area of operations reduced hostile UAV detection of friendly assets by 2063%
(12 547 detections without GBAD deployed verses 608 detections with GBAD deployed). 10 Several aviation brokers, such as Star Avia, offer a variety of ex-Eastern Bloc aircraft for sale. See . GobalPlaneSales.com is an Internet search engine listing over 120 used military aircraft for sale. Aircraft type range from 1977 Mirage F1 (ex-Jordan) to 1992 S-70 Black Hawk. See
.
11 The complexity of airspace battle management is clearly illustrated in the US experience during Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Patriot systems averaged 100 tracks on each sensor system at all times for the duration of the conflict. The challenge was to separate Iraqi tactical ballistic missile tracks from friendly air movements. Adding this complexity, US air missile defence units reported an 80% failure rate on coalition aircraft identification friend or foe (IFF) transponders due to system faults and masking.
12 Australian Army, Complex Warfighting, p. 19.
5

page 120 • Volume III, Number 2 • Australian Army Journal

Land Force Air And Missile Defence

13 Airspace control should not be confused with ‘control of the air’. Control of the air refers to one of the roles of aerospace power and is the fundamental aim of air defence. Airspace battle management, however, does not rely on control of the air.
See Australian Defence Force, ADDP 3. 3, Aerospace Battle Management, Defence
Publishing Service, 2003, pp. 1–4.
14 Australian Army, Complex Warfighting, p. 19.
15 The Rapier system retires in December 2005.
16 A ‘point’ is approximately one square kilometre.
17 The ABCA comprises Australia, Britain, Canada and America.

The Author
Lieutenant Colonel Inger Lawes completed his basic recruit training in April 1982. He was allocated to the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery and, following initial employment training, was posted to the 16th Air Defence Regiment where he held a variety of regimental appointments. He served as an instructor at Battle Wing, Land Warfare
Centre, and was commissioned in 1997. Lieutenant Colonel Lawes has held instructional appointments at the School of Artillery and the Royal Military College, Duntroon, and saw operational service with the United Nations in East Timor. He was appointed Staff Officer
Concepts at the Force Development Group, Land Warfare Development Centre, where he served from 2002 to 2004. Lieutenant Colonel Lawes is a graduate of the Australian
Command and Staff College, holds a Masters Degree in management, and is currently
Commanding Officer of the 16th Air Defence Regiment. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1991.

Australian Army Journal • Volume III, Number 2 • page 121…...

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