It is our great pleasure to present the 24th Edition of the JAPCC Journal. A prominent theme permeating this journal is the significance of the Joint Strike Fighter arriving in many NATO Allies’ national forces. Starting off, Major General Max A. L. T. Nielsen, the Danish Air Chief, provides us his perspective on the unprecedented potential of the F-35 and the challenge of developing Tactics, Techniques & Procedures to fully exploit its 5th generation capabilities in a system of systems with 4th generation aircraft that will remain widely in service. This is a capability that is going to truly transform the way NATO air power is employed across all domains including space and via cyber.
Another transformational capability is hypersonic flight. Effective, reliable and efficient hypersonic aviation presents amazing opportunities. A comprehensive article from the NATO Science and Technology Office gives a view into the current state of this technology. Following this theme of future capabilities is the first in a series of three articles about future rotorcraft and the operating environment we expect to see for them in 2035. For a comprehensive look into this issue, the JAPCC has established a Rotary Wing Focus Group that includes rotary wing experts from land and maritime forces in addition to Air Force SMEs on Personnel Recovery, Special Operations, Attack and Airlift.
Shifting gears, two articles address cutting-edge training to improve the interoperability and effectiveness of NATO forces. First, the Distributed Training Operations Centre and the growing efficacy of Live-Virtual-Constructive training is a cost-effective solution to keep NATO forces current, qualified, and ready to operate cooperatively in a conflict. Next, JAPCC has developed a new program for training and exercising NATO planners in the coordination of Air-to-Air Refuelling clearances between nations, based on lessons learned in Operation Unified Protector. This is a major step in the development of non-US AAR capacity across NATO, and both of these programs are significant force multipliers for the Alliance.
Returning to our 5th Generation theme, we have European and American perspectives on the advent of 5th generation air combat and the F-35, followed by a JAPCC perspective on the broader question of how 5th generation aircraft will be integrated into the coming networked Command & Control (C2) environment. Two additional viewpoints explore the use of training and technology to improve rotary wing safety in brownout conditions, and the integration of new Maritime Patrol Aircraft capabilities into networked C2 for better Anti-Submarine Warfare and Detection and Monitoring. Wrapping up this issue are a trio of outside the box articles on the growth of Close Air Support as an air force mission area, new threats and considerations for hybrid warfare, and the Competence Centre for Surface-Based Air and Missile Defence.
We thank you for taking the time to read this edition of our Journal, and thank our authors for their insightful contributions to what we hope you find to be an educational and thought-provoking issue. We strongly encourage our readers to share their thoughts as they go forth and advocate for air power, and to contact us at www.japcc.org, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or Linkedln to tell us what they think. Good Reading!
Tod D. Wolters
General, US AF