On 24 February 2022, our world shuddered with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Directly adjacent to NATO’s borders, this treacherous act should be considered a wake-up call for recognizing the dangers and threats still facing our world, and in particular our Alliance. Already under the strain of the Covid-19 pandemic, albeit waning in the last few months, our nations face extraordinary circumstances with tremendous consequences for our daily lives. All these developments bear witness to the need for maintaining a high level of cooperation and collaboration between nations. At the same time, central to achieving success is the need to keep the competitive edge that will carry us with confidence into the future. Under this backdrop, the JAPCC continues to pursue its role as the steadfast advocate for the transformation of NATO Air and Space Power.
Opening this journal edition, the Chief of the Italian Air Force, Lieutenant General Goretti, provides us with his reflections, ambitions, goals, and reports on the next-generation evolution and integration of the Italian Air Force. The ‘Transformation & Capabilities’ section unfolds with the ‘AI-Human Symbiosis in Fighter Aircraft’ article, which explores the challenges deriving from an AI-controlled aircraft. Next, ‘High-Altitude Platform Systems’ advocates for the development of systems to operate in the so-called ‘Near Space’. The ‘Good News or Bad News?’ article stresses the need to frame a new generation of network-enabled weapons to maintain the ability to operate successfully in a multi-domain conflict. ‘Human-Machine Interface: An Evolutionary Necessity’ examines the design and development of next-generation military aircraft cockpits focused on the pilot’s true cognitive capabilities. Then, ‘Close Air Support C2’ argues for improved and digitized communication systems to achieve accurate, timely, and responsive CAS operations. ‘The Role of Aircraft Carriers in a Contested Age’ article promotes the Maritime domain as the principal stage of strategic competition in the future. Closing this section, the ‘Cluster Satellite Architectures’ article argues for increased research, development, and fielding of smaller cluster satellites.
Under the ‘Viewpoints’ section, the article ‘Defining the Swarm’ proffers an overarching definition which accommodates all interested stakeholders. The ‘Collective Defence in the Space Domain’ article discusses the threats that the Space domain faces today, the potential forms of an attack in Space, and the avenues that NATO has to respond. In the ‘Out of the Box’ section, the ‘The Next Small Step for Man in the Metaverse’ article reveals the ‘next big thing’, the Meta-domain environment. Completing this edition is a special featured article devoted to the initial air domain-focused observations on the conflict in Ukraine and based solely on open-source information.
Thank you for taking the time to read this edition of our Journal. Also, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all our contributing authors. We hope you will find it informative and stimulating, and we greatly appreciate any feedback you may have. I urge you to reach out and visit our website at www.japcc.org, like us on LinkedIn or Twitter, or email us at .
Air Commodore, NE AF
Assistant Director, JAPCC