NATO’s Future Joint Air & Space Power (NFJASP)
“Air Power is an essential element in all military operations. It can be employed over the full spectrum of military operations, at any level, in support of national, joint or multinational operations and objectives. It can be brought to bear on an adversary’s political, military, economic, information or social system structures simultaneously or separately, and it can be coordinated with land and maritime surface and sub-surface and space operations or employed independently”.
Since the end of the Cold War, NATO and NATO Nations independently have made massive efforts to transform their military outlook away from a defensive territorial posture and towards the expeditionary capability needed to meet the military needs of today’s changing Strategic Environment. Technological advances in communications and weapons capabilities continue profoundly to affect the way military forces do their business. It is essential that military forces not only keep pace with these changes but also look forward to ensure that we continue to take the very best possible advantage from limited military resources. In References A-F, the NATO Alliance has set out its purposes and tasks, as well as the means that are to be used to achieve Alliance objectives. To keep pace, there is an urgent need to examine the part that NATO Air and Space (A&S) Power will play in the accomplishment of those objectives and identify how that future might unfurl.
The aim of this paper is to examine the role NATO Joint A&S Power will play in future operations. The paper focuses upon potential capability gaps and recommends actions to overcome them.
This paper examines the part NATO A&S Power will play in the future Strategic Environment, in light of the Transformation initiatives by ACT and it looks specifically at Command of A&S in network-enabled warfare. The paper also examines future A&S capabilities and technological advances in Space, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and multi-role initiatives. Finally, the paper recommends actions which can be taken now and would optimise the effectiveness of A&S Power over the next 10-15 years. This document presents an informed view of how the future might develop; its conclusions and recommendations represent, therefore, more trends than hard goals and will require frequent reappraisal to ensure any deductions and assertions remain broadly aligned to actual developments. To this end, it should be reassessed as necessary.