The aim of this project is to provide an independent analysis of how the operating battlefield environment of 2035 and beyond could shape the Rotorcraft capability in support of NATO operations.
To deliver Air Power to the Alliance, AIRCOM faces challenges in the current international environment which require flexible solutions from limited resources. For enhancing its mission, one of the identified capabilities is the reactivation of the Aircraft Cross Servicing (ACS) program. The current ACS program was inactivated in 2007. The ACS concept presents an opportunity to increase flexibility and acts as a force enabler for NATO air forces.
CAS evolution has been dependent on technological developments and it will surely continue to evolve as technology improves. However, the means in which the Air Force will support all three services will require solutions and methods more than purely technological improvements. The aim of this project is to provide recommendations on how the CAS and Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) communities should adapt and leverage emerging capabilities to meet future operational requirements(using the SFA, FFAO and JAPS analyses as a baseline) in the long term (defined for this study as 10-15 years).
The NATO Helicopter Inter-Service Work Group (HISWG) consist of three panels and is custodian of several helicopter STANAGS. The Helicopter Under- Slung Load (HUSLE) panel is the subject matter expert group that discusses USL standardization within NATO. The HUSLE panel is custodian of STANAG 2445 ‘Criteria for the Clearance of Helicopter Underslung Load Equipment (HUSLE) and Underslung Loads (USL)’. This STANAG defines the minimum criteria for the clearance, rigging and lifting of helicopter underslung loads and permits interoperability. At the present time national agencies produce load clearances with STANAG 2445 as the overarching NATO document but still nations do not accept clearances from other nations. NATO interoperability is severely hampered when nations do not accept other nations helicopter USL.
A highly evolved and mature C2 network will enable forms of self-organization/synchronization of the cooperative players/elements (not necessarily equal or equivalent) that interact throughout the battlespace. This more advanced C2 network will permit new forms of information transfer among different platforms that display information from different sensors and employ different weapons.
This study will examine one of the most serious threats against Western airpower that we now face – the disinformation campaigns carried out against NATO and coalition forces in campaigns in Afghanistan and Libya that specifically characterize airpower as an inhumane and indiscriminate weapon of war. In fighting irregular non-state forces (and even forces in state on state war) groups and nations routinely and deliberately exaggerate the civilian casualties of aerial bombing, or even make false claims, to claim the propaganda advantage of victimhood (discussed in the book Airpower and Small Wars).