Joint Air & Space Power Conference 2020 Read Ahead

Moderator’s Foreword

 June 2020

Esteemed Colleagues,

When our way of life is threatened, we look to science and technology to save us. This is as true of our most current crisis – the Covid-19 pandemic – as it was of other global threats in the past – wars, famines, expansionist regimes and so on.

The few paragraphs I have written here will take you (very approximately) 2.5 minutes to read. The read ahead material that my words precede will, I am sure, take you considerably longer. However, the enforced delay to the conference does allow you the extra time to do this. I do urge you to invest this time – it is a wise investment, in more ways than one.

This read ahead material represents the largest ever submission of articles from air and space power experts worldwide to a JAPCC publication. Many of these have been specially written for this year’s Joint Air and Space Power Conference. As you read and critically appraise the articles, you will want to make notes and (perhaps furiously!) underline and highlight those parts that you take issue with. Please do this! I well remember a professor who exhorted her students (myself included) to personalise their set texts by scribbling notes in every available blank space. Her assertion was that, only by doing this, could we engage sufficiently with the material and make it our own.

As a young man (so many years ago now!) one of my favourite UK television programmes was called Tomorrow’s World. During the 1970s, it attracted 10 million viewers a week and focused on the science and technology that we could look forward to transforming our lives for the better in the future. The final panel of the conference attempts to do something similar in terms of technological crystal ball gazing. As I still do not have my own personal jet-pack, I tend to treat any predictions for the future with healthy scepticism. I am writing this in late May 2020 and I would be very brave (some might say foolish!) to even try and predict what will be happening in the world as the conference takes place in December.

The only thing we can predict with any confidence is that bad things will happen. Unfortunately, we are not very good at saying what those bad things might be or exactly when they might happen. We must, therefore, set the conditions (and, above all, make the necessary investments) to ensure that we can pre-empt and prevent as many bad things from happening as possible. But for the bad things that do still leak through – Covid-19, for example – we have to remain agile and adaptive enough to first buy the time to analyse them before we can, ultimately and hopefully, defeat them. In addition to money, this requires clever, creative people who can work together to share, adapt and create new ideas and new solutions.

The four panels of the 2020 JAPCC conference cover a lot of ground, and air, and space for that matter – all of it completely fascinating. However, if you let the conference become no more than a collection of experts telling you what they think, then you risk wasting a lot of what the conference is really about. Above all, the JAPCC conference is a forum for debating and exchanging views with the ultimate aim of creating new ideas and knowledge. We should all contribute to that.

I have been part of many JAPCC conferences now, both as a JAPCC SME when I wore RAF uniform and as a civilian. One of the great things about the JAPCC conference is that, whilst we hear from the smart people on the platform, we also get to hear from some of the smartest other people in the room. By which I mean those of you sitting further back in the auditorium – and with (relatively) less in the way of gold braid on your hats and jackets. I am very aware that one of my most important roles as the moderator is to ensure that there is sufficient time to hear from you in the discussions that follow each panel. I think you will find that this year’s agenda and format lends itself nicely to that increased audience participation. In the meantime, if as you read and think critically about the articles within you are moved to respond immediately, please reach out to me or to the JAPCC directly at .

I would like to conclude by thanking the JAPCC for inviting me back as Moderator for their conference again this year. This is, in no small part, due to the positive feedback from many of you who attended in 2019. So, thank you to you all and I look forward to meeting, and hearing from many of you, in December.

Bruce Hargrave BSc MBA
Independent Air and Space Power Consultant

Content Navigation
Wing Commander (ret.)

Bruce Hargrave is an independent Air and Space Power Adviser based in Lincolnshire in the UK. He served for 28 years as a navigator in the RAF, principally in the ISTAR Maritime Patrol role, flying on the Nimrod MR2. He also served on exchange for a tour with the Royal Navy with 820 NAS, flying as observer (RN-speak for navigator/WSO) on the Sea King Mk6 helicopter.

Bruce’s penultimate tour with the RAF was in Germany with the JAPCC. He retired from the RAF in 2013 to take up the post of Postgraduate Military Programmes Leader at the University of Lincoln where (among other things) he introduced the successful MSc programme – Innovation in ISR.

Bruce left the university in 2020 to pursue his dream of becoming a professional photographer. He has his own commercial photography studio in Lincoln, but his first love is wildlife photography. He spent six weeks in South Africa in 2022 and time in the Maasai Mara in Kenya in 2023. Back in the UK he installed and maintains the cameras that stream live footage from the peregrine falcon nesting site on Lincoln cathedral. He also works there in his (increasingly rare) spare time as volunteer team leader for peregrine-related guided tours where the 338 stairs to the top of the central bell tower help to maintain his fitness levels.

Information provided is current as of August 2023

Essays in this Read Ahead


Conflict Termination Criteria

Defining How to Win Wars in Space


Commercial Small Satellite Constellation in Low Earth Orbit

Cyber Threats to Space Systems

Current Risks and the Role of NATO

Space Traffic Management

Impact of Large Constellations on Military Operations in Space

Assured Access to Space

Strengthening NATO’s Space Deterrence Strategy

Space Situational Awareness

The Challenges of Space Security Policy in Poland

Space Panel Introduction

NATO’s Newest Recognized Operational Domain

Space Connectivity for Air Combat 2040

When Geopolitics Meets Technologies

Space Development and Changes on Traditional Power’s Balance

Applied-Field Magnetoplasmadynamic Thrusters

Securing and Unlocking Future Military Space Operations

Competing in the Information Environment

DARPA Tiles Together a Vision of Mosaic Warfare

Banking on Cost-effective Complexity to Overwhelm Adversaries

SACT’s Address NICC Warsaw

Gaining Competitive Advantage in the Gray Zone

Denial of Spectrum Denial

NATO’s EW Worry

Information Environment Panel Introduction

Competing in the Information Environment

The Dimension of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

The High Value Domain of Operations!

Winning the Invisible War

Gaining an Enduring Advantage in the EMS

Battlespace Management

Building the Command and Control of the Future from the Bottom Up

New MALE Drone Capabilities with AI

The Power Behind NATO’s Cross-Domain Joint Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance?

Battlespace Management Panel Introduction

Future NATO Battlespace Management Requirements

Exploiting AI in Command and Control of the Air Battlespace

Potential Impact of Artificial Intelligence to C2 Systems

Harnessing AI and Deep Learning

Real-Time Automated Advance Persistent Threat Detection and Multi-Domain Situational Awareness

Future Developments

Forecasting Change in Military Technology, 2020-2040

Future Developments Panel Introduction

With an Eye Towards the Horizon

Hypersonics: Changing the NATO Deterrence Game

Implications of 5G to Air Power – A Cybersecurity Perspective

Remote Warfare and the Erosion of the Military Profession

‘Kill the enemy and don’t forget to buy milk on the way home.’

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