01 August 2017

News Story: Build Bare-Bones Network & Small Satellites For Multi-Domain Battle

US Army HiMARS Truck based missile launcher

WASHINGTON: The Navy wants the Army’s help win a future Multi-Domain Battle with China, a senior defense official told me last week, but to get it, the two services have to connect through a simple, robust network using small and rapidly-launched satellites.

We don’t need massive bandwidth to handle video teleconferences, full motion video from drones, PowerPoint briefings, and all the digital tools of “micromanagement,” the official believes. We just need a regional command-and-control network for voice commands and bare-bones-data – I’m here, the enemy’s there, shoot them not me – that can run off a single small satellite.

“It doesn’t have to be a big network,” he told me. “You could have one satellite…a temporary small satellite that you’ve popped up.”

This is in keeping with the early Concept of Operation developed for the Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space program (although the official didn’t mention ORS by name). ORS seeks to end the US military’s dependence on highly capable, highly complex and highly expensive satellites. These multi-billion-dollar masterpieces would take months or years to replace if an adversary shot them down— as China demonstrated it could in 2007.

Read the full story at Breaking Defense