Raytheon anticipates element-rich future battlespace

Raytheon believes that its 'system of elements' (SoE) approach to battlespace management will become an established fact of life within around 10 years.

Tom Flynn, Raytheon's director, strategic initiatives transformation, and the man who developed the theory behind SoE, says the speed with which it is introduced depends on the level of commitment and energy put behind it, but: "I think you could implement it in a decade."

Flynn, who started to develop the SoE theory around three years ago, says building applications is the next step. SoE envisages a user building a 'virtual kill chain' by linking the five elements that comprise it in almost unlimited combinations (see panel).

SoE will form "part of the general background" of information the US mission systems integrator will be providing at Le Bourget, says the company.

It will take netcentric warfare "to the next level of theory and practice", says Dean Cash, the company's director of netcentric operations enterprise priority.

"It is going to change the very fabric of how we engage man-to-machine and machine-to-machine. It will impact on our lives as much as the internet has done."

Cash expects training and culture will be greater obstacles to adopting the approach than information overload or funding. While the amount of data produced by the system would defeat an untrained person, it should not present problems to someone with the necessary professional background, he says.

He makes the point that succeeding generations automatically expect and accept greater levels of technology than their predecessors. "A five-year-old today is immersed in an IT world where he or she can play with an IBM X-Box entertainment console that is 17,000 times more powerful than the computer in the Apollo programme lunar lander. A five-year-old is behind the controls of that and just accepts it."

Another example, he suggests, would be using the camera in the nose of a precision-guided weapon not only to guide the ordnance but as another node in the network, transmitting back information as it heads to its target.



Source: Flight Daily News