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C4iSR: Air

USAF to study future command-and-control requirements

17 November 2016

The US Air Force (USAF) is to shortly begin work on a study to asses its command-and-control (C2) capability requirements out to 2030 and beyond, an official said on 16 November.

Speaking under the Chatham House rule, the official said that the study would be similar in scope to the service's air superiority study that was concluded earlier this year.

"We looked out to 2030 and beyond for our future air superiority needs, and came up with a lot of good ideas and thoughts. Command-and-control will be the next study in which we will look at what are the next capabilities that we need to expand upon. We will be looking to glean as much information [as the USAF's future C2 requirements] as is humanly possible," he said.

According to the official, C2 is becoming increasingly important given the need to reduce and even eliminate collateral damage in the age of social media. "Near-precision is a thing of the past," he said, adding, "[Eliminating] collateral damage is extremely important, and it is something that we need to do even in a denied [defended] environment."

The USAF fields a number of aircraft types that are traditionally associated with C2, including the Boeing E-3 Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) and E-4B, but as the official noted, the service's latest-generation combat platforms will greatly add to the C2 mix in the coming years.

"The F-22, F-35, and B-21 are going to be hoovers of information, and will bring information dominance," he said.

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The E-4B is one of a number of command-and-control platforms that the USAF currently fields. The service is now looking at its future requirements in the 2030 timeframe. (US Air Force)The E-4B is one of a number of command-and-control platforms that the USAF currently fields. The service is now looking at its future requirements in the 2030 timeframe. (US Air Force)



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