Failure of US technology - Lessons for Cold Start

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Failure of US technology - Lessons for Cold Start

Postby Rien » 24 Oct 2004 08:37

I came across this article in the Technology review and I thought the successes and failures of the USA in Iraq would be relevant to India. Currenlty the Cold Start doctrine envisages fighting a war that would be similar to what the USA did to Iraq.

http://www.technologyreview.com/article ... ot1104.asp

The problems the USA had with its doctrine should be studied by India. It is not the country that first pioneers a technology, but the one that perfects it that will attain mastery. The British invented the tank, but it took the Germans, who perfected the use of the tank with the Blitzkrieg.

India has a similar opportunity here.

But Marcone says no sensors, no network, conveyed the far more dangerous reality, which confronted him at 3:00 a.m. April 3. He faced not one brigade but three: between 25 and 30 tanks, plus 70 to 80 armored personnel carriers, artillery, and between 5,000 and 10,000 Iraqi soldiers coming from three directions. This mass of firepower and soldiers attacked a U.S. force of 1,000 soldiers supported by just 30 tanks and 14 Bradley fighting vehicles. The Iraqi deployment was just the kind of conventional, massed force that’s easiest to detect. Yet “We got nothing until they slammed into us,” Marcone recalls.


This reflects on the implementability of Cold Start. If the most technologically advanced nation can't inform its troops of the location of the enemy constantly, what hope does Pakistan have? Clearly a surpise attack can occur without warning even if it is preceded by mobilization. As for the problems the USA faced:

It was a problem all the ground forces suffered. Some units outran the range of high-bandwidth communications relays. Downloads took hours. Software locked up. And the enemy was sometimes difficult to see in the first place.


India can run a dress rehearsal of its own software and hardware, and efforts to implement network centric warfare. These problems can be identified and fixed before beginning Cold Start.

Biggest Vulnerability

This Achilles Heel of the USA will be worth remembering. Sometimes India is overawed by the USA unnecessarily. The USA implements some things well, but at the cost of neglecting too many other relevant details.

High-level commanders had them, but the system for moving them into the field broke down. This created “a critical vulnerability during combat operations,” the report says. “There were issues with bandwidth, exploitation, and processes that caused this state of affairs, but the bottom line was no [access to fresh spy photographs] during the entire war.”


The right way to organize an Indian Cold Start strategy would be more like the model the USA followed in Afghanistan:

Special-operations forces organized into “A teams” numbering no more than two dozen soldiers roamed the chilly mountains near the Pakistan border on horseback, rooting out Taliban forces and seeking al-Qaeda leaders. The teams and individuals were all linked to one another. No one person was in tactical command.

But despite the lack of generals making key decisions, each of these teams of networked soldiers had a key node, an animal once confined to corporate IT departments: the alpha geek, who managed the flow of information between his team and the others. The U.S. special forces also maintained a tactical Web page, collating all the information the teams collected. And this page was managed by a webmaster in the field: the metageek of all alpha geeks.


India has no shortage of alpha or metageeks. As the smaller forces of Cold Start have better training and equipment, it would be easier to replicate the Special Forces model, except on a considerably larger scale.

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Postby NRao » 24 Oct 2004 18:38

Some, in fact, think that the two Iraqi/ME wars were to test the latest and greatest. In the first war they had geeks on the aircrafts (AWACS, etc) to debug in real-time (whenever possible). No matter what the problems were (and one should expect a lot when it comes to software) one observation was that the progress made between the two was dramatic - measurably.

Besides, they are moving to a new set of techs in 2006 (or could be 7), which will elliminate much of these problems (by design). The new techs have been tested and we in the civilian side should also experience it in a few years. (In short far better and secure internet.)

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Postby NRao » 24 Oct 2004 18:40

I would like to keep the thread alive - it has a hugh implications from an Indian perspective - at least for the near future. If we cannot find too many articles then we can merge it.

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Postby Katare » 24 Oct 2004 23:13

You kiddin me......The Iraq war was not a cold start but a pre planned war that took months of logistical built up on both side and everyone new months in advance that war is coming and when it would happen. Than there was a clear warning and predetermined 24 hr warning and than "shock and awe". This is not cold start it's as hot a start as it gets.

In a cold start neither enemy nor us would have time to build numerical superiority or dug deep or lay mines etc. Whole concept and doctrine would be developed around making sure we don't go too deep too fast in the enemy territory and reinforcement is quickly deployable. If it ever develops in a major escalation both sides would have completed deployment by that time.


:D IB4TL

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True enough

Postby Rien » 25 Oct 2004 04:41

The USA did have a long lengthy preparation for war. But so will India. It is not going to be the case that the message for war will be sent out tomorrow and the campaign will start.

The Indian army is implenting the changes needed for Cold Start now, and it will probably be some time before the armed services are ready. But the alleged failures of technology in Iraq bear a great deal on India. If the Indian army can move faster than the PAF and PA can react, it will give India an effectively greater amount of firepower.

Currently the Indian army is attempting to implement network centric warfare, which is essentially what the USA has already done. If India ues the geeks and alphageek model, it will be considerably ahead of both China/Pakistan and even the USA as a whole.

There is the possibility here of leaping past the country that introduced this technology by perfecting it.

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Postby Rien » 25 Oct 2004 04:44

NRao wrote:Some, in fact, think that the two Iraqi/ME wars were to test the latest and greatest. In the first war they had geeks on the aircrafts (AWACS, etc) to debug in real-time (whenever possible). No matter what the problems were (and one should expect a lot when it comes to software) one observation was that the progress made between the two was dramatic - measurably.

Besides, they are moving to a new set of techs in 2006 (or could be 7), which will elliminate much of these problems (by design). The new techs have been tested and we in the civilian side should also experience it in a few years. (In short far better and secure internet.)


The problems did not lie with the Airforce or Navy. It was pointed out in that article that the Air Force did very well. The problems lay in the Army. The leading divisional commander had no idea of what was happening around him. His superiors knew, but they could not communicate the basic facts of the situation to him in time!

There was also the problem of information overload. Clearly the UAV's and other reconnasiance assets should report directly to the actual commander of the forces who is there in person rather than going through the command hierarchy.

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Postby JTull » 26 Oct 2004 11:21


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Postby Babui » 26 Oct 2004 17:11

Not sure if Afghanistan is the best model to follow for India's Cold Start Strategy. Deploying special forces teams may be applicable to only the LoC and POK. The terrain is suitable for small teams - less population and plenty of hills and valleys to hide. Access roads are few and a small team of commandoes can do alot of damage. Expecting special forces to roam about behind enemy lines for days in the Punjab region is ridiculous. The pop density is too high. Remember, what happened to the Paki SSG in '65 when they dropped near Halwara ?
When all is said and done - I believe 'Cold Start' to be no more than previous doctrines - except we may try to sieze the iniative a little quicker in the border areas.

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Postby NRao » 26 Oct 2004 17:38

The problems did not lie with the Airforce or Navy


True.

However, all it means is that around April, 2003 there were some problems (granted they could have been very severe).

That does not mean that the problems still exist - they may too.

Some months ago there was an interesting discussion on BR on a similar topic - i do not recall which thread, but it did go into problems associated with real-time comms.

It is my understanding that the DD has bought into the next gen networking capabilities and has plans to deploy it by 06-07. In which case a lot of these problems would vanish. Also, on multiple fronts there is a push to improve. This is bound to have both a +ve and a -ve effect. +ve because the techs would provide quantum leap over the present situation. -ve because the new techs will not keep up with the expectations - specially in battle conditions.

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Postby Pmangalik » 28 Oct 2004 00:18

Transformation isn't as easy nor as revolutionary as many have made it out to be:

http://armedservices.house.gov/openings ... gregor.pdf

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Not quite as revolutionary

Postby Rien » 29 Oct 2004 15:05

The first tanks were an abysmal failure. Initially the skeptical would have said,"Give me a horse any day". The Polish Army did.

I remember the news reels of the Polish cavalry charging the German Panzer Korps, the monstrous fore-runners of the tiger tanks. They charged with pistols and sabers drawn. They charged on horseback. We’re told that the Germans laughed as they mowed down the Polish cavalry, men and horses.


http://web.syr.edu/~tpfondy/WarThenNow.htm

Whether it is labelled RMA or Network Centric warfare, this is the biggest change in warfare since the introduction of the tank. I would rather be German than Polish, and I'm sure the Indian Army would agree.

As for Cold Start, since there is a lack of heavy firepower, because they start the attack only with what they have rather than bringup the entire Indian Army. So some other means must be found to give them a decisive advantage.

India does have some unique advantages. Artillery, UCAV"s, mechanized infantry, and Spy satellites. But tying them all together in one efficient killing machine is what Network Centric Warfare does. If done right. And the impact on the unsuspecting Chinese or Pakistani's will be devastating.

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Postby Pmangalik » 29 Oct 2004 20:03

Rien,

1. Chinese C4ISRNEW efforts are much further along than India's.

2. Pakistan's efforts - I've never bothered to investigate as it requires having an infrastructure, i.e., highly educated resources supporting the systems.

3. I posted the above link in my previous comment only because to show that implementing NCW without truly understanding its impacts upon the organizational's structure & operations and vice-versa will lead to problems..like the article in the MIT's Technology Review. Procedding forward with tech implementation without having the structure & processes architected to be aligned with the tech is a huge single point of failure.

4. Network-centric warfare is the 21st century term for the concepts developed & tested in Vietnam during the late 60s under the tutelage of McNamara. The program was called TACS/TADS and worked beyond expectations and all of the services told him to go away. Why? Simple, the concept showed the future - integration of the services into one military. Well, guess what, the DoD's primary think tanks are now openly calling for just that...

I write the above only because, its not just that India is behind, in terms of effort not necessarily the technology, but that India still can't seem to put into place "jointness", never mind the path that it will have to follow if NCW is implemented..too many officers with greater emphasis on careers rather than what is best for the nation...and this is even more true in the US...its just that they have built up a huge resorvoir of weapons so that all sorts of inefficiencies and incompetencies can be cushioned during crises.. does India have cushions?

Note - the next real crises will be multi-front...

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Postby Rien » 30 Oct 2004 16:25

Pmangalik wrote:Rien,

1. Chinese C4ISRNEW efforts are much further along than India's.


Can you tell me more? Everything I've read suggests that currently there is immense disagreement in China over whether to follow Mao's People War strategy, Local War under High Tech conditions or RMA.

http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/china/doc ... part01.htm

As yet there was no clear winner. Have the Chinese decided ? What are they doing? As India's most dangerous opponent, what China does in this field is very relevant.

As for 2. Pakistan's efforts may be lacking, but it is *good* to be certain. They can always acquire hardware and software and training from other countries. Like the nation you mentioned above. Advisers can be embedded in units like Cubans and Soviets were in various Arab armies.

Just because the Pakistanis lack the ability to create the technology does not mean they cannot use it if it is given to them.

Pmangalik wrote:
3. I posted the above link in my previous comment only because to show that implementing NCW without truly understanding its impacts upon the organizational's structure & operations and vice-versa will lead to problems..like the article in the MIT's Technology Review. Procedding forward with tech implementation without having the structure & processes architected to be aligned with the tech is a huge single point of failure.

4. Network-centric warfare is the 21st century term for the concepts developed & tested in Vietnam during the late 60s under the tutelage of McNamara. The program was called TACS/TADS and worked beyond expectations and all of the services told him to go away. Why? Simple, the concept showed the future - integration of the services into one military. Well, guess what, the DoD's primary think tanks are now openly calling for just that...

I write the above only because, its not just that India is behind, in terms of effort not necessarily the technology, but that India still can't seem to put into place "jointness", never mind the path that it will have to follow if NCW is implemented..too many officers with greater emphasis on careers rather than what is best for the nation...and this is even more true in the US...its just that they have built up a huge resorvoir of weapons so that all sorts of inefficiencies and incompetencies can be cushioned during crises.. does India have cushions?

Note - the next real crises will be multi-front...


We agree on 3. But that point of failure must be fixed. I know nothing about this TACs/TDS program. You may be correct that this was all anticipated before. And agreed .. One Military Machine is what is needed. How do we get there from here?

I thought the Special Forces model in Afghanistan was useful, because you cut out unnecessary layers. The information flows directly in a Peer 2 Peer fashion, filtered by geeks and alphageeks. But all of these ideas need to tested in exercises.

Try the Special Forces model, and any other useful ones that may exist. Which ones work the most effectively against each other and against the likely adversaries?

If you know of any other successful models, and in particular if the Chinese models are better, please post them.

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Postby Pmangalik » 30 Oct 2004 18:00

Rien,

Hi, Dr. Shiv's reply, and yours, has only encouraged me further to complete a paper that will address your questions. Please give me a few days to post a "draft summary" for your review and by others as well.

However, initially, the Chinese have initiated programs to work upon C4ISRNESTEW comprehensively..the issue of the overall doctrine isn't as relevant yet as the the nervous system isn't ready yet for implementation. Thus, it can be misleading to think that the Chinese are still uncertain by viewing only their discussion with respect to theoverall doctrine.

With respect to the Pakistanis, my contention wasn't their ability to procure from external sources, rather, it is technology absorption for which they are wayyyyy behind..

And, TACS/TADS - Tactial Air Control System / Tactial Air Defense System - an attempt to integrate just one component of the five different military forces fighting the US war in Vietnam. And, it was trialled in a limited manner as well. But it worked to show that if the US Army's, USAF's, USN's, USMC's, and the CIA's Air Control & AD assets could be coordinated as an single integrated unit then the multiplier effect skyrocketed..It has been the basis for the development of the US Army's INformation Management Utility in the 80s which was about 10 years ahead of the technology required to realize it. But by 1990, it was going ahead full steam albeit with the new moniker - Network Centric Warfare.

It was Kosovo that finally showed the US Military that an integrated force works and that technology is now here, and in the commercial sector to boot. And, that, unfortunately for career-minded officers, is now pointing to an integration of the services at the "Operational" level. NOte, I emphasize "operational level" only.

For example, the USMC's and USN's F-18 fleets are now integrated operationally..and the trend is going to accelerate.

India has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to implement its own Revolution in Military Affairs but the window of oportunity is not that wide.

Give me a few days and I hope to position myself in this Forum for the onslaught...hope not...

Pankaj

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Postby wyu » 30 Oct 2004 20:24

Allow me to interject.

The Chinese did have embarked on a new doctrine called the War Zone Campaign, basically a take off of the USArmy Field Manual 3.0 - Operations but modified to fit Chinese limitations.

In essence, 3 stages set to attack any Chinese neighbours within 100 miles of the Chinese border.

Stage 1 - Recee by Force
Stage 2 - Shaped the "War Zone."
Stage 3 - A Battle of Annhilation against enemy forces within that "War Zone."

The concept of C4ISR (never mind the NESTEW since currently these
does not fit within the overall concept except in SpecOps - example, the famous computer virus schema) is still very limited to the Soviet/Russian/Chinese model of central planning. There is only ONE high tech all encompassing HQ, the Central Military Commission Headquarters, which is to deploy into the theatre of operations and assume command over the local Military Region HQ.

As such, do not expect the Chinese to perform according to American (or Indian?) standards in that the engaging forces would not have its orders change according to the situation. Any change in orders would be issued to the following echelon. The front echelon, if coming against something unexpected, is still out of support, direction, and most likely, luck.

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Postby Anoop » 31 Oct 2004 04:57

Col. Wyu, the Chinese doctrine of 'War Zone Campaign' you describe seems more similar to the Soviet system of 'Deep Battle' than to the U.S./Western model of 'AirLand Battle'. Going by the emphasis in FM 3.0 (admittedly a very sketchy reading of it) on manoeuver theory and 'mission tactic' orders, the Chinese model seems to deviate drastically from it - particularly the part you mention of the lead element having to force it's way through in the face of unexpected opposition, instead of waiting for reinforcement - and of following the 'detailed tactic' orders of the Soviet model. So why do you say that is an adaptation of FM 3.0?

Btw, are you in agreement with Leonhard's criticism of the actual lack of manouever theory principles in the U.S. doctrine, despite the extensive use of the term in the field manuals? Or is he overstating the case?

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Postby Rien » 31 Oct 2004 15:20

Pmangalik wrote:Rien,

Hi, Dr. Shiv's reply, and yours, has only encouraged me further to complete a paper that will address your questions. Please give me a few days to post a "draft summary" for your review and by others as well.


Good to hear! I hope you're aware that I lack a military background. Be aware that you're talking to a man whose entire experience of formal warfare, (except for coups in Fiji) comes from books/video games. But I can fact check with Google. 8)

On Pakistan:

Currently Pakistan is considerably far behind. So how can this edge be exploited? How can India be the Germans while the Pakistanis are the helpless Polish, great on courage, but lacking in intelligence?

Pmangalik wrote:India has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to implement its own Revolution in Military Affairs but the window of oportunity is not that wide.

Give me a few days and I hope to position myself in this Forum for the onslaught...hope not...

Pankaj


I'm glad to hear about it. My real name is Raahul, but Bharat Rakshak is *overrun* with Raahuls. What do you think about the Chinese assessments of India? It seems that the Chinese projections of India's future economic strength are widely off base, as compared to what the World Bank, and most international organisations report.

And what precisely can we do in order to code up software for this purposes? I'm a C and Java coder, and I'm sure even in civilian land I can code some software using GPS and video streams and encryption/compression algorithms that could be useful.

Questions that should be addressed in the article:

What is Network Centric Warfare?
What does India currently do?
What does it need to do ?
What happens in a worst case scenario?
If a new India NCW force is suddenly surprised by a Chinese ambush like what occured to the US in Project Peach?
What is the best model of NCW?

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Postby Rien » 31 Oct 2004 15:29

wyu wrote:Allow me to interject.

As such, do not expect the Chinese to perform according to American (or Indian?) standards in that the engaging forces would not have its orders change according to the situation. Any change in orders would be issued to the following echelon. The front echelon, if coming against something unexpected, is still out of support, direction, and most likely, luck.


It sounds like the execution of this plan is very rigid. It seems to implicitly assume large reserves, or at least the ability to bring large reserves to bear.
And how well can China execute this? The majority of the force is obsolete, greatly slowing down movement. The internal logistics in China is bad. They have an elite that is very technically up do date, while the majority of the PLA's troops have to make do. This seems to promise a tremendous amount of miscommunication and inability to support the elite fast moving troops.

Is that why the fast moving troops have to win through on their own?

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Postby wyu » 31 Oct 2004 20:40

Anoop wrote:Col. Wyu, the Chinese doctrine of 'War Zone Campaign' you describe seems more similar to the Soviet system of 'Deep Battle' than to the U.S./Western model of 'AirLand Battle'. Going by the emphasis in FM 3.0 (admittedly a very sketchy reading of it) on manoeuver theory and 'mission tactic' orders, the Chinese model seems to deviate drastically from it - particularly the part you mention of the lead element having to force it's way through in the face of unexpected opposition, instead of waiting for reinforcement - and of following the 'detailed tactic' orders of the Soviet model. So why do you say that is an adaptation of FM 3.0?


The American model is ill-suited for the Chinese, requiring a strong Non-Commission Members corps, well adapted to hasty engagements at the platoon to battalion level. What the Chinese are doing is trying to fit their tactics into American strategic aims as described in FM-3.0. It's not so much Deep Battle (ie, destroying the enemy's reserves) but rather, redefining a much more limited Area of Operations described in FM-3.0

Also, as stated before, the Chinese (and Russians) are not strong believers in airpower. They would attempt to do with artillery what the Americans would do with airpower.

Anoop wrote:Btw, are you in agreement with Leonhard's criticism of the actual lack of manouever theory principles in the U.S. doctrine, despite the extensive use of the term in the field manuals? Or is he overstating the case?


What would be the point? The point about manouver is to try to apply force on weak, ie artillery to pulverize infantry, tanks to race under artillery's ballastic arcs, and infantry to stop tanks. That is to fight the enemy where he is not. But the Americans are so dominating in the application of force, speed, and positioning, that any opposing force that would approach them would be weak.

What the AirLand doctrine actually wants to do is to force the enemy to mass so that the mud movers and gunners have something to hit. Thus, it's not actually a manouver but a target acqusition.

Rien wrote:It sounds like the execution of this plan is very rigid. It seems to implicitly assume large reserves, or at least the ability to bring large reserves to bear.


Stage 1 is several company sized ops
Stage 2 is a Motor Rifle Bde to be followed by a guns bde and an engr regt.
Stage 3 is div to corps battle of annhilation.

Thus, there is some time leadway for the forces to enter the AO. Also, you have to take into account that the Chinese are expecting alot of diplomatic actions to at least delay (a day or two perhaps) enemy mobilization. A 10 hour early entry into an AO may be all what's required to kill an enemy who would not be ready for another 10 hours.

Also, the CMC HQ would apply situational changes to each of the Stages before the forces enter the AO.

Rien wrote:And how well can China execute this? The majority of the force is obsolete, greatly slowing down movement. The internal logistics in China is bad. They have an elite that is very technically up do date, while the majority of the PLA's troops have to make do. This seems to promise a tremendous amount of miscommunication and inability to support the elite fast moving troops.


This is a work-in-progress, which is still going on, for the last 15 years or so. We known about it for about 6. In that time, we've seen the Chinese try a few things that didn't work and reverted back (ie the Bde is now seen as a re-enforced regiment instead of a reduced division).

So, the answer is that we don't know how well this would work and I suspect the Chinese themselves don't know. They have designated about 15 divisions as Rapid Deployment Forces (as well as all those bdes) and right now, they're shifting them through through several Combined Tactics Training Centres. Until they get combat qualified (ie, certified on paper) and begins actual war games, we would not know how all this would play out.

It's quite facinating to compare WZC to Cold Start in that the Chinese haven't worked out all the bugs in their doctrine but the Indians are almost good-to-go with only minor twitches to their existing doctrines.

Rien wrote:Is that why the fast moving troops have to win through on their own?


They're expected to accomplish their OPOBJs, not to achieve victory. There is a differences.

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Postby Rien » 01 Nov 2004 09:46

wyu wrote:What the Chinese are doing is trying to fit their tactics into American strategic aims as described in FM-3.0. It's not so much Deep Battle (ie, destroying the enemy's reserves) but rather, redefining a much more limited Area of Operations described in FM-3.0

Also, as stated before, the Chinese (and Russians) are not strong believers in airpower. They would attempt to do with artillery what the Americans would do with airpower.


That's very interesting, since from what I've been tracking about Indian defence purchases and doctrine, the IA is attempting to get the IAF to provide Close Air Suppor and is also relying on artillery. The "100 gun" concept. Assuming the use of both, it would appear that India should have a firepower advantage.

And does India have a strong NCO corp? How good are the sergeants?

wyu wrote:What the AirLand doctrine actually wants to do is to force the enemy to mass so that the mud movers and gunners have something to hit. Thus, it's not actually a manouver but a target acqusition.


Every single war that the USA has fought in recent times(Kosovo, Iraq) has seen its enemies disperse and pursue guerrilla tactics. No nation is so incredibly foolish as to mass when the USA has so much firepower.

Unfortunately, India will probably be in the same boat. How can you counter an enemy who disperses to the cities/uses decoys ?

wyu wrote:<snip>
A 10 hour early entry into an AO may be all what's required to kill an enemy who would not be ready for another 10 hours.

Also, the CMC HQ would apply situational changes to each of the Stages before the forces enter the AO.

It's quite facinating to compare WZC to Cold Start in that the Chinese haven't worked out all the bugs in their doctrine but the Indians are almost good-to-go with only minor twitches to their existing doctrines.


So how long can this advantage last for?

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Postby wyu » 01 Nov 2004 19:08

Rien wrote:That's very interesting, since from what I've been tracking about Indian defence purchases and doctrine, the IA is attempting to get the IAF to provide Close Air Suppor and is also relying on artillery. The "100 gun" concept. Assuming the use of both, it would appear that India should have a firepower advantage.


I be extremely careful quoting 100 gun concepts. That was nothing more than a dog and pony show. 100 guns is corps level and it would be extremely difficult to set up under hostile conditions. You should not have more than 16 guns at the Bde level and at most 64 guns at div.

From what I gather in this forum, the InAF does not like to play the role of air arty.

Rien wrote:And does India have a strong NCO corp? How good are the sergeants?


I am extremely unfamiliar with the role InA NCMs play.

Rien wrote:Every single war that the USA has fought in recent times(Kosovo, Iraq) has seen its enemies disperse and pursue guerrilla tactics. No nation is so incredibly foolish as to mass when the USA has so much firepower.


Kosovo dispursed because there was no ground threat to force them to mass. Both the Kuwait and Iraq Wars, the Iraqi massed to in order to try to repulse the ground threat, presenting a target for the AF.

Rien wrote:So how long can this advantage last for?


I don't understand your question.

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Postby Rien » 02 Nov 2004 08:51

wyu wrote:I be extremely careful quoting 100 gun concepts. That was nothing more than a dog and pony show. 100 guns is corps level and it would be extremely difficult to set up under hostile conditions. You should not have more than 16 guns at the Bde level and at most 64 guns at div.

From what I gather in this forum, the InAF does not like to play the role of air arty.


But it did so in Kargil, and one of the lessons learned from the 1962 war was the lack of airpower. The Indian Air Force will provide air support. Their reluctance in the Pakistan situation comes from their desire to gain air superiority first

As for number of guns: 100 guns is at:

100 or more artillery guns to provide support to three infantry battalions as opposed to the Western doctrine of 64 guns for three infantry units.


I see no inherent reason that 64 guns is a superior number to 100. In fact, India has *already* successfully employed 100-120 guns in battlefiled conditions in Kargil. Read the article I linked.

In order to hit back, the enemy has to come in range of the firepower. If the Chinese hit back with only 64 guns, they will be buried under superior firepower. I was surprised to read how effectively they used artillery in such mountainous terrain.

wyu wrote:Kosovo dispursed because there was no ground threat to force them to mass. Both the Kuwait and Iraq Wars, the Iraqi massed to in order to try to repulse the ground threat, presenting a target for the AF.


You'll notice the irregular forces kept fighting considerably after the main army was destroyed. That's what I have been thinking about .. how can anyone stop the dispersion of forces?

Destroy mosques? What actions can make the militants come out and fight no matter what?

Rien wrote:So how long can this advantage last for?


wyu wrote:I don't understand your question.


India is currently moving to implementation of Cold Start and the 100 gun concept along with other ideas. But eventually the Chinese will succeed in implementing some of their ideas. How far ahead is India and how long can it keep the advantage?

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Postby wyu » 02 Nov 2004 09:15

Rien wrote:As for number of guns: 100 guns is at:

100 or more artillery guns to provide support to three infantry battalions as opposed to the Western doctrine of 64 guns for three infantry units.


That is wrong for Western doctrine. An artillery battalion (4 batteries of 4-6 guns each) is the standard for a brigade (3-4 inf or arm'd bns or a mix of both). That is a maximum of 24 guns.

Kragil is not an example of Cold Start but of Fire Superiority. So, I don't know how you could fit one into the other.

Rien wrote:In order to hit back, the enemy has to come in range of the firepower. If the Chinese hit back with only 64 guns, they will be buried under superior firepower. I was surprised to read how effectively they used artillery in such mountainous terrain.


You have alot of misconceptions here. It's not the volume of guns but the volume of fire. TOT maximizes volume fire with minimal guns. More than that, you would have idle guns (ie guns and crews sitting around doing nothing). More guns does not necessarily mean more fire but it certainly does mean a biggger logistical footprint and a much heavier load.

Rien wrote:You'll notice the irregular forces kept fighting considerably after the main army was destroyed. That's what I have been thinking about .. how can anyone stop the dispersion of forces?


You're talking about an insurgency, not the combat operations. The Iraqi Medina, Hamarabi, and the Baghdad Divisions massed to try to stop the US 3rd Infantry Division.

Rien wrote:Destroy mosques? What actions can make the militants come out and fight no matter what?


Insurgents cannot stop an army. They can only make life annoying.

Rien wrote:India is currently moving to implementation of Cold Start and the 100 gun concept along with other ideas. But eventually the Chinese will succeed in implementing some of their ideas. How far ahead is India and how long can it keep the advantage?


First, I really don't know how far along is Cold Start or what its TOE is. Until I know the actual TOE, I cannot begin to start making guesses on its employement.

I can tell you that it most likely would not include 100 guns. That's way too many guns to move for a "Cold Start" which has its emphasis on speed in which case, traditionally speaking, mechanized infantry would be the force to use.

As for the Chinese, their focus ain't India just as Cold Start is not focus on the Chinese. So, we're really trying to compare round and square pegs trying to fit into a triangle.

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Postby Rien » 02 Nov 2004 10:13

wyu wrote:Kragil is not an example of Cold Start but of Fire Superiority. So, I don't know how you could fit one into the other.


You were stating complaints about logistics and inability to use 100 guns in an actual combat situation. Kargil was an example of a hostile combat situation, against Pakistani Army regulars. Admittedly they had no artillery or proper air support, but they did have the high ground.

wyu wrote:You have alot of misconceptions here. It's not the volume of guns but the volume of fire. TOT maximizes volume fire with minimal guns. More than that, you would have idle guns (ie guns and crews sitting around doing nothing). More guns does not necessarily mean more fire but it certainly does mean a biggger logistical footprint and a much heavier load.


That's interesting. It's obvious why 100 guns would need more ammo and logistic support, but why would it be inferior to 64 guns? Don't guns break down in combat, get destroyed and various other problems? Surely the surplus 36 guns can be used effectively rather than be bystanders.

Rien wrote:India is currently moving to implementation of Cold Start and the 100 gun concept along with other ideas. But eventually the Chinese will succeed in implementing some of their ideas. How far ahead is India and how long can it keep the advantage?


First, I really don't know how far along is Cold Start or what its TOE is. Until I know the actual TOE, I cannot begin to start making guesses on its employement.

I can tell you that it most likely would not include 100 guns. That's way too many guns to move for a "Cold Start" which has its emphasis on speed in which case, traditionally speaking, mechanized infantry would be the force to use.

As for the Chinese, their focus ain't India just as Cold Start is not focus on the Chinese. So, we're really trying to compare round and square pegs trying to fit into a triangle.[/quote]

Actually .. any future India-China war will not aim at total defeat of the enemy, but carving off a slice of their territory. That is the aim of Cold Start. And from what you've mentioned of Chinese doctrine, it seems their ends are similar. For example, India might try to take Aksai Chin/Chinese Occupied Kashmir while the Chinese would try to take parts of the North East.

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Postby wyu » 02 Nov 2004 11:33

Rien wrote:You were stating complaints about logistics and inability to use 100 guns in an actual combat situation. Kargil was an example of a hostile combat situation, against Pakistani Army regulars. Admittedly they had no artillery or proper air support, but they did have the high ground.


Which again, was corps level, contradictory to the Cold Start as you have put as the topic in this thread.

Rien wrote:That's interesting. It's obvious why 100 guns would need more ammo and logistic support, but why would it be inferior to 64 guns? Don't guns break down in combat, get destroyed and various other problems? Surely the surplus 36 guns can be used effectively rather than be bystanders.


Batteries, battalions, brigades have all been worked out to the optimum number for over 500 years of artillery development. I do not wish to go through the history of artillery warfare to explain why the numbers are the way they are. Suffice to say that 4 batteries for a brigade is the correct number.

Rien wrote:Actually .. any future India-China war will not aim at total defeat of the enemy, but carving off a slice of their territory. That is the aim of Cold Start. And from what you've mentioned of Chinese doctrine, it seems their ends are similar. For example, India might try to take Aksai Chin/Chinese Occupied Kashmir while the Chinese would try to take parts of the North East.


We actually do not know that. Everything I've seen here is suggesting Cold Start is Pakistan centric and China's eyes are on Taiwan. Until I see some thinking about the Sino-Indian border from either side, I rather not speculate. I've speculated in the past and it burned me. I rather not repeat the mistake.

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Postby Pmangalik » 03 Nov 2004 01:44

Rien,

From your quote above - On Pakistan:

Currently Pakistan is considerably far behind. So how can this edge be exploited? How can India be the Germans while the Pakistanis are the helpless Polish, great on courage, but lacking in intelligence?

The answer is "Technology Absorption." Allow me to use the sale of F-15S to Saudi Arabia during the 80s. When Reagan announced that he would be selling F-15Ss to the Saudis the Israelis exploded. However, when it was pointed out to them, and in public (of course the Israelis already knew it but for good reasons had to raise a public outcry), that acquisition of the F-15Ss wouldn't pose a threat to Israel for at least 10 years thereafter. The reason being that a) infrastructure will need to be established to operate, maintain, repair and general support not only the planes but the crews and associated manpower resources,

b) training of both air and ground crews will take quite a bit of time not to mention the fact that only those individuals with the minimum requirements for entry into training will actually undergo training and there isn't much guarantee that Saudi will have the numbers of individuals that it could provide for training (note that foreigners constituted a major portion of their workforce for the F-15s during the 80s and 90s) and thus the full complement of Saudi crews and higher-level resources would take a long time,

c) operational ability, even though you may have a trained crew it doesn't mean you have a crew that can "compete." For example, I may get trained on how to drive a sports car but that doesn't mean that the very next day I can enter a race and compete with those that have 10 years of competition racing experience. For the latter have had spent time learning all of the finer details about how their vehicle performs under various scenarios, they have learned about their own performance with respect to the vehicle, and they have learned the scenarios and what really works vs. the brochure's claims or even the training courses' claims. Its akin to having a documented envelope for an aircraft and a pilot that knows how to get to the absolute edge of that aircraft. Training curricula don't train pilots to get to that stage..that comes from the operational units and more so from actual experiences...

d) operational philosophies & doctrines..take c) and expand into the whole air force..you don't buy an aircraft you buy an entire system but more importantly you buy a set of doctrines & operational philosophies..even in the days of WW2 militaries didn't buy aircraft..they bought whole systems and philosophies...the same appplies to any of the major weapon systgems..think of the Gripen..it really is intelligently designed from recognition of the fact that its not the aircraft that is the key its the whole system and the doctrines/operational philosophies that it may generate. In other words, the senior leadership of Saudi had to understand and truly grasp just what the F-15S system can do, can't do, when and where, and why and how...that doesn't happen overnight..that doesn't happen via USAF's beautfiul powerpoint presentations...it happens over a long amount of time and only after having trained pilots undergo simulated exercises....

and there's more...but the bottom line is that to achieve the above you need to have a supply of talented human resources ready to enter into that process...and that process is referred to as "Techonlogy Absorption."

Now do you mean to tell me that Pakistan is just loaded with the quality of manpower required to make effective use of the Eurofighter from the moment that it is delivered to them...Sure, they have experienced pilots that can jump in and be dangerous but the full potential won't come for years thereafter...just ask the IAF about its experiences with all of the planes it acquired and how doctrines evolved and were modified due to experience gained...

A commercial example is the Web or the Cell Phone..just look at how many years it too for the average Joe in teh US to begin to feel comfortable with just surfing the web or the cell phone...most people don't realize this but the rate of absorption was much slower than expected by the geeks..

India has a much greater edge in the amount of manpower and its overall quality..if it focuses upon expanding that quality it would go a long way towards its ability to absorb technology much more rapidly and that gives it one hell of force multiplying punch..

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Postby Pmangalik » 03 Nov 2004 01:56

Raahul (sorry about using Rien earlier),

with respect to your quote: What do you think about the Chinese assessments of India? It seems that the Chinese projections of India's future economic strength are widely off base, as compared to what the World Bank, and most international organisations report.

And what precisely can we do in order to code up software for this purposes? I'm a C and Java coder, and I'm sure even in civilian land I can code some software using GPS and video streams and encryption/compression algorithms that could be useful.

Questions that should be addressed in the article:

What is Network Centric Warfare?
What does India currently do?
What does it need to do ?
What happens in a worst case scenario?
If a new India NCW force is suddenly surprised by a Chinese ambush like what occured to the US in Project Peach?
What is the best model of NCW?


Reply to above:

1. With respect to China, it seems that Mr. Chola and I are the only ones who refuse to accept that grandeur that is China. I state that by 2008 China is BUST!!!!!!!!!

2. With respect to China, the answer, to your specific query, is one that you already know - namely, their assessment is based upon the actions, not verbal, of Indian leadership, actual operational capabilities of the military, not stated claims, actual deployment of technologies not stated R&D programs..but that is obvious right? Anyone would take that as a given...Their assessment of India is one of a nuisance but not a serious threat..they are wrong as they really have fallen to the illusion of their own making just as the US fell to the illusion of its own making during 2003..They do feel that India can make them pay a price but its not a price, in their eyes, that they can't pay, rather, its more of the effect that it may have on their trade relationships with the rest of the world. Thus, their very careful but consistent (and the latter is the key which seems to be missed by the INdian Leadership) efforts at encircling India..Let the proxies drain India just as Iran/Syria are doing to the US..

3. With respect to the Article - Its Failures, Challenges, & Solutions, which will highlight how the Dhruv is really the KEY TO INDIAN SECURITY and that its homegrown industry - IT will provide the glue..your ponits are well taken and absorbed..thanks..

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Postby Pmangalik » 03 Nov 2004 02:01

Col. Wyu, Sir,

I apologize for being unclear as I think I've been misunderstood. I never intended to suggest that any C4I domain-based doctrines have been implemented within the PLA or any associated services. I simply wanted to suggest that an organic effort is underway to develop the requisite technologies & systems. However, as you correctly point out, the leadership may not elect to employ them or choose to employ them differently.

As you have pointed out the PLAAF is viewed more as long-range artillery than how ROKAF may view their air arm..

Sir, were you able to review the two links indicated earlier. I would be very grateful if I could receive yours, and RayC's, comments.

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Postby daulat » 03 Nov 2004 04:57

Rien - this is off topic, but a while ago I had found an article on the Polish lancers in 1939. They knew damn well they had no chance against the tanks, but they had no option, so went down fighting. They did launch several successful attacks against german infantry and support troops in the forests, where the tried and tested shock of horse and sabre was still very effective against exposed foot soldiers.

the wehrmacht got another chance to mow down cavalry in 1941 in Russia, when Mongol cavalry were ordered to charge the tanks once again. I think the outcome was even more one sided and amusing for the Germans.

btw - the Northern Alliance and US Spec. Forces very recently charged tanks in Afghanistan on horseback and won.

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Postby wyu » 03 Nov 2004 09:01

Pmangalik wrote:Sir, were you able to review the two links indicated earlier. I would be very grateful if I could receive yours, and RayC's, comments.


Do you mean How Technology Failed in Iraq and Colonel Macgregor's Transformation: Implications for the Future?

Well, dinosaurs speaking. The points are extremely valid ... and extremely out of context. I'm a dinosaur and I know it. Therefore, my views would definetely side with the Colonel and those events that reflects my view that information will never replace firepower.

However, this being said, you have to look at where NCW and Effects Based Ops worked. Most noteably, what happenned to the Medina Division during the "Pause." They were pounded left, right, and centre to such an extent which allowed the 3rd Infantry Division to shift from a fist tactic (a unified division level assualt against the Medina) to a finger tactic (individual brigades smashing into the dis-organized Medina).

So, what happenned.

The technology is not mature yet nor wide spread enough, leaving things like Ops PEACH and THUNDER RUN.

The complaints about the Stryker is a Red Herring. The Stryker is the technology. Just wished it came in a heavier package.

So, when you have the technology working, it does wonders. When you don't, I want my engineers to start digging.

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Postby Pmangalik » 03 Nov 2004 10:21

Col. Wyu, Sir,

my thoughts exactly. In my view the documents support your contention. The technology isn't here yet but given the nature of the technology it really isn't much of an issue over time. Information technology is at a point where points of failure will get resolved.

The real questions are, as you have been raising: a) how effectively can it be employed? Deploying systems is one thing but having the force structure be able to employ these systems in an adaptive manner requires a great deal of time for training & experience gained. But, even that is possible but it leaves open the following question,

b) how effectively will the enemy be able to counter it? C4I, and all of its subsets, are highly dependent upon comm networks that are not only available but reliable and that implies survivability and adaptibility. THat is a demanding requirement especially given the fact that missile technology is only going to improve - smaller, faster, and more accurate. This means that comm nodes are going to have to heavily defended for NCW-dependent force and nothing is impregnable. And that raises the question,

c)if a NCW-dependent force loses key elements of its network will it then be able to maintain its lethality, especially in the context of the US Army's proposed FCS - lighter & faster. Note that speed is a great strategy but one needs to know the lay of the land for it work. Remember even Alexander's army's mastery of speed ran into the problem of lfacing arge number of slow Indian elephants after the initial victory at the Indus; and no certainty of the lay of the land, i.e, enemy.

d) But, more importantly, given that we are speaking of Infotech, how quickly will smaller powers be able to deploy similiar capabilities, at least from a defensive role? if both parties are sitting on top of their respective hills then the advantage is neutralized to a great extent,

It seems that the Soviet thought may end up proving itself as we enter the next phase of WW4. That is, mean battles between sophisticated platforms during the early phase quickly leading to use of T-34s as other, more powerful, systems get used up..

I view the whole NCW/FCS thingy to be a great idea but one that is analogous to SDI - extremely expensive to deploy but requires minimal investment on the part of the enemy to counter or overwhelm it..It seems that for it to work effectively the enemy would have to be in a state similiar to the Iraqis of 1991..

Am I way off here?

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Postby Rien » 03 Nov 2004 12:12

daulat wrote:Rien - this is off topic, but a while ago I had found an article on the Polish lancers in 1939.
<snip>

btw - the Northern Alliance and US Spec. Forces very recently charged tanks in Afghanistan on horseback and won.


They won? How on Earth is that possible? I don't see how any weaponry outside of a rocket launcher can do harm to tank, and how can anyone carry a rocket launcher on horseback?

This is sufficiently incredible that I'd like proof that they succeeded.

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Postby Rien » 03 Nov 2004 12:48

Pmangalik wrote:Rien,
<snip>
The bottom line is that to achieve the above you need to have a supply of talented human resources ready to enter into that process...and that process is referred to as "Techonlogy Absorption."

India has a much greater edge in the amount of manpower and its overall quality..if it focuses upon expanding that quality it would go a long way towards its ability to absorb technology much more rapidly and that gives it one hell of force multiplying punch..


Thank you very much. This has laid my worries to rest. But what about China? India does not have such a talent lead over the Chinese, although luckily they are obsessed with internal security rather than anything else.

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Postby daulat » 03 Nov 2004 14:20

Rien wrote:
daulat wrote:Rien - this is off topic, but a while ago I had found an article on the Polish lancers in 1939.
<snip>

btw - the Northern Alliance and US Spec. Forces very recently charged tanks in Afghanistan on horseback and won.


They won? How on Earth is that possible? I don't see how any weaponry outside of a rocket launcher can do harm to tank, and how can anyone carry a rocket launcher on horseback?

This is sufficiently incredible that I'd like proof that they succeeded.



the horses nibbled the rubber on the tank treads and made them ineffective. the NA troops were also carrying goats which distracted the taliban tank crews, sometimes urging them to jump out of the tanks to chase the goats, allowing the NA sufficient time to press home the attack.

do a search on time magazine's site in the asia section - the article will come up

an RPG does plenty of damage to a tank, particularly t55's, and they are man portable, however, i wouldn't recommend firing one from a horse - there might be some stability issues!

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Postby daulat » 03 Nov 2004 14:25

pmangalik - you are not way of. what you describe is analogous to a very lean just-in-time production system that is heavily dependent on production information (and predictability) and the critical logistical chain. one screw up and the whole line goes down. expensive and messy.

the comms will have to be defended - but if they are satellite based or other remote means (not always possible) then some nations have advantages over others. if the force structure is too thin then it runs the risk of failure. perhaps it needs spec forces using the tech and lower tech grunts following up to secure? spearhead and shaft both are needed.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 03 Nov 2004 17:41

btw - the Northern Alliance and US Spec. Forces very recently charged tanks in Afghanistan on horseback and won.


They won? How on Earth is that possible? I don't see how any weaponry outside of a rocket launcher can do harm to tank, and how can anyone carry a rocket launcher on horseback?

This is sufficiently incredible that I'd like proof that they succeeded.


They "charged" on horseback, like the Light Brigade, but with some minor differences:

Tanks in front of them,
But cell-phones with all of them,
B-52s above them,
Apaches behind them..

.. Volleyed and thundered.


Amazing. They "charged" on horseback, and the tanks just blew up on their own, a few thousand yards away.

In A'stan , the US used some air-dropped goodies which in turn dispensed a dozen or so independent, parachuted gadgets, programmed to listen for the sound of tank engines and other such noises (not horses' hooves, I hope) then the small rocket engines on the gadgets would fire, and the gadgets would go towards those noises....

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Postby Anoop » 03 Nov 2004 17:43

The other issue with NCW, even if it works very well, is the cycle of information-requiring-decision-requiring further information for validation. Leonhard in his book 'Art of Manoeuver' explains this cycle in layman's terms, but I'm not really convinced that it can't be overcome.

The more serious and related issue is with the need to process information into intelligence. The availability of a plethora of raw information at an insignificant level (i.e. a minor detail in a smaller echelon) can be counterproductive if it distracts a commander at a higher echelon. In other words, Leonhard advocates that the need for information processing is greater than the need for (raw) information sharing and that only the relevant, processed information must be passed on up the chain of command. He further argues that such processing can be done only by (a limited number of) human minds and that excess information tasks their ability to sift the wheat from the chaff.

I believe that this point has been argued on the forum before, but neither side has yet fully convinced the other of the merits and demerits of NCW.

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Postby Singha » 03 Nov 2004 18:40

rocket powered jumping mines have been around since the 1960s I believe. they are dropped near roads where convoys might pass and have some kind of propellant to do a frog-jump at the noise of truck engines.

someone posted a link to one such badboy here once.

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Postby Pmangalik » 03 Nov 2004 20:07

MT Singha,

two years ago a DARPA program was initiated to create adaptive & swarming mine networks. Each mine, as you point would have sensors and the ability to relocate themselves physically, but would also monitor geolocation of targets and adapt their layout pattern accordingly...

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Postby daulat » 03 Nov 2004 20:27

Pmangalik wrote:MT Singha,

two years ago a DARPA program was initiated to create adaptive & swarming mine networks. Each mine, as you point would have sensors and the ability to relocate themselves physically, but would also monitor geolocation of targets and adapt their layout pattern accordingly...



one software bug and suddenly its killa-robots-on-acid mayhem. this raises all kinds of scary scenarios!


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