British scientists support the British army in a US experiment in California

Project Convergence 2022 (PC22) has involved several thousand US, United Kingdom and Australian armed forces personnel, including around 500 British Army personnel. It’s the premiere US Army experimentation exercise and tries to define how that US and international partners, including the United Kingdom and Australia, will fight in a multi-domain battlefield. Convergence is about multinational military benefits from the capabilities of equipment and software combinations.

More than 25 scientists and engineers from the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) were deployed in October and November as part of the project at Fort Irwin, California.

Dstl worked closely with the United Kingdom‘s 20th Armored Combat Battle Team (20 ABCT) and 2nd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (2 YORK) upon delivery of the United Kingdom part of PC22, through a variety of Battlegroup and Platoon level activities. These activities are part of PC22 combined joint interoperable experiment involving the American 1st Cavalry Division.

The experiment aims to help make the British Army more effective on the battlefield by reducing time and complications in the sensor-decide-effector chain by testing a range of cutting-edge systems and technologies, some of them for the first time. This was done by explicitly examining the sensor-decider-effector (SDE) chain and by experimenting with discrete aspects of the chain, such as image processing, deception, or the use of remote and autonomous systems.

Science and research are vital in overcoming challenges and seeing where successes and operational advantages can be found for future warfare.

A map with 3 markers on it.

Several United Kingdom Goals were achieved with United Kingdom Systems and experiments including:

  • HYDRA-R: United Kingdom/US Artificial intelligence toolbox deployed, tested and trained to detect, detect and identify enemy vehicles United Kingdom and US surveillance video. HYDRA-R was the first live deployment of the United Kingdom/US Artificial intelligence (AI) Toolbox, a jointly developed AI Pipeline for the selection, deployment and retraining of AI models on mission. AI Experts from the United Kingdom and US sat shoulder to shoulder in the process, training and deployment AI Models versus data collected by United Kingdom and US platforms. This was the first step in deploying Collaborative AI and autonomy in future project convergence attempts.

  • Cyber ​​and Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) Experimentation: successful use of electronic warfare (EW) Deception capability on a large scale and within a Combined Joint Force.

  • Remote and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Platoon: Creates a “network of things” through autonomous systems that are integrated at the subtactical level by the USresearch project (Pj SHARE). Unmanned air and ground platforms were deployed and displayed on individual soldier-carried devices, which simultaneously displayed real-time information United Kingdom and US dismounted powers.

  • Sensor-Decider-Effector: Exploring the delivery of “every sensor, right decider, and best effector” by integrating a vertical slice (theater to sub-tactical) of networked capabilities as part of a common and combined (multinational) force. This was successfully demonstrated in a multinational formation, with decision makers from one nation being able to attack targets that had been spotted by other nations’ sensors.

  • Expeditionary Combat Service Support: The mix of process, technology, organization and information that provides the best advantage to maintenance personnel supporting repairs in the front ranks has been successfully studied.

  • United Kingdom Rangers: Assist successfully given United Kingdom Rangers in the development and testing of their deployment and operational concepts. The Ranger Regiment is integrated into the Army Special Operations Force US Special Operations Forces (SOF) partners in deep battlespace to defeat enemy forces, disrupt Command and Control (C2) nodes, and facilitate conventional maneuvers.

Dstl Scientists collaborated United Kingdom Future Force Directorate of Army Headquarters (FFD) and were instrumental in the development of data collection and analysis (DC&A) plan for PC22. Over several months Dstl has worked with US Colleagues, particularly the Research and Analysis Center, White Sands Missile Range (TRAC WSMR), to develop test and observation methods. Dstl is an integral part of the Joint Interoperable Data Analysis Cell (JIDAC), which reports daily on the progress of the test and creates the final test reports.

This collaboration received 3-star endorsement and alignment. Cooperation at experimental and operational level with the US and other allies is considered essential to the delivery of future warfare capabilities. The battlefield of the future will require seamless interoperability between systems from different nations. Only by experimenting with systems interoperability at scale can capability development and military effectiveness be advanced.

More than a one-off event, this is a sustained learning campaign aimed at advancing and integrating our allied forces and ensuring we can quickly and continuously “converge” effects across the battlefield.