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A Peek into the future of Combat

Signalian

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The current mobilization of Russia has raised a few points about the future of war and how combat is conducted in this modern warfare.

President Putin announced partial mobilisation saying 300,000 reservists would be called up. Had Putin made the decision to mobilise in early May, it is likely that new Russian units would now be ready to be pushed into Ukraine, just as Ukraine’s forces are stretched out, consolidating their recent gains. This would have been the most dangerous course of action. But Putin – long known for putting off difficult decisions – instead decided to reinforce his depleted units through recruitment campaigns. This has kept up troop levels, but topping up demoralized units did not improve their combat power. With many Russian units in Ukraine between 50% and 70% strength, the most immediate effect of mobilisation will be to create a large number of poorly trained replacements to shore up the numbers.

Such mobilisation efforts are seen for large scale conflicts lasting months to years, however, it was determined that in modern combat many factors may have made the concept of mobilisation obsolete in many forms.

1. Air Warfare

USAF plays one of the most important part in any conflict that USA takes part in as it continues to maintain unparalleled air-to-air capabilities. Even in the most challenging cases examined, the United States does not “lose” the war in the air as it tries to maintain air superiority over the area of conflict. This was seen in different wars over the last 2-3 decades. Airpower provides unique deep strike capabilities unavailable via other means at times, though long range missiles can be considered a good option, yet an air launched cruise missile can give a decisive edge in range.

With a mix of 4, 4.5 and 5 generation fighters, stealth bombers, strategic airlift, UAV/UCAVs, and other force multipliers, USAF is expected to dominate the battlefield. The US Air Force’s strategic bombardment capability is valuable in gaining air supremacy, especially concerning enemy integrated air defense systems. Yet their expertise in the air-to-air environment might play a more significant role in achieving and maintaining air supremacy in a future war just as it did in the past. The decisive factor is not the materiel; it is the Airmen who employ it. Defeat in the air is more than the loss of an aircraft. It typically results in the loss of the pilot, whether killed or taken prisoner. It is easier to replace materiel than the knowledge and skill of a pilot gained through experience. RuAF did not put on an air show of the massive caliber when its inventory of aircraft is observed, there were many other factors hampering RuAF operations which degraded its performance considerably in different forms of air combat.

This is where the question lies - to what extent can PAF and PAA assets undertake combat (all missions) and logistics support which can turn the tide of war for Pakistan whether in WOT or a war with India ?

2. Long Range/Short Range Surface Strike Missiles

Russia had employed hundreds of powerful and precise ballistic missile attacks against Ukraine with mixed results. According to Ukrainians,
Russia is using inaccurate missiles from old Soviet stocks for more than 50 percent of its strikes in Ukraine, and the rate of the strikes keeps fluctuating including civilians centres as targets which could be due to poor targeting. The missile strikes have been ranging between 100 to 200 in some months. Different reasons have been attributed to the lack of effectiveness of the Russian missile strikes against Ukraine.

Pakistan and India have an ever growing arsenal of missiles, these includes ballistic, cruise, air launched and sea launched missiles. Can missiles play a decisive part to win the war for Pakistan and India ?

3. Digitization and Robotic Age

It was expected in the future wars that mobilisation of massive scales might not take place anymore. The most advanced armies of the twenty-first century will rely far more on cutting-edge technology. Instead of limitless cannon fodder, countries will need only small numbers of highly trained soldiers, even smaller numbers of special forces super-warriors and a handful of experts who know how to produce and use sophisticated technology. Hi-tech forces ‘manned’ by pilotless drones and cyber-worms should replace the mass armies of the twentieth century, and generals delegate more and more critical decisions to computer systems and algorithms. Cyber-wars may last just a few minutes. Even in drone wars, if one drone cannot fire a shot without first receiving the go-ahead from a human operator in some bunker while the other drone is fully autonomous, the latter will win.

Concerning this factor, should Pakistan,
a. Form a bigger cyber-warfare division ( for dedicated attacks on enemy infrastructure, economic hubs, DOS etc) employing top minds instead of recruiting more soldiers and buying more weapons. Equivalent formations in size category of infantry division raised in favor of cyber warfare.

b. Go towards manufacturing of robots/unmanned systems for its combat needs on the ground and sea. Drone tanks, drone trucks, drone combat ships etc. HIT/HMC shits production towards unmanned ground vehicles for combat and logistics, so does KSEW.

c. Consider making its forces lighter and nimble which are more suited for a specialized QRF role than a conventional role. Special forces backed with technologically advanced sensors and weapons.
 

Thəorətic Muslim

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The biggest boost for Ukrainian resistance has been the continuous supply of armaments from US & NATO. This has boosted the morale of Ukrainian troops beyond expectations of even US/NATO command and close to every defense analyst.

The failure of Russia to cut down on Ukrainian logistical roots to the front line has been impacted because of the Russian AirForce's failure to gain air supremacy as well as the saturation of MANPADs cutting off any elevation of comfort for CAS to operate in. Thanks to corruption rot throughout the Russian military it's stockpiles of munitions and equipment was vastly overstated. The vast rudimentary/developed transportation network of Ukraine came to it's salvation. Infantry may win battles but logistics wins wars.

The prevalence of drone warfare has solidified. With the diffusion of cheap consumer drones where a few changes can turn them into unseen assassins demands battlefield a competent EW system to envelope the entire battlefield. Where a drone enthusiastic high schooler with a $80 propeller and access to explosives can turn into an effective soldier. A few grenade well placed drops can easily wipe out command and control destroying morale and discipline that inevitability removes combat effectiveness.

Which leads to effectiveness of decentralized command allowing frontline battalion/company/platoon commanders to exploit weaknesses through probes and recon. Has demanded a strict slow paced Russian offensive to push in uniform without gaps between units. Quick raids can outmaneuver pockets of enemy positions for systematic destruction. Most militaries have "independent divisions/brigades/regiments" but there is room to further explore smaller units with greater flexibility. Units that can more easily be repositioned between different fronts. While strategic offensives have been buttressed on an open flow of intelligence internally and from external actors.

Coming to the final point of public perception. Ukraine has constantly put out videos of their forces. Whether drones dropping mortars to front line units in fierce combat. Allowing morale to remain high and diplomacy to have talking points. Structured media press conferences with strict unified talking points have brought out a single voice for the Ukrainian people to rally behind. Not random politicians or rogue diplomats going off script. Strict control of communications was maintained.

Some lessons from WoT have continued. But new ones are being learned. Question is if military commanders are paying enough attention and bringing reforms to their structure and experiment.
 
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Sayfullah

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Pakistan needs:
-many cheap suicide drones like Shahed 139
-many cheap quadcopter drones armed with grenades or mortar rounds
-lots of atgms on fast vehicles like ATV’s
-good amount of short to medium range sam’s similar to Tor or Buk
-very good intel and agents deeply infiltrated into enemy ranks
-a way to mobilize many if needed
 

CLUMSY

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We need more advanced man portable AT systems like the Javelin. Maybe integrate systems like the ATAK into specialized forces. A smaller but more well equipped force would be pretty good. Heavier airlift aircraft for transporting tanks and APCs on a short notice. Suicide drones and more emphasis on cybersecurity. For air warfare invest in AWACs and better radars to set up networks between aircraft creating a know all environment for the PAF. Keep introducing more technical education for soldiers, particularly in the electronic field. New equipment is useless without education. But lets start with getting rid of toyotas from the military first...
 

Path-Finder

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Pakistan needs a good economy and 0 corruption in its political and institutional sphere.

with what bajwa did, it has internationally reduced Pakistan on the global stage to a laughing stock and open for ridicule.

that's why Pakistan is a crown jewel of the 3rd world, while even Liberia has gotten its act together and its changing its self.

for as long as moral corruption exists in Pakistan like we have witnessed right now. forget winning any war.
 

truthseeker2010

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The current mobilization of Russia has raised a few points about the future of war and how combat is conducted in this modern warfare.

President Putin announced partial mobilisation saying 300,000 reservists would be called up. Had Putin made the decision to mobilise in early May, it is likely that new Russian units would now be ready to be pushed into Ukraine, just as Ukraine’s forces are stretched out, consolidating their recent gains. This would have been the most dangerous course of action. But Putin – long known for putting off difficult decisions – instead decided to reinforce his depleted units through recruitment campaigns. This has kept up troop levels, but topping up demoralized units did not improve their combat power. With many Russian units in Ukraine between 50% and 70% strength, the most immediate effect of mobilisation will be to create a large number of poorly trained replacements to shore up the numbers.

Such mobilisation efforts are seen for large scale conflicts lasting months to years, however, it was determined that in modern combat many factors may have made the concept of mobilisation obsolete in many forms.

1. Air Warfare

USAF plays one of the most important part in any conflict that USA takes part in as it continues to maintain unparalleled air-to-air capabilities. Even in the most challenging cases examined, the United States does not “lose” the war in the air as it tries to maintain air superiority over the area of conflict. This was seen in different wars over the last 2-3 decades. Airpower provides unique deep strike capabilities unavailable via other means at times, though long range missiles can be considered a good option, yet an air launched cruise missile can give a decisive edge in range.

With a mix of 4, 4.5 and 5 generation fighters, stealth bombers, strategic airlift, UAV/UCAVs, and other force multipliers, USAF is expected to dominate the battlefield. The US Air Force’s strategic bombardment capability is valuable in gaining air supremacy, especially concerning enemy integrated air defense systems. Yet their expertise in the air-to-air environment might play a more significant role in achieving and maintaining air supremacy in a future war just as it did in the past. The decisive factor is not the materiel; it is the Airmen who employ it. Defeat in the air is more than the loss of an aircraft. It typically results in the loss of the pilot, whether killed or taken prisoner. It is easier to replace materiel than the knowledge and skill of a pilot gained through experience. RuAF did not put on an air show of the massive caliber when its inventory of aircraft is observed, there were many other factors hampering RuAF operations which degraded its performance considerably in different forms of air combat.

This is where the question lies - to what extent can PAF and PAA assets undertake combat (all missions) and logistics support which can turn the tide of war for Pakistan whether in WOT or a war with India ?

2. Long Range/Short Range Surface Strike Missiles

Russia had employed hundreds of powerful and precise ballistic missile attacks against Ukraine with mixed results. According to Ukrainians,
Russia is using inaccurate missiles from old Soviet stocks for more than 50 percent of its strikes in Ukraine, and the rate of the strikes keeps fluctuating including civilians centres as targets which could be due to poor targeting. The missile strikes have been ranging between 100 to 200 in some months. Different reasons have been attributed to the lack of effectiveness of the Russian missile strikes against Ukraine.

Pakistan and India have an ever growing arsenal of missiles, these includes ballistic, cruise, air launched and sea launched missiles. Can missiles play a decisive part to win the war for Pakistan and India ?

3. Digitization and Robotic Age

It was expected in the future wars that mobilisation of massive scales might not take place anymore. The most advanced armies of the twenty-first century will rely far more on cutting-edge technology. Instead of limitless cannon fodder, countries will need only small numbers of highly trained soldiers, even smaller numbers of special forces super-warriors and a handful of experts who know how to produce and use sophisticated technology. Hi-tech forces ‘manned’ by pilotless drones and cyber-worms should replace the mass armies of the twentieth century, and generals delegate more and more critical decisions to computer systems and algorithms. Cyber-wars may last just a few minutes. Even in drone wars, if one drone cannot fire a shot without first receiving the go-ahead from a human operator in some bunker while the other drone is fully autonomous, the latter will win.

Concerning this factor, should Pakistan,
a. Form a bigger cyber-warfare division ( for dedicated attacks on enemy infrastructure, economic hubs, DOS etc) employing top minds instead of recruiting more soldiers and buying more weapons. Equivalent formations in size category of infantry division raised in favor of cyber warfare.

b. Go towards manufacturing of robots/unmanned systems for its combat needs on the ground and sea. Drone tanks, drone trucks, drone combat ships etc. HIT/HMC shits production towards unmanned ground vehicles for combat and logistics, so does KSEW.

c. Consider making its forces lighter and nimble which are more suited for a specialized QRF role than a conventional role. Special forces backed with technologically advanced sensors and weapons.

1. War is a expensive business. You said you can replace material (how) but not a person. Pakistan lacks economic muscle to do that as compared to india. Russia too has limited financial resources due to which its air usage had been limited in Ukraine.

2. The usage of missile (assuming they use it in conventional role) in indo pak conflict will lead to larger collateral damage due to excessive civil pop around strategic locations. Will it turn the tide of war depends on performance and quantity of missiles used by either side.

3. Unmanned will complement the manned forces it won't reduce the importance of manned forces in quantity.
a. Yes it's the need of hour.
b. That will be expensive and you will need very high skilled labour.
c. That can be suitable for local ops but not for fighting India.
 

CLUMSY

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Pakistan needs a good economy and 0 corruption in its political and institutional sphere.

with what bajwa did, it has internationally reduced Pakistan on the global stage to a laughing stock and open for ridicule.

that's why Pakistan is a crown jewel of the 3rd world, while even Liberia has gotten its act together and its changing its self.

for as long as moral corruption exists in Pakistan like we have witnessed right now. forget winning any war.
Exactly, and education. Good education for the future soldier is very important.
 

Signalian

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Aug 18, 2015
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We need more advanced man portable AT systems like the Javelin. Maybe integrate systems like the ATAK into specialized forces. A smaller but more well equipped force would be pretty good. Heavier airlift aircraft for transporting tanks and APCs on a short notice. Suicide drones and more emphasis on cybersecurity. For air warfare invest in AWACs and better radars to set up networks between aircraft creating a know all environment for the PAF. Keep introducing more technical education for soldiers, particularly in the electronic field. New equipment is useless without education. But lets start with getting rid of toyotas from the military first...
Unmanned systems, robots, cyber warfare - to bring down human causalities. Sending soldiers in tanks or Toyota trucks will incur human causalities nonetheless.
 

SaadH

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Pakistan needs a good economy and 0 corruption in its political and institutional sphere.

with what bajwa did, it has internationally reduced Pakistan on the global stage to a laughing stock and open for ridicule.

that's why Pakistan is a crown jewel of the 3rd world, while even Liberia has gotten its act together and its changing its self.

for as long as moral corruption exists in Pakistan like we have witnessed right now. forget winning any war.
Dimwit sepoys just invested $2bn in MBTs circa 1942, as if they will be called up colonial masters to fight Afrika Corp in El Aleman as was the case several generations ago.
 

TNT

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Pakistan army doesn't have suicide drones yet i guess, shows our backward mentality, while iran with harshest sanctions still manage to modernize and evolve.
In the Russia Ukraine war, the ukranians are able to hit Russian depots and logistic hubs, while russia cant. Russia should have been able to hit the incoming weapons shipments and logistic hubs, but surprisingly they cant. I guess it has all to do with battle space awareness. The US is providing Ukraine with a live coverage of the battle space and they know every weapons depo, storage and hub. The Russians hardly dented ukranian logistics.
 

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