Project Convergence takes cross-domain combat to new heights

The Army is gearing up for the third year of its Project Convergence “Learning Campaign,” now reshaping combined arms maneuver paradigms, introducing new tactics, and shortening “sensor-to-shooter” times from minutes to seconds.

Beginning in 2020, Project Convergence demonstrated something the military has spent decades trying to accomplish: networking multiple manned and unmanned nodes into a distributed, multi-domain force. Advanced reconnaissance mini-drones, called air-launched effects, were able to find targets and instantly relay details through the force to larger drones, helicopters, ground-based artificial intelligence systems and others. weapons.

The concept is to gather and analyze pools of otherwise disparate sensor data, perform near real-time analysis on the data with the AI-enabled Firestorm system, and match targeting details to weapon systems. This process, explained the architects of the Convergence project, could traditionally take twenty minutes, as the data must be transmitted, analyzed, organized, and then transmitted to human decision makers. Now, that process has been reduced to about twenty seconds, essentially revolutionizing an offensive strike force’s ability to implement high-tempo, networked, AI-enhanced combined arms maneuvers.

During the initial exercise at Yuma Proving Grounds, satellites, manned platforms and mini-drones collected and transmitted targeting details to a computer system capable of analyzing massive volumes of incoming data in seconds. and to make key decisions related to the threat and the optimal weapon to use against the target.

Building on this success, the Army took Project Convergence 2021 to a new level of connectivity by demonstrating advanced applications of cross-domain networking between Army, Navy and Army technologies. ‘air. In one instance, Marine Corps F-35B fighters were able to share real-time targeting and intelligence data with dismounted ground troops, enabling new dimensions of multi-domain combat operations.

Army Maj. Gen. John Rafferty, director of the long-range cross-functional marksmanship team, told the national interest that Project Convergence 2021 developments have brought the service closer to the high-priority goals of the Pentagon’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) multi-service initiative. The idea is to attack at the “speed of relevance” and integrate pools of otherwise disparate incoming data and sensor information. The faster data can be shared and analyzed across multiple domains, the faster an attacking force can get in front of or within an enemy’s decision-making cycle and prevail in battle. Project Convergence represents the Army’s contribution to JADC2 and aims to operationalize the Pentagon’s multi-service joint warfare concept.

“The Convergence 2021 project has begun to engage common partners and illustrate the JADC2 concept,” Rafferty said. “As we jump into 2022, joint combat concepts have matured and functional concepts have matured,” he added.

After expanding Project Convergence to integrate other services beyond the Army, the Army now plans to integrate a number of allied partners into its 2022 experience.

Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the national interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a highly trained expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Osborn also worked as an on-air military anchor and specialist on national television networks. He has appeared as a guest military pundit on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University..

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