Warfighting Warrior Experimentation

Excellent news, I have been a long time proponent of experimentation without specific fully worked up statement of user requirements.

The Royal Navy has been publicising the upcoming Unmanned Warrior, and even has a Fleet Robotics Officer. And now, the British Army, as revealed in the latest DESIDER magazine, is joining the party.

The Army Warfighting Experiment 2017 will build on the success of previous similar initiatives that were more tightly focused on dismounted close combat. The concept is to encourage corporate organisations, SME’s and even individual innovators to bring forth their products and concepts against a series of broad requirements. The RAF Regiment and Royal Marines will also be there, as will a team from the US Army.

[box type=”custom” bg=”#F5F5F5″ color=”#” border=”#” radius=”0″ fontsize=”14″]Industry first have to progress through a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style phase, where they have 10 minutes to pitch the benefits and capabilities of their product to a Military Judgement Panel (MJP). Those successful will then have their equipment or system tested by experts from the Army’s Trials and Development Units (TDUs), the Royal Air Force Regiment, the Royal Marines and also a squad from the US Army. This operationally representative exercise will take place on Salisbury Plain over a six week period early next year. Finally, at the end of March, a VIP day will be held to give industry  and their products/systems visibility to senior members of the British Army.[/box]

Read the full article, at the link above, but whilst this may seem small beer, it is hugely encouraging and hats must be doffed to those in DE&S and the RN and British Army.

British Army Exercise Tractable - Combined Arms Demnonstration 07

Come on RAF, where is your similar event!


Can we just bloody stop with this Warfighter nonsense, it is an Americanism that makes us sound like fawning fools, desperately following US military fashion in a pathetic attempt to be trendy.

Like Dad dancing and middle aged men with ponytails, it is cringeworthy.

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September 14, 2016 8:53 pm

I don’t like the use of the word ‘warrior’ either.

Stephen Duckworth
Stephen Duckworth
September 14, 2016 9:13 pm

Indeed good to see that innovation can be given a chance to be demonstrated to people who can actually make a decision rather than a faceless organisation.

September 15, 2016 1:05 pm

how about defence making?

Slightly Agricultural
Slightly Agricultural
September 16, 2016 8:50 am

I too hate the term ‘warfighter’ for all the same reasons.

And what about, say, an attached medic or Combat Logistics Patrol? Nobody would deny they are vital but do they class as “warfighters” (not being inherently ‘fighty’ by nature)? Who is and is not a “warfighter”? Where do you draw the line?

I hope it goes out of fashion soon…

September 16, 2016 5:56 pm

Its quite difficult to do show and tell with aircraft – they’re rather more complex and costly. Even with subsystems you’re into years and millions to integrate new kit onto aircraft. I don’t really see what a similar air power innovation experiment could really demonstrate.

Peter Elliott
September 17, 2016 6:54 am

A few home truths from Gen Barrons (rtd)


September 17, 2016 11:40 am

Is it true that the RAF is sticking its latest Tranche 3 Typhoons in a shed rather than operating them? Its not as if the RAF is awash with fighterbombers.

September 17, 2016 11:46 am


Managing the airframe life across the fleet means storing some. This enables you to sustain the whole fleet to osd rather than life-exing more and more of the fleet incrementally.

There is a forward flying fleet, those in maintenance and refit, and those in long term storage. All airframes rotate through these stages.

This is normal and ensures we can still operate the same number of aircraft in 2035-2040

Peter Elliott
September 17, 2016 11:50 am

Its a question of the operating cost in people to stand up a squadron. The front line strength of the Typhoon force will be affected by the force plot both for the end of Tornado and the generation curve for F35B.

The decision was made in SDSR15 to plug the ‘Fighter Gap’ between the end of Tornado in 2019 and the advent of a sufficinetly large and techncally mature F35B force some time in the mid 2020s by allowing the Typhoon Force to grow to 7 Squadrons in the meantime. So I would expect that come 2019 when the last of the Tonkas stands down we will be rolling a few more Tranche 3s out of the shed and into squadron service. Personally I’d be quite happy that we run the Tranche 1 Typhoons into the ground over the next 7 or 8 years and then scrap them when they finally go obsolescent and bring the rest Tranche 3s online as we need them.