AN OFFSET FOR AFSOF: COMBINING ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING AND AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS WITH SWARM EMPLOYMENT
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
Pagination or Media Count:
Air Force Special Operations Forces require unique technological solutions tailored to the unique missions and tactics used to accomplish those missions in order to provide them a third offset. Additive manufacturing, autonomy, and swarm employment are three technologies that can potentially provide that offset. This paper will use an evaluation framework to address the research. Additive manufacturing can produce complex designs, including integrated electronic components, with minimal waste. Autonomous systems reduce the risk to service members by removing them from the hostile environment. Swarm technologies and employment use a larger number of simple, relatively low cost, inherently redundant agents to accomplish a task. Each of these technologies on its own presents the possibility of a technological offset, however when combined that potential is expanded. Combining these technologies would provide future commanders the ability to deploy with a force that has been specifically created for the task at hand rather than piecing a force together from the forces available, or more simply put, going to war with the forces you want not the ones you have.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics