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Two Shades of Green: Can the British Army's Warfighting Division Fight and Win Without Fossil Fuels in 2050?


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This study explored how abandoning diesel for sustainability could affect warfighting ability and credible deterrence. It was optimistic in nature and attempted to find advantages in alternative power sources. The study found the reduced energy density of electrification or hydrogen compared to diesel forced compromise in platform capabilities across firepower, protection, and mobility. The study argued that future find and strike capability in the deep could mitigate the risks posed by fielding a lighter, faster, electric force in the close. However, the study concluded that an electric warfighting division is unlikely to prevail and win against a conventionally powered adversary. This was because of operational challenges in energy supply, storage, and movement. For example, the study calculated the battery equivalent of a 600,000-liter bulk fuel installation would weigh 6,700 tons, requiring hundreds of support vehicles to move. British and U.S. Army futures teams must focus on developing operational supply, storage, and movement solutions rather than the electrification of individual vehicles at the tactical level. The study also identified a significant finding for 3 (UK) Division and Future Soldier: A lack of realistic sustainment modeling in simulations appeared to exaggerate the impact of deep fires on WARFIGHTER. This correlated with an apparent disconnect between the logistical capacity available to 1st Deep Strike Reconnaissance Brigade under Future Soldier, and its artillery logistics demand. This merits further exploration.



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