Land Force 2010
Systems Methodology
Step 2+

Application of the Systems Methodology
- Land Force 2010

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Systems Methodology Step 2

(Numbers refer to the Systems Methodology)

2/1 Nominate System of Interest: Mobile Land Force 2010

2/2 Explore Boundaries and Finite States: Complementary set of interacting, all terrain, fighting vehicles operating multiple UMAs after the manner of a land-based aircraft carrier task force. States: training, standby, operational, recovery, turnround & repair

2/3 Identify SoS Sibling Systems: air transport, air insertion, air recovery, satellite intelligence, satellite comm/nav, logistic support, repair facilities, vehicle recovery

2/4 Identify & Explore Environment: desert & tundra, varied, wide temperature variation, plains with rocky outcrops, frozen lakes, little vegetation, v. sparsely populated if at all

2/5 Identify SoS Containing System and Objectives: US Global Peace Command. To neutralize enemy incursions into UN designated global deserts and tundra

2/6 Identify and Explore Influences on SOI: Political desire to operate without loss of US lives. UN desire to operate without loss of any lives. US belief in advanced hi-tech weapon systems. US defense business interest in developing advanced, non-lethal weapons

2/7 Identify and Prescribe Interactions and Resources: Air Transport and Insertion; resupply; intelligence; RoE; fuel, weapons and consumables; UMAs; trained operators; repair staff, logisticians, communications, satellite navigation, etc., etc.

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Systems Methodology Step 3

Conceiving a Solution System

  • Maintain the highest level of abstraction;
  • Make as few assumptions as possible;
  • Challenge any and all presumptions;
  • Identify obstacles to solution;
  • Identify alternative ways to overcome obstacles;
  • Creating alternative solution "maps"
  • Model alternative solution concepts dynamically;
  • Explore:
    • counterintuitive behavior,
    • reactions from other systems,
    • resource demands, and likely costs;
  • Select the "best" conceptual solution, where best may mean any or all of:
    • simplest, cheapest, best quality, lowest risk, most appealing, most exciting, most needed, and so on.

The figure shows the so-called TRIAD Building System. For our purposes, we need only go down to the first TRIAD, and identify "functions to give architectures."

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TRIAD Table to Generate Operational Functions

The following table shows procedure for identifying functions to be performed by Land Force 2010. The table is filled in from left to right. In the left hand column is the chosen Prime Directive (PD) for the Force: "to neutralize enemies in open desert and tundra regions around the world." The next column, Semantic Analysis,  interprets and expands that PD, in line with the figure above. Successive columns expand from the Semantic Analysis: Objectives; Strategies to Achieve Objectives; Threats (to achieving Objectives); Strategies to Overcome Threats; Functions to Support (realize) Strategies.

LandForce Table

 Entries in the table do not follow some logical, rational, reductive process. Instead, they are creative and innovative, so that the outcome from the TRIAD Building System is a function of the creativity, innovation, and operational knowledge of the exponent. For example, you may find some of the entries in Column 3/6 'unusual,' even 'unacceptable.' One man's meat, as they say…

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Systems Methodology Step 4

4/1 Develop Measures of Effectiveness:

a) time to scene
b) time to neutralize
c) degree of neutralization
d) Blue casualties
e) Red casualties
f) operation costs & cost effectiveness
g) cost exchange ratios
h) casualty exchange ratios
j) return on capital employed (ROCE)

  • Still at high level - we have yet to posit solution options
  • Note continuity of operations: once started, continues until all "incursors" neutralized
  • This CLM may be simulated, using a nonlinear dynamic modeling tool, to investigate:
    • Time delays
    • Logistics
    • Effects of operations on reserves, maintenance, and vice versa
  • Results of simulation (= operations analysis) may invoke changes to CONOPS
    • e.g. should transport aircraft be on airborne QRA to minimize delays? (Quick Reaction Alert)

The CONOPS is presented in the form of a Causal Loop Model to encourage completeness, although the nature of the CONOPS is more that of a process or procedure.

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Systems Methodology Step 5

In addition to the Prime Mission functions already derived from applying the TRIAD Building System, the CONOPS indicates the need for several more Prime Mission functions:

  • Intelligence development
  • Reconnaissance
  • Command & control
  • Force extraction
  • Base resupply / repair
  • Force self defense

It is now time to take advantage of the Generic Reference Model (GRM) The GRM represents the functional internals of any system under two main headings, doing and thinking, as follows:

  • Function
    • Mission Management
    • Viability Management
    • Resource Management
  • Behaviour
    • Cognition
    • Selection
    • Stimulation

5/3 The table shows one way in which the GRM may be used. The three aspects of Mission, Viability and Resource Management are laid out as columns. T he instantiation of the respective GRM element is shown against each item in each of the three columns. So, under Mission Management, the GRM indicates that there must exist within the system of interest (SOI) a means for the Management of Information. In this instance, the function will be performed by a Communications Center and an Imaging Center.

Similarly, the management of survival is shown as invoking formation management (of the fleet of vehicles and UMAs forming the force), and the management of a self-defense system - as yet unspecified.

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5/2 As with Doing, or Function, so with Thinking, of Behavior. Progressively, this approach using the GRM identifies and nominates internal functions, without which the force would be unable to operate effectively.

5/4. All of the internal functions are drawn together into an N2 chart - above - where omissions are sought. In the figure, relationships and interactions are proposed at the question marks, between CPRM and Climate Control on the one hand and between ROE Management (Rules of Engagement) and Command and Control on the other.

Reclustering the N2 chart post correction shows there to be four major groupings, as shown above.

5/6 The Functional Architecture diagram, taken directly from the N2 Chart above, shows the internal architecture of the new land force.

5/7 Connecting the previous figure into the external parts of the overall system, including the support, logistics, intelligence, navigation and transport elements, results in the figure above. An overall functional architecture, shwing the principle systems of Land Force 2010.

Only the GRM (Function) and GRM (Behavior) models have been used so far: the GRM (Form) model is outstanding - it identifies power, structures, influences, etc. Having worked on the functional aspects, we are now able to posit optional (physical) solution concepts. The idea is emerging of a highly mobile and transportable land force, which may be air-inserted near the scene of some activity. The force makes extensive use of UMAs, both for reconnaissance and for engaging a supposed enemy; one purpose of this is to minimize the potential for casualties on our, Blue, side.

The concept is not dissimilar to a naval task force formed around an aircraft carrier. Carrier aircraft recce., defend the fleet, mount attacks ahead of fleet, and so on. The carrier is vulnerable, however - and considerable effort is expended to defend it.

Solution Concept Options

Land Force 2010 could be:

  • Formed around a "carrier" able to launch and retrieve UMAs while on the move.
    • Other fighting vehicles/aircraft would be needed to defend carrier
  • Or, it could comprise several vehicles, some able to launch, others able to retrieve, with yet others able to control - functional split.
    • Other fighting vehicles would be needed to defend UMA core force.
  • Or, it could comprise a number of semiautonomous vehicles, each able to move, fight, launch, control and retrieve its own UMAs.

5/13. At this point a further, more detailed CONOPS is called for. This one shows the various physical elements in the overall SoS, the TLEs, the UMAs (Raptors and Dragonflies,) in continuous operation, bound into a single, cohesive system by the network of communication, navigation and identification (CNI). This is the organismic analogy in evidence, i.e., the various parts cooperate to act as a single system. The CNI supports and enables a number of system-wide applications: cooperative surveillance and reconnaissance, the formation of a Recognized Air and Surface Picture (RASP), target nomination, target allocation, kill assessment, etc. This detailed CONOPS identifies further system wide Prime Operational Functions, essential in this case to establish a unified force.

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What is design?

  • Not obvious, once you ask the question
  • For a house/home, is it just the layout, the number, purpose and size of rooms? Or...
  • ...does it include the ancillaries
    • Electrical points, gas points, etc; air conditioning; waste disposal
  • ...does it include the immediate environment?
    • Garden, swimming pool, tennis courts, garage(s), encroaching neighbor, schools, shops, bus-stops, etc?
  • Thinking about it, design could go on for ever;there have to be sensible levels of limit to detail.
  • Yet again, because we are talking about systems, and about systems design as part of systems engineering
    • The design has to be holistic, organismic and synthetic
    • So, we have to design the whole system
      • Whatever that is
    • The design has to see the parts acting as a unified whole
    • The whole has to be made up from interacting subsystems
  • In fact, looking at Land Force 2010, it is not unlike the challenges facing early Apollo.

Looking back at Apollo

  • Several levels of system design
  • Top level included
    • all of the major modules,
    • how they fitted together,
    • how they acted as one,
    • how they could separate, act independently, dock, etc
  • Particularly, how they served the CONOPS
  • In fact, more like their emergent properties, capabilities and behaviors
  • Not very much about the internals of any of them
    • All of that is second level design; one for each major module, each with its own CONOPS - part of overall CONOPS.

Similarly, system design for LF2010 consists of

  • Air transport vehicles, those loaded with the "transportable land elements" (TLEs)
  • TLEs forming the ground element of LF2010
  • UMA/RPVs forming the interdiction, air attack, air defense and close air support elements
  • As TLEs emerge from the transport aircraft, so UMAs emerge from the TLEs

It may also be that some options require the transport aircraft, with appropriate systems and crews, to assume additional roles as forward air controllers, remote pilots for UMAs, and a communications relay. The air transport element looks set to be viewed as an integral part of the system - as any feasible CONOPS would dictate anyway.

Identifying an Option

Important Note:

We lack the space to pursue a full range of options, as prescribed by the Systems Methodology. Instead, the following sections pursue only one option, which has been chosen quite arbitrarily

So far we have looked at function and behavior, not form. We must consider form before we can proceed further

The limiting form factor is the capacity of the transport aircraft

  • What weight it can carry
  • What size vehicle it can upload and insert
  • So, how many vehicles can it carry at once
  • ...and what kind of aircraft is it anyway?
  • As with Apollo, the delivery vehicle provides the overall limitation in terms of weight, size and shape
  • The delivery vehicle also has to be appropriate to the operating environment
  • We will assume a bespoke, V/STOL transport, 2,500nm hop when fully loaded, carrying capacity at max range = 35 tonnes
  • This means that there will have to be more than one Land Force 2010 base around the world to provide "instant global cover."
  • 10-tonne vehicle - much lighter than a tank
  • The concept employs vehicle agility and camouflage, rather than heavy armor for survivability
  • TLE vehicles are not intended to fight.
  • Instead, they carry a wide range of UMA/RPVs that can deliver weapons
  • Operators not intended to come into contact with enemy
  • Hence, Blue casualties should be minimal
    • In principle.

Prototype Raptor

The notion developed that UMAs should appear as though they were natural to the environment - desert or tundra as appropriate. Not only would this act as camouflage from some potential foe, but also the impact of UMAs on other forms of life in such delicate ecosystems would be minimized. The natural choice was to make the UMA look like a raptor indigenous to the are in question.

Prototype raptor

  • Uses nano-technology
  • Uses biological parts
  • Wings are solar panels
  • Legs are radio antennae
  • Eyes are video cameras
  • Tail is "flat" radio lens
  • Raptor able to soar and fly on its own
  • Can also be guided
  • Can carry "dragonflies"

Raptors deploy "dragonflies" for closer look

Dragonflies use nano-technology, plus biological muscle inserts

Graphic shows dragonfly reporting through raptor to C2 after exploring mud village.

Our solution option carries 3-TLEs at 10 tonnes each, in tandem in the cargo hold

The remaining 5-tonnes are:

  • command and control + CPRM
  • remote vehicle control stations
  • TLEs
  • UMA/RPVs
  • intelligence suite
  • Communications, including satcom
  • logistic supplies
  • repair bays

A full force might comprise 20+ such aircraft, with 60+ TLEs deployed at once, each with multiple UMA/RPVs active simultaneously, all on the go

  • Each of the TLEs is externally similar
  • Each has a skirt which can be used to hover
  • Get out of bogs, ponds, quicksand, cross water, ice, etc.
  • Under the skirt are retractable drive wheels/half-tracks for normal road/off road use
  • There are no windows, doors, or visible apertures
  • The sides are covered with a material that can be induced to reflect like a mirror
  • The top displays a live "photocopy" of the road being passed over
  • In this way, the vehicle can be virtually invisible while stationary and on the move

  • Each TLE can be driven using full internal controls
  • However, each can also be remotely controlled from another, or from the transport aircraft
  • Vehicle supplied with stereo TV, and high definition radar
  • Ongoing development may make the vehicles steer and drive autonomously in the future

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To view the dynamic effects of this Chameleon camouflage, double-click on on the movie below.

  • Each vehicle carries UMA/RPVs and weapons
  • Some UMA/RPVs used for reconnaissance, with live, encrypted TV link back to TLEs and transport aircraft
  • UMA/RPVs launched on the go. Concealed roof panel opens, the UMA rises on a platform, resealing the TLE, and the UMA lifts off. The process takes less than 5 seconds.
  • Recovery is the (automated) reverse procedure.
  • Other UMA/RPVs specialized:psi-ops, negotiation, confusion
  • Recce UMAs appear as raptors, gliding, soaring, aloft for hours, scouring ground for clues
  • Other UMA/RPVs carry weapons:
    • Non-lethal personnel antiriot weapons
    • Sleep-gases, stun devices
    • Area anti-technology weapons
    • SREMP
    • Area blast weapons
    • Fuel-air and thermobaric - work into buildings, caves, etc.,
    • Point impact and blast weapons
    • Energy weapons, rockets, canon, etc.
  • Energy weapon housed in TLE - beam reflected off UMA/RPV mirror. TLE operator sees target reflected through telescope, remotely adjusts mirror on UMA, fires, assesses damage - full SATKA cycle:
    • Development of SDI Fighting Mirror?

Force operates as a single whole, made up from TLAs, Raptors, Dragonflies, etc., Whole force-on-the-move is a SWARM. Design will involve numerous simulations of SWARMs of various sizes operating across different kinds of terrain against different enemy forces. The whole will networked to hold together as a single fighting unit. This network-enabled, or network centric force concept depends upon developmental technologies

  • Several identified already
  • One fundamental technology is the communications/navigation/identification (CNI) system that ties all the vehicles together
  • This will be based on proven DTDMA design, but operating in an absorption band of the radio spectrum
    • An advanced, high capacity, non-nodal communications interchange method
    • Pseudo-random frequency hopping, transmission intervals, and chip phase coding combine to create a noise-like spectral output
    • Highly resistant to detection, interception, jamming, direction finding. Use of absorption spectrum reinforces security
    • Proven technology, although not at this frequency

The transport aircraft fuselage will look as shown when loaded with 3 TLAs. When empty, the other facilities - Repair Bays, Logistics, CPRM, etc., will be free to act. C2, intelligence and communications will work all the time, particularly during SWARM operations. During ops,the transport aircraft may:

  • hold back to the rear, and remain hidden
  • move from location to location to avoid targeting
  • operate from the air

Each TLA - in this particular design option - is identical, and laid out in plan a shown above. Each TLA can be driven from within, or remotely by a driver using sensors and remote controls. Ultimately, it is the intention that some of the vehicles will be semiautonomous, being able to sense ahead and steer themselves.

  • We have described our option
  • We have identified many of its properties, capabilities and behaviors - in general terms
  • And we could similarly describe other options &endash; and validate them against their CONOPS
  • In the process, we have identified a variety of new, novel and/or updated requirements: e.g., chameleon surfaces, raptor surveillance, etc.
  • We have yet to be specific about vital parameters:
    • Power outputs, capacities, ranges, effectiveness


Continue to Step 6 of the Systems Methodology

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© D K Hitchins 2016