Battle Networks: The Three Part Series

Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Marianne Guemo U.S. Northern Command

Militaries use battle networks to detect what is happening on the battlefield, process that data into actionable information, decide on a course of action, communicate decisions among forces, act on those decisions, and assess the effectiveness of the actions taken. Battle networks are sometimes referred to as the “sensor-to-shooter kill chain” (or just the “kill chain”), and they are widely acknowledged as an increasingly important element of modern warfare.

While the importance of battle networks has garnered more attention in recent years, battle networks themselves are not new. Early battle networks used scouts, couriers, flags, telegraphs, and wired field telephones to transmit information and decisions among forces on the battlefield. More advanced battle networks began to emerge in World War II with the widespread adoption of technologies such as radar, sonar, radio communications, and aerial reconnaissance. As battle networks became faster, longer range, and more advantageous to militaries, the networks themselves also became an attractive target. As John Stillion and Bryan Clark have noted, the competition between battle networks was a key element of World War II, particularly in submarine and anti-submarine warfare. 

This three-part series explores battle networks and challenges for the future of battle networks as they explore the framework for debate, the operational challenges and acquisitions process, and the role of allies and partners. 


Download Battle Networks and the Future Force: Part 1, A Framework for Debate


Download Battle Networks and the Future Force: Part 2, Operational Challenges and Acquisition Opportunities


Download Battle Networks and the Future Force: Part 3, The Role of Allies and Partners


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