To correspond with its future objectives and prospective confrontations with China or Russia, the U.S. Army is changing how it approaches upgrading its networking hardware and putting an emphasis on division-based network design.
The U.S. Army is shifting its approach to upgrading networking gear to better align with its goals for 2030 and 2040. As it prepares for potential conflicts with China or Russia, the Army is placing more emphasis on divisions, which consist of 15,000 soldiers capable of sustained fighting. This shift raises questions about the relevance of technology, digital complexity, and connectivity. The Army is moving away from the previous concept of “capability sets” focused on brigades and adopting a new “division as a unit of action network design.” This design will require extensive deliberation and experimentation. The goal is to deploy upgraded equipment based on this design, rather than focusing on new individual technologies. The Army aims to have soldiers equipped with the new network design as early as 2024, with faster turnarounds and more focused improvements. This shift is driven by guidance from Army Futures Command, particularly Gen. James Rainey, who emphasizes the need for assured voice communications, a common operating picture, and digital fires. The acquisition rigor of capability sets will continue under the new approach. The Army will still engage with industry representatives and seek emerging technologies to enable the desired capabilities and architectures.