Technological trends – possible implications for the Norwegian Air Force

FFI-Report 2020

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Report number

20/01894

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978-82-464-3287-8

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Mats Rjaanes Marte Kalveland Karl Erik Olsen Reidar Haugen Alexander W. Beadle Lars Aarønæs

This report looks at how emerging technology might affect the Norwegian Air Force in the coming 10– 40 years. The report makes assumptions and assessments based on observed trends and analytical conclusions. The report does not attempt to predict absolute truths, but to provide the reader with insight into possible developments and some consequences.

Current threats are more sectoral and complex than before and characterized with high uncertainty regarding possible adversarial intentions and capacity. The road from crisis to conflict is more unclear. In order to handle these challenges there is a need to strengthen the Norwegian Armed Forces.

The current Norwegian Air Force is characterized by the introduction of several new platforms, including F-35 and P-8. Much effort is being done in order for these capacities to achieve their full operational ability. Several of these platforms will be operational up until 2060.

Global developments in the coming years are expected to be characterized by state actors’ search for influence. In addition, economic and political power is expected to move from Western to Eastern states. These developments affect how future conflicts and wars are conducted.

Technology is developing at a fast pace. New emerging technologies have the potential to cause conceptual changes for the Norwegian Armed Forces. The Norwegian Air Force is expected to utilize much of the same technology in 2030 as today, but its application and life span will be extended in the coming 10–40 years. Several technologies that currently have low maturity are expected to be utilized on the battlefield.

Technological development will affect the speed of warfighting and reduce the presence of secure bases. Emerging weapon technologies, in addition to artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy, will affect future operating concepts of the Norwegian Air Force. Airspace will have to be shared with several new actors, and technological domination will become harder to achieve. New technology will affect the future composition and need for personnel.

If the Norwegian Air Force fails to utilize emerging technology, this will reduce their future operative capacity. The Norwegian Air Force must therefore maintain a long-term perspective when it comes to new capabilities and technology. This will ensure they remain a powerful and relevant branch also in 2060.

About publication

Report number

20/01894

ISBN

978-82-464-3287-8

Format

PDF-document

Size

1.1 MB

Download publication

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