• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

US Army Project Convergence 2020

FJAG

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
11,252
Points
1,160
Project Convergence is a month long exercise to bring together the weapons and capabilities the US Army envisions fighting with in the 2030s and beyond in a seamlessly networked environment. It involves incorporating artificial intelligence, autonomy and robotics in the air and on the ground.

For more information on Project Convergence, see this article in Defence News

See also the below article on the outcome of the exercise.

Attacking at speed': Army Project Convergence and breakthrough lightning-fast war
The exercise was a part of the Army’s Project Convergence 2020
By Kris Osborn

The U.S. military recently conducted a live-fire full combat replication with unmanned-to-unmanned teaming guiding attacks, small reconnaissance drones, satellites sending target coordinates to ground artillery and high-speed, AI-enabled “networked” warfare. This exercise was a part of the Army’s Project Convergence 2020, a weapons and platform combat experiment which, service leaders say, represents a massive transformation helping the service pivot its weapons use, tactics and maneuver strategies into a new era.

Taking place at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona, Project Convergence involved live-fire war experiments aligned in three distinct phases, intended to help the Army cultivate its emerging modern Combined Arms Maneuver strategy. Through carefully coordinated attack maneuvers, the force sought to hit and disable the outer defensive perimeter of an enemy system such as its air defenses.

Second, as explained by PC20 coordinator Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, was a “disintegration phase” wherein operational aircraft including advanced helicopters, drones and mini-drone Air Launched Effects, found and attacked the enemy’s long-range precision fires apparatus. The third and final phase, as explained by Coffman, included the use of armored vehicle ground force fires to directly engage with, fire upon and destroy enemy assets and formations.

“This follows the multi-domain operations concept of how we plan to fight,” Coffman said.

...

See rest of article here.

And also this article from C4ISRNET

Note from the Defence News article the following:

In 2022, Murray said the plan is to bring coalition partners and so far the United Kingdom has committed to participation and Australia will also likely sign on to attend.

Where's Canada? Maybe if we participated we'd realize that we need more and better artillery to participate in the fires component.

:cheers:
 
FJAG said:
Where's Canada? Maybe if we participated we'd realize that we need more and better artillery to participate in the fires component.

I know the Guns are near and dear to your heart, but if we participated we'd realize we need more and better everything to actually be a peer contributor. We're still years away from a RPA, a 1960s era ad-hoc ISR platform, no tracked IFVs, submarines that will be long retired, strat air lift that would take months to deploy a battle group and poor EW capabilities.
 
PuckChaser said:
I know the Guns are near and dear to your heart, but if we participated we'd realize we need more and better everything to actually be a peer contributor. We're still years away from a RPA, a 1960s era ad-hoc ISR platform, no tracked IFVs, submarines that will be long retired, strat air lift that would take months to deploy a battle group and poor EW capabilities.

Fully on board with the issues about the RPA and ISR. Both are critical elements of an equally high priority joint strike capabilities of which artillery is one part. It's the interconnecting mush that brings the sensors and strike capabilities together that we should get work with the US on. Their research and development capability exceeds ours although I don't doubt we have companies that have capabilities that would be useful. Besides, an allied useable system would be greatly superior to several stand-alone ones. Essentially an allied-wide core component with various plug and play standards to attach various national sensor and strike systems.

We won't see a tracked IFV until the US has fully acquired a new fleet of NGCVs as our LAVs are too new and will suffice in a pinch. NGCV is still too speculative and too far off while extended range artillery (tube and rocket) is moving along quickly. As an aside, we also need better anti-armour and anti-air components for the fleet.

I'm not too au fait on submarines but understand that they are supposed to stay in service until the late 2030s/early 2040s and, when actually operating, fairly capable systems for surveillance. I understand their weapon systems are limited to the Mark 48 torpedos which sometimes makes me wonder if the MCDVs (and for that matter the AOPSs) are capable of being modified to carry long range anti-ship missiles and anti-missile/anti-air defences and thus spice up our fleet once the new CSCs come on line. I know weapons systems are pricey but let's face it, Navies are all about weapons not just sailing around.

Even the Americans have problems with strategic airlift at scale. The original plan for Stryker brigades was to lift them anywhere in the world in 96 hours. Never happened. For any deployment for a peer enemy, we will never be able to use strategic airlift unless all of the equipment is prepositioned. Even then, assuming every CC-177, CC-130J , CC-150 was operational, we could only lift the personnel of slightly over one half of a brigade in one lift. I favour a sea lift capability for anything substantial. I do think we have enough strat air for special ops and light quick reaction force deployments.

Regardless of what we don't have and what we need, we need to be on board with this initiative so that we can figure out what our future directions will need to be or, at least, will need to consider.

:cheers:
 
Definitely agree WRT being involved. If we want to be a proper FVEY partner these are the exercises we need to contribute to. Unfortunately SSE wasn't a real white paper on defense and basically keeps us as a pre-GWOT power with limited funding for modern battlefield technologies. AI and robotics aren't even on our 25 year plan...
 
PuckChaser said:
Definitely agree WRT being involved. If we want to be a proper FVEY partner these are the exercises we need to contribute to. Unfortunately SSE wasn't a real white paper on defense and basically keeps us as a pre-GWOT power with limited funding for modern battlefield technologies. AI and robotics aren't even on our 25 year plan...

Agree fully, PC.  About the best thing about SSE was an attempt to cost as accurately as possible, the capabilities aspired to in the strategy. That said, I think that capability-specific cost summation notwithstanding, the policy did not encompass sufficient strategic (true long-term, pan-party political) vision and guidance worthy of a true Defence White Paper.  Of late, Australia has done much better in this regard, including the embracing of advanced technologies such as AR and AI to enhance all-aspect/multi-domain capability. Canada is (arguably?) #4 in FVEYs and headed for #5 if we choose not to care substantively about our own, or coalition/alliance defence capability.  I foresee most being content with continuing to ride the coattails of our allies... :(

Regards
G2G
 
Is Canada at the Project Convergence table or is it another AUKUS exercise?


In its third year, Project Convergence will focus on both the Indo-Pacific and European theaters while figuring out ways to fight with capabilities at a larger scale. The experimental event grew from an Army exercise in the desert of Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in 2020 to a joint evaluation in 2021; this year (2022), it will incorporate international partners the United Kingdom and Australia.


The latest iteration, held during fall 2022, increased the experimentation scope and scale and added the land armies of the United Kingdom and Australia in an effort to improve data sharing.

Those coalition partners from PC 22 plan to participate with their own joint forces in addition to their armies this time around, according to Lt. Gen. Scott McKean, who is also director of the Army’s Futures and Concepts Center.
 
Is Canada at the Project Convergence table or is it another AUKUS exercise?




It’s not limited to Oz and Uk, but Canada doesn’t yet get a seat at the grownups table as it hasn’t decided to be when it goes up…
 
It’s not limited to Oz and Uk, but Canada doesn’t yet get a seat at the grownups table as it hasn’t decided to be when it goes up…
We use to at least be at the kids table....now we don't even get in the room.

Hey but "Canada's Back!" right? Seven years ago.
 
Worth having a gander at.


Breaking-Defense-Project-Convergence-eBook-Featured-Image-2022-350x188.png


Convergence as the centerpiece of the Army’s modernization thinking

A combination of testing grounds, developmental space and training effort – E-Book.
From BREAKING DEFENSE

Table of Contents

1675970879389.png



Some ancillary commentary


“We can’t wait 12 to 18 months to do a big, expensive exercise; We need to do that at the right point in time,” said AFC Commander Gen. James Rainey.


“When it comes to digital warfare, practice makes perfect, and we cannot begin practicing soon enough,” writes Schuyler Moore, Chief Technology Officer of US Central Command.
 
From the Project Convergence PDF

1675970973044.png

This marries with these Project Origin Videos



 
Of more interest might be this chapter

My takeaway from this is that the Company is the primary tactical element.

1675972517036.png
1675972543095.png
1675972602692.png
1675972680651-png.76309

1675972716103.png


I remember seeing reports of US Immediate Reaction Units and Brigades, when they got their warning order, gathering on football fields for equipment checks prior to moving out as a group.

This new guidance seems to suggest that that is a bad plan. That companies will move out as individual companies. And equipment and companies are likely to marry up on the way to the objective.

As the article notes that is going to put a strain of Junior Leadership, Command and Control and Logistics.

So.. In Force 2025-2030 ... is there room to consider permanent Company Combat Teams? (Small Cbt Teams - Not mini-battalions like the Square Combat Team).

1675973468735.png


Canada might actually be ahead of the game in terms of its practice of attaching sub-units on foreign exercises.

But that means that Battalions and Brigades are not unitary entities but amalgamations of sub-units that operate with little mutual support over wide areas and require a very different form of co-ordination with each other and with their support.
 

Attachments

  • 1675972680651.png
    1675972680651.png
    19.2 KB · Views: 11
But that means that Battalions and Brigades are not unitary entities but amalgamations of sub-units that operate with little mutual support over wide areas and require a very different form of co-ordination with each other and with their support.
So like AFG then? Will we name our participation PROJECT COBBLE?
 
My takeaway from this is that the Company is the primary tactical element.
I think it has been for a very long time, even during the Cold War but for us particulalry since Advancing with Purpose when tailoring task forces based on sub-units became the norm.

The issue has always been as to how best to integrate enablers and logistics and how scale up the building blocks to the necessary formation(s) needed to win the overall fight.

Dispersion is not new either. Dispersion and reconstitution was part and parcel to survival on the nuclear battlefield going back to the sixties and seventies. It's different weapon systems we are facing, in part, now but the same concept in general. The big difference is in the overall density of the battlefield from then to now.

The question is how can you deliver enough "dispersed" mass to be able to check infiltration and exploitation in the gaps.

That's where I think the change takes place. One needs a wide variety of sensors that can cover the gaps with appropriate act systems that can engage the penetration with precision fires that will fix the penetration sufficiently to allow it to be engaged and defeated in detail by both fires and manoeuvre. This is why I actually find the Brit's "strike" concept attractive.

I actually do not see a major change in the essential building blocks, infantry companies, armoured squadrons, artillery batteries etc, other than adaption of newer weapon systems and fine tuning the establishments. IMHO, combined arms happens at the battalion level. Combat Teams in my mind should remain flexible ad hoc organizations tailored for a task and not become fixed establishment combined arms sub-unitd.

🍻
 
I think it has been for a very long time, even during the Cold War but for us particulalry since Advancing with Purpose when tailoring task forces based on sub-units became the norm.

The issue has always been as to how best to integrate enablers and logistics and how scale up the building blocks to the necessary formation(s) needed to win the overall fight.

Dispersion is not new either. Dispersion and reconstitution was part and parcel to survival on the nuclear battlefield going back to the sixties and seventies. It's different weapon systems we are facing, in part, now but the same concept in general. The big difference is in the overall density of the battlefield from then to now.

The question is how can you deliver enough "dispersed" mass to be able to check infiltration and exploitation in the gaps.

That's where I think the change takes place. One needs a wide variety of sensors that can cover the gaps with appropriate act systems that can engage the penetration with precision fires that will fix the penetration sufficiently to allow it to be engaged and defeated in detail by both fires and manoeuvre. This is why I actually find the Brit's "strike" concept attractive.

I actually do not see a major change in the essential building blocks, infantry companies, armoured squadrons, artillery batteries etc, other than adaption of newer weapon systems and fine tuning the establishments. IMHO, combined arms happens at the battalion level. Combat Teams in my mind should remain flexible ad hoc organizations tailored for a task and not become fixed establishment combined arms sub-unitd.

🍻

I can agree entirely. The big change, I think, is in the Areas of Observation, Areas of Influence and Areas of Interest.

Pie are square.

Lets assume a company r of 2 km in 1980 based on the weapons available (MGs, 60mm and Milan). So a company defended locality of 12 km2.
If we double r today to 4 km (25mm, 81mm and Javelin) that locality now covers 50 km2.
And if r becomes 10 km (UAVs, LAMS, 120mm) we are looking at 300 km2

Assume a company of 100

100/12 = 8 soldiers (1 section) per km2
100/50 = 2 soldiers per km2 = 1 section per 4 km2
100/300 = 1 soldier per 3 km2 = 1 section per 24 km2

That, I believe, is the real change that we are observing. The dispersion that everyone keeps talking about. Dispersion made possible and necessary by airwave superiority - not air superiority. With control of communications ( and that could be optical or laser as much as radio) then section UAVs work giving observation at distance and the ability to quickly deliver precise effects against discrete targets and the ability to concentrate fires against mass targets.

The Russians keep losing because they keep massing. They are slow and tightly concentrated in a small number of localitiies

The Ukrainians are forced to keep their people spread out, are forced to communicate over long distances, are forced to keep quick reaction forces in reserve and are forced to make the best of their limited resources. That means short, sharp stonks of precision fires to support both the offence and the defence. Raids into open ground to secure what is available when possible. Holding that which they have with as few numbers as possible - meaning entrenchments, fortifications and crew served weapons all backed with multiple layers of reaction forces.

My concern is that even with tanks being able to relocate at 40 km/h across country they will not be able to outrun the ubiquitous section UAVs
Not just the Gray Eagles and Orlans and Gray Eagles or even the cute but expensive Black Hornet but perhaps more crucially the cheap DJIA Maviks and the expendables like the Defendtex 40s/81s/155s.


They can be launched off to a flank of the viewer so they don't give away the viewer's position, and they can observe the target from a stand off distance greater than the target can counter. And if they are countered they can be cheaply and rapidly replaced. And all the time the target's position is known and added to the target list to be prioritized and dealt with at an appropriate time.


On the plus side, I think penny packets of tanks are likely to be highly effective when they can be brought to bear. And gunners are going to have jobs for the ages.
 
I can agree entirely. The big change, I think, is in the Areas of Observation, Areas of Influence and Areas of Interest.

Pie are square.

Lets assume a company r of 2 km in 1980 based on the weapons available (MGs, 60mm and Milan). So a company defended locality of 12 km2.
If we double r today to 4 km (25mm, 81mm and Javelin) that locality now covers 50 km2.
And if r becomes 10 km (UAVs, LAMS, 120mm) we are looking at 300 km2

Assume a company of 100

100/12 = 8 soldiers (1 section) per km2
100/50 = 2 soldiers per km2 = 1 section per 4 km2
100/300 = 1 soldier per 3 km2 = 1 section per 24 km2

That, I believe, is the real change that we are observing. The dispersion that everyone keeps talking about. Dispersion made possible and necessary by airwave superiority - not air superiority. With control of communications ( and that could be optical or laser as much as radio) then section UAVs work giving observation at distance and the ability to quickly deliver precise effects against discrete targets and the ability to concentrate fires against mass targets.

The Russians keep losing because they keep massing. They are slow and tightly concentrated in a small number of localitiies

The Ukrainians are forced to keep their people spread out, are forced to communicate over long distances, are forced to keep quick reaction forces in reserve and are forced to make the best of their limited resources. That means short, sharp stonks of precision fires to support both the offence and the defence. Raids into open ground to secure what is available when possible. Holding that which they have with as few numbers as possible - meaning entrenchments, fortifications and crew served weapons all backed with multiple layers of reaction forces.

My concern is that even with tanks being able to relocate at 40 km/h across country they will not be able to outrun the ubiquitous section UAVs
Not just the Gray Eagles and Orlans and Gray Eagles or even the cute but expensive Black Hornet but perhaps more crucially the cheap DJIA Maviks and the expendables like the Defendtex 40s/81s/155s.


They can be launched off to a flank of the viewer so they don't give away the viewer's position, and they can observe the target from a stand off distance greater than the target can counter. And if they are countered they can be cheaply and rapidly replaced. And all the time the target's position is known and added to the target list to be prioritized and dealt with at an appropriate time.


On the plus side, I think penny packets of tanks are likely to be highly effective when they can be brought to bear. And gunners are going to have jobs for the ages.
I think you’re going to see Penny Packets of AD systems, gun, EW and Missiles more than most anything else.

I suspect the Gepard style of FlakPanzer will return again with 35mm or 40mm cannon - and next gen IFV 35mm+ cannon get networked in to LLAD nets to be used for local anti drone
As well as more LMSHORAD platforms being acquired- with a mix of DE, BSLEW and Missiles.
 
I think you’re going to see Penny Packets of AD systems, gun, EW and Missiles more than most anything else.

I suspect the Gepard style of FlakPanzer will return again with 35mm or 40mm cannon - and next gen IFV 35mm+ cannon get networked in to LLAD nets to be used for local anti drone
As well as more LMSHORAD platforms being acquired- with a mix of DE, BSLEW and Missiles.
This is one of those strange points in time where indecision runs rampant because of not knowing which new systems just around the corner is going to be THE Killer App.

🍻
 
This is one of those strange points in time where indecision runs rampant because of not knowing which new systems just around the corner is going to be THE Killer App.

🍻
We will have probably a whole bunch of systems that don’t work well individually, and require bandwidth we don’t have….
 
I think you’re going to see Penny Packets of AD systems, gun, EW and Missiles more than most anything else.

I suspect the Gepard style of FlakPanzer will return again with 35mm or 40mm cannon - and next gen IFV 35mm+ cannon get networked in to LLAD nets to be used for local anti drone
As well as more LMSHORAD platforms being acquired- with a mix of DE, BSLEW and Missiles.

Which suggests to me that a "combat team" is going to look more like a GP Frigate in terms of its weapons and sensors - only it will be more dispersed.
 
Which suggests to me that a "combat team" is going to look more like a GP Frigate in terms of its weapons and sensors - only it will be more dispersed.
Maybe…
You might see a lot of smaller nodes separated from a larger entity.
Infantry and Sensor systems ‘ringing’ armor and various weapon and effects systems.

But you generally need mass to punch through an enemy - so the organization needs to be able to seamlessly be able to contract and expand as needed for operations.
 
Maybe…
You might see a lot of smaller nodes separated from a larger entity.
Infantry and Sensor systems ‘ringing’ armor and various weapon and effects systems.

But you generally need mass to punch through an enemy - so the organization needs to be able to seamlessly be able to contract and expand as needed for operations.

I suspect that the GP frigate will also be ringed by nodes - a couple of other frigates and many unmanned sensor platforms. - maybe the occasional weaponized one as well.

1676166799809.jpeg
MQ-8B-helicopter-drone.jpg
 
Back
Top