Last year’s International Fighter Conference provided a chance for the participants and the attendees to focus on the role of fighters in what we have been calling the strategic shift, namely, the shift from the land wars to operating in higher intensity operations against peer competitors.
It is clear that combat capabilities and operations are being re-crafted across the board with fighters at the center of that shift, and their evolution, of course, being affected as well as roles and operational contexts change.
This year’s fighter conference framed a much wider array of discussions on the overall threat and combat environment facing the current and future fighter fleets and discussed how they can contribute or better contribute to the evolving combat environment, and to be more effective in incorporating evolving technologies.
Notable issues included: how to best integrate the force as new platforms and technologies are introduced?
How to transition most effectively to multi-domain operations?
How to best connect the force to deliver higher levels of integration to give the force greater combat effect?
And underlying all of this is the key question: how to train pilots to do all of the above?
The transition is a significant one: from the legacy force in which multi-mission fighter training was the key focus, to a focus where warfighting was broadening to require mission command capabilities for pilots operating in a multi-domain combat environment.
The International Fighter Conference is clearly a place to be for those who are thinking about the evolution of the multi-domain combat environment and how best to prepare those flying fighters to prevail in that environment.