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Three Pillars for Future Airborne ISR AEW-C2BM
Budgets, the changing operational picture and training will be the three pillars for future airborne ISR as it increasingly converges with AEW/C2BM operations. Budgets will underpin the makeup of future capabilities and dictate the economics of introducing new platforms versus upgrading capabilities as existing platforms approach critical junctures in their operational lifecycle. Despite the budgetary challenges, Strategy Analytics projects airborne radar systems shipments growing at a CAGR of over 5 percent through 2022 driven by demand from both conventional platforms as well as a result of the expanding role of UAS in the airborne ISR and AEW/C2BM. Joint operations will be part of the changing face of warfare (conventional versus asymmetric) and will require interoperability to allow effective operation in congested and contested environments. Finally, despite the move towards advanced sensors, automated software capabilities and unmanned platforms, the “human-in-the-loop” remains the most important asset to allow the data gathered to be understood in terms of the required context and relevancy and converted into actionable intelligence. To achieve this, the importance of continued and effective training will be essential to ensure that platforms and assets achieve the desired effects.