On the modern battlefield situations continuously change in a rapid, unexpected and chaotic fashion. As officers nowadays have a vast amount of weapons and sensors at their disposal they face an immense task of aligning information, hardware and people in order to accomplish their complex missions. In a modern armed force executing these tasks are simplified and outcome is improved by using a combat management system or CMS.
A CMS is designed to collect and review and adjust information in order to have superior knowledge over potential enemies, shorten decision-making cycles and execute rapid and accurate weapon engagement. A CMS has a modular and scalable design assuring compatibility with a broad range of air, land and sea based systems and platforms.
A CMS can handle vast amounts of information, can keep track of thousands of positions and tracks, is highly automated, has full sensor fusion, can provide threat evaluation, can assist weapon and sensor pairing, has a command, control and communication capability, is easy to operate and easy to maintain. In fact, it integrates “everything” that a commanding officer has at his disposal.
For land forces a CMS is better known as a Battle Management System or BMS. A BMS relies on information collectively gathered by the unit’s elements. Specific targets are marked on the BMS displays, allocating tasks and coordinating fire and manoeuvre over a large area, without the need for visual coordination. Integration of blue force tracking improves situational awareness and minimizes the risk of so called “blue on blue”.
A BMS is used to create real-time situational reports for relevant command, service and support units. When used with mechanized infantry units, BMS systems can be detached from the vehicle to support dismounted infantry operations. In this application, encrypted wireless (SATCOM, UHF data, WiFi, Bluetooth and/or other) links are becoming vital for the integration of the services available on the vehicle, its crew and the dismounted element.
Battle and Combat Management systems range from comprehensive and affordable to complex and expensive. In fact, these systems can be configured to any requirement or budget. Some well known manufacturers are:
1. DRS Technologies
8. BAE Systems
10. Lockheed Martin