To make this website work, we log user data. By using Shephard's online services, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including cookie policy.

Open menu Search

High-End Defense Training for Multipolar Threats

13th September 2023 - 11:00 GMT | by Industry Spotlight

From US National Intelligence Council reports to defense and foreign policy commentary, much ink has been spilled in the last five years on changing power dynamics in the world order.

This article is brought to you by CAE 

According to many, the US post-Cold War unipolar moment has come to an end. The rise of China as an economic and military power has engendered an era of bipolarity. Others suggest that the world is shifting to a multipolar order — one, in which a range of states, from China, to Russia, and even Iran, can shape the geostrategic environment to their liking. While there is no doubt that the US continues to exert a formidable influence on global affairs, it is also true that US clout has waned. 

▶️ WATCH: CAE VISTA – Virtual ISR Training Application

The US military must grapple with China as a pacing threat, Russian revisionism, and threats from North Korea and Iran. Such a multipolar threat environment requires a new approach - not just to how the US military fights - but also how it trains. Airmen and Guardians must train in a high-end contested and complex all-domain environment alongside US partners and allies. CAE, as the world leader in immersive, synthetic environments (i.e., virtual and constructive simulations) is well positioned to help the US Air Force and Space Force achieve this objective.

Training for a High-End Fight

The US military is in the midst of a digital transformation, with the objective of connecting the individual military services’ sensors, shooters and communications systems into a networked, adaptable, and cyber-resilient architecture, complete with human-machine teams. The desired end state is to work seamlessly across all domains, with speed, in a denied or disrupted combat environment, replete with multipolar threats. Due to limitations with the live environment, this digital transformation is dependent on a movement towards synthetic training.

The live environment fails to represent, with fidelity, the future contested and complex combat environment. Live cyber, space, and electronic effects are not integrated into live environments as they risk putting platforms, warfighters, and local civilians at risk, all while potentially revealing platform or system vulnerabilities to potential adversaries. Live training ranges are spatially too restricted for high-end platforms, like the F-35, and a lack of pilots and platforms limit the number of live red aggressors at scale in training.

As a preeminent provider of US Air Force training — from the F-16, to the C-130, and JTAC, among others — CAE is well positioned to provide Airmen and Guardian training for the future high-end fight via synthetic environments. CAE has pioneered the integration of adversarial cyber, space, and electronic effects into our simulators, stressing Airmen and Guardians, and training them to achieve mission assurance amidst complexity. CAE’s artificial intelligence red (i.e., adversarial) forces — Joint All Domain-AI — mimic the doctrine of peer or multipolar threats, providing far more realistic and challenging dilemmas for defense forces beyond what they could experience in live flight training. CAE has experience incorporating live and synthetic aircraft and assets, helping the services circumvent many of the challenges inherent to the live environment.

At the service level, synthetic environments can also provide an avenue for defense forces to train for complex operations from the operational to tactical level. CAE’s Virtual Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Training Application — VISTA — creates synthetic streams of cyber, electronic and command and control, information, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C2ISR) sensor data, which are incorporated into training, planning, and mission rehearsal. Commanders and warfighters can train on operationally relevant datasets. New tools, like CAE’s single synthetic environment, combine artificial intelligence with a common operational picture allowing commanders to better visualize and coordinate effects across all-domains and all-echelons for decision assistance. CAE RISE uses human physiological data and artificial intelligence to build attributes of trust to facilitate future human-machine teams future collaborative combat aircraft (CCAs).

Training to Fight Alongside Allies and Partners

In a multipolar threat environment, the US’ greatest strength — when compared against China or Russia — lies in its alliance network. The US can call upon a diverse range of allies and partners, many of which are united via common democratic norms, to achieve shared geostrategic aims. As a result, future coalition effectiveness and interoperability becomes of paramount importance. At present, coalition training opportunities are rare and logistically challenging, requiring platforms, assets, airmen, and guardians to co-locate. Synthetic environments can increase the ease and frequency of coalition training, ensuring the requisite level of interoperability and effectiveness before the crucible of combat.

The Air Force Joint Synthetic Environment (JSE) and Joint Integrated Test and Training Center (JITTC) are designed to partially address this need, allowing Air Force, Navy, and international pilots to fly integrated synthetic (in the former case) and integrated live and synthetic (in the latter case) missions together. However, both the JSE and JITTC require realistic models of aircraft, weapons, and sensors, something, which to date, has been a persistent problem. As the prime behind the Air Force’s Simulator Common Architecture Requirements and Standards program (SCARS), CAE is actively working to solve this problem. CAE is defining common interfaces by which new models and assets can be integrated into the Air Force’s training infrastructure. CAE’s approach, when combined with its emphasis on modular open system approaches to software development, and ironclad cybersecurity across the enterprise, will ensure that services and allies train in a representative environment that evolves in tandem with the changing character of war.

As a high-technology company, with more than 75 years of expertise supporting military training, CAE is the choice to meet the training needs to our nation’s Airmen and Guardians, particularly as they confront a multipolar threat environment.

Dr. Jenny McArdle, Ph.D. CAE Defense and Security Senior Director, Defense Programs and Deputy Chief Learning Officer spearheads strategic and technical outreach to defense customers, research and thought leadership organizations.

Industry Spotlight


Industry Spotlight

News and analysis content provided by the aerospace and defence industry, putting a spotlight on …

Read full bio

Share to