Joint’s the Point!
Published in Naval Forces
Written by Thomas Withington
The US Navy’s Project “Overmatch” forms a key part of the US Department of Defense’s JADC2 initiative. What challenges does this project face as it evolves?
On paper, the aims of the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept look fairly simple: JADC2 is the DoD’s “concept to connect sensors from all of the military services, air force, army, marine corps, navy and space force into a single network,” says a US Congressional Research Service (CRS) briefing paper penned by John R. Hoehn in January 2022. This is a break from the past.
Traditionally, each of the military services developed its own tactical network which was incompatible with those of other services. The CRS paper says the DoD wants to create a “network that would connect numerous sensors with weapons systems, using artificial intelligence [AI] algorithms to help improve decision-making.”
The point of JADC2 is to harness logic to “find the optimal platform to attack a given target, or the unit best able to address an emerging threat.” The realisation of JADC2, the paper continues, will occur via the pursuit of new communications methods, automation, AI and cloud computing. Each of America’s armed services are pursuing projects directly related to JADC2. The US Air Force is developing the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS). The US Army is moving ahead with Project “Convergence” while the US Navy (USN) is pursuing Project “Overmatch”.
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Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) is one of the most ambitious programs the DoD has ever undertaken. It’s going to take years to achieve this vision and it’s going to take the combination of currently-available technologies applied to new problems and new technologies to fill gaps.