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Technology Forecast 2017 - Military Utility of Future Technologies: A Report from Seminars at the Swedish Defence University’s (SEDU) Military-Technology Division
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section.
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Applications Section.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8968-9793
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Command and Control Section.
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7864-2674
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2017 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Two technology forecast reports from the Fraunhofer Institute, three reports from the Swedish Defence Research Institute (FOI) and two publications from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been reviewed by staff at the Military-Technology Division at the Swedish Defence University (SEDU). The task given by the Defence Material Administration (FMV) was to assess the military utility of the given technologies in a time frame to up 2040, from a Swedish Armed Forces (SwAF) perspective.

In the review we assessed the military utility of certain technologies as possible contributions to the operational capabilities of the SwAF, based on identified and relevant scenarios. Because a new capability catalogue is under development at the SwAF Headquarters, this report only presents general assessments of the capability impact of the technologies studied.

The technologies were grouped into four classes: potentially significant, moderate, negligible, or uncertain military utility.

The classification uncertain military utility was given to technologies that are difficult to put in the other three classes, it was not because the technology readiness level (TRL) will not bereached by 2040.

The following technologies were assessed to have the potential for significant military utility:

- Nanocarbons for photonic applications

The following technologies were assessed to have a potential for moderate military utility;

- Internet of things (IoT)

- Materials and technologies for protection against chemical agents

The following technologies were assessed to have uncertain military utility;

- Post-quantum cryptography

- New applications for hyperspectral image analysis for chemical and biological agents

No technology was found to have negligible military utility.

The method used in this technology forecast report was to assign each report to one reviewer in the working group. Firstly, each forecast report was summarized. The Fraunhofer assessment of technical readiness level (TRL) in the time period was held to be correct. Each technology was then put into one or more scenarios that were assessed to be suitable for assessing the military utility as well as indicating any possibilities and drawbacks. Based on a SWOTanalysis, the assessed contributions to the fundamental capabilities, and to the factors DOTMPLFI (Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel, Facilities and Interoperability), were listed. Furthermore, the expected SwAF R&D requirements, to facilitate the introduction of the technology are given. The Military utility was assessed using a model developed by the Military-Technology Division. Finally, conclusions and an overall rating of the potential military utility of each technology were presented.

The chosen definition of military utility clearly affects the result of the study. The definition used here (“the military utility of a certain technology is its contribution to the operational capabilities of the SwAF, within identified relevant scenarios”) has been used in our Technology Forecasts since 2013.

Our evaluation of the method used shows that there is a risk that assessments can be biased by the participating experts’ presumptions and experience from their own field of research. It should also be stressed that the seven technologies’ potential military utility was assessed within the specific presented scenarios and their possible contribution to operational capabilities within those specific scenarios, not in general. When additional results have been found in the analysis, this is mentioned.

The greatest value of the method used is its simplicity, cost effectiveness and that it promotes learning within the working group. The composition of the working group and the methodology used are believed to provide a broad and balanced coverage of the technologies being studied. This report should be seen as an executive summary of the research reports and the intention is to help the SwAF Headquarters to evaluate the military utility of emerging technologies within identified relevant scenarios.

Overall, the research reports are considered to be balanced and of high quality in terms of their level of critical analysis regarding technology development. These reports are in line with our task to evaluate the military utility of the emerging technologies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Försvarshögskolan (FHS), 2017. , 27 p.
Keyword [en]
Nanocarbons, Photonic Applications, Post Quantum Cryptography, Internet of things, Materials and technologies for protection against chemical agents, Hyperspektral bildanalys
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Militärteknik
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-7034OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-7034DiVA: diva2:1142391
Projects
Teknisk prognos
Available from: 2017-09-19 Created: 2017-09-19 Last updated: 2017-10-04Bibliographically approved

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Silfverskiöld, StefanLiwång, HansHult, GunnarSivertun, ÅkeBull, PeterSigholm, JohanLundmark, Martinvon Gerber, CarlAndersson, KentSturesson, Peter

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