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Force Protection
Systems and Technology

page 1 out of 9 >

In recent years, modern armies are tasked with peacekeeping, security, and stabilization operations, primarily in low intensity conflicts, predominantly in urban, counter guerilla and anti-terror operations.

Usually, these contingencies involve relatively small, well equipped forces, and a significant complement of support elements, including command and control, logistics, medical, engineering and transportation. Operating frequently dispersed over large areas, such units are fighting adjacent to local population which could be regarded mostly hostile. As the tasks of such forces require frequent and close contact with local population, troops are constantly exposed to high risk of from terrorist and guerilla attacks. Therefore, force protection should be one of the primary concerns for mission planners.

Force protection is implemented by the use of suitable procedures, effective tactics and the use of technological means. In this article, Defense Update will examine some of these technologies and their tactical uses.

Specific protection schemes are planned for the fixed sites such as operating bases, and other installations (such as roadblocks, checkpoints, communications facilities etc), as well as for the operating troops, transportation and support (vehicles, helicopters, vessels, water and fuel reservoirs etc). Operating bases pose a large and attractive target to insurgents. These facilities are working under predictable routines and thus highly vulnerable to attack. Guard shifts at fixed positions, mealtime at the mess, arrival of supply convoys, landing and takeoff schedules of helicopters and aircraft etc. To minimize the risk of direct fire, operating bases are normally surrounded by obstacles such as ramps. Other precautions are the establishment of "sterile" perimeter preventing observation, sniping and if possible, mortar fire. Movement of unauthorized personnel is restricted in such areas. Movement can be detected by radar, vibration sensors or video motion detection systems over watch. In high threat areas, perimeter observation posts can also be augmented by remote controlled weapon stations.

These topics are discussed in the following chapters:

21 Century Warfare has already indicated that Low Intensive military operations will dominate future warfare. The main threat will continue to come from terrorist, guerilla and small sabotage groups trying to infiltrate sensitive installations, blocking lines of communications and attack prime strategic targets. Waging an effective counter-insurgency campaign demands highly developed technologies and combat experienced adaptive tactics at all operational levels. Ranging from personal protection to perimeter security, area surveillance and pin-pointing hostile fire sources will continue to become high priority challenges to defense oriented technologies as well as advanced military counter insurgency tactics.



  Updated: 08/25/2005

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