Taking The Military Into The Digital Age: What Is Multi-Domain Integration?

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In order to effectively adapt to the information age, the UK military has been developing Multi-Domain Integration (MDI), a technology that stands to completely revolutionise the way information is collected in battlespaces.

It’s a concept designed to fundamentally change the way the military operates, taking it from the industrial to the digital age.

Lieutenant General Robert Magowan, Deputy Commander of Strategic Command, explains: “We used to work in the maritime, air and land environments. We’re now working in the maritime, air, land, cyber-space and space environments.

“So it’s a much more sophisticated way of integrating our effects across a broader operational battlespace.”

The data is fed back from multiple sources on the battlefield for fast processing.

What will MDI mean in practice?

The speed of information sharing is massively increased and alongside that increased volume of data are new more efficient ways of processing it through artificial intelligence (AI).

In the future, F-35s or Tempest unmanned aircraft might beam data down to Royal Navy ships off the coast or long-range artillery systems many miles away.

In turn, these battlefield assets will be communicating with overhead satellites or radar, all while cyber warfare is potentially taking place, perhaps targeting the enemy’s internet and social media networks.

AI will sift and interrogate the overwhelming amount of data to make sure commanders only receive the information they need.

Major General Robin Anderton-Brown, Director of Capability and the MDI Change Programme, says the introduction of the technology signals an important shift towards the information age.

“This is moving beyond where defence has been very focused on platform-centric capabilities, so this… real shift and pivot towards information age capabilities is a really important part of this.

“This is about seizing the advantage right from the outset and it’s really at the persistent engagement before we deploy any troops forward.”

How will this affect soldiers of the future?

Air Vice Marshal Linc Taylor, Air Command’s Chief of Staff Capability, explained that this change in focus could also affect individual soldiers on the…