“The Next Generation Soldier: A System of Systems Approach?”, Alessandro Marrone, Karolina Muti (IAI, Italy)

Over the next years, ongoing and future technological innovations, especially related to information communication technology (ICT), artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud will have an increasing impact on Western armies. The soldier will remain the army’s primary element, but will need to be more and better connected in a secure way with the various assets at disposal, also learning the lessons from previous and often disappointing efforts towards net-centric or network-enabled capabilities. Moreover, innovations will be significant in terms of lethality, mobility, power generation and protection, as well as in training. Within the broader strategic and technological context, the US, France, Germany, Italy, Israel and the UK are important cases to consider, together with developments within NATO and EU frameworks. The conclusions outline a number of common themes and challenges, with a view to the way ahead particularly for Italy and other European allies.

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