At a time when India is working towards the integration of its tri-services, a survey by a UK-based company suggests that 93 per cent of the respondents agreed that multi-domain integration is essential in defence.

The BAE Systems Digital Intelligence’s business report, ‘Decision Making in the Battlespace of the Future’, said that 86 per cent believed future wars will be in the ‘information battlespace’, making digital capabilities key to military strategies. Ninety-eight per cent of the respondents agreed that the evolution of the process would be essential for the smooth shift toward future battle-readiness.

“Historically, defence organisations have been built on hierarchies and this remains a key part of military culture today. However, to achieve multi-domain integration, there needs to be a shift from exclusively looking up to also looking and moving across domains,” observed Mivy James, Digital Transformation Director, BAE Systems Digital Intelligence. “The domain-focused, hierarchical defence culture has infiltrated technology as well, which means systems and data don’t flow freely. A cross-domain information flow needs a collaborative culture to exist, and vice versa,” she said.

Five factors that emerged from the survey on the need to reorient people are: they should show a willingness to collaborate across military departments; trust between office-based personnel and those on active operations; attracting and retaining skills relevant to the industry; non-conflicting priorities between military defence departments; and training associated with the adoption of new technology.

Similarly, the evolution of processes should revolve around factors like regulatory standards across multi-domain integration programmes, acquisition processes for multi-domain integration technology, and collaborative working between different entities and domains.

According to the report, industry conversations have argued that contrasting attitudes, behaviours and cultures are some of the biggest barriers to achieving a unified mindset between domains. The solution, it said, lay in the ‘One Defence Mindset’, as summarised by Andy Start, CEO of the UK Ministry of Defence’s Defence Equipment and Support team.