INSPIRATION PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE
Seb Cox, Head of the Air Historical Branch (RAF), Dr David Jordan, Defence Studies Department, King’s College London, and Group Captain Paul Wilkins, Director Defence Studies (RAF), reflect on the Royal Air Force’s tradition of innovation and inspiration, which dates back almost 100 years
INSPIRATION AND INNOVATION:
REVERTING TO TYPE?
he future operating environment will be more complex and uncertain than anything the Royal Air Force (RAF) has yet experienced, facing a broad range of threats and risks. The proliferation of military technology could see capability overmatch by adversaries, with sophisticated employment of anti-access and area denial (A2AD) capabilities, and significant challenges emanating simultaneously from state and nonstate actors in physical and cyber forms.
To overcome these situations, a level of understanding enabling the employment of focused conventional deterrence and, where necessary, coercive action to modify adversaries’ behaviour will be required. The need for cooperation will drive new levels of interoperability and adaptability across Defence. And should the UK need to act alone, it will also require effective warning mechanisms and agile force structures in place to enable the timely reconstitution of forces. Predicting the future, particularly in the military sphere, is a notoriously perilous occupation. There
AIR POWER 2016 INSPIRATION AND INNOVATION
1.1 Innovation and inspiration.indd 32
An official publication of the Royal Air Force