Land Warfare trends: Soldier leads Twitter mentions in November 2020

30 December 2020 (Last Updated December 30th, 2020 12:09)

Army Technology lists the top five terms tweeted on land warfare in November 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform.

Land Warfare trends: Soldier leads Twitter mentions in November 2020
Credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky, Shutterstock.com.

Army Technology lists the top five terms tweeted on land warfare in November 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Soldier – 65 mentions

Mutual trust between soldiers and machines, American soldiers and marines collaborating with Army engineers and US Army soldiers training in Germany were some popular topics discussed in November. According to an article shared by U.S. Army DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory, the official account of US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, US Army researchers designed an artificial intelligence architecture that will improve the trust between soldiers and machines.

The mutual trust and co-ordination between machines and humans enable soldiers to deal with complex situations and successfully accomplish battlefield missions. The researchers developed this new technology as the training data currently available for machine learning is not sufficient, the article highlighted.

Further, Army Futures Command, the official account of US Army Futures Command, shared an article about US Army soldiers and US Marines working in tandem with army engineers on Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCVs). Soldiers and marines provided their extensive operational knowledge in combat engineering and amphibious operations during the week-long exercise, the article noted. They also gave feedback to engineers on utilising RCVs for crossing rivers and other waterbodies.

Other discussions surrounding solider included US Army soldiers receiving a pace count before commencement of land navigation training in Germany, according to an article shared by DVIDSHub, an information provider on US military operations. The training is for the Expert Infantry and Expert Soldier Badge competition in Germany’s Hohenfels municipality. The competition is conducted to identify soldiers who proved their expertise in mastering critical tasks, the article highlighted.

2. Battalion – 63 mentions

UK’s Royal Gurkha Rifles Battalion undergoing leadership training, US Army infantry battalion training under Djibouti army and UK Army’s battalion preparing for multinational exercise were some widely discussed topics last month. British Army, the official account of the British Army, tweeted about UK Army’s soldiers belonging to 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles undergoing training as part of junior leadership cadre 2020.

The cadre is organised for riflemen who completed 36 months in the battalion. The objective of the training is to enhance their leadership and commandeering skills. The training entered its last week in Brecon and will be followed up with an air assault attack at Caerwent village in Wales. The Royal Gurkha Rifles is part of 16th Brigade, which is the vanguard of UK’s defence strategy, the article highlighted.

Further, US AFRICOM, the official account of US Africa Command, the US military unit overseeing military relations with African nations, shared an article about US Army soldiers training with soldiers from the Armed Forces of Djibouti (FAD) Bataillon d’intervention rapide (BIR) at the BIR compound in Djibouti. The Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), a joint task force of US Africa Command, provides training and equipment to the BIR, which is a FAD infantry battalion, the article noted.

Battalion also trended in discussions shared by Forces News, a military news website, about UK Army soldiers belonging to 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment undergoing training in Northumberland county of England. The soldiers are sharpening their skills with firing main battle tank and light anti-tank weapons (NLAW). The three-week training is being conducted to prepare the soldiers for Exercise Askari Storm, a multinational exercise to be held in Kenya in January next year.

3. Missile – 45 mentions

Boeing in the reckoning to build a cruise missile, US government selling missiles and drones to UAE and RCVs supplied to US Army were some popularly discussed topics in November 2020. According to an article shared by Aviation Week, a global aviation news provider, the US Defense Department has brought Boeing into the competition to manufacture Mach 6 cruise missile by renewing a seven-year-old programme based on dual-combustion technology.

The US Congress started the Joint Hypersonic Transition Office, which granted funding to a team headed by Boeing to complete a preliminary design review (PDR) and testing for a dual-combustion ramjet. The US Navy and US Air Force are planning to award contracts for hypersonic cruise missiles in FY 2022, the article highlighted.

Further, Defense One, a US defence news portal, shared an article about the Donald Trump administration trying to expedite sale of F-35 fighter jets, bombs, missiles and armed Reaper drones to the UAE. The US is reciprocating the UAE’s gesture of recognising Israel earlier in a US-negotiated deal through the F-35-Reaper-bombs package, the article noted. The administration is trying to complete the $2.34bn sale before the US President-elect Joe Biden assumes office in January, even as human rights activists are raising objections to the timing of the deal.

Another discussion surrounding missile was shared by Breaking Defense, an online magazine covering defence news, about UK-based robot-builder QinetiQ supplying the first of four experimental RCVs to the US Army. The RCVs will be used along with the four RCV-Mediums built by Textron in field tests. The RCV is capable of launching missiles and mini-drones and identifying targets for artillery. It also integrates an unmanned vehicle with army weapons and autonomy software. The US Army is expected to purchase 16 more of each variant and is also planning much more intricate experiments, the article highlighted.

4. Drones – 40 mentions

France initiating a project to develop special drones, sailing drones to revolutionise military operations and drones playing a key role during the war for Azerbaijan were some widely discussed topics during the previous month. Tyler Rogoway, editor of The War Zone, a website providing information on defence, shared an article about the French Army’s plan to test small drones capable of detecting, intercepting and jamming communications.

The French Ministry of Defence launched a project named Sauron for manufacturing an electronic warfare payload, which can be transported using drones weighing less than 55 pounds. The French Defense Innovation Agency also announced a request for proposals (RFP) for the new payload and is planning to contract various research and development projects that will run for a seven-month period, the article highlighted.

Samuel Bendett, a military tech expert, further, shared an article about the potential of self-powered, autonomous sailing drones to transform military operations. Leading armed forces including the US Navy, and various global organisations and governments see a huge opportunity in seafaring drones. Overseeing the world’s oceans without human support is expected to revolutionise naval operations across the globe, the article noted.

Drones was also discussed in an article shared by Stars and Stripes, a news provider to the US military community, about drones giving a huge edge to Azerbaijan in its 44-day war against Armenia. The drone strikes against Armenian and Karabakh soldiers, and demolishing of tanks, air defence systems and artillery was the highlight of the war. The war was a quintessential example of how unmanned aerial attacks are transforming war fields, the article highlighted.

5. Troops – 38 mentions

The US government’s plans to withdraw troops, UK Army troops return to training and Israeli troops downing enemy drone were some popular topics discussed in the month of November. According to an article shared by Military.com, a website providing news and information on the US military, the Donald Trump administration is hinting at withdrawing overseas troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The move is being made in order to keep his poll promise of troop drawdown, as the leadership believes in ending all wars.

Further, Forces News shared an article about British troops returning to Sennelager Training Ranges since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The training facility located near Paderborn in Germany was not used for more than eight months since March. The troops are utilising Warrior infantry vehicles on the ranges, taking all the necessary precautions against Covid-19 transmission, and living in self-contained groups throughout training. The pandemic made it very difficult for the troops to participate in overseas training exercises, the article noted.

Another discussion related to troops was shared by Israel Defense Forces, the official account of Israel Defense Forces, about the country’s troops destroying a drone that belonged to Hezbollah, a militant organisation. The drone trespassed into the Israeli territory from Lebanon, though there was no threat to the adjoining communities and forces. Israeli defence forces asserted their military readiness through the attack and emphasised that they will not allow any encroachment on their country’s sovereignty.