Imagine this scenario: A military base in Europe is under attack. In the first hour, a drone swarm invades the airspace, but due to commercial clutter, it’s not immediately clear if the drones are gathering intelligence or if they pose a kinetic threat. Then the swarm takes an aggressive formation against critical infrastructure, and the base detects increased coordinated communications around them. Based on these cues, the base increases its alert level and defense posture. Thanks to the forewarning, the base is better prepared for hour two, when several cruise missiles join the assault. It’s now clear that the threat needs to be countered, and quickly.
As the attack is unfolding, a command and control (C2) capability is combining data from a range of sensors to defend the base. To accurately counter the drone swarm, a specific set of sensors needs to be used based on the terrain, the style of the threat actor, and what the drones are doing. In addition, a separate set of sensors needs to be used for the cruise missile attack, which can detect objects coming from beyond the horizon to identify trajectories and timing.
The modern C2 system is able to fuse this data together, even though it is coming from different sensors in different formats and standards. Its modern analytic tools make sense of the collated data to deliver commanders a common operating picture and advice on the best effectors to engage the threat—all in a matter of seconds.