As forecast, the 2003 Paris Air Show revealed few entirely new developments. Some of what was on view, however, dramatized a continuing shift toward what the U.S. military calls network-centric warfare. Another way to characterize the shift is that it emphasizes sensors and sensor fusion over weapons and platforms. Better data can increase the value of each weapon. One conclusion would be that fewer weapons can do the same job. On the other hand, under current circumstances there will be many fewer weapons in place because operations increasingly will occur far from any long-standing base, and with little notice. There also will be relatively few platforms. Their effectiveness will depend on how well they can hit the right targets—and on how well they will survive.
World Naval Developments: Paris Air Show Highlights Networked Warfare
By Norman Friedman