This gallery contains 4 photos.
The information revolution that began with the explosion of computing technology in the 1970s has transformed the face of warfare. Whereas in the past wars were waged by sizable military forces which sought decision by closing with the enemy and destroying him, including through close interpersonal combat, these days such actions are rare.
The cost of modern weapons means that military forces are far smaller, and their lethality means that risking exposure to enemy fire is tantamount to suicide. Instead, the recent conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen have been characterized by the warring sides attempting to destroy opposing forces or to compel them to withdraw through the application of firepower, rather than close action.
Since fire predominates over shock action, it is crucial that the power of increasingly accurate and long-ranged weapons be appropriately directed. This gave the rise to what Soviet-era military theorists were referring to as the “reconnaissance-strike complex”, or the fusion of sensors and weapons systems to enable accurate fire-in-depth against every echelon of the enemy battle order, from the front-line troops, all the way back to strategic command and control centers.
This concept is referred to in the West as ISTAR, or Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance.
Since jihadist formations make extensive use of electronics, down to and including smart phones, they have a sizable electronic footprint which can be effectively exploited, and the numerous deaths of senior jihadist leaders, the bombing of training camps, headquarters, munitions depots, and supply columns owed a great deal of its effectiveness to timely intelligence information which came from many sources, with the Tu-214R’s capabilities playing a crucial role… … …