Potential uses of 5G networks in the battlefield are currently being tested by military authorities around the world, with their rollout expected to take longer than in civilian sectors. The advent of edge computing and storage brings the potential of revolutionising military communications, as massive amounts of data can be used to inform operations. The resulting situational awareness and data sharing will greatly enhance intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for decision-making in command and control (C2).
The development and deployment of various autonomous systems are also expected to be boosted by 5G. For instance, new autonomous military vehicles fuelled by 5G technology could potentially circumvent data processing limitations by storing large databases, such as maps, in local clouds – allowing operators to control them from greater distances. Combining AI and IoT with the military applications of 5G may further change the overall dynamics for overseas operation deployment and traditional territorial defence.
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United States Defense Science Board, 2019, Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology
Intelligence and National Security Alliance, 2019, The National Security Challenges of Fifth Generation (5g) Wireless Communications