“Tulevaisuuden jalkaväkitaistelijan kehitystyö Suomessa – katse oman maan puolustamisessa ja tulevaisuuden kriisinhallintaoperaatioissa”


  • Tapio Saarelainen


jalkaväkitaistelija, suorituskyky, asejärjestelmät, taisteluvarustus, tilannetietoisuus, tehtävä, sotatekniikka


“DEVELOPING FUTURE WARRIORS IN THE FINNISH ARMY – FOCUSING ON TERRITORIAL DEFENCE AND PROSPECTIVE CRISIS MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS” This article focuses on the topic of Future Warrior development in the Finnish Army. In this context, at least the following two basic issues have to be discussed. First of all, there is the need to defend the country and, secondly, it is necessary to anticipate the oncoming challenges involving peace-keeping operations. To serve this purpose, this article has thus adopted a technical viewpoint. Obviously, Finland’s highest military priority is to secure its own territory in all possible situations. On the other hand, Finland has to be prepared to keep its international promises, which in turn involves taking care of the given international tasks in varying circumstances and jointly in an international environment. In other words, it is highly likely that Finnish troops will be working together with soldiers from other countries. Contents-wise, this article accounts for the definitions of the terms battlefield, future battlefield, and future soldier. Furthermore, this article reviews possible technologies available for future warriors. To serve the reader, the chosen themes are dealt with by looking at both the overall situation and the relevant challenges. This is done to provide the reader with transparently argued, tangible solutions. Consequently, the battlefield is viewed as a complex environment in which each soldier must cope and execute the ordered tasks in minimum time and with maximum impact. This is a considerable challenge when keeping in mind that the battlefield is an asymmetric environment with unpredictable events and threats. Moreover, the battlefield continuously changes and situations rapidly vary. This is evident in how, for instance, emptiness increases and the number of humans decreases except for in the area of the center of gravity whereas the number and variety of machines increases. Therefore soldiers have to be able to work together with each other and with machines, such as, for example, unmanned aerial and unmanned ground vehicles. In addition, when discussing critical elements in the battlefield, the significance of the electromagnetic spectrum is crucial. This means that each soldier needs to understand the threats and possibilities underlying this electronic aspect which offers several threats and challenges but also possibilities to utilize the benefits and gaps of that environment. Thus soldiers who maximally deliver in the traditional battle zone complemented with an electronic spectrum most likely fulfil their tasks in a versatile environment as well. When it comes to the future requirements concerning infantry soldiers, we know that most armies currently implement their own soldier modernization programs. Essentially, all these programs have an identical objective: to improve the performance of dismounted soldiers and make them more resistant to known and unknown threats. Although the ways to achieve this objective may vary a little bit, the objective remains clear. In fact, we are all familiar with the names FIST (Future Infantry Soldier Technology), IdZ (Infanterist der Zukunft) and LW-IS (Land Warrior Interoperable Stryker) as we closely monitor the results and outcomes of these projects. Furthermore, Russia has its own program (Black Robes) to modify their infantry soldiers. The requirements are comparable to the projects mentioned above. In practical terms, soldier modernization programs are very expensive and projects-in-progress tend to continuously face new challenges. However, some break-troughs can be expected in the near future. Generally speaking, future technologies depend on energy production and storage systems as energy serves as a key resource. In practice, this can be seen in the high number of different types of batteries, which can be exploited only in a specific system. In the future, to prevent soldiers from unnecessary carrying, we need a central system that produces and distributes the energy for all the subsystems. The one who can offer a power supply system that produces a constant energy supply for soldiersize targets is at the leading edge. Of course, this system must be battle-proof and protected against the threats occurring in a battlefield. Another key issue worthy of discussing is situational awareness together with a reliable communication system (C4I2). In short, the number of soldiers reduces while the number of machines increases. Thus soldiers must be able to utilize all the information gathered by robots in order to carry out their mission with greater speed and with fewer casualties as machines are disposable but soldiers are not. The key to solving this problem will be a properly planned data- and sensor fusion. This involves properly planned system and data platforms complemented with suitable messaging (encryption, DSSS) and radio communication technologies with adequate system engineering. When all these elements are seamlessly combined, future soldiers will be well on their way. Yet, we are not to cling to specific technologies, manufacturers or machinery but rather to keep the objective simple in mind. This means focusing on the end result instead of on the methods which may serve as the means to reach the given objective. And this in turn involves accounting for the rapidly changing technology. Thereby the key to dealing with challenges lies in keeping the objective clear. Instead of investing everything in currently available technology we need to also keep inventing new possibilities to tackle challenges from other perspectives. This approach may facilitate both inventing and implementing new technologies in practice. Artikkeli on suomen kielellä ja luettavissa painetussa julkaisussa Tiede ja ase 65 (hinta 20 €). Julkaisun voi tilata Tiedekirjasta sähköpostitse tiedekirja@tsv.fi tai verkkokaupasta www.tiedekirja.fi

Kirjoittajan esittely

Tapio Saarelainen





Saarelainen, T. (2008). “Tulevaisuuden jalkaväkitaistelijan kehitystyö Suomessa – katse oman maan puolustamisessa ja tulevaisuuden kriisinhallintaoperaatioissa”. Tiede ja ase, 65. Noudettu osoitteesta https://journal.fi/ta/article/view/401