What Does Modern Defense Look Like?
Conflict in Ukraine continues to dominate the news headlines. For several months, Russian forces have been battling Ukrainians in a bid to seize cities and take the land. The goal of war may not have changed significantly, but the way battles and clashes are fought has. In this guide, we'll explore what modern-day defense looks like and how warfare has evolved.
The Ukrainian defense
Since February 2022, Ukrainian armies have been fighting against Russian forces on a mission to capture land and take over the country. The invasion, though increasingly likely, shocked the world and prompted a reaction from nations across the globe. Many imposed sanctions on Russia and pledged weapons and financial support. Arms and defense weapons have reinforced hardened, motivating forces that will give everything to save their motherland, with spending reaching over $10 billion. The US alone provided almost $9 billion in weapons between January and August 2022. Other major donors include Poland, the UK, Canada, and Germany. Recently, President Zelensky suggested that the arms bill to defend Ukraine was around $5 billion per month.
The conflict in Ukraine is the most recent case study to dissect to provide an insight into how modern warfare works and what kinds of technologies, strategies, and weapons countries and armed forces utilize to attack and defend. The situation has attracted global interest and more than 30 nations have donated weapons to Ukraine in the last six months. Collectively, these armies and defense departments have access to some of the most advanced systems and arms on the planet.
Examples of cutting-edge weapons systems currently in use in Ukraine include long-range rocket launchers, the majority of which have been sent by the US. The launchers sent by countries supporting Ukraine have a longer range than the Russian equivalents, and systems, such as Himars, are also faster and much more accurate. Long-range rockets are crucial to defend armies and deter attacks. So far, they have played a key role in the conflict, but reports indicate that ammunition stores are running low and President Zelensky has appealed for further support.
Anti-tank weapons are another important component of the Ukrainian arsenal. More than 5,000 weapons have been provided to help forces destroy Russian tanks. Anti-tank weapons, including Nlaw Next Generation weapons, are capable of blowing up tanks with a single shot, making them an incredibly valuable resource. Fired at the shoulder, training takes just one day. These weapons were most instrumental during the early onslaught on the outskirts of the prized target, the capital city, Kyiv.
The role of technology is more evident than ever. Drones are an increasingly influential weapon for modern armies. Turkey has provided drones that can fly up to 25,000 feet. These drones soar high in the skies before plummeting to unleash laser-guided bombs on key strategic targets. They have so far been successful in destroying battleships, missile systems, and military helicopters.
How has warfare changed?
Warfare today is very different from the battles of old. Armies may still fight each other on battlefields and defend city walls and coastlines, but the conflict has evolved. Armies in 2022 have better defensive equipment and weapons and there are several elements that makeup attacking and defensive strategies. Soldiers, the press, and some civilians may be protected by a helmet, a plate carrier, and a rifle but behind the scenes, there are many more undertakings to consider. The battlefield is often key, but it's also important to explore the role of people sitting in offices intercepting messages, analyzing online exchanges, gathering intelligence, and stifling cyber attacks. There's also the role of mediators, diplomats, and politicians to take into account the role of technology in fighting, monitoring advances and activity, and collecting information to inform decision-making.
Weapons have become much more advanced as technology has evolved. Today, as demonstrated in Ukraine, armies have access to sophisticated arms, which are generally much quicker and more accurate than those used in conflicts in the 20th century. Drones and guided missiles target specific sites, maximizing the impact of shots while reducing the risk of civilian casualties and protecting the armed forces. Long-range weapons and defense systems also enable forces to push attackers back and make it much more challenging for opponents to make progress.
One of the most significant developments in modern-day warfare is intelligence gathering and surveillance. Technology facilitates enhanced monitoring and provides those working in intelligence and defense to make decisions based on data and the findings of surveillance reports. In offices and headquarters all over the world, highly skilled teams are working constantly to identify and nullify threats, intercept data and reduce risks.
What does the future hold?
The conflict in Ukraine shows just how difficult it is to try to predict what will happen in the future. The truth is that nobody knows when this conflict will end, how it will end, and what will happen when it does conclude. This is just one example of war in a world where there is unrest in several pockets. In the future, technology is likely to play an increasingly impactful and important role in both attack and defense, and clashes that involve direct fighting on the ground could become less commonplace. Intelligence gathering capabilities will continue to evolve but it's unclear how warfare will change and what conflict will look like in 10, 50, or 100 years from now. Many will be focused on the news reports coming out of existing conflict zones rather than speculating about what comes next.
For months, the world has been gripped by headlines and rolling reports from Ukraine where Russian forces are attempting to take land from Ukrainians. This conflict is the most recent example of warfare and it demonstrates how the defense has changed and evolved and the key role international collaboration plays in toughening defenses and protecting populations. Over 30 countries have provided advanced weapons for Ukraine, with the US offering around $9 billion worth of arms and weapons systems. Nobody knows what will happen. For now, Ukrainian forces are battling hard with the help of sophisticated weapons and cutting-edge technologies.
(Disclaimer: Devdiscourse's journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)