OEE Red Diamond OCT17

The Red Diamond newsletter presents professional information but the views expressed herein are those of the authors, not the Department of Defense or its elements. The content does not necessarily reflect the official US Army position and does not change or superseded any information in other official US Army publications. Authors are responsible for the accuracy and source documentation of the material that they reference. The Red Diamond staff reserves the right to edit material. Appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the US Army for information contained therein.

This issue of Red Diamond opens with an article on North Korean unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It is estimated that the country has no more than 1,000 UAVs in its inventory. The North Koreans primarily test and modify imported UAVs, but it is likely that they are starting to develop their own. This article reviews platforms that are commonly found in the country’s inventory.

The next article is part three of a series on the Russian Snow Dome. It discusses the Russian approach to strategic-, operational-, and tactical-level anti-access/ area denial: the ways and means available to Russian commanders to deny their opponents the ability to mass combat power prior to an engagement. It discusses how Russian commanders at the theater, operational command, and brigade levels integrate capabilities to create a kind of “exclusion zone” designed to attrite, disrupt, or deter enemy actions within their area of operations.

Area defense is a threat tactic to deny key areas or access to key terrain by an enemy. Threat actions focus on attacking key components of the enemy’s combat system at selected times and locations that cause the most effective disruption, defeat, and destruction of an enemy. Area defense is designed to achieve a successful outcome by forcing an enemy’s offensive operations to culminate before he can achieve his objectives, or by denying an enemy his objectives while preserving friendly forces’ combat power. The third article explains the tactical concept of area defense and provides a vignette illustrating its use by an opposing force brigade tactical group.

Loitering munitions, also known as suicide drones or “kamikaze” drones, are a capability typically representative of more advanced regular threat actors. They have a dual-use capability that combines tactical surveillance with the destructive effects of a guided missile. The fielding of these systems is expected to steadily increase as miniaturization of precision-guided munitions and micro platforms continue to improve. The final article reviews Iranian development and proliferation of such weapons and their associated technology.