Join us

British troops in major war-fighting experiment

Over 600 British Army soldiers are taking part in a war-fighting experiment in California, along with thousands of troops from six partner nations

Project Convergence Capstone 4 (PC-C4) started last month and will run until 20 March 2024.

The US Army is hosting the experiment which seeks to define how the US and international partners will fight in a multi-domain battlespace.

The entire joint force, and with our UK and Australian teammates and allies, were able to effectively move data for the first time in an operational scenario at a magnitude never seen before.” Lieutenant General Ross Coffman, US Army Futures Command

PC-C4 will provide evidence to shape the British Army of 2030, testing cutting-edge systems and technologies, including some for the first time on the ground.

It is designed to help make the British Army more lethal on the battlefield, by cutting down on time and complications in the ‘sensor-decider-effector-sustainer’ kill chain.

The network of information systems deployed on the modern battlefield plays a vital role.

If the vast amounts of data flying around are not properly processed, commanders cannot make sense of the battlefield or make the decisions needed to defeat the enemy.

PC-C4 is bringing multinational forces together to establish how to combine situational awareness and command and control.

This will help commanders make the right decisions and use the right systems to win on future battlefields.

During a recent visit to PC-C4 by special guests, an initial insight into these efforts was given by Lieutenant General Ross Coffman, Deputy Commander of US Army Futures Command:

“The entire joint force, and with our UK and Australian teammates and allies, were able to effectively move data for the first time in an operational scenario at a magnitude never seen before.”

This is about synchronising and sharing the data across the joint forces.” LIEUTENANT GENERAL ROSS COFFMAN, US ARMY FUTURES COMMAND

PC-C4 aims to deliver a joint and multinational force, able to rapidly and continuously integrate or “converge” effects across all domains.

It is split into two ten-day experimentation phases.

The first phase took place at Camp Pendleton, a US Marine Corps base, on the California coast.

The second phase is currently taking place at Fort Irwin, the US Army’s National Training Centre (NTC), in the Mojave Desert.

Lieutenant General Ross Coffman, US Army, said:

“This is about synchronising and sharing the data across the joint forces.”

One area that is being experimented with on PC-C4 is human-machine integration.

“We want to make contact with machines before we make contact with humans. When our services come together, we form a fist that packs a powerful punch”, Lieutenant General Coffman added.

PC-C4 also aims to improve military interoperability between the countries taking part – the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, and Japan.

PCC4 is enabling us to develop and test new capabilities, taking advantage of new technologies and concepts that will ensure we are more lethal and net contributors to a multinational fight. It is about winning.” Brigadier Neil Budd, 1 Deep Reconnaissance Strike Brigade Combat Team

1 Deep Recce Strike Brigade Combat Team (1 DRS BCT) is leading the UK contingent on PC-C4 in the Army’s biggest and most sophisticated experiment to date.

The UK contingent includes 2nd Battalion The Royal Yorkshire Regiment (2 R YORKS), the Army’s lead experimentation battalion, and force elements from many other units.

In the Mojave Desert, 2 R YORKS are testing cutting-edge technology that will change the way the British Army fights in the future.

1 DRS BCT is cohering the different UK force elements to enable the technical experimentation to occur in a tactical context and to test at scale the British Army’s new concept of ‘Recce-strike at every level’ alongside joint and multinational partners.

Commander HQ 1 DRS BCT, Brigadier Neil Budd, said:

“PCC4 is enabling us to develop and test new capabilities, taking advantage of new technologies and concepts that will ensure we are more lethal and net contributors to a multinational fight. It is about winning.

“PCC4 is allowing us to adapt in step with the emerging threat."

“We are exploiting in-service equipment to spirally develop and accelerate on to emerging technology, while realising the full potential of the new Land Operating Concept by operationalising its component parts, such as ‘recce-strike.” 

The Army’s Experimental and Trials Group (ETG) is deploying a Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) enhanced Battlegroup, consisting of up to 300 personnel, including Engineers, Artillery, Electronic Warfare Assets and unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The Ranger Regiment, established as part of Future Soldier, is also taking part in the experiment, with a Ranger Regiment Task Group embedded with US Special Operations Forces at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

PCC4 is allowing us to adapt in step with the emerging threat." Brigadier Neil Budd, 1 Deep Reconnaissance Strike Brigade Combat Team

In keeping with the joint nature of PC-C4, the UK’s Commando Force and Royal Air Force are also experimenting with new technologies on the battlefield and how they integrate into combined and joint battles.

The British Army is undertaking its largest modernisation programme for a generation, focussing on delivering a force that is fit for the challenges of the future.

Key to both this modernisation agenda and the success of PC-C4 is digital transformation.

Over the next decade, the Army’s entire deployable digital system will be modernised through an ambitious programme.

This includes wholesale modernisation of its expeditionary command, control communications and information systems capability.

A first-class Land Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance capability will be brought in, linking sensor to decider and effectors, along with a world-leading Army cyber and electromagnetic activities capability.

AHQCPL2 OFFICIAL 20230427 007 090

The Army Is Its People

The British Army is recruiting now for over 200 roles, from frontline combat and cyber security to helicopter pilots, chefs and vital support roles.

If you are aged 16 to 50, then learn more about an Army career here today.

Explore Army Jobs