General Schill, renowned for his innovative approach, is leading the French army towards a new era marked by a ‘Start-Up Army' culture. Emphasizing on technologies like robotics, drones, and electronic warfare, he aims to adapt the military to the demands of contemporary warfare.
Having witnessed the Ukrainian army's adept handling of these technologies in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Schill is keen to imbibe these practices. In contrast, the Russian army seems to be lagging, as their progress is routinely obstructed by the lumbering military bureaucracy.
This conflict has prominently highlighted the increasing role of drones in warfare, prompting Schill to recognize them as vital tools. Their significance is underscored by the French Military Programming Law (LPM) 2024-30, which has earmarked an investment of 5 billion euros for the development of drones and robotics.
Towards a New Warfare Approach
Borrowing from the ‘bottom-up' approach typical of start-ups, Schill advocates for reactive innovation, the adaptation of action modes, and organizational structures. Furthermore, he recommends harnessing the defense industry for scaling these practices.
Anticipating the escalating threat of drones in warfare, Schill also stresses on the importance of implementing anti-drone measures. To this end, the French army has already taken decisive steps with the establishment of a drone school and an experimental unit. These entities are tasked with testing and validating equipment and concepts.
Classification of Army Drones
General Schill categorizes army drones into three types:
- Combatant drones: These are low-cost and easy to manufacture.
- Specialized drones: Equipped to carry multi-effect loads.
- Command drones: These drones have a long endurance and require independent development.
The French army's commitment to adopting this novel approach to warfare, inspired by start-up culture, signals a revolution in military strategy. As it stands, the future of warfare appears to be increasingly linked with technological innovation and adaptability.