Mouse Mightier than the Sword

March 25, 1997

Mouse Mightier than the Sword

The Army will decide next month whether to outfit one of its divisions with computer-based battle equipment that will rely on information from satellites, radar planes, sensors and scouts to give soldiers an eagle-eye view of the battlefield on mobile computer monitors, The Los Angeles Times reported today.

The high-tech project, which has already cost $700 million and will surpass the $1 billion mark within two years if it gets the go-ahead, will be operational by 2000, the Army projects. Critics of the technology say it is bug-ridden and it will be obsolete by the time it is implemented, but the Army is betting the bugs will be worked out and argues that the new system is its best hope to modernize the way it wages war.

The Army is now testing the equipment under battlefield conditions for the first time, holding mock battles at Fort Irwin, a base in the California desert. The equipment shows soldiers what and who is in their immediate vicinity. It converts enemy tanks into red triangles, friendly tanks into blue triangles and artillery fire into video game-style flickering lines.

Significant problems with the system remain, however. In addition to the inconvenience of soldiers carrying around computer monitors, the system is prone to jamming and vulnerable to hackers.

If the Army goes ahead with the project and works out the kinks, two infantry divisions could be equipped with the "tactical Internet" within the next ten years.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.