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Tim Grayson, director of the DARPA Strategic Technology Office, details how “Mosaic Warfare” works, and how it can help equip troops better.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects agency is exploring ways to conduct warfare in the 21st century. By organizing forces and equipment as a ‘mosaic,’ DARPA says that the military can be more adaptable than ever. Tim Grayson, director of the DARPA Strategic Technology Office, says that instead of equipping for every situation, mosaic warfare allows forces to be prepared more efficiently.

“Way we buy equipment today says ‘Here are all the problems we think a warfighter might need to solve over years if not decades of the life of that piece of equipment.’ As a result, we have to overprovision. We are guessing what their real problems are at any given point in time. If we can focus in on delivering things much closer to the time they need it, it can actually be simpler,” Grayson said. “That allows us to make new pieces of equipment that are hyperspecialized to individual parts of a problem, instead of needing large, expensive, complex things that take years to deliver. You get into a virtuous feedback cycle, where more exquisite types of things today take a long time, which means they have to do more things. If we can deliver things with a much more focused purpose and let the warfighter figure out how to configure them into these new architectures, that allows those individual piece parts to be simpler.”

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