Academic journal article Military Review

THE PRECISION REVOLUTION: GPS and the Future of Aerial Warfare

Academic journal article Military Review

THE PRECISION REVOLUTION: GPS and the Future of Aerial Warfare

Article excerpt

THE PRECISION REVOLUTION: GPS and the Future of Aerial Warfare, Michael Russell Rip and James M. Hasik, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2002, 448 pages, $48.95.

In The Precision Revolution: GPS and the Future of Aerial Warfare, Michael Russell Rip and James M. Hasik explore the evolution, emergence, and dominance of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology in modern warfare. From the inception of using rudimentary precision weaponry during the Vietnam war to the contemporary employment of advanced navigational technology during ongoing military operations, Rip and Hasik offer their analysis of the revolution by targeting modern conflict.

Although steeped in technical detail, The Precision Revolution is not a work of single focus; it details the full spectrum of the effects realized from advancements in GPS technology. While the capabilities of each GPS-based weapons system are examined in detail, the true worth of The Precision Revolution is measured in strategic and diplomatic terms. Precision technology has empowered a few nations with the ability to apply decisive force earlier, giving them the ability to influence diplomatic relations.

What is debatable is the authors' assertion that the marriage of precision navigation with modern weapons systems made possible such events as the 100-hour ground phase of the 1991 Persian Gulf war. While GPS technology certainly facilitates command and control, improves the accuracy of modern weapons, and integrates information flow, it does not in itself represent a revolution in military affairs. …

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