Human, Organisational, and technological lessons from air power and joint operations in major conflict

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter


The Royal Australian Air Force is undertaking the most significant technological change in its history at a time of increased concerns about a more contested environment without a guarantee of technological superiority over potential adversaries. Air and joint operations in the Second World War provide insights into innovation in the face of significant technological changes in warfare and against formidable state adversaries. By examining the combination of human, organisational and technological elements, this chapter provides insights into how forces were able to out-learn and defeat technologically comparable adversaries. Instead of overconfidence, recognition of the genuine risk of failures appears to be a solid driver for insights, innovations, and a willingness to listen to outside perspectives. Examination of air and joint operational examples highlight that solutions to problems were often cumulative and iterative, resulting from a combination of human, organisational, and technological factors. Of particular note, the establishment of the world’s first Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) through deliberate exploration and integration of technologies, people, and processes demonstrates that defence forces can be proactive; forces do not need to lose lives, platforms, or battles before developing innovating and effective warfighting capabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralian Perspectives on Global Air and Space Power
Subtitle of host publicationPast, Present, Future
EditorsNicole Townsend, Kus Pandey, Jarrod Pendlebury
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781000844795
ISBN (Print)9781032137407
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2023


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