System Applications of Advanced Technologies
Eight systems panels were set up for the STAR study. Each panel was tasked with envisioning applications of advanced technologies to systems of importance to the future Army. The panel members were experts in their various application areas; most were drawn from industry. Each panel developed its own approach to performing the assigned task and wrote its own report.
In this chapter the STAR Committee has made use of advanced system concepts that were identified by the systems panels. These systems are exploratory; they were not carried to the point of even preliminary designs. Their purpose is to show what the technologies would be capable of doing and how the Army might use them. Further, the envisaged systems helped in assessing which battlefield functions will benefit most from anticipated new technology.
For some battlefield functions, there was considerable overlap among the various systems panels in systems concepts. To organize this overview of systems more simply, the STAR Committee has categorized the advanced systems concepts according to their principal function, independent of which systems panel(s) discussed them. Five functions with high impact on the Army's capability to conduct ground warfare were selected for review here:
winning the information war (C3I/RISTA),
integrated support for the soldier,
combat power and mobility,
air and ballistic missile defense, and
combat services support.
In the section below for each of these functional headings, key systems concepts presented by the systems panels will be briefly noted. The remainder of each section will present the views of the STAR Committee on the significance of these systems to the Army, the prospects of advanced technology to affect functionality, and specific systems the Committee judged to have the highest payoff for the Army.
From among the many systems concepts explored by the systems panels, the STAR Committee selected six as being of especially high potential benefit. These high-payoff systems, listed in Figure 2-1, are discussed further under their respective functions. No single high-payoff system was identified for the functional heading of Integrated Support for the Soldier. This reflects the central importance of the human soldier to the various systems and technology applications considered under this heading.
The STAR Committee also found, in its own deliberations and those of the systems panels, that systems and technologies were often evaluated for the same pervasive values, which cut across the requirements of particular systems or even of the broad functions listed above. These focal values are affordability, reliability, deployability,
joint operability, reduced vulnerability of U.S. combat and support systems (stealth and counterstealth capabilities), casualty reduction, and support system cost reduction. Their pervasiveness will be evident from the discussions below; in Chapter 5 they are addressed again as focal interests for technology management.
SYSTEMS TO WIN THE INFORMATION WAR
The current terminology for systems approaches to essential information-related functions includes C3I (command, control, communication, and intelligence) and RISTA (reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance, and target acquisition). Different systems panel reports use both terms without clearly distinguishing between them. This report will use the combination C3I/RISTA to refer generally to all systems referred to by either term.
Key System to Win the Information War
The systems panels envisioned the following advanced systems concepts for the general function of winning the information war.
C3I/RISTA was addressed by the Electronics Systems Panel in three notional warfighting scenarios: large-scale operations, mid-level combat operations, and a futuristic view of how urban guerilla war might be fought. In each context the systems Panel envisioned a C3I system that was highly robust, automated, and integrated. The component functions of the system include gathering information, evaluating and presenting this information, providing support for making command decisions based on the presentation, and distributing command decisions to implementing units. The Special Technologies Systems Panel envisioned a system of similar functions and capabilities under the heading of RISTA. The Electronics Systems Panel considered target acquisition as a separate topic.
Robot vehicles for C3I/RISTA include sensors, processors, navigation, communication, and displays, as well as the vehicles themselves, which may be either airborne or ground-mobile.
Electronic systems architecture is a top-level, general information-processing architecture that will provide the standards and protocols needed to network standard serial (von Neumann) computers, signal processors, parallel processors, neural networks, and optical computers into one large ''system of systems.'' The software provided with this systems architecture would include operating systems, communications utilities, application and user utilities, and user interfaces.
Space-based systems were envisioned by the Electronics Systems Panel as tactical satellites that can be launched on demand for battlefield-specific tasks. The panel envisioned four such systems for distinct missions: communication, battle management, intelligence, and force projection. The force projection capabilities included electronic countermeasures and support measures (ECM/ESM). The basic system architecture is independent of whether the satellites are launched for battlefield-specific tasks or are joint-use satellites or national technical assets.
To prevail in battle, the Army must gather, evaluate, and act on information more quickly than its adversary. The success of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf war illustrates this point. The STAR Committee expects that information superiority will continue to be a key factor in future Army operations. Against a well-equipped opponent fighting with superior numbers on his home territory, it may well be the most important factor in deciding the outcome. Given the context of future threat characteristics and national policies described in Chapter 1, C3I/RISTA requirements will expand greatly. Fortunately, the continuing revolution in hardware, software, and system architecture should provide the technology base to meet these requirements.
Today, targeting and control operations for direct-fire systems are performed in the same vehicle that carries the weapon (e.g., an attack helicopter or a tank). Each vehicle includes an internal (human) command-and-control function and therefore must support and protect the human crew. This increases the size, complexity, and cost of each vehicle. Yet in the past physical separation of the targeting and control elements from the weapon was impractical for several reasons; one of the most important was the lack of a secure and reliable command, control, and communication system. C3I/RISTA technology and functions are likely to change markedly during the next three decades. New technologies, largely driven by commercial markets, will make possible new systems of value to the Army. The Army must remain alert to these opportunities as they emerge and, more importantly, not limit itself by rigid requirements that inhibit change.
The STAR Committee anticipates that within three decades—and possibly much earlier—all Army operations will be supported by a highly sophisticated, highly integrated C3I/RISTA network (Figure 2-2). This network, which will supply needed information to and
from all units on and around the battlefield, will provide new capabilities to the Army. Particularly important among these will be the capability to separate weapons physically from the system that performs targeting.
The Army will be the principal ground force committed to the types of operations expected to occur in the future. It should therefore play a significant role in planning for the next generation of C3I/RISTA systems. An active Army role in this planning is critical whether the C3I/RISTA system concept is of Army origin or the product of a joint service effort. If a consistent Department of Defense (DOD)-wide effort does not appear, the Army should initiate—and be willing to remain the lead agency for—such an effort.
Operational improvements can derive from both new architectures and new technologies. Significant progress is expected in sensors, computing and data storage, software algorithms, and communications techniques. Significant cost reductions should occur because of broad commercial development and application of the basic technologies.
The more detailed examination below of C3I/RISTA systems divides the topic into four major functional segments, or subsystems: sensors, communications, command and control, and information management. There is also a separate discussion of space-based systems and their role in Army C3I/RISTA.
The Role of Sensors
The need for information about the enemy, the terrain, and the weather is paramount in any military operation. Human intelligence aside, the means for gathering this information depend on some form of sensor positioned to receive electromagnetic radiation, sound, or other information-holding energy from the object of interest. The sensor segment of C3I/RISTA includes the various sensors that perform reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance, and target acquisition functions.
The integrated C3I/RISTA systems of the future will include optical, infrared, radar, acoustic, and radio intercept receivers. They will provide comprehensive geographic coverage over a broad range of the electromagnetic spectrum. The in-theater sensor segment will be augmented by the sensors of national assets, sensors outside the theater, and sensors operated in the theater by other military organizations.
Electronic devices are the fundamental components of sensor systems. They play a role in front-end receivers and transmitters and in components for signal processing and automatic target recognition. Electronics technology for both civilian and military sensor applications is developing rapidly. Two aspects stand out as especially important for military use: the ability to form an image and the ability to respond to more than one stimulus. The former is important in identifying particular objects. The latter renders stealth by the enemy less effective.
Passive optical and infrared systems provide information on direction (bearing) and on spectral distribution and intensity; laser and radar systems provide information on reflection intensity, range, range extent, velocity, and direction. Millimeter-wave synthetic aperture radars provide high-resolution images that are responsive to the material properties of targets. These systems can be configured so that the active and passive components share the same optics and thus can provide pixel-registered images in a multidimensional space, which allows multidimensional imagery. Acoustic sensors can provide information regarding frequency and direction of detected signals. Future C3I/RISTA systems will include smart processors, derived from
model-based or neural network algorithms, that are able to fuse information from multiple sensor types. These smart processors for multiple stimuli also will provide the technology base for smart weapons.
An application area in which advanced sensors might achieve a major tactical breakthrough is in identification of friend, foe, or neutral (IFFN). Sensor technologies on the horizon may allow sensor systems to distinguish friend from foe without requiring a human decision-maker in the loop, thereby reducing response time and human error. Opportunities to achieve an IFFN capability by technical means alone should be pursued. As an example, if the sensors and sensor data-processing technologies forecast for "brilliant" weapons and munitions make automatic target recognition possible, these advances will not only enhance the economic effectiveness of the systems but will also contribute to solving the IFFN problem.
Depending on circumstances and the system of which the sensor is a part, a sensor's distance from the object of interest may vary from a few feet to the remoteness of space (Figure 2-3). In addition to the factor of distance, information collection with sensors requires that they be placed in appropriate positions relative to the object of interest; for example, many sensor types require an unrestricted line of
sight to the object. Of particular importance, of course, is placement that gives the ability to sense activity in areas to which soldier access is denied—for instance, behind enemy lines.
One solution is to place the sensors in a remote location, such as space, that still provides a view of the denied territory. Spaced-based systems and their potential role in Army C3I/RISTA are discussed in a later section of this chapter. Other solutions are to preposition the sensors in the area of interest or transport them there by overt or covert means. Because overt action can attract hostile reaction, methods of transporting sensors by means that either avoid detection or are relatively insensitive to enemy reaction must be sought. Unmanned air and ground systems are emerging as effective means of achieving one or both of these approaches to sensor placement.
Robot Vehicles for C3I/RISTA
Much of the C3I/RISTA information of the future Army will be obtained by satellites and high-flying aircraft using sensors that report to upper echelons, which are often located at the rear of deployed forces. After some delays and processing, selected data will flow to forward-located, small units. Besides this support, the small, forward unit will need, as it always has, highly detailed and timely information about terrain and the disposition of opposing forces. As the means to acquire such timely and high-resolution data, the STAR Committee foresees an important role for small robot vehicles operated by, and reporting directly to, the small, forward units.
The C3I/RISTA systems envisioned by the STAR systems panels include remotely controlled or robot sensors that require minimal human supervision. For several reasons, vehicles for future C3I/RISTA should be unmanned. First, in comparison with manned helicopters, which usually must also carry weapons, robot vehicles can be smaller, less expensive, more survivable, and longer enduring per mission. Second, they can acquire the needed information without pilot exposure. Command and control, managed by humans, can be performed from rear areas far from the position where the sensor performs its task. Depending on the vehicle's mode of travel, these robot sensor systems are either unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs).
Many of the battlefield sensors for the integrated C3I/RISTA system can be carried on various types of UAVs. Miniature UAVs would be deployed in large numbers. The smallest UAV might weigh no
more than a few pounds and have a wing span of less than 2 ft (Figure 2-4). Each would carry a single sensor, weighing perhaps a few ounces, for periods of about a day. Deployed in groups, with each UAV carrying a different type of sensor, these vehicles would provide a robust capability for close-in C3I/RISTA. Targets could be viewed from different aspects, in different portions of the electronic spectrum, and in different sensory domains.
By virtue of the large number of mini-UAVs, this C3I/RISTA element would be difficult to counter by attack, jamming, or use of low-observable technology to hide ground targets. The miniature UAVs would survive because of their small size and agility in flight. Costly special treatments to give low observability would not be necessary. Costs would be minimized by using standardized airframe subsystems, produced in large quantities (thousands).
Another example envisioned by the STAR Airborne Systems Panel is an advanced form of the current high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) aircraft (Figure 2-5). It could be extremely useful in providing continuous wide-area surveillance and bistatic illumination. It
could also act as a communication relay. The envisioned HALE UAV would weigh about 4,400 lb and carry a payload of about 400 lb; it would have a wingspan of perhaps 70 ft with a configuration typical of conventional high-performance sailplanes. The HALE aircraft could remain at an altitude of about 60,000 ft for several days. With this altitude and endurance, only a few HALE UAVs would be needed to support a typical theater of operations.
Attempts to develop UAV systems in the past have been hindered by a variety of problems, such as unreliability, complexity (requiring large, specialized operating crews), inadequate sensor and communications technology, and an inability to operate day and night under all weather conditions. The several STAR panels concerned
with this application area concluded that the technologies to correct these problems are either in hand or developing rapidly enough to justify predicting the future utility of such systems as important integral elements of the C3I/RISTA sensor segment.
Key technologies for UAV structure and propulsion include advanced composite materials; lightweight, high-endurance, high-efficiency propulsion systems; advanced fluid dynamics codes; and advanced test facilities. Other technologies are related to UAV payload, such as advanced solid state components, imaging sensors, parallel processor computer architectures, ultra-high-reliability components, signature control, and data links with high bandwidth and low probability of intercept.
Two areas in which significant progress has been made, and undoubtedly will continue, are robotics and artificial intelligence. This progress includes both improved technological performance and greater social acceptance. Robot systems will receive high-level mission orders, then will autonomously control a vehicle throughout its mission; the only human intervention may be to change mission orders. Telepresence systems may also use artificial intelligence to process voluminous sensor information and display it in ways easily understood by the remote human operator.
The UGVs envisioned by the STAR systems panels would be somewhat larger than the mini-UAV sensor systems but would have much longer mission durations (several days rather than hours). They would probably be deployed in groups. As envisioned, a UGV might weigh 4 to 20 kg and would carry a sophisticated array of sensors and processors weighing 1 to 4 kg (Figure 2-6). The sensor and processing suite would include vehicle navigation as well as C3I/RISTA functions.
These UGVs would take advantage of their ground environment to remain undetected in enemy territory. They would use low-observable techniques for this purpose. The vehicles would require sophisticated driving and navigation systems to traverse the battlefield, remain undetected, and still perform C3I/RISTA functions at close range.
The communications segment of C3I/RISTA systems must provide information to whoever (or whatever) needs it, quickly and with reasonable security. Information transfer between the various C3I/RISTA elements on the battlefield and beyond is necessary for every type and level of battle management.
The Army currently depends heavily on a variety of land-based communication systems whose performance, support, and costs are based on technology that is several decades old and now obsolete. By contrast, the rapid progress in civilian communication systems has resulted from the use of many related technologies. These systems are increasingly global in scope. Effective yet low-cost systems for Army communications to and within remote contingency operations could be based on this commercial technology, if the mission does not involve an adversary with sophisticated signal intelligence capability.
The communications segment as envisioned by the STAR panels would use radio and optical links to connect elements of the C3I/RISTA system in a robust network. Extreme redundancy would provide security and reliability in the face of unknown terrain, adverse weather, and enemy jamming. The network would take advantage of satellites and high-altitude, long-endurance UAVs to ensure wide-area communications connectivity.
It is critical that the Army's C3I/RISTA system be truly robust. It should be able to support combat operations day or night and in the most adverse weather conditions. In addition, the communications
network must be secure and must not experience interference from communications of other services, host nations, enemies, or neutral parties. A high degree of spectrum management will therefore be needed throughout the C3I/RISTA system.
A successful communications segment for C3I/RISTA will require a large carrying capacity. It must be secure, not only to prevent the enemy from determining the message content but also to prevent disruption and attempts to insert misinformation. The capacity requirement implies the availability of a wide band of frequencies. The security requirement entails physical security and the use of encryption.
The large and complex flow of data from space-based, airborne, and ground sensors will require secure, high-bandwidth links, even if data are preprocessed locally at the sensor site. Satellite millimeter and optical communications links, as well as fiber optics networks, offer the greatest potential for secure high-bandwidth transmission, for either long distances or local information distribution. Spread-spectrum electromagnetic links and fiber optic connections to remotely operated air and ground vehicles will also enable ''telepresence,'' in which the joint capabilities of humans and machines can be optimized for many applications, including reconnaissance and targeting. The very high bandwidths provided by secure fiber optics systems will permit redundant distribution of sensor and communications information.
The advanced sensor segment of C3I/RISTA will provide unprecedented amounts of information to be communicated, in the form of an extensive and rapid data stream. Analysis and interpretation are required before the data are useful. Very fast computers are needed for sophisticated interpretation, so computing capacity can be of critical importance. In weaponry, for example, a fast, smart missile with an imaging sensor must make complex analyses and decisions in very short times, so a high-capacity onboard computer is required. On the other hand, in many C3I/RISTA applications, the rapid stream of sensor data must be encrypted and transmitted to high-capacity computers located elsewhere. Microelectronics—particularly terahertz devices—were singled out by the STAR panels as the heart of future ultra-fast computers. They will be needed for communication systems, data processing, and all phases of battle control. Such terahertz electronic devices will be capable of amplifying signals transmitted at frequencies of a trillion hertz (a terahertz) and switching signals at intervals measured in trillionths of a second (picoseconds).
Today's best devices approach gigahertz (a billion hertz) capability, but the STAR panels forecast a thousandfold increase to terahertz
capability. The great increase in speed of terahertz devices would vastly increase communication transmission rates as well as computational power. They will have applications not only in the communication elements of C3I/RISTA systems but in many other systems as well.
Communications will be of fundamental importance to all parts of the Army's own C3I/RISTA system and to joint operability with the other services. The STAR Committee therefore recommends that the Army participate actively in the design and development of terahertz devices, which will be critical elements of future systems.
As a complement to communications technology that will carry higher data loads, data compression techniques, as well as preprocessing and fusion of sensor data at the sensor, can lighten the transmission load. For example, compression algorithms for radio transmissions, based on discrete cosine transforms, have preserved acceptable resolution and motion qualities for transmitting a television signal equivalent to 100 Mbps (megabits per second) at 19 Kbps (kilobits per second).
Command and Control
The command-and-control segment of a C3I/RISTA system is the decision-making portion. It not only performs the battle management function but also manages combat support and battlefield logistics, so that fighting forces operate in the best possible environment and are fully sustained. Another function of this segment is to manage the use of the electromagnetic spectrum, so that communications and sensors are not jammed and do not interfere with one another. Also included in the command-and-control segment will be capabilities for deception and misinformation. They will use C3I/RISTA assets to disrupt the enemy's information system or inject misinformation into it. Four key functional areas within the command-and-control segment are discussed in more detail below: battle management, IFFN, joint operability, and deception and misinformation.
A commander must be well informed and able to respond rapidly; this simple truth cannot be overemphasized. The enormous amount of available information is useless to a commander until it has been analyzed and summarized in a form that can be understood quickly. The commander should have just the right information and have it displayed in a familiar form.
The technology should allow a commander to call up successively more detailed levels of supporting information. The commander should also be able to test possible responses by asking "what if" questions and having a computer simulation project the expected result of an order before it is issued. Finally, the commander should be able to issue orders in a familiar form, have them translated rapidly into the detailed orders needed by field units, and have them transmitted securely to those units.
One key to any decision-making process is the ability to marshal and analyze data in a form that the decision-maker can readily comprehend. The raw capacity of computer hardware to process data has increased at a tremendous rate. The STAR Electronics and Sensors Technology Forecast predicts an order-of-magnitude increase in computer processing power during the decade to 2000 (Figure 2-7). However, the use of this capacity is constrained by the slower development of software algorithms able to dependably carry out the required types of analysis. Efficient yet reliable software is needed in the areas of intelligence extraction, synoptic organization of intelli-
gence, and interpretation of command decisions into detailed directives to the field. In battlefield management applications, as in many other areas, software will remain the pace-setting factor.
One area of software development that does appear promising is the creation of a battlefield control language to translate command decisions into detailed directives to field units. The battle control language of the future will enable Army personnel to move data, extract information, compare courses of action, and make highly informed decisions, all without concern for computation details. It probably will be structured with layers of computer languages. The syntax and semantics of the top layer will replicate standard military operational and logistical terminology. Statements in this top-level language will look like map graphics, operation orders, or report formats.
A series of intermediate languages will provide the ability to modify software at varying levels of abstraction. As with today's spreadsheet packages, the battle control language will allow warfighting commanders to interact with the computer through a medium of commands and responses that is naturally suited to the task. The techniques of artificial intelligence can be used so that the computer understands relatively unstructured verbal commands similar to those that the user might employ in commanding human subordinates.
This battle control language might also be used as an integral part of training and analytic simulations. Its use in war games, particularly in combination with other computer simulation technology, would improve the relevance of this form of training for commanders at all levels. The same battle control software could be used to add specificity and realism to analyses, which should improve their quality.
Another high-priority function of the command-and-control segment is IFFN (identification of friend, foe, or neutral). IFFN must be fast and unambiguous; it must not be vulnerable to exploitation by hostile forces. Moreover, consistent yet rapidly changing rules of engagement are essential.
This IFFN ability becomes even more critical in the melee of joint and combined operations, which are likely in future contingency warfare. In these new circumstances of emergency deployment, fratricide could become a major source of our casualties unless new technologies are quickly applied to this problem. Elements that will
need IFFN discrimination capability include ground systems as well as the aircraft that heretofore have received attention (as in the Persian Gulf war).
In the view of the STAR Committee, battlefield IFFN is an issue to be solved technically rather than through operational approaches. As noted in the discussion of C3I/RISTA sensors, emerging technologies (such as high-speed pattern recognition as part of sensor data processing) offer new possibilities for a technical solution to this complex yet crucial problem. There are two technical approaches being studied. In direct-challenge IFFN, a dialogue between a querying system (potential defender) and the queried entity (potential threat) determines the identity of the queried entity. In a noncooperative approach, the determination of identity does not rely on any response from the entity being examined. Both technical approaches should be pursued in parallel, at least until the superiority of one approach becomes evident. A highly distributed network of sensors, extensive data bases, and sophisticated simulation systems should allow a robust IFFN capability to be developed within the command-and-control segment of the future C3I/RISTA architecture.
Future deployments of U.S. forces in response to contingencies are likely to represent all the services; joint operations will be the norm. The Army will probably supply the largest contingent of forces in these operations. It must therefore focus technological assets on determining the requirements and solving the problems of command and control in joint operations. In particular, greater emphasis will be needed on managing the frequency (wavelength) and amplitude (energy) of C3I/RISTA activities than was necessary to support the warfighting scenarios for which existing Army communications equipment was designed.
A new and highly integrated joint services C3I/RISTA system will probably be a priority objective of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the DOD in the near future. The STAR Committee believes the Army, as a matter of strategy, should aim to be a major participant in defining these joint systems and in delineating the interfaces between their components.
Deception and Misinformation
As the Persian Gulf war demonstrated, both the denial of information to the enemy and the supply of misinformation can greatly affect
the outcome on the battlefield. Tactical advantage can be gained by affecting the enemy's information system; slowing the flow of, or denying, information to an enemy's information system can lessen or even negate his combat capability. A more sophisticated approach, but one having greater leverage, is to inject misinformation into the enemy's information system. Although these approaches have always been applicable to warfare, the means of implementing them have changed with the technology of military communications.
For either approach, tactical advantage can be gained by having more rapid access to relevant stored data, so that enemy capabilities and the environment are well understood. Advantage can also result from fast simulation systems, so that tactics can be quickly realigned to seize an unexpected opportunity.
As a consequence of the importance of C3I/RISTA to potential adversaries as well as to our own side, the Army should pursue technology applications for the denial of information to our enemies and the insertion of misinformation.
The fourth segment of the C3I/RISTA system is information management, which includes the displays, data bases, simulation subsystems, and information processing facilities used throughout the battlefield. Local commanders need critical pieces of information quickly and in an easily understood format, but they do not need all the information available. The algorithms for information processing, filtering, and display will remain major challenges.
A revolution in performance and cost reduction is now under way in commercial information distribution. This revolution, which is forecast to continue for the next several decades, can be exploited to benefit Army information management needs. In the future, processing and simulation assets can be highly distributed, along with the data bases that support them. This will provide increased physical survivability, decreased vulnerability to enemy attempts at deception and insertion of misinformation, and increased flexibility for rapid system reconfiguration.
Space-based systems will be extremely important to future Army operations. They will serve as enduring and nonintrusive platforms for a wide variety of sensors, for use prior to and during combat operations. They will provide a means for detecting and locating se-
lected high-signature targets such as missile launchers. They will also support wideband communications between points that do not have surface-to-surface radio frequency lines of sight.
The Persian Gulf war saw the greatest tactical use to date of satellite systems. These systems were used for communications, RISTA, position locating, mapping, early warning, damage assessment, and environmental monitoring. As a result, the Army has begun a tactical satellite initiative. Two STAR panels (Electronics Systems and Special Technologies Systems) discussed tactical satellites as an advanced systems concept for the future battlefield. Tactical satellites are small, lightweight, low-cost systems that use advanced computer architectures and microelectronics. They can be launched in sufficient numbers to provide the redundancy needed for a robust network. Their small size greatly reduces the lift requirements for launching enough satellites to cover a remote location in a timely manner. Technology projections for the year 2020 forecast a feasible and affordable system in which a dozen of these satellites would be networked into a high-bandwidth, demand-access, packet-switched communications architecture. The system would primarily perform RISTA functions using radar optical and infrared imagery, together with signal intercept data.
The LIGHTSAT program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is a current approach to tactical communications and surveillance systems. The Army Space Command is in the process of designing a policy and program that will enable the Army to exploit the advantages of a space-based battlefield surveillance and communications system. Members of the STAR Committee familiar with the LIGHTSAT program foresee these tactical satellites as using communications protocols that will allow them to interface with existing and planned DOD satellite networks.
Tactical satellites could replace much of the force structure currently needed to perform RISTA functions, with significant savings in cost and efficiency. In addition, the coverage provided by a network of tactical satellites should be inherently well suited to contingency operations.
The extent to which the Army should own and operate the satellite systems it uses is unclear and perhaps not the central issue. What is essential is (1) that the Army have the information and communications support that space-based systems can provide, (2) that it have ground systems suited for interfacing with satellites, and (3) that the priorities for tasking space-based systems take full account of the Army's needs. Whether all three conditions can be met, absent Army ownership and operation of satellites, remains an unresolved issue,
but in any case, the Army must establish its needs and consider the available options.
INTEGRATED SUPPORT FOR THE SOLDIER
Force structure reductions during the next three decades, along with a reduction in the number of skilled Americans of military age, will place a premium on increasing the capability of each U.S. soldier. In future contingency operations, initially deployed forces may be small in number and, at least at first, not fully supported by heavy forces. The effectiveness of these initially deployed troops must be enhanced by every means that technology can provide.
Even with continuing technological progress, the operation of every Army system will continue to involve a human being. No matter how sophisticated the operation of a system, human control will remain essential. Also, human interpretation of information will continue to be a major factor in system performance. Technological advances, however, will allow fewer soldiers to operate far more systems. Many tasks previously performed by soldiers will be performed by machines controlled by a single soldier, who may be located a significant distance from the machines. For all these reasons, the interface between soldier and system must be effective and efficient. Because the individual soldier will be asked to do more, and to do it with more complex systems, adequate protection and training for the individual soldier will be more important than ever.
Key Systems for Soldier Support
The systems panels envisioned the following advanced systems concepts as important to providing integrated support for the individual soldier (Figure 2-8).
Combat systems include the soldier's personal weapon, nonlethal antipersonnel weapons, and antisensor weapons. They also include a smart helmet, navigation aids, cooperative IFFN, and sensory enhancement devices such as night vision binoculars and chemical, toxin, and biological warfare (CTBW) detectors. These systems concepts were considered by the Personnel Systems Panel, the Special Technologies Systems Panel, and the Electronics Systems Panel.
Support systems include protective clothing (especially against CTBW agents), personal computers, medical measures against CTBW agents, rations, and special psychological training techniques. These systems concepts were considered by the Personnel Systems Panel,
the Health and Medical Systems Panel, the Special Technologies Systems Panel, the Support Systems Panel, and the Biotechnology and Biochemistry Technology Group.
Robot helper systems include electronically controlled mechanical systems, such as an exoskeleton worn by the soldier, a "mechanical mastiff," or a "robot mule," and specialized robots for specific tasks or RISTA operations.
Training is another large area in which technology will improve the systems that support the individual soldier. Training systems are discussed below in the section on Combat Services Support Systems.
Several STAR systems panels concluded that the most appropriate approach to developing well-integrated support for the individual
soldier was to apply a systems analysis to the soldier. At one level, this approach is valuable in defining the personnel system that initially places and trains the Army's soldiers. At another level, a systems analysis can facilitate the design of the individual soldier's mission and equipment. This equipment includes the supplies, weapons, and interfaces with other systems or personnel that can enhance the individual soldier's performance.
The term "systems approach" means the organized and meticulous consideration of all component functions in a larger, operational whole (in this case, an individual soldier). Care is taken to ensure that each of the following conditions is met:
The functions and data required for each subsystem within the larger system are available from other subsystems or from outside the system.
All internal and external interfaces operate correctly.
The system can function correctly in its likely environments without interference to or from other systems.
A systems approach means overall system optimization for such characteristics as reliability, preplanned product improvement (P3I), cost, and technical risk.
With this approach to support for the soldier, two basic issues require special attention. One is the effective design of the overall system, as opposed to individual components. The other is consideration of the soldier in training and in the design stage of the equipment and systems development cycle. Accordingly, the STAR Committee believes that systems design technologies and training technology are among the advanced technologies with the highest priority for the Army.
The Army already has a Soldier-as-a-System initiative, which represents a start toward a systems approach to the individual soldier. However, this program appears to focus primarily on a particular equipment design for the foot soldier. By contrast, the STAR Committee and the STAR panels view integrated support for the soldier as more broadly applicable to soldiers with a variety of missions and not tied to a particular equipment architecture. Rather, this systems approach allows for trade-offs among options viewed as modular components or subsystems of the configurable "support system" for a given soldier with a particular mission or task to perform. This STAR systems approach is more concerned with the continuing process by which the soldier is equipped and protected than with any particular system product.
The individual soldier on the battlefields of the future must have weapons of greater lethality and range. Fortunately, weapons technology and methods of target identification offer the prospect of light, affordable armament with significantly improved capability. These may be either ballistic (bullet-shooting) or directed-energy (i.e., laser) weapons.
Future situations may also require the soldier to be equipped with weapons that temporarily incapacitate combatants or equipment. Such soft-kill options might include stunning combatants with ''flash-bang'' grenades or shells and disabling the sensors or engines of vehicles.
Navigation and IFFN
Accurate individual navigation will be possible if the soldier can exploit the previously described C3I/RISTA network. Among other possibilities, the soldier should be able to use navigational information from satellites. The C3I/RISTA network will provide the individual soldier with details of the location of friendly and hostile forces, terrain, and weather. The system can also include a cooperative IFFN system, which will pass individual soldier identity and location to the C3I/RISTA network, and from there to other field and command elements.
In the face of CTBW threats, an essential factor in sustaining the effectiveness of combat troops in the battle area is highly dependable advance warning of the presence of a CTBW agent. This capability will require a system of sensor elements that are synergistic with one another and that have the sensory capability of the soldier who uses them.
For soldiers to perform their mission, they must detect and identify all threats and then make an appropriate response. The STAR Committee believes that sensory enhancement similar to that used in aviation will be feasible and useful for the individual combat soldier. Personal night vision and optoelectronic sensors will be useful. They may be augmented by chemical and biological detectors. Progress in microelectronics, photonics, and biotechnologies should enable a robust sensory enhancement system to be part of the future infantry-man's standard equipment.
The helmet will remain an essential part of the soldier's personal equipment. It will continue to provide ballistic protection, but it can also provide an audio system for the soldier to hear communications and equipment signals. The helmet undoubtedly should include a visor for laser protection. The visor might also be used to provide holographic images from various sources, including the soldier's personal sensors.
Special helmet-mounted sensors could track the soldier's eye movement to aim personal sensors and weapons. For instance, a soldier might look at a building at a distance. A laser rangefinder and the navigation system could quickly determine the building's exact location. The soldier could provide audio information about the building through a helmet-mounted microphone. All this real-time information could be stored in the soldier's personal computer or transmitted through the C3I/RISTA network.
The helmet and visor conceivably could be used to aim the soldier's personal weapon. Current weapons depend on tight hand-eye coordination for aiming; the problem is that the eye is accurate, but the hand is not. Eye-only aiming is certainly possible with emerging technologies.
Particular attention should be paid to technologies that help the soldier survive on the battlefield and subsist under conditions of field deployment. Technologies that support either prevention of casualties or treatment when they occur should receive substantial program support. Among the wide range of foreseeable technological opportunities, this report will briefly review personal computers for the soldier, body armor and protective clothing, battlefield medicine, countermeasures to CTBW, and rations.
Improved computer memory technologies will allow the individual soldier to carry an enormous quantity of information in a small package. A 500-megabyte digital memory in a shirt-pocket device will be possible within a decade. The issue of how to exploit this capability requires a systems approach. For example, the memory could be used to carry details of anticipated threats, medical procedures, equipment maintenance and repair, or terrain and mission. Expert
systems could use this memory to analyze options and suggest alternatives.
The future soldier will be exposed to a wider variety of lethal threats. Against ballistic weapons, evolutionary improvements in body armor are forecast. Armor that conforms to the body and is integrated into the standard uniform appears achievable. In addition, chemical and biological protection can be built into the standard uniform. This uniform could also be made compatible with environment-control equipment for supplemental heating or cooling. Other emerging technologies may reduce the observable signatures of the soldier by reducing infrared emissivity or changing the patterns and color of a uniform while it is being worn.
The physical barrier provided by protective clothing or special gear will continue as a major element of CTBW defense. Medical intervention after heavy exposure will not completely neutralize the effects of some agents, such as simple corrosives, like phosgene, or highly potent nerve agents. The primary concern with physical protection is the degree to which personal gear degrades the soldier's task performance. This degradation is presently estimated to exceed 50 percent for some tasks, depending on ambient conditions. The causes include restricted vision, heat buildup, and impaired dexterity.
Biotechnology can play a role in improving physical protection, primarily through the development of novel materials that control the permeability of clothing to certain molecules and aerosols. In general terms, the new materials must be lighter, stronger, more selectively impervious, and cheaper than current materials, while providing sufficient heat and water vapor transfer. Novel concepts include combining the lightness and strength of silk or Kevlar-like fibers with the sheet characteristics (for imperviousness) of rubber-like compounds. Pores for heat and water vapor transfer must exclude the CTBW agents, perhaps with special chemical catalysts or enzymes embedded as "pore guards." Blast-attenuating biocomposites are already in prototype evaluation.
Biotechnology will be able to produce both natural and artificial materials, such as composites and customized polymers with specifiable physical, chemical, and electrical properties. Advances will depend on the simultaneous development of computer-aided biomolecular design and low-temperature manufacturing techniques. In 20 years, composite materials may exist that incorporate CTBW barriers, special impedance-mismatching characteristics to attenuate blast and
sonic interactions, and some defense against white phosphorus munitions.
Even with the anticipated increases in the lethality of threat weapons, improved survivability and the deployment of fewer soldiers in close combat probably will reduce the number of casualties. Nonetheless, severe casualties can be expected. The future battlefield will be characterized by a fast tempo of operations and rapidly moving forces. Combined with highly effective antiaircraft threats, these conditions will make airborne medical evacuation far more difficult, if possible at all. The STAR panels forecast that new equipment technologies and pharmaceuticals will aid in resuscitation and trauma treatment on the battlefield. This aid will be administered by ordinary combat soldiers without requiring trained medical personnel to be present. Continued advances in the medical treatment of trauma will be a major factor in reducing fatalities and the number of incapacitating injuries. (Trauma centers for research in this area are discussed under Combat Services Support.) New materials, including those produced through biotechnology, will improve prosthetics and make possible replacement tissues such as skin and artificial blood. Expert systems for medical diagnosis, contained in hand-held computers, will allow nonspecialist personnel to make rapid and accurate diagnoses.
Medical technologies also offer promise in reducing the soldier's susceptibility to disease and to chemical and biological agents (Figure 2-9). The soldier's immune system will be enhanced for broader protection from naturally occurring infectious disease organisms, which probably will continue to be the largest cause of casualties in combat situations. Research into the mechanisms of human immunity, combined with genetic engineering and bioproduction technologies, will expand the range of vaccines and other means of enhancing the soldier's immunocompetence. Recombinant DNA technology will be used at hospitals to isolate disease organisms and produce specific vaccines within days.
Countermeasures to CTBW
The Persian Gulf war again showed how easily an adversary can use even the threat of CTBW to tactical advantage. The best response is to have ready a comprehensive array of countermeasures. The STAR Committee sees four distinct areas in which such counter-
measures will be needed. One of these, protective clothing, has been discussed. The three discussed below are detection and identification of the CTBW agent, medical prophylaxis and therapy, and decontamination.
Detection and identification of the CTBW agents being used can be difficult, especially in the case of biological agents. Today's detection and identification techniques are based on analytical, physical, and immunological chemistry. They are too slow in detecting some agents,
do not detect all agents now known, and are subject to false alarms that greatly reduce their effectiveness. Moreover, present techniques and even the next generation of mass-spectrum detectors require that we know some specific distinguishing characteristics of the agent molecule or organism far in advance of fielding effective means to detect it. These techniques will never keep pace with the evolving threat. Thus, the single most perplexing problem in detection and identification of threat agents is that we do not have, and will not have, a comprehensive list of them. This problem is particularly severe for toxins and biological agents.
The rapid development and enormous potential of biotechnology offer the best hope for fast and accurate identification and response. Embedded in the inherited information of every organism (i.e., in its genome) is highly specific information on the molecular sequences of its component biomolecules. Biotechnology can exploit this information to design and assemble biological molecules and structures that can distinguish unequivocally between agents and nonagents with similar characteristics. Gene technologies (along with the medical and biological understanding they have produced), biomolecular engineering, and biocoupling will be able to move CTBW detection and identification into the next generation of defensive strategies and beyond. Within 15 to 30 years, biosensors derived from the human immune system will provide early warning of CTBW agents.
The requirements for medical prophylaxis and treatment of CTBW agents differ somewhat from those for detection and identification in that sometimes a common approach can be used against a class of agents that operate by a similar mechanism. Nerve agents are an example of such a class. However, many of our present medical countermeasures target specific agents, especially in the area of toxins and disease-causing organisms.
To be as generic as possible, future programs must pursue such ideas as blood-borne "interceptor" molecules (for blood-borne agents), blood filtering technologies, counteragents that block the cell receptors targeted by threat agents, and targeted delivery of drugs to specific body sites. Barrier compounds applied directly to the skin are yet another direction of research. This prophylactic approach, coupled with counteragents that possess "sacrificial" binding sites for threat agents or agent-degrading moieties (enzymes, etc.), could reduce the need for physical protective clothing and gear.
The best-known current applications of biotechnology are in the areas of medical prophylaxis and therapy. Biotechnology will be essential to the success of biomedical interventions that defend against
CTBW agents that act at specific receptor sites. For example, biotechnology offers great promise for countering blood-borne toxic molecules. For prophylaxis, bioengineering possibilities include catalytic "interceptor" molecules that would mimic the agent's target site, degrade the agent molecule after it binds to the interceptor, and reset themselves for another agent molecule, all at high reaction rates. Therapeutic concepts include extracorporeal filtration, similar to kidney dialysis, but using filter beds containing antibodies to the CTBW agent. Broad-spectrum protection against pathogens will be feasible by pharmacological blockage of initial cell-binding receptors. As we learn more about how the immune system recognizes pathogens and mobilizes against them, new methods for prophylactic "exposure" and stimulation of the immune system will enhance immunocompetence.
For CTBW therapy against previously unknown agents, biotechnology offers the same kind of rapid identification and treatment potential that was discussed above for naturally occurring pathogens. Removal of agents within the exposed soldier (a kind of "internal decontamination") will become possible by coupling rapid identification of the agent at field hospitals with rapid antibody production systems that automate the sequencing of nucleic acids or proteins and synthesize appropriate antibodies.
For some applications, biotechnology will be combined with other advanced technologies. New methods for administration and delivery of prophylactic and therapeutic agents will use drug micro-encapsulation and targeted delivery systems. Rapid in-field diagnosis and triage for CTBW casualties by nonmedical cohorts will become feasible by combining biotechnology with medical diagnostic expert systems.
Decontamination countermeasures will be required for several categories of CTBW exposure: personnel, battle equipment, support facilities, and terrain. Most of the work on decontamination has focused on the chemical part of the CTBW threat; much less work has been done on toxins and biological agents. Current methods for decontaminating equipment have not changed greatly for decades. Decontamination of personnel relies on resins and washing, which produces contaminated waste. Decontamination of electronic equipment relies primarily on hot air to degrade chemical agents. Current decontamination procedures, such as washing with the corrosive, decontaminating DS2 solution; hot air blowers; resins; and scorched earth for decontaminating terrain, can all be improved upon.
Biotechnology offers enzymatic techniques for decontamination of personnel, for smaller surface areas, and for terrain. The terrain application would be a form of bioremediation, akin to the use of
bioengineered organisms to attack oil spills at sea. Solutions of genetically engineered cells, such as macrophages, could be developed for decontamination of toxins and biological agents in circumstances where corrosive or toxic compounds cannot be applied, as in decontaminating skin or wounds.
Combat soldiers of the future probably will have lightweight, highly nutritious rations and personal means of water purification. Although the technologies will be available to produce these rations and water kits, a production base must be created to ensure the quantities that may be needed for a prolonged conflict. The STAR Committee does not foresee a large commercial market for these products.
Strength, endurance, and cognitive skills might be enhanced by using dietary supplements. In addition, safe drugs that maintain alertness for periods of 24 to 36 hours might become available. A comprehensive systems analysis of the physiological, pharmacological, and psychological implications will be needed to define the appropriate use of these opportunities.
Robot Helper Systems
As an aid for the individual soldier, the STAR Special Technologies and Systems Panel discussed a robot vehicle concept called the robot mule (Figure 2-10). The Personnel Systems Panel reviewed a functionally similar concept called a mechanical mastiff. Other concepts in this category vary from an electromechanical exoskeleton (described by the Mobility Systems Panel and Personnel Systems Panel) to simpler, specialized systems for C3I/RISTA and for hauling, lifting, or positioning heavy ordnance and other supplies (Special Technologies Systems Panel; Personnel Systems Panel; Technology Group on Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics). The robot mule is discussed here as representative of the wide range of capabilities that have been envisioned for these various aids to the individual soldier.
The mule, which would carry most of the solider's load, would have a range and speed compatible with a walking soldier. It could be controlled by voice and perhaps eye movement of its soldier operator. A compact energy supply with a low heat signature will be essential and probably will be the greatest technological challenge.
The robot mule (or more specialized robots) could be designed to clear mine fields or provide short-range reconnaissance. Another
significant capability would be carrying a wounded soldier to medical facilities. For either of these missions, the system would need autonomous navigation capability. The design need not incorporate a full suite of sensors to support all reconnaissance and navigation tasks in every mule; instead, separate "clip-on" sensor suites could be fitted according to the soldier's mission.
A system like this robot mule will not be as extreme an advance as it might appear. The STAR panels forecast significant progress in robotics and supporting technologies by the private sector. The Army's challenge, here as with other advanced systems concepts, will be to exploit the growing industrial technology base to fulfill its requirements.
Other robot helpers are conceived as much more specialized than the robot mule or analogous multipurpose systems. Some robot
vehicles for C3I/RISTA, such as mini-UAVs or small ground-based sensors, would be well suited for use by individual soldiers or small units. Other specialized robots might perform heavy lifting and hauling operations or dangerous operations such as minefield clearing. Multiple units could operate under the supervision of a single soldier.
SYSTEMS TO ENHANCE COMBAT POWER AND MOBILITY
In many types of likely future contingencies, the U.S. military will have little time to react if armed intervention is to succeed. Meeting this challenge will require rapidly transportable light forces, which nevertheless have sufficient combat power to defend against an opposing heavy force. Equally important will be more rapid deployment of follow-on forces and materiel with the sustained combat power to prevail against any opponent.
Key Systems for Combat Power and Mobility
This section considers advanced systems concepts in three areas central to these contingency response requirements of the future: long-range transport mobility, battle zone mobility systems, and lethality systems.
Long-range transport mobility deals with the means likely to be available to move both light and heavy forces to an operations theater far away from their bases. Providing the means of such transport is not in itself an Army responsibility, so no systems concept for long-range transport is presented here. The Army should, nonetheless, specify its lift needs and pursue their fulfillment aggressively, whether they are to be met by military or commercial aircraft. Any consideration of future combat power must take into account the constraint to deliver combat systems to the theater of operation quickly and over long distances. The issues are discussed here for their relevance to advanced battlefield mobility and lethality systems concepts.
Battle zone mobility systems include vehicle navigation systems and drive systems; heavy, tracked combat vehicles; light, wheeled combat vehicles; an advanced personnel carrier; individual soldier or small-unit movers; and road-building and bridging systems.
Lethal systems include antiarmor weapons, brilliant munitions, an advanced indirect-fire system, directed energy weapons, and mine
and countermine operations. Two of the STAR Committee's high-payoff systems concepts are in this area:
Brilliant munitions for attack of ground targets. These munitions, which will be used primarily in indirect-fire systems, will have autonomous target acquisition, hit, and kill capabilities.
Lightweight indirect-fire weapons. This system will provide a new capability, especially to light forces, for efficient indirect-fire attack, from extended range, on a broad variety of ground targets, including armored vehicles. For armored or hardened targets, brilliant munitions could be fired. For area coverage of soft targets, conventional high-explosive munitions would be fired from the same system.
As the major weapon user of the future, the Army needs to take the lead among the military services in exploring new techniques and technologies for effective and affordable land-based weapons. To do so will require a substantial and focused program within the Army and its supporting industrial base. Equal attention must be given to affordability and performance. The STAR Committee expects that significant new challenges, and responsive concepts, will emerge as the conditions of contingency warfare are evaluated and as budget constraints force reductions in the cost of complex weapons.
Weapons undoubtedly will become more accurate, more lethal, and more expensive in the next few decades. Better weapons, which can take advantage of the improved targeting and IFFN provided by the envisioned C3I/RISTA system, offer the potential for dramatic improvements in the Army's warfighting capability. Much of their advantage may result from coordination with physically separate RISTA systems that will allow the weapon to operate in an indirect-fire mode. For instance, an air vehicle (probably unmanned) that carries sensors will be used to locate targets. This information will be transmitted through the C3I/RISTA network to a fire unit, which will launch the attack against the target.
In this architecture both the sensors and the weapons can be optimized for their specific functions, and full advantage can be taken of advanced technologies. The survivability of both C3I/RISTA and weapons assets should increase. Together, these improvements portend an unprecedented flexibility in Army combat operations and a substantial enhancement of the combat power of the reduced contingent of soldiers on future battlefields.
The Importance of Long-Range Transport Mobility
The Army of the future will, without doubt, require improved long-range transportation for its forces. There is no reason to expect a breakthrough in the classic trade-off among speed, payload, and cost. Aircraft, which are relatively fast but expensive, can, realistically, transport only light forces. Conventional displacement ships are relatively inexpensive and can carry heavy forces, but they are much slower.
Carriers that use advanced technology (such as surface-effect ships or wing-in ground-effect vehicles) offer greater payload than aircraft and higher speeds than conventional displacement ships but at high developmental and operational cost. The STAR Committee concluded that the Army should expect to use conventional aircraft and displacement ships for long-range transport of its forces. The Army should pursue development of lighter gear to lessen the load; it should also take the lead in interservice planning to define carriers to transport troops and materiel.
As the first to be deployed, light forces probably will require a dedicated fleet of military transport aircraft because of the need for quick response and the possibility of hostile fire at the delivery area. These aircraft, of course, would be developed and operated by the Air Force. The Army's role will be, as it is today, to influence DOD and Air Force plans and budgets to ensure that this capability is provided.
Transport aircraft technologies are quite mature. The Army can expect substantial improvements in range and fuel economy. These advances will be driven primarily by the needs of civil aviation. Further advances, which will be driven primarily by civil aircraft needs, will not produce dramatic gains in performance, although fuel economy will improve somewhat.
Growth in the domestic fleet of long-range commercial transport aircraft makes greater use of that fleet as the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) very attractive for movement of specific elements of both light and heavy forces. These elements include personnel, supplies, and smaller items of materiel. Returning aircraft can carry wounded, should that be necessary. The CRAF mobilization during Desert Shield was successful, and the STAR Committee expects increased use of this resource. More Army systems could be designed to fit in CRAF aircraft. Modern design techniques may allow new systems to be built into modules specifically designed for quick loading and unloading from CRAF aircraft.
The delivery of heavy forces will require long-range transporta-
tion as well, albeit slower. Displacement ships offer the only reasonable means to carry heavy forces. Modest improvements in marine technologies probably will reduce costs and decrease activation time. Sea-mobile POMCUS (Prepositioning Of Materiel Configured to Unit Sets) appears to be an attractive option for many threat scenarios. However, storing materiel on ships for extended periods will require the technology to (1) test long-stored equipment remotely, (2) reduce the support effort required, and (3) move the prepositioned materiel rapidly from storage to field use. A program that expressly addresses technology requirements for long storage life and low maintenance appears warranted.
The initial force deployment, while probably the most stressing test for long-range transport, is not the only requirement. The initial force must be reinforced, supplied, and sustained. The timing of resupply will usually be less critical than the initial insertion of forces, so much of it can be delivered by surface ship. However, because some supply needs will be time-critical, continued air transport will be required. Technology that can reduce this ''logistics tail'' will be of increasing value to the Army. Advanced technologies can contribute to this objective in several ways:
increasing the effectiveness of each consumable item, such as ammunition, so that fewer units are needed;
improving the reliability of equipment so that fewer replacement parts are required; and
applying modern techniques for inventory management to reduce the materiel held in the logistics pipeline.
A special transport issue addressed by the STAR panels was the need for methods to insert and extract Special Operations Forces covertly. By definition, the success of such missions depends on the transport aircraft remaining undetected by the opponent. The conditions of operation also require vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). The combination of nondetection, VTOL, and reasonable range and payload makes this an expensive aircraft to develop. Since only a few would be required (perhaps no more than 20), unit production costs would be high. These factors led the STAR Committee to agree with the systems panels that a special transport aircraft for this purpose, although technologically feasible, is probably not economically supportable. No technological advances, even as remote possibilities, are anticipated that would alter this conclusion. Special Operations Forces will therefore need to continue relying on helicopters and conventional aircraft.
Battle Zone Mobility Systems
Mobility within theater will become increasingly important in contingency land warfare that is fluid, dispersed, and fast paced. This section presents several systems concepts that apply advanced technologies to increase the capabilities of ground mobility systems. A special airborne system for battlefield mobility, the heavy-lift UAV, is discussed in the separate section on UAV systems. A mobility system geared to the individual soldier, the robot mule, was discussed above, for the soldier as a system.
Ground Vehicle Drive Systems
Advanced technologies for propulsion, drive, and traction not only will improve the performance of ground vehicles but can also lower their observability. The alternators, controls, cables, and motors of electric drives will be somewhat smaller and have less rigid space requirements than the transmissions, gearboxes, shafts, and transfer joints of mechanical drive systems. Moreover, the electric drives will distribute the electrical energy generated by the prime power source among onboard sensors, directed energy weapons, and possibly electric guns. Modest improvements in normal drive trains and suspension systems will also occur.
A primary fuel-powered engine (which may be an advanced-concept diesel or gas turbine engine) can be combined with the alternators, electrical energy storage (batteries), and power conditioning units of an electric drive system (Figure 2-11). One advanced concept for primary power is the ultra-high-temperature quasi-stoichiometric, high-pressure-ratio, nonrecuperative simple-cycle gas turbine. Integrating advanced engines with an electric drive that distributes power flexibly to each wheel or track can significantly improve weight distribution and fuel consumption.
Road Building and Bridging
The remote locations of future contingency operations may not be served by modern port facilities. They also may lack extensive road and rail infrastructures. The Army will therefore face the challenges of unloading modern ships without specialized dockside equipment and transporting heavy cargos overland. Although the new drive trains and traction systems described above will assist in transport across rough terrain, heavy logistics service will still require road construction or improvement. Soil stabilization techniques
and rapid methods for constructing roads and bridges for heavy loads will require renewed Army attention. Finally, heavy-lift helicopter mobility will continue to be needed for situations where ground vehicles are not adequate. This role is discussed further in the next section.
Rotary Wing Aircraft and UAVs
The roles for helicopters (i.e., manned rotary wing aircraft) in Army operations will continue to evolve, as they have for the past 40 years. But the direction of evolution, as foreseen by the STAR Committee, will differ. The Committee expects new technology to enhance some current roles, such as gunships, forward projection of forces, and supply transport in difficult terrain. Other roles seem likely to wane.
For the mission of forward observation and scouting, the future seems to be running against manned helicopters. Coinciding with the likelihood of increased risk from enemy air defenses is the emergence of a less vulnerable, less costly alternative that does not risk
crew lives: C3I/RISTA UAVs of various sizes and sensor domains. When, or whether, the helicopter is displaced from its observation and scouting role by UAVs depends on a number of factors. For example, it may be possible—although the STAR Committee considers it unlikely—to develop, at reasonable cost, stealth technology that makes helicopters survivable against improved enemy air defense. In any case, the UAV alternative, with its potential for lower cost and less risk of soldiers' lives, should be fully explored.
Other roles for helicopters are likely to increase in the new environment of contingency operations, although there may be competition, or perhaps complementarity, in the long run from UAVs that are custom designed for some of those missions. Two such roles identified by the STAR Committee are logistics transport support over difficult terrain and defense of rear-echelon areas from low-flying aircraft and missile threats.
In operation areas where road infrastructure is inadequate, helicopters will continue, as they do today, to provide logistics transport capability. An engine program to provide the heavy-lift capability that is needed is discussed in Chapter 5; it will be required for either a manned helicopter or UAV solution. Improvements in aerodynamics, robotics, and control technologies will eventually enable the development of an unmanned, tele-operated heavy-lift UAV. The system envisioned by the Airborne Systems Panel would have counterrotating rotors to keep vehicle size and complexity at a minimum, while maximizing the required lift efficiency. This aircraft could carry some 50,000 lb (20,000 kg) over a distance of 200 nautical miles (370 km). Takeoff and landing could be controlled by ground operators at the respective sites; transit would be autonomous. This systems concept is in many respects similar to the Unmanned Air Mobility System now being studied by the Army.
To defend rear-echelon areas against low-flying aircraft or (more likely) cruise-type missiles, an airborne system offers a line-of-sight advantage over ground-based systems. The more compact, lighter-weight sensors, processors, and automatic track-and-recognition systems, coupled with brilliant weapons or directed energy defenses, may enable a helicopter-based air defense station to perform this mission, perhaps as one component integrated with ground-based defenses.
Advanced Armored Fighting Vehicle
Notwithstanding the emphasis that should be placed on indirect-fire systems, the STAR Committee believes that advanced direct-fire armored fighting vehicles will continue to perform the battlefield
role currently filled by the main battle tank. There are several reasons for this view. First, the future battlefield will be even more dynamic than today, requiring a system that combines maneuver, protection, and firepower. Hence, the tank seems destined to remain, for some time, the principal mounted system to assault, seize, and occupy defended positions or to counter attacks on friendly positions. Second, the tank's direct-fire main armament, which has a soldier in the loop for target acquisition and fire control, provides highly effective and discrete firepower. Third, a high-velocity gun firing kinetic energy projectiles is of unmatched robustness, especially in the presence of elaborate measures to counter missile guidance systems and chemical (i.e., shaped charge) warheads.
Advances in propulsion, vehicle electronics (vetronics), composite materials, C3I/RISTA, and lethality technologies will substantially improve mobility, command and control, survivability, and firepower. If these technology areas are adequately developed, the armored fighting vehicles of tomorrow can be significantly lighter and smaller yet provide better performance than current main battle tanks. Lethality and survivability will continue to be paramount in future tank design, but its dominant status in ground combat also places a premium on having it present when troops are first sent in harm's way. With reductions in size and weight, perhaps in combination with a modular design that would allow for shipment in readily rejoined sections, it may be possible to transport a limited but critical number of future main tanks with the forces first inserted into a contingency operation.
Among the several keys to reducing the size and weight of future armored vehicles, the foremost is reduction of the armored volume. The crew size can be decreased from four to, at most, two persons; robot loaders, improved sights, automated target acquisition, and stabilized controls will allow the vehicle commander to assume the duties now performed by the gunner. The main gun can essentially be outside the armored hull, further reducing the volume under armor (Figure 2-12). Intensive use of advanced materials can decrease the weight of the vehicle chassis, armor, and engine. Suspension improvements and electric drive can also lessen weight while maintaining performance. All together, a future main armored fighting vehicle incorporating these changes may weigh no more than 60 percent of the current M1A2 Abrams tank. As a result, the strategic deployability of this crucial combat system will improve.
Also, the battlefield mobility of future tanks will be superior to current tanks. The technologies to lighten the overall platform will aid in maintaining or even increasing the power-to-weight ratio.
Electric drives will be able to provide variable power at each drive sprocket, while offering more flexibility in component placement than in mechanical power trains. Active suspension systems will be able to sense and conform to surface conditions, improving ride quality and permitting increased speeds over rough terrain. Advanced man-machine interfaces for controls and driver assists will also increase the tactical mobility of the future tank relative to the current vehicle.
The operational effectiveness of future tanks will improve through use of command-and-control technologies that link the tank commander with the local C3I/RISTA assets to identify opposing force
elements, moving or stationary, before they can attack, hide, or run. Pattern recognition, expert systems, advanced display techniques, and other information technologies will analyze, interpret, and present this information in a form the commander can use for real-time decision-making on a mobile battlefield. Other technologies that will aid the tank crew include vetronics software; integrated digital mapping, navigation, and position reporting; instrumentation and displays to locate and distinguish friend from foe; and vehicle-mounted multispectral sensors. Commanders of these future tanks will find it easier to be in the intended place on the battlefield, performing their intended tasks.
The main armament of the future tank can remain a high-velocity gun firing a variety of projectiles. As noted, it can be mounted outside the armored hull. Its principal round to defeat heavy armor will probably be a kinetic energy penetrator. Over the next 30 years, the muzzle kinetic energy of the gun is forecast to increase to well over 20 megajoules, or more than double that of current tank guns. This higher muzzle energy can be provided by either electrothermal chemical guns or electromagnetic guns, which will provide muzzle velocities that are 50 to 100 percent greater than velocities achievable with current chemical propellant guns. Because increased muzzle energy will come primarily from increased projectile velocity rather than increased mass, trunnion pull forces will remain tolerable even if the tank weight is reduced. A key enabling technology will be a small-volume pulsed power source. With an electric-powered main armament and electric drive, the future tank may well be an all-electric system.
A guided kinetic energy round will be feasible; whether its increased accuracy relative to the very-high-velocity, unguided round will be worth the cost is unclear at this time.
Survivability of the future tank can be improved despite overall weight reduction. Advanced composite materials and stealth design techniques can make it harder to target by reducing its radar, infrared, acoustic, visual, and dust signatures. The vehicle's smaller size, coupled with a kneeling suspension when the vehicle is at rest, will make it harder to see and to hit. These signature reduction techniques will also make it more difficult for smart munitions to acquire it as a target and guide to it. Conceivably, active defense will enable the future tank to detect and either intercept or divert some munitions used against it, such as relatively slow chemical energy rounds or munitions guided by optoelectronic sensors that can be blinded. Finally, new composite armor can be used that will not produce secondary spall.
These considerations reflect the range of technology applications available for use in future tanks, which can be smaller, lighter, more lethal, and generally higher performing, than the current generation. Because of the combination of capabilities the tank offers, it will not be quickly displaced from its battlefield role. But it can, and should, change markedly to incorporate the newest innovations in those capabilities.
The Army will continue to be the service most committed to exploring technologies to overcome enemy armor. Two prongs of this ongoing program must be pursued. The first is to continue the technological advances required to ensure that U.S. heavy forces, when needed in battle, always prevail. The second prong is to give our initially deployed light forces more capability to defend against enemy heavy armor and the other systems that will be brought to oppose them.
It appears that the best of modern armor can defeat any of the currently fielded horizontal-attack antitank guided missiles designed for infantry use. One potential approach to defeating heavy armor is to further increase the size or improve the explosive charge carried by antitank guided missiles (or both). Another approach is to deliver a penetrator having sufficient kinetic energy to defeat the armor. Such a kinetic energy penetrator could be delivered to the target by either a gun or a guided rocket.
A major challenge is to develop a weapon capable of defeating heavy armor but not itself weighing too much to be used by light forces. In practice, rocket systems designed to deliver high-explosive warheads are light but lack robustness against conceivable countermeasures. Rocket systems designed to deliver kinetic energy penetrators are more robust, but they are ineffective at short ranges. (The rocket must burn long enough to achieve the velocity associated with the penetration level of energy.) Gun systems designed to deliver kinetic energy penetrators are quite robust and effective over the range of interest, but they are considerably heavier than rocket systems. The STAR Committee concludes that sustained research on lethal mechanisms will be necessary to ensure that future U.S. light forces can effectively counter heavy armor.
The STAR Lethal Systems Panel envisioned a high-velocity kinetic energy weapon that would be powered by an electric or electrochemical gun. One attraction of this weapon, which should be effective at all ranges of interest to direct fire, is its synergism with the
electric drive propulsion systems envisioned for ground vehicles. The kinetic energy gun would fire projectiles weighing 4 to 6 kg accurately to ranges of more than 4 km; the projectile's initial velocity would be about 3 km/s.
A projectile with this energy (about 20 MJ) and range would be effective against the armor threats considered by the Lethal Systems Panel. Active defenses against this type of weapon would be costly even if feasible. A more reasonable defense would be to avoid being targeted by the weapon in the first place; improved Army battlefield C3I/RISTA will make this defense far more difficult as well.
Brilliant Munitions to Attack Ground Targets
The STAR Committee selected brilliant munitions as a high-payoff systems concept for several reasons. Perhaps the most important is that brilliant munitions, whether delivered to near-target range by a "dumb" or "smart" vehicle, will be the key to providing air-deployed forces with sufficient lethality to counter an opposing heavy armored force. Their guidance systems and sensors allow them to be fired indirectly yet still have the accuracy ("zero CEP" or direct-hit capability) to destroy hard targets, including main battle tanks. So they can be used by forces whose own armor is too light to engage heavy forces successfully in close combat.
The Committee also sees these munitions as one warhead option available to various multiple-option weapons platforms. The flexibility to use a brilliant munition with several platforms, each of which can use other munition options for particular purposes, makes both the brilliant munition and its platforms more affordable. Other characteristics of value include effectiveness against a wide variety of targets (e.g., armor, artillery, moving vehicles, command posts, bridges) at distances from short range to deep interdiction, depending on the firing platform and delivery vehicle. Their light weight, small size, and high individual effectiveness will also reduce the logistics burden while allowing the forces using them to stay mobile and outmaneuver an opposing heavy force.
Advanced Indirect-Fire Systems
Technological advances will allow the Army to field an indirect-fire system that is much lighter and more effective than the current 155-mm howitzer or the multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS). Because of its much reduced size, this new system would be much better suited for use by light forces than either the 155-mm howitzer or the MLRS.
A payload weight of approximately 50 lb (20 kg) might consist of brilliant munitions effective against moving armored targets. This two-fold to threefold increase in payload, relative to a 155-mm shell or a submunition of the MLRS rocket, will more than offset anticipated improvements in the armor of the vehicles attacked.
An alternative payload would be used to attack soft, stationary targets. Expected technological advances in rocket guidance should significantly improve its circular error probability. Guidance of the rocket could be based on signals from global positioning system satellites, low-cost inertial measurement units based on micromechanical devices, or a combination of these two techniques. This guidance approach also accommodates a glide-descending and maneuverable trajectory, which increases the maximum range far beyond that achievable by a ballistic trajectory. The gains in range and maneuverability depend on the lift-to-drag ratio of the airframe.
In addition to a lightweight system suitable for use by light forces, another direction for advance in indirect-fire technology is in long-range heavy artillery. One potential systems concept would combine hypervelocity propulsion, to achieve range, with onboard terminal guidance for accuracy. Although hypervelocity projectiles are often discussed for direct-fire antiarmor applications (as in the preceding section), the first fielded systems to use high-velocity electric propulsion (whether electrothermal or electromagnetic) could well be long-range artillery (Figure 2-13). If the range of existing artillery can effectively be doubled, with accuracy maintained or even increased through terminal guidance, the firepower resulting from this technology would be of immense military significance.
A key benefit of electric propulsion relative to chemical propellants lies not in achieving the most velocity per dollar of energy source but in maximizing the efficiency of the gunbarrel's mass and length relative to the muzzle velocity of the projectile. Both electromagnetic and electrothermal chemical propulsion sustain conversion of source energy into projectile acceleration along the entire barrel length. Conventional chemical propulsion relies on the expansion of gases from the initial propellant detonation. For the same muzzle velocity, a gun propelled by a conventional chemical charge must have a much heavier breech and mountings to withstand the initial explosion. Neither form of electric propulsion is without technical difficulties yet to be fully overcome, but this fundamental advantage argues for continuing current research efforts in both technologies.
Directed Energy Weapons
Directed energy weapons—which use lasers, high-power microwaves, or charged-particle beams as their lethal force—could impose major changes on the character of combat. The STAR Committee suggests that development of such weapons concentrates on antisensor weapons for the purpose of suppressing or damaging visible, infrared, and microwave sensors.
Over the next 30 years, the combat use of laser antisensor weapons is almost certain. Combat use of microwave weapons is probable, but the use of charged-particle beam weapons within this period is unlikely. Heavy-duty directed energy weapons for vehicle kill against aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft are likely to develop first, if at all, as strategic defense systems. They are unlikely to achieve feasibility as tactical weapons of use to the Army within 30 years. In the longer term, as the measure-countermeasure contest unfolds and as tactical responses evolve, the effectiveness of directed energy weapons cannot be forecast with confidence.
Antisensor lasers offer the potential for rapid counterforce defense against electro-optically guided smart weapons and low-altitude aircraft. Within the next decade, lasers with a weight and volume practical for mounting on ground vehicles are expected to reach the output power levels needed for these antisensor applications. Providing the laser steering necessary for targeting a flying threat will continue to be a major challenge. Targeting will become more difficult as target observables decrease while velocities and maneuverability increase. Nonetheless, anticipated improvements in sensing and electronic-processing technologies are likely to match these advances in countermeasures.
Mine and Countermine Operations
For the next generation of land mines and countermine techniques, recent and near-term advances in electronics and sensors are likely to favor the mine side of this measure-countermeasure equation. For different reasons, the Army should vigorously pursue both new mines and new means of countering an opponent's mines. First, in contingency operations a new generation of smart mines—and even of mobile mines in the form of UGVs—can help defend the first-to-arrive U.S. forces, who may be (temporarily) outnumbered and outweighed (in firepower and armor). On the other side, mines are likely to be used by an opponent to slow a U.S. advance and to inflict casualties in the hope of turning public opinion. Even the threat of hostile mine fields can be a useful tactic, unless U.S. countermine technology is obviously superior to that threat.
Given the kinds of threats and contingency operations expected in the future, the STAR panels foresee an increasing importance to the Army of air-deployable ''smart mines'' and remotely emplaced autonomous mine warheads. These technologies can significantly increase the effectiveness of initially deployed light forces.
New miniaturized sensors and processors, combined with improved energetic materials, will enable the development of very small mines that can destroy most ground vehicles. These mines could be so small and numerous that mine clearing would be far more tedious than it is today. Improved electrical sources will allow mines to remain effective for weeks. Simple radio receivers and processors could easily be included to activate or deactivate an entire mine field.
Major advances are likely in the ability of mines to distinguish between friend and foe. The United States and some of its allies already have mines that can distinguish seismic and acoustic signatures. In this and other areas, cooperative research with allies will help to leverage limited funding for research in mine and countermine technology.
Another major improvement in mines will be their maneuver-ability, whether in air or on the ground. The potential exists for ground-based mines that can fly up and attack low-flying aircraft—perhaps being cued by acoustic signatures from the target aircraft. Low-flying helicopters would be particularly vulnerable to this threat.
The enabling technologies for UGVs will allow mines to become mobile. They can be programmed with sufficient "intelligence" to move
into the best position to attack a specific target or to avoid mine-clearing devices. Such mines might be effective against armored vehicles.
UGV technologies may be particularly useful in developing mines that project electromagnetic energy to incapacitate enemy sensors. With supporting intelligence, these mines could be placed to achieve maximum tactical advantage by denying sensor intelligence to an enemy at a specific time (e.g., as a U.S. attack commences). This could be an important new addition to "information warfare."
To realize the full effectiveness of these technological advances, the Army must develop tactics that fully exploit mine capabilities. Simulation before and during battle can be used to develop optimum local tactics as well as compatible geometries and structures for mine fields. Simulation could also be useful in developing concepts for new mines, particularly for mines that have unconventional damage mechanisms or that offer multiple tactical options.
Mine detection and clearing have never been efficient or safe tasks. Anticipated mine improvements certainly will exacerbate the problems. Yet new technology offers potential to improve countermine operations as well.
New sensors and sensor data processors, particularly when carried by UGVs and UAVs, offer reasonable hope that most conventional mines can be detected. Both DOD and Department of Energy laboratories are already developing ways to use high-power microwaves to detect mines and to detonate them. Charged-particle beams can be used to do the same. Thermal imaging infrared detectors and laser radar for mine detection are other sensor technologies already in development. Sensor fusion techniques to combine data from multiple sensor domains are being explored. Photon backscatter technology is attractive because it can provide an image of objects whether they are on the surface or buried. In short, advances in sensor technologies and sensor fusion will continue to improve mine detection.
Once the mines in a specified area are detected, they can simply be avoided if the mine density is low enough and the mines are of the same type. For example, technology to silence the magnetic signature of combat vehicles is being explored. The obvious counter to this tactic is to deploy more mines and mines of different types. For example, mines that detect acoustic and magnetic signatures, then home on their target, may be mixed in the same field with simple pressure
mines. In this case, either a path through the field must be cleared by detonating or incapacitating the mines (mine-field breaching) or all the mines in an area may be incapacitated (wide-area clearing). For "explosive breaching" of a mine field, air-dispersed powdered explosives are being improved. However, explosive breaching may be ineffective against double-pulse pressure mines and electronically fused mines. Already in development are higher-energy explosives that are safer to store and handle. For wide-area clearing, work is under way to use an expendable UGV decoy that moves in front of advancing forces and mimics the acoustic and magnetic signature of combat vehicles. Chemical and biological agents also may be used in the future to incapacitate mine sensors.
With any of these approaches, computing and artificial intelligence technologies can be used to plan and simulate a mine detection-and-clearing strategy that makes the best use of resources and techniques while minimizing the impact on combat forces. Simulation programs to test tactics, as in cases where mines of different types occur in the same field, are already being used to verify the military usefulness of countermine technology.
Countering Enemy Air Defenses
Many of the Army's potential adversaries can be expected to make substantial progress in their air defenses. For enemy forces with sophisticated weapons and well-trained personnel, this air defense threat will be significant. Some enemy air defense networks will be highly integrated, with embedded target management systems that use artificial intelligence technology. Advanced air surveillance systems will combine (i.e., fuse) sensor data from several locations, quickly detecting all but the most advanced low-observable aircraft. No warning of detection may be possible with advanced LPI (low-probability-of-intercept) sensors.
This sophisticated air defense threat may be susceptible to the type of information warfare concepts discussed previously. Traditional jamming and deception, combined with sophisticated misinformation and other information disruption techniques, might be particularly effective. Yet even less sophisticated threats will have potent air defense systems. Inexpensive, soldier-portable air defense systems will spread to most foreign military organizations as well as to terrorists, cartels, and fanatical religious groups. These groups will threaten not only combat aircraft; they can be expected to attack transport and other unarmed support aircraft operating in rear areas. A particular problem will be that these threat organizations may not
abide by conventional rules of engagement and may consider civilian and military medical evacuation aircraft to be fair targets. Information warfare will be less effective against this threat because it will operate from largely autonomous fire units.
These growing threats imply a much more hostile air defense environment for the operation of all aircraft. The STAR Committee views them as indications that the Army will need to move toward a force that relies less on conventional manned helicopters than at present, as discussed in the earlier section on rotary wing aircraft and UAVs.
AIR AND BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE
The Army has considerable expertise in developing both air defense and ballistic missile defense systems. For many years, it has played a dominant role in developing ground-to-air missiles for air defense. In addition, from the earliest days of U.S. concern with defense against ballistic missiles, the Army has played a significant role; it continues to do so in its involvement with the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).
Several of the STAR panels addressed various aspects of both air defense and ballistic missile defense. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of these topics, a special STAR workshop was convened to integrate the various aspects of the problem and relate them to Army interests and capabilities for the next several decades.
One conclusion of this workshop was that a number of new systems, incorporating new technologies, will be needed. These systems are complex, inevitably expensive, and depend on developments initiated under the SDI. The Army will need to determine which are best developed by others and which are essential for it to develop. The operational need is clearly the Army's, and the Army must participate in defining the requirements and developing the goals, whether the systems are developed by the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO), other services, or even U.S. allies.
A key point that must be emphasized is that there will be a number of defense systems operating within a C3I environment. These systems can, and indeed must, be designed to operate together. This fundamental requirement is an Army responsibility independent of which service or agency develops the systems. Because the Army will operate most (but not all) of these systems, it should be a principal architect of both the systems it will operate and the means to
coordinate them all in a larger system of air and missile defense systems.
The Threat Systems
The Army of the future must be prepared to operate in theaters where a wide variety of air and missile systems could be used against it. Achieving a robust defense capability against these threats is both critical and challenging. In particular, the introduction of stealth capability into opposing forces will become a determining factor in fielding an adequate theater air and missile defense.
Potential threat vehicles can fall into any of the following categories:
Theater ballistic missiles (TBMs) have ranges varying from about 100 km to more than 2,000 km. They can fly on elevated, depressed, or minimum energy trajectories (Figure 2-14). They will eventually have some form of penetration aids and pinpoint accuracy.
Cruise missiles and UAVs may be able to operate at altitudes from less than 25 m up to 25 km and at speeds up to several hundred meters per second. They may use stealth technology and electronic countermeasures. Although their operating envelopes are similar to those of manned fixed wing aircraft (see below), they can be much smaller, less expensive, and more numerous than manned aircraft.
Standoff tactical air-to-surface missiles are fired from fixed wing aircraft at ground targets while the launching aircraft remains outside the reach of short-range defenses located near the missiles' targets.
Manned fixed wing aircraft operate at altitudes from less than 100 m up to 25 km and at speeds up to several hundred meters per second. They may use stealth technology, electronic countermeasures, decoys, and infrared countermeasures.
Helicopters operate at comparatively low speeds and at altitudes from ground level up to 3 to 4 km.
Of these threats, the most challenging (as illustrated during the Desert Storm campaign) appears to be the TBM because of its short transit time, high terminal velocity, and small terminal target size. A TBM can carry any type of warhead, from high explosive to CTBW agents, in either unitary or bomblet configurations. In the hands of an aggressor, the TBM is a coercive weapon. The United States, its military services, and its allies will not be credible defenders against aggressive coercion without a defense system capable of countering this threat.
In addition to the range of threat systems, an integrated tactical air/missile defense system also has a sequence of action phases: detection, intercept of incoming missile or craft, and counterstrike attack against remaining launchers, airfields, and so on. The larger network must provide threat warning, command and control of interception, and guidance of counterstrikes. Therefore, although the TBM threat may be the most challenging, the larger defense system must be much broader than just a counter to this threat.
Implications for Defense Systems
With such a range of threats to defend against, the rational response is a multiplicity of specific defense systems: a proliferated system for UAVs, an area system for air-breathing cruise weapons or manned aircraft, area coverage for ballistic weapons, and probably point defenses to protect critical installations and respond to stealthy threats that have penetrated other defenses. Any effective solution will involve other services operating with the Army through a joint command. Therefore, the systems used by the various services must be designed to work
together, regardless of which service is responsible for developing and fielding the hardware for a particular system.
The implication that emerges is one the STAR Committee wishes to stress: the Army cannot be an effective developer and operator of its share of hardware for this integrated system without participating in the creative analysis of the total problem and the definition of the architecture within which all individual systems must operate. Given the importance of success in this task to future Army operations, the STAR Committee suggests that the Army take the lead in what obviously must be an interservice national effort.
Defense Architecture and Systems
The above line of reasoning shows the importance of a single overall architecture that integrates all of the future air and missile defense systems into a system of systems. The specifics of this integration await definition.
For defense against TBMs, space-based sensors will be used almost certainly to detect missile launch and possibly to track the missiles' trajectories. A framework that combines functions of command, control, and communication (C3) with battle management must link space-based and ground-based sensors to the system element that controls engagements, commanding the fire units that launch and control the interceptors. A functionally analogous framework will be necessary to defend against air breathers. An early approach to the surface-based elements of such a system could combine concepts successfully applied already in the Army's Patriot system and the Navy's Aegis system.
Many of the systems that will be needed as elements in an integrated "system of systems" for air and missile defense could evolve as enhancements of systems already fielded. The most important requirement is for the Army to work with the other services to arrive at a common plan for the system's architecture. Among the system elements that will be needed are the following:
an area surveillance, warning, and tracking system to detect and, if not track, at least cue other systems to a TBM launch (a space-based system appears to be the most likely candidate for this mission);
a similar area system to locate and track hostile air-breathing aircraft and weapons and to assign interceptor systems;
an effective IFFN system to permit friendly use of contested air space;
command, control, communication, and battle management capabilities to use interceptor assets for adequate defense of the battlefield or area to be protected; and
adequate interceptor weapons and local systems for control of interception.
Technologies Applicable to Air and Missile Defense Elements
To achieve an integrated "system of systems," the following advanced technologies would be required:
High-speed microelectronics are essential to the sensors and high-speed processors.
Advanced composite materials are needed to construct heat-tolerant, high-speed-flight vehicles that are able to meet the compressed time lines of future intercept systems.
Bistatic radars may be useful in detecting and tracking stealthy air vehicles.
Small electronics that can tolerate high acceleration are needed to permit guided projectiles to be gun launched should this form of propulsion prove superior to guided rockets for point defense.
If guns prove to have advantages over rockets for point defense, pulsed power sources will be needed.
Multispectral sensors will be essential for extremely fast hit-to-kill interceptors. They may also be the foundation for advanced noncooperative IFFN systems.
SYSTEMS FOR COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT
Health and Medical Support Systems
Advances in battlefield medicine were discussed above as elements of integrated support for the soldier. The STAR Committee expects that the Army will continue to make major strides in medical and health care capabilities that can be of tremendous benefit to the U.S. civilian medical establishment as well as to the care and treatment of the Army's soldiers. New vaccines, prosthetics, and synthetic tissue replacements, including artificial blood, could be developed for use in Army corps hospitals and disseminated to the wider medical community. Products of biotechnology, such as the diagnostic molecules and enhanced immunocompetence discussed under Integrated Support for the Soldier, will find civilian applications. Even the bio-
technology for CTBW defense may find spin-off applications in protecting workers cleaning up hazardous material spills or dump sites.
The greatest area for synergy, however, probably will be in the treatment of trauma patients. Civilian hospitals offer a training ground for trauma specialists as well as for the development of new trauma methods (Figure 2-15). These hospitals have been hard pressed to support trauma centers. Supporting these hospitals with Army personnel can benefit both the Army and the civilian community. Using Army personnel in civilian trauma centers would maintain a trained capability that would be readily available when needed.
In addition, the Army can expect to care for significant numbers of civilian casualties in some future conflicts. The Army should plan to meet this need. This will create requirements for more traditional military medical resources and for other medical skills (such as pediatric specialties). Again, working with U.S. civilian hospitals may provide a synergistic way to develop and maintain the needed capability at reasonable cost, while providing critically needed services to the U.S. population in peacetime.
Nonmedical Theater Support Systems
Among the systems concepts explored by the Support Systems Panel, the following illustrate how nonmedical combat service support will be affected by changes in technology:
Mapping. Refers to a digital terrain mapping system with a terrain data base system; deployable workstations to update and use the data base; and direct access to terrain data sensors, including space-based sensors.
Shelter. Refers to improved tactical shelters with reduced weight, short erection time, better thermal insulation, some degree of protection from chemical agents, and controlled infrared and radio frequency signatures.
Ammunition. Refers to a computer-based, "paperless" system for control and distribution of ammunition, automated materiel transfer, increased use of intelligent munitions, and higher-energy explosives.
Fuel. Includes an automated fuel tracking system, reliance on a single fuel type, engines designed to run on multiple kinds of fuels, and an armored, low-observable forward resupply vehicle. The Mobility Systems Panel described a vehicle-based hoseline system for delivering fuel to combat vehicles on a dynamic battlefield (Figure 2-16).
Maintenance and Repair. Includes reliability measures such as fault-diagnostic software embedded in the system; an improved failure analysis system; and an efficient system for control, storage, and rapid distribution of modular replacement components and parts.
C3for Support Systems. Functions include (1) tracking containers and giving near-real-time locations of stocks in motion, (2) managing supplies and giving near-real-time inventory status and distribution, (3) enabling real-time transportation crisis planning, and (4) controlling spares distribution in theater.
Individual soldiers will be no more effective than the training they receive. Future training and instruction will emphasize the new skills needed by soldiers who will face diverse and unpredictable threats. Future soldiers must understand the capabilities of their equipment and how to use those capabilities in a variety of circumstances. Emerging simulation technologies and individual computer-aided instruction (ICAI) will provide opportunities to enhance soldier performance (Figure 2-17). These tools can be applied to both general training and preparation for specific operations.
Simulation as a Training Technology
Simulation technologies, which are expected to continue improving, will provide an effective means to teach both general system capabilities and their use in diverse situations. The current SIMNET (simulation network) system has been demonstrated to be an effective training device for teaching procedures to small groups of soldiers. Similarly, training simulators such as the Conduct of Fire Trainer (COFT) expand this technology to procedures training for weapons crews and individual soldiers. The Army should continue its emphasis on technologies to improve learning and retention. Areas of emphasis will be geo-specific simulations of combat environments, which will simulate the key characteristics of probable sites of deployment. Advances in computers and data storage during the next decades will vastly improve the reality and effectiveness of simulation training.
ICAI systems will make procedures training more efficient by tailoring instruction to the student's individual needs and progress. As the Army moves to a force structure more dependent on the National Guard and the Reserves, ICAI systems will become more attractive for individual soldier training.
The Army faces the important challenge of better preparing its forces for personal contact with indigenous civilians and for combined operations with allied forces. To be effective in these situa-
tions, our soldiers must have a reasonable understanding of the local culture. One way to achieve this understanding is to learn the local language. Future ICAI systems may be able to help Army personnel acquire foreign language skills more quickly.
The STAR Special Technologies Panel forecasts a significant increase in our knowledge of techniques for improving human skills. The Army already has a strong core capability in training technologies; it is appropriately positioned to participate in this field. How-
ever, it should bring together its equipment, design, and human factors engineers to work more closely as a team.
Civic Assistance Training
The Army has a special responsibility to support U.S. policies by providing services that do not directly involve combat or combat support. For example, the Army has developed considerable expertise in providing assistance to civic administrators in foreign nations in building their internal capabilities. This assistance has been provided during periods of deployment prior to major combat operations, while combat was in progress (particularly in low-intensity combat operations), and after combat has ceased. The administrative areas in which these services are provided include military forces, civil authority, transportation infrastructure, and medical services.
The STAR Committee anticipates that the Army will need greater capabilities to position personnel in foreign countries in order to establish or reinforce civil authority and critical services. Whether teaching military or medical skills, the training program and the personnel must consider the local culture. The training of Army personnel can be improved to better prepare them for the culture they will encounter.
Technology to help U.S. soldiers acquire foreign language skills will be particularly useful for this purpose. Anticipated improvements in training systems will allow programs to be adapted rapidly to the skills and language of indigenous personnel. Simulation will be extremely beneficial in teaching doctrine and tactics. Two other applicable technologies are the area of artificial intelligence concerned with automated translation of natural language and the computing architectures of neural nets. Within reasonable constraints on vocabulary and context, these technologies may produce a practical means of instantaneous interpretation between languages, thereby overcoming a major impediment to close cooperation between persons who do not speak a common language.
Training of medical and health care personnel will be far more challenging. These same technologies can provide a solid basis for some medical training, but the need will remain for highly skilled Army medical personnel to work with local personnel during and immediately after training. The suggestion made above for assigning Army medical personnel to civilian trauma centers will improve their skills in working with local medical personnel while they maintain their own level of proficiency and stay abreast of changes in technology.
Simulation as a Research, Development, and Analysis Tool
The section above on training has stressed the importance of simulation technology for training, an application area in which the Army has without doubt made substantial use of simulation technology. However, the potential of simulation technology for R&D, which several STAR panels noted (Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics; Mobility Systems; Personnel Systems) has not been explored as fully by the Army. Multiple-unit simulation exercises set in unfamiliar environments or in operational contexts in which the Army has not always succeeded—such as low-intensity conflict or counter-insurgency operations—could contribute to development and test of doctrine and tactics, the effectiveness of prospective weapons and systems, and training of the units involved.
The Mobility Systems Panel noted that SIMNET (the Army's Simulation Network) is used almost entirely for training and not at all for R&D. The panel suggests that SIMNET simulations could be useful input to design decisions on such difficult trade-offs as combat vehicle speed and agility versus armor vulnerability.
The STAR Committee foresees a dramatic increase over the next 20 years in high-realism simulation for large numbers of near-simultaneous interactions of the kind characteristic of the modern battlefield. Furthermore, simulation systems are an area where the United States can expect to maintain a long technology lead. Large-scale simulators that are able to model a modern battlefield with a high degree of similitude can be a technological capability that differentiates U.S. forces from potential opponents. A large-scale simulation capability would allow strategic planners to explore alternatives for U.S. policy implementation, while commanders could use it to explore the means of accomplishing major military objectives, all within the response time required of contingency operations. However, the resources for the simulation (detailed terrain data, data bases of friendly force and opposing force order of battle, logistical support, etc.) must be on call. Those who would use it under emergency conditions must be well acquainted with the system's range of capability beforehand if they expect to rely on it when wargaming is over and warfighting is imminent.
The Personnel System
The expanding diversity of Army missions will increase the need for specialized training and expertise. Finding the time for training
will become harder as specialist roles are shifted to reserve units and rapid response becomes critical.
Today, the Army benefits from a buyer's market as its forces are being reduced. Prospective soldiers are typically recruited on the basis of their ability to perform a variety of Army assignments. Psychometric testing is used primarily to screen candidates. The projected demographic trends indicate, however, that in the future the Army will have a smaller pool of individuals from which to recruit. Civilian economic opportunities will continue to compete with Army recruitment and will make retention of Army personnel more difficult.
The STAR Committee suggests that a significant shift in the Army's personnel system can help both recruitment and retention. This changed personnel system would accept a wider range of volunteers but use an increased amount of psychometric testing for classification rather than just selection. Testing that began before individuals joined the Army would continue after they were enlisted. This system would probably require abandoning or curtailing the current practice of guaranteeing assignments prior to enlistment.
The STAR Committee anticipates that remedial treatment of organic physical problems or lack of such cognitive skills as reading or numerical fluency will be available to broaden the pool of candidates acceptable for service. Medical progress may allow correction of diabetes, hypertension, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and drug or alcohol dependency. Education and training technologies may allow similar treatment for deficiencies in cognitive skills. Emerging methods in physical training and conditioning may allow enlistment of individuals who today would be unfit for service. This anticipated progress in medical and training technologies can offset some of the demographic trends toward a smaller pool of acceptable candidates.
The STAR Committee also envisions a personnel system that would encourage experienced, trained soldiers to continue in the service. This change will be important primarily because the Army will have a growing need for soldiers who fully understand the broad capabilities of their systems and can use them innovatively, rather than simply apply rote rules for routine use. This expertise can only be developed over time. Further, the historical preference for younger soldiers (under age 30) was based in part on their superior sensory and physical capabilities; these are the capabilities to which advanced technologies can best be applied to augment individual soldier performance.
The envisioned Army personnel system would make continued service by both active and reserve personnel more attractive. It would encourage individual soldiers to remain in one assignment for
longer periods, so they could acquire more experience. Research on means of providing feedback to workers on their accomplishments and on areas in need of improvement will improve productivity and motivation. A new area for use of psychometric techniques is in assessment of unit-level skills, interactions, and performance, rather than just testing for individual characteristics. Career counseling for personnel at all levels can make use of advances in psychometric testing and knowledge-based diagnostic analyses to map individuals' aptitudes, acquired skills, and interests into available career opportunities.