7
Conclusions and Recommendations

CONCLUSIONS

The STAR Study Committee draws the following 26 conclusions from the material presented in the body of this report and from the supporting STAR reports.

The Environment

  1. The national interests of the United States continue to require a strong military force capable of being deployed anywhere in the world. A key part of this capability will be the Army's capacity to project dominating ground combat strength as a way to stabilize future regional unrest.

  2. Military technological superiority, as demonstrated in Operation Desert Storm, will be required to ensure the dominating combat strength, minimal U.S. casualty rates, and avoidance of noncombatant casualties necessary for continued public support of U.S. force deployment in regional instabilities.

  3. The explosive rate of technological progress observed in the last three decades can be expected to continue, if not increase, during the next three decades. Weapons of 20 years from now will have completely outmoded those of today, just as those of U.S. forces outmoded the older weapons of Iraqi forces in the Persian Gulf war.

  4. Although most potential adversaries will not themselves possess the skills to develop and manufacture sophisticated weapons,



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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century 7 Conclusions and Recommendations CONCLUSIONS The STAR Study Committee draws the following 26 conclusions from the material presented in the body of this report and from the supporting STAR reports. The Environment The national interests of the United States continue to require a strong military force capable of being deployed anywhere in the world. A key part of this capability will be the Army's capacity to project dominating ground combat strength as a way to stabilize future regional unrest. Military technological superiority, as demonstrated in Operation Desert Storm, will be required to ensure the dominating combat strength, minimal U.S. casualty rates, and avoidance of noncombatant casualties necessary for continued public support of U.S. force deployment in regional instabilities. The explosive rate of technological progress observed in the last three decades can be expected to continue, if not increase, during the next three decades. Weapons of 20 years from now will have completely outmoded those of today, just as those of U.S. forces outmoded the older weapons of Iraqi forces in the Persian Gulf war. Although most potential adversaries will not themselves possess the skills to develop and manufacture sophisticated weapons,

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century they may well possess the resources to purchase such weapons. To maintain the deterrence that comes from technological dominance, the Army must maintain a steady pace of technological improvement in its weapons systems. Potential adversaries will study the conduct of the Persian Gulf war for lessons in how to counteract or neutralize the U.S. military capabilities demonstrated there. To deter U.S. intervention in a regional conflict, they are likely to seek means to threaten high U.S. casualty rates. The Army must be prepared to counter these measures. To assure the continuing technological superiority of U.S. ground forces, the Army must maintain a strong technology base program. With the rapid progress in many diverse technologies, the Army's resources will be inadequate to fund all the significant opportunities. The Army must therefore draw widely on technology development programs within other services, the defense agencies, the national laboratories, and the private sector. In particular, the ability to reconstitute a full fighting force will require reliance on commercial production facilities. High-Payoff Technologies and Systems Significant opportunities exist to apply scientific and technological advances to military problems. With the proper focus of Army R&D resources, these opportunities can ensure continued technological superiority of U.S. forces. From a list of more than a hundred technologies with significance to Army applications, the STAR Science and Technology Subcommittee selected the following as most likely to produce important changes in ground warfare: multidomain smart-sensor technology; terahertz-device electronics; secure, widebandwidth communications technology; battle management software technology; solid state lasers and/or coherent diode laser arrays; electric-drive technology; genetically engineered and developed materials and molecules; material formulation techniques for ''designer" materials; and methods and technology for integrated systems design. From its review of the many advanced systems concepts used by the STAR systems panels to formulate battlefield capabilities and requirements, the STAR Committee selected the following systems as

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century having especially high potential as applications of advanced technology: robot vehicles (air or ground) for C3I/RISTA; electronic systems architecture; brilliant munitions for attacking ground targets; lightweight indirect-fire weapons; theater air and missile defense; and simulation systems for R&D, analysis, and training. Several systems characteristics were repeatedly cited by the STAR panels as benefits of systems for diverse functions. These traits were also advocated by participants in STAR symposia on future threats and Army requirements. The STAR Committee identified the following pervasive, beneficial characteristics of systems as focal values for the Army's technology program: affordability; reliability; deployability; joint operability (with the other military services); stealth and counterstealth (to reduce the vulnerability of U.S. combat and support systems); casualty reduction (among U.S. combat and support forces and among noncombatants); and support system cost reduction. The Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) has shifted from its original focus on strategic defense in a massive nuclear exchange to broader concerns with air defense capabilities in threat scenarios like those considered by STAR. Although the STAR technology assessments were largely completed before this shift occurred, the Army clearly needs to incorporate the new SDIO interest in tactical defense with its own planning for theater air and missile defenses. Technology Management Military systems incorporating advanced technology will be acquirable by potential adversaries. To be prepared to face adversaries armed with these systems, the Army needs more rapid fielding of critical capabilities based on new technology. The current Army programs for laboratory technology demonstrations and for ATTDs

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century (Advanced Technology Transition Demonstrations) under operational conditions are suitable vehicles for extensive use of rapid prototyping methods. The essential element is to feed early, austere prototype test results into design-redesign iterations before a systems concept is at the point of full-scale development. Preservation of the front-end scientific and technical advantages provided by U.S. universities and industrial laboratories is essential to maintaining U.S. dominance in military hardware. The infrastructure dedicated to work of particular interest to the Army must not be permitted to deteriorate as declining resources diminish the support to these laboratories from the defense industry. There is evidence of substantial disaffection with the Army among entrepreneurial small businesses and creative elements of larger industries. Increased Army use of this highly innovative part of the private sector appears crucial to rapid introduction of new technology into Army equipment. The Army's relations with this sector have been hurt by its rigid management. It has been unreceptive to concepts that do not fit its requirements as defined under the CBRS (Concept-Based Requirements System). It has insisted on ownership of intellectual property and unproductive competition. The motivations and attitudes of this community need to be considered and their cooperative support solicited. A greater emphasis on means of working together appears warranted. Budget restrictions will limit the rate of introduction of future Army platforms. The design lifetimes of fielded equipment will therefore be extended. The Army will need techniques for timely introduction of new capability into its forces during the duty life of major platforms. This must be done in such a way that a potential enemy at no time can deny U.S. forces the technological advantage they now enjoy. In particular, systems must be designed for change, so that their subsystems and components can be upgraded during the extended lifetime of a system design. A reduced Soviet threat and changing national budget policies are expected to lead to substantial U.S. force structure reductions. The current extent of forward basing, upon which the United States has relied heavily since World War II, is also likely to diminish. The methods through which the Army implements technology can ameliorate these difficulties while increasing performance. Specifically, technology must be applied toward enhanced combat power and mobility, plus rapid mobilization of forces (both manpower and supporting equipment). The objective of rapid long-range mobility must be given operational definition by the Army, then incorporated into

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century the early design phase of the system development cycle. For example, light systems suitable for air transport and sustainment can be designed to be more mobile tactically and more survivable yet have more firepower. As advances in technology provide the means to lighten heavy systems, the potential will increase to transport at least some of these systems by air in support of initially deployed forces in contingency operations. Neither the Army nor its military contractors will have resources adequate for continuous retooling of all facets of the domestic military industrial base. In the modernization of processes and tooling, the Army's current specialized base of defense contractors could fall behind foreign competitors, who rely more heavily on industrial suppliers for their military products. To counter this trend, the Army can concentrate its diminished resources on those technology areas that have no private sector counterpart while depending to the fullest extent possible on commercial components and production facilities. The STAR Technology Forecast Assessments provide details on specific technology areas that are likely to be developed for commercial markets and those that will require Army support if they are to achieve their feasible growth. The Army's equipment and systems requirements will remain so diverse that the anticipated levels of development and production funding will not support all of them. For this reason, as well as others cited above, interservice participation in major weapon systems development, as represented by Project Reliance, will grow in importance. Each service, including the Army, can rely on other services for some weapon systems while being the common provider for others. In this way the Army can release resources that would otherwise be tied to support of technology bases substantially paralleling those of other services. Continued consolidation of the Army's internal technology infrastructure appears appropriate as the best way to maintain a critical mass of technologists in areas of Army-unique interest. Also, this concentration will free resources needed to procure the expensive yet necessary equipment required for advanced work in these technology areas. Affordability of high-performance technology will be a crucial issue throughout the period to which the STAR reports apply. The use of technology to reduce the cost of systems that incorporate new technological capability appears both necessary and promising. Appropriate use of new technology can reduce costs in the following areas: some production costs for new weapon systems (e.g., through advanced materials); life cycle support systems for new platforms

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century (e.g., through low-failure design and manufacture); the system development process itself; and training of personnel to use these systems. In addition to its ongoing use of simulation technology in training individual soldiers and small units, the Army needs to explore the technological opportunities for use of simulation systems in R&D and operational evaluation as well as large-scale (i.e., multiple unit) training exercises. In particular, a facility is needed where the complex interactions of the modern mobile battlefield can be simulated with a high degree of realism. Such a facility could be used to evaluate tactics for imminent contingencies and to assess the implications of new technology for tactics, doctrine, and related systems. For more efficient exploitation of advanced technology, the Army can improve its current requirements process by (1) expanding the top-down definition of its role in joint contingency warfare, with an emphasis on how the Army can rely on other services for support and what obligations it may in turn incur; (2) increased early experimental examination of capability options and their costs; and (3) closer, and more frequent, balancing of user needs with technology availability. Among the means to achieve the last two objectives are expanded use of early prototyping and the ATTD program, provided the results can be obtained early enough to contribute to the design and concept formulation processes. The quality of the technologists and acquisition specialists that the Army can recruit, train, and retain will, in the end, determine the Army's ability to participate in the technological revolution foreseen by the STAR Committee and the STAR panels. There is some evidence that technologists in the Army community remain dissatisfied with the work environment despite recent attempts to improve it. However, recent experiences within the DOD Laboratory Demonstration Program and within certain high-quality Army laboratories hold promise for procedural changes that could significantly improve the work environment. Force Structure and Strategy The Army's immediately deployable forces will need the capability to counter potentially superior numbers, air and missile attack, and heavy armor. They will need weapons with longer reach and more combat power without sacrificing rapid deployment capability. Systems to be deployed with these forces must be transportable by air. The focal value of deployability was important in the STAR Committee's selection of high-payoff systems. In the future,

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century the means of deploying a system will be crucial to its effectiveness and must be addressed early in the design process. An integrated combat capability will be needed to support initially deployed Army forces. In particular, their ability to sustain themselves until heavy forces can be inserted will depend on close coordination with supporting Air Force and Naval forces. Therefore, the STAR-recommended focal value of joint operability will be essential to force structure planning. Deployed forces will need to maintain an overwhelming advantage in air superiority and the stand-off capability of ground weapons. The one-sidedness of these advantages can be maintained only if these forces have effective countermeasures to the anticipated increase in use of stealth by adversaries. Counterstealth capabilities will therefore become increasingly valuable in lessening the vulnerability of U.S. support and combat forces deployed for contingency operations. Smart weapons and countermeasures to them will increasingly define the character of ground warfare. Smart weapons can enhance the reach and effectiveness of combat forces. By substituting for tons of dumb steel, they can also lessen the logistics burden of supporting forces deployed a long distance from their bases. However, the effectiveness of smart weapons will depend on more and better C3I/RISTA as well as force elements well trained in their use. RECOMMENDATIONS This section summarizes the various recommendations made throughout this report by the STAR Committee for consideration by the Army. In many cases the rationale to support the recommendation is summarized in one or more of the conclusions presented in the section above. The Army should maintain its current level of support for research and advanced technology (i.e., 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3a funding) despite the expected substantial reductions in overall resources available to its acquisition accounts. The Army should meld into its current Army Technology Base Master Plan the STAR Committee's selection of high-payoff technologies: multidomain smart sensor technology; terahertz-device electronics; secure, wide-bandwidth communications technology;

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century battle management software technology; solid state lasers and/or coherent diode laser arrays; electric-drive technology; genetically engineered and developed materials and molecules; material formulation techniques for ''designer" materials; and methods and technology for integrated systems design. The Army should aim to increase the effectiveness of early technology explorations by focusing them on advanced systems concepts. Among these focal interests for technology exploration should be the six systems concepts selected by the STAR Committee: robot vehicles (air or ground) for C3I/RISTA; electronic systems architecture; brilliant munitions for attacking ground targets; lightweight indirect-fire weapons; theater air and missile defense; and simulation systems for R&D, analysis, and training. The Army should augment its Technology Base Master Plan with explicit, high-visibility programs for each systems area of focal interest, much as it has already done for the Soldier-as-a-System program. An independent review team should assess progress in each area. Also, a process for adding to or subtracting from the list of priority systems concepts should be established. The focal values of affordability, reliability, deployability, joint operability, reduced vulnerability of U.S. combat and support systems, casualty reduction, and support system cost reduction should be stressed throughout the Army's technology programs. The review of progress in each systems area should also assess performance with respect to these focal values. The Army should implement an expanded test program to examine the potential battlefield impact of both high-payoff technologies and the high-payoff systems into which they might be incorporated. The Army should consider application of force structure assets to this design support and evaluation role, as the Navy does with its VX squadrons. The Army should commit to upgrading the combat capabilities of its first-to-be-deployed light forces and to substantially reducing the weight of systems for its heavy forces, so that a suitable middle tier of medium air-deployable forces can be achieved. Current light forces need, and can be given, more tactical mobility, more survivability, and, especially, more firepower with greater lethality against

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century hard targets. The lightweight indirect-fire weapon system discussed in this report illustrates the kind of systems concept that is needed and the technology that can help produce it. Weight reduction of heavy-force systems will require, first, a commitment to achieve this goal and, second, applications of new technologies (e.g., advanced materials and propulsion systems) to new designs in which weight ceilings are lowered. The main battle tank could well be the first system to be substantially lightened. The Army should allocate the predominant share of its technology resources to areas not well supported by private sector commercial development. On the other hand, wherever possible, it should rely on commercially derived technologies, components, products, and manufacturing. A policy that outlines these twin approaches and the procedures for their implementation should be rapidly developed and promulgated. Several pilot programs should be initiated to "wring out" these procedures. The Army should increase its use of procedures—such as rapid austere prototyping and subsystem upgrades—that can expedite the movement of technology from the laboratory into the hands of its forces. Such a policy must recognize both the reduced rate of implementation of completely new platforms and the imperative that deployed Army forces at no time be denied technological superiority. Gradual improvement of fielded designs by subsystem upgrades can move new technology into the field faster than simply waiting for a new platform baseline. The early phases of technology programs should incorporate a "design for change" requirement, so the design can accommodate upgraded components and subsystems after it is fielded. The Army should plan to meet future mobilization requirements in light of expected reduced procurement and war reserve material levels. Planning for surge capacity and reconstitution of forces will increase dependence on commercial parts and manufacturing practices. In areas where the Army has vital interests (such as an advanced C3I network, deployment of forces into areas of heavy armored resistance, and theater defense against air or missile attack), the Army should take the lead in joint planning. A key area for such leadership is coordination of theater air and missile defense systems through the SDIO and other channels. There are many opportunities for improving joint operations with the other services. Most of these require joint consideration and program initiatives during the research, development, and requirements definition phases for new programs. Future Army performance

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century depends on seizing these opportunities. The Army should participate actively in developing joint program plans and take the lead, if necessary, for at least the following areas: providing airlift and sea-lift for initial forces; C3I/RISTA systems; air and missile defense, including defensive low-observability, defense against stealthy attack, and IFFN; and close air support. The Army should implement an aggressive program to ensure that it will continue to attract, train, and retain people of the highest quality in its advanced technology structure. To that end, the Army should review the results of the DOD Laboratory Demonstration Program and the results of innovative actions already taken in its highest-quality laboratories. Efforts should be made to work cooperatively with civilian and commercial entities to maintain skills and technology transfer. A good example is the placement of Army medical personnel in civilian trauma centers. The Army should modify the implementation of its CBRS. The concept input to the process should allow for greater technology exploration and consideration of potential threats and advanced systems. Rather than assuming that every requirement entering Phase 1 is destined for Phase 4 development, Phase 1 should be more open, with a winnowing process occurring at each move to a subsequent phase. Test and evaluation need to be rethought as tools for learning, and redesigning, from experiment, as in the methodology of rapid austere prototyping. To make these alterations work, a strategic vision for the Army's program must be communicated from the top.

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