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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000–2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 6 Platforms Executive Summary INTRODUCTION The Navy and Marine Corps will have to replace the majority of their warfighting equipment in the next 35 years. This will have to be accomplished within the fiscal constraints imposed by an overall military budget that is significantly lower, in real terms, than that available during the period of the last military buildup in the 1980s. Current thinking on this subject suggests that the required replenishment of Navy and Marine Corps capital assets in the face of such constraints can be accomplished only by reducing operations and support costs and by using commercial standards where acceptable, modular construction, and new technologies that offer lower total life-cycle costs. The expectation is that the savings accrued by implementing these concepts and technologies will be available to fund the R&D and acquisition of new surface, subsurface, and air platforms to support Navy and Marine Corps missions. Based on briefings and discussions conducted by the Panel on Platforms during the course of this study, there appears to be a sincere desire, as well as a requirement, by the Department of the Navy to maintain a balanced naval capability. This will be an extremely difficult task to fulfill in the fiscal environment facing the Department of Defense (DOD) over the next five years. Despite the changed fiscal environment, the Navy Department still retains its historic missions: sea control, power projection, deterrence, forward presence, and sea lift. A detailed characterization of these missions is included in the
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000–2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 6 Platforms description of Navy and Marine Corps operating doctrine in a paper entitled ''Forward…From the Sea."1 With the end of the Cold War, the potential threats that the Navy and Marine Corps must be prepared to counter have become significantly more diverse. The unpredictability of the timing, direction, and lethality of various potential adversaries requires the Navy Department to maintain both a sufficient force structure and an adequate pace of modernization. Since it is impossible to predict precisely the military environment of 2035, the planner must provide technologies that can be adopted and adapted to support concepts that emerge as time passes. VISION FOR 2035 The Navy Department will have to create new platform concepts capable of performing its missions in a timely and cost-effective way. The challenges faced by the Navy and Marine Corps in this era are similar to those faced by the Navy in making the transition from sail to steam and, later, to carrier jet aircraft. Addressing these challenges will require the following actions: A commitment to depart from traditional solutions, A concerted effort to develop enabling technologies, and A plan to make the transition from the old to the new. Each of these tenets is reflected in the recommendations made in this report. The Navy has adapted to its sharply reduced budget by decommissioning ships and aircraft that still have significant operational capability. In the context of this downsizing of U.S. naval forces, a decision was made to support the production base in Navy-unique technology and production capabilities. Shipbuilding is a case in point. There is a two-edged sword at play here. On the one hand, there is a need to maintain momentum in the shipbuilding industry in the face of reduced procurement. On the other, decreased procurement volume drives unit cost up. To offset and regain funds for recapitalization it is essential for the Navy Department to have a comprehensive plan that minimizes manning, infrastructure, and all life-cycle support costs. Ideally, this should be coupled to a broad agreement with DOD and Congress to allow recaptured funds to be applied to the Navy and Marine Corps recapitalization program. COMMON THRUSTS FOR PLATFORMS The Panel on Platforms concluded that there is a set of common thrusts—stealth, 1 Department of the Navy. 1994. "Forward…From the Sea," U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000–2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 6 Platforms automation, minimal manning, affordability, fluid and flow control, and off-board vehicles—that can be pursued over the next several years to maximize the operational performance and affordability of future naval platforms. These thrusts can be pursued most effectively within the context of a systems engineering approach to the adoption of new technology, both as individual technology components and as an integrated whole. Stealth One obvious driver for the future of naval warfare is the combined effect of developments in sensor technology and the proliferation of this technology. The expected improvements in target acquisition, coupled with advanced missilery, mines, torpedoes, and other weapons, put a high premium on the avoidance of detection, whether in the littoral or on the high seas. Stealth technologies and the ability to apply them in a seamless manner offer the best means of maintaining an effective naval presence in the face of a hostile adversary. Most of the specifics of technology relating to low observables are necessarily highly classified. The discussion in this report is restricted to general principles that derive from basic physics and to areas that are not highly classified. Automation The technology associated with automatic operation or control of equipment and processes has made and continues to make great advances. The application of condition-based monitoring and the maintenance of components and systems often associated with automation will increase the reliability of equipment. Improved detection of dangerous conditions will revolutionize damage control. To realize optimum gains, open architecture systems should be pursued in a systematic and integrated fashion down to the component level. Besides the advantages of efficient operation and reliability, aggressive utilization of intelligent automation in naval ships and submarines will enable crew and life-cycle cost reductions. Minimal Manning Minimizing platform manning will have a significant impact on the life-cycle costs of Navy ships. The largest single factor in ship cost is the crew, which involves not only direct salary, benefits, and training costs for Navy personnel, but also the indirect expense of the manpower infrastructure, bases, barracks, commissaries, retirement plans, and so forth. Platform acquisition costs can also be reduced through ship design with a specific focus on reductions in requirements for berthing, food services, air conditioning, and so on.
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000–2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 6 Platforms Affordability Cost is critical, and for the foreseeable future it will be a major factor in determining the size and structure of the armed forces. Unit cost is related inversely to force size; therefore, unit cost has to be minimized. The most visible component of system cost is initial acquisition, which includes both design and production; therefore savings should be sought in both areas in parallel. Life-cycle costs can be minimized through careful consideration of crew size, maintenance requirements, modularity, and fuel consumption. Fluid and Flow Control Fluid flow phenomena are critical to all aspects of platforms for naval warfare. If the flows of air and water about the bodies of ships, aircraft, and submarines could be better understood and brought under control, their efficiency and maneuverability could be improved substantially. Similarly, understanding and control of hot gas flows would enable major gains in engine performance, efficiency, and reliability. Ship and aircraft auxiliary and utility systems could also be improved. As an example of the potential, experiments and calculations indicate that platform drag might be reduced measurably if flow turbulence and separation could be suppressed over most of the surface. A major key to achieving these gains for all platforms and propulsion systems lies in a markedly improved understanding of the basic physics of fluid flow and improved techniques in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to permit engineers to understand and predict the effect of mechanisms to control flows. The principal need is for improved models of turbulence for Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes simulations, and when available, large-eddy simulations. This should be a high priority for the Department of the Navy. This need is well recognized in the CFD community and is the subject of active research, but more work is necessary. In particular, strong Navy Department guidance and support are essential to ensure that suitable turbulence models will be developed to meet the full range of needs that are of most direct concern to naval forces. This will require a vigorous, focused, integrated program of theoretical investigation, experiment, and computation. Off-board Vehicles Autonomous adjunct vehicles, both underwater and aerial, will play an increasingly important role in naval warfare. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be employed across the mission spectrum, starting with reconnaissance, then in support, and finally in selected lethal roles. Unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) can extend a submarine's battle space significantly and add mission abilities of great importance, while serving to reduce risk for the submarine.
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000–2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 6 Platforms PLATFORM TECHNOLOGY-IMPACT AND RECOMMENDATIONS Platform technologies set the bounds on the performance of ships, aircraft, and submarines and are thus fundamental to the consideration of all naval and naval aviation technology. The design, production, and useful operating life of naval platforms typically span several decades. The long time lines associated with the implementation of new platform technologies, together with their fundamental impact on warfighting effectiveness, necessitate a systematic, top-to-bottom approach to their adoption. To integrate advanced technology into future naval platforms, the Navy Department should implement a focused effort that includes clearly defined goals and schedules, industry-government partnerships, and stable funding. The Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology (IHPTET) program is a good model for this type of effort. The demonstrated success of this program in the past cannot be overstated. The Panel on Platforms suggests that the IHPTET approach to technology development be considered as the bridge to the future in several technology fields of relevance to the Navy and Marine Corps. Surface Platforms Impact of Surface Technology Initiatives Implementation of the technologies discussed in this report should enable the Department of the Navy to create an advanced and highly effective fleet at an affordable cost. There are several key technologies that could enable significant signature reduction, which would in turn increase the warfighting effectiveness of surface ships. Likewise, critical advances in automation components and architecture and in the fielding of electric drive should reduce both acquisition and life-cycle costs while enhancing combat effectiveness. These technologies support the entire potential family of future ships from amphibious vehicles, to surface combatants, to aircraft carriers. The following are the panel's highest-priority recommendations with regard to developing and exploiting the advanced platform technologies that will enable the Navy and Marine Corps to accomplish their missions in the future. Additional recommendations are presented in the main text of this volume. Ship Technology Recommendations To minimize manning, increase reliability and survivability, enhance system upgradability, and reduce life-cycle costs, develop and introduce component-level, intelligent, distributed ship systems automation technology, including the following: Microprocessor-based intelligent sensors and actuators;
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000–2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 6 Platforms Reliable secure communications at all levels, including peer to peer; Intelligent operation, monitoring, maintenance, and damage control doctrine; and Commercial open architecture systems adaptations. Aggressively pursue integrated electric drive power and propulsion systems; develop and exploit quiet, high-density permanent magnet propulsion motors; exploit advances in semiconductor technology to develop power electronic building blocks; and begin at-sea testing and evaluation of system performance. These approaches offer high potential for reducing signatures and decreasing life-cycle costs. Expand signature reduction initiatives in the following areas: Composite materials, Advanced hydrodynamics and power systems, Closed-loop degaussing, and Advanced hull forms. Air Platforms Impact of Air Technology Initiatives Developing the enabling technologies for more advanced naval aviation platforms should facilitate the development of a more cost-efficient force than we have today. Expanded air platform options enabled by new technologies include (1) a more vertical force—vertical takeoff and landing, short takeoff and vertical landing, and short takeoff and landing; (2) widespread use of land- and sea-based UAVs for surveillance, reconnaissance, targeting, and later, lethal missions; and (3) utilitarian aerial trucks to be employed as weapons carriers, target designators, and sensor platforms. Commanders will be accorded vastly increased flexibility in aircraft carrier (CV) deck loading such that a CV can operate as an allstrike ship or, alternatively, solely in a support role. Finally, the range of viable CV sizes and configurations can be widened considerably, from Nimitz size down to a much smaller ship, each operating the same types of aircraft. Air Technology Recommendations Pursue technologies that reduce takeoff and landing footprints and improve the payload range and the endurance of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles: Slow-speed laminar flow control; High-lift aerodynamics; Lightweight, high-strength composites; Core engine performance enhancement; Variable cycle engines;
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000–2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 6 Platforms Small, high-performance, heavy-fuel engines; and Integrated flight and propulsion control. Exploit commercial developments in high-capacity, long-range data links. Emphasize technology developments focused on reducing the cost of enhanced survivability. Pursue technologies that contribute to lower-cost design and manufacturing: Dynamic electronic prototyping; and Reduced-cost, low-rate production. Subsurface Platforms Impact of Submarine Initiatives The infusion of new technology into both new and existing submarines should continue to provide a stealthy platform with great mobility, endurance, payload potential, and survivability. Throughout the development, application, and coordination of these and other technologies, great emphasis must be given to reducing submarine acquisition and life-cycle costs. Greater affordability can be facilitated through the use of technology to minimize design and construction costs, reduce manning, cut maintenance requirements, and provide the ready insertion of performance upgrades over the submarine's lifetime. Submarine Technology Recommendations Exploit the spectrum of payload technologies to provide future submarines with an integrated payload system that is flexible and modular and can covertly carry, launch, and recover a wide range of future weapons, sensors, vehicles, and forces. Develop submarine-launched off-board vehicles, both UAVs and UUVs, for use across all mission areas. Deliberate growth of this adjunct capability can utilize a two-track approach of cheap, expendable systems and expensive, reusable ones. Aggressively pursue a stable, extensive R&D program for the continuing analysis and guaranteed quality of submarine stealth. This program must address all aspects of stealth technology, including hydrodynamics, acoustics, nonacoustics, and signal emissions, in an integrated systems approach. Upgrade submarine sensors and their connectivity, thereby improving the submarine's ability to sense, process, and fuse information through the application of rapidly advancing technologies: fiber optics, acoustics and nonacoustics, lasers, high-speed computers, and other innovations. Significantly improve submarine power density as a key to the improvement of payload capacity, warfighting effectiveness, and survivability. The space and weight fraction dedicated to energy production and distribution must be
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000–2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 6 Platforms reduced in submarine main power, auxiliary power, weapons, and off-board vehicles. Environmental Issues The Panel on Platforms was asked to examine how technology can be utilized to ameliorate the environmental impact of future naval platforms, and in so doing put specific emphasis on shipboard waste treatment systems to minimize water pollution. The panel decided to treat the reduction of air emissions as a component of advanced propulsion system development for both naval vessels and aircraft. Current (mature) technologies for shipboard waste treatment such as plastics processors, pulpers or shredders, and liquid filtration systems, which have long enjoyed development under the auspices of Navy laboratories, are already at the implementation stage in many larger vessel classes. The enabling technologies considered, including supercritical water oxidation, advanced incineration, and plasma arc pyrolysis, have differing benefits and constraints in terms of power requirements, weight and space, efficiency, operator expertise required, and signature implications. Moreover, the reliability of treatment systems, particularly a single treatment system, seriously affects the suitability of the system for shipboard implementation. As a consequence, a series of smaller-scale, waste stream-specific technologies (including plastics processors, incinerators, and liquid filtration systems), which can be driven by existing energy sources (e.g., JP-5 or diesel fuel), is recommended for future development and implementation, in contrast to larger-scale, energy-intensive devices such as the plasma-based systems. It is the conclusion of this panel that the shipboard waste treatment systems for future warships should be designed for easy implementation into the platform. Power requirements must not necessitate external shipboard generators and the associated increase in space required. CONCLUSION In conclusion, the panel believes that there are many technologies available to the Department of the Navy for future platform design and implementation options. These opportunities, if pursued in an integrated and systematic way, will allow decision-makers of the future to make choices based on changing requirements and affordability constraints.
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