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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century 2 Improving Capability to Provide Long-Range Fire Support COMMUNICATIONS CONNECTIVITY Current Situation Extensive work is under way, based on the Navy's Copernicus architecture and related systems work by the other Services, to build command, control, and communications systems at what might be called the “wholesale” level. These systems are designed to provide modern, responsive, flexible, and robust communications to convey C2, situational, and target data from National, theater, and forward forces' sensors to all major command centers ashore and afloat, as well as among those centers. This includes provision for communication and data transfer among all ships, from carriers to frigates, that can provide fire support to forces ashore by any means. However, much more attention is needed to ensure “retail-level” connectivity between major headquarters afloat or ashore and fighting units down to platoon or squad level. Especially, current and planned systems will not meet the needs of Marine forces in the highly mobile transition phase from ship to shore and beyond the horizon. The only available communications for forward troops during that critical period are vulnerable, low-capacity, line-of-sight communications, not suited for calling in the essential fire support and logistic support that can ensure the success of the forward elements in OMFTS. Even when the forces are fully established ashore, their communications equipment will be large, inflexible, and based on old technology. The Marine Corps' current and planned communications system resembles the Army's as it was configured for operations in Western Europe during the Cold War. Future Communications Systems: the 2020 Vision Communications technology in the civilian world is moving toward widely distributed, flexible, high-capacity systems that will provide many alternate modes from mobile cellular communications among individuals to major, secure multi-channel communications among fixed and mobile terminals distributed worldwide, using satellite and fiber-optic links as appropriate. DOD
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century communications that will be in place by 2006 will continue to be concentrated in the ultrahigh-, superhigh-, and extremely high frequency bands and will also have assured access to an array of commercially provided communications. The commercial world will also provide a broad satellite communications (SATCOM) infrastructure including L, C, and Ku-and communications, and a terrestrial infrastructure based on fiber-optic links. The architectural trends are illustrated in Figure 2. The Navy and Marine Corps can take advantage of these developments to design the “retail-level” systems needed to implement the future OMFTS. Communications links and terminals at the “retail” level should be highly mobile, robust, and jointly interoperable with other Service systems. They should have high capacity for transfer of all necessary status, targeting, and logistic information. They should be able both to transmit filtered, processed, and tailored situational awareness data at a high rate to forward forces having small terminals and to receive such information from the forward forces. Ships would transmit the data via broadcast satellites, while forward forces with very light equipment would use surrogate satellites in the form of communication relays, preferably carried by UAVs dedicated to the purpose. (Communication relays can be launched or emplaced ad hoc, in airplanes or on hilltops. The value of dedicating UAVs to the purpose is that the relay-carrying UAVs would be a known and reliable part of the system, launched for the purpose during the landing operation, without the uncertainties attending ad hoc deployment during the exigencies of battle. They would be most economical of manned aircraft and personnel at critical times during the operation, and they would avoid the risk that the enemy might dominate the necessary high ground at the time of need.) The communications system should allow forward and rearward transmittal of information in direct communication modes if needed, and in broadcast modes that would allow potential users to download the information they need selectively without becoming saturated by a flood of data. Desired system features include the following: Assured and seamless (without breaks or pauses at switching points) connectivity, permitting both voice and high-rate data transmissions among major headquarters and forward troops down to platoon and squad level, and even to individual soldiers deployed on combat-related missions; Interoperability with other Service communications and with the local communications infrastructure, both civilian and military;
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Figure 2 Development paths for 21st century communications.
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century The ability to adapt and use commercial communications equipment and services (in uses that are highlighted below); and The capacity to transmit and receive direct broadcast situational awareness and other tactically useful information as described above. The communications system with these characteristics would transmit and receive targeting, surveillance, and damage assessment information; convey intelligence products and environmental data; and serve as a tool for managing personnel and medical and logistics data and requests. Local political and infrastructure data would be provided as needed, both to and from forward troops in action. And the capacity would exist for the selective wideband transfer of databases and imagery, to forward forces according to their needs. The system would thus enable flexible and reliable use suited to the needs of small, fast-moving forward forces that might be heavily engaged with the enemy. It would permit much more than a hand-held radio able only to communicate to the horizon, and it would not put much more of a burden on the soldier than that piece of equipment.1 Recommended Actions The Navy and Marine Corps can take some immediate steps to move toward implementing the “2020 vision” sketched above. These steps include the following: The Navy and Marine Corps should consider the establishment and maintenance of robust communications connectivity as a joint endeavor with the other Services, National and civilian agencies, and coalition partners where appropriate. The Services should establish programs to acquire 1 It may be observed by those with experience that a communications system such as the one described would permit, and therefore might encourage, intervention by higher headquarters and even National authorities in local tactical operations. But the capability to do that has been available since the 1950s, and was demonstrated in such diverse operations as the Cuban missile crisis and the Falklands war. There have also been notable instances where the capability, although available, was not used. In short, it will always be available, and the chain of command will have to depend on internal discipline to ensure use appropriate to the situation.
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Army extrahigh-frequency (EHF) tactical terminals for assured mission-critical connectivity (SCAMP and SMART-T, respectively a man-portable and a high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle [HMMWV]-mounted satellite terminal, both providing low-data-rate—2.4 kb/sec—and the mounted terminal providing medium-data-rate—1.544 Mb/sec—communications); Surrogate satellite communications for battlefield cellular and tactical communications relay (with relay capability deployable by any means, but, for reasons given above, preferably using dedicated long-endurance UAVs); The ability to connect with and use emerging commercial (Low Earth Orbit [LEO] and Geosynchronous Earth Orbit [GEO]) satellite communications; and The ability to use the emerging Global Broadcast Service for intelligence-related and situational data. The Marine Corps is already working with the Army in connection with the Army's Battlefield Digitization Effort. Special attention should be given in this work to the areas of telecommunication and information distribution, such as battlefield cellular, and results should be adapted to Marine Corps needs and operations. The Navy and Air Force should also be involved in this effort, to ensure interoperability among all the Services in joint operations. The Navy and Marine Corps should be involved in related Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) programs, such as the ongoing Battlefield Awareness and Data Dissemination (BADD) ACTD being conducted by ARPA. This program will demonstrate dissemination, according to user demands, of exploited and fused National and theater reconnaissance/surveillance data in near real time to echelons below Joint Task Force (JTF) via the Global Broadcasting Service.
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century C2, TARGETING, AND COMBAT IDENTIFICATION C2 and Targeting for Long-Range Fire Support Deficiencies in Current Systems and Plans Situational and Battlefield Awareness. As indicated above, all the Services plan to overcome increasingly sophisticated future opposition by using the information advantage conferred by superior U.S. information-related technology. This advantage includes denial of information about U.S. forces and their activities while gaining timely and accurate knowledge about the opponents' forces and activities, so that U.S. forces can act against them within the time lines imposed by our high tactical tempo operations. This means maintaining situational awareness that is as complete as the available technology will allow and that is updated in nearly real time—in a few minutes at the tactical level for high-tempo operations, and in times on the order of an hour or less for much operational-level information. There has always been some level of situational awareness in the modern sense in warfare, to the extent that available technology or operational capability would allow. This could simply mean information returned by scouts and spies, or, later, information gained by observation aircraft and various forms of human and technical intelligence gathering. In the years since World War II the capability has been augmented by space observation, advanced sensors across the spectrum, and sophisticated computer-aided analysis. The time lines in building situational awareness have been suited to the technical capabilities and the resulting tempo of the warfare of the time, with the operational and tactical advantage going to the side that could build the greatest information advantage in the least possible time within those constraints. Situational knowledge can never be perfect. Since each side in a conflict takes steps to mask its observables and to deceive opponents about its intentions, forces, and activities, the resulting information available to each side is usually incomplete and sometimes wrong. The uncertainties are wrapped up in the commonly expressed term “fog of war.” The key point is for U.S. forces to gain a commanding advantage in situational awareness, as they had at the Battle of Midway or in the Gulf War—the information must be mostly right, denied to the enemy, and actionable at the right time. The capability to establish such an advantage in future conflicts is latent in all the Service C3I programs, and all the Services individually have programs that seek to build it in some parts of their mission spectrum. However, as a recent Navy strategic war game showed, it can only be achieved completely enough to ensure slimmed-down U.S. forces' success in future warfare by pooling and integrating all relevant Service and National resources in the joint arena. There has been much discussion of this need by all the Services and the
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), but the Service programs remain narrowly focused and resources to build a joint situational awareness capability usable by all, including the Navy and Marine Corps, are meager. The sections that follow lead to some recommended steps to improve key aspects of situational awareness that will be needed by Navy and Marine Corps forces in joint operations along the littoral. Essential integration beyond those steps will require application of the will and the resources across the entire DOD. Targeting. Targeting—accurate location of targets for weapon delivery—grows out of surveillance and reconnaissance, which provide data in the form of imagery and electronic signals that allow detection, location, classification, and identification of targets. Much of the information required for targeting enemy forces and installations beyond the horizon, which will be necessary for long-range fire support from the fleet, derives from sensors that are not organic to the Navy or Marine Corps. These include National sensors, which furnish tactical data to fielded forces through the Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP) program, and a number of theater-level sensors operated (or to be operated) by other Services and national agencies. Among the latter are the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS), which is carried on modified Boeing 707 aircraft and can both provide radar data on moving target tracks over a broad area and focus on narrow areas to obtain high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images; the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System (ASARS) carried on U-2 aircraft, which provides high-resolution SAR imagery; and soon-to-be-available imagery in several spectral bands that will be obtained from high-altitude endurance unmanned air vehicles (HAE UAVs) provided by the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office (DARO), replacing more limited imagery obtained from manned reconnaissance aircraft. The forward forces will also operate small reconnaissance UAVs locally, obtaining imagery that not only can help the forces operating those UAVs but also can be sent to higher headquarters to enter the detailed theater-wide situational description. Additional data can be obtained directly from forward observers (FOs) and forward air controllers (FACs), whose task will be to call in the long-range fire support from the fleet. At present, the planned Navy and Marine Corps capacity to handle all-source imagery for targeting and situational awareness for C 2 purposes is marginal. JSTARS data are planned to be transmitted to the Navy via the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS), but this will be processed information that will lose much of the richness of the area-wide moving target indicator (MTI) picture obtained directly from the JSTARS radar. The Army has a JSTARS terminal small enough to be mounted on a HMMWV, which could be adapted for shipboard use. JTIDS will be able to transmit fewer tracks
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century than will be available from the ground station. Navy connection to obtain SAR imagery on ships from ASARS is planned. However, the connection will be through an antenna that will require time sharing with other uses, so that ASARS data transmissions could be delayed at critical times. There are as yet no plans for the Navy and Marine Corps to obtain DARO HAE imagery. TENCAP information will be obtained on shipboard, but plans for use of such information by forward troops are not as far advanced or as thoroughly developed as the Army's plans. Transmittal of available information to forward combat elements, and transmittal of information and imagery from those elements to targeting centers afloat, will depend on the capacity and robustness of the communications connectivity, which will be weak unless the steps recommended above are taken. If the Navy and Marine Corps are to be able to use the data and processed information from the sources described, the sensors must be in the theater. There will be enough flexibility among the different sources, some of them (the DARO Tier 2+ UAV) having very long endurance, that there is a very high probability that any action along the littoral will take place within operating range of one or more of these sources. A parallel organic capability within the fleet would be the ideal, to cover the times when available land bases may be too distant from the action. In view of the likely availability of the needed operating bases on shore, building such a capability in the current and foreseen budget environment at the expense of meeting other, more essential needs, cannot be justified. Timeliness and Responsiveness. Under current plans, the situational and targeting data available will be incomplete and will take significant time to assemble—perhaps hours. The information will be needed in minutes by forward combat elements to attack maneuvering enemy forces, and they will have to know about all such forces and where they are, essentially in real time. Thus, if forward forces depend on the information as it can currently be furnished, they cannot be assured of complete and timely enough data to make the long-range fire support that will be an intrinsic part of their combat capability as effective as it will have to be. It may be concluded that unless the ability is created to obtain, synthesize, and disseminate all-source imagery and other target information with appropriate timeliness, the forward combat elements will not be able to bring to bear the combat power needed to fulfill their missions. In addition, the C2 system to exploit the information will, in its current form, be insufficiently responsive to make the fire support available when needed. The Marine Corps has organization and procedures designed to make close air support responsive to the ground forces' needs. However, Navy and
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Marine air operations must be under Joint Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC) direction in the theater. The traditional JFACC airspace control cycle for planning air missions, including strike and close air support, is lengthy—up to 72 hours. To meet the need for responsive air support of ground forces, air operations officers have, in the past, compensated for this delay by planning other missions that could be diverted to the purpose. This worked reasonably well in a “steady-state” theater like Vietnam, when there was time to learn and therefore predict for most days how much air support would have to be made available this way. It was not as much a problem in the Gulf War, where the air and ground war were fought in clearly separable phases, special arrangements were made for hunting mobile Scud targets, and the ground war was over so quickly that a routine need for closely coordinated air support of the ground forces scarcely had time to develop. In a new combat theater where the air support that will constitute a significant part of the long-range fire support must be quantitatively predictable and on time, there will not be time for such ad hoc adaptations. C2 Integration. In the limiting case being considered where the forward combat elements will not carry their artillery with them, the remainder of the long-range fire support (other than that provided by aviation) will have to be provided by some mix of long-range guided artillery shells and surface launched cruise or ballistic missiles. In current operational concepts the forward ground commander commands the artillery batteries in his force, and he has a forward observer who can call in artillery fire from some miles to the rear, in response to that ground commander 's needs. Since the artillery is already miles to the rear, it should not matter in theory if the artillery's distance to the rear is increased to the distance between the forward unit and the fleet, as long as the fire is equally responsive to the ground commander. Since the flight times would be only minutes longer, the use of long-range guided shells and ballistic missiles from the fleet 25 miles offshore would permit the required responsiveness, provided the fire is launched in response to the same ground commander's order without intervening layers of command. This calls for some rearrangement of current command relationships. Even with such a rearrangement, there remains the problem of coordinating fire when both the air support and the surface-launched fire support must operate through the same airspace but are sent from over the horizon through two different command chains—the JFACC for the air support, and the surface fire direction center, which may or may not (depending on where it is) report to the ground commander for the surface-launched systems. At present there are no plans to integrate command and control of the attack aviation and the surface-launched elements of the long-range fire support systems.
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Since targeting and weapon delivery will involve joint operations, and since the dependence on and the characteristics of the long-range fire support being considered are essentially new, appropriate joint doctrine and tactics will have to be developed. JCS Publication 3 establishes the joint doctrine in the general sense.2 However, the details of the very complex joint interactions involved in this case must be worked out procedurally and exercised jointly if the system is to function as required in wartime. Matching Targeting and Weapon Accuracy. As is discussed below, much of the long-range fire support will have to be provided by guided weapons. To achieve the full potential of accurate weapon guidance, targets must be located in the same geographic grid, and with the same time reference, that the weapon system uses for guidance. The common grid and universal time are in view through the use of GPS, but they have not yet been fully established in the joint arena or between the targeting system and weapon guidance systems within the Navy and Marine Corps. Theoretically, if they existed and if differential GPS could be used for both targeting and weapon guidance, an accuracy of <1 meter should be achievable for weapons on target with only GPS target location and guidance. In the practical case, a target location accuracy of 10 to 100 meters, obtained from remote surveillance and reconnaissance systems, would be more likely. An FO/FAC who sees the target, who can locate himself in differential GPS and has a laser range finder, a good alidade, and an accurate way of establishing true north, would achieve good enough accuracy to permit weapon delivery on GPS coordinates without having the target in view of the shooter and without a sensor on the weapon. In the practical case of dynamic field operations, it is more likely that the FO/FAC's target location accuracy will be on the order of 15 to 25 meters. To achieve better accuracy than this for weapons on target will mean that, however the target is located, the weapon will have to have a seeker that can recognize a target element from within a delivery “basket” compatible with the target location accuracy. Alternately, it will have to guide on a laser spot furnished by the FO/FAC or the delivery aircraft, or be able to return an image to the launcher and be command guided through a data link of some sort. If the target can move in the time between weapon launch and landing, then the seeker field of view within the weapon delivery “basket” must be made large enough for the seeker to detect the target in its new location, or else updated target location information must be passed to the weapon. Means to do the latter without unduly expensive data links are discussed below. However, 2 Doctrine for Joint Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, September 9, 1993.
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century suitable matching of weapon and target location accuracy, seeker field of view, and short flight time will remain the preferred solution. Locating and striking rapidly moving targets will remain a difficult problem, in any case. Finally, it may be noted that even if target location from a long distance (e.g., by JSTARS) is in error by as much as 100 to 200 meters, location of points within the area seen by the surveillance sensor may be only 1 to a few meters in error relative to each other. Thus, if there is a point within the surveillance sensor's field of view whose GPS coordinates are known (e.g., through a radar map-matching sequence), then the overall target location uncertainty problem can be circumvented for accurate weapon delivery. Availability of the common grid and universal time would reduce the difficulty in solving these problems and would therefore reduce the costs entailed in weapon system design and weapon delivery. Recommended Actions A number of steps should be taken to remedy the problems outlined above. The Navy and Marine Corps should take the lead in the joint arena toward building a single, joint situational and battlefield awareness capability, based on all-source inputs and all-Service use of the products, that will confer a commanding information advantage on U.S. forces at all command levels down to forward units in the field in any future regional conflicts and operations short of war. Individual Service tactical and operational concepts for the future, including those of the Navy and Marine Corps, will not succeed without this capability. The Navy and Marine Corps should exploit existing non-organic sensors fully by Distributing Tactical Reporting and Processing/Tactical Information Broadcast System (TRAP/TIBS) receivers more widely; Preparing to receive JSTARS MTI data early in a landing; and Supporting Marine Corps use of the Army Common Ground Station to exploit U-2 and JSTARS SAR imaging data. The Navy and Marine Corps TENCAP program for littoral warfare should be aligned with the Army approach, including strengthened joint participation with the Army and Air Force TENCAP program
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century weapons with relatively high circular errors probable (CEPs)—every weapon delivered will have to count. Finally, long ranges, on the order of 60 to 200 miles, will become increasingly important for surface-based fire support under the newly emerging concepts of operation. All of the above trends mean that a much larger fraction of the strike and fire support weapons delivered will have to be guided, using laser, GPS/inertial, automatic target recognition, or other guidance systems.4 Accurate delivery (e.g., 3 to 13 meters) of free-fall weapons from 15,000 to 20,000 ft is infeasible, as is accurate delivery of weapons following simple ballistic trajectories from long horizontal standoff (e.g., 15 to 40 miles or more), whatever the launch altitude, from the surface up. High accuracy from either medium-high altitude in the target vicinity or from long horizontal standoff will thus require guided weapons. Further, artillery-derived concepts of surface-to-surface fire—in which the relatively inaccurate fire on the battlefield is considered useful mainly for suppression of enemy activity, with actual target kills made by a small percentage of randomly falling shots—are incompatible with the high costs of long-range surface-launched weapons (gun projectiles or missiles) and the smaller numbers available when such weapons fill a significant part of a ship's magazine. All analyses of the subject performed over the past 2 decades show that extensive use of guided weapons in air attacks reduces the number of sorties needed to destroy a set of targets by up to an order of magnitude.5 Thus, although some level-of-effort bombing is needed for air support of troops in combat during rapidly changing situations of maneuver, most target destruction objectives in an air campaign and in the kind of fire support needed to make OMFTS succeed can be achieved in a much shorter time using guided weapons. Such use significantly reduces weapon delivery costs by large factors; the total costs of repeat sorties needed to reduce a target with inaccurate weapons, including fuel,6 aircraft losses (both operational and those due to enemy action), 4 Such weapons have customarily been called precision guided munitions (PGMs). However, as the weapons proliferate, there is coming to be some differentiation in the terminology. For example, “precision” weapons might refer to weapons able to achieve accuracy within 3 meters, while those able to achieve accuracy to within 13 meters might simply be called “accurate.” In order to avoid confusion at a time when terminology may be evolving, weapons are referred to in this discussion simply as “guided”; the accuracy of different weapons is specified where appropriate. 5 A typical analysis of this kind, performed for this study, was provided to the committee during the course of the study. 6 In the Gulf War some 40 tons of aviation fuel, used for all associated flying in the theater, were used for every ton of weapons dropped during the air campaign.
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century and other costs of operating over a much longer time, exceed the higher initial cost of guided weapons. Also, compared with unguided weapons, guided weapons minimize incidental damage—not perfectly, because some of them will miss their targets for various reasons, but far better than unguided weapons. It should be noted incidentally in this context that matching target location accuracy with weapon accuracy through use of a common grid and universal time reference becomes a critical system need in terms of economic and military campaign imperatives for target destruction. It is not simply a “nice-to-have” improvement. Services' Planned and Potential Acquisition of Guided Weapons At present the Services, including the Navy, are acquiring a variety of guided weapons for attacking ground targets. These are listed in Table 1; Table 2 shows approximate unit costs and numbers of the different weapons that might be acquired. The numbers are based on plans discussed by various offices and field agencies during briefings to the committee, and on incidental data gleaned during the course of the study, and so they represent a “snapshot” of plans being considered for the period from 2005 to 2020. They should not be taken as firmly planned acquisitions. They are presented to provide some indication of the DOD guided weapon inventory that may exist in the time period of this study. Under current plans, these weapons, if acquired and considered as “munitions,” would represent less than 10 percent of the entire DOD munitions inventory projected for the period. The implications of the trends sketched above are that this percentage will have to increase significantly for the Navy and Marine Corps to support OMFTS—perhaps double, or more. (The cost implications are discussed below in the section “Reducing the Cost of Guided Weapons. ”) Additional weapon and system improvements are needed to support the long-range fire support part of the OMFTS concept as articulated above. Providing long-range fire support from the fleet requires ranges of 60 to 200 miles to cover the potential battle space that the V-22 will make available, including consideration of fleet standoff from shore. Fleet attack aviation will be able to cover such ranges, but it will not, alone, be able to provide the responsive, 24-hour fire support that the forward combat elements will need to have on call. The Navy is working on long-range guided shells to provide long-range fire support by naval gunfire. But the demands for timeliness and weight of fire entailed in the concept point to a ship-launched, appropriately guided tactical ballistic missile having the required range. Early candidates for such a weapon include a version of the Army's Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), which has
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century already been fired in a test from a Navy ship and could be adapted to a shipboard vertical launch system (VLS), or a ground attack version of the Navy's SM-II, Block IV-ER, which could also be launched from the VLS. Either weapon's warhead could be loaded with bomblet munitions effective against both personnel and logistic or lightly armored combat vehicles, or with brilliant antitank (BAT) submunitions. The adapted ATACMS system (called here NTACMS for Navy TACMS) would provide about twice the payload of the SM-II, but somewhat more effort might be required to integrate it into Navy ships and operations. Table 1 Guided Attack Weapons Currently Available or in Development 7 AIR TO SURFACE SURFACE TO SURFACE Advanced laser-guided bombs in various versions (GPS; penetration) Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM): 1,000- to 2,000-lb GPS/INS versions; seeker version later Joint Standoff Attack Weapon (JSOW) with CEM, BLU 108 warheads; seeker version with unitary warhead later Extended-range projectiles for naval guns (unitary and bomblet warheads) Standoff Land Attack Missile (SLAM), SLAM-Extended Range (ER) with improved unitary warhead TOMAHAWK Block IV with various warheads (CEM; BAT) ATACMS launched from ships under special circumstances (APAM, CEM, or BAT warheads) Table 2 Estimated DOD Plans for Guided Attack Weapon Inventory WEAPON ESTIMATED # PLANNED ESTIMATED UNIT COST $(103) ESTIMATED TOTAL COST $(106) TOMAHAWK 1,200 750 900 TOMAHAWK/BAT 500 1,350 675 SLAM/ER 1,000 650 650 TACMS/CEM 1,500 600 900 TACMS/BAT 500 1,200 600 JSOW/CEM 16,000 150 2,400 JSOW/BLU-108 6,000 275 1,650 JSOW/UNITARY 5,000 350 1,750 PAVEWAY III 16,000 45 720 JDAM 74,000 40 2,960 TOTALS 121,700 13,205 WEIGHTED AVG UNIT COST $(103) 108.5 7 Table 1 and Table 2 exclude older weapons such as Maverick and Paveway II, and helicopter-fired weapons such as Hellfire. These tables are intended only to illustrate the magnitude and scope of planned expenditures on guided attack weapons.
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century If budget pressures dictated that only one long-range surface-launched weapon improvement could be supported, then the missile would be preferable to the long-range guided shell. The shells could reach the lower end of the requisite range, 60 to 70 miles, and they would have small warheads relative to the missiles. The missiles, especially NTACMS, would provide much more range-payload flexibility. The rate and weight of fire on the target would be much greater with the missile than with the gun, constituting a qualitative change in the nature of the fire support. For example, one comparative study showed that it would take about 15 to 25 extended-range shells loaded with the dual-purpose submunitions described above to destroy infantry or mechanized target forces, compared with a single NTACMS missile comparably loaded (the NTACMS submunition would be larger and more effective than the one in the guided projectile).8 Typically, when infantry comes under artillery fire, the first shell to land exacts a few casualties and causes the remainder of the troops to seek shelter in foxholes. Casualties are inflicted more slowly then, but the infantry is “suppressed”—it cannot do anything else while it is under fire. But when the fire stops, it can continue with the combat mission it had in hand. With an NTACMS, on the other hand, the first missile to land would cover an area larger than a football field with submunition fragments, subjecting the entire infantry unit to devastating fire before it could take cover. The unit would be out of action from that moment on; it would not be able to return easily to its previous mission after the attack. As further points of comparison, it should be noted that the long-range shells for naval gunfire each require more magazine space, thereby limiting the extent of the classical suppressive barrage that they could deliver. Their design is such that they will increase gun barrel wear, limiting naval guns to perhaps 300 shots before a new barrel liner is needed (compared with 10 times that many for conventional shells alone). Finally, because of the difference in terminal effects, the total cost of destroying targets like the infantry or mechanized forces mentioned above will be roughly the same (within 10 to 20 percent) for the two weapon systems, long-range shells or tactical missiles. Navy warships in the aggregate will have many vertical launch tubes —to be numbered in the thousands. However, when ship weapon loads for offense and defense must be planned and strike missiles must be divided, for example, between the NTACMS for battlefield fire support and the Tomahawk for long-range strike, and when the number of ships available offshore for any landing is 8 Assessment of Alternative Ship-to-Shore Fire Support Systems (U), Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, Virginia, June 1993.
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century taken into account, it may appear that operationally there are not enough missiles readily available to meet the fire support needs of a major campaign. As a further complication, the VLS bay cannot be reloaded at sea. For these reasons, the Navy could consider outfitting dedicated fire support ships, perhaps based on available supertanker hulls to save costs, to provide sufficient at-sea rounds and a capability for at-sea reload from the ships' holds by cranes aboard. Only a few such ships, one or two per ocean, might be needed to provide formidable support to OMFTS along the littoral. Their vulnerability to missile, submarine, or air attack would be mitigated by covering warships, in the same way as is done for logistic transports and the fleet's underway replenishment groups. It is noted in this context that another kind of fire support ship is under consideration—a nuclear-powered guided missile submarine (SSGN) that would be derived from decommissioned nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) (with appropriate a daptation to meet the needs of extant arms control agreements). The submarines ' missile tubes would be loaded with about 300 Tomahawks or other tactical missiles of equivalent size.9 If known to be stationed offshore in a crisis area, these ships would add to deterrence in a valuable way. Among other uses, their stealth would make them an effective source of surprise delivery of preparatory fire against stationary targets that could interfere with the opening of an amphibious campaign; and they could be outfitted to launch special operations forces for mine clearance and other clandestine missions. Additional needs to enable long-range fire support include enough targeting pods for guided weapon delivery by all Navy and Marine Corps attack aircraft; a guided submunition dispenser; and a replacement weapon to carry out the missions intended for the canceled Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile (TSSAM). For the first, the pods cost approximately $2 million each. Acquiring them would be part of the resource problem discussed in the Chapter 6 section entitled “Resources.” For the dispenser, the Navy and Marine Corps could join the U.S. Air Force Wind-Corrected Munition Dispenser program, or simply acquire the dispenser after it is fully developed. TSSAM replacements are under discussion, and a replacement acquisition may be initiated in the near future. 9 Navy-21 Update, Implications of Advancing Technology for Naval Operations in the Twenty-First Century, National Research Council, Naval Studies Board (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1993).
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Reducing the Cost of Guided Weapons The high unit cost of guided attack weapons has kept inventories low and has thereby inhibited wide application of the guided weapons. Even though overall system cost per target kill has consistently been shown to be lower when guided attack weapons are used than when free-fall bombs are used, the DOD budgeting structure requires that the weapons be purchased separately, out of budget allocations for munitions or missiles. Taken alone, out of the system context, the unit cost of the weapons is much higher than the cost of unguided munitions. But feasible changes in guided weapon design, acquisition, and utilization, outlined below, can reduce average unit costs of such weapons by 50 percent or more, thereby making larger inventories and broader use more feasible. Weapon Design Elaborate seekers and data links associated with weapon guidance are the most costly design components of guided weapons. A key means of reducing weapon cost is, therefore, to simplify these elements of weapon design. Elaborate seekers are needed only for special targets such as bridges or certain kinds of buildings, and for other situations where extremely high accuracy (e.g., 3 meters or less miss distance) is needed and there is no line of sight from the weapon delivery system to the target. Apart from such specialized situations, GPS/inertial systems can be used for autonomous guidance to known target coordinates. When a point target is in view of an observer or of a launching aircraft and weather permits, laser guidance homing on a laser spot can be used. For distant targets, fine fiber-optic lines can provide the analog of television guidance with a radio link, with higher bandwidth and no vulnerability to enemy jamming, although the target can be masked. (Fiber-optic guidance systems have been tested successfully to distances of tens of miles. They are especially useful for surface-and helicopter-launched weapons.) Many fire support targets are in view of an observer who can adjust aim for the weapon; for this purpose, JSTARS or UAVs can be considered “observers,” in addition to forward observers attached to ground forces. Expensive data links are needed when detailed two-way information transfer, including complete images, is required between target and targeter for guidance. Often, however, this requirement is based on a weapon delivery concept requiring continuously updated target location information and either automatic or manual correction of the weapon flight path to the target by observation of a visual image of the target beyond the horizon and return of weapon flight path data for flight path correction. The desire for such guidance is stimulated by concern that expensive standoff weapons may be wasted or that
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century re-attacks may be undertaken needlessly because it is not known whether the first weapon struck the target. However, updated target information can be sent to the targeter by observers like those mentioned above. The targeter can then send that information, or continual target location signals allowing weapon flight path error correction to static target locations, to the weapon over simple, low-data-rate, one-way data links that are much less expensive. If a weapon-to-targeter link is needed for bomb damage indication (BDI) (i.e., to indicate that the weapon will indeed strike the target within a small error from the aim point), a single image frame before impact, requiring a much less expensive link to the targeter, will usually suffice. Post-strike bomb damage assessment (BDA) using UAV reconnaissance can mitigate many wasted re-attacks by indicating the targets that have survived initial attacks, provided the shortcomings in BDA that were brought to light in the Gulf War continue to be remedied. The least expensive guidance systems will be based on GPS/inertial guidance, in which the target location is known in GPS coordinates (as discussed above in the section “Matching Targeting and Weapon Accuracy”) and the weapon uses its own GPS position to update an inertial measurement unit (IMU) continually to compensate for the drift of the IMU. For reasons of cost and simplicity, GPS/inertial guidance is so attractive that its widespread use in U.S. weapon guidance systems will be unavoidable. There are problems in the use of the system, however. The GPS satellite signal at the weapon is very low compared with the signal that even a low-power jammer can send. The P(Y) precision code available for use by the U.S. military is relatively difficult to jam once the weapon has locked onto it, but achieving that lock-on in the presence of a jamming signal will be difficult. Although jamming after lock-on to the P(Y) code will still be feasible, the required jammer power will increase, thereby making the jammers more difficult to proliferate and making them viable targets for attack with radiation-homing missiles, such as the high-speed antiradiation missile (HARM). A further concern is that, with GPS widely available commercially, opponents could use it to guide weapons against U.S. forces. The commercially available navigation accuracy based on the C/A code is lower than that achievable with the P(Y) code, but that lack can be compensated for in many cases by use of differential GPS, comparing the signal at the weapon with that at a known location. These problems are potentially serious enough that a Defense Science Board (DSB) study group was convened recently to examine them. That
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century classified study10 recommended ways to mitigate the worst potential effects of jamming and exploitation. Based on results of the DSB study, and on further analyses carried out in the course of this study, a reasonable course of action would include the following steps, among others: Use adaptive nulling antennas that can exclude the jamming signals, where the expense of such antennas is justified. In most cases, except for very long range weapons like Tomahawk and its successors, that expense would not be justified for weapons, but it would be justified for aircraft that launch weapons repeatedly. Provide for transfer of position location and weapon lock-on to the P(Y) code before the weapon is launched from the aircraft. (This is not a complete solution, because when the weapon is released it is under the aircraft and its antenna is shadowed by the aircraft; the weapon then loses lock with the GPS satellites. The complete solution requires a fast correlator to allow reacquisition of GPS while the initialization fix is still accurate, or a fiber-optic link that will remain connected until the weapon is out of the shadow of the aircraft.) The circuitry must be built into the launching aircraft for this purpose, and this is being done in the F/A-18 E/F. Retrofit has been estimated at $2 million per aircraft for those not built with the capability ab initio. However, the need is strong enough that the expense must be considered justified if a large aircraft force is to be available to launch a large inventory of weapons. A mitigating factor is that the retrofit costs can be spread over time, to match the weapon acquisition schedules. Pursue ongoing R&D to perfect fiber-optic-based and other IMUs whose designs are projected to drift no more than 0.1 degree per hour. Such inertial units can carry the weapons to their targets with only a small loss of accuracy in the short flight time during which most weapons will be exposed to effective GPS jamming signals as they approach the targets. Take any other steps to force jammer power and size up, to make the jammers viable targets for antijammer weapons. 10 Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on the Global Positioning System (U), November 1995.
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Prepare to deny GPS guidance to hostile users. Under international agreements by which the United States furnishes GPS for commercial use, general denial is prohibited. However, the C/A signal can be denied locally in a combat area, by modifying the broadcast schedule and by use of the same techniques that are of concern to us. Work to perfect these techniques must include attention to denial of differential GPS using the C/A code, to ensure that highly accurate GPS guidance is not available to an enemy. The possibility of shifting the GPS system to commercial control is under discussion within the U.S. government. The implications of such a potential shift are uncertain. The availability of the precision code for military use would not be affected. There might be some inhibition of work to counter the system vulnerabilities in military applications. However, it may also be determined that universal use also carries its own protections. Once the entire world 's navigation depends on the system, there should be a reluctance to disrupt the system because all users, including the disruptor, would be affected. These problems raise the question of whether the Navy and Marine Corps, and the other Services, should accept dependence on a system with a known vulnerability that must be accounted for, at some cost, so early in the design stages of so many weapons. The answer is that there will be heavy dependence on GPS for all manner of military operations with which weapon delivery will have to be coordinated; that such coordination will be greatly facilitated by using GPS for targeting and weapon guidance; that the need for guided weapons will be so strong that large inventories will be required; and that the cost savings from using this guidance are essential to providing those large weapon inventories. The counter-countermeasures will add some cost, but not enough to outweigh the overall cost advantages of using GPS broadly in weapon guidance. When appropriate low-cost IMUs are developed, the cost penalty of the counter-countermeasures will be very small for most weapons. Weapon Utilization Another approach to cost savings in acquiring a large, guided-weapon inventory lies in appropriate selection of the weapon mix in the inventory, based on utilization plans. Most weapons can be “competent, ” rather than “brilliant,” because the accuracy needed varies according to the target. Only a few high-value targets would need highly accurate weapons with elaborate seekers. The weapon mix in the total weapon inventory can be designed accordingly. Three-meter CEPs (or smaller) are needed for unitary warheads to be used against hard targets. A 10- to 100-meter “basket” is adequate for delivery of submunition warheads that disperse into a pattern, or for weapons having
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century sensors or seekers to acquire their targets (this “basket” can be up to a mile wide for warheads containing BAT submunitions launched against distant tank columns). Operational concepts can be adapted to efficient weapon utilization. For example, to stop a distant armored column moving to the attack, missiles or bombs loaded with combined-effects submunitions can be used to destroy the column's softer vehicles and exposed personnel. Distant, unsupported tanks are a lesser threat and can be attacked subsequently, quite possibly with greater effect. Finally, it might be noted that, after air defenses have been effectively evaded, suppressed, or destroyed, the new JDAM and, in good weather, laser-guided bombs are likely to remain indefinitely the weapons of choice on the basis of cost-effectiveness (see Table 2). Acquisition Management Acquisition management includes both the design of the weapon inventory, from a point of view other than that provided above, and the administrative and management means by which the inventory is acquired. Weapon performance requirements must be kept to the bare essentials, disavowing features considered simply “nice to have.” Weapon designs should avoid costly features such as seekers or data links specialized for extreme situations. By and large, the Services can adapt standardized approaches to diverse mission needs. Even if such adaptation introduces some inefficiencies, the net result will be much lower overall costs for the weapons and the target destruction for which they are being acquired. There would thus be fewer types of weapons, each in larger quantities, in all the Service inventories. The cost leverage in production of weapons in larger quantities can lead to reduction by factors of two in unit costs of individual weapons, in addition to the 30 to 50 percent savings estimated to be achievable through technical and management changes. Standardized components across weapon types can also reduce costs, through application of economies of scale to acquisition of the components. This may not be possible for all components, if existing production facilities are already so specialized that changing weapon designs would add rather than save cost. But it should be applicable to new components appearing from current R&D, such as advanced, low-cost IMUs. Finally, the DOD is working hard on acquisition reform. This will involve, among other things, adopting commercial practices for managing production and ensuring quality, in a departure from detailed military specification (MILSPEC) requirements; reduction of decision times about what to acquire at
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century critical milestones; reduced government inspection requirements; and other reforms. These trends should be pursued in all guided-weapon acquisition. Recommended Actions In the absence of data from experience, it is difficult to estimate the total cost savings that may accrue in acquiring a guided weapon inventory by following all of the approaches outlined above. A single study11 performed by a group of experts on behalf of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition concluded, before the decision was made to cancel that weapon program for other reasons, that savings of 30 percent could be made in the TSSAM program by adopting “best commercial practice” acquisition roles, and an additional 20 percent by technical changes in the design. These results led to the above estimate of 30 to 50 percent savings in guided weapon unit cost. This estimate did not yet account for savings that might accrue from acquiring more units of fewer weapon types. Despite these uncertainties, it is clear that all the recommended steps in this section, if implemented, would make a significantly larger inventory of guided weapons feasible within the resources planned for such weapons. The evolving operational concepts will demand the larger inventory. Therefore, it is recommended that The planned guided weapon family as a whole (Table 1) be reviewed and revised according to the principles outlined above, where the application of those principles would provide a net benefit (significant revisions in guided-weapon acquisition plans across all the Services may be justified for the gains achievable); and New guided weapon developments and acquisitions in the future follow the principles outlined. 11 Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile (TSSAM) Affordability Team Final Report, January 1995.
Representative terms from entire chapter: