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U.S. Navy plans to redefine warfare needs: long-term budget planning to focus on precision strike, land attack capabilities.

Naval warfare will change in the years ahead, as new capabilities enter the fleet. But, for the most part, the battle space of the future will be made up primarily of the systems and the platforms that are out there today, officials said.

"We will put sensors, networks, weapons, modify them, change them, adapt them, hot the network centric warfare challenge would be modifying today's weapons into the battle space of the future," said Rear Adm. Charles Johnston, the vice commander of the Naval Air Systems Command.

The problem, however, is that a lot of people are not aligned to the network centric view of the world outside the Department of the Navy, said Rear Arm. Mark Fitzgerald, the director of the Navy's Air Warfare Division. "For instance, OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] is still aligned around platforms as is the joint staff and as is the Hill," he said.

"You still have people trying to judge programs [based] on die platforms, and not on the weapons, sensors and networks. It is absolutely clear to anyone who looks at the problem that you can use a 747 as a fighter airplane these days if you have the right missiles on it and the right radars."

At the core of the Navy's war-fighting strategy is the overarching concept known as Sea Power 21. The elements of Sea Power 21 are "sea-shield," "sea-strike" and "sea-basing," glued together by ForceNet, which is the networking capability.

Sea-shield refers to the power to dominate the seas and ensure access to coastal areas for the U.S. military services and allies. Sea-strike is about providing long-range, sustained firepower ashore. Sea-basing means the ability to launch operations from die sea, without having to secure a beachhead.

In the program requirements for fiscal year 2005, Fitzgerald said the Navy conducted a midlevel analysis of how the capabilities within the Department of the Navy match up with the joint world, Fitzgerald said. The Navy will have to sift core programs from non-core programs, according to him.

"The real goal here is to identify gaps in capability and to balance our investment across the three billets of strike, shield and basing, and, of course, ForceNet," Fitzgerald said at a conference sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. "Then, [we have] to prioritize the science and technology investment based on those capabilities. I think we did that partially in '05, and I think we are getting a lot deeper in '06."

Nevertheless, a series of gaps cropped up for 2005 based on the current analysis. They are time-critical strike and access to targeting information by the shooter. "Now, we send the information to the shooter and let him shoot," said Fitzgerald. "We want to get to the pull, where the shooter pulls the information he needs."

The Air Warfare Division needs science and technology sponsors. "We are aligned along the 14 FNCs [Future Naval Capabilities]," said Fitzgerald.

The FNCs represent priority areas for research and development that should be expedited for rapid deployment to the fleet. They range from autonomy for unmanned vehicles and electric warships to anti-submarine warfare and missile defense.

Meanwhile, realistic schedules need to be balanced with risks and cost benefits, he added.

"Clearly, it is all about money," he said. "We work very hard at getting realism to the operational requirements documents, the KPPs [Key Performance Parameters] versus spiral development, which seems to be the new buzzword. But what we have experienced in the past is people biting off more than they can chew in a given capability, and then we end up doing our favorite trick, which is de-scoping programs further down the line, which does not lend to requirements stability."

The best bet would be to focus on cote functions first, and only after those are achieved, technology can spiral into spin-off capabilities, Fitzgerald noted.

"The biggest problems we will have in the future" will be adjusting capabilities to the existing defense budget, be said.

"We struggle [with] identifying what the requirement is," said Rear Adm. Charles Young, the director of strategic strike programs. "In the past, we have relied too much on identifying the solution too early. Therefore, when you bring the witness to the table and it does not meet that narrowly defined requirement, we do not have the support of the war fighter or the research sponsor in carrying that out."

Oftentimes, the Navy does not involve a wide enough group when the early decision is made to bring in new technology, Young said. "You have got to bring in the fighter, the program manager and the industry technology folks, and all have to agree where you want to go," he said. "You have got to be able to accept failure" and have a back up plan.

The program executive office for strike weapons and unmanned aviation acts as the bridge between industry and war fighter, said Edmund Anderson, director for advanced technology. The PEO oversees seven program offices.

A plethora of new technologies is coming across Anderson's desk these days, he said in an interview. "Stone of this technology is like watching the grass grow," he said. "You seed it, water it and when you get to a point that yon believe it has overcome some of the hurdles that would allow the entry price into the program of record to be affordable, then we make the jump into the POM [program budgeting] process."

One of the most important technologies that the Navy currently is waiting to move along soon is a system called HART, short for Hornet Autonomous Real Time Targeting. In simple terms, HART is a kit that goes on a GPS-guided bomb--JDAM [Joint Direct Attack Munition]--and allows the bomb to visualize the target, explained Anderson.

With HART, instead of relying on targeting data from satellites, an F/A-18 pilot could use an on-board system to feed target images into the JDAM guidance kit, enabling strikes on targets of opportunity.

"The pilot can take a snapshot picture from the sensor on his airplane and install it in the bomb. It goes directly from the bomb to the target," Anderson said. "Accuracy is better than what GPS can do and would not be affected in the presence of GPS jamming. The GPS drops it into the basket and then the sensor carries it out."

The HART technology will be integrated on the F/A-18 E/F aircraft.

The HART program includes preplanned and real-time, precision- targeting capability using F/A-18 sensor information as the targeting source, and a precision-guided weapon (JDAM) and a precision-guidance set.

The sensor information will be used to create a data file that will be downloaded to the weapon before launch. The weapon will use the sensor data file and autonomous target acquisition to increase accuracy and reduce collateral damage.

Because JDAM is a joint Navy-Air Force program, a HART-equipped weapon will not be called JDAM, but rather HART precision-guided weapon.

The Boeing Co. in St. Louis, Mo., will be the prime contractor, said Anderson. The technology already has been developed, but the company is waiting for the green light to start with the integration work. An infrared seeker will have to be put on JDAM, which has never been done before.

At press time, both Boeing and Anderson's office were waiting for Milestone B approval so the program can proceed to System Development and Demonstration. A Navy spokesperson declined to give any budget numbers for the program.

The HART program will be managed at the PMA-201 office, at Naval Air Systems Command.

"We [know] the war fighter wants it. OPNAV wants it. They have got money in it, and we are supposed to get it on contract, but we can't get it on contract unless we get approval to proceed," said Anderson.

A program that has received significant hacking from Congress is the precision terrain-aided navigation for the Tomahawk missile, said Anderson. "They certainly gave us a plus-up this coming year," be said. That technology would allow Navy pilots to fly in the presence of GPS jamming or to guide cruise missiles accurately, without the use of GPS, he explained.

His office also is looking at technologies that allow missiles to select targets out of the background clutter. "An example of that was the one that we have implemented on the SLAM ER [Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response] called 'Smart,' and we have gone through testing on that," he said. "Now, we are moving on to the next phase, where we are going to use it against a mobile target."

Another effort under way is called Strike Cell, which "puts together all the strike dements into one place," explained Anderson, "so that the war commander can move the Strike Cells around where the enemy behavior is most likely to be detected and engaged."

Future strike capabilities also could be enhanced greatly with directed energy weapons, said Anderson. "Depending on whether we can get the technology along to a high enough energy level, they have a chance to be transformational," he said.

"We used to send a flight of planes to kill one target," he said. With directed energy weapons, "we send a plane to kill multiple targets, maybe eight or nine at the maximum."

He said that directed energy technology--lasers and high-power microwaves--will not be mature enough for precision weapons until 2015.

High-power microwaves are difficult to control. "They go where they go," said Anderson. "Antennas help a lot, but no matter what you do, there is a certain amount of energy that goes where you do not want it to go. That needs some more science and technology to work well from some broad weapons perspective."
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Title Annotation:Naval Systems
Author:Tiron, Roxana
Publication:National Defense
Date:Oct 1, 2003
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