Chapter III. Technology Transition
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)

3. Modernization Strategy

The NBC Modernization strategy reflected in this chapter represents the emerging joint NBC defense strategy in Detection, Protection, Decontamination, and the Army strategy in Smoke/Obscurants. The joint NBC modernization strategy is focused on biological agent point detection, and remote early warning detection (chemical and biological). Efforts in Decontamination and Individual Protection, recently at a low level, are being increased in recognition of their payoff to sustainment of the forces and increased mobility. Collective protection efforts remain significantly reduced and refocused to provide far term capabilities. A capability to identify significant improvements in decontamination is being maintained. Also included in the NBC section is a subsection on Smoke/Obscurants and Target Defeating technologies.

NBC Defense

Protecting the Force is paramount in the joint NBC defense strategy. Early detection and warning is key to this strategy by providing situational awareness and the capability of U.S. forces to counter any NBC threat. Chemical and Biological detection systems, fully integrated in the digital battlefield, will enable battlefield commanders to detect NBC warfare agents at operationally significant levels and immediately activate protective or avoidance measures. Decision aids will assist commanders at all levels. The goal of protection is to insulate forces from NBC agents using clothing ensembles and respirators as well as collective filtration systems for weapons systems and shelters. By carefully balancing performance requirements with human physiological and psychological parameters, individual protection technologies will enable the forces to sustain their mission with minimal casualties or degradation of capabilities when an NBC threat is encountered. Integrated Environmental Control and longer life NBC protection will be provided for an increasing need in collective protection for command posts, soldier comfort, and medical needs. When NBC contamination cannot be avoided, decontamination systems and point detectors will be used to expedite reconstitution of contaminated personnel and equipment. New decon technologies and systems will minimize logistics burden and reduce contamination impact on mission effectiveness. CB modeling and simulation technologies are being enhanced to assess doctrine, training, and materiel operating in an NBC environment, to provide equipment design parameters, and to serve as a real-time decision aid for battlefield commanders. The following goals define the NBC Defense Strategy:


Smoke and obscurants provide a potent combat multiplier for increasing the effectiveness of certain weapons systems, countering enemy RSTA efforts, and supporting deception operations. The thrust of the smoke/obscurant technology strategy is:

Target Defeat Capabilities (TDC)

Target Defeat Capabilities will provide an increase in weapons effectiveness across the spectrum of conflict and throughout the range of weapons systems from soldier-fired to smart munitions. The TDC modernization strategy is to pursue limited, high payoff capabilities with strong user support:

Modernization efforts will be implemented through horizontal integration of NBC capabilities into major weapon systems. NBC materiel acquisition will be conducted via technology insertions, product improvements, and advanced concepts. Integration efforts such as these will ensure significant gains in operational survivability and mission sustainment at modest incremental costs. The Joint NBC modernization strategy is postured to meet the challenges facing U.S. forces in the 21st Century.