4. Fire Support Roadmap
Table III-N-2 presents a summary of ACTDs, ATDs, and major technology demonstrations leading to systems development and upgrade. Modernization of the fire support operating system depends upon the development of these key systems for fire support coordination, close support, counterfire, command and control, and target acquisition, as well as munitions and rockets, and their ultimate fielding as a fire support system of systems.
Table III-N-2. Fire Support Demonstration and System Summary
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As shown in Figure III-N-1, S&T efforts focus on:
- Maximization of kill capability
- Advanced gun/rocket propulsion
- Automated ammunition handling
- Integrated fire control and battle management
- Signature reduction and increased protection
- Classification, tracking, and identification of ground vehicles
- Sensors (acoustic and electro-optical) and processing
- AI and computing technologies
- Increased battlefield operational mobility
Figure III-N-1. Roadmap for Fire Support Modernization
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a. ATDs and Other Technology Demonstrations
Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) ATD (95-98). This ATD will demonstrate a significant improvement in the range and accuracy of the MLRS free-flight artillery rocket. Improved accuracy results in a significant reduction in the number of rockets required to defeat the target (as much as sixfold at extended ranges). Other benefits include an associated reduction in the logistics burden (transportation of rockets), reduced chances of collateral damage and fratricide, reduced mission times (resulting in increased system survivability), and increased effective range for the MLRS rocket. The ATD will design, fabricate, and flight-test a low cost guidance and control package to be housed in the nose of the rocket, thus minimizing the changes to the current rocket. A low cost Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) coupled with a canard control system will be demonstrated in Phase I, followed by a GPS-aided IMU solution in Phase II. The IMU package will provide a 23 mil accuracy sufficient for some MLRS warheads with the GPS-aided package providing a 10-meter CEP accuracy for warheads which require precision accuracy. The package to be demonstrated will result in a rocket which is more cost effective and more lethal while requiring no change to crew training procedures or maintenance procedures (during the 15-year shelflife). The guidance and control package will be designed with applicability to bomblet, mine, precision guided submunition, and unitary/earth penetrator warheads. An EMD program is in the POM with an FY98 start. Supports: RFPI ACTD, Guided MLRS.
Precision Guided Mortar Munition (PGMM) ATD (94-99). The 120mm PGMM will demonstrate a multimission, multimode, precision munition capable of defeating high value point targets and light armored vehicles at extended ranges (12-15 km). Its modes of operation include autonomous fire-and-forget and/or laser designation for a surgical strike capability. Supports: RFPI ACTD 120mm mortars, Precision Guided Mortar Munition. See Close Combat Light, Section H, for details.
Autonomous Intelligent Submunition (AIS) Technology Demonstration (94-97). This demonstration will evaluate real-time performance of a state-of-the-art millimeter wave/IR sensor hardware for automatic acquisition and engagement of mobile and stationary high-value targets in realistic battlefield environments, various clutter, weather, and countermeasure conditions. Supports: RFPI ACTD and SADARM P3I.
Advanced Extended Range Cargo Projectile (AERCAP) Technology Demonstrations (95-02). These TDs will demonstrate both 155mm artillery and 120mm mortar projectile concepts which address conventional fire support needs for increased range delivery of cargo payloads. The 155mm Extended Range Artillery (ERA) Projectile - XM982 will deliver self-destructing Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) cargo to extended ranges (4070 km) and accuracy with LCCM by utilizing a hybrid rocket design. This design incorporates highly refined rear base-burn and front rocket technologies with a new streamlined configuration, cargo expulsion technique, accuracy enhancements, and imbedded fuzing into one cargo-carrying projectile. Additionally, research and experimentation is being conducted to deliver self-destructing DPICM cargo to extended ranges (12 km) from a 120mm composite mortar cartridge (ER-DPICM, XM984). The 12 km represents a 67 percent range increase and a 177 percent increase in area coverage. Supports: Precision Strike, High Capacity Artillery Projectile (HICAP), Depth and Simultaneous Attack and Dismounted Battlespace Battle Labs.
Indirect Precision Fire (IPF) ATD (96-01). This ATD will develop and demonstrate an auto-registration and guided competent munition, each miniaturized in a standard 155mm fuze package, to provide a revolutionary accuracy improvement. The effectiveness of all current and future artillery projectiles for all platforms will be improved, enabling first round fire for effect. The ATD will consist of two concept demonstrations: the auto-registration demonstration in FY98 and the guided competent munitions demonstration in FY01. These demonstrations will encompass a series of projectiles that will have the competent munitions modules screwed into the fuze well fired at different ranges. Supports: all existing and future 155mm munitions/platforms.
Rapid Force Projection Initiative (RFPI) ACTD (95-00). This ACTD will demonstrate a highly lethal, survivable, and rapidly air deployable enhancement to the Early Entry Task Force. It includes an automated Fire Control System (FCS) for selected Howitzers and the Enhanced Fiber Optic Guided Missile (EFOGM) non-line-of-sight weapon system. Further details are provided in Close Combat Light, Section III-H.
155mm Automated Howitzer (AH) Technology Demonstration (94-01). This program will demonstrate an automated, digital fire control system for a 155mm towed artillery system. The digital Fire Control System (FCS) has self location and direction determination. The FCS performs onboard, ballistic calculations that provide the system with greater responsiveness, accuracy, lethality, and survivablity. The advanced fire control technology supports the RFPI ACTD and subsequent ACTD. Automation such as self-location and direction determination, auto-rammer, and auto-primer loading are expected to increase efficiency, responsiveness, and accuracy. Supports: LW Howitzer Program and RFPI ACTD.
Decision Aids for Advanced Artillery and Armament Decision Aids Technology Demonstrations (94-00). The initial demonstrations evaluate a prototype decision-aid system for self-propelled artillery utilizing artificial intelligence and advanced computing techniques. The system consists of two decision aid modules, i.e., Reconnaissance, Selection, and Occupation of Position (RSOP) and Self Defense (SD). It will reduce planning time required for movement to a new fire position, decrease response time to a new mission, and increase self-survivability capability. The follow-on demonstration (Armament Decision Aids) will build upon previously developed technology and link the individual fire support platform to the digitized battlefield. This demonstration will allow individual or groups of fire support platforms to operate, as needed, outside of the traditional fire support command and control (C2) structure and fully exploit new plans, procedures, and tactics of the digital battlefield. Benefits will include improved situational awareness, synchronized movement with maneuver forces, and, ideally, fratricide avoidance. Supports: Crusader.
JPSD Precision/Rapid Counter MRL ACTD (95-98). This ACTD will demonstrate a significantly enhanced capability for U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) to neutralize the North Korean 240mm Multiple Rocket Launcher (MRL) system. Because of the brief time in which this target is expected to be exposed and vulnerable to counterfire, near-continuous surveillance and near-instantaneous target acquisition will be required as well as the employment of innovative target attack means. Smart munitions for the MLRS Family of Submunitions (MFOM) will be demonstrated through simulations in the ACTD to include smart munitions for increased effectiveness and coverage. Project management and funding will continue through FY98. Supports: Precision Strike.
Ducted Rocket Engine (DRE) Technology Demonstration (FY96-98). The Ducted Rocket Engine (DRE) program is a joint research and development effort with Japan to develop and demonstrate a ducted rocket engine for a medium surface-to-air missile which will significantly increase the intercept envelope against aircraft and cruise missiles when compared with surface-to-air missiles utilizing current solid rocket propulsion technology. It is the first developmental program under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Defense/Japan Defense Agency Systems and Technology Forum (S&TF). The component technology development and engine demonstration effort is focused on the design and testing of a minimum signature, insensitive munitions compatible booster, supersonic air inlets, and a solid fuel gas generator which provides for high impulse, minimum signature ramburner operation. Performance data acquired from the DRE program integrated tests may provide a basis for the design of a future, operationally deployable surface-to-air and/or long range surface-to-surface missile system. Supports: Future missile systems, Battle Comand, Depth and Simultaneous Attack and Early Entry Lethality and Survivability Battle Labs.
105mm Terminally Guided Projectile (TGP) Technology Demonstration (98-01). The 105 TGP program will demonstrate a precision guided artillery projectile with an autonomous fire-and-forget capability against armored targets and/or a laser designating capability for defeat of point targets (bunkers, buildings, high value targets). The 105 TGP munition will increase the lethality and survivability of the Light Forces by providing a new capability to existing 105mm weapon platforms. Supports: RFPI ACTD.
Multimode Airframe Technology (MAT) Technology Demonstration (95-98). This technology demonstration will provide the battlefield commander with a long range (40+ km) precision guided artillery weapon that will provide light forces surgical kill capacity against heavy armor, helicopter, and bunker targets. Further, it will provide extended range and precision terminal homing capabilities, enhanced survivability and lethality, jam-proof data link, and low-signature turbojet launch using GPS/IMU for navigation. Supports: RFPI ACTD, JPSD Precision/Rapid Counter MRL ACTD.