Consistent with the commitment to sustain its science and technology base, the Army 6.2 program identifies and focuses on selected technologies that will provide the maximum warfighting capability for every dollar invested. This demands a significant dual commitment to in-house Army applied research and to the expansion of cooperative efforts with the other Services and industry. The Army leverages research and technology opportunities in academia, industry, and the international community to promote efficiency and synergy at all levels. The Army Research Laboratory implementation of the federated laboratory concept in 1996 will play a major role in this strategy. The technology leveraging and transfer program is discussed more fully in Chapter VII.
The Army S&T oversight process, as described in Chapter I, prioritizes technology needs and opportunities based upon their potential to provide critical battlefield capabilities. These capabilities are jointly defined by the combat and materiel developers. The early and continuous involvement of the warfighter in the S&T capabilities definition process allows for a balanced look at the "Technology Push" coming from the Army's S&T community and the "Requirements Pull" prompted by the immediate needs of the warfighter. A mechanism which promotes this alignment is the interplay between the combat and materiel developers that occurs during the Army STO Reviews and the TRADOC S&T Reviews. Both take place in the spring, and result in an S&T program that is more attuned to warfighter needs.
Studies by the BAST-STAR Panel, the Defense and Army Science Boards, the Army's in-house S&T community, and the TRADOC battle labs and schools have all recommended that Army S&T focus on "critical" technologies. The Army 6.2 investment in the 19 technology areas reflects this commitment to eliminate the barriers that impede technology opportunities presented by the most promising state-of-the-art advances. While its main focus is providing capabilities for land force dominance, the Army investment is also aligned with the DoD strategy as summarized in Chapter I.
Each section in this chapter is structured to define the technology area, to summarize the Army's ongoing technology work, and to provide a forecast of future capabilities. The years shown on each Technical Objectives table approximate key aspects of the PPBES process timetable. FY97-98 relates to the budget years. FY99-03 addresses the POM time period, and FY04-12 covers the Army RDA Plan. The Army Science and Technology Objectives (STOs) that are associated with this chapter can be found in Volume II, Annex A, of this plan.