News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan

I. Conventional Weapons

1. Scope

The ultimate goal of all weapons systems is to destroy the target. The conventional weapons technology area develops conventional armaments for all new and upgraded nonnuclear weapons. It includes efforts directed specifically toward nonnuclear munitions, their components and launching systems, guns, rockets and guided missiles, projectiles, special warfare munitions, mortars, mines, countermine systems, and their associated combat control. There are six major subareas: (1) fuzing—safe and arm, (2) guidance and control, (3) guns, (4) mines/countermines, (5) warheads/explosives and rocket/missile propulsion, and (6) weapon lethality/vulnerability.

2. Rationale

Conventional weapons technology strongly supports the needs of the Army in both tactical and strategic mission areas. It responds to the Army’s operational needs for cost–effective system upgrades and next–generation systems in support of the top joint warfighting capabilities objectives. Performance objectives focus on projecting lethal or less–than–lethal force precisely against an enemy with minimal friendly casualties and collateral damage. Objectives address the need for the following capabilities: affordable all–weather, day/night precision strike against critical mobile and fixed targets; defense against aircraft, ballistic missiles, and low–observable cruise missiles; effective mine detection and neutralization to permit movement of forces on land; gun/missile systems for advanced, lighter weight air/land combat vehicles and vehicle self–defense systems; lightweight, high–performance gun systems for artillery applications; and precise lethal force projection.

Conventional weapons technologies, when developed and demonstrated, have both an excellent historical record of transition and many future transition opportunities. Examples of the latter include systems currently under development (Crusader, Javelin, line–of–sight antitank (LOSAT), enhanced fiber–optic guided missile (EFOGM)), potential upgrades to existing systems (Patriot fuze), and potential new systems (including intelligent minefield (IMF), precision–guided mortar munition (PGMM), autonomous intelligent submunition (AIS), 155–mm lightweight automated howitzer (LAH), and extended range artillery (ERA) projectile).

3. Technology Subareas

a. Fuzing—Safe and Arm

Goals and Timeframes

Fuzing—safe and arm (S&A) technologies address issues associated with advanced future threats, both air and surface. Primary emphasis is on advanced sensors, signal processing algorithms, guidance integrated fuzing, global positioning system (GPS), miniaturized solid–state components, countermeasure resistance, electronic safe and arm, reliability, and affordability. Major products include an advanced GPS–based artillery registration round in FY98, demonstrations of a standoff fuze against reactive/active armor in FY99 and miniaturized electronic fuzing for objective individual combat weapon (OICW) bursting munitions in FY00, low energy S&A devices in FY03, and low–cost electronic S&A devices in FY05.

Major Technical Challenges

The primary technical challenges for guidance integrated fuzing are in M&S, sensor and signal processing, target characterization, and testing. The challenge for gun munitions is to develop affordable fuzes that will function at the desired point in an adverse environment (electronic countermeasures (ECM)/electromagnetic interference (EMI), obscured targets, cluttered battlefield).

Specific challenges are:

Construct a guidance integrated fuze (GIF) simulation to provide a common basis for comparing performance of different concepts under given sets of flight dynamics.
Miniaturize GPS components.
Integrate RF and IR hardware/software to operate in both guidance and fuze time domains spanning three orders of magnitude (103 to 106 second).
Sense a second launch environment for safing and arming nonspin munitions.
Devise a small generic electronic safe and arm fuze with dual safeties for tank and mortar applications.
Solve the helicopter–in–clutter problem by developing an electrostatic sensor fuze.

b. Guidance and Control

Goals and Timeframes

Guidance and control (G&C) of conventional weapons is the application of sensors, computational capability, and specific force generation that allows a weapon to engage both fixed and moving targets with improved accuracy and lethality while minimizing collateral damage and casualties. The major milestones are:

By FY98, demonstrate performance gains in automatic target recognition (ATR) from multispectral sensor fusion.
By FY98, complete validation of algorithm for combat identification of aircraft utilizing high range resolution radar profiles, electronic support measures, and jet engine modulation.
By FY98, complete hardware–in–the–loop evaluation of prototype guidance sections of 2.75–inch precision–guided rockets.
By FY98, demonstrate high–resolution infrared imaging seeker technology through captive flight and flight test. Demonstrate millimeter–wave (MMW) datalink technology packaged on a missile through flight test.
By FY98, demonstrate, through simulation and both sled and flight testing, a man–in–the–loop fiber–optic guided missile system with a 40–km range.
By FY99, demonstrate a low–cost, ultraminiature, manufacturable fiber–optic gyro.
By FY00, demonstrate a strapdown laser seeker and G&C of a precision–guided 2.75–inch rocket.

Some of the specific challenges include:

Transfer ATR technology into systems.
Integrate microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology into the thrust on precision guidance of small diameter weapons.
Achieve navigational grade performance with ultraminiature fiber–optic gyros.
Achieve innovative strapdown designs for laser IR and multispectral seekers.
Validate static and dynamic target models for combat identification of aircraft.

Major Technical Challenges

The three competency areas in G&C technology (guidance information and signal processing, inertial sensors and control systems, and missile system sensors and seekers) face these major technical challenges: precision guidance of small diameter weapons, enhanced target acquisition, including masked target detection, and operational performance measures for multispectral missile seekers. Responding to these challenges will require the infusion of a number of emerging technologies that are not currently in the G&C program. The G&C program is coordinated with the technical objectives in the manufacturing technology program to achieve manufacturing and producibility goals and extensive use of simulation is made to reduce overall R&D costs.

c. Guns—Conventional and Electric

Goals and Timeframes

The guns subarea develops both conventional and electric gun technologies for all new and upgraded gun systems (small arms, mortars, air/surface combat vehicles, tanks, and artillery). It includes efforts directed toward future, advanced, generic technologies, and system technologies for small, medium, and large calibers, including barrel/launcher, ammunition/projectile, power supply and conditioning, weapon mechanism/ammunition feeder, propellants/ignition systems, and fire control. Products include the OICW prototype in FY98, a demonstration of 14 megajoules (MJ) muzzle energy from a 120–millimeter (mm) M256 cannon in FY99, the integrated objective crew–served weapon (OCSW) system prototype in FY00, the LAH demonstration in FY00, and the PGMM demonstration in FY01.

Major Technical Challenges

Challenges include improving hit probability and lethality on target, extending the maximum range, reducing the weight of the total system, all–weather operation, and reduced barrel wear. Advances in composites, new propellant initiatives, and sophisticated electronics hold promise of overcoming many of these challenges.

Specific challenges include:

Use composite materials to reduce the weight of individual and crew–served weapons.
Integrate fuze control for precision air burst on individual and crew–served weapons.
Enhance ballistic aspects of tungsten materials to provide penetration performance goals with less environmental impact than depleted uranium (DU) material.
Exploit composites to fashion a cargo–carrying artillery round capable of delivering twice the payload of metal projectiles at current ranges.
Demonstrate new lethal mechanisms to defeat explosive reactive armor.
Develop an electrothermal chemical (ETC) tank gun with 18 MJ muzzle energy and 1.9–km/second muzzle velocity.
Develop tactical size advanced pulse power supplies capable of supporting large caliber ETC and electromagnetic tank guns.
Demonstrate new propellant architectures and formulations which improve muzzle velocity by at least 25 percent.
Demonstrate environmentally friendly propellant and process.

d. Mines and Countermines

Goals and Timeframes

The mines and countermine subarea includes all efforts pertaining to the development or improvement of land mines and all efforts pertaining to detecting, marking, breaching, neutralizing, or clearing land mines. The major products include the IMF demonstrating long–range detection/tracking and autonomous, intelligent attack of mobile targets by FY98, a two– to four–fold improvement in individual mine detection for antipersonnel mines and neutralization capability by FY99, a portable, standoff detector and neutralizer for buried antitank and antipersonnel nonmetallic mines at maneuver speeds in FY00, and demonstration of high–speed reconnaissance and breaching of minefields in FY05.

Major Technical Challenges

Challenges include the ability of acoustic sensors to accurately identify and track targets, the maturation of sensor fusion algorithms, and the implementation of tactical response algorithms. Mine detection, neutralization, and minefield breaching have challenges: rapid detection of mines (most false alarms eliminated) and the requirement for 100 percent assurance of removal, destruction, or neutralization.

Specific challenges are:

Increase mine ability to detect targets during all weather/clutter conditions.
Extend the mine’s sensor range by a factor of four.
Combine countermine detection and neutralization capabilities.
Enable robotic (autonomous and semiautonomous) mine neutralization and extraction.
Reduce false alarm rate for the detection/identification of mines.

e. Warheads/Explosives and Rocket/Missile Propulsion

Goals and Timeframes

The warheads/explosives and rocket/missile propulsion subarea develops conventional warheads, explosives, and rocket/missile propellants for antiair, antisurface warfare. It includes efforts directed specifically toward advanced nonnuclear warhead concepts, advanced kill mechanisms employing multi–option warheads, new warhead materials, material process techniques, analytical design tools, advanced explosives, and adaptable, minimum smoke, insensitive propellants for rockets and missiles. Products include a demonstration for a focused reactive frag warhead in FY98, a FY00 demonstration of liquid propellants to combine the specific impulse and energy management of liquids with the field handling simplicity of solids; demonstration of more energetic explosive formulations, and a 90 percent reduction in the emissions from explosive processing and demilitarization by FY05.

Major Technical Challenges

One major challenge is to provide affordable performance optimized and matched to a broad range of targets and intercept conditions, while maintaining or reducing the weight and size of the warhead/rocket. Promising new materials, such as tantalum, molybdenum, and tungsten, may provide dramatic improvements in warhead lethality. The challenge is to understand the relationship between microstructure and plastic flow of tantalum, upset forging optimization, and parametric process variations in molybdenum and tungsten alloys. Higher performance requires more compact, higher energy density insensitive explosive formulations.

Specific challenges are:

Design a warhead that produces multiple compact/controllable pattern fragments using detonation wave dynamic models, which predict fragment geometry, size, and velocity.
Improve penetration of very short/long standoff shape charge and explosively formed penetrator warheads.
Desensitize explosives by recrystallization to eliminate defects, by coating particles to reduce friction, or by reformulation.
Synthesize new, more powerful explosive and propellant formulations using composites of new, less sensitive energetic constituents that produce environmentally "clean" exhaust products.
Design fuel–efficient, lightweight, low– cost turbine engines and inducted/air–augmented rockets.

f. Weapon Lethality/Vulnerability

Goals and Timeframes

Weapon lethality/vulnerability (L/V) refers to the science of understanding the mechanisms by which a warhead or other ballistic mechanism can defeat a target. Vulnerability, a characteristic of a target, describes the effects of various damage mechanisms to the physical components of the target and the resulting dysfunction. Lethality, normally used from the perspective of the attacking weapon, includes the ability of the weapon to inflict the damage mechanisms upon the target, as well as the effects of those mechanisms (target vulnerability). The L/V subarea addresses the tools, methods, databases, and supporting technologies (e.g., solid geometric modeling tools, modern coding environments, supportive hardware configurations) needed to assess the lethality and vulnerability of all U.S. weapon systems, including aspects of design, effectiveness, and survivability. Products include incorporation of tri–service blast models in FY99, and a 10–fold decrease in software preparation time in FY05.

Major Technical Challenges

The biggest challenge is to begin the complex task at the earliest possible stage in the weapon development or upgrade cycle, when inexpensive changes can lead to large increases in the survivability of crew and materiel and enhanced battlefield performance. To complicate matters, new penetrators (e.g., hypervelocity missiles, top attack systems, tactical ballistic missiles) must be modeled against an increasing list of sophisticated targets with new materials and novel armor designs.

Specific challenges are:

Develop first–generation models to predict terminal effects on composite materials.
Use statistical prediction methods to characterize fragment/debris clouds behind armors accounting for all fragment parameters (e.g., mass, speed, shape, spatial distribution).
Extrapolate current L/V data to predict effects in new encounters with different materials and systems.
Determine sensitivity of modern electrical subsystems and other components to ballistic blast and shock.
Predict synergistic effects of concurrent damage mechanisms (fragment/penetrator and blast/shock) on structural components.

4. Roadmap of Technology Objectives

The roadmap of technology objectives for Conventional Weapons is shown in Table IV–18.

5. Linkages to Future Operational Capabilities

The influence of this technology area on TRADOC FOCs is summarized in Table IV–19.

Table IV–18.  Technical Objectives for Conventional Weapons

Technology Subarea

Near Term FY98–99

Mid Term FY00–04

Far Term FY05–13

Fuzing—Safe and Arm Incorporated neural nets, advanced sensors, and high–speed processors in GIF to increase system effectiveness by 39%

Collect target signatures for electrostatic sensors (ESS)

Demonstrate standoff fuze against reactive/active armor

Demonstrate miniaturized electronic fuzing for OICW bursting munitions

Demonstrate GIF aimable warhead capability

Improve logistics by developing universal fuze components and subsystems

Guidance and Control Conduct 40–km flight test of a multimode airframe technology missile against point targets

Demonstrate 2,000% accuracy improvement of MLRS extended range free rocket

Demonstrate aimpoint selection via neural net

Demonstrate strapdown MMW seeker that can acquire and track in a real–time laboratory test

Develop solid–state/photonic components that reduce the cost of G&C systems by a factor of 3

Automate G&C software generation reducing acquisition cost by u10%

Exploit multisensor target/scene simulation to reduce T&E costs by 30%

Develop advanced hardware/software code sign techniques

Conventional and Electric
Using ETC propulsion, launch a projectile at 2.5 km/s with muzzle energy of 7 megajoules (MJ)

Demonstrate direct laser ignition of current propellant for artillery application

Demonstrate antitank guided weapon performance against active protection system

Demonstrate a 30% increase in Abrams direct fire system accuracy with a 300% increase in probability of hit at 3 km

Demonstrate OCSW prototype with a weight of t38 lbs

Demonstrate 17 MJ kinetic energy at muzzle in a 120–mm XM291 cannon

Demonstrate PGMM with first round target kill capability at 15 km

Demonstrate ETC tank gun technologies providing 25–30 MJ muzzle energy and 2.5 km/s muzzle velocity

Demonstrate a 200% increase in hit probability at 4 km with 120–mm tank ammunition

Mines/Countermine Demonstrate IMF acoustic sensor ability to autonomously detect seven target vehicles at u1 km

Reproduce a vehicle signature to spoof off route mines up to 100 m away at speed up to 10 mph

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) and IR detectors to find buried metallic and nonmetallic mines

Using robotic/remote controlled demolition devices, demonstrate demining ability with a 2 to 4 times improvement in cost and speed

Apply multispectral imaging, GPR, and chemical/nuclear sensing in a vehicle–mounted detector to find buried, metallic, and nonmetallic mines

Utilize high–clutter targeting algorithm and high–speed processors to reconnaissance a minefield with high rate of search (50 square miles per hour)

Demonstrate rapid clearing and 100% detection of mines

Explosives and Rocket/Missile Propulsion
Demonstrate a long standoff anti–armor weapon

Demonstrate a tactical air–breathing missile with a three– to four–fold increase in range

Demonstrate low signature gel motor

Flight test a 35–40 kg compact kinetic energy missile matching LOSAT lethality

Demonstrate a tactical subprojectile for the KE precursor warhead that meets aerodynamic and terminal requirements

Use recrystallization and coatings to produce higher performance, but less sensitive deformable explosives

Demonstrate warhead for active protection system (APS) to defeat full spectrum of threats

Reduces emissions from explosives production processing and demilling by 90%

Double rocket payload/range without changing weight or volume

Extended propulsion systems shelf life to more than 25 years

Double warhead performance or cut warhead size in half

Weapon Lethality/
Develop first–generation models to predict and analyze penetration of emerging composite materials

Develop model for stochastic analysis of fragment effects

Upgrade L/V models to enhance wargame fidelity of the DISN

Develop and validate methodology to predict penetration by hypervelocity (400–1,400 m/s) weapons

Improve body–to–body impact models for tactical ballistic missile targets

Demonstrate first–order shock propagation model for high–explosive blast loading

Decrease software preparation time by a factor of 5; improve fidelity by a factor of 2; reduce life–cycle costs of conventional weapons by a factor of 2

Incorporate large–scale hypervelocity penetration mechanics of geological and layered structural materials

Develop fire/thermal and toxic fume transport model


Table IV–19.  Conventional Weapons Linkages to Future Operational Capabilities

Technology Subarea

Integrated and Branch/Functional Unique Future Operational Capabilities

Fuzing—Safe and Arm TR 97–040 Firepower Lethality
TR 97–043 Survivability—Materiel
TR 97–044 Survivability—Personnel
Guidance and Control TR 97–040 Firepower Lethality
Guns—Conventional and Electric TR 97–040 Firepower Lethality
TR 97–042 Firepower Nonlethal
Mines/Countermine TR 97–041 Operations in an Unexploded Ordnance/Mine Threat Environment
Warheads/Explosives and Rocket/Missile Propulsion TR 97–040 Firepower Lethality
Weapon Lethality/
TR 97–040 Firepower Lethality
TR 97–043 Survivability—Materiel
TR 97–044 Survivability—Personnel

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