News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan


Army S&T makes up less than 1 percent of the total national investment in R&D so the Army leverages external R&D activity to meet its warfighting needs. This R&D comes from other federal government organizations, universities and nonprofit organizations, U.S. industry, and foreign sources.

The Army technology transfer program systematically leverages each of these sources of technology.

The Army’s goal is to form cooperative programs with these sources, sometimes involving cost–sharing. In other cases, the Army seeks to influence the direction of development, or maintain a "smart buyer" capability within the Army.

This section describes the Army’s approach to technology leveraging with the major external sources of technology available within the United States. Section E describes the Army’s approach toward leveraging foreign sources of technology.

1. Independent Research and Development Program

Independent research and development (IR&D) activities are planned, performed, and funded by companies in order to maintain or improve their technical competence or to develop new or improved products. Industry IR&D efforts amount to more than $2 billion annually. A significant portion of a company’s annual IR&D expenditures and its companion bid and proposal (B&P) costs can be recovered later in the overhead portion of its contracts with commercial concerns and with DoD. The FY92 Defense Authorization Bill simplified the procedure used to reimburse companies for relevant IR&D work. Beginning in FY96, contractors have been reimbursed for up to 100 percent of their IR&D expenditures that meet "potential interest to DoD" criteria.

Prior to FY93, company IR&D programs were assigned to a lead service for technical review and cost–recovery negotiations. The current law eliminates these assignments and focuses on utilization of industry’s significant IR&D technology resources through technical interchange meetings. IR&D technical interchange meetings are arranged by mutual agreement between the company and the government to discuss technology or product development projects. These meetings promote face–to–face technical interaction between contractors and the government, provide feedback to companies so that IR&D activities are aligned with future government needs, and permit government participants to visit the contractors’ facilities and view operations. Many of the service and company assignments established prior to FY93 have been mutually beneficial and will be continued. Company and government personnel are free to continue frequent informal dialogue and technical information exchange even though they no longer maintain a formal relationship. There is no required frequency of meeting, but many contractors express a desire to meet at least annually.

The projected downward trend of DoD expenditures affects the future of industry IR&D activities. Rigorous cost competition in the defense industry has caused pressure to reduce overhead (including IR&D), and decreasing sales have reduced the base against which IR&D costs can be charged. The likely result—erosion of industry’s IR&D technology base—led to the present cost–recovery process and a broadened set of cost–recovery criteria as means to limit this loss of U.S. technical strength and to encourage interest in defense conversion and in dual–use technology. The current criteria for reimbursement for IR&D include:

Enabling superior performance of future weapon systems and components.
Reducing acquisition costs and life–cycle costs of military systems.
Strengthening the U.S. defense industrial and technology base.
Enhancing U.S. industrial competitiveness.
Promoting the development of critical technologies (as identified by DoD).
Increasing the development of technologies useful in both the public and the private sectors.
Developing efficient and effective technologies for achieving environmental benefits.

Improved communications between industry and government on IR&D is at the heart of successful leveraging of IR&D, and continues to be emphasized through frequent interaction of Army leadership and industry IR&D representatives. Recent improvements to the IR&D reporting and review processes will significantly enhance the Army’s ability to strategically leverage IR&D developments. These improvements include compact disk–read only memory (CD–ROM) technology applied to the IR&D database at the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), a new DoD instruction on IR&D that will ensure more complete reporting of IR&D to government, and more complete review of appropriate IR&D by the Army. An IR&D Website on the Internet is maintained by the Air Force IR&D manager:

This service will provide contractors access to DoD planning information to focus their IR&D expenditures on relevant DoD technology needs. The Air Force Internet site will also contain a schedule of IR&D information exchange meetings to encourage government personnel participation in these information exchanges.

Further improvement to the IR&D process has been attained through the establishment of a joint senior–level Technical Coordination Group (TCG) to oversee and manage DoD’s IR&D program. This TCG for IR&D is chaired by the Deputy Director, Defense Research and Engineering (Office of Laboratory Management/Technology Transition) with membership by senior civilians from each of the services. The primary purpose of the TCG is to manage DoD communications with industry concerning defense technology planning and requirements.

The Army receives the IR&D database from DTIC. The IR&D database on CD–ROM, issued by DTIC beginning in FY94, has significantly enhanced the Army’s ability to leverage IR&D. The CD–ROM contains the entire database of current industry IR&D technology developments, and permits every Army activity to maintain the complete IR&D database of industry’s IR&D expenditure on a personal computer. Once full industry IR&D reporting to DTIC is achieved, as emphasized in the recently revised DoD Instruction on IR&D, the CD–ROM will become a reliable and comprehensive source of industry technology.

Through use of the IR&D database on CD–ROM, local Army IR&D managers should be able to better target IR&D projects of interest, vector project write–ups to local scientists and engineers, and follow up positive in–house responses by establishing technical information exchange meetings. These meetings could be a vehicle whereby the Army communicates technology needs to industry, and industry communicates IR&D progress and plans to Army scientists and engineers.

2. Advanced Concepts and Technology Program

TRADOC’s battle laboratories have been chartered to experiment with changing methods of warfare, beginning with the battlefield dynamics and with soldiers and leaders as the center of focus. While the battle laboratories were started as a means to focus internal TRADOC activities, AMC has established a partnership with the battle laboratories in support of this experimentation. The Advanced Concepts and Technology (ACT II) program provides a unique environment for combining the warfighting expertise of the battle laboratories with the technical expertise of AMC’s RDECs and the Army laboratories. This partnership forms the basis for ACT II projects that facilitate experimentation in seeking solutions across the spectrum of doctrine, training, leader development, organization, materiel, and soldier (DTLOMS) systems.

Since its inception in 1994, ACT II has been directed to provide direct support to the TRADOC battle laboratories and to the Army Chief of Staff for the Louisiana Maneuvers Task Force. With the user more actively involved, ACT II allows better evaluation of new capabilities enabled by ACT II technologies, and provides accelerated support from the S&T community. Today, ACT II is sponsored by the Army Chief of Staff and ASA(RDA) and managed by the ARO–W. TRADOC, AMC, and ARO–W collaborate to build ACT II partnerships between the Army, industry, and the academic community.

ACT II supports battle laboratory experiments through competitive funding of industry’s most advanced technologies, prototypes, and nondevelopmental items. The program provides funding to demonstrate the technical feasibility of such technologies that, if successful, may:

Shape TRADOC requirements.
Be integrated into existing Army R&D programs.
Be selected for the Army Warfighting Rapid Acquisition Program (WRAP).
Transition directly to an existing end item.

ACT II does not fund established technology base programs, but seeks unconventional approaches to address Army needs. Direct access to the commercial market is intended to improve the definition of user requirements, shorten the acquisition cycle, and reduce development costs. By comparison, under the conventional acquisition process, long lead times are often required for research ideas to reach the soldier. Because of its small size (ACT II funds a maximum of $1.5 million per project) the program generally supports highly leveraged efforts that appear likely to have important impacts on the Army if successful. ACT II projects are frequently cost–shared or leveraged efforts, partly supported by others.

ACT II projects are centrally solicited using a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) prepared by ARO–W. The BAA requests that prospective offerors initially submit a two–page concept paper highlighting the technical and warfighting merits of their concept. Those submitting concept papers found to be technically feasible and most desirable in terms of warfighting merit are invited to prepare full proposals (limited to 25 pages plus a separate cost estimate). Highly rated proposals are similarly evaluated and ranked according to warfighting merit, and centrally approved for negotiation and award by the ACT II Technical Evaluation Board. The resulting contracts are awarded through various Army procurement offices and are jointly managed by battle laboratory project officers and technical experts in appropriate Army laboratories and RDECs.

Since 1994, its inaugural year, ACT II has funded and completed a total of 107 projects (28 projects in 1994, 35 projects in 1995, 25 projects in 1996, and 19 in 1997). To date, 27 projects from 1994 and 1995 have been identified as meeting the program objectives for technology transition and integration. These projects are (1) being developed further through Concept Exploration Program funding, (2) integrated into existing acquisition programs as product improvements, or (3) included among projects funded through WRAP. ACT II funding was $10 million in FY94, $40 million in FY95, $13 million in FY96, $12 million in FY97, and approximately $11 million in FY98.

ACT II is an ongoing program within the Army. An industry–focused preproposal conference for the FY98 ACT II cycle was held in April 1997. The BAA for the FY99 cycle will be released in May 1998, with concept papers due in June 1998. Full proposals will be invited in July 1998 and responses evaluated during August–September. Contracts for the FY99 program should be signed during December 1998.

ARO–W maintains a Website for ACT II. In addition to providing current ACT II information and descriptive project summaries from previous years, offerors can download the current solicitation and necessary forms for preparation of concept papers or full proposals. The Website address is:

3. Army Efforts With Other DoD Agencies

Many Army S&T activities are coupled with programs of the other services and with other DoD agencies. The major agencies with which the Army interacts are the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Special Weapons Agency (DSWA), the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), and the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). Working relationships between Army and agency technical staffs have included coordinated program planning, parallel funding, and, in some cases, joint agency–Army program management by Army S&T organizations.

a. Defense S&T Reliance

In November 1991, all three service acquisition executives directed full implementation of Project Reliance in their respective services. In November 1995, the Defense S&T Reliance Executive Committee was formed to strengthen Reliance’s role in the DoD strategic planning process and to continue to improve service/agency S&T coordination. Implementation of Defense S&T Reliance also responds to and provides input to a number of management functions and planning processes, including the budget planning process and the development of technology investment plans through the Defense Technology Area Plan, the Joint Warfighting Science and Technology Plan, the Basic Research Plan, and updates of the Defense Science and Technology Strategy.

The goals and objectives of Defense S&T Reliance reflect the enduring challenges that face the defense S&T community. They are to:

Enhance the quality of defense S&T.
Ensure the existence of a critical mass of resources that will develop world–class products.
Reduce redundant S&T capabilities and eliminate unwarranted duplication.
Gain productivity and efficiency through collocation and consolidation of in–house S&T work, where appropriate.
Preserve the service’s vital mission–essential capabilities

Reliance agreements involve joint planning, collocated in–house work, related contract work, and lead service/agency assignment. The leveraging is based on the fact that no service’s individual S&T accounts can fund all the R&D activities that that one service needs.

b. Defense Special Weapons Agency and Treaty Verification

The Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty includes a provision for compliance monitoring via on–site inspection. DSWA is the DoD executive agent for research, development, test, and engineering (RDT&E) programs related to treaty verification and compliance, while the Army is the DoD executive agent for chemical and biological defense. Accordingly, the Army and DSWA have created a working environment via a memorandum of agreement (MOA), in which the Army is the lead performer for sampling methodology and audit trails, chemical agent sensor assessments, sampling and protective devices and equipment, and field demonstrations of available technology. The U.S. Army Edgewood RDEC is coordinating Army technology efforts in this area. The program is funded by DSWA. The MOA was signed in FY90, and detailed technical planning and implementation continues.

c. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

DARPA was founded in 1958 to foster innovative military R&D. It has a long history of close cooperation with the Army in pursuit of advanced technology for future battlefields. DARPA works closely with the Army and other service users to ensure that it prioritizes emerging technologies that will be most important in meeting the nation’s security needs. DARPA provides the services with access to the nation’s research capabilities in industry, academia, and government research centers and laboratories for the solution of emerging military requirements. Army efforts in conjunction with DARPA to meet warfighting needs include:

Hybrid electric power.
Advanced seeker technology.
IR focal plane arrays.
Missile defense.
Counter sniper.
Advanced sensors such as synthetic aperture radar.
Small arms protection for the individual soldier.
Helmet–mounted displays.

d. Ballistic Missile Defense Organization

The Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, chartered in 1984 to manage DoD’s efforts in ballistic missile defense, is now the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), which reports to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology. While BMDO is the focal point for policy and program formulation, the operational aspects of ballistic missile defense (BMD) work are performed through the BMD executive agents and their research facilities, service commands, and other installations at various locations throughout the United States.

Volume II, Annex NO TAG, contains a detailed description of the Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) roles, responsibilities, and contributions with respect to BMD, SMDC, and the Army S&T program.

e. U.S. Special Operations Command

SOCOM, established in 1987, unifies all continental–based special operations forces under a single commander. Its unique responsibilities include the following missions: unconventional warfare, direct actions, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, counterterrorism, psychological operations, civil affairs, counterproliferation, and information warfare. For these missions, SOCOM was granted the authority to develop and acquire special operations–peculiar equipment, materiel, supplies, and services. In 1992, Congress recognized that SOCOM R&D funding was inadequate to support the command’s technology needs and directed thatSOCOM compete for other agencies’ technology base development needs. SOCOM’s S&T budget is principally for technology demonstration (80 percent), with lower funding in technology development (20 percent).

An assessment by SOCOM, to include the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, indicates that many of the Special Operation Forces (SOF) technology needs are being or can be addressed in Army laboratories and centers, and that the SOF community can maximize its return on investment by coupling with current and planned Army technology efforts. One example is the 21st Century Land Warrior program. SOCOM has also participated in intercommand seminars, exercises, and equipment expositions as well as in AMC’s Technology–Based Seminar War Games. The SOF play a role in TRADOC’s development of the soldier, participate in the Army’s Future Soldier System Tech Base Executive Steering Committee, and formally review the Army’s work packages and identify the projects of most value for resolving materiel needs. Volume II Annex F discusses SOCOM’s current technology objectives, strategy, and programs for improving its operational capabilities, and the integral part that technology plays in the command’s recently published version of its future vision into the 21st Century, entitled SOF VISION 2020.

f. Scientific Services Program

ARO monitors this competitively awarded program: short–term analysis service (STAS); laboratory research cooperative program; conferences, workshops, and symposia; the Summer Faculty Research and Engineering Program (SFREP); the Summer Associateship Program for High School Science and Mathematics Faculty, and the Postlaboratory Research Cooperative Program/Postsummer Faculty Research and Engineering Program.

The STAS program, the largest, processes between 200 and 300 projects annually, originating from all three services and other government agencies. The STAS objective is to competitively award short–term projects to academic or small business scientists who complement government expertise. Awards are usually less than $100,000 each (although special requests up to $250,000 are considered), are less than a year’s duration, and the award is usually made within 30 days of receipt of the work order. Under the SFREP, about 150 faculty are placed at Army laboratories or centers each year. The total scientific service program annually awards about $10–$15 million.

4. Army Efforts With Other Federal Agencies

Because of its scarce resources, the Army needs to work with other government agencies to fully leverage its R&D efforts. The Army cooperates with many other federal agencies to accomplish missions of mutual interest, obtain access to unique capabilities, and provide other agencies access to unique Army capabilities. A major effort with NASA allows the Army to leverage NASA’s capabilities that are closely related to Army needs.

a. Activities With NASA

In 1965, AMC and NASA signed an agreement for joint participation in aeronautical technology related to Army aviation. This agreement, issued to what is now the Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM), permitted the Army to use NASA’s 7– by 10–foot subsonic wind tunnel at NASA’s Ames Research Center. The agreement now includes the ARL Vehicle Technology Center at NASA Langley and Lewis Research Centers (LaRC and LeRC, respectively) and two Joint Research Program Offices at LaRC. The agreement also includes elements of ARL, AMCOM, and the Communications–Electronics Command (CECOM) as illustrated in Figure VII–5. This cooperative arrangement allows Army engineers direct access to NASA’s worldclass research facilities. For example, while the Army has access to facilities at the Ames Research Center alone worth more than $1 billion (with an annual operating cost of more than $60 million), the Army directly incurs less than one percent of the annual cost.

Figure VII-5. Army-NASA Joint Aeronautical Research Locations
Figure VII-5. Army-NASA Joint Aeronautical Research Locations
Click on the image to view enlarged version

Army scientific and engineering personnel may be assigned within the NASA organization but they work on programs of Army interest as negotiated by the Army director with their NASA division or branch chiefs. This ensures that Army resources are focused on Army priorities and permits both the Army and NASA to accomplish more with less.

Thirty years of Army–NASA cooperation has let the Army leverage NASA resources and programs and contributed to advancement of an integrated civil and military technology base.

b. Cooperation with Drug and Law Enforcement Agencies

In December 1990, the ASA(RDA) Deputy for Combat Service Support was designated to represent ASA(RDA) with all non–DoD agencies and all DoD offices, agencies, and departments involved in counterdrug (CD) activities. This established the Army’s Counterdrug RDA Office.

The Army currently provides management oversight on 17 CD programs in a variety of technological areas, from nonintrusive inspection to automated systems.

Diminishing resources and an escalating threat from drug traffickers resulted in the development of the Army’s Counterdrug Technology Information Network (CTIN), which is based on the premise that information about available technologies can help bridge the gap between threat and resources. CTIN also capitalizes on technology as a force multiplier and allows the CD community to achieve economies of scale via cooperative acquisitions. CTIN contains descriptions and points of contact for several hundred systems and techniques that may help counter the illegal narcotics threat.

The first part of CTIN is a Website that may be viewed by anyone and permits sharing information of interest to the CD community. It provides links to other CD sites and offers a mailing list.

The second, main, part of CTIN is a bulletin–board–like system (BBS), hidden from the public. The BBS provides access to special information and provides a question–and–answer forum. The BBS can be accessed via modem or through the Internet, using either a Macintosh– or Windows–based personal computer. The U.S. Army Counterdrug RDA Office must approve access to the BBS.

The CTIN supports the DoD and the Department of Justice (DOJ) memorandum of understanding (MOU) and identifies existing DoD equipment, ongoing technology development programs that can be shared, and new military technology projects that solve problems common to the military and law enforcement communities. As part of that MOU, a Joint Program Steering Group was formed at DARPA. The DoD/DOJ relationship is based on common interest derived from emphasis on a traditional military mission called operations other than war (OOTW). In general, law enforcement applications require technology and systems that are affordable, safe to use on or around people with varying medical conditions, acceptable to the public, and consistent with the constitutional rights of all involved. Specific areas of interest include:

Concealed weapons detection.
Less–than–lethal technology.
Tracking, tagging, and status monitoring.
Interactive simulation and training.
Explosives detection, neutralization, and disposal.
Small mobile sensor technology.
Urban mapping and three–dimensional scene generation.
Advanced sensor integration.
Safe gun technology.
Information technology.
Portable power.
Advanced body armor.

c. Cooperation With Other Agencies

A dozen years of joint research on robotics with the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have led to success in the application of flexible computer architectures to DoD unmanned ground vehicle testbeds for hazardous military missions such as reconnaissance. This experience has allowed the Army and NIST to collaborate on civil programs, such as the Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Vehicle Highway System. There are efforts to find additional areas for potential cooperation with NIST.

As part of the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), joint research is being conducted with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) on a multitude of environmental topics. For example, a national environmental technology test site program, managed jointly by the Army, Navy, and Air Force, has been developed to demonstrate, evaluate, and transfer innovative cleanup technologies from R&D to full–scale use. Another example is the partnering between the Army, other services, DOE, and EPA for the development and fielding of a site characterization and analysis penetrometer system, a system used for site characterization in the DoD’s cleanup program. Each organization has a defined area of responsibility, thereby maximizing use of limited funds for addressing common DoD cleanup problems. A joint program under SERDP has also been initiated with EPA and DOE in development of a groundwater modeling system for contaminated site cleanup.

The Army, as lead agency for DoD, is working with EPA on biodiversity research through a Biodiversity Research Consortium. Results of this cooperative effort will allow DoD to optimize its biodiversity research, thereby enhancing its capability to manage biodiversity on DoD sites in a bioregional and national context.

The Army cooperates on a smaller scale with other U.S. government agencies to accomplish a mutual goal or to share a unique capability. These agencies include the Departments of Health and Human Services, Energy, Labor, and Education, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

5. Army Efforts With Industry

Army technology can help produce a stronger civilian economy in partnership with U.S. industry, bringing new products and processes to the marketplace.

a. National Automotive Center

Recognizing the many dual–use benefits available in cooperation with industry, academia, and government, the Army established NAC in 1993. The NAC, located at the U.S. Army TARDEC, Warren, Michigan, serves to accelerate the development of dual–use automotive technologies. Through BAAs, the NAC leverages commercial R&D projects that have potential military applications. The NAC also interfaces with the United States Council for Automotive Research and automotive vendors, suppliers, and small businesses to identify areas of potential collaboration with the automotive industry.

b. National Rotorcraft Technology Center

The NRTC, established in 1996, is a catalyst for facilitating collaborative rotorcraft research and development among the DoD (Army and Navy), NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, industry, and academia. It serves as the means to cooperatively develop and implement a rotorcraft technology plan and national strategy that can effectively address both civil and military rotorcraft needs.

The NRTC includes industry and academia as partners in the Rotorcraft Industry Technology Association (RITA), a nonprofit corporation that focuses on developing rotorcraft design, engineering and manufacturing technologies, and shares technology among its members.

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