News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan

E. International Technology Leveraging

In the light of the shrinking defense budgets in the post–cold–war era and the coalition approach to resolving international conflicts, participation in international cooperative R&D in key technology areas is becoming increasingly important. These efforts offer high–payoff opportunities for leveraging U.S. investments in technology development with those of our international partners and for helping to build the political relationships required for coalition operations. Such leverage will help maintain U.S. technological advantage, stimulate battlefield interoperability, and, through subsequent codevelopment of advanced dual–use technology products, sustain our economic competitiveness. Cooperative R&D offers the U.S. Army a means of remaining oriented to future and next–generation needs and of continuing to learn about new ideas and new approaches.

1. International Cooperation Policy

Secretary of Defense Cohen, in his memorandum of 23 March 1997, called for maximum utilization of International Armaments Cooperation:

International Armaments Cooperation is a key component of the Department of Defense bridge to the 21st Century. In the evolving environment of coalition warfare, limited resources, and a global industrial and technology base, it is DoD policy that we utilize International Armaments Cooperation to the maximum extent feasible, consistent with sound business practice and with the overall political, economic, technological and national security goals of the United States.

The Deputy Undersecretary of the Army (International Affairs) (DUSA(IA)) is responsible for formulating all international programs and policy consistent with national security objectives and policies established by the President or the Secretary of Defense. The DUSA(IA) has identified the Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP) and specifically Volume II, Annex NO TAG, as the normative guidance for determining the existence of an acceptable quid pro quo for international technology–based cooperation. AMC has the responsibility for executing international agreements to implement technology leveraging as it applies to AMC business areas.

Annex NO TAG provides policy guidance for determining appropriate areas for the initiation of discussions for possible new cooperative agreements in identified technology areas. The proponent organization must make the final determination that an appropriate quid pro quo exists for concluding cooperative agreements. Annex NO TAG is a snapshot in time, and new and rapidly emerging developments may not be reflected therein. As this document is suitable for public release, sensitive or classified information is not included.

The mechanisms for international cooperation, specific technology leveraging opportunities, and future trends are discussed below. The leveraging opportunities identified in Annex NO TAG and summarized here correspond with those in Chapter IV for implementation in the near to mid term (2 to 6 years) with Chapter V for areas offering longer term promise. As part of the 1998 ASTMP update process, we evaluated how research capabilities are evolving to support a potential for international cooperation in the ASTMP technology areas. The trends found, summarized in Figure VII–6, are clear. Over the next decade we will see increased opportunities for cooperation with a growing number of countries in areas of direct interest to the U.S. Army.

Figure VII-6. Trends in Opportunities for International Technology Leveraging
Figure VII-6. Trends in Opportunities for International Technology Leveraging
Click on the image to view enlarged version

2. International Cooperation

The Army’s strategic goal in international cooperation is to promote technology leveraging—activities that multiply the effects of U.S. investment in technology by taking advantage of the investments and capabilities of others.

Programs can range from cooperation in basic S&T, through codevelopment and foreign weapons T&E, to coproduction, foreign sales, and downstream logistics support. Most international programs are focused on exploratory development and the earliest stages of advanced development. We also support small research "seed" contracts with world–class researchers and maintain research offices in London and Tokyo.

Our strategy encourages partnering with our allies to ensure that our programs incorporate the best available technology worldwide. Leveraging the technology investments that we make with those made by our allies eliminates duplication of effort and ensures the best technology at the lowest cost to the Army. We use a combination of techniques and methods that are shown as the building blocks of international cooperation in Figure VII–7.

Figure VII-7. Building Blocks of International Cooperation
Figure VII-7. Building Blocks of International Cooperation

The foundations of international cooperation are the exchange of information, loans of materiel, and the exchange of defense professionals, primarily scientists and engineers. This fundamental level of cooperation is the base of the triangle. Information and data are exchanged under the Defense Data Exchange Program, in which the Army participates in information exchanges with more than 25 countries in more than 250 technologies. The Army also exchanges defense professionals with allies to work onsite on common technical problems and opportunities. These exchanges occur through the International Professional Exchange Program and the short–term Abbreviated Professional Exchange Program, and, informally, through visits and interactions at technical symposia, conferences, and meetings.

At the next level, international cooperation is facilitated by S&T forums (bilateral and multilateral) that foster and coordinate international cooperative activities. Two such forums are bilateral Technology Working Groups with Israel and France, which provide for senior management oversight of cooperative R&D activities. Other activities at this level include the multilateral forums of The Technology Cooperation Program, whose members include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States; and the NATO Research Technology Organization and Standardization Groups. Such forums provide management oversight and direction to individual technical experts participating in international exchange programs.

International cooperation at a level beyond information exchange (such as exchanges of equipment and laboratory samples, or codevelopment of hardware and software) generally takes place through cooperative R&D programs executed under an MOA that spells out terms, conditions, and commitments of the United States and the partner country in pursuing agreed–to R&D objectives. A recently implemented variation of a traditional focused MOU is the Technology Research and Development Program, also known as an umbrella MOA. This type of MOA, which has been implemented with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Israel, and South Korea, allows for project annexes in specific areas of R&D cooperation and reduces the need and time required for renegotiating common elements of all MOAs (e.g., intellectual property rights) with a given ally.

In an effort to leverage all domestic and international resources, the Army has joined with other government agencies to pool talents and resources on high–payoff cooperative R&D projects where there are common interests and requirements. One such program is the U.S. India Fund run by the Department of State. This program is designed to promote basic research with Indian universities and government facilities. Another program, the NATO Cooperative R&D program, has been expanded to include the non–NATO allies of Korea, Japan, Israel, Egypt, and Australia. This program is also known as the Nunn program after the original amendment to the FY86 DoD Authorization Act, sponsored by then Senator Sam Nunn.

Proposed Nunn–funded projects address key Army technologies (both conventional Army defense and dual use) that respond to areas of significant interest to our allies and where a joint approach (with our allies) is deemed critical. Funding for these projects remains dependent on the DoD–wide approval and agreement process.

The Foreign Comparative Test Program provides funding to determine whether foreign systems satisfy U.S. Army requirements. Our strategy for international cooperation also includes coproduction and procurement of systems, with the ultimate goal of standardization and interoperability of equipment.

3. Army International Organizations

a. Deputy Under Secretary of the Army for International Affairs

To streamline Army international cooperative programs, DUSA(IA) was formed in 1996. All policy functions from the Secretary of the Army (Research, Development, and Acquisition (SA(RDA)), the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (DCSOPS), the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (DCSLOG), and AMC were brought together and provided the Army with a more unified coordinated international policy and approach for international activities. General Order 10 (12 August 1997) delineates the specific authorities and responsibilities of DUSA(IA).

DUSA(IA) develops and promulgates policy, and AMC and TRADOC execute that policy. AMC continues to oversee development and execution of international agreements (IAs) for materiel development to leverage global technology and to feed multinational force compatibility (MFC). Major subordinate commands (MSCs) support bilateral forums such as technology working groups and multilateral forums such as the NATO Research Technology Organization. TRADOC manages the development of coalition doctrine through such forums as Army–to–Army Staff Talks, along with participation in NATO forums designed to promote MFC and lay the foundation that will enable the Army to fight effectively with our allies.

b. U.S. Army Materiel Command, International Cooperative Programs Activity

The AMC International Cooperative Programs Activity (ICPA) is chartered to develop and execute IAs for AMC–managed technology. This includes the full range of international agreements as described earlier. The ICPA also acts as the Army’s Office of Record for all implemented IAs. Each AMC MSC has an international office that acts as the local advocate for the initiation, execution, and management of IAs.

Recognizing the need to increase leverage of global technology, the ICPA has initiated an IA improvement program to streamline the IA approval process to better utilize shrinking resources. This uses integrated product teams to reduce redundant staffing and the international agreements tracking systems (IATS), which provides a centralized electronic database. The IATS gives the Army total visibility on all proposed and existing international agreements. With the Army’s new "single voice approach" through the DUSA(IA) and AMC’s IA improvement program, the staffing and disposition of international agreements will be greatly streamlined.

4. Opportunities

The Army assesses international opportunities across a broad spectrum of areas on a continuing basis. Subjects addressed recently include artificial intelligence, antiarmor technology, autonomous guidance, microelectronics, computing and simulation, aerospace propulsion, biotechnology, virtual reality, photonics, robotic sensors, materials and structures, and military power sources. Leveraging opportunities are continually identified through individual scientists’ and engineers’ recommendations, based on their direct interactions with foreign counterparts.

Table VII–1 highlights the breadth of leveraging opportunities discussed in greater depth in Annex NO TAG. This table also provides a crosswalk between the basic research topics (Chapter V) and technologies (Chapter IV). The arrows indicate a rough qualitative assessment of those areas where the individual tables contained in Annex NO TAG identify a critical mass of foreign basic and applied research capabilities. As noted previously, the numerous overlaps evident in the crosswalk are indicative of a growing depth of infrastructure combining where both basic and applied efforts offer potential for long–term, sustained cooperation. Finally, the arrows give a qualitative feel for the quality of the research capability and key trends as shown in the legend to the table.

Accessing foreign technology in compliance with legal and security requirements through cooperative programs requires international agreements. These legal vehicles allow the bench scientists and engineers access to foreign technology covered by the scope of such agreements to address R&D requirements. Annex NO TAG further describes technology leveraging opportunities while providing Army points of contact through which further details can be obtained. Figure VII–8 illustrates how these technology leveraging opportunities could impact major Army systems.

5. Army Digitization Program

Digitization of the battlefield has emerged as a major thrust of U.S. national military planning. The Army Digitization Master Plan calls for the development of systems to achieve a tactical C3I system that will significantly enhance situation awareness, force integration, combat identification and target hand–off, database distribution, and communications. The international digitization strategy provides the framework for international cooperation to enhance interoperability and technology leveraging. In the mid and far terms, international cooperative programs will enhance capabilities with reduced technical risk by ensuring the Army access to advanced technologies and alternative approaches.

Worldwide technology trends and specific C4I technology leveraging opportunities have been identified in the Army Digitization Master Plan and the international digitization strategy. Opportunities include:

Advanced displays and interactive displays, particularly enhanced human interfaces to support improved operator effectiveness.

Software and intelligent systems, particularly in language understanding/ translation, and intelligent agents; sensed and stored data and seamless interaction with human operators, and autonomous systems.

Telecommunications and information distribution with emphasis on wireless digital data limits to provide secure, robust, real–time interchange of data between dispersed and highly mobile force elements.

Advanced distributed simulation of synthetic environments and automated forces and operations to allow distributed modeling and rehearsal to support mission planning and force optimization.

Table VII–1.  International Opportunities Summary

Technology Areas

Basic Research Areas

  Mathematical Sciences Computer and
Information Systems
Physics Chemistry Materials Science Electronics Research Mechanical Sciences Atmospheric Sciences Terrestrial Sciences Medical Research Biological Sciences Behavioral, Cognitive, and Neural Sciences
Aerospace Propulsion and Power    













Air Platforms  









Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense











Individual Survivability and Sustainability











Command, Control, and Communications















Computing and Software















Conventional Weapons













Electronic Devices

















Electronic Warfare/Directed–Energy Weapons















Civil Engineering and Environmental Quality











Battlespace Environments











Human Systems Interfaces















Manpower, Personnel, and Structures





















Materials, Processes, and Structures













Medical and Biomedical Science and Technology















Ground Vehicles











Manufacturing Science and Technology













Modeling and Simulation    




Figure VII-8. Impact of Leveraging on Army Systems
Figure VII-8. Impact of Leveraging on Army Systems
Click on the image to view enlarged version

Advanced sensors, particularly multidomain smart sensors for continuous, rapid, and precise discrimination and targeting of all threats under all anticipated battlefield conditions.

ARL’s federated laboratory provides new dynamic avenues for government–to–government relationships with enhanced opportunities for technology leveraging through industry–to–industry and academia–to–academia teaming arrangements.

6. Future Trends

Technology is a valuable global commodity. As discussed earlier, access to technology to support Army programs is complementary to the mid– and far–term ASTMP milestones. There are world–class capabilities in virtually all the ASTMP research and technology areas (Chapters IV and V) outside U.S. borders. The European community will continue to provide a significant capability in most of the Army’s research and technology areas of interest. Similar trends are shown for Japan and to a lesser degree for Canada, Israel, and Sweden. A more limited contribution is indicated for other allies and the Former Soviet Union. Many countries have niches of excellence in specific areas of technology or basic research. Annex NO TAG identifies 37 countries with scientific or technological capabilities of interest to the U.S. Army.

7. Summary

The benefits of international cooperation are well known and documented. Some are highly concrete (e.g., significant savings in time and cost). Others—improved interoperability, acquisition of information helpful to U.S. programs, and greater opportunity for contacts with researchers with new ideas and approaches to problems—are less quantifiable but no less valuable. By taking the following steps, the Army will enhance its ability to leverage global technology:

Identifying critical information and communications technology opportunities through worldwide technology assessments.
Encouraging industry–to–industry/academia teaming arrangements that allow the leveraging of allied commercial research and technology.
Utilizing existing agreements and forums when possible to exchange research and technology information and to develop specific new initiatives.
Developing new and innovative ways to leverage perishable global technology in a timely fashion.

With the formation of the DUSA(IA) for policy development and the empowering of AMC to execute international agreements, the Army has taken major strides toward unifying and simplifying working with our allies. Given our shrinking resources, it is more important than ever to leverage research and technology if we are to maintain our qualitative edge over potential adversaries in the future.