Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, on behalf of the men and women of the U.S. Army Active, Guard, and Reserve soldiers and civilians, we thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss unconventional threats facing our land force and Army efforts to protect our soldiers from these threats. It is our privilege to represent the Army leadership and, more importantly, Americas soldiers.
Americas Army serves as our Nations contingency force, ready to deploy on short notice to anywhere in the world to conduct missions across the full spectrum of conflict. Our current well-trained and ready force was made possible with the support of this Committee.
It is entirely appropriate that we give heightened attention to unconventional or nontraditional threats in this uncertain and rapidly changing security environment. The demise of the Soviet Union and the absence of an apparent peer competitor have dramatically changed the nature of the threat at the macro level. The lack of bipolar competition and the United States strategy of engagement have led to a marked increase in military deployments. Such deployments, which almost unfailingly include ground forces, represent a continuously evolving series of threats. It is that tactical threat environment that we will describe today.
Nearly all foreign military forces and potential non-state opponents recognize the demonstrated conventional military superiority of the U.S. armed forces. This recognition does have a deterrent value in some cases, but there are now, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, military and paramilitary forces willing to oppose and engage deployed U.S. forces. The fact of U.S. military excellence poses a dilemma to potential opponents, forcing them to adopt asymmetric approaches to achieve their ends. Asymmetric approaches pit an opponents strength against a perceived U.S. military weakness, or seek to nullify our advantage by changing the nature of the conflict.
The development of asymmetric approaches is fostered by the information revolution, which instantaneously provides global access to information on the U.S. military forces organization, equipment, training, and doctrine. The "Global Village Phenomenon" also provides potential opponents a window on the American policy-making process, as well as a means to interact with that process. Retarding the development of asymmetries has been the decade-long decline in global military spending, which has limited the technological and organizational adaptability of many foreign military forces. However, in the realm of ground force operations, where equipment is generally less expensive and novel tactics, techniques, and procedures can reap great rewards, asymmetric challenges are growing.
While there is an almost unlimited array of potential asymmetric approaches, today we are specifically considering the threats posed by laser weapons, chemical/biological weapons, ballistic/small arms, mines, and the battlefield potential for fratricide. Nearly all the information we will present today comes directly from the expert analyses conducted by the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC), the Armys center of excellence for the production of intelligence on foreign ground forces and systems.
Lasers pose a round the clock threat to soldiers, their sights, and sensors. This is more apparent at night when operations are most heavily dependent on electro-optic sensors. "Owning the night" is essential to the success of U.S. and allied forces within the modern battlespace. Using laser weapons as optical and electro-optic countermeasures (OCM and EOCM) will likely be an integral part of an opposing forces strategy to negate our night dominance.
Lasers to be used as OCM and EOCM to image-intensifier-based night-vision systems have been fielded for some time. A protocol banning the intentional use of lasers to induce permanent blindness in soldiers not using vision-enhancing optics was signed in Vienna, Austria, in September 1995 and went into effect in July 1998. This protocol does not limit the use of laser weapons as EOCM and recognizes that some blinding injuries will occur as a result of the lawful use of lasers on a battlefield. Lasers will increase the effectiveness of conventional weapons and act as force multipliers in defensive roles. Man-in-the-loop modeling of this type of scenario indicates that the defensive use of laser-based weapons reduces both rate-of-advance and firing rate for the attacking force.
So far, all fielded systems operate at fixed wavelengths and are thus susceptible to countermeasures based on simple filters. However, the present trend is toward countermeasure resistance via tunable lasers where the wavelengths to be encountered will be unknown. The technology base in tunable lasers is presently sufficient for countermeasure-resistant lasers to be fielded in significant numbers by 2005.
U.S. military forces and their allies depend on thermal imaging systems for use both during the day and at night. Lasers operating in the long-wave-infrared (LWIR) are an attractive EOCM to these systems. Lasers capable of jamming LWIR imagers (commonly known as FLIR or forward-looking infrared systems) operating between eight and 12 microns are presently mature, practical, and perhaps more importantly, commercially available. Lasers of this type would cause the temporary or permanent loss of effectiveness of a thermal imaging system. By 2005, several producing countries could field this type of EOCM system.
Laser weapons are just now entering the phase where proliferation to non-producing nations is beginning. This trend will drastically increase should any country successfully demonstrate employment in a future military action. These weapons may be available to purchasing countries, including the rogue states and non-state entities, either via direct proliferation or indigenous conversion of "dual-use" lasers and optical components.
FORCE PROTECTION PROGRAMS
The Army is committed to providing improved laser and ballistic eye protection for all military personnel. The Sun, Wind, and Dust Goggles are currently used by combat vehicle crewmen and have been a standard military item since the 1950s. Type 5 and Type 6 lenses offer laser protection as well as ballistic protection. Ballistic/Laser Protective Spectacles (BLPS), for soldiers who require prescription eye-wear, and Special Protective Eye-wear, Cylindrical System (SPECS), for soldiers who do not require prescription eye-wear, are the current, standard protective eye-wear for both ballistic and laser threats for the remainder of the force. To date, approximately 309,000 BLPS/SPECS have been procured. The Military Eye Protection System (MEPS) will provide eye-wear laser countermeasure capability 24 hours a day. This is an umbrella program to develop and deliver improved laser and ballistic fragmentation protection for the Army and Marine Corps. MEPS is scheduled for fielding in FY03.
The supporting Science and Technology (S&T) program has developed robust dielectric coatings on polycarbonate lenses that reflect or absorb discreet wavelengths of laser light. This technology forms the basis for laser eye protection that is usable for nighttime and low light as well as daytime operations. Nighttime use is the most technically challenging because of the requirement to absorb the laser energy while allowing transmittance of the most ambient light possible through the lenses. MEPS will be able to incorporate this new technology. Lasers that operate over a range of wavelengths represent a much greater threat, and require eye protection across most of the visible spectrum. The S&T program is addressing this need through research into nonlinear optical materials (NLOs) that began in FY99 and will proceed through FY03.
Aircraft laser detection is provided by the AN/AVR-2A(V) Laser Detection Set. It is designed to detect, characterize by type, and report visually and audibly the laser threat. Sight and sensor protection is provided by the application of coatings and addition of filters into the optical paths of the sights to prevent laser damage. Protection to aircrew members is provided by a combination of laser spectacles and laser visors integrated into the flight helmet. We have identified a requirement for 3,009 systems of which 990 have been procured. Fielding to Force Package 1 requires 1,576 systems. This program is unfunded in the FY00 budget.
Laser protection for flight crews in the future will be integrated into the Air Warrior ensemble. The ensemble will include the Modular Integrated Helmet Display System, Combat Identification, Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) protection, and laser and ballistic protection. The goal is to ensure aviators and aircrew members are able to safely operate the aircraft in any future environment.
The current programs to improve the laser visor capability are the Joint Army/Navy Advanced Laser Eye Protection Visor (JALEPV), and the developing Tri-Service Agile Laser Eye Protection program. Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) is complete, but procurement is unfunded. The Agile Laser Eye Protection program will provide cross spectrum laser protection. The Army is not currently providing funds to this program. RDT&E is funded by the Navy and Air Force.
Image intensifier systems in the Army inventory are most commonly recognized by the term "Night Vision Goggles." These include head-mounted systems such as AN/PVS-7, and AN/PVS-14s for ground use and the AN/AVS-6 ANVIS (Aviators Night Vision Imaging System) for aircrew members. Non head-mounted applications include a family of long-range observation devices and sniper scopes.
The most common protection for these systems is the use of snap on, snap off Light Interference Filters (LIFs), sometimes referred to as coated optical components. These are three notch laser filters, and are fielded with every set of ground and air night vision goggles. A one notch filter absorbs a specific frequency of energy and correlates to known laser threats. Multiple notches protect against multiple laser threat frequencies. Additional protection from off axis laser energy may be provided to the aviator by wearing laser spectacles.
The Second Generation FLIR (SGF) Horizontal Technology Integration family of devices includes the Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System (LRAS3) and Second Generation FLIRs for the Abrams tank, Bradley fighting vehicle, and the Line-of-Sight Anti-tank. FLIRs will employ filter wheels. These filter wheels are variants of the LIF technology adapted for use in FLIR systems. These FLIR systems also use indirect optics for additional protection. The aviation application of SGF FLIRs will also use filter wheel technology to block lasers.
Biological weapons employ pathogens or toxins for military effect; chemical weapons exploit the toxic effects of chemical substances to kill or incapacitate. Virtually all the equipment and materiel necessary for biological agent development and production is dual use; the basic technology to produce first generation chemical weapons is almost 80 years old, and is well within the technical grasp of Third World nations. Nearly two dozen states (including North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Syria) have or are actively developing chemical or biological weapons. While the integration of chemical or biological weapons into a warfighting doctrine remains a difficult hurdle for most foreign military forces to cross, the simple use of these deadly weapons for the purpose of generating terror is a plausible alternative. Furthermore, the relative ease of production for chemical or biological weapons (especially in comparison to nuclear weapons) makes them an attractive alternative for terrorists. The trend in international terrorism of late has been toward fewer, more lethal, terrorist acts: chemical or biological weapons would fit snugly within that trend.
In the chemical arena, most countries with programs are working on similar sets of agents. These involve the traditional classes of blood, choking, blister and nerve agents. Russia has been the world leader in chemical warfare technology, and there are indications it may be working on a new generation of agents. Countries with less advanced programs are attempting to move into production of nerve agents, including the more toxic and persistent V-series agents. These same countries also seek to develop the capability to produce all necessary precursors to free themselves from dependence on external suppliers.
The biological arena is filled with unknowns and provides some of our greatest challenges. There are many possible biological warfare (BW) agents, and the physiological effects are far more varied than those of chemical warfare (CW) agents. In the not-too-distant future, we will enter the uncharted territory of genetically modified agents. Biological agents are of interest to a number of potential threats both states and non-states because of the relatively small investment needed for development and the large effects that can be created by small quantities of agent. Biological programs are also among the hardest to track.
The Iraqi program is a good example of the challenges we face. Working throughout the 1980s, Iraq studied many potential BW pathogens and toxins. It succeeded in weaponizing three agents: botulinum toxin, anthrax and aflatoxin. These agents are probably typical of the agents on which other BW programs would focus. Despite wartime damage and subsequent inspections and supervised destruction, Iraq may still retain some BW agents. Moreover, it also has a number of medical, veterinary, and university facilities where biotechnology research and development can be carried out. As with its other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs, there is little doubt that Iraq intends to reestablish its BW effort when possible. It is well positioned to do so because of the assets it retains, and it could resume limited agent production fairly quickly.
There are a number of ways a hostile actor could use chemical or biological agents against us. One would be directly against our combat and combat support forces on or near the battlefield. A second mode would be to use CW/BW agents to contaminate a facility or territory to deny us its use. One of the most worrisome possibilities would be contamination of the ports naval or aerial we would need for insertion of our deploying forces into an operational area. Another example would be long-term contamination of a critical economic asset such as oilfields. A state could attack or threaten to attack the continental United States with CW/BW agents using missiles or some unconventional delivery means. And a particularly worrisome possibility is that terrorists may acquire CW/BW weapons and use them against American targets overseas or in the continental United States.
DOD JOINT SERVICE CHEMICAL BIOLOGICAL DEFENSE PROGRAM
The Department of Defense (DoD) Chemical Biological Defense (CBD) program invests in technologies to provide improved capabilities that have minimal adverse impact on our war-fighting potential. All of these capabilities integrated as a system-of-systems are essential to avoid contamination and to sustain operational tempo on an asymmetric battlefield.
The NBC Defense programs are categorized broadly under five commodity areas: contamination avoidance, individual protection, collective protection, medical, and decontamination
CONTAMINATION AVOIDANCE (Detection, Identification, and Warning)
The focus of this area is on multi-agent sensors and detectors to provide real-time detection, identification, and reporting of NBC contamination. Technology focuses on (1) detection sensitivity and specificity across the evolving spectrum of threat agents; (2) system miniaturization, increased detection range, and minimizing false alarms; and (3) development and integration of automated NBC detectors into command and control networks to provide common, Joint warning and reporting. To meet near-term needs while these technologies mature, non-developmental items (NDI) are being assessed and acquired to fill critical detection gaps. The far-term objective is to integrate chemical and biological point detection and early warning capabilities into a single system.
Biological Detection (Lead: Joint Program Office for Biological Defense (JPO-BD))
The goal of biological detection is to provide a real-time capability to locate, detect, identify, quantify, and warn of a BW agent attack below infectious and incapacitating levels. Our current detection capability includes fielding robust ground based point detection sensors and complementary long-range, stand-off aerosol cloud detection. Current development and fielding emphasis is being placed on a Joint, automated multi-agent detection and identification bio suite. Stand-off detection capabilities are being improved with an automated system with increased range and improved cloud tracking and mapping capability. In the near-term, complementary detectors will be developed to improve reliability and reduce false alarms.
Biological Integrated Detection System (BIDS). The current BIDS provides the capability to detect a biological attack and identify a limited number of agents within 45 minutes. A pre-planned product improvement (P3I) version of the BIDS, will increase sensitivity, decrease response time, and identify additional agents. We currently plan to field 124 systems, 10 of which support training activities. Thirty eight systems of the BIDS NDI have been fielded; 14 of the P3I systems have been fielded, with an additional 24 planned for fielding in FY00. Another 38 systems will be fielded in FY02.
Portal Shield (MARK III). This system is a network of automated sensors designed to detect up to eight BW agents simultaneously in 15 to 25 minutes. It is being deployed in March 1999, and will provide DoD with the first ever BW force protection capability at high-value, strategic fixed sites. Twelve MARK II systems were initially deployed to Kuwait; however, four were moved to Bahrain last December. After we complete deployment of MARK III systems to Korea, we plan to replace the prototype systems in the U.S. Central Command.
Joint Biological Point Detection System (JBPDS). The JBPDS Block I is an integration of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine programs. The sensor suite will be capable of detecting and identifying BW agents in less than 20 minutes and to identify 10 agents simultaneously. The JBPDS Block II upgrades the BW detection and identification capabilities through advanced technologies. The Block I RDT&E effort transitions to procurement in FY00 for a total of 104 systems. R&D efforts will continue for the JBPDS Block II to upgrade the BW detection capability with advanced technologies.
Long Range Biological Standoff Detector System (LRBSDS). The LRBSDS provides a capability to test, range, and track particulate clouds that are indicative of a BW attack. The program is designed in two phases; an NDI phase designed to rapidly field an interim capability and a pre-planned product improvement (P3I) phase. Three NDI LRBSDS have been fielded. Procurement of the P3I will be initiated in FY00.
The strategy for company level chemical agent detection and warning focuses on fielding an automatic chemical point detector in the near-term and improved miniature sensors in the mid- and far-terms. NDIs have also been assessed in this area. Current efforts include advanced and multi-agent chemical agent alarms for vehicles and man-portable detection devices for chemical agent vapors.
Improved Chemical Agent Monitor (ICAM) (Lead Service: Army). The ICAM detects vapors of both nerve and mustard chemical agents and is an improved version of the fielded CAM. It is significantly more reliable, user friendly, less complicated and costly to maintain than the older version. ICAM fielding began in FY99 to active Army units and continues through FY03. Funds in FY00 ($12.8 million) will procure 2,984 systems.
Automatic Chemical Agent Alarm (ACADA-NDI) (Lead Service: Army). The ACADA-NDI is an advanced point sampling chemical agent alarm system that meets critical, current deficiencies. It permits concurrent detection of nerve and blister agents with improved sensitivity, faster response time, agent identification, significantly improved interference rejection, and a data communications interface. ACADA-NDI is man-portable, operates unattended after system start-up, and provides both audible and visible alarms. ACADA is currently in procurement. The FY00 budget provides funding ($37.2 million) for 4,759 sets.
Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD) (Lead Service: Air Force). The JCAD will be a small, versatile CW agent detection system with many applications. It will be a portable monitoring and small point chemical agent detector for aircraft, shipboard, and individual soldier applications. JCAD is a detector capable of automatically detecting, identifying, and quantifying chemical agents inside aircraft and shipboard interiors, providing hand-held monitoring capabilities, and alerting the individual soldier/sailor/airman/Marine through the use of pocket-sized detection and alarm. It will be capable of integration with 21st Century Land Warrior, the Armys program for modernizing the dismounted soldier, sensors, and communications equipment. The program is evaluating ion mobility spectrometry and surface acoustic wave-guide technologies. It is currently in development and will transition to production in FY02.
M93A1 NBC Reconnaissance System (NBCRS) (Lead Service: Army). The M93A1, an upgrade to the fielded Fox NBCRS interim system, provides organic maintenance and reduces crew size to three. It has the capability to detect chemical contamination in its immediate environment through improved point detection, and at a distance through the use of a stand-off detector. It integrates contamination information from all detector systems, onboard navigation and meteorological systems, and transmits digital NBC warning messages through the Maneuver Control System to warn follow-on forces. This system is currently in procurement with funding in FY00 ($24.9 million) to upgrade 11 M93 Fox to the M93A1 configuration.
CB Mass Spectrometer (CBMS) (Lead: JPO-BD). The CBMS is a developmental component of the BIDS and the NBCRS. It is being designed as an ion trap mass spectrometer to detect and identify threat biological and chemical agents. CBMS includes a mass analyzer capable of tandem mass spectrometry. It is currently in research and development (R&D) and will transition to procurement in FY01.
Light NBCRS (Lead Service: Marine Corps). The LNBCRS will consist of an NBC detection suite which will electronically map CB contaminated areas and provide meteorological data to Marine and Army forces. The system can be mounted on the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) and a standard High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), and it will have similar capabilities as the current M93 Fox NBCRS. The Joint, Light NBCRS will be fielded to the Army, Air Force, and Marines starting in FY01.
Joint Warning and Reporting Network (JWARN) (Lead Service: Marine Corps). This battlefield decision aid will provide a near-real-time picture of the contaminated battlefield (situational awareness), assist in alerting all forces of WMD hazards, and minimize casualties by providing a contaminated avoidance capability. JWARN Phase I provided an interim capability in FY97 by using Commercial-Off-the Shelf (COTS) software and existing reporting systems to process and transmit digitized NBC information. JWARN Phase II in FY00 will link multiple existing and developmental detectors/sensors to Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) systems. Phase III in FY04 will use advanced modeling and simulation and artificial intelligence technologies, and provide NBC hazard predictions, scenario pre-play, and combat effectiveness measures for battlefield commanders.
The goals of individual protection technology efforts are to (1) improve protection against current threats and add protection against future threats; (2) minimize mission degradation by reducing the impact of individual protection on the soldiers performance; and (3) reduce logistics burdens
M40 Series Masks (Lead Service: Army). Currently in procurement, the M40/M42 mask provides respiratory, eye, and face protection against chemical and biological agents, radioactive particles, and battlefield contaminants. The M45 mask is the replacement for the M24 and M49 (formerly designated M43 Type II) aircrew masks. The M45 mask will be used by Army aircrew members, in the conduct of aviation missions in a CB environment The M45 mask will also be integrated into the 21st Century Land Warrior program.
Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) (Lead Service: Marine Corps). The JSLIST is a phased program to develop improved protective clothing that meets all Service performance requirements. Protective clothing research is focused on developing new air permeable materials that provide improved protection against CB warfare threats while minimizing the physiological and psychological burdens. Production of JSLIST ensembles to include overgarments and gloves is ongoing.
Joint Service General Purpose Mask (JSGPM) (Lead Service: Army). JSGPM is being developed as the replacement for the M40, M42, M45, and M49 masks. It is intended to significantly reduce mission degradation while remaining compatible with future equipment and soldier systems. The mask will be virtually maintenance free. Unit costs may be low enough to allow for disposal after contamination.
Joint Service Aviation Mask (JSAM) (Lead Service: Air Force). The JSAM is a technology effort to develop a protective mask system for high-performance aviation requirements and possibly for use by rotary-wing pilots. This effort will focus on consolidation of requirements from a series of high-performance aviation mask systems, some of which are not intended to provide protection against chemical or biological agents.
Collective protection (CP) equipment, with regenerating filtration capability, will be available for integration into weapon platforms providing continuous air, eliminating the logistics and maintenance burdens of filter replacement, and providing protection against anticipated future threats. Future CP equipment will be smaller, lighter, and require less power.
Chemical Biological Protective Shelter (CBPS) (Lead Service: Army). The CBPS provides NBC collective protection for front-line medical units and replaces the M51 shelter system which was retired in FY96. The NBC filtration system includes an environmental control unit that provides conditioned air for patients and aid station staff. The system is made of lightweight materials and is transportable by HMMWVs and 1½-ton trailers. The FY00 program budget ($14 million) will procure 32 shelters.
Joint Collective Protection Equipment (JCPE) (Lead Service: Navy). The JCPE effort will evaluate and implement improvements to current CP filters, motors, blowers, and other associated hardware. It will also evaluate several advanced CB filtration concepts to prove feasibility. The FY00 budget ($1.2 million) initiates the acquisition of environmental control units for Portable Collective Protection systems.
This program has resulted in the fielding of numerous products to protect and treat Service members. In medical chemical defense we seek to develop and evaluated compounds or drugs to counter the effects of CW agents. Similarly, in medical biological defense, we seek vaccines or drugs to inhibit or counter the effects of toxins, bacteria, and viruses.
To counter the chemical threat, we continue to acquire and field medical defense items to enhance individual survivability. Among them are CB Protective patient wraps, the Forward Deployable Nerve Agent Exposure Kit, nerve agent pre-treatments and antidotes, and vision corrective lenses compatible with the M40 Series Masks. A new topical skin protectant (TSP) has been selected and should begin production this fiscal year. The new TSP will provide protection against blister and nerve agents. Also, progress has been made in the development of equipment expected in the near-term, including a Multi-chambered Autoinjector for administration of life saving antidotes against nerve agents, and a pretreatment for cyanide.
To counter the biological threat, the DoD Biological Defense Program is focused on a prime systems contract approach for the management of biological defense vaccines. The approach will include: program definition and risk reduction, advanced development, licensing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), production, stockpiling, testing, distribution, and maintenance of a comprehensive database. The currently licensed anthrax vaccine will be procured, with the current direction being to provide 2.4M Troop Equivalent Doses (TED) of licensed anthrax vaccine. All other requirements for vaccines are based on 1.2M TEDs for high BW threats and .3M TEDs for lesser BW threats. With respect to genetically modified agents, the prime systems contract was specifically structured to provide DoD the flexibility to take on these emerging threat agents
This area includes decontaminates and equipment for personal equipment, vehicles, supplies, weapon systems, airfields, ports, and other fixed sites. Current decontamination systems are being replaced, retrofitted and retired as part of a re-capitalization program to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing decontaminating methods. The goals for decontamination are to find technologies that remove and detoxify contaminants from materials without injuring personnel or damaging the equipment or environment, as well as reduce the logistical and manpower burden.
Modular Decontamination System (MDS) (Lead Service: Army). The MDS contains a decontaminant pumper module (XM21) to mechanically dispense and brush/scrub DS2 and liquid field expedient decontaminants. With the high-pressure washer (XM22), the MDS will provide the soldier an improved capability to perform decontamination on the battlefield with reduced water usage, labor, and processing time. Procurement was initiated in FY99. In FY00, we will use contract options to procure an additional 75 systems ($6.1 million).
Sorbent Decontamination System (Lead Service: Army). This program will develop a decontaminant for an immediate level of decontamination and will also eliminate DS2 from the operators spray-down procedures. Planned fielding in FY02 will replace both the M-11 and M-13 Decontamination Apparatuses. The FY00 RDT&E program ($5.6 million) continues Demonstration/Validation.
All of these capabilities integrated as a system-of-systems approach are essential to avoid contamination and to sustain operational tempo on an asymmetric battlefield. Moreover, sound Joint doctrine and realistic training remain fundamental to our defense against chemical and biological weapons. The DoD CBD program is focusing on a Jointly integrated, balanced approach to obtaining needed capabilities for our forces within affordability constraints.
In summary, the DoD Joint Chemical Biological Defense Program is well structured to respond to the current and projected CW/BW threat. Each aspect of the program is designed to increase chemical and biological defense preparedness of the Joint force. A high degree of preparedness is probably the single greatest preventive step we can take in deterring the use of chemical or biological weapons.
BALLISTIC/SMALL ARMS THREATS
Currently available small arms represent a mature technology in which further advances are likely to yield only marginal improvements.
Market factors inhibit rapid technological advances over the near-term. Due to the downsizing of many large armies, there is a global glut of surplus small arms; and producers are saddled with tremendous excess capacity.
For both market and technical reasons, then, we expect improvements in small arms to be incremental rather than radical over the near term through 2005. Producers will emphasize the addition of enhancement devices (i.e., optical, Electro-Optical (EO), and fire-control systems designed to improve small-arm firing accuracy). Optical systems (e.g., ring sights, aiming lights, and red-dot collimators) and EO devices (e.g., first- and second-generation image-intensifiers) are being used by elite forces and border troops of potential threat countries now and will gradually appear in service with regular forces, though probably not in great numbers until after 2005.
Because of the increasing use of light-armored vehicles and modern body-armor, the use of Armor-piercing (AP) bullets against both materiel and human targets will become commonplace by 2005. Numerous ammunition firms offer 7.62 x 51-mm AP round; and, although currently only a few manufacturers sell 5.56-mm AP rounds, additional manufacturers undoubtedly will sell them in the near future. AP rounds in 5.45-mm x 39-mm and 7.62 x 39-mm calibers also are available, and their use will expand as well.
The trend in assault rifles over the last 20 years has been away from the 7.62-mm to either 5.45-mm or 5.56-mm weapons. These smaller assault rifles, as well as their ammunition, are generally lighter and cheaper than 7.62-mm systems and maintain lethality at ranges of 300 meters and less.
Sniper rifles have gained in popularity, perhaps due to our effective use of 12.7 x 99-mm Barretta Model 82A1 sniper rifles against Iraqi howitzers during the 1991 Gulf War, or because of their effectiveness in Bosnia. Future sniper rifles will have similar performance characteristics to those of the Mauser Model SR 93, which reportedly is able penetrate body armor at ranges beyond 600 meters, or the Accuracy International 0.338 Super Magnum sniper rifle, which reportedly is able to defeat light armor at ranges beyond 1,000 meters.
As with assault rifles, the trend in light machine-guns (LMGs) has been a general but slower move away from 7.62-mm weapons to the lighter 5.45-mm and 5.56-mm weapons. Producers will add visual, aiming, and fire-control devices and provide AP rounds, but this trend will not become significant until around 2005 and later.
General-purpose machine-guns (GPMGs) are heavier and have longer ranges (typically 800 to 1,000 meters) than LMGs. Unlike LMGs, GPMGs are virtually all 7.62 in caliber. Most potential threat countries will simply upgrade these systems with better-wearing barrels, enhanced sighting-equipment, and fire-control systems. Use of AP bullets in GPMGs by potential threat countries will become commonplace by 2005.
FORCE PROTECTION PROGRAMS
Body Armor. The Armys is working to provide soldiers with fragmentation and small arms protection at a reduced weight. We are replacing the current ballistic protective vest and the interim small arms protective overvest with the integrated Interceptor Body Armor. We began fielding this system to our Light Infantry Divisions, including the Enhanced Light Brigades, in FY99. The Body Armor will be fielded in FY00 to our Special Forces/Rangers followed by the 82nd Airborne Division. The 48,000 sets of Interceptor Body Armor that will be procured between FY99 and FY03 will equip most of the Armys Light Infantry units, including the Army National Guard and Army Reserve. However, the Army heavy forces will continue to use the current body armor.
Concealable Body Armor (CBA). The Army will provide concealable ballistic protection against handgun and small arms rounds for users in missions where concealable armor is needed such as protective services, military law enforcement, VIP, and low profile mission personnel. Current funding supports the procurement of approximately 22,500 CBA sets between FY99 and FY03. The Army will procure sufficient quantities to outfit Military Police (MP) in the Active Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve.
Stabilizer (STAB) Body Armor. The Army requirement is to provide protection to the upper torso from serious, lethal stab wounds and cylindrical, edged penetrations and is intended for use by MPs in correctional institutes and POW compounds as well as force protection of DoD personnel. Fielding is planned in FY01. The Army plans to procure 900 STAB sets.
The Army S&T program in individual ballistic protection continues to focus on defeating emerging threats through lighter weight and improved protective technologies. The S&T base for these improved systems includes the development of high performance polymer-based materials, improved ceramic-based composites, as well as the exploitation of novel defeat mechanisms and material integration techniques.
Protecting our soldiers from our own and allies weapons has been and continues to be a vexing problem. We have worked Jointly to attack this issue and are making progress through information technologies funded through digitization efforts. Fratricide is an inherent risk posed by what the Prussian military theoretician Carl von Clausewitz called the "fog" and "friction" of war. Induced fratricide may be an area of potential asymmetry for future opponents. U.S. military emphasis on precision-strike engagements from standoff delivery systems clearly indicates a preference to attack our opponents while denying them the capability to respond. Opposing forces may choose to close with and maintain continuous contact with U.S. military forces to complicate targeting, reduce the effectiveness of precision-strike systems, and increase the potential for fratricide. The concept of "hugging" U.S. ground forces could play out through traditional forms of maneuver or through the exploitation of terrain such as urban warfare. This complex picture is even more complicated by the presence of allied formations on the battlefield, as well as the potential for opposing force employment of widely proliferated, western-produced weapon systems capabilities.
FORCE PROTECTION PROGRAMS
The Battlefield Combat Identification System (BCIS) is a millimeter wave, question and answer system that enables friendly ground vehicles to positively identify (ID) each other on the battlefield, in order to minimize fratricide incidents and enhance combat effectiveness. It is designed for use by all types of combat, combat support, and combat service support vehicles in support of both conventional and unconventional warfare operations.
An important program to the individual soldier is the Armys Combat Identification for the Dismounted Soldier (CIDDS). It is a lightweight, laser interrogate, radio frequency reply, question and answer combat identification system which enables friendly dismounted soldiers to ID each other. CIDDS is being developed in two complete interoperable configurations: Stand-alone and Land Warrior. It is designed to be used by all types of combat, combat support, and combat service support soldiers in support of Army, USMC, and Special Operations Forces, U.S. and Allied, requirements.
Aviation Combat Identification has been fielded since the 1960s. The MARK XII Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Interrogator/Transponder System is a VHF radio frequency based on an interrogate/reply combat identification system. The airborne IFF system automatically responds to ground or airborne interrogations with a coded reply identifying the aircraft as a friendly system. It is fielded to DoD fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
The Army Battle Command System (ABCS) is the integration of command and control systems found at all echelons: from the ground force commander at the theater to the individual soldier or weapons platforms. ABCS is the integration of automation systems and communications capabilities, which link strategic and tactical headquarters. It is interoperable with Joint and multinational command and control systems at higher echelons and is vertically and horizontally integrated at the tactical and operational levels. ABCS has three major components: Global Command and ControlArmy (GCCS-A), Army Tactical Command and Control System (ATCCS), and the Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below (FBCB2) system.
The digitization effort at the brigade and below levels of command is called FBCB2. FBCB2 is a suite of digitally interoperable, Battlefield Operating System - specific functional applications, designed to provide on-the-move- near-real-time situational information to tactical combat, combat support, and combat service support leaders from ATCCS to the platform and soldier level. FBCB2 will help populate the database with automated positional friendly information and current tactical battlefield geometry for friendly and known/suspected enemy forces. It will also provide leaders with situational reporting, calls for fire, close air support via graphic, and textual orders.
We are working very closely with the other Services to ensure that our anti-fratricide solutions are interoperable with their solutions. The fratricide problem encompasses four categories of battlefield operations or mission areas: air-to-air, ground-to-air, air-to-ground, and ground-to-ground. The Navy has the overall lead for the first two areas, while we have the lead for the air-to-ground and ground-to-ground areas. We are making excellent progress in the ground-to-ground area with BCIS and CIDDS.
Because the air-to-ground area includes fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft, it has unique requirements. For example, weight and space are particular issues with the helicopter. Integration cost is an issue with both aircraft. During the last three years, the Army has led a Joint Combat Identification Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program under the sponsorship of the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Advanced Technology. This ACTD is designed to address particularly the air-to-ground area, but also the ground-to-ground area from a Joint perspective. In concert with U.S. Atlantic Command, the ACTD operational sponsor, and the other Services, we conducted a number of joint operational demonstrations that assessed the military utility of the Services' combat identification solutions. That effort was highly successful in helping us address the Joint aspects of the fratricide problem.
During the last year, we have been working with the Office, Joint Chiefs of Staff on an effort to address near-term materiel and non-materiel combat identification solutions and to develop Joint Service interface requirements for future systems. In addition, since 1993, we have had a Memorandum of Understanding with the Marines on combat identification that provides for direct cooperation between our two Services.
Clearly the field of unconventional or nontraditional threats is one both broad and diverse. Some asymmetric approaches, like chemical or biological weapons and mines, are fairly mature areas where development continues apace. Others, like ballistic/small arms, are mature and simply evolving. Still others, such as laser weapons, remain promising but have not yet matured. These approaches and the related threat of induced fratricide are pertinent examples of the changing nature of threats today. Asymmetry is limited only by our opponents innovation and imagination; we must never underestimate either. The Intelligence Community is constantly analyzing foreign force development to ascertain a commitment to employ unconventional threats. While we remain vigilant, responding to each potential asymmetry is another type of challenge: to paraphrase the warning of the Chinese philosopher Sun-Tzu, "he who attempts to prepare for everything, is prepared for nothing."
It is our solemn responsibility to ensure that Americas soldiers maintain their overwhelming combat edge into the 21st century. In the words of our Chief of Staff, General Dennis Reimer, "We can never forget that the ultimate technology and the ultimate weapon for the U.S. Army will always be the individual soldier." Soldiers on the ground are our nations strongest signal of resolve and the ultimate expression of American will. Our sons and daughters in uniform must never go in harms way without the proper equipment. It is our Joint duty to protect them against all threats. Our security and our continuing role in maintaining world stability cannot be guaranteed without the soldier and a first rate, modern Army.