Chapter 6

Capabilities Assessment


This chapter presents subjective assessments of the AMD force’s ability to meet the operational capabilities required for the Army Vision 2010 patterns of operation discussed in Chapter 3. These assessments are the foundation for the key capabilities shortfalls identified at the conclusion of this chapter and the investment recommendations articulated in Chapter 7.

Assessments are presented as RED, AMBER, and GREEN. RED, AMBER, and GREEN ratings express the adequacy of AMD systems and systems’ improvements to meet required capabilities across all levels of war (strategic, operational and tactical), with added considerations of funding constraints, postulated growth in threat capabilities, and the fielding of technology enhancements.

RED -- inadequate capability or quantity to meet mission needs.

AMBER -- limited capability or quantity to meet mission needs.

GREEN -- adequate capability and quantity to meet mission needs.

The baseline for the assessments is the Army Vision 2010 patterns of operations. Complete descriptions of the AMD force’s conceptual participation in these patterns are articulated in Chapter 3. In addition, since air and missile defense is inherently a joint operation, references to other service AMD elements appear in the assessment discussions. For purposes of clarity, the term (acronym) "air and missile defense (AMD)" will herein denote Army AMD systems and operations. Multiservice AMD systems/operations will appear as "joint AMD." While addressing the contributions of all services in joint AMD operations, the narrative and assessments focus on the adequacy or inadequacy of the Army elements. This process provides for the isolation of operational shortfalls in fielded Army systems and the identification of recommendations for specific materiel improvements. These recommendations will be further considered in terms of needs of the Army/maneuver force and fielded/demonstrated capabilities of the other services’ systems.

The assessments are not scenario specific. However, there are two underlying premises in discussing the operational setting: forward presence forces and pre-positioned equipment are not assumed, and the AMD force will have the capability to execute the National Military Strategy scenario.

The assessments present snapshots in time. Four time periods are targeted: FY99 (the budget year), FY05 (the end of the FY00-05 POM), FY10 (the year of Army Vision 2010/Joint Vision 2010), and FY14 (the end of the FY06-14 Extended Planning Period [EPP]). Though assessments are not made beyond FY14, the impacts of these assessments - evaluations of the adequacy or inadequacy of the fielded/emerging systems during the FY99-14 timeframe - will help to focus technology to meet AMD Force 2025 requirements. The assessments rate the system capabilities and quantities in those years against the required operational capabilities for each Army Vision 2010 pattern of operation. Systems and system improvements that are assessed are limited to those that have achieved FUE, are funded to meet FUE in the projected timeframes, or have high-level Congressional or Army support. In addition, systems and system improvements not funded through procurement/fielding are annotated as "unfunded."

Capabilities and mission enablers realized through programs outside AMD (e.g., JTIDS and EPLRS for AMD connectivity and data distribution) are assumed to be in place when and as needed. Exceptions to this assumption will be noted.

Virtually all AMD systems contribute to the execution of each required capability at some time and in some area within the theater of operations. In an attempt to focus on the key systems and system improvement drivers, "solutions" are constrained to those deemed most applicable to meeting the capability.

The following paragraphs describe the specific assessments of the patterns of operation. Accompanying figures summarize the assessments of each required capability for each pattern over time, with succinct rationale for the assessments and assessment changes. Amplifying narrative follows the figures. Such data are not repeated, though many of the required capabilities and solutions appear in more than one pattern, unless additional information is necessary.

The order of presentation of the required operational capabilities within each pattern does not imply prioritization. Each capability is treated as equally important. However, some capabilities cannot be achieved unless other capabilities are previously executed.

Gain Information Dominance

Gain Information Dominance encompasses the ability to attain and sustain friendly force information operations while simultaneously denying this ability to threat forces. From mission onset, attainment requires the gathering, synthesizing, and sharing of data by the various components of the joint force.

Mission planning and execution results in the fusion and coordination of air picture and threat warning data from available sensor sources. Long- range air picture information, provided by the consortium of national sensors and satellites, joint sources such as the Air Force and Navy AWACS platforms, and JTAGS, assists in creating early warning, situation awareness, and intelligence for the force commanders. The shorter-range sensors of ground-based systems, augmented with Aerostat, provide added intelligence on low-level, smaller signature threats (CMs, UAVs, helicopters) that may be "invisible" to other sensors. The synergy of capabilities allows for the creation and distribution of a common, accurate area air picture.

Integrated service command and control centers, such as the AAMDC and the Navy Combat Intelligence Center in initial operations, perform joint, force-level AMD operations, coordination, and control, and exchange time-sensitive operational data. Interoperable command and control centers throughout the joint force and the ground force, with requisite connectivity and responsiveness, provide integrated battle management and execution. The ability to remove the threat "eyes" or communications flow and to degrade the continuity of operations is fundamental to the attainment of information supremacy. In conjunction with offensive air and deep attack strikes against command, control, and communications complexes, AMD forces will engage the UAV RISTA platforms, denying them intelligence data on friendly force locations, movements, and intentions. Warnings of threat aerial activity will trigger passive defense measures, further preventing threat situational awareness.

Assessments of specific capabilities are shown in Figure 6-1.

The Sentinel, FAAD C2, and JTAGS systems provide aerial situational awareness and warning. Collectively, they offer adequate detection and expedient alerting of air and missile threats. Their connectivity to other service and national sensors further facilitates information intelligence gathering and data correlation. FAAD C2 P3I funding shortfalls, however, will decrease future distribution capabilities. Cueing to attack operations elements is achievable through JTAGS and back-tell from PATRIOT/THAAD.

The AMD Brigade TOCs provide integration with the supported force and the joint elements. Though common off-the-shelf items, they provide automated connectivity for near-real-time transmission of critical operational data. They are limited (AMBER) by a lack of standardization or commonality. In addition, AMD Brigade TOC capabilities are further restricted by the absence of automated capabilities in the battalion TOCs. The development and fielding of the AMDPCS to brigades and battalions will enhance engagement and administrative/logistical operations and result in the requisite interoperability across the force. However, integration of all components remains limited by communications equipment shortfalls.

Data from the AMD sensors, with augmenting or complementary data from AMD weapon system radars and joint AMD sensors, facilitate protection of the critical command, control, and communications nodes and the conduct of offensive and defensive information warfare. PATRIOT provides a good capability (GREEN) against air and missile threats, to include long-range, high- altitude UAVs. While generally positioned in the theater and corps areas, PATRIOT could move forward to extend air and missile defense to corps maneuver forces and to increase counter-UAV capabilities. However, PATRIOT cannot keep pace with rapid maneuvering forces; additionally, such a move forward would likely result in a weakening in the rear defense, as generally there will be insufficient PATRIOT units to protect all critical assets. Avenger and Bradley Linebacker, though range limited, have capabilities against CMs, UAVs, and helicopters. The STC capability in both systems enhances the sensor-to-shooter link. Engagements by Stinger-based platforms are hampered by a lack of organic positive identification means. The Avenger, Bradley Linebacker, and Stinger MANPADS must still visually identify targets before engagements. The key systems that could support the realization of information supremacy-- MEADS (after FY99) and the advanced weapon system(s) -- are unfunded.

Project the Force

AMD Force operations during Project the Force focus on mission planning and actions from the United States, or other staging bases, to early entry and initial buildup in the theater of operations. Mission planning must encompass pre-deployment, en route, and post-deployment actions. Key considerations are what are needed, when, and where. Threat, strategic transport availability, system capabilities, and interoperability needs are driving factors. Simulation, analysis, and rehearsal are major contributors to force readiness prior to deployment.

Protection of the force projection base is of paramount importance. The threat’s ability to threaten that base, whether real or perceived, may significantly influence deployment flow. AMD forces must be alerted to and prepared for any possibilities of threat aerial actions.

The initial AMD force to deploy must be modular, tailorable, versatile, interoperable, and lethal. In scenarios with littoral operations, it is likely that the Navy Aegis will provide initial TMD protection of the deploying forces. The airlifted Army AMD force will be among the first deployed Army elements and, with Navy (and, perhaps, Marine) AMD systems, will operate in task-organized forces to establish the multilayered protection to counter the threat spectrum. As buildup of forces and equipment continues, the deployed Army, Air Force, and Marine AMD forces and C2 elements will maintain the full dimensional defense of the later arriving deployers into APODs and SPODs. Additional Army AMD forces, most likely the highest percentage of committed AMD assets in theater, will expand defenses of critical assets and the deployed force commensurate with and in response to the Joint Force Commander’s directives.

Assessments of specific capabilities appear in Figure 6-2.

While unfunded, the fielding of an initial NMD capability by 2003 would result in the protection of the United States against the specified threat for that initial capability -- a few missiles launched in a political terrorist leverage situation. However, even if fully funded, this initial NMD system would provide only a limited capability (AMBER) against accidental, unauthorized, or intentionally limited ICBM attacks. The initial NMD system does not have the additional missiles and sensors and the sensor netting required to counter such attacks.

The fielding of the AAMDC and the Brigade TOCs begins to enable the automated technical and functional integration within the AMD force, with joint AMD weapons systems and C2 elements, and with the supported force. This fielding expedites defense planning and design and attains interoperability. The IPB development is coordinated with other members of the joint AMD force and with the supported force to achieve a common picture of the battlefield. The fielding of the AMDPCS to brigades and battalions enhances interoperability.

Avenger and Stinger MANPADS teams can achieve rapid deployability requirements for movement with early arriving forces. Avenger with STC is capable against CMs, fixed-wing aircraft, and other short-range, low-altitude aerial threats. While able to engage today’s threat, Stinger MANPADS teams cannot receive "cueing" data -- three-dimensional pointing information that directs the gunner to the target -- and are therefore unable to detect and engage the future reduced signature threat. Avenger and Stinger MANPADS teams also have limited capabilities against the longer-range aerial platforms that can threaten the force. The PAC-3 has the capability to engage short-range TBMs, CMs, high-flying UAVs, and fixed-wing aircraft, but requires a significant commitment of strategic lift resources for a sustained firing capability. The rapid, deployable, multimission systems, such as MEADS (after FY99) and the conceptual advanced weapon system(s), are unfunded.

Defense of the force against the various attack and surveillance platforms is achievable throughout the battlespace. PATRIOT and THAAD provide rear area forces and assets with capable defense (GREEN) against the missile threat. PATRIOT is also capable against aircraft and standoff helicopters. Stinger Block II (FUE 2007) will improve range capabilities against CMs and advanced UAVs. Bradley Linebacker can move with and protect the maneuvering force against low-altitude aerial threats through the FY10 timeframe. However, there is no overarching layer of missile defense in the forward area. MEADS, the complementer to divisional AMD systems and the projected TBM and CM killer in the forward area, is unfunded after FY99. Increases in threat capabilities and lack of corresponding improvements in fielded Bradley Linebacker, Avenger, and Stinger MANPADS systems continue to limit (AMBER) the overall capability of the AMD force against the threats.

Force warning and alerting to facilitate passive defense of the force is provided by the JTAGS, Sentinel, and Aerostat systems and distributed by FAAD C2. The JTAGS processes data on TBMs and predicts ground impact points. The Sentinel P3I program allows extended range detection of low-flying, reduced signature platforms such as CMs and UAVs. Aerostat, with its elevated sensor, provides extended range surveillance data on CMs. FAAD C2 provides digitized connectivity with the force.

Protect the Force

Protect the Force is arguably the most joint of the patterns of operation. From initial entry through redeployment, Protect the Force encompasses the host of AMD weapons and control systems. Each service’s systems bring some unique capabilities to the overall defense. Virtually all may participate during the course of the operation—some from the start and others not until well into the buildup. Sustained interoperability is key to ensuring maximum engagement opportunities and mission success.

Layered defense is achieved by the synergy of joint AMD weapons systems and the C4I architecture. Critical C2 assets, logistical complexes, and troop assembly areas are prime targets for missile attacks. Synchronized joint AMD forces minimize threat aerial operations and maximize friendly force freedom of action in the air and on the ground. Upper-tier systems (i.e., Army THAAD and/or Navy Theater-Wide TBM Defense) and lower-tier systems (e.g., PATRIOT, MEADS) provide defense of the designated assets. Army Avengers and Bradley Linebackers and Marine Hawk may also be integrated to provide defense against such other aerial threats as CMs, UAVs, and helicopters. The Air Force, Navy, and Marine fighters add capabilities against threat aircraft. Aerostat, Sentinel, JTAGS, and other service sensors contribute to the common air picture and enhance the engagement timelines and force survivability.

Defense in depth is extended to the forward areas of the battlefield and throughout the battlespace. The corps and divisional AMD units move with and support the maneuvering forces and their sustainment organizations and facilities. PATRIOT and MEADS extend the defense in depth and altitude and against TBMs.

Assessments of specific capabilities are in Figure 6-3.

The initial fielding of the PAC-3 system in 1999 provides capabilities against the short-range TBMs. While the THAAD UOES provides some capabilities against MRBMs, it is not until 2006, with the fielding of the objective THAAD system, that the objective two-tiered (PAC-3 lower tier and THAAD upper tier), near-leakproof defense of CINC critical assets in the theater area is achieved. Defense of the maneuver forces in the corps and division areas against TBMs is limited. PATRIOT lacks the tactical mobility and sufficiency of numbers (fire units) to extend protection of the dispersed force from theater through the forward areas. MEADS, the Land Component Commander’s primary TMD system for the forward areas, is unfunded in the POM.

Defense against CMs is limited throughout the theater. The PAC-3, while able to provide the required defense of support complexes and facilities likely to be targeted by CMs, may more likely be positioned for its TBM defense capabilities rather than for CM defense. In addition, the PAC-3 missile procurement (1200 missiles) is insufficient to counter the combined TBM and CM threats. In the forward areas, Bradley Linebacker and Avenger STC have some capability against CMs. However, CMs will generally not target the Bradley Linebacker-accompanied armored units unless they are massed. In addition, neither Avenger STC nor Bradley Linebacker can destroy a CM armed with a WMD warhead at sufficient range to limit or deny NBC dispersion effects upon friendly forces. The fielding of the deployable prototype Aerostat in 2005 will provide surveillance and precision tracking data, facilitating over-the-horizon engagements by ground-based weapon systems. The Aerostat’s limited availability (only two systems projected/funded for fielding) and status (deployable prototype) may restrict its full integration and surveillance capabilities. The Stinger MANPADS teams (without cueing) have no capability (RED) to acquire and engage CMs.

The AMD systems have an adequate capability (GREEN) through 2005 to counter running helicopters, lethal UAVs (that must fly over and conduct top-down attacks of targets), reconnaissance UAVs, and fixed-wing aircraft. After 2005, projected threat improvements (e.g., increased standoff ranges, reduced signatures, and low-level ingress) will overmatch fielded systems. Bradley Linebacker, Avenger STC, and PAC-3 have limited capability (AMBER) against standoff helicopters. The fielding of the unfunded MEADS and the conceptual advanced weapon system(s) (e.g., CADEWS), in concert with Bradley Linebacker, Avenger STC, and PAC-3, would provide an adequate capability (GREEN) against threats to forward maneuver forces.

Limited interoperability is achieved with the supported force and the joint AMD forces prior to 2005. The fielded AMD Brigade TOCs have some capability to synchronize command, control, and situational awareness and to interoperate with joint air control elements. As previously cited, PAC-3 can interoperate via JTIDS. Evolution to common hardware/software and a digitized environment, as envisioned for the 21st-century Army, begins after 2005 with the fielding of the brigade and battalion AMDPCS. The AMDPCS, with its common hardware and software, modularity, and reconfigurable capabilities, will provide automated mission planning and staff functions, and will significantly enhance integrated battle management and execution. Capability limitations (AMBER) are a reflection of quantities fielded versus system capabilities.

Shape the Battlespace

Shape the Battlespace creates an environment affording mobile and quick-reacting friendly forces flexibility of actions while constricting threat options and actions. Defense of forces against threat missiles is gained through a common, integrated C2 architecture, shared air intelligence, and timely synchronized engagements of threat platforms by capable, lethal AMD forces. Air intelligence results in a common air picture and precise calculations and targeting data for location of TBM launch points. Conversely, enemy observation is denied or restricted, thereby reducing targeting capabilities and visualization of the battlefield.

The AMD forces are essential players in the Army’s decide, detect, deliver imperatives of Shape the Battlespace. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine air defense and air control elements contribute to the understanding of the friendly and threat third-dimension activities and the potential threat to the commander’s concept of operations. The AMD sensors provide early warning of approaches by threat observation or attack platforms, permitting force dispersal and concealment and preparing AMD and other force weapons for engagements. The creation of a detailed, common air picture allows unambiguous situational awareness. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine systems defend against missile attacks, provide long-range fires, and conduct deep-attack missions to limit threat capabilities and isolate the battlefield.

Assessments of specific capabilities are in Figure 6-4.

The AMD systems are paramount contributors to the domination of the expanded third- dimension battlespace. The PAC-3 and THAAD systems in the theater and corps support areas can limit or deny the threat’s use of TBMs and CMs to degrade preparations for friendly force decisive operations. Bradley Linebacker and Avenger STC can detect and engage CMs and UAVs in the forward areas. Collectively, these systems enable simultaneous operations in the defended airspace and assure the commander freedom of maneuver, fires, and other airspace operations.

The AMD Brigade TOCs and the PATRIOT/THAAD TOCs facilitate situation awareness and the required integration of airspace operations with the joint AMD C2 elements. Fielding of the AMDPCS will provide the objective interoperability to realize near-perfect knowledge of friendly airspace operations (thus, theoretically, eliminating fratricide of friendly air platforms), enhanced knowledge of threat actions, and optimized engagement operations.

The JTAGS SBIRS modification enhances launch point cueing for TMD attack operations, early cueing of TMD active defense weapons, and alerting the force of TBM threats for passive defense. The SBIRS modification allows precise determination of launch points and can transmit this data to Army attack operations systems (e.g., MLRS, ATACMS, Apache) and to other joint AMD systems. The TBM launch point cueing re-quirements can also be met by PAC-3 and THAAD. However, PAC-3 and THAAD warnings, while accurate, are not nearly as timely as warnings provided by JTAGS.

Decisive Operations

Operations, combat power is concentrated to successfully overwhelm the threat. While operations continue throughout the theater, the focus of Decisive Operations is the forward area. Maneuvering forces must retain flexibility of action and overwhelming superiority in tempo to meet mission objectives. Maneuvering forces receive continuous support by integrated fires from air and ground systems.

The joint AMD force extends protection from the rear to the forward areas. Air Force aircraft provide air superiority against threat aircraft and attack threat artillery, missile, and C2 sites. Marine air defense systems defend their forces and may complement or extend the air and missile defense of Army forces. Army PATRIOT and THAAD in rear areas of the corps and theater maintain protection of critical C2 and logistical nodes and move forward, as directed, to extend overwatch. The survivable, agile, mobile Army AMD forces move with the force and provide close-in defense against the low-flying attackers. Interoperable C2 and operations centers maintain an unambiguous picture of the airspace and are capable of expeditiously positioning or repositioning AMD assets to maximize responsiveness to threat activities.

Assessments of specific capabilities are in Figure 6-5.

There is virtually no capability in the forward areas against TBM, CM, and rocket attacks. While PAC-3 can move to forward support positions in the corps, it is generally too far back to counter TBM and CM attacks against maneuvering forces. Bradley Linebackers (positioned to defend concentrations of forces) and Avenger STC systems can engage CMs, though range limited. However, they are incapable of counteracting the effects of a CM with a WMD warhead, even if they successfully destroy the platform.

In addition, while Sentinel and FAAD C2 are survivable in forward positions and can sustain operations with the supported force, they must conduct operations from stationary positions. Sentinel must make frequent moves to enhance survivability, creating gaps in defense coverage during these periods. FAAD C2 nodes cannot conduct C2 on the move. Thus, the potential exists for operational degradation of the defense.

Sustain the Force

Sustain the Force is a continuing operation from deployment to redeployment. Significant planning, however, must precede deployment. Loading designs must maximize capabilities with minimum equipment and transportation assets. Units will be tailored to fit the mission. Logistics must be defined and determined to meet demands at the right time. Continuous interoperability between the various elements of the force is key to facilitating resupply efforts in the most efficient, effective, and timely manner.

Logistical complexes, embarkation and debarkation ports, and resupply points will be critical force assets and must be protected from air and missile attacks. The greatest threat periods will be during the initial buildup, the early hours and days of the operation, and during reconstitution and redeployment. During these times, large concentrations of personnel, equipment, and supplies in relatively small areas become lucrative targets for threat missiles. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine AMD components will provide the requisite warning, counterattack, and overarching defense of logistical facilities to ensure the unimpeded flow of operations.

Assessments of specific capabilities are in Figure 6-6.

Protection of the key logistical points and deploying and reconstituting or redeploying forces is generally adequate in the rear areas and limited in the forward areas. Automated AMD Brigade TOCs and the voice-dependent force operations centers achieve connectivity (AMBER) between the supporting and supported forces. Digitized integration, to facilitate anticipatory logistics flow and expedited administrative/logistical actions, should be possible with the fielding of the AMDPCS. The PAC-3 and THAAD systems are effective against the various air and missile threats. Bradley Linebacker, Avenger STC, and Stinger MANPADS have capabilities against aerial threats, and Bradley Linebacker and Avenger STC have some capability against CMs. However, without MEADS and sufficient Bradley Linebackers and Avenger STC available to protect both maneuver forces and other assets, forward logistical positions are vulnerable to TBM and CM attacks.

Inherent in all sustainment operations is the maintaining of individual and unit training proficiency. Employing distance learning training and the suite of training aids, devices, simulations, and simulators (TADSS) will enhance individual skills and unit capabilities. Training strategies, TADSS, and training deficiencies are in Annex A.


Figure 6-7 presents a roll-up of those required capabilities for which AMD has inadequate or limited capabilities. The identified shortfalls are not in priority order, and they exist during the FY99-14 timeframe. The primary contributor to these shortfalls is the lack of adequate funding for AMD programs.


As reflected in the assessment snapshots, the AMD force generally achieves some capabilities to meet the required operational capabilities and execute Army Vision 2010 operations. These AMD capabilities are further enhanced by the complementary capabilities of other joint AMD weapons systems and C2 elements. However, an adequate capability (GREEN) is likely not achievable. Systems’ availability and quantities and threat capabilities and presence will influence the operation. Funding remains the driving factor. Without the unfunded AMD programs (MEADS, advanced weapon system(s)), adequate quantities of Avenger STC, and the successful development, procurement, and fielding of the projected joint systems, AMD execution of the National Military Strategy in the post-2005 timeframe will be very difficult to sustain.

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