7
Survivability

OVERVIEW

All new Navy platforms have signature reduction as a requirement. Many existing Navy platforms that were designed without signature control in mind can still have their signatures reduced. This is true for all five of the platform signatures—radio frequency, infrared and visible spectra, acoustic, visual and electromagnetic, and gaseous and particulate emissions. Low-observable (LO) technology refers to the science of signature reduction technology and its application to a platform. Much in this area has been highly classified, for obvious reasons. However, in the past few years, DOD has revised its classification guide and has allowed much more discussion at lower classification levels in many areas.

Table 7.1 gives the ONR’s current budget and projection for the ATP survivability area.

PROGRAM REVIEWED

Low-Observable Technology Development

The ONR 6.2 program in LO technology development presented only a few efforts in the area of susceptibility. Survivability includes susceptibility (technologies and tactics to avoid being hit) and vulnerability (technologies and systems that allow survival after being hit). ONR did not present any

TABLE 7.1 ONR 351 Aircraft Technology Program Budget for Survivability Through FY02 (millions of dollars)

 

FY99

FY00

FY01

FY02

6.2

LO

3.6

3.6

4.4

4.1



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2001 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Aircraft Technology Program 7 Survivability OVERVIEW All new Navy platforms have signature reduction as a requirement. Many existing Navy platforms that were designed without signature control in mind can still have their signatures reduced. This is true for all five of the platform signatures—radio frequency, infrared and visible spectra, acoustic, visual and electromagnetic, and gaseous and particulate emissions. Low-observable (LO) technology refers to the science of signature reduction technology and its application to a platform. Much in this area has been highly classified, for obvious reasons. However, in the past few years, DOD has revised its classification guide and has allowed much more discussion at lower classification levels in many areas. Table 7.1 gives the ONR’s current budget and projection for the ATP survivability area. PROGRAM REVIEWED Low-Observable Technology Development The ONR 6.2 program in LO technology development presented only a few efforts in the area of susceptibility. Survivability includes susceptibility (technologies and tactics to avoid being hit) and vulnerability (technologies and systems that allow survival after being hit). ONR did not present any TABLE 7.1 ONR 351 Aircraft Technology Program Budget for Survivability Through FY02 (millions of dollars)   FY99 FY00 FY01 FY02 6.2 LO 3.6 3.6 4.4 4.1

OCR for page 38
2001 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Aircraft Technology Program technology programs on vulnerability (the other component of survivability), nor did it present an overview of all susceptibility technologies. The ONR 6.2 program presented appeared to be one part of a very large technology area. The ONR 6.2 program in survivability was presented by PMR 351, which reports directly to the Chief of Naval Research, even though survivability is listed as a thrust area in ONR 351. The committee looked for but could not find any evidence that LO technology has migrated into the other technical areas under ONR 351 or into any of the other ONR divisions. Findings Based on what was presented, it does not appear that the Navy is proceeding along the path outlined in Joint Vision 2010 and in the Naval Studies Board report Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000–2035.1 Both state quite clearly that signature reduction is a key enabler of combat leverage, because it collapses the decision and reaction time lines, and that it should be incorporated into all future systems. An integrated vehicle design that includes signature reduction demands engineering skill and technical expertise in vehicle shaping, vulnerability reduction (damage resistance, damage tolerance), propulsion components, air data systems, high-lift devices, materials, sensors, avionics, and tactics. There was no discussion of such considerations in any of ONR 351’s presentations on its Aircraft Technology Program. The committee did not review any Navy 6.3 LO technology development, although the ONR 6.2 program indicated that most efforts were linked to follow-on work. The committee did not review any LO technology development that is under way in other Services or agencies. It may be that these other efforts are very well coordinated from a technology discovery perspective. However, it was apparent to the committee that there was minimal awareness and knowledge of reduced signatures technologies in ONR. Keeping LO tightly classified when it no longer needs to be will have an impact on the effectiveness of FNC technology thrusts and put the Navy a step behind the Air Force in technology advances that improve susceptibility. Even though the individual 6.2 LO technologies examined appear well conceived and appropriate, this committee found that the survivability technology program is not focused, nor is it a system-level R&D effort targeted at wideband integrated vehicle designs. Recommendations The committee recommends that ONR, through changes in organization, alignment, and the program development process, should integrate signature reduction knowledge and awareness across all relevant technology pursuits. Furthermore, ONR should initiate funding of advanced development efforts at the 6.3 level that would integrate the various survivability technologies into a system. 1   Naval Studies Board, National Research Council. 1997. Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000– 2035: Becoming a 21st-century Force, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.