Click for next page ( 70


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 69
Testing Challenges and Opportunities Posed by the Future Combat System A [though operational testing remains a challenge for the Stryker/ SECT, it will be distinctly easier than an operational test for the Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS), which is being developed under the Army's transformation program. This chapter provides back- ground on the FCS-equipped objective force and highlights some chal- lenges and opportunities for ATEC with respect to combining information for the FCS operational test and evaluation process. All the U.S. military services are undergoing a transformation of their forces to provide a military capability to cover the spectrum of missions anticipated in the twenty-first century. The Army is pursuing the most ambitious of these transformations, as it changes from a predominantly heavy, forward-deployed force to one that is lighter and more strategically mobile for rapid and decisive operations anywhere in the world. It is adver- tised as a transformation from an industrial age force to a network-centric, information age force. Stryker/SBCT is the interim part of this transformation program, which includes legacy, interim, and objective forces. Legacy forces are exist- ing heavy forces (equipped with M-1 Abrams tanks and M-2 Bradley fight- ing vehicles) that are deployed overseas primarily by naval transport. In- terim forces include a planned fielding of six SBCTs to air-deployable light divisions (e.g., the 82nd Airborne Division) by 2006 to provide them with more lethality and tactical mobility for lower-end operational missions. Objective forces will be FCS-equipped medium-weight forces developed to 69

OCR for page 69
70 IMPROVED OPERATIONAL TESTING AND EVALUATION be rapidly deployable and capable of performing effectively over the full spectrum of anticipated operational missions in the twenty-first century. Transformation to the objective force involves the development of new technologies and platforms, new operational concepts, and new force struc- tures and organizations. The objective force under development is intended to replace all heavy legacy and interim forces in the Army. As currently planned, the first unit will be equipped in 2008, initial operational capabil- ity will occur in 2010, and three Future Brigade Combat Teams (FBCTs) will be fielded each year thereafter until all legacy and interim forces are replaced by 2032. The linchpin of the objective force is the FCS, which is a family of systems involving many new technologies and platforms intended to make the force: fully deployable by C-130 aircraft by reducing vehicle weight to 16-20 tons; survivable, in spite of reduced armor protection, via a command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capability that provides information about the location of threat systems to a networked group of friendly sys- tems; survivability will also be enhanced with active protection ca- pabilities; lethal, through the use of precision munitions throughout the battle- field: sustainable with a reduced logistics footprint by having ultrareliable parts and systems; and versatile by providing capabilities necessary across the full spectrum r . . . of antlclpatec ~ operations . missions. The FCS/FBCT will consist of up to two dozen new manned and unmanned systems. Manned ground systems include the infantry carrier vehicle, mounted combat system that can employ line-of-sight and beyond- line-of-sight fires, non-line-of-sight cannon system, non-line-of-sight mor- tar system, reconnaissance and surveillance vehicle, command and control vehicle, medical evacuation vehicle, and recovery vehicle. Unmanned ground systems include the "missiles in a box" (Netfires) that remotely fire precision and loitering attack missiles, intelligent mine system that distributes mines on call, armed reconnaissance vehicle, small unmanned ground vehicle, and mule vehicle to help infantry carry materi-

OCR for page 69
TESTING AND THE FUTURE COMBAT SYSTEM 71 als. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) include the Class 1 lightweight UAV for close-in infantry use, Class 2 medium-range UAV for target acquisition and identification, Class 3 long-range UAV for target acquisition and iden- tification, and Class 4 hiah-flier UAV for lona-ranae use and command relay. O O O In addition, the C4ISR capability involves various unmanned sensors, new radios, new relays, and new architecture, protocols, and software for command-control, fire support, intelligence fusion, and management of the network. Because many of these systems depend on major advances in exploratory research and development programs and because of the Army's desire for initial operational capability in 2010, an evolutionary develop- ment process is being used. This includes spiral development for software and block improvements in component technologies every 3-5 years. The Army is developing new force structures, organizations, and op- erational concepts for employment ofthe FCS-equipped objective force, all of which are still in their formative stages. The organizational basis for the FCS has been defined as a "unit of action." Although its composition is still being designed, the unit of action is viewed as comparable in size to today's brigade (and so the terms unit of action and FBCT are used synonymously here). The next echelon unit is referred to as the "unit of employment" and is viewed as comparable to today's division or corps. Concurrent with the development of the FCS, the Army is developing operational concepts for use of a net-centric FBCT, including new tactics, techniques, and proce- dures to exploit the new FCS technologies and obtain maximal effective- ness across the anticipated spectrum of operational missions. TESTING CHALLENGES The objective force will require extensive and continual testing and experimentation, using a process that is substantially more complex than the operational test conducted for the Stryker/SBCT. The Stryker/SBCT was designed primarily for use in stability and se- curity operations (SASOs) and, to a lesser extent, for the lower end of small- scale contingencies (SSCs), and the Stryker operational test program re- flects this view. In contrast, the FCS/FBCT is being designed to perform over the full spectrum of operational missions and environments, and, ac- cordingly, will likely require a commensurate breadth of operational test- ing. FCS/FBCT testing will likely involve performance and effectiveness measures relevant to major theater war, including force-on-force engage-

OCR for page 69
72 IMPROVED OPERATIONAL TESTING AND EVALUATION meets against comparable and asymmetric threats; SSC operations (e.g., Panama); SASO activities including humanitarian assistance, peacekeep- ing, and postconflict infrastructure protection (as in Iraq); and counter- terrorist conflicts for protection of U.S. military forces and installations and possibly homeland defense. Although Stryker/SBCT was advertised as a system of systems, the operational test program does little to recognize or exploit this representa- tion of Stryker. Given the extensive interdependencies among most of the manned systems and between the manned and unmanned ground and air systems in the FBCT, the Army will have to design and implement a fea- sible means of testing the effectiveness of the family of systems as well as the performance of individual systems in a broad range of operational missions and environments. The potential success of the Army's transformation is more closely tied to the development of new operational concepts for employment of a net- centric force than to the development of new hardware. Experimentation and testing of these concepts and associated tactics, techniques, and proce- dures will be required as much for diagnostic purposes (e.g., what is not working and how can it be improved?) as for evaluation. Effective concepts and tactics, techniques, and procedures will likely differ with operational missions and environments and accordingly may need testing in a number of different settings. A critical component of the testing is to assess the degree to which the concepts make effective use of C4ISR assets and the tactical network and whether situation awareness will reduce the vulner- ability of less-armored systems. A major technical challenge for developers of the FCS/FBCT is the networking of all the system elements. The network must have the capacity and security to link all the ground and air systems; the manned and un- manned ones; those that conduct direct, beyond-line-of-sight, and non- line-of-sight fires; and numerous ground and air sensors, while many of these elements move around a constantly changing battlefield. It serves, in effect, as a mobile Internet. It is also an adaptive network that manages and allocates bandwidth where and when needed. Testing the effectiveness of such a network, fits architecture, protocols, and the network management process in an operational environment (or multiple environments) will be equally challenging for the testing community. As previously noted, initial operational capability for the FCS family of systems will be 2010 with continual significant block upgrades in capa- bility every 3-5 years and changing software via a spiral development pro-

OCR for page 69
TESTING AND THE FUTURE COMBAT SYSTEM 73 cess. This will require a methodology for evolutionary test designs not pre- viously explored in the testing community, such as, for example, a sequen- tial, or perhaps continuous, testing of block upgrades that makes efficient use of previous test data to design subsequent tests and the effective com- bining of data to address subsequent test questions. Reliability is a key performance parameter for the FCS. The Army claims that it is willing to sacrifice some system performance to obtain ultrareliability as a means to substantially reduce its logistic footprint. Op- erational testing for ultrareliability will be a significant challenge, requiring efficient combining of data and innovative approaches such as stress testing and accelerated testing. TESTING OPPORTUNITIES There is sufficient time before the first unit is equipped and initial operational capability is implemented for ATEC to begin planning the test- ing and evaluation program. This section lists some opportunities that might be useful in the planning process and eventual implementations, especially to address the challenges identified above. As designed, the Stryker/SBCT operational test will assess the force's capabilities in a small number of average and not-too-stressful operational situations. An operational situation includes the operational mission, the relevant threat, and characteristics ofthe operational environment, elements of which are usually not under U.S. control. In contrast, the FCS/FBCT force will be employed in a broad spectrum of operational situations world- wide. Since resource constraints will limit testing and experimentation to a small number of situations, this limited testing should provide information that can be used to assess the force's capabilities over the broader range of situations. To accomplish this, the spectrum of operational situations should be described parametrically, creating a parametric operational situation (POS) space for use in the design, implementation, and analysis of the FCS/FBCT test and evaluation program. (Bonder, 1999, provides an ex- ample of the POS space concept.) The POS space, which comprises the set of likely operational situations to which the FCS/FBCT must have the capability to respond successfully, will enable the Army to identify and select test points that are stressful so that assessments of capabilities for the other untested points in the space are interpolations rather than extrapola- tions of the tested points. Use of the POS space will also enable the Army to both assess the degree of versatility (an advertised capability) that the

OCR for page 69
74 IMPROVED OPERATIONAL TESTING AND EVALUATION FCS/FBCT will bring to situations in the space and presumably identify ways to make it more versatile. Creating the POS space will require the development of a broad taxonomy for the space as well as dimensions for each category of the taxonomy, metrics for the dimensions, and possible value ranges for each of the metrics. Real-world realizations in the space can then be represented by values for the dimension metrics of each taxonomy category. Testing and related activities performed over many years will provide a stream of data that should be used to periodically diagnose and evaluate the FCS/FBCT as it is fielded in an evolutionary development and procure- ment process. To make effective and efficient use of the data, ATEC should design and implement an FCS/FBCT archive for data generated over time in tests, experiments, field use, and related analysis and evaluation activi- ties. Such an archive will provide a centralized location of FCS/FBCT per- formance and effectiveness data for different operational situations gener- ated over time by developmental tests, operational tests and experiments, field use, and simulation-based analyses. If it is structured to make effective use of the latest data-mining techniques, the archive should: facilitate effective combining of data from different sources over time; provide information needed to interpolate the results of testing in a limited number of operational situations in order to assess capabili- ties of the FCS/FBCT in situations not tested: provide a "hot plant" for reliability assessments; provide data to design efficient subsequent testing in the FCS/ FBCT evolutionary development process; assist in developing performance correlates (e.g., reliability) for de- sign of FCS evolutionary upgrades; provide data to assess the versatility of FCS/FBCT worldwide; and provide data to compare the results of simulation analyses with those of operational testing. The Army is still in the process of developing models and simulations to support development and analyses of the FCS program. ATEC should coordinate its efforts with those of the modeling and simulation program to ensure that the models can be used to support the testing and evaluation program. Specifically, the models and simulations should be the basis of

OCR for page 69
TESTING AND THE FUTURE COMBAT SYSTEM 75 analyses that will be used to help select appropriate operational situations for testing; determine appropriate issues and hypotheses for testing; guide test designs; assist in analyses and extensions of test data; and provide a broader assessment of FCS capabilities, given test data from a limited num- ber of operational situations. STRATEGY FOR TESTING AND EVALUATION ATEC should prepare a strategy (not just a test design) to overcome the testing and evaluation challenges noted above, and this strategy should recognize the sequential nature of the testing that will be required as part of the evolutionary acquisition process for FCS. There is currently a strong ~ . . r ... .. emphasis in ~ recense acquisition on acquiring new systems in stages, an approach known as evolutionary or block acquisition, with each stage un- dergoing separate development, testing, and evaluation. The staging re- duces the ultimate risk of acquiring a deficient system, and the maturation of the system at each stage reduces the problems often faced by integration of newly developed components. This change in emphasis has a number of implications, especially with respect to experimental designs that are spe- cifically suited to staged development. In addition, there are implications with respect to both the utility of statistical approaches to combine infor- mation for system evaluation at each stage, and the increased need for data archives to support this type of system evaluation and the experimental design used for each subsequent stage. The strategy should also recognize both the need to evaluate the family of systems and the potential need for diagnostic experimentation of opera- tional concepts in multiple operational situations. It should delineate rel- evant questions to be addressed by testing and evaluation (perhaps as strat- egy objectives) and by the combining of information, not only for evaluations but also to determine the value of additional data from subse- quent tests to address these questions. The strategy should include model- ing and simulation activities as an integral part of the test design and evalu- ation process, mindful of the need for validation. Recommendation: ATEC should prepare a strategy for operational test- ing of the FCS/FBCT that will: . recognize the sequential nature of the testing that will be re- quired as part of the evolutionary acquisition process for FCS,

OCR for page 69
76 IMPROVED OPERATIONAL TESTING AND EVALUATION recognize the need to evaluate the family of systems and the potential need for diagnostic experimentation of operational concepts in multiple operational situations, delineate relevant questions to be addressed by testing and evaluation, determine the value of additional data (from subsequent tests) needed to address these questions, and include modeling and simulation activities as an integral part of the testing and evaluation process.