2
Principal Naval Missions and C4ISR Impact

2.1 PURPOSE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter examines the naval missions of Sea Shield and Sea Strike and investigates how the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities of strike groups contribute to the outcomes of these missions. The committee identifies gaps in C4ISR capabilities that do not appear to be closed by programs of record and suggests some different ways to think about C4ISR requirements. The purpose of this chapter is threefold:

  1. To set the context for the discussion of C4ISR elements and systems in the following chapters on the basis of the naval missions and naval strike groups identified in Chapter 1,

  2. To illustrate a method for identifying potential gaps in C4ISR capabilities and making value judgments about C4ISR systems supporting the naval missions, and

  3. To state findings and recommendations concerning the impact of the C4ISR capabilities of naval strike groups on naval end-to-end missions.

2.2 C4ISR DRIVERS TO NAVAL MISSIONS

2.2.1 Key Measures for Mission Capabilities

The time required and the ability to handle large-scale, distributed operations are key measures of effectiveness for C4ISR systems. If allied forces are in



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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups 2 Principal Naval Missions and C4ISR Impact 2.1 PURPOSE OF THIS CHAPTER This chapter examines the naval missions of Sea Shield and Sea Strike and investigates how the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities of strike groups contribute to the outcomes of these missions. The committee identifies gaps in C4ISR capabilities that do not appear to be closed by programs of record and suggests some different ways to think about C4ISR requirements. The purpose of this chapter is threefold: To set the context for the discussion of C4ISR elements and systems in the following chapters on the basis of the naval missions and naval strike groups identified in Chapter 1, To illustrate a method for identifying potential gaps in C4ISR capabilities and making value judgments about C4ISR systems supporting the naval missions, and To state findings and recommendations concerning the impact of the C4ISR capabilities of naval strike groups on naval end-to-end missions. 2.2 C4ISR DRIVERS TO NAVAL MISSIONS 2.2.1 Key Measures for Mission Capabilities The time required and the ability to handle large-scale, distributed operations are key measures of effectiveness for C4ISR systems. If allied forces are in

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups control of the start time of conflicts, the greatest C4ISR contribution likely comes from a reduction in the F2T2EA (find, fix, track, target, engage, assess) “mission-cycle time.” If, however, the enemy controls the timing of the conflict, as is the case in some potential scenarios, the greatest contributions to mission success might come from the rapid, ad hoc integration of platforms (including coalition platforms) into strike forces and fast-reaction mission planning. Modeling, analysis, and experience have shown that blue (friendly) force attrition and asset requirements can be significantly reduced if an enemy can be engaged at the onset of aggression. Technology in the year 2020 should present several opportunities to improve the time available to detect and react to a threat and to shorten the F2T2EA cycle time through additional and more effective C4ISR. As VADM Arthur Cebrowski, USN (Ret.) said, “Show me someone who’s not interested in speed, and I’ll show you someone who’s never been shot at.”1 One thing is certain: uncertainty will increase with respect to who, where, when, and how U.S. military forces will be called on to fight. Inexpensive technology now enables even those with minimal resources to threaten U.S. security and that of its allies with acts of terrorism that have a high “return on investment.” Deterrence based solely on the strength of a response is no longer effective. Deterrence must be based on strength and speed of response, because if the means to fight cannot be eliminated, the will to fight must be suppressed. Since the who, where, when, and how of adversaries’ actions are increasingly unpredictable, the United States must be prepared to fight with whatever assets it has, and it must be able to configure its assets quickly to address whatever situation is at hand. Since the capability that the United States has cannot be quickly changed, the speed with which it applies its capability can be the controlling variable in a mission outcome. Given a favorable disposition of assets, C4ISR controls the speed with which U.S. capability can be applied. Thus, the reaction time of the C4ISR system should be a design-driving system requirement. Capabilities of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems are often referred to in terms of coverage, persistence, precision, communication latency, and so on. Mission-cycle time (the time needed for F2T2EA) drives some key requirements for these capabilities. Presentations to the committee consistently identified speed and accuracy as key mission needs, not only in responding to an emerging situation at the campaign level (the “10-30-30” goal, as described in Chapter 1), but also within the mission threads. A mission thread is defined as a sequence of activities and events beginning with an opportunity to detect a threat or element that ought to be attacked and ending with a commander’s assessment of damage after an attack. 1   Richard Mullen. 2004. “Cebrowski: More Complexity Essential to Defense,” Defense Today, June 15. Available online at <http://www.oft.osd.mil/library/library_files/article_381_Defense%20Today.doc>. Accessed January 25, 2006.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups Latency and accuracy were repeatedly identified as critical attributes in Time Critical Strike (TCS); Joint Fires, Surface Warfare (SUW); Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW); and Mine Warfare (MIW).2 Whether in a campaign or in a single engagement, the message is clear: faster is better. An investigation of naval C4ISR architectures and requirements must include an examination of the role that C4ISR plays in mission-cycle times. Short mission-cycle times imply that there is information of adequate quality to reduce ambiguity, thereby enabling sound, quick decisions. Short mission-cycle times also imply that there are adequate systems to detect and identify events in a timely manner and to ensure the real-time implementation of decisions. Whatever the architecture, the concept of operations should use C4ISR components to best advantage to minimize mission-cycle time. However, even when C4ISR components are used to best advantage, the outcomes may not be satisfactory. When that is the case, investment is called for to increase the quantity and/or inherent capability of the components that make up the C4ISR system. The areas of investment are discussed later in this chapter and in Chapter 7, Section 7.6. A key aspect of the importance of mission-cycle time is the perishability of information on which decisions are based. Information can grow stale over time, a reality captured in the adage “OBE” (overtaken by events). Figure 2.1 illustrates the perishability of information used in decisions requiring immediate actions, such as antiship cruise missile defense, and in decisions with deadlines for relevant action, such as Transportable Erector Launcher (TEL) engagements. A key point is that mission-cycle time includes not only the time required for detecting or identifying a threat. It also includes the time for information dissemination and decision across the force via the C4ISR system-of-systems that enables coordination and collaboration. Reducing mission-cycle times increases the number of engagement opportunities and results in more targets killed. In the case of Sea Shield missions, this is accomplished by earlier target detection and identification and faster decisions. For Sea Strike missions, shortened time to detect and fix potential targets and shortened damage-assessment time brought about through enhanced information sharing and collaboration increase the number and effectiveness of force components that can participate in engagements for a variable-force content and disposition. Decision makers require that information reach a minimum-acceptable quality level before they will accept accountability for the outcome of a decision. Thus, the completeness and precision of information as well as the effectiveness of the display of information have an impact on decision time. Less-ambiguous data more quickly acquired will shorten the time needed to come to a decision. 2   CAPT Robert Zalaskas, USN, Director of FORCEnet Development Directorate, Naval Network Warfare Command, “FORCEnet Functional Concept,” presentation to the committee, November 22, 2004.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups FIGURE 2.1 The value of ISR information can diminish over time; time to respond must correspond with the perishability of the value of the information. SOURCE: Courtesy of H.L. Ruddell, Lockheed Martin Information Technology. As mentioned in the preface of this report, the committee limited its considerations to Sea Strike and Sea Shield missions involving a focus on or defense against individual targets. Within this scope, for clarity of discussion and as a unifying theme, the committee focused on mission-cycle time. The committee believes that Sea Strike and Sea Shield missions generally drive C4ISR requirements. However, it should be noted at the same time that C4ISR has a broader context. For example, intelligence analysis requires gathering information about activity patterns and behavior trends. This information can ultimately be vital in planning, executing, and assessing effects-based operations. In this broader context, the warfighter again requires persistent ISR and data-fusion and -analysis capability. ISR timeliness, however, is less of an issue. 2.2.2 Mission Threads Missions within Sea Shield differ from those in Sea Strike, but within each of these pillars of Sea Power 21, missions have time lines with similar elements, are driven by the same factors, and often share common C4ISR assets. Therefore, the drivers in these broad categories are explored here. Figure 2.2 illustrates the mission-cycle time line for the Sea Strike missions of Strike, Naval Fire Support, and Maneuver. For Sea Strike missions, the cycle begins with the emergence of a threat or an opportunity to strike. Examples would be (1) that a TEL emerges from hiding and prepares to launch a tactical

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups FIGURE 2.2 Sea Strike event time line. Drivers of C4ISR requirements for Sea Strike missions are the needs for persistent surveillance and rapid analysis.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups ballistic missile, or (2) a column of tanks turns toward a U.S. ground force. Persistent ISR sensors must not only cover the threat region but also provide sufficient sensitivity, resolution, and accuracy to detect and identify objects that ought to be attacked. Continual timely target updates, especially for mobile targets, are generally needed to maintain tracking on targets of interest. When a target has been identified with sufficient confidence and located with sufficient accuracy, the commander can decide on strike objectives and on which strike assets to employ. Finally, after the engagement, an “effects assessment” (battle damage assessment, or BDA) is needed, primarily from ISR assets. As identified above, surveillance is the primary driver, in terms of coverage persistence (time on station), coverage area, and minimum analysis time for determining the nature of the threat and the appropriate responses. For example, the discovery of a TEL in preparation for launching may leave too little time for a preemptive strike, whereas persistent surveillance to find a concealed TEL could enable an effective strike. Large coverage areas enable engagement of the adversary with more diversity of attacks, holding more of the adversary’s assets at risk while reducing the commander’s uncertainty. Figure 2.3 illustrates the mission-cycle time line for Sea Shield missions, including Theater Air and Missile Defense (TAMD), Undersea Warfare, Surface Warfare, and Force Protection. In this case, the detection of incoming objects at the earliest time implies the need for wide-area sensor coverage, which in turn implies the need for the adequate positioning of surface, airborne, and spacebased sensors. For example, an incoming, supersonic, low-flying cruise missile may be launched 50 miles away from a U.S. Navy ship but be detected by a ship radar only as it breaks the ship’s horizon, say at 12 nmi. The ship then has only seconds to react. If a cooperative engagement capability (CEC)-style sensor network is in place (e.g., with an E-2C aircraft) to detect the cruise missile well before it breaks the horizon of the victim ship, the ship’s crew can launch an intercepting missile even before the cruise missile is detected by the ship’s own radar, greatly decreasing the mission-cycle time (measured from cruise missile launch). This example shows the value of early detection and surveillance coverage. The incoming threats must be continually tracked, especially as they will often maneuver to avoid engagement. Given the individual kill probabilities of individual defensive weapons, a shoot-look-shoot doctrine often requires a succession of decisions and continual tracking. Key to successful defense is the ability to distinguish friends from foes rapidly in order to ensure the earliest possible focus on threats and potential threats. Achieving short mission-cycle times generally requires carefully integrated systems that may be geographically dispersed. For example, for a time-critical strike, an airborne or spacebased ISR sensor may provide the detection and identification data, but the detection and identification themselves must be made by analysts or through processing of the data at another location, in-theater or in the continental United States (CONUS). The results and other data relevant to

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups FIGURE 2.3 Sea Shield event time line. Drivers of C4ISR requirements for Sea Shield missions are the needs for the early detection of threats and the rapid identification of incoming objects as threats.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups planning and targeting must be provided to commanders for their use in determining the appropriate weapon platform and weapon to meet the engagement time line and produce the required effects. The data must be sufficiently fresh for accurate engagement within the effective range and lethality of the weapon. Finally, an effects assessment using ISR is needed. All of these functions must be performed in sufficient time, by integrated centers, separated by perhaps thousands of miles. This section described the key timing measures and their drivers in the context of mission threads. The next section examines the perceived status of C4ISR for each mission area in the context of the mission-cycle time. 2.3 SEA STRIKE MISSIONS 2.3.1 Driving Scenarios To gain a perspective on capabilities that C4ISR systems must provide for Sea Strike, the committee identified some example driving cases in which time to respond is inherently short; these examples are presented in Table 2.1. Mission-cycle times are reduced by detecting at the earliest time possible—a burden on the ISR—and by deciding quickly—a burden on command, control, communications, and computers (C4). The Time Critical Strike case considered here involves destroying a TEL before it can launch. For Scud launchers, the time line to engage would be less than an hour (if there was no prior warning); thus, there would be roughly only tens of minutes each for the key mission-cycle time segments. Mobile surface-to-air missile systems are often key TCS targets as well. For Naval Fire Support, the driving case could be laying fires against a maneuvering threat. This requires not only timely ISR but sufficient area coverage and revisit rates (frequency of threat observations) to keep the threat in track as fires are trained on it. A similar driving case appears to exist for Maneuver warfare, in which naval forces respond to changes in opposing-force movements. The portion of the mission-cycle time for these driving cases from the emergence of the threat to the engagement decision (see Figure 2.2) is estimated to be on the order of tens of minutes to about an hour, depending on the degree of prior warning. 2.3.2 Critical Performance Measures for Sea Strike Table 2.1 also indicates the critical activities or performance measures associated with C4ISR for the driving scenarios identified above. For accurate target and weapon pairing and timely strike, the ISR must provide accurate coverage, resolution for identification, and sufficient timeliness. The communications and computers must provide reliable connectivity among appropriate sensor, deci-

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups TABLE 2.1 Critical Performance Measures for Sea Strike Missions Mission Area Example Driving Cases Critical Performance Measures per Case ISR Command and Control Communications and Computers Strike TCS against TEL; TCS against mobile SAMs Coverage, identification accuracy, persistence, response time Target and weapon pairing time Assured connectivity Latency Naval Fire Support and Maneuver Moving target; mobile opposing forces Coverage, identification accuracy, persistence, response time, revisit rate No red and blue ambiguity Assured connectivity Latency NOTE: TCS, Time Critical Strike; TEL, Transportable Erector Launcher; SAM, surface-to-air missile.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups sion, and engagement nodes. In each case, gaps in ISR capabilities largely control the mission-cycle time, given a favorable disposition of assets. The committee did not learn of any process for consistently allocating such requirements as timing and capacity to systems to meet requisite mission-cycle times for Sea Strike. It sees evidence of concept of operations (CONOPS) development for TCS, which appears to be more about tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) and simple interfacing than about a consistent, top-down allocation of timing and other parameters such as coverage to elements of the kill chain. The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) has analyzed TCS using an ISR latency metric to optimize systems across a force.3 This is a good start at addressing the problem. In a presentation to the committee, Office of Naval Research (ONR) representatives identified the need for automation—in particular, automatic integration of disparate information—as “the longest pole in the tent.”4 Representatives of the Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) indicated the need for (1) ensuring the flexibility of systems, (2) ensuring sufficient fidelity so that operators trust the data, and (3) integrating systems while reducing the number of people in the process.5 NWDC’s description of the success of “cursor on target,” to leverage the integration of Navy and Air Force airborne units, is a positive example in which timing, integration flexibility, and operator trust were considered in a strong mission context. The committee observes, however, that little was said by any presenting organization concerning plans for deploying automation aids for processing ISR data, although there is a need for such aids. For example, the Assessment Division, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Requirements and Assessments (N81), presented analyses indicating that imagery analysts would be a bottleneck preventing timely TCS in a key planning scenario.6 As discussed in Chapter 7 Section 7.5, ISR processing technologies (automatic target recognition, image registration, fusion, and so on) have been significantly advanced in research sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency 3   Robert Winokur and CAPT Victor Addison, USN, N61B, “FORCEnet ISR Update to CNO,” presentation to the committee, August 25, 2004. 4   Bobby R. Junker, Head, Information, Electronics, and Surveillance S&T Department, Office of Naval Research, “Naval C4ISR Science and Technology,” presentation to the committee, August 25, 2004. 5   Wayne Perras, Deputy Commander/Technical Director, Navy Warfare Development Command, “Achieving Dynamic C2 Through Sea Trial,” presentation to the committee, September 22, 2004. 6   CAPT(S) John C. Oberst, USN, Information Dominance Team Lead, Assessment Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Requirements, and Assessments, N812D; and CAPT(S) Calvin H. Craig, USN, Sea Strike Team Lead, Assessment Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Requirements, and Assessments, N812D, “Overview of Operational Net Assessment; C4ISR for Time Critical Strike (U),” classified presentation to the committee, August 24, 2004.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups (DARPA) and other agencies. In particular, the committee cites the DARPA Dynamic Database (DDB), Moving and Stationary Target Acquisition and Recognition (MSTAR), and Dynamic Tactical Targeting (DTT) programs and an effort on behalf of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration (ASD[NII]) known as Global Net Centric Surveillance and Targeting (GNCST). While developing automation aids for ISR exploitation is a challenging problem requiring a continuing research investment, recent progress has resulted in deployable capabilities, and automation is key to reducing ISR analysis time. The committee believes that a quantitative system-of-systems analysis of the TCS kill chain could more precisely reveal by how much and where along the chain ISR analysis time must be reduced. Although kill chain timing analysis appears to have been performed in the past, the committee did not see evidence that the analysis was conducted at sufficient model-quality detail for design purposes. Net-Centric Warfare Division, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements and Programs (N71), did indicate that it was about to embark on such an analysis using system-level models.7 Such an analysis can also be used to address how automation of the ISR data integration for detection and identification, as well as automation of command-and-control (C2) decision aids, should be applied in order to reduce the analysis time line across the force. The Expeditionary Strike Groups Assessment Study8 for the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy, and Operations (N3/N5) noted key limitations of present systems and indicated in summary that there is not much command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C2ISR) on a single expeditionary strike group (ESG). Further, the committee observes that apparent line-of-sight connectivity limits and conflicting requirements for range placements of units can hamper the effectiveness of a single ESG in providing area defenses. On a positive note, N71 is working with the Air Force Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (AFC2ISR) Center at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, in the selection and development of common systems for both the Air Force and Naval Air.9 7   RDML Elizabeth A. Hight, USN, Director, Command, Control, Communications, Computing, and Space, OPNAV N71, “C4ISR Requirements for Future Naval Strike Groups (U),” classified presentation to the committee, December 15, 2004. 8   Kim A. Deal, Project Director, Expeditionary Strike Groups Assessment Study, Center for Naval Analyses, “ESG Assessment Study (U),” classified presentation to the committee, September 21, 2004. 9   CDR Robert Hoppa, USN, Joint Interoperability Branch Chief, C4 and Battlespace Division, OPNAV N71, “C4ISR Integration and Engagement Effort Networking Plan,” presentation to the committee, November 22, 2004.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups Data rate capacity and data sample rate for the availability of accurate location, identification, and tracking data against maneuvering targets; Sensor and C2 collaboration for the efficient use of assets and coordinated decisions; The interconnection of system elements supporting the time cycles; Information assurance; and Assured connectivity for critical functions in adverse environments. The Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, and Space (PEO[C4I&S])15 indicated the need to ensure that the Navy receives its share of the Transformational Communications Architecture (TCA) bandwidth allocation. A major budget reordering is under way for the acquisition of the systems in accordance with the national TCA networking vision and standards. However, funding does not provide network integration to requisite levels in accordance with present GIG plans. The Navy is charged with developing Deployable Joint Command and Control (DJC2) to replace Global Command and Control System-Maritime (GCCS-M) (PMW-150, the Program Manager within SPAWAR for Command and Control Systems) and has an opportunity to play a central joint networking role. However, the network seems to be being treated in a “best effort” manner rather than by establishing the QoS needed to meet, especially, timing and connectivity to ensure adequate defenses against high-speed threats and offense against time-critical targets. The committee reviewed key aspects of the DOD GIG and observed that very important elements are under development, such as Global Information Grid–Bandwidth Expansion (GIG-BE), Network-Centric Enterprise Services (NCES), Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), and Transformational Satellites. However, mission QoS needs for real-time kill chains and mission-critical operations, such as missile defense, did not appear to be considered. It was noted by N81 that information operations, including information assurance (IA), comprise an important component of C4ISR.16 As the Navy requires access to both organic and national ISR assets via the TCA, a major concern is to ensure that the ships have adequate connectivity, including antenna coverage and bandwidth. 15   Andrew Cox, Executive Director, Program Executive Office C4I and Space, “Program Executive Office C41 and Space Information Brief,” presentation to the committee, September 21, 2004. 16   CAPT(S) John C. Oberst, USN, Information Dominance Team Lead, Assessment Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Requirements, and Assessments, N812D; and CAPT(S) Calvin H. Craig, USN, Sea Strike Team Lead, Assessment Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Requirements, and Assessments, N812D, “Overview of Operational Net Assessment; C4ISR for Time Critical Strike (U),” classified presentation to the committee, August 24, 2004.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups Information operations include both offensive (information warfare) and defensive information assurance—both are important components of C4ISR. The committee agrees with the conclusion of the report of the DSB Task Force on Future Strategic Strike Forces17 that offensive information operations need to evolve further so that their effects can be better observed and predicted. It also agrees with the recent NSB FORCEnet study18 that information assurance will be critical to protect vital C2 and ISR information in the planned open architecture of TCA (see Chapter 6, “Communications”). It was also noted in the NSB FORCEnet report that, as the Navy requires access to national ISR and C2 assets via TCA, a major concern is to ensure that the ships have adequate connectivity, including antenna coverage and bandwidth. The committee heard evidence of current ship antenna coverage issues related to mast mountings, lack of allocated bandwidth in favor of other Services, and inefficient prioritization of channels, all during the continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although TCA is billed as possessing substantially greater bandwidth access than is now available, adequate acquisition plans for providing significant bandwidth improvements to U.S. ships in order to mitigate the shortfalls in the last mile referred to above were not found. Further, it is observed that ship needs, for example for reach-back to national assets and image analysis, do not appear to be driving Navy communications requirements. 2.6 IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CSG AND ESG The current and planned C4ISR capabilities of carrier strike groups (CSGs) and expeditionary strike groups (ESGs) and their impact on mission areas are summarized below. 2.6.1 Sea Strike CSG Offense Tactical aircraft (the current Super Hornet fighter/attack aircraft [F/A-18E/F] and the future Joint Strike Fighter [F-35 and the E-2C]) are the carrier strike group’s reason for being: they provide the force’s strike capabilities and much of its organic surveillance capability. Tomahawk land-attack missiles (TLAMs) carried by the cruisers (CGs), guided-missile destroyers (DDGs), and nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) provide a complementary strike capability with 17   Defense Science Board. 2004. Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Future Strategic Strike Forces, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Washington, D.C., February, p. 3-18. 18   National Research Council. 2005. FORCEnet Implementation Strategy, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups substantial inland reach. While there is only limited Naval Fire Support capability via CG and DDG guns (DDX is not planned for CSGs), the carrier strike aircraft, especially with the future F-35, can provide close air support. The primary limiting factor for CSG Sea Strike operations is persistent ISR (which may be organic or may come from access to joint and/or national assets), timely (automated) analysis, and connectivity to C2 for coordinated TLAM and strike aircraft operations. The CSG’s capability to strike moving ground targets also needs improvement. The striking power of CSGs would be significantly enhanced if a naval variant of the Joint-Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) were developed and deployed. J-UCAS would provide an organic, penetrating, armed ISR asset that would be particularly valuable for TCS. ESG Offense With the addition of the destroyers, cruisers, and an SSN, ESGs represent an advance in capability over the traditional amphibious ready groups (ARGs). TLAMs from these ships and the SSN can provide long inland reach. The ESG’s present Harrier (vertical-short-takeoff-and-landing [VSTOL]) aircraft have short range compared with that of aircraft carrier (CVN) aircraft, but the future short-takeoff-and-vertical landing (STOVL) F-35 will provide increased reach. Naval Fire Support will be enhanced by the DDX even beyond the capability of the CSGs. As for the CSGs, persistent, wide-area ISR access is a limiting factor in the ESG’s strike capabilities. 2.6.2 Sea Shield CSG Defense With three CEC-equipped DDGs/CGs plus future nuclear-power aircraft carriers (CVNs) with SPY-3 radar and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs), CSG capability even against high-speed cruise missiles will be robust.19 NIFCCA will provide further robustness for CSG defense besides providing OCMD. However, robust target identification for long-range, overland targets is needed to prevent fratricide or inadvertent interception of commercial aircraft. Defense against Theater Ballistic Missiles (TBMs) will be robust with CGs and DDGs equipped with the Standard Missile (SM)-3. Robust defense against quiet diesel submarines and their torpedoes, mines, and small-boat swarms must await enhanced ISR, as identified above. 19   Naval Studies Board, National Research Council. 2001. Naval Forces’ Capability for Theater Missile Defense, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., p. 3.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups ESG Defense To extend inland strike reach with the shorter-range VSTOL aircraft could require an ESG to move closer to shore than the CSG will be resulting in less response time to antiship cruise missiles. However, with its three CGs/DDGs as well as SPY-3/ESSM on certain amphibious ships and with the DDX, the ESG will have some capability for defense against cruise missiles. The Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD) of ESGs will be comparable to that of CSGs. And, as mentioned above, the longer-range TLAMs could mitigate the need for operations closer to shore for some situations. The limitations of ESGs in undersea warfare (USW) and SUW will be the same as those identified above for CSGs. 2.6.3 Comparing the CSG and ESG As discussed in Chapter 1, the Navy’s premise in creating the new naval strike groups was that the new ESG would be more capable of defending itself than the standard ARG is and therefore could be sent more readily into harm’s way and be employed to distribute naval forces around the world. While the STOVL version of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and the Osprey, a tiltrotor vertical short takeoff and landing (VSTOL), multimission aircraft (V-22) will add considerably to the capabilities of future ESGs, the ESG will remain clearly less capable in airpower than the CSG will be. An ESG will carry far fewer fixed-wing aircraft than will a CSG, resulting in a considerably reduced sortie rate. The STOVL JSF will not have the range of an F-18; hence the CSG will have the capability to strike deeper into hostile territory. A CSG today carries EA-6B aircraft for defense suppression and in the future will carry EF-18G aircraft for that purpose. The ESG will have no comparable capability, reducing the ESG’s applicability in theaters where surface-to-air missile defenses are strong, unless USAF jamming aircraft can be provided for the ESG. A CSG today also carries E-2C aircraft, which increases its ability for real-time battle management and, in the advanced Hawkeye version, for overland air defense. The ESG will have no comparable capability. As this chapter has discussed, the committee finds that CSG and ESG have similar C4ISR limitations today. For example, in Sea Strike, both the CSG and ESG have shortfalls in ISR coverage and persistence and analysis latency in every time-critical mission. These shortfalls are evidenced in their inadequate organic ISR and inadequate access to nonorganic ISR. Similarly, in Sea Shield, both the CSG and the ESG will have adequate air defense capability with the fielding of CEC and other DDG improvements, but shortfalls in USW and SUW will remain. Looking ahead, Chapter 7 will describe planned strike ISR systems and possible concepts for USW that should apply equally well to CSGs and ESGs. When the future strike ISR and yet-to-be-developed USW capabilities

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups have been fielded, the principal C4ISR shortfall of an ESG compared with a CSG will stem from the ESG’s lack of an E-2C Hawkeye airborne radar system, which will affect its ability to conduct overland cruise missile defense, and its lack of J-UCAS, which will affect its ability to conduct ISR for deep strike. Combining an ESG and CSG into an Expeditionary Strike Force (ESF) will result in capabilities resembling those of a traditional carrier battle group (CVBG) but with evolving advanced capabilities. The USW and SUW issues identified above will remain until ISR assets appear. One final point is made regarding strike groups. The complexity of geographically dispersed elements of mission threads to meet stringent mission-cycle time and accuracy needs will require extensive system-of-systems integration and testing. The committee believes that this integration and testing will require an extension of the Navy’s Distributed Engineering Plant (DEP), including joint and national assets. Without the DEP, entire CSGs and ESGs would be needed to perform the integration and testing, significantly impacting the Navy operational strategy and tempo. Further, the committee believes that the Navy should seek to minimize needs for continual mission-thread recertification of the fire-control loops and kill chains as each new ISR capability is added. The committee believes that the recommended architecture described in the NSB FORCEnet report20 will provide the appropriate degree of ISR coupling to these weapons systems. 2.6.4 Reconciliation of Navy Combat Systems and C4ISR Systems The U.S. Navy has historically had distinct development communities for ship combat systems, tactical air combat systems, and C4ISR. These were organized within the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), respectively. The genesis of the division among these communities dates back to the days when ship combat systems were devoted to the completion of the fire-control loop, aircraft fought other aircraft, and C4ISR systems were associated with the nonautomated analysis of intelligence information. The gap was maintained as these systems evolved because of the perspective that “real-time” combat system information could be corrupted by mixing it with “non-real-time” C4ISR data products, and that the C4ISR processing systems (primarily desktop computers) could not keep up with the data rates and latencies associated with the real-time sensors. More recently with Link 16, CEC, and now NIFC-CA, the gap has closed between ship and aircraft systems. The rest of this 20   National Research Council. 2005. FORCEnet Implementation Strategy, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., Chapter 5.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups discussion refers to aircraft and ship systems as “combat systems.” The result of having distinct communities was that naval commanders were given two types of systems, each providing a different perspective on the tactical situation. Combat systems have provided a tactical picture that is primarily based on force-organic radars, identification friend or foe (IFF), sonars, and occasionally electronic support measure (ESM) systems. This picture is rich with accurate position data on aircraft, ships, and submarines when the data links (and possibly CEC) are properly orchestrated. It generally includes friend identifications for cooperative targets, but also contains a large number of vehicles identified as “unknown” owing to the lack of imaging, electronic intelligence (ELINT), or other noncooperative identification sensors and information. The picture is considered to be real time or near real time, depending on one’s definition of those terms. This generally means that the processing of the sensor data is largely based on deterministic processing techniques owing to the accuracy and timeliness of the sources. C4ISR systems have provided an operational picture that in the past was based more on the information provided by national and theater sensors. In general, these sources have been rich in identification information based on infrared (IR), ELINT, and communications intelligence (COMINT) sensors and sources. The accuracy of the position data though, was not of the same quality as the combat system sensor data and in some of the latencies was greater. The processing of these non-real-time data has been largely based on probabilistic algorithms owing to the nature of the data sources. Over the years, C4ISR systems have begun to incorporate the same sensor data that the combat system uses, through “tapping” of the links’ sources and eventually through direct interfaces to the combat systems themselves. Similarly, combat systems have begun incorporating C4ISR system data, especially in their command display systems. This artificial division between combat systems and C4ISR has resulted in many situations of outright confusion in naval ship combat information centers, as the commanding officer is left to sort out the ambiguous and oftentimes conflicting data between the two sources of the tactical picture. What is sorely needed is an integrated-system solution that meets the warfighter’s command-and-control needs. The advances in computing and communications technology, as embedded in FORCEnet concepts, have erased many of the reasons for which U.S. Navy combat systems and C4ISR systems were kept separate and distinct. It is time to reexamine and perhaps eliminate this artificial division. Ship commanders and E-2 aircraft operators need a timely, consistent, and complete portrayal of a tactical situation based on all sources. The commanding officer does not have the time or capacity to combine and integrate the data from multiple systems in this fast-paced tactical environment. Eliminating this system duality and creating a single portrayal of the tactical picture that is consistent within the force and theater would be one of the biggest command-and-control breakthroughs that could be achieved from a systems-acquisition perspective.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups The technology exists to make this reconciliation a reality. Computer and communications speeds and capacities can reduce the differences in accuracy and latency from many sensors, both remote and local, if explicitly addressed in the context of mission threads. Similarly, algorithms have been developed for appropriately linking disparate sets of sensor data in a meaningful way without the threat of “corrupting” any of the data sets. It should thus be possible to colocate the processing of the output for the various sensors and forces, together with that required to coordinate the information, to provide one picture. Current combat systems must evolve beyond the “narrowband” perspective of connecting one sensor to one weapon. Systems such as CEC have demonstrated the power of networked sensors and weapons. The integrity of the mission threads must by all means be ensured, but also, the commanding officer must be enabled to take advantage of the diversity and breadth of information from multiple sources and in multiple formats (multimedia) that is and will be available through FORCEnet and the GIG. The ultimate goal is to be able to link any sensor(s) to any weapon(s), regardless of location, within a weapon’s range. Combat system command-and-control support must be “broadband” in nature so that a commander can have all of this information readily available for the decision-making process. Of course, to take full advantage of this paradigm, the “smart-pull” technology advertised as part of the GIG concept must be developed so as not to inundate ships with too much extraneous information, and it must be integrated with joint and national systems. The imperative for combining combat systems and C4ISR is not just technology-based. In addition to the aforementioned operational considerations of a commanding officer at sea needing to have one comprehensive perspective, there is an economic incentive: that of combining development efforts that have large overlap in areas such as sensor data processing, computing plants, command display technologies, and several others. The committee believes that the artificial division is perpetuated mainly by the current functional allocation between NAVSEA, NAVAIR, and SPAWAR. As indicated in Chapter 3, a properly supported Chief Engineer (CHENG) of the Navy might be able to bridge the gap. 2.7 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The committee is confident that U.S. warfighters will put forth Herculean efforts to “make do” with whatever capabilities they have and will improvise in astoundingly creative and resourceful ways to overcome C4ISR shortfalls; nevertheless, the shortfalls identified by the committee in such areas as the detection of underwater threats could result in much more than a slowing down of operations or an incremental loss of life and platforms. Given that official visions of future warfighting capabilities rely more and more on the achievement of network-centric operations and the integration of C4ISR into combat systems, those shortfalls could very seriously limit future naval force capabilities, possibly affecting

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups decisions on sending forces into theater and harm’s way, or the nation’s ability to project credible power. The committee concurs with the stated visions of the Naval Services and in this report offers advice to help the Naval Services achieve these visons. Finding: Reducing mission-cycle time is the key to quick and decisive victory, and yet the C4ISR contribution to mission-cycle time is not now being actively managed in all mission areas. The value of C4ISR to naval strike groups can be best measured in terms of end-to-end mission-cycle time, from the composition of strike groups, to mission planning and intelligence preparation of the battlefield, through F2T2EA. It is observed that ISR is not treated as part of the kill chain in all mission areas. The air defense and ballistic missile defense missions are positive examples—the C4ISR for these systems is built as an integral element of the fire-control loop, in Aegis, Aegis with CEC, and the SSDS. Mission-cycle time is directly tied to adequate ISR coverage (more coverage gives more time to respond), to the accuracy and precision of ISR (for a faster fix on targets), and to the automation of ISR data analysis and correlation (for faster target identification), the communication latency of ISR information, and on how clearly the information is displayed (for faster decision time). Mission-cycle time is not managed in missions other than those mentioned, except for a few single-platform systems such as submarines and F-18s on patrol. New, end-to-end systems engineering and integrated acquisition programs are required in these warfare systems, for example, in PEO(IWS) for air defense systems. Finding: There are specific capability gaps in C4ISR, mostly in ISR, that provide high-leverage opportunities for reducing mission-cycle times. The committee has identified the following high-leverage opportunities: Greater coverage area and persistence of high-resolution ISR for TCS, Naval Fire Support, and Maneuver—probably largely organic; Automated processing for earlier detection and identification analysis for TCS, Naval Fire Support, and Maneuver; Organic-embedded ISR (and/or access to joint-embedded ISR, e.g., UGS and tags); Assistance with SOF offense, such as for finding WMD and insurgent leadership on land; Assistance with force protection, such as for locating enemy SOF and terrorists, potentially with CBRNE weapons; Network-attack effects assessment to ensure coordination with other forms of strike; The development of automatic target identification for NIFC-CA to pre-

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups vent long-range fratricide or collateral damage by intercepting missiles; A decision-aid tool for the placement of multiple NIFC-CA and ISR airborne sensors to recognize blockages in rough terrain and determine effective mission flight paths for the detection of targets; Persistent area (probably organic) ISR coverage against low-signature mines, diesel submarines, inbound torpedoes, ships, and inbound small-boat swarms; The assurance of adequate availability and bandwidth of satellite communications for reach-back to national assets products; The consolidation of combat systems with C4ISR systems under the same decision-cycle-time methodology for countering mission threats; and, because many C4ISR assets are used for multiple, often-simultaneous missions, flexible ISR and C2 elements are needed. Finding: Future naval strike group capabilities in major combat operations can be significantly improved through network-centric operations that draw C4ISR systems more prominently into the kill chain. The value of C4ISR to naval strike groups is best measured in terms of its contribution to warfighting, and C4ISR is becoming central to naval strike groups’ combat capabilities. C4ISR is not just an enabler of more-efficient and -effective operations, but it provides the information and the command and control essential to the success of operations. U.S. forces could be defeated if the C4ISR on which they depend does not materialize or perform adequately. Once-clear distinctions between C4ISR and combat systems are blurring. New concepts of operation enabled by network-centricity will draw C4ISR systems more prominently into the kill chain and will improve such warfighting measures as the mission-cycle time (time to find threats, attack targets, and assess damage). Projecting power ashore requires striking fixed targets and, more frequently as time goes on, ground targets that move and hide from detection. Striking time-critical (and especially moving) land targets requires persistent surveillance, rapid reaction, and close coordination among sensors, platforms, and weapons that can only be achieved by engineering an end-to-end network-centric capability that does not exist today. Current and emerging national and theater sensor systems can provide some of the needed deep and persistent surveillance, but naval strike groups are not well connected to these systems today. Furthermore, these systems will produce enormous volumes of data that will overwhelm current exploitation capabilities, even when collaborative exploitation based on reach-back is used. Strike groups projecting an umbrella of defense over forces ashore defend chiefly against the adversary’s ground forces, manned aircraft, land-attack cruise missiles, and tactical ballistic missiles. Defending forces ashore against land-attack cruise missiles will require an aircraft such as the E-2 with new capabilities for overland detection and weapon control.

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups Naval strike groups in major combat operations in the littoral are themselves threatened primarily by antiship cruise missiles, submarines, and mines. CEC is the first modern implementation of network-centric operations; it and its future extensions are key to air and missile defense.21 It appears to the committee that the key shortfall in a naval strike group’s ability to defend itself today is in undersea warfare, where the United States currently lacks means to detect quiet diesel submarines and mines reliably and quickly. Solutions to this problem are likely to involve the networking of manned and unmanned air, surface, and subsurface platforms and deployed sensors. Recommendation: The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) should pursue the development of network-centric operations for critical warfighting capabilities and manage C4ISR developments within that context. Consonant with their stated visions, the Naval Services need to explore and apply network-centric concepts in improving their warfighting capabilities. The committee recommends that the application be done mission by mission to develop specific metrics. These metrics all must then be examined as part of the complete network-centric capability exploration. Network-centric operations for the air and missile defense missions are under way with CEC. It should be noted that a future joint capability will likely not be based on CEC as it stands today. Network-centric concepts for strike warfare are ripe for development. Network-centric undersea warfare requires more conceptual development to help solve fundamental detection problems. If the new concepts take full advantage of network-centricity, C4ISR systems will be drawn naturally into the kill chain. In designing the new concepts, systems engineers and combat commanders need to balance the burden of performance in the end-to-end kill chains. The contribution of C4ISR systems—for example, the reduction of mission-cycle time as defined above—needs to be balanced along with the contribution of weapons, delivery platforms, and so on. This recommendation is a precursor of the findings and recommendations in Chapter 3 (see Section 3.5). Finding: The committee also notes that, in studies dating back many years by the Naval Studies Board and others, there have been recommendations on C4ISR and network-centric operations similar to those offered in this study.22 21   Naval Studies Board, National Research Council. 2000. Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 22   These studies include the following: Naval Studies Board, National Research Council, 2000, Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities, Na-

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C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups While substantive improvements have occurred, progress has generally been slow, and no timetable for change has been put forth. In the meantime, the Naval Services’ official visions of future warfighting capabilities have relied more and more on the achievement of network-centric operations. The committee concurs in these visions and their attendant integration of C4ISR into combat systems. However, failure to achieve network-centric operations, or to integrate C4ISR into combat systems, could seriously limit future naval force capabilities, possibly affecting decisions on sending forces into theater and in harm’s way, or the nation’s ability to project credible power. Recommendation: The CNO and CMC should consider implementing the recommendations of this report as a managed program, with milestones that must be met for such things as the development of time-budget allocations for time-critical mission threads, the identification of the system capabilities that are required to meet those time budgets, the establishment of funded development programs for systems to provide those capabilities, and the identification of dates by which the capabilities enabled by those systems will be operational.     tional Academy Press, Washington, D.C.; Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council, 1999, Realizing the Potential of C4I: Fundamental Challenges, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.; Naval Studies Board, National Research Council, 1997, Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3: Information in Warfare, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.; some 10 years ago regarding information security: Naval Studies Board, National Research Council, 1994, Information Warfare (U), National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. (Classified); and Defense Science Board, 1996, Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Information Warfare—Defense (IW-D), Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, Washington, D.C., November.