5
The Future of Vulnerability Assessment

Characteristics of the Future Department of Defense Environment

The committee recognizes that there will be a major change in the environment in which the Department of Defense (DoD) will acquire weapon systems in the future, given the dramatic changes in the world socio-political environment and the current difficulties with the U.S. economy. Almost certainly, the future DoD budgets for acquisition of new systems will be significantly reduced, with a concomitant reduction in the number of new program starts. Two recent examples of the types of changes to be expected are the reduction of B-2 aircraft buy from 75 to 20 and the restructuring of the RAH-66 COMANCHE program to postpone production while emphasizing and stretching out the prototype phase. Future budgets for improving existing systems most likely will be below—possibly much below—current levels. Future budgets for the technology base (not counting independent research and development) are difficult to predict at this time, but may be above current levels in order to maintain the current U.S. technology edge.

In spite of the significant reduction in the future DoD acquisition budgets, the requirement to maintain and technologically update fielded platforms over substantially longer lifetimes to counter new threats will remain. When new programs are initiated or prototypes moved into production, it probably will be in response to important new threats not able to be defeated by current platform improvements. In all cases, there will be a requirement to contain the costs of the new or prototype system. Although program cost containment has always been a concern within DoD, the committee believes that minimizing total program costs in the foreseeable future while improving weapon system abilities to counter and survive new threats will be an even more important issue.

In this regard, the committee notes that the restructured program for prototyping the RAH-66 has deferred the survivability and live fire tests. Because there is no intention to go into production at this time, the RAH-66 is not a candidate for Live Fire Testing. The committee is concerned that by deferring the survivability and live fire tests, the vulnerability of the prototype design will not receive the proper attention. A decision could be made in the future to move the prototype into production, with no further vulnerability assessments planned to determine any design weaknesses. However, once this decision is made, the helicopter becomes a candidate for Live Fire Testing. Any attempts to change the prototype design to reduce vulnerability once the decision has been made to go into production may be met with much resistance. This is going to create an adversarial situation again. It would be much better to find and correct any vulnerabilities in the design during development of the prototype than attempt to do so after the development is completed.

In addition to individual program cost containment issues,



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typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution. The Future of Vulnerability Assessment 5 to be defeated by current platform improvements. In all cases, Characteristics of the Future Department of there will be a requirement to contain the costs of the new or Defense Environment prototype system. Although program cost containment has always been a concern within DoD, the committee believes The committee recognizes that there will be a major change in that minimizing total program costs in the foreseeable future the environment in which the Department of Defense (DoD) while improving weapon system abilities to counter and will acquire weapon systems in the future, given the dramatic survive new threats will be an even more important issue. changes in the world socio-political environment and the In this regard, the committee notes that the restructured current difficulties with the U.S. economy. Almost certainly, program for prototyping the RAH-66 has deferred the the future DoD budgets for acquisition of new systems will be survivability and live fire tests. Because there is no intention significantly reduced, with a concomitant reduction in the to go into production at this time, the RAH-66 is not a number of new program starts. Two recent examples of the candidate for Live Fire Testing. The committee is concerned types of changes to be expected are the reduction of B-2 that by deferring the survivability and live fire tests, the aircraft buy from 75 to 20 and the restructuring of the RAH-66 vulnerability of the prototype design will not receive the COMANCHE program to postpone production while proper attention. A decision could be made in the future to emphasizing and stretching out the prototype phase. Future move the prototype into production, with no further budgets for improving existing systems most likely will be vulnerability assessments planned to determine any design below—possibly much below—current levels. Future weaknesses. However, once this decision is made, the budgets for the technology base (not counting independent helicopter becomes a candidate for Live Fire Testing. Any research and development) are difficult to predict at this time, attempts to change the prototype design to reduce but may be above current levels in order to maintain the vulnerability once the decision has been made to go into current U.S. technology edge. production may be met with much resistance. This is going to In spite of the significant reduction in the future DoD create an adversarial situation again. It would be much better acquisition budgets, the requirement to maintain and to find and correct any vulnerabilities in the design during technologically update fielded platforms over substantially development of the prototype than attempt to do so after the longer lifetimes to counter new threats will remain. When new development is completed. programs are initiated or prototypes moved into production, it In addition to individual program cost containment issues, probably will be in response to important new threats not able 55

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56 VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT OF AIRCRAFT the committee anticipates a reduction in the test and design and validate the vulnerability expectations of new typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original evaluation infrastructure within the Office of the Secretary of military platforms. Consequently, the current methodologies Defense (OSD) and in each of the Services as the total DoD must be improved. However, the assessments and their budget declines. In particular, the independent charters, staffs, improvements must use the available funds in the most and facilities of the vulnerability assessment community may efficient way. and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution. have to be changed, as well as the emphasis currently given to 2. There will also have to be a cost reduction within the the analysis and test communities. The committee believes DoD vulnerability analysis and test infrastructure, because that new approaches to many of the current DoD weapon there will be fewer aircraft to assess, while still maintaining acquisition procedures may have to be developed to respond necessary staff expertise and test facilities for the remaining to the new fiscal threat environment, and among these programs. approaches may be changes to the procedures and 3. A vulnerability test and evaluation procedure must be infrastructure for vulnerability assessment. developed that provides, despite any cost reductions, a greater level of trust among the three Services, the OSD, and Congress than exists today. Crucial Requirements of Future Vulnerability The committee’s view is that unless a procedure for Assessment Procedures and Infrastructure vulnerability assessment and design validation can be developed that increases the mutual trust among participants, The committee believes that it is vital for the future there is very little chance that the requirement to reduce the effectiveness of U.S. military aircraft that any changes made to funds expended for assessment while maintaining the the vulnerability assessment procedures and infrastructure must capability to produce a less vulnerable and more survivable not degrade the current capabilities for vulnerability aircraft will be satisfied. This procedure must be a logically assessment within DoD. Vulnerability assessment, which is an based method that removes all emotionalism and arbitrariness integral part of designing for survivability, will increase in from the assessment process. importance as the numbers of front line aircraft decrease and the lifetime of each aircraft is extended. Furthermore, because fewer new systems will be developed in the future, the vulnerability Categories for Cost Reduction in Vulnerability of each of these new systems becomes more important. Assessment While Maintaining or Improving Consequently, more funding for vulnerability assessment may be required for the few systems that are developed, rather than the Current Assessment Capabilities less funding.1 On the positive side of this situation, as more new starts are prototyped and development time is increased, there Category 1—Increased Reliance on Analysis/Model ing. are more opportunities for better assessments. For example, the One method for reducing the costs of vulnerability assessment results from live fire tests on full-scale, full-up targets may be would be to rely more on the analysis/modeling obtained sufficiently early in the stretched-out development methodology. 2 Based on its own review, the committee time to influence the final design. An additional impetus for believes that there appears to be a sufficient start of a vulnerability assessment is the close and important connection modeling capability and weapons effects and materials data between combat vulnerability and flight safety. Aircraft base to warrant an increased dependence on analysis/ designed to take hits in combat and to survive crashes are modeling for future vulnerability assessments as an aid in inherently safer aircraft for the aircrew to fly in. Many design design. However, the committee also believes that the current features included to reduce vulnerability, such as fire and analytical methodology and supporting data bases are not yet explosion suppression, flight control reconfigurability, sufficiently robust, correct, precise, and representative to hydraulic power redundancy and separation, rotor blade permit a total dependence on this methodology. Much work toughness, and engine hardness, also prevent the loss of an needs to be accomplished in the model development and in aircraft due to peacetime malfunctions. the accumulation of weapons effects and material Pk/h data Based on the suppositions given above, the committee bases. Consequently, much of live fire testing in the future believes that the vulnerability assessment capabilities of the should be oriented toward verifying the improved modeling future, both analytical and testing, should be developed as procedures, extending the data base of weapons effects and follows: material responses, and validating proposed design features 1. Vulnerability assessment will continue to be required to and equipment for reducing vulnerability. 1 Even though the funding for each system may be increased, the total 2 Relying more on analysis does not mean that the full-scale, full-up expenditure for vulnerability assessment of all new systems may be less tests mandated by Congress should be discontinued. Instead, as the models than the current level due to the smaller number of new systems in are improved, the number of discovered weaknesses should decrease. development.

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THE FUTURE OF VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT 57 Category 2—Request a Waiver from the Live Fire Test (LFT) and only sub-scale live fire testing has been attempted. typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original Law. The major factor in the cost of vulnerability assessment, Consequently, a decision to grant a waiver today will be based which obviously provides the major opportunity for cost on subjective arguments. reduction, is the requirement for the full-scale, full-up Live In the future, a formal analytical procedure must be Fire Test (LFT) program mandated by the LFT law. This law established for gathering the facts necessary to determine if and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution. was written to prevent the neglect of vulnerability in the system the full-scale, full-up Live Fire Tests are unreasonably design and was the result of the distrust among the Congress, expensive and impractical with respect to the critical OSD, and the Services examined in Chapter 4. The law offers a vulnerability issues and, if they are, what other assessments waiver from the Live Fire Tests. If this waiver is granted, should be conducted in place of the complete system tests. considerable funds would be freed up to be used in vulnerability With such a procedure in place, requesting and receiving a analyses and Live Fire Tests at the sub-scale level. Under the waiver, which should allow much of the vulnerability current Live Fire Test and Evaluation (LFT&E) Guidelines, assessment budget to be transferred to other assessment tasks, there is no guidance as to what constitutes an unreasonably will be an acceptable procedure. No stigma should be attached expensive and impractical Live Fire Test program and no to the waiver because the procedure for obtaining a waiver is a instructions on which facts should be gathered together and rational one. Arbitrariness and emotionalism have been used to make an unbiased, impartial, and logical waiver reduced or eliminated and replaced with objectivity. decision. Up to the present time, the Services have not applied Such a procedure, referred to here as a risk-benefit for a waiver for any program, apparently because of the belief assessment, could be developed by using the principles of risk that their LFT&E programs were in compliance with the law analysis. Risk analysis is a procedure that has been developed and because they have been reluctant to take advantage of the for projects that involve large capital outlays, significant new waiver for fear of a stigma attaching itself to their program. technology, uncertainty, and regulatory issues, such as the Live Many people, both in and out of the Services, are of the Fire Test law (Cooper and Chapman, 1987). This risk-benefit opinion that full-scale, full-up Live Fire Testing is methodology will formalize and standardize the procedure for unreasonably expensive and impractical for all aircraft, that deciding if a waiver should be granted. A risk-benefit there are more cost-effective ways to obtain a design with assessment would identify and quantify the risks and benefits reduced vulnerability, and that this conclusion should be associated with both conducting and not conducting full-scale, obvious to any one who has thought about it. Among the full-up testing. For example, the benefits (e.g., a reduction in reasons given for this conclusion are the facts that the results vulnerability) associated with full-scale, full-up testing of a come too late in the development cycle to influence the relatively inexpensive combat aircraft, many of which are very design, that expensive targets are at risk on every shot, that not likely to be hit in combat, may outweigh the benefits (e.g., a enough data are obtained for statistical validity, that the reduction in expenditures) of not testing the full-scale, full-up wrong conclusion might be reached, and all the other aircraft. Not testing the full-scale, full-up aircraft puts too many disadvantages associated with Live Fire Testing presented in aircraft at an unacceptable risk of destruction. On the other Chapter 2. hand, the benefits associated with such tests on a relatively Others believe that full-scale LFT is unreasonably large support aircraft, very few of which will likely be hit in expensive and impractical only for some aircraft, such as large combat, may not outweigh the risks of not conducting the tests. nontactical aircraft that are not likely to encounter threats to The committee believes that such a methodology is essential to their survival, and is not unreasonably expensive and the process of requesting a waiver. If one is not developed, the impractical for other aircraft, such as small tactical aircraft that arbitrary granting of a waiver will continue to be subject to are very likely to encounter threats to their survival; there are considerable controversy, and attempts may be made to avoid some who feel that LFT is not unreasonably expensive and all live fire testing. impractical for any aircraft. They believe that only by testing the full-scale, full-up aircraft can certain design weaknesses be Category 3—Consolidation of the Vulnerability Assess ment discovered, that it is never too late to change a design if it is Infrastructure. The third category for reducing costs is to inadequate, that a test schedule can be designed so that the consolidate the various Service live fire test facilities and full-scale target is not at risk for all shots, and all the other vulnerability analysis/modeling organizations. Although the advantages associated with Live Fire Testing presented in committee did not review in detail this aspect of the Chapter 2. All of these opinions and beliefs on both sides of vulnerability assessment activities and capabilities in each of the fence are subjective; none are objective. No quantification the three Services, it believes that until the recent DoD budget of the benefits and risks associated with the combination of downturn, there were sufficient programs to warrant the analyses and full-scale, full-up live fire tests compared to the continuation of more-or-less similar Service live fire test benefits and risks associated with the combination of analyses capabilities. Continuous review within the Services and by

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58 VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT OF AIRCRAFT OSD has already led to reduction of duplicative underutilized eliminating some facilities, others can increase in capabilities. typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original capabilities. However, in the decades ahead, the expected Perhaps a national vulnerability test center could be created requirements for the vulnerability testing of new Service that would serve all Services, with significantly more equipment will probably fall below that level where a critical capabilities than currently exist at any one facility today, at a mass of broad-based facilities and knowledgeable staff can be cost below that in effect today. and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution. maintained within any of the individual Services. If considerable cost savings could be achieved by consolidating the capabilities of these facilities, some additional form of consolidation beyond that currently contemplated should be Reference considered. Furthermore, an overall reduction in the cost of test facilities does not automatically imply a reduction in • Cooper, D. and Chapman, C., 1987. Risk Analysis for Large Projects, Models, Methods, & Cases, John Wiley & Sons Ltd. capabilities at every facility. In fact, by downsizing or