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THE OUTLOOK FOR MILITARY AERONAUTICS William J. Perry Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Department of Defense Guy, I want to thank you for inviting me here. You took quite a risk. You are going to get the perspective not from the point of view of an aeronautical engineer but from the viewpoint of somebody who is biased in electronics, which I am sure will be quite evident to you all before my talk is over. Aside from that bias I have resisted the temptation to give you a listing of programs that the Defense Department is doing or plans to do in aviation. Instead I will attempt to provide you with the perspective that underlies our planning, leading to the determination of our R&D programs as well as specific system developments. The first and the most fundamental point, I believe, has to do with the broad strategy with which we approach our acquisition of new weapons systems. It is that we should exploit the technological superiority that the United States enjoys today to get a qualitative superiority in our weapons. This has not always been the case. I would like to take you back a little bit in history to recall that the principle impact that the United States had in World War II—and in fact in World War I as well—resulted from our enormous logistics advantage. That is, we brought great fire power and logistics advantages to bear that had a decisive effect in both wars. To illustrate that point, I note that the United States alone produced over 50,000 military aircraft in Wdrld War II. So, we mobilized our tremendous industrial base and brought it to bear on the problem. Whether or not our aircraft were superior to those of our opponents in World War II can still be debated, but it wasn't terribly relevant when we were building 50,000 of them. We overwhelmed them with numbers. Today—for better or worse—the shoe is on the other foot. Any 77

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planning that we do must start with the recognition that it is on the other foot. To give you one figure to illustrate this point — in the last l0 years (during the decade of the l970s) the Soviet Union invested about $240 billion more in military equipment than the United States. That figure may be l0 or 20 or 30 percent off, but despite this uncertainty, it is clear that we are facing an enormous problem and an enormous disparity in numbers. We see the problem manifested in the current and recent production rates in the Soviet Union. We see tanks that are being produced at three times the rate at which we produce tanks; missiles at about three or four times the rate. Even in tactical aircraft, where we have traditionally had a numerical as well as a qualitative advantage, Soviet production has been twice that of the United States. That is a fact, whether we like it or not. When we come up with our investment strategy we start off with that fact and decide what we should do about it. Many people argue that we cannot depend on quality, that we have to somehow deal with that quantitative advantage directly; we have to compete in kind. Whatever you may think about that argument, it is not possible for us to do it, at least it is not possible in our lifetime to do it. The momentum behind the Soviet production advantage and the deployment advantage is just too great. If we decided today, for example, to triple our tank production—which is a pretty big decision to make—and if the Soviets stopped their tank production—just turned off the valve altogether—it would be l995 before we would have as many tanks as they have. So, that is the kind of problem we are facing. I would further point out that, if I could snap my fingers and have Chrysler or General Motors deliver to our door next week 30,000 tanks, so that we now had as many tanks as the Soviet Union, then the questions we would face are: What do we do with these tanks? How do we man them? That is 30,000 times four people in a tank, times the cooks and the bakers and the recruiting sergeants and all the other people. It would mean doubling the size of our peacetime army. So, unless you are willing to assume that we have three or four years to mobilize for a war—which we do not assume from a defense planning point of view—we have to figure out some way of dealing with this problem that does not involve doubling the size of our army. That means having a real qualitative edge; an edge that isn't just something that appears in the specifications of the equipment, but an edge that makes a difference in combat performance. With that background, let me look at some of the specific objectives we have in the Defense Department and see how we will achieve them, how we might seek that kind of advantage, and the particular means we will employ to achieve it in combat performance. One of the most obvious and certainly the highest priority requirement that we face in the Defense Department is deterring nuclear war. I can translate that into saying that we want to be able to maintain the unquestionable ability to retaliate in the face of a surprise attack. We have sufficient forces to do that today. All of the strategic 78

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forces programs that are conceived or planned for the next decade are designed to maintain that situation by improving the survivability of our forces. Very little of what we are doing is oriented toward improving their performance or improving their striking power. The entire thrust of our strategic forces' modernization program involves actions to improve survivability, that is, improve the ability of our retaliatory forces to survive a surprise attack. I don't plan to discuss strategic forces today, but let me just tick off very quickly the three major programs under way. The MX missile program is not so much a missile program as it is a program to provide a survivable basing for missiles. The cruise missile program is not so much oriented toward improving the striking power of our bombers as it is to allow our bombers to perform their mission without having to enter the air defense net of the Soviet Union. If our bombers were required to penetrate Soviet defenses, we think they would not be able to survive in the mid- to late l980's. The new Trident program, both the submarine and the missiles, is also designed to improve survivability. The submarine is designed to be many decibels quieter than the existing Poseidon submarines, which makes it harder to find at sea. The missiles are designed to have twice the range of the Poseidon missiles, which allows the submarines to stand back farther from the shores of the Soviet Union, thereby increasing their available patrol area and their survivability. All of these programs are pointed toward increased survivability. In my view, the heydays of the aviation industry's role in the strategic forces—which was building planes that could fly faster and higher and so on—are really behind us. Even though we are confident we could do that, there is little motivation to improve our forces along those lines. Our second major objective is to deter the outbreak in Europe of what is called a conventional war; by a conventional war, we mean a recreation of the Second World War in modern times. We imagine that the Soviets' view of that is that if a war were to start they would mount a blitzkrieg heading for the Channel; you might imagine it to be the reverse of the blitzkrieg that Hitler launched against them—Operation Barbarossa—back in l940. So, if we want to deter that action from a military point of view, we should improve our ability to stop a massive armored attack. There are two different things that we are doing in our defense program that relate to that. One of them is making really major—I would say revolutionary—improvements in our antiarmor capability. I ordinarily would describe this in terms of what we call precision-guided munitions, and that is an interesting subject for a different day. It is also quite true that the carriers of these precision-guided munitions become quite important and, thinking of Gerry Tobias' talk a little bit earlier, helicopters are going to play a major role in our antiarmor capability. The second action in stopping the blitzkrieg is maintaining air superiority. We believe we have today the capability of controlling the skies over Europe if we were to be engaged in a war with the Soviets. We believe it is going to be difficult to maintain that in 79

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the future but that we can do it. As long as we can Jo that, and as long as the Soviets realize we can do that, we do not think they would be so foolish as to launch a blitzkrieg attack on Europe. One would have to be the world's greatest optimist to believe that he could sustain a massive armored assault in the face of air inferiority, in the face of the other side having control of the skies. I will come back to the point of air superiority in a few minutes because I would like to make that a major theme. I do want to cite a third major objective of the Defense Department. I have described deterring nuclear war. I have described deterring conventional war in Europe. A third one is deterring a Soviet intervention in a conflict in the Persian Gulf or Indian Ocean area. We believe that in order to do that we have to develop an ability to quickly introduce intervention forces in that area. By quickly, I mean in a matter of a few days, soon enough to arrive before the disaster has happened, not after. We believe that if we have the ability to do that, then it will provide a major deterrent to ever having to use that capability. In order to be able to achieve that, we need to be able to maintain the sea power advantage we already have in the Indian Ocean. We need to pre-position heavy equipment in that area. That is already under way. We have equipment for an entire Marine amphibious brigade being loaded on ships on the way to Diego Garcia this summer. But we also need to make significant improvements in our airlift capability, particularly the ability to airlift what we call our equipment. That requirement is the genesis of what is called the CX program, and that will be one of our major aviation needs for the next few decades. Let me come back to the point of air superiority. It is going to be difficult to achieve. I have already mentioned that the Soviets are building about twice the number of tactical aircraft that W2 are. What is perhaps of even greater concern is they are building aircraft of greater and greater capability. The qualitative gap between U.S. tactical aircraft and Soviet aircraft is narrowing each year. They have, today, the MIG 23 and MIG 25, the so-called "Flogger" and "Foxbat" aircraft—very capable and very sophisticated aircraft. There is a widespread myth that the United States builds expensive airplanes and the Soviet Union builds simple, reliable, and cheap airplanes; that is no longer true. For better or worse, they have emulated us in this department and they are now building aircraft as complex and as expensive as ours. That is certainly true with the MIG 23, and we believe it is true to a certain extent with the MIG 25, certainly with the modified MIG 25, "Foxbat." In addition to that, we know that they have a new technical combat aircraft in a very advanced state of development and expect them to be coming into operation by the mid l980s. The question then is, in the face of this very determined thrust both in quantity and in quality, how are we going to maintain the qualitative edge? I suggest to you that it is probably not going to come from the design of the airplane. That is not to say that we are not interested in the design of the airplane. We are interested in aerodynamics, but we don't believe that that is going to give us a 80

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sufficient edge to deal with the problems that we would face in providing and achieving air superiority in Europe during the l980s. We think it is going to depend on superior electronics, superior engines, and superior pilots. That is what the qualitative edge will depend on for the next decade or two. Let oie be a little more specific about how those different features will be manifested in our systems. We conduct analyses of air-to-air combat situations, in particular, the very detailed simulated combat we conduct at Nellis Air Force Base in a program called "Red Flag." In this program, we bring Ln squadrons of U.S. tactical fighters and match them against an aggressor fighter squadron that we keep based there. The aggressor fighter squadron employs U.S. airplanes, F-5s, which we think are somewhat of an approximation to the capability of the Soviet airplanes that we might be up against. We have a set of pilots who live, breathe, and act as though they were Soviet pilots month after month. So, we bring our fighter pilots in and we conduct simulated air combat. It is about as close to the real thing as you can get. What we are learning in this simulated combat is that, while the quality of our airplanes, the F-l5 and F-l6, is noticeable and while they give us somewhat of an edge, it is not enough of an edge to offset a substantial advantage in numbers, even a two-to-one advantage in numbers. Therefore, if we are to prevail in a situation where we might have a two- or three-to-one disadvantage in numbers, we have to have something else going for us. That something else, we believe, will come from our superior electronics. First of all, if our pilots, if our fighter squadrons, have superior knowiedge at all times of the location of enemy airplanes then that can be used in a fundamental way to offset the disadvantage in numbers. That is, even though they may have a macroscopic advantage in numbers, we can achieve a microscopic advantage. We can arrange to have our airplanas at locations where we outnumber them at that time and at that place. We can do this by having superior means of locating enemy forces, superior means of locating our own forces, and superior means of rapidly communicating this information around to all of the people involved in that operation. That is done, by the way, with a system that is called AWACS, which is a large, flying radar; with a system called GPS (Global Positioning System), which locates our own units to within l0 meters at all times; and with a system called JTIDS (Joint Tactical Information Distribution System), which transmits digits from reconnaissance systems to AWACS airplanes to fighter airplanes, so that the fighter pilot has at all times displayed in front of him what in effect is a situation map. It tells him where enemy pilots and friendly pilots are relative to where he is. That information is continuously upgraded and displayed in front of him. That, we believe, will make an enormous difference. The second aspect where electronics will make a big difference is in the kind of munitions that we use on the airplane. In the case of air-to-air combat, the air-to-air missile is the principal weapon that can make the difference. 8l

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We are now developing a missile called AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile), which will have an enormous advantage over most existing missiles; it has a fire-and-forget capability. That is, the pilot can fire it and then he can turn and break away from the combat. The missile then proceeds autonomously to perform its mission. Moreover, he can fire two or three or four of them simultaneously. That is, he can engage several targets at a time and still break away. This is going to be extremely important in his ability to deal with situations in which he is outnumbered. Those are the two principal factors in electronics that will make a difference. There will be very important improvements, I believe, that will be made in what we call RAM-D, what Gerry referred to as the reliability and maintainability areas. Most of these are going to occur through major improvements in jet engines in the next decade, through the introduction of super alloys into these engines which have the ability to withstand higher operating temperatures, with much greater durability. Therefore, we will be able to operate them at suitable performance levels well below the peak temperature of the materials. As it stands today, with the F-l00 engine, for example, which is the key engine we use in both the F-l5 and the F-l6 airplanes, we operate it so hot to get the performance out of it that we have a serious impact on its maintainability and durability. We would like to get that performance without being so close to the razor's edge. The way we do that is by employing super-alloy techniques for improving the temperature and durability of the turbine blades and other components in the hot section of the engine. Two final points. First, training. I have mentioned the superiority of the pilots. That superiority will be achieved only if we can maintain adequate training for them. It gets more and more difficult to achieve that training through flying airplanes many hours per month. Some of that has to be done. We would like, for a variety of reasons, to minimize it. Also, no matter how many hours you fly per month, it is not the same thing as training for combat. Both of those factors drive us into developing higher and higher fidelity simulations. Those of you who have followed this field know there have been very dramatic improvements in simulation in the last five or six years. We intend to push those technologies very hard. So, we are converging toward a situation in which a pilot can not only get training on how to land an airplane, but actually on how to simulate the conditions of air-to-air combat with the pilot sitting on the ground, including the visual, audio, and the motion sensations that go with it. We are much closer to that than you would think if you are not working in this field. My second point is with regard to improving the survivability of our airplanes. There will be two fairly unromantic and undramatic technical thrusts in that direction. We will be converging toward having a greater short takeoff and landing capability in our tactical airplanes. This will allow our airplanes to survive better in an environment where airfields are major targets. 82

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Also, we are working hard and will continue to work hard to introduce the technology of low dectectibility in our airplanes. Our airplanes today are very good targets both for radars and for infrared sensors. We know how to make dramatic improvements in both of these respects. We know how to greatly reduce radar cross section. We know how to greatly reduce infrared emissions. Every time we have coma down to actually designing an airplane in the last few decades we have looked at that trade-off and decided that it just wasn't worth the performance loss to achieve the survivability gain. Two things have happened that will cause us to make different judgments in future designs. First, the air-to-air missiles are getting very, very good. An AMRAAM missile, the one I described to you, this radar-guided missile, is a very formidable threat to an airplane today, in no way to be compared with the threat of a Sparrow missile in the Vietnam War era. The A-9M, which is the current design of the Sidewinder missile, is vastly superior to the Sidewinder when it was originally developed. Therefore, in order for an airplane to survive, it will have to pay attention to ways of defeating those missiles. It will not be able to defeat them solely by maneuvering. The pilot will not be able to defeat them by being a "hot" pilot or having a "hot" airplane. There have to be ways, somehow, of directly defeating those missiles. We will exploit countemeasures and jamming to get as much mileage as we can. But, all of those tactics become much easier if you have reluced /our size as a target to begin with. So, ve will have a very great emphasis on that in the future. I think all future designs of tactical airplanes will manifest those technologies to the extent that they can. The bottom line I would give you on air superiority is that we will be able to maintain it. But, we will not be able to maintain it with a silk scarf mentality. We will have to maintain it by using the technology that we have, by putting a heavy emphasis on weapons that 30 with the airplane, putting a heavy emphasis on helping the pilot know what the situation is at all times, and by training the pilot through simulation. That will be our major thrust in the l980s, rather than, speaking in relative terms now, getting the last l0 percent of performance out of the airplane itself. 83

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