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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force 6 Anticipated U.S. Naval Force Capabilities: 2000–2035 The national security strategy1 of the United States defines the nation's broad national security objectives: to protect the nation against threats to our national security; to promote prosperity at home, in part by enlarging our overseas economic engagement and other friendly interactions; and to encourage the spread of democracy as a means of enhancing the security of the international environment for the United States and our allies. These objectives are to be achieved by several approaches simultaneously in both the civilian and military spheres. The armed forces, including the naval forces, are among the means to be employed. The naval forces themselves will need a clear view of the capabilities they will have available, what the forces will be required to do, and how they will perform those tasks. THE EMERGING SHAPE OF THE FUTURE NAVAL FORCES Technologies Available Naval forces represent a combination of people and machines—from ships and aircraft to microprocessors—that allow and help people to do things that would be impossible without the leverage the machines provide. The nature and capability of machines change with advancing technology, enabling people to 1 The White House. 1994. National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., July.
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force accomplish more, with greater knowledge, precision, and control, as the technology advances. Technology is fundamental to naval force capability. The technology on which the future naval forces will be based is changing rapidly and expanding explosively in many directions. This study's Panel on Technology identified nine major technology clusters that are transforming all of modern economic and social life, and that will affect naval force capability profoundly. These technology areas are listed in Table 6.1 , together with examples of the component technologies within each major cluster. The technologies are described and discussed in detail in Volume 2: Technology in this study series. It is extraordinarily difficult to select from this huge array a few key technologies that may drive naval force development. In addition, technologies may emerge in the next 40 years that are not even conceived of today. As is described below, all of the technologies contribute in some way, in different combinations in various cases, to major force capabilities that could not be developed otherwise. Selection of a few technologies that would have a major impact would perhaps include computing, sensing, and materials technologies that contribute to micro- and nano-technology, including microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and to the enterprise process technologies. Micro- and nano-technology can be used to form “societies of sensors on a chip” that act like “meta-sensors” and actuators. They will come to underlie all sensitive and accurate information-gathering and system controls, with a broad variety of applications ranging from ASW signal reception and processing to “smart” aircraft skins capable of boundary layer control to enhance lift and reduce drag. The enterprise process technologies enable the economical creation and management of large-scale enterprises and the design, assembly, functional integration, and operation of major systems and “systems of systems.” But nearly all the other technologies contribute in various ways to what these few enable, and they contribute to other technical advances, none of which in isolation can generate the naval force capabilities that all of them in synergy can make possible. Capabilities Enabled by the Technologies The technologies listed in Table 6.1 are useful to or will affect the naval forces only to the extent of the capabilities they make available. Many of the applications, especially if several related ones are taken together, can lead to breakthroughs in naval force capability. A list of such capabilities would include the following, several of which are elaborated with examples in Table 6.2 ; the table also shows which of the above technologies contribute, in the main, to the capabilities: Information-based conduct of warfare and command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR); More efficient and effective use of naval force personnel: fewer people with more and better technical capabilities at their disposal;
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force TABLE 6.1 Future Technologies That Will Affect the Naval Forces Technology Cluster Examples of Component Technologies 1. Computation High-performance computing; functional, low-cost computing; micro-electronics; systems on a chip (micro- and nano-technology); data storage; digital/analog signal processing; aerodynamic modeling; fluid flow modeling 2. Information and communications technology Networking; distributed collaboration; software engineering; communications; geospatial information processing; information presentation; human-centered systems; intelligent systems; planning and decision aids; defensive and offensive information warfare 3. Sensors Electromagnetic (radar, optical—including infrared, visible, and ultraviolet); acoustic (sonar, seismic/vibration); inertial; chemical; biological; nuclear; environmental; time 4. Automation Unmanned underwater vehicles; unmanned aerial vehicles; robots; navigation; guidance; automatic target recognition; ship subsystem automation 5. Human performance technologies Communications, information processing, health care, biotechnology and genetics, and cognitive processes, as applied to education and training; operational performance of personnel; health and safety; quality of life 6. Materials Materials synthesized by computational methods; materials with specifically designed mechanical and physical properties; functionally adaptive materials; structural materials; high-temperature engine materials; specialty materials—superconductive, organic coatings, adhesives, energetic materials 7. Power and propulsion technologies Electric power: engines and motors; high-temperature superconductivity; pulsed and short-duration power (batteries, flywheels, superconducting magnetic energy storage, explosively driven MHD); energy storage and recovery (rechargeable batteries, fuel cells); and micro-electronic power controls and power electronic building blocks (PEBBs). Primary propulsion: gun-tube projectile propulsion; rockets; air-breathing missile propulsion; ship, aircraft, and ground vehicle engines 8. Environmental technologies Weather modeling and prediction—space, atmosphere, ocean; oceanography and oceanographic modeling. Ship environmental pollution control—waste minimization; shipboard waste processing; hazardous materials handling; noise modification 9. Technologies for enterprise processes Modeling and simulation; simulation-based system design and acquisition; rapid prototyping; agile manufacturing; logistics management; resource planning; dynamic mission planning; simulated theater of war; systems engineering; cognitive process modeling (all contribute major economic benefits)
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force TABLE 6.2 Capabilities Enabled by Technologies Operational Capability Component Capabilities Contributing Technologies Information-based conduct of warfare and C4ISR Large-scale networking Complete situational awareness Resource and mission planning Targeting Information warfare Information warfare Information technologies; sensors; computation; automation; environmental measurement; enterprise processes; geospatial Efficient and effective use of naval force personnel Advanced health and casualty care BW/CW detection and counters Distributed training and education System design for smaller crews Longer retention of a more professional force Human performance; computation; sensors; automation; information enterprise processes “Smart” systems and “systems of systems” Extensively instrumented and automated platforms, engine controls, automatically controlled machinery—all leading to more efficient use of personnel Instruments associated with personnel equipment and clothing, enabling people to sense and do more Computation; information automation; sensors; materials; environments; human performance; geospatial Unmanned systems Unmanned aerial vehicles Unmanned underwater vehicles Spacecraft Recoverable unmanned weapon delivery platforms Information; computation; automation; power and propulsion; materials; sensors Advanced weapon platforms Ships, aircraft, submarines Missiles, torpedoes Power and propulsion; materials; computation; sensors; enterprise processes Advanced weapon systems “Smart” detection and guidance Automatic target recognition Multistatic missile, mine, and submarine detection Effective attack on target coordinates First-pass target damage assessment Sensors; computation; information; automation; materials; enviornment; enterprise processes Enhanced survivability of major platforms Low observables and signature management Absorbent materials, shaping, active cancellation Reduced personnel needs Computation; materials; automation; sensors; information Cost reduction in acquisition, sustainability, and logistics Infrastructure operations: simulation-based design; rapid prototyping, agile manufacturing; lower production costs; efficient logistics management Sustainability: in logistic support; in survival technologies and capabilities Information; computation; automation; human performance; enterprise processes Environmental sensing and management Accurate ocean and weather condition forecasting Clean ships and bases Information; sensors; environment; geospatial Modeling and simulation System design System acquisition Operational planning Realistic training and testing Information; computation; human performance
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force “Smart” systems and “systems of systems”—sailors, platforms, controls, detection and guidance, infrastructure . . . (where “smart” means enhanced capability conferred by sensing, information processing, and electronic, electrical, or electromechanical “force multipliers” that enable more work to be done, more efficiently and effectively); Unmanned systems—some with much autonomy; More capable and efficient weapon platforms, with greater survivability; More accurate, effective, weapon systems; Enhanced survivability of major platforms—by passive and active means; Sustainability and “focused logistics”—providing the materiel and services to sustain military operations with minimum waste, at lower overall cost, while presenting a minimum presence of support focus in the theater of operations; Environmental sensing and management; and Modeling and simulation—applied to system design and engineering, system acquisition, individual training, force training, force design, mission planning, and almost all other military-related activities. These are the technology-driven capabilities that will shape the naval forces of the future. Emerging Picture of the 2035 Naval Forces On the surface, the future naval forces are likely to appear not radically different from today's forces. They will have ships, aircraft, submarines, a variety of weapon systems, and Marines prepared to move from sea to shore and to fight on the ground and in the air. They will be the products of gradual replacement of huge past, ongoing, and committed near-future investments in systems and people that, to all visible indications, remain effective in meeting the nation 's defense needs. However, the forces' operating doctrines and methods, their internal arrangements, and the character of their components may be expected to change radically over the coming decades, so that beneath the obvious surface similarities the naval forces in 2035 will work and be constituted differently from today's forces. The following picture of 2035 naval forces that can be brought into being emerges from a synthesis of the trends in technology and the environment reviewed above. While budget pressures may cause the naval forces in 2035 to have fewer people and platforms than today's forces, they will have a longer reach, be capable of a faster response, and have more firepower per unit than today's forces. The forces will have fewer, better educated people, more of whom make the Service their profession, with much more “machine power” at their disposal and more responsibility in the use of that power.
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force Technological aids for intelligence and all other information gathering, processing, and use will be central to the forces' doctrine, operations, and tactics. There will be joint networks for information acquisition, management, and dissemination, based on sensors in all media from space through undersea. Raw data and processed information will be transmitted via mixed military and commercial global communications networks, and will be sturdy and secure against interruption and exploitation. The Marine Corps will operate in dispersed, highly mobile units from farther out at sea to deeper inland over a broader front, in the mode currently evolving into the concept known as Operational Maneuver From the Sea. They will be provided major fire and logistic support at long range from the sea. They will be skilled in military operations in populated areas, including operations in urban terrain and operations other than war, and will have major capabilities in counter-terrorist operations and in information warfare. Rocket-propelled missiles with precision-guided warheads, operating within an integrated targeting-through-damage-assessment combat system, will distribute attack firepower widely through the fleet. There will be several sizes of missiles, able to carry out a variety of fire missions from long-range strike to naval surface fire support of troops ashore. Launched from vertical launch system (VLS) tubes on surface ships and submarines, they will have ranges from about 100 km to the maximum range permitted by treaties covering sea-launched missiles. Defensive combat operations and systems, from ship self-defense with close-in weapons through ATBM, will always be networked in cooperative engagement modes that extend from the fleet to cover troops and installations ashore. They will be characterized by multistatic sensing, optimal weapon allocation, and remote release of weapons when appropriate. Defensive counter-air, cruise missile defense, and antisubmarine warfare will all be included in these cooperative engagement capabilities. Technology and the necessities of force design in an austere fiscal environment are likely to move carriers, versatile as they are today, even further toward becoming multipurpose air bases at sea. They will operate aircraft for air superiority, direct support of troops in combat, antisubmarine warfare, and mine countermeasures; they will launch amphibious operations; and they will operate unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance and target acquisition. The last will include such activities as launching smaller aerial vehicles to operate with troops ashore, and refueling unmanned high-altitude, long-endurance surveillance craft to extend their stays in naval force airspace indefinitely. Combat aircraft will include types that are capable of STOVL, able to operate from a large variety of flat-deck ships and shore bases without the need for catapults and arresting gear on ships or long runways on land. There will be more varied tactical uses of submarines, including land-attack missions using the family of rocket-propelled guided-missiles described above; ASW; offensive and defensive mine warfare; sea control operations;
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force launching and recovering special operating forces (SOF); and information gathering and information warfare. The submarines will operate singly and in close coordination with other ships and with forces ashore as major capital ships of the fleet. They will be able to launch and recover unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) in support of all these missions. Near-shore operations along the littoral will heighten their need for signature reduction and ability to undertake mine countermeasures while also connecting with the other expeditionary warfare forces. As suggested in the preceding paragraphs, there will be extensive use of unmanned platforms—spacecraft, UAVs, UUVs, and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), many of them operating in autonomous or semi-autonomous modes, depending on where in the loop the human controllers are placed. Such platforms will be used for surveillance and reconnaissance; support of infantry and artillery by scouting, targeting, and elevating communications relays; electronic warfare and electronic support measures (EW/ESM); ASW; and MCM warfare. Quite likely, other uses will become apparent and will be adopted. Logistic support, based on commercial practices and founded in a joint logistics force infrastructure, will be streamlined and more efficient. Support will be provided from the sea until, if it is necessary, a base on land is made fully secure; in either case, supplies will be furnished as needed from a forward supply inventory focused and sequenced to meet troop needs, without the need for a huge and inefficient supply dump to draw from. There will be extensive use of commercial firms for maintenance and support services. Finally, not least in importance and covering all aspects of naval force operation, task sharing and mission integration in a joint and combined environment will include all the tasks (outlined in the next section) that the naval forces themselves undertake as their contribution to joint and combined operations in expeditionary warfare, as well as the joint and coalition partners' inputs to naval force operations and security. The latter contributions will include intelligence and surveillance data and processed information inputs derived from spacecraft and high-altitude, long-endurance aerial vehicles; many elements of the communications networks the naval forces will use; delivery of weapons with heavy warheads against targets essential to naval force and overall mission success; boost-phase intercept of tactical ballistic missiles that may threaten the naval forces; and many elements of logistics and base support. WHAT WILL THE NAVAL FORCES BE REQUIRED TO DO? Formal mission statements for the military Services change according to contemporary needs.2 To avoid the attending uncertainties for long-term force 2 Compare U.S. Naval Institute, 1986, The Maritime Strategy, Annapolis, Maryland; and Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 1997, “Forward...From the Sea, The Navy Operational Concept,” Washington, D.C., March (available online: http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/policy/fromsea/ffseanoc.html ).
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force planning, we can examine what naval forces have actually done throughout history,3 and project such activities into the future. Their activities have been and will be dictated by geostrategic need, while the means by which those requirements for action are met will depend on the capability that the technology available at the time imparts to the forces. Examination of historical actions and current uses of naval forces and projection of future need for them in meeting the kinds of challenges outlined previously show that they will be required, at various times and places, to undertake all of the following activities, into the indefinite future: Sustaining forward presence as instruments of U.S. foreign policy, and using that forward presence for friendly engagement with the governments and armed forces of allied or neutral countries; for operations other than war, such as surveillance of drug-smuggling routes and protection of refugee relief efforts in hostile environments; and to maintain readiness to respond to international crises; Participating in information operations in a multitude of ways, from simply gathering strategically and tactically useful information to observing long-range missile tests impacting the sea, or monitoring hostile transmissions and engaging in other aspects of information warfare; Establishing and maintaining blockades to prevent supply and support of hostile powers or forces; Deterring and defeating attacks on the United States and our allies, deterring attacks on friendly nations, and, in particular, sustaining a sea-based nuclear deterrent force; Projecting national military power through modern expeditionary warfare, including: Conducting strategic movement of troops and supplies; Attacking land and sea targets from the sea; Acquiring advanced bases, landing troops ashore, and subsequently supporting the troops with sea-based firepower and with logistic supply; Dominating local seas and littorals to protect the forward operations and their logistic support, by simple presence or successful combat against opposing forces; Sustained combat at sea and on land, when necessary; Ensuring global freedom of the seas, airspace, and space; and Operating in joint and combined settings in all these missions. We may safely project that naval force missions, however they come to be 3 See, e.g., Uhlig, Frank, Jr., U.S. Naval War College, “The Constants of Naval Warfare,” a paper prepared for the Panel on Logistics of the present study; Mahan, A.T., 1890, The Influence of Sea Power on History, 1660-1783, Boston, Little Brown; Harrington, P., 1994, Plassey, 1757, London, Reed International Books, Ltd., Osprey Military Campaign Series; Keegan, John, 1988, The Price of Admiralty: The Evolution of Naval Warfare, New York, Viking; and Morrison, S.E., 1963, The Two Ocean War, Boston, Little Brown & Co.
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force documented in the future, will encompass the full range of such actions, as suggested in Table 5.1. The naval forces' ability to remain in place for extended periods without necessarily requiring a presence on shore that challenges sovereignty or political sensitivities at home or abroad enables them to carry out many aspects of such missions simultaneously in various parts of the world, subject only to the constraints imposed by force size, resources, and potential vulnerabilities should hostilities erupt without warning. HOW WILL THE NAVAL FORCES OPERATE? Naval force operations are expected to be driven by the need to be much more sparing of resources than during the Cold War, while there will be much less certainty about the nature of specific operations or where they will be required. The forces will operate from forward positions, with a few major, secure bases of prepositioned equipment and supplies to support the combat capability of major—brigade-sized —lead elements of Marine expeditionary forces on short notice. Great economy of force will be required, based on early intelligence that will have to be as reliable and complete as the technology and wisdom of the time allow. Further, there will be heavy reliance on the acquisition, processing, and dissemination of local, conflict- and environment-related information about opposing, friendly, and neutral forces, permitting situational awareness at all command levels that is as complete and accurate as it will be possible to achieve, in times appropriate to the need. It will be necessary to share much of the information with coalition partners, and to ensure communications compatibility so that their operations can mesh smoothly with those of U.S. naval forces. The forces will have to engage in all aspects of information warfare, offensive and defensive, to deny information to opposing forces while acquiring it for our own forces' use. Assimilation and effective and timely use of the wealth of information available, integration of coalition forces into our own information operations, and defense against information warfare attack will constitute the biggest challenge to successful force operation, because without solving these technical and opposition threats to information superiority, the forces will not be able to operate as effectively as they need to operate against potential opposition. Operations, especially information gathering, processing, and dissemination, will be joint, as will many of the systems operated by the naval forces or for their operational benefit. Forces can expect to be attacked at greater distances from the shore and in any forward enclaves. Therefore, they will be dispersed, and organizations will have to become flatter to shorten command chains and to give local commanders of smaller and more widely separated force units responsibility and authority for local action under overall force command and control. The emphasis will be on combined arms in mutual support. Operations will be characterized by stealth
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force (both in equipment design and in operational modes), surprise, speed, and precision in attacking opponents. Precision will enable massing of firepower and rapid massing of forces from great distances, at decisive locations and times. Much more naval force logistic support will be based at sea than has been the case in the past. Finally, the ground forces will use novel weapons, systems, and techniques that can mitigate the destruction and high friendly and civilian casualties that go with fighting in populated areas. Such techniques will be designed for use against organized military forces and against irregulars and terrorist and criminal groups that may attempt to undermine or capitalize on Marine operations for their own ends. This, then, is the vision evoked by the revolution in the making. What must be done to implement it, and how will the necessary capability be developed?
Representative terms from entire chapter: