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1999 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research's Air and Surface Weapons Technology Program
Air Superiority. Taking into account the strong industrial capability in this area, institute systems studies to define sensors, weapons, and concepts of operations that will reduce the occurrence of short-range air-to-air engagements. Program component effort should continue toward significant and low-cost improvements in missile kinematics, seeker performance, off-bore-sight capability, and warhead lethality.
Precision Strike. Conduct a study (drawing on the expertise of all relevant ONR codes) to define all components and their key characteristics (including latencies) of a responsive and precise robust sensor-to-target-kill (and damage assessment) chain that can engage ephemeral targets. Based on such studies, the cost-effectiveness of key technology enablers could be evaluated and a small number of investments made to bring 6.2 concepts rapidly to advanced concept technology demonstrations (ACTDs).
Naval Fire Support. Rebalance the program components by increasing efforts on technology for surface-launched missiles for fire support at ranges beyond those expected for ERGMs. Increase the level of effort toward systems to attack moving targets. Provide sensors and final-stage guidance for autonomous or human-aided missile attack. Pursue technology for integration of emerging sensors and sensor-weapons communications.
Ship-based Defense. Increase effort toward a layered defense against low-observable, low-attitude, maneuvering missiles in the presence of littoral clutter. Continue existing sensor-related efforts.
ASWT Supporting Science and Technology (S&T) (6.1 and 6.2) Program Areas. Reduce the number of intelligent air vehicles and UCAV programs, and then redirect 6.1 and 6.2 program components toward closer coupling to other important needs of ONR's ASWT program. Surviving 6.1 candidate program components also should be scrutinized carefully for scientific merit.