system relies partially on funding made available from major acquisition programs, which in turn produces dramatic variations in the funding for naval research. This arrangement adversely impacts ONR's ability to maintain a research program focused on the long-term S&T problems of interest to the Department of the Navy—guaranteeing a pipeline of new scientists and engineers and developing products that ensure naval superiority. The work associated with variable funding from major acquisition programs is naturally oriented to the needs of the acquisition programs and therefore tends to be shorter-term and less adventuresome in scope than is required to produce revolutionary changes in technology. Today's 6.1 research will support new ship concepts a decade from now. The committee therefore sees the need for a stable base of funding outside of the acquisition programs for ONR, specifically for work in naval hydromechanics at the 6.1 level. Based on its judgment, the committee recommends as follows:
ONR should implement the following changes in research policy as it relates to hydromechanics:
Funding for 6.1 should be less focused on immediate needs and more focused on broad, long-term research on fundamental problems in naval hydromechanics such as linear and nonlinear wave dynamics, including wave breaking, air entrainment effects, and air/sea interactions; all aspects of cavitating and supercavitating flows, including inception, noise, and damage; drag reduction and other aspects of flow control; surface and submerged wakes; hydrodynamic sources of noise; internal wave generation and propagation; and vortex dynamics and turbulence unique to naval surface and subsur face vehicle/sea interaction.
The 6.1 resource base should be stable and should be protected from the larger funding fluctuations associated with major acquisition programs.
In the 6.1 area, ONR should promote a culture of bottom-up research, which can bring novel developments and lead to solutions for unanticipated problems that may arise in the future.
The committee is concerned that the Department of the Navy does not have an integrated, long-term plan for science and technology (S &T) programs aimed at developing and exploiting new platform concepts for ships and submarines. It therefore recommends as follows:
ONR, in conjunction with the relevant Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Naval Sea Systems Command/Program Executive Office organizations, should formulate and maintain an integrated 6.2/6.3 plan for technology development and demonstration aimed at new platform concepts for ships and submarines and using the results of long-term basic research under ONR sponsorship. Key features of this plan should include (1) significant advances in a 15-year time frame, (2) clearly articulated goals in the related hydromechanics areas of signature reduction, drag reduction, propulsive efficiency, and seakeeping/maneuverability, and (3) the examination of concepts that could achieve these goals. Demonstrations necessary to ensure the validity of predicted performance should be described. The investment required and the resulting payoffs in terms of improvements in stealth, speed, cost, and payload capability should be assessed. The plan should guide 6.2/6.3 research and development efforts. The planning process should involve experts from the industry that engineers and builds naval systems; these experts must have long-term vision. The plan should also (1) require and accommodate innovative and competing approaches, (2) foster collaboration between the Department of the Navy, academia, industry, and, where appropriate, foreign organizations, (3) identify opportunities for areas of fundamental research, and (4) stimulate concepts for spin-off to commercial applications.