3

Firepower

OVERVIEW

Any appraisal of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Code 353’s programs in the areas of firepower or fire support must be made in the context of Marine Corps tactical doctrine (Operational Maneuver From the Sea (OMFTS)), Marine Corps acquisition programs, and ONR future naval capabilities (FNCs) efforts.

Although it is not appropriate to provide a full review of all of the implications of OMFTS in this chapter, several aspects of the OMFTS doctrine are stressed here. Marines are envisaged as operating in a dispersed mode and being capable of providing precise targeting information to sea-based forces so that targets may be engaged by remote platforms. The accuracy of target location should be the criterion against which ONR Code 353’s fire support programs are evaluated.

Although they will not mass in heavy concentrations of manpower, individual units will need to be able to defend themselves effectively if engaged by enemy ground forces. The dispersed mode of operation envisaged in OMFTS places a particular strain on the logistic resupply process. Weapon efficiency becomes an extremely important consideration. The more lethal a weapon system is, the fewer its requirements for ammunition resupply. Enhanced weapon lightness and lethality should be the criteria against which ONR Code 353 firepower programs should be evaluated. Camouflage and concealment should be included in this evaluation.

Although the OMFTS doctrine stresses the avoidance of large concentrations of supplies and personnel during the course of extended engagements, naval forces ashore will of necessity establish enclaves that will be targets for attack by hostile cruise missiles and aircraft. Naval forces ashore must have an effective, light, and easily transportable capability for air defense in regions that are beyond the line of sight of the sea-based forces. ONR Code 353’s efforts in air defense should be evaluated in this context.

The Marine Corps has a number of acquisition (Milestone III or engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase) programs under way in the areas of firepower and fire support. These include the following:



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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program 3 Firepower OVERVIEW Any appraisal of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Code 353’s programs in the areas of firepower or fire support must be made in the context of Marine Corps tactical doctrine (Operational Maneuver From the Sea (OMFTS)), Marine Corps acquisition programs, and ONR future naval capabilities (FNCs) efforts. Although it is not appropriate to provide a full review of all of the implications of OMFTS in this chapter, several aspects of the OMFTS doctrine are stressed here. Marines are envisaged as operating in a dispersed mode and being capable of providing precise targeting information to sea-based forces so that targets may be engaged by remote platforms. The accuracy of target location should be the criterion against which ONR Code 353’s fire support programs are evaluated. Although they will not mass in heavy concentrations of manpower, individual units will need to be able to defend themselves effectively if engaged by enemy ground forces. The dispersed mode of operation envisaged in OMFTS places a particular strain on the logistic resupply process. Weapon efficiency becomes an extremely important consideration. The more lethal a weapon system is, the fewer its requirements for ammunition resupply. Enhanced weapon lightness and lethality should be the criteria against which ONR Code 353 firepower programs should be evaluated. Camouflage and concealment should be included in this evaluation. Although the OMFTS doctrine stresses the avoidance of large concentrations of supplies and personnel during the course of extended engagements, naval forces ashore will of necessity establish enclaves that will be targets for attack by hostile cruise missiles and aircraft. Naval forces ashore must have an effective, light, and easily transportable capability for air defense in regions that are beyond the line of sight of the sea-based forces. ONR Code 353’s efforts in air defense should be evaluated in this context. The Marine Corps has a number of acquisition (Milestone III or engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase) programs under way in the areas of firepower and fire support. These include the following:

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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program Target location, designation, and hand-off system; The lightweight 155-mm howitzer; Javelin; Predator; Antipersonnel obstacle breaching system; and Thermal weapons sight. ONR Code 353’s firepower and fire support programs must also be viewed in the context of Marine Corps acquisition programs of record in these areas. Although these programs have moved beyond the S&T stage of the development and acquisition process, it is certainly appropriate for Code 353 to support enhancements to these systems that can be retrofitted into them so that performance can ultimately be improved. The FNC endeavor described in Chapter 1 (in “ ONR S&T Management ,” pages 9-10) appears to represent a significant change in the development process. Within ONR, FNC offices will focus resources to ensure that specific desirable future capabilities are developed without diluting this focus by pursuing the discovery programs that will provide longer-term capabilities. ONR has an FNC program in the area of missile defense. This program appears to be focused on the provision of missile defense for areas that are beyond the line of sight of the Navy’s Aegis radar. This effort will support an extended application of the Navy’s cooperative engagement capability, the development of a fully active version of the Navy’s SM-2 missile, and the integration of these systems with Marine Corps air defense systems. The scope of this effort is clearly beyond the capabilities and responsibilities of ONR Code 353. PROGRAMS REVIEWED Enhanced Target Acquisition and Location Program ONR Code 353’s Enhanced Target Acquisition and Location (ETAL) program is dedicated to a significant enhancement to the performance of the Marine Corps target location, designation, and handoff system (TLDHS) that will permit a forward observer or forward air controller to send digital target coordinates to platforms providing supporting fire. The capability that will be provided by the TLDHS clearly will be central to the execution of the OMFTS doctrine. Unfortunately the version of the TLDHS that is being acquired employs a magnetic compass for the determination of a target’s bearing. Aside from the difficulties of maintaining the calibration of such a sensor, it is inherently a sensor of limited precision. Thus, although the TLDHS uses a laser range finder to determine a target’s range from an observer whose location is established with the global positioning system (GPS), the TLDHS cross-range precision is poor. Findings The ETAL effort is exploring the use of GPS interferometers and miniaturized gyrocompasses so that an azimuth accuracy of 7 miles or less may be achieved against a static target by a man-portable targeting system in favorable visibility conditions. Efforts to date in support of the ETAL objective appear to be proceeding successfully. The committee is concerned that no S&T funding is projected for man-portable targeting systems beyond FY03. Since the development of an effective man-portable targeting system is central to the

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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program OMFTS concept, the committee suggests that targeting technology should become a core component of ONR Code 353’s future efforts. An ETAL-equipped TLDHS will have a limited capability against rapidly moving targets. Furthermore, the time of flight of even moderate-range weapons such as the extended-range guided munition (ERGM) will be between 6 and 9 minutes. During intervals of this length, a mobile target can move far outside of the lethal footprint of a weapon such as ERGM, which currently does not have a data link to provide an update on target location. Recommendations The committee recommends that ONR Code 353 should not consider the projected successful completion of its ETAL effort as the last effort in targeting technology in its S&T program. It is strongly suggested that a program to support the targeting of multiple mobile targets be initiated as soon as the budget will permit. Emphasis should be given to the development of a realistic targeting system that will support the use of ERGM and the advanced land-attack missile (ALAM) against multiple mobile targets. The Objective Crew-served Weapon Program The Objective Crew-served Weapon (OCSW) program is an Army-led advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD) that has enjoyed a nominal level of Marine Corps participation. The goal of this program is to produce a lightweight, crew-served infantry weapon that can, in principle, replace the caliber-50 M2 heavy machine gun, the 40-mm MK-19 general-purpose machine gun, and the 7.62-mm M240 machine guns. Because of its greatly enhanced lethality per round, the logistical support for this weapon will be reduced significantly. The weapon measures the velocity of each round as it proceeds down the barrel of the weapon and uses a laser range finder to determine the range to the target. The fuse on each round is set so that the projectile will detonate at the correct range. Detonation provides a controlled pattern of downward fragmentation that is lethal to anyone in defilade below the burst point of the round. The lethal range of the weapon is about 2,000 meters. In addition, the weapon has a high potential to damage light and lightly armored vehicles at ranges beyond 1,000 meters. Findings The development of the OCSW appears to be proceeding successfully, and there is a high probability that the program will satisfy its exit criteria. By the end of FY02, the ACTD phase of the program will be completed. An EMD phase has been scheduled for FY03 to FY07. Production and acquisition are scheduled for the years between FY08 and FY14. To date, the Marine Corps has not decided what actions it will take with regard to acquisition of the OCSW should the current ACTD transition through EMD to production. Some committee members with extensive active-duty Marine Corps experience believe that the Marines will retain the M240 and will use the OCSW as a partial or full replacement for the M2 and the MK-19 machine guns. From FY00 through FY02, ONR Code 353’s contribution to this program is scheduled to be at the $500,000 level. However, the Marine Corps S&T program evaluation group (PEG) has structured a program objective memorandum (POM) for the six fiscal years FY02 to FY07, which shows funding for OCSW rising to $1.8 million in FY02 and, after some fluctuations, stabilizing at $2 million between FY05 and FY07.

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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program Recommendations Based on the Army’s projection for this program, the purpose of the proposed funding contained in the S&T PEG POM 02 is unclear. The committee assumes that the POM 02 funding line for OCSW is a placeholder for an unspecified new start. If this assumption is correct, the committee applauds the decision. Complementary Low-altitude Weapon System The Complementary Low-altitude Weapon System (CLAWS) program is conceived of as a Marine expeditionary unit deployable, highly mobile, high-firepower, medium-range surface-to-air weapons system. It is intended to complement the existing Marine Corps short-range air defense (SHORAD) system, which is based on the use of the relatively short range Stinger missile. The concept is to mount six advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAMs) on a high-mobility, multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV). The complete system will also require the development of an HMMWV-mounted multi-role radar system (MRRS) to provide target detection and an HMMWV-mounted command and control (C2) module. A milestone 0 decision for CLAWS was made in 1999. Currently, the program is proceeding with concept exploration activities. Although for the purposes of this review CLAWS was listed as an ONR Code 353 program, it is scheduled to be included under the umbrella of ONR’s Missile Defense FNC. With the stand-down of the Marine Corps Hawk capability, until CLAWS becomes operational, Marine forces ashore will have no active air or cruise missile defense except for that provided by the Stinger SHORAD. Although the concept of OMFTS deemphasizes large, local concentrations of Marine resources and manpower, the committee believes that substantial lodgments will be established ashore and that local-area air defenses will have to be established. Findings The committee views the problem of mounting AMRAAMs on an HMMWV as a rather straightforward engineering problem that should present few risks. The stressing component of the CLAWS program will be the development of the MRRS. This HMMWV-mounted radar must be capable of detecting and tracking low-observable (e.g., -30 dB), low-trajectory cruise missiles at ranges of 40 miles or more against a background of land clutter. Although radar systems with comparable performance capabilities have been fielded, their development histories have been long, difficult, and expensive. The committee does not view the management of such a radar system development program as an appropriate activity for ONR Code 353. The committee concurs that the transfer of this development to an ONR FNC office or to a systems command (SYSCOM) office would be appropriate. Recommendations In addition to the development of the MRRS, CLAWS requires the development of an HMMWV-mounted C2 module. This C2 module will be required to track targets detected by the MRRS acting as a node in the cooperative engagement capability network. In addition to accepting cues and tracks from remote sensors, the C2 module will be required to report detections and tracks to the information system that maintains the single integrated air picture in the combat area. The committee believes that the

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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program TABLE 3.1 Summary of Recommendations for Firepower Project Recommendation ETAL Look beyond ETAL to targeting multiple mobile targets. OCSW Maintain a funding line for new starts. CLAWS Transfer to FNC. development and packaging of such capabilities are technically feasible. However, it also believes that the development of this module will be a sufficiently complex engineering problem that it, too, should be transferred from ONR Code 353’s cognizance to either an ONR FNC office or a SYSCOM office. Summary of Recommendations for Firepower A summary of recommendations for firepower is given in Table 3.1 . RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NEW PROGRAMS Small Arms The committee is aware that the Army has been assigned the lead in the development of small arms and infantry weapons. Although the OCSW appears to be a spectacular and successful weapon development, the committee is concerned that other basic infantry weapons such as hand grenades and mortars have shown little if any advance since World War II or before. Although ONR Code 353 cannot institute new developments in these areas, it can support studies of and concept formulations for other advanced infantry weapons. The committee hopes that ONR Code 353 would then be able to persuade the Army to support future joint developments of other advanced infantry weapons. The Marine Corps has been assigned lead service status for nonlethal weapons. The committee was struck by the fact that ONR Code 353’s program does not have a component assigned to supporting work in this area. The committee believes that nonlethal weapons will have an important role in many of the future situations in which Marines may become involved. The difficulty with nonlethal weapons is that situations for which they are appropriate may develop within moments into situations where lethal weapons are more appropriate (requiring, for example, a transition from the use of rubber bullets to real bullets, and so on). ONR Code 353 should take the lead in developing concepts for new weapons of controllable lethality that will allow a rapid transition from nonlethal to lethal modes of operation. Overall, the committee was impressed with the progress that has been made in the OCSW ACTD. As this ACTD’s end approaches, the committee recommends that ONR Code 353 should structure a POM 02 program that concentrates on the following: R&D related to concepts for weapons of controllable lethality; The development of new concepts for conventional infantry weapons such as mortars, hand grenades, and rifle grenades; and Countersniper weapons.

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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program Box 3.1 Summary of Recommendations for New Investments in Firepower Concepts for weapons of controllable lethality New concepts for mortars, hand grenades, and rifle grenades Countersniper weapons All such proposed developments should concentrate on weapons that have reduced logistic support requirements. Counterbattery Systems The committee was somewhat surprised that the program of ONR Code 353 does not support technology that will lead to the development of efficient counterbattery capabilities. Although some might argue that ERGM and OCSW are in some sense inherently counterbattery weapons, they are not supported by a targeting system that can locate—based on the ability to backtrack the trajectory of hostile rounds to their launch point—a battery in defilade or one that is beyond the line of sight. Although past efforts to develop such a capability have been uniformly unsuccessful, the committee does not believe that the problem is inherently intractable. The committee would encourage ONR Code 353 to explore new approaches to this difficult but tactically important problem. Summary of Recommendations for New Investments in Firepower A summary of recommendations for new investments in firepower is given in Box 3.1 . CONCLUDING REMARKS The committee found ONR Code 353’s efforts in the areas of firepower and fire support to be well managed, productive, and appropriate. All of the programs in these areas are likely to move beyond Code 353’s area of responsibility within 1 to 3 years. The lack of substantive discussion of future efforts that will replace maturing current efforts concerned the committee, however. Firepower and fire support are clearly areas of considerable importance to the Marine Corps. The committee believes that ONR Code 353’s program should be the incubator for new ideas and concepts that exploit advances in technology. In the discussion above, the committee suggests that Code 353 might explore new concepts for weapons of controlled lethality. That suggestion hardly exhausts the novel weapon concepts that might be explored. Advanced technology might be applied to almost every infantry weapon. As an example, anyone who has ever served in an infantry heavy-weapons company will agree that weapons are too heavy. Might not advances in materials science be exploited to reduce the weight of the base plate of an 80-mm mortar? Although such efforts would not yield a Nobel Prize, they would earn the gratitude of the Marine infantrymen who lug such devices around a battlefield.

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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program As another example, the committee suspects that the range, accuracy, and lethality of 60- and 80-mm mortars, along with the number of rounds needed to zero in on a target, could be improved by applying modern technology to systems that are not intrinsically different from their World War I antecedents. Although not insisting on specific fire power and fire support improvements, the committee recommends most strongly that Code 353 should begin to structure replacement programs for the current successful programs that will soon be removed from Code 353’s portfolio.