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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program
TABLE 4.1 Landing Force Resupply Requirements
Percentage of Total
naissance, surveillance, and targeting vehicle, which uses a dual-power propulsion system and offers significant fuel savings, reducing consumption for current reconnaissance vehicles by a factor of 1.7 to 2, and the objective crew-served weapon, which potentially offers a 20-fold reduction in the weight of munitions that have to be transported. The committee also recognizes that logistics is typically in a reactive mode, given the task of transporting and maintaining equipment that has often been designed without logistics constraints as a key design consideration, and it encourages the Marine Corps logistics community to take a more proactive role in the future.
The Bulk Liquids program includes transport of both fuel and water, but the emphasis of the projects presented was on fuel and concentrated on methods of facilitating transportation and automatic sensing of fuel quantity and fuel quality. One project is developing an expeditionary fuel system (EFS) consisting of ten 400-gallon tanks on a lightweight pallet system that can be easily reconfigured in a variety of ways. Another project is exploring the use of commercial off-the-shelf sensors and communications technologies to automatically monitor and report on the quantity of fuel available in the field. The third major project is exploring a variety of sensing techniques for hand-held instruments to determine the quality of fuel in the field.
The committee saw the EFS more as an engineering effort than a science and technology issue. However, the system does reduce the deadweight that has to be transported and the storage space required for the containers aboard the ship, and it adds considerable flexibility to field operations by allowing partially empty fuel containers to be consolidated. The program for implementing fuel-quantity sensors appeared to be an adaptation of commercial technology but was seen as important in developing an automated logistics picture of the battlefield. However, there were concerns about interference and interoperability of the fuel sensor radio-frequency communication links with other communications activities as well as the potential vulnerability of the EFS to information warfare by the adversary. The fuel-quality sensors were seen as an important area of investigation: the use of host nation and captured fuel supplies can significantly reduce logistics transportation demands, but fuel