Reducing the Logistics Burden for the Army After Next: Doing More with Less (1999)

Chapter: 9 Joint Force Research and Development

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Suggested Citation: "9 Joint Force Research and Development." National Research Council. Reducing the Logistics Burden for the Army After Next: Doing More with Less. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1999.
Page 133
Suggested Citation: "9 Joint Force Research and Development." National Research Council. Reducing the Logistics Burden for the Army After Next: Doing More with Less. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1999.
Page 134
Suggested Citation: "9 Joint Force Research and Development." National Research Council. Reducing the Logistics Burden for the Army After Next: Doing More with Less. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1999.
Page 135
Suggested Citation: "9 Joint Force Research and Development." National Research Council. Reducing the Logistics Burden for the Army After Next: Doing More with Less. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1999.
Page 136

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9 Joint Force Research and Development This chapter discusses research and development that is not within the Anny's exclusive purview. This research, which should be conducted by the other services or under joint auspices, includes the development of strategic lift capabilities, long-range supporting fire, and interoperable command and control systems. STRATEGIC LIFT CAPABILITIES The AAN concept is founded on the ability of an AAN battle force to be deployed from the continental United States to a forward base area within 1,000 km of the mission area. Deployment from the United States to a staging area will require that Army assets be transported by either the Air Force or the Navy or a combination of the two. The committee found little DoD or service research focused on upgrading the current strategic lift capability, which is limited by payload in the air and ship speed on the sea. The Arrny has not stated requirements for heavy (> 500 tons) airlift or fast (> 100 knots) sealift although research is under way in the civilian sector. The Army, based on what it learns in the AAN process, should evaluate the need for such capabilities. The Air Force plans to improve its C-17 advanced military airlift aircraft as it extends the lifespan of the fleet. The C-17 can transport more than 85 tons and has a cruising speed of Mach 0.74 to Mach 0.77. The C-17's range is more than 4,000 km, and the plane can land in less than 3,000 feet. In fact, the C-17 holds a world record for taking off in 417 meters with a cargo of more than 22 tons and landing in 413 meters. (Boeing, 1998) The number of C-17's planned in the inventory, however, will not be adequate to meet the AAN requirement of strategically airlifting 1,000 to 2,000 15-ton vehicles, up to 8,000 Coops, and their accompanying supplies in a 48-hour time frame (see Chapter 51. For the foreseeable future, the only military capabilities for strategic seaTift are the fast seaTift ship and the large, medium-speed, roll-on/rol1-off (LMSR) ship. The fast sealift ship, with limited roll-on/roll-off capability, moves at 30 knots and displaces 61,500 tons (USN, 1998~. The newer LMSR displaces 62,700 tons and moves at a speed of 24 knots. It can carry 58 tanks, 48 other tracked vehicles, and more than 900 trucks or other wheeled vehicles (DoD, 199Sb). An AAN support sealift must be able to carry much larger Toads and travel at speeds of more than 100 knots. Research being conducted by industry to improve both sea and airlift capabilities has been limited by a lack of clients who are willing to support development. Industry personnel contacted by the committee believe that the concepts of both heavy airlift and 133

134 REDUCING THE LOGISTICS BURDEN FOR THE ARMY AFTER NEXT fast seaTift have been validated and that there are a few commercial applications for them. But the number of commercial applications is too small to justify the commercial investment, and a partnership arrangement will be necessary to make development cost feasible for both the military and commercial market. Professor Charles Owen at the TIlinois institute of Technology proposed a design for a lighter-than-air carrier that could carry 3,500 passengers and 35,000 tons of cargo (Nadis, 1997~. Unfortunately, this carrier would have a limited air speed and be subject to the same constraints that face all lighter-than-air carriers. For AAN, the Army requirement is to carry a nominal 500 tons at speeds slower than a C-130 but faster than a lighter-than-air vehicle. Other revolutionary proposals have also been made. Lockheed-Martin, for example, has investigated placing floats on the C-130, which would give the C-130 the capability of linking up with prepositioned floating logistics supplies and delivering them to a battle area rapidly (Donaldson, ~ 997~. Depending on the geography and enemy situation in the battle area, C-130 aircraft could be used for either operational or strategic lift. Domestic and international commercial shipping interests are working on the development of high-speed ships. Both Russia and the United States have design projects for ships that can carry as much as 10,000 tons at a speed of more than 100 knots with ranges of more than 10,000 nautical miles. These ships could be used to transport personnel and supplies from a floating depot or from the continental United States (Donaldson, 1997~. Heavy lift aircraft and fast ships also have considerable commercial potential. Air transport or fast sea transport of high value commodities would substantially reduce a manufacturer's inventory. Even if commercial aircraft and ships are available by 2025, they will probably not have the unique characteristics required by the military. Now is the time for the Anny to begin working with the Navy and the Air Force to ensure that commercial developments take military requirements into account. This intervention could involve partnerships and/or arrangements similar to the current Civilian Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) program. Under CRAF, civilian air carriers are committed to provid- ing passenger and cargo capacity for the military when necessary in exchange for government airlift business in peacetime (Rutherford, ~ 99S). This approach would be in keeping with the recommendations in the STAR 21 study (NRC, 1993a) concerning more conventional lift capabilities. The study stated: The STAR Committee suggests that CRAF is a resource the Army can exploit more fully in the future. To do so the Army should go beyond passively "making do" with whatever capacity comes out of current or future CRAF arrangements. The Army should work actively to influence CRAF capabilities. Such influence can be exerted in two ways: (1) by persuasion of the parties involved (i.e., the commercial cargo carriers) and (2) by seeking legislative inducements that favor capabilities the Army will need. (NRC, 1993a) This strategy is more urgently needed now than it was when the STAR 21 study was completed in 1993 for two reasons. First, advances in technology have made possible greater lift capability than was imagined in 1993; second, the AAN concept requires rapid deployment of a lighter force. Air carriers are more likely to be able to move a light force than large numbers of 70-ton tanks.

JOINT FOR CE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT 135 In addition to lifting the force to a staging area by air, the Air Force may also be called upon to resupply the battle force by parachute drop. The focus areas for research are advanced parachutes, nonparachute decelerators, precision airdrop, and high- performance computing. These technologies could move the AAN from "just-in-case capability," through "just-in-time capability," to "precision resupply" capability. LONG-RANGE SUPPORTING FIRE The AAN battle force will have both battlefield mobility and battlefield lethality. The first can require only Anny capabilities, but the second will certainly require support from the other services. As the Anny has moved forward to define its AAN concepts for 2025, the other services have focused more on the intermediate time frame, 2010 to 2015. Major concepts of Joint Vision 2010 are focused on "dominant maneuver" and "precision engagement" (see Figure 9-~. Both concepts involve using all components of the U.S. military across the selected battle space. Dominant maneuver is the "application of information, engagement, and mobility capabilities to position and employ widely dispersed joint air, land, sea, and space forces to accomplish assigned operational tasks." Precision engagement is "a system of systems that enables...forces to locate the objective or target, provide responsive command and control, fend] generate the desired effect..." These two concepts are coupled with focused logistics and "fulI-dimensional ^ protection," the multiservice capability to control the battle space both horizontally and vertically. In short, future military operations will require the integrated capabilities of all of the services. FIGURE 9-1 Joint Vision 2010 operational concepts. Source: DoD, 1996.

136 RED UCING THE L OGISTICS B URDEN FOR THE ARMY AFTER NEXT As the Army continues to develop the AAN battle force concept, it must work closely with the other services and DoD to determine which battle force needs should and would be met by other services. Every precision round launched by another service is a round that does not have to be carried to the battle area by the battle force. A combination of fire support by other services and extended-range fire support by Army units operating from the staging area could substantially reduce the logistics requirements of the battle force. INTEROPERABLE COMMAND AND CONTROL SYSTEMS The success or failure of the AAN concept may well depend on its C4ISR (command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance and recon- naissance) capabilities. The four main concepts of Joint Vision 2010 assume an envelope of "information superiority," which will require linkage and integration with systems of other services. Although the Army should proceed to develop C4ISR capabilities for the AAN battle force, these capabilities should be part of the collective joint information superiority. Every capability that can be provided to the Army by another service oper- ating under the concepts of Joint Vision 2010 reduces the need for the battle force to carry equipment and personnel into the battle area. Focusing on joint responsibilities not only can increase the combat effectiveness, but also can reduce the logistics burden of the AAN battle force. FINDINGS The Army will depend on the Air Force and Navy to ferry the battle force and sustaining supplies to the staging area, to provide coordinated fire support, and to assist with C4ISR. It is also likely that much of the operational mobility requirement will be satisfied by the Air Force. It is imperative that the Army participate in planning for this support to ensure that operational and logistical needs of the AAN battle force can be fulfilled. Technology developments necessary to enable strategic lift of the AAN battle force will probably overlap with technology requirements for operational, and possibly tactical, mobility. The Army should identify the overlapping requirements and encourage DoD to establish responsibilities among the services for satisfying these requirements as soon as possible.

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This study assesses the potential of new technology to reduce logistics support requirements for future Army combat systems. It describes and recommends areas of research and technology development in which the Army should invest now to field systems that will reduce logistics burdens and provide desired capabilities for an ''Army After Next (AAN) battle force" in 2025.

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