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The Air Force of 2030
Experts look and guess
In this issue
(also exclusively on www.defensemedianetwork.com)
Uncertainties about the F-35, oxygen system issues with the F-22, and above all, a shrinking budget, provoke questions about the future of the U.S. Air Force. “The Air Force of 2030” provides some expert opinion on what will be on the ramps two decades from now. For the latest news on the U.S. Air Force, go to http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/wpadmin/edit.php?post_type=stories&tag=us-air-force Whatever airframes the Air Force is flying, they are sure to be carrying the latest generation of air-to-air or air-to-surface missiles. “The Airlaunched Munitions Market,” second in a four-part series, looks at developments worldwide. Saving money in an era of tight budgets isn’t the only reason for developing families of vehicles based on a common chassis and drive system, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. J.R. Wilson looks at the history of the concept, where we stand today, and its growing popularity worldwide. It has been three decades now since the Falklands War was fought, and it provided some important lessons for Western forces, especially naval forces. But as Norman Friedman points out, it also played a part in the collapse of the Soviet Union. Also in this edition, SOUTHCOM Commander Gen. Douglas M. Fraser discusses his command and Latin America, and Maj. Gen. James W. “Bill” Hyatt, formerly the Air Warfare Center commander and newly assigned director of operations, strategic deterrence, and nuclear integration at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces Europe, talks about the Warfare Center’s history, curriculum, and influence, not just on the Air Force but on the joint force.
S. USAF Commander. Wilson 26 the falklands.R. Robert F. Douglas M. 30 years later Hard lessons from a small war Norman Friedman 36 Headquarters U. and Former USAF Warfare Center Commanding General J. Gresham 14 the family of vehicles concept More than the sum of its parts J. Dorr . Southern Command (southcom) John D. Wilson 56 The air force of 2030 Experts look and guess. Gen. Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration. Air Forces Europe Director of Operations. Fraser. U.R.R. “Bill” Hyatt 44 the air-launched munitions market J.contents 06 an interview with Gen.S. Wilson an Interview with Maj. james W.
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I really don’t see a state-on-state military concern in the region.S. rather than military means. Gresham: Each of the regional theater commanders like yourself has a unique view of their own area of responsibility (AOR).S. What is it that you see as the unique features in your AOR here in Latin America. Fraser: We tend to think of it as a homogenous region. U. Alaska. Fraser was deputy commander.S. SOUTHCOM is responsible for all Department of Defense security cooperation in the 45 nations and territories of Central and South America and the Caribbean Sea. Coast Guard. Douglas M.com Photo courtesy of Center for a New American Security . which is pretty significant. the Caribbean. Latin America has weathered the worldwide economic downturn in a pretty robust fashion. Space Warfare Center. But the region has largely determined and addressed those in international forums and in diplomatic fashions. Camp H. we tend to see the viewpoints of all the inhabitants in the AOR as similar. and Air Force Space Command.S. There are disputes and there are differences.. and commander. commander. Pacific Command. So that’s a good thing. and Gulf of Mexico? Gen. Prior to his current assignment. And because there’s a common or similar language. meaning a Spanish. Pacific Air Forces. Colo. There has been a good trend here in the last 10 years. and several other federal agencies. Schriever Air Force Base (AFB). and a lot of times we forget the Portuguese piece of that. A joint command comprising more than 1.700 flying hours. Gresham include Europe. Air Combat Command. with headquarters at Elmendorf AFB. USAF Commander. I don’t see a conventional external military threat to the region today. Navy.200 military and civilian personnel representing the Army. commander.and Portuguesespeaking region.defensemedianetwork. He has previously served as commander. 6 www. F-15E.S. John D. He recently sat down with Defense senior writer John D. The general is a command pilot with more than 2.3 percent [growth in] GDP. Hawaii. U. Fraser is commander. And I’ll tell you – it’s a very diverse region. Alaskan Command. an area of 16 million square miles. 11th Air Force. Fraser’s operational assignments G by John d. Last year they had a 4. U. Miami.Interview Gen. U. Smith. Gresham to discuss SOUTHCOM’s growing importance to U. Alaskan North American Defense Region. Marine Corps. Air Force. Fla. Douglas M. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) en. Southern Command.M. Fraser. In addition. Douglas M. Pacific Command (PACOM). defense. the Pacific. primarily in the F-15A/B/C/D. and the F-16.
Air Force Gen. There’s a lot of poverty within the region. Fraser. commander of U. at least today. today [June 1] is the official start of the 2012 hurricane season. is that Latin America is very prone to natural disasters. Salvadoran Armed Forces. And the area that I’m most concerned about is transnational organized crime [TOC]. Criminal organizations are throughout our AOR.S. That will have a dynamic change for us. if you will.S.S. and your deployed units as they operate in the region.S. especially in the Caribbean. a lot of potential for natural d isaster. In your mind. and as Northern Command will tell you. so that fully one-third of our nation is going to be Hispanic in the next 40 years. That said. will impact the region every year. The fastest-growing ethnic segment of the U. there isn’t a threat of a conventional military conflict to the region. and how that challenges you. In fact. Also there are internal disputes that people in the AOR have – and are causing violence.defensemedianetwork. your forces. One reason is that they have a lot of differing forums that give them the opportunity within the region to have a regular and positive diplomatic and governmental discourse. but violence is not necessarily directly associated in all U. U. There’s a lot of trade that happens. And that’s really a law enforcement concern more than a military concern. So that all influences how we engage here at SOUTHCOM. There’s a lot of money that goes back into the region from Latin America workers in the U. is Hispanic. yes. The United States is the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. A nd the one last thing I’ll put in. www. has Latin America become the first.S. or the one part of the world that’s actually embraced the promise of the post-Cold War world. TOC is impacting most in Central America right now. In some of those countries the poverty rate runs between 50 percent and 60 percent. César Adonay Acosta Bonilla. Gangs are throughout our country as well as the region. is Hispanic. volcanoes. But also earthquakes. and in some cases are more violent than the TOC organizations.But the other part of it is there is a tight connection between the U. DoD photo by Jose Ruiz. Southern Command.com 7 . evolving into a region of relative peace and prosperity? I think from a routine military standpoint and the threat of a conventional military conflict. Gen. There’s also the question of “human terrain” in SOUTHCOM. so that fully one-third of our nation is going to be Hispanic in the next 40 years.S and Latin America. during the 2012 Central American Security Conference. And we have very close cultural historic ties with the region. The fastestgrowing ethnic segment of the U. Southern Command Public Affairs “The United States is the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Gangs have a role to play in violence also. they are in over a thousand of our cities here in the U. That will have a dynamic change for us. are u nexpected events we’re always prepared to support. Douglas M.” cases with transnational criminal organizations. and not beyond that. especially as you get to Central America and some of the Caribbean islands. How would you describe the challenges of the present-day human terrain in that region? It’s a very diverse human terrain. So regional threats are more in the form of criminal violence. evidenced by the current rates of violence.S. talks with Maj. it has. we know.S. head of the Joint General Staff. Military and civilian defense and security leaders from 13 Western Hemisphere nations gathered during the conference to discuss strengthening regional security cooperation and countering transnational organized crime in Central America. Hurricanes. As I said. localized violence. There are non-traditional issues as you look at it from a military standpoint. there are still issues and concerns here.
on a dayto-day basis. European. They would “designate” them so that their focus for engagement and for conducting training is on Latin America. In addition. As you look at the Andean cultures that are isolated by geography. That’s the reality of the world we live in. the training venues and the training capabilities used by combatant commands are identical no matter which command you go to. our engagements with USAID [United States Agency 8 www.defensemedianetwork. we’re pretty well resourced for the engagements that we have on a routine basis. as well as U. And so there are discussions right now with the U. I think that’s important. So their ability to operate and sustain their capabilities is limited. And that means we have to put all of the pieces together across the whole of government to address the TOC issue. forces that understand the capabilities and capacities of the armed forces that we work with day in and day out.S.. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment seized the contraband during a drug interdiction in the Caribbean Sea. However. And then you have the Amazon on the other side of Peru.S. then we request those forces from the Department of Defense. but the tools are the same.S.000 to 6. and a real diversity of training. The military and the Department of Defense have a role to play. and Western Hemisphere partner-nation effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus.Interview Their militaries are small. Part of those forces are the detainee guard forces associated with Joint Task Force Guantanamo that are managing and running those facilities. and can build relationships – which are an important factor in our mission at SOUTHCOM. be a little different from how PACOM will engage. this isolation puts a really distinct pressure on populations. there’s a real diversity of capability there. though that’s changing in this region as well. Another good portion of assigned forces are on the ships and aircraft that support our detection and monitoring mission for counter-drug activity in the maritime environments of the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific. And I want to be very clear here: They wouldn’t “give” them to me. again. under the direction of U.S. out at Nellis Air Sailors aboard a rigid-hull inflatable boat prepare bales of cocaine for hoisting after an embarked U. TOC. U. Now. U. In conducting exercises. If we need forces because we have a crisis. and including them in educational programs. Army. The application may be a little different. engage with forces in Latin America? I am in favor of that concept. Force Base in Nevada. there are always ongoing discussions about that. and military-to-military training exercises. and most of their revenues and budgets go into personnel costs. What are your views on how SOUTHCOM is structured from a forces perspective? Well. have about 4. we’re structured to meet those demands. on a routine basis.S. not on a global basis. Now. but designating – units that will. conducting routine training. And the majority of the other routine forces are associated with engagements such as subject-matter expert exchanges.000 people assigned to us. that said. So the human terrain varies from what parts of countries you go to. Colombia is sending aircraft to participate in Operation Red Flag this year. The interdiction was in support of Operation Martillo. For example. in some cases. I’m comfortable with how we’re resourced. Is there a benefit in designating – not necessarily assigning. the other issue that we face here is transnational organized crime. if you look at Peru.S. a U. I’ll use Haiti as an example. though ours is a supporting role. and how you engage with them.S. because if you look at our mission and our role and you look at the capacities of the militaries that we engage with. Special Operations Command [SOCOM]. From my standpoint. And I’m OK with that. Navy photo . military participation is being led by Joint Interagency Task Force South.com Official U.S. and so we have a steady demand on the resources of our U. And all those need to be measured on the tempo that our partners can also meet.S. while the High Andes are much less populated and are primarily lower-income communities with a much more native culture and heritage. We. We can always use forces that are familiar with working within Latin America and the Caribbean. and then those forces fall in to meet the needs that we have. there’s a lot of people who live on the coastal terrain. armed services that help support us. or are you happy with what you’ve got? Well. as you look into South America. what we do here at SOUTHCOM is no different than from what I experienced in PACOM. SOUTHCOM’s engagements may. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). I will still have to resource them in the same manner I do today. So. in training with them. Brazil has also participated in Red Flag in the past. Now. Now. In fact. If you had a “wish list. Marines. not to operating costs. and that is the way all regional commanders engage with our partner nations on a military-to-military basis.” would you want more resources to do your job.
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we work very closely with USAID. and other international agencies to really be able to support our activity. to prepare to respond to the aftermath of a hurricane. have been supportive and helpful in that fight.000 to 4. they’re willing to share that experience.000 soldiers injured every year for the last 10 years. the Colombian engagement has been very favorable for us. very important. That is because of the fact that the Colombian security situation has improved. and really working day in and day out with the Colombian armed forces. they have very capable armed forces. And that’s a good thing. an annual deployment of U. in some cases.5 billion worth of assistance. their success is attributed to us. And here’s what I mean by that: Over the last 10 years.S. And so that effort continues. But one other thing that we don’t always see is Colombians have a lot of combat experience now. The SPMAGTF consists of Marines from various commands and elements who collectively operate on a small expeditionary level in support of Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station 2012. because that’s the reality of how we have to sequence and work our programs to make sure we’re all working in conjunction with one another.N. And we need to continue to support that fight until the FARC are defeated. That ranges from training. They have a lot of combat experience.S. During that same time. but this is also happening in other combatant commands as well. So that’s where I see a difference. Can you talk a little bit about the real-world successes you’ve had here at SOUTHCOM since 9/11. and. I think. ou r engagement w ith the State Department. Our special operations forces [SOF] units have been very beneficial and helpful across the region in helping build partner nation capacity. which is a pretty significant commitment on the part of the people and the government of Colombia to their own success. and we have been working on a broader basis with other parts of the U. one that I’ll say that we work very deliberately. the United States has provided $8. and they’re willing to extend their reach. But I would argue that it’s a Colombian success that we helped support. is disaster response. The fight’s not over yet.Interview for Inter nat iona l Development]. that said. military training teams to the U. as we have since 9/11. The FARC are still active. The more we can communicate. As the Colombians’ military has changed their strategy against the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] recently. Colombian forces are training both the police and military with many of the partner nations in Central America. government to help foster that success. Marines assigned to a Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) conduct advanced marksmanship training alongside Colombian Marine infantry personnel as part of a subject-matter expert exchange. Oftentimes. along with other parts of our government.defensemedianetwork. They invite our partners to train in their schools and are right now training Mexican helicopter pilots to help support Mexican anti-TOC efforts. the engagement with Colombia over a long period of time has been. I’ll take it beyond just FID.S.com DOD photo by Spc. and the region. Southern Command area of responsibility. Because we know we will see the hurricane season every year. as a result of that. We U. we at SOUTHCOM are very low cost and pretty effective in how we engage. using this form of engagement with partner nations in Latin America? Well. How success ful have foreign internal defense (FID) missions been for SOUTHCOM over the past decade? What I got from my briefings is that this has been a successful path for SOUTHCOM. the more we can work with one another. [and] our engagement with law enforcement are very deliberate and routine. some equipping. And then one last mission area. They’ve been losing 500 to 700 soldiers a year for the last 10 years. the Colombian Ministry of Defense has put in over $100 billion of their own money. the better. based on their commitment to sustaining those 10 www. They’ve had 2. It varies country by country.S. the lead federal agency for supporting disaster responses. So. Now. we have been very involved in helping support them in that change and their establishment of additional joint task forces. Juancarlos Paz . And we learned from our experience in Haiti that we also need to work with the U. and they’ve been losing people at about the same rate.
Internally it has largely reduced the potential for conflict. corruption. Can you please talk a little bit about this from a long-term point of view? Well. lots of aircraft and helicopters. just as I’ve mentioned earlier. And I’m here to tell you: It’s a problem for the entire Western Hemisphere. Today though. And as a result of that. yes. I’m not going to tell you that the future means that this region will not face a traditional nation-to-nation conflict. but the potential is there. low-revenue jobs. and we tend to think it is a problem of Mexico and Colombia. conviction rates that aren’t high. and could it become genuinely dangerous for U. the best thing for me in fast-breaking events in the AOR are my travels. The last time there’d been a major earthquake in Haiti was 150 years ago. is a low-probability event versus the daily reality of the TOC threat that you’re fighting? In the near term. It is all of our other components who are engaged.S. because of the natural disaster-prone nature of the region we work in. The Haitian earthquake response was really an international effort to support the relief effort. Can I say that that will always be the case? Now. And that applies when we talk about disaster relief in Haiti. working with armies. It frankly was not something we expected. particularly in the border regions in the southern United States? It’s a concern because the capacities the TOC organizations have outweigh. but I hear nobody talking about it. the only ship on the East Coast at sea when the earthquake happened was the USS Carl Vinson [CVN 70].S. but our men and women responded in a magnificent manner. It’s not internal defense per se. But our continued engagement has created an important partnership relationship throughout the region. There is a $193 billion-a-year impact [in lost productivity] on our society. in many cases. And that’s from 50 years-plus of continuous engagement.000 drug-related deaths a year … in the United States. it is one of those areas that we’ve paid attention to obviously. we don’t think it’s presently a problem. at least in this region. but that doesn’t mean there aren’t external factors that can influence that future potential as well. citizens. They actually picked them up from Naval Air Station [NAS] Mayport. Haiti obviously. If you go back to Cuba. I’m not going to tell you that that’s happening directly.000-plus military men and women.capabilities. if you go back to my PACOM experience. And that’s where. I’ll talk very directly: From the domestic standpoint inside the United States. that’s where that experience came in. without an air wing embarked. and not a problem in the United States.S.com 11 . am I correct in saying that your view of the potential for traditional nation-to-nation conflict. And you compound that with the environmental conditions – meaning poverty. And interestingly. So. but there has been real success. and I always talk about the importance of travels. the capacities of the governments and the militaries where the TOCs operate. Internally it has largely reduced the potential for conflict. since that was going to be the critical need for us. police forces that may be corrupt – there’s an environment of impunity. 33 ships from both the U. we used Navy vessels in a non-traditional manner. and Colombia’s probably the best example in our AOR. with navies throughout the region as well. There are varying degrees of that success. lots of capacity. It wasn’t an internal influence. 22.defensemedianetwork. is that I had been to Haiti within a month to two months prior to the earthquake. as you mentioned earlier. Not well. because I understood the capability and flexibility of Navy vessels. Now. So. So a shallow earthquake in Haiti was a pretty significant event. And from my standpoint. And in a lot of cases. But it’s not just SOF units that build that capacity. How bad has the TOC problem become. Navy helicopter base. I still don’t see that kind of conventional military threat in a manner similar to what we saw with the Soviet Union in the early days of Cuban independence. obviously. the 1962 confrontation was based on an external influence. She picked up helicopters on the way. military and Coast Guard. so I understood Port-auPrince. Fla. but I at least understood the environment.” www. but that doesn’t mean there aren’t external factors that can influence that future potential as well. NavySouth [NAVSOUTH] and Fleet Forces Command sent her south. with air forces. SOUTHCOM has a really impressive record of humanitarian relief and engagement throughout the AOR. I particularly find our navies have a very close relationship. and they were operating in Haiti within three “I’m not going to tell you that the future means that this region will not face a traditional nation-to-nation conflict. the potential is there for influence – whether that be via bribery or other forms of corruption. was the big crisis of my time here at SOUTHCOM. mind you.. because that’s a big U. There are approximately 37. and during the response to Haiti. So they picked the helicopters up from there. Interestingly enough. but it is the fact that we have those relationships throughout the AOR. U.S. Gangs [and] TOC organizations are resident in many of our cities.
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because. Our goal is to make sure that when we tell you we’re going to do something.000 citizens within Latin America on an annual basis. put contracting vehicles into place rapidly. last year. we’ve seen a downturn. That said. And the last thing we’ve been doing is helping build emergency operations centers and disaster response warehouses where we could equip. and the MINUSTAH commander [Brazilian Army Maj. And that’s been a pretty successful engagement. Now.S. and continue to do. policy and law from engaging with the armed forces of Cuba. villagers on day three of the four-day MEDRETE. military.S. Transportation Command [TRANSCOM].com U. not just to support our needs. the Nicaraguan navy is still very responsive to the counter-drug mission. that SOUTHCOM and the U. Venezuela has chosen not to engage with us at all. The SOUTHCOM command briefing talks about giving citizens of our regional partner nations in your AOR reason to want to choose the United States as their partner in this world. And I think the other part we ought to remember is – and you talked about this – is the interagency role of our engagement. there are some countries where we don’t have good relationships. What would you want to address that I didn’t ask about? To circle back around. Department of Justice. the governments used some of these facilities to take care of their own disaster response needs and not call on the U. or Homeland Security as the Congress goes through budget deliberations. n www. especially. In addition. with Expeditionary Response Groups in conjunction with SOF airfield opening units. In my impression. we are restricted by U. Members of the MEDRETE team saw more than 370 San Juan. the Joint Interagency Task Force South gets support from Customs and Border Protection [and] other parts of our government to include the Drug Enforcement Agency and the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs section of the State Department. but they can also be large ones. that said. all these programs rely on State Department funding – foreign assistance funding. and it is all the routine training and engagement opportunity that happens before a crisis that makes a difference. I also need to compliment the U. I cannot say enough about them. How effective is that message. In Cuba. Now. and pretty open and transparent relations. [was strong]. we cannot divorce the defense budget from the State Department. and do you feel like your efforts and the efforts of the people before you have started to gain traction in post-Cold War Latin America? Well. we have gone out and done. but also to support the overall security and stability within the region. Matthew Gruber. even though there were f loods within Central America. and our engagement opportunities do not rely only upon the DoD budget. For Foreign Military Finance programs. who had trained with one another in Brazil prior to this whole event. And we’re there. Now. gives a child de-wormer after the preventive medicine briefing at a medical readiness and training exercise March 9. So. Ken Keen. Air Force Staff Sgt. and Nicaragua has diminished their engagement with us.S. For example.S. and they get some medical/dental care. both the airfield as well as the seaport. and get the ports open. as we work in this region. we have very good relationships. for example. We treat an average of 200. In Ecuador and Bolivia. And we’ll tell our partners what we can do and what we can’t do.000 to 300. Floriano Peixoto Vieira Neto]. Candice Allen 13 . I can say the same about MINUSTAH [United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti] and our ability to work with them. Air Force photo/Capt. a Medical Element logistics noncommissioned officer in charge. And you know the relationship between Gen.S.S. law enforcement budgets are important. Honduras. I mention this because it’s important and you never know when a crisis is going to happen. IMET [International Military Education and Training]. And so it was fortuitous that the USS Carl Vinson happened to be in the right place at the right time. that’s Haiti.Interview days after the earthquake struck. Gen. so that’s been a significant benefit of our engagement activity as well. or the host/partner nations can put disaster response capability there. on a military-to-military basis. a lot of different medical engagements around the region. because it gave us a really clear capacity right when we needed it. those have been from more of a political pushback than it has been from a military-to-military standpoint. who was our Joint Task Force-Haiti commander. So. We get training for U. commander.S. 2012. With what we call “MEDRETEs” [ M e d i c a l R e a d i n e s s Tr a i n i n g Exercises]. So we think that has been a positive outcome. our militaryto-military engagement program at SOUTHCOM is important. deliver.defensemedianetwork. we see that we have a very transparent and a very open approach to our engagements in the region. military personnel. There are small MEDRETEs in Central America. if you look at their ability to respond. But this goes to every regional combatant U. and our Global Peace-Keeping Operations initiative.
Wilson More than the sum of its parts U.The Concept Family of Vehicles by J. Army photo .S.R.
The most recent dedicated family of vehicles in U. www.com 15 .defensemedianetwork. South Korea. 2nd Brigade Combat Team. 1st Battalion. 25th Infantry Division. service is the Stryker. 21st Infantry Regiment.land forces Soldiers from Alpha Company.S. designed from the outset to include a variety of vehicles on a common chassis. tactically dismount from their Stryker vehicle during Foal Eagle 2012 as part of a Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise at Rodriguez Range Complex.
how many veh icle systems do we support?” Michael Viggato. providing one system. The U. made battlefield interoperability a challenge.” Talbot said. and missions of platforms being significantly higher than previous conflicts. Conceptually. and missions in the early years of the Cold War led to greater diversity. that began with development of the M113 a r mored person nel ca r r ier [APC]. However. Another multimission. medical. And that we have been called upon and met the requirements is a testimony to TACOM and AMC. and allies – falls to the Army Materiel Command’s (AMC) TACOM LCMC. screws. using a common chassis. etc. GM. from which we developed 11 variants on a single chassis. types. at best.defensemedianetwork. – but the smartest thing we did in the 1960s was to go back to a concept that had been missing for about 20 years. capabilities.land forces he concept of a family of land vehicles. “During World War II. requirements. is hardly new. M718 ambulance. despite the number. “We have a lot of systems – tracked. the Humvee eventually came in 11 variants and in the last two decades.S. which is the most important concept we ‘remembered’ from the 1940s – develop a system that is multimission.” Standardization and the FoV concept began to drive tactical vehicle development in the 1980s. Studebaker. military began returning to a family of vehicles (FoV) concept during the Vietnam War. multi-variant platform of that period was the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HM M W V ). one platform for infantry. it was common during World War II. we had a warehouse with 1. The HEMTT is still considered the backbone of Army logistics.. “Right now. added. makes it easier to acquire ‘parts common’ for a system versus 20 systems. it helps with purchasing and contracting. the HMMWV family of vehicles eventually came to comprise almost three dozen variants and sub-variants. artillery. Originally designed as an administrative vehicle. with a more insular design approach to individual platforms as contractors and program managers sought to best incorporate missionspecific new technologies and capabilities. “The Hu mvee real ly was never meant for the battlefield. “And if you look at the way T we build systems today. washers.com U. Air Force. etc. We www. But during Desert Storm. etc. in England during the buildup to D-Day. wheeled. the REO deuce-and-a-half. it became one. complexity. And the 113 did that for us. it makes sense from a logistical footprint perspective in the field. adding that conflict also marked the creation of other new FoV.” Never intended as a vehicle to be in the thick of the fight. managing one type instead of a variety of things. the Army is tackling tactical vehicle strategy – how many trucks do we really need? As the force structure comes down. with f ive configurations – fuel tanker. weapons systems. Dodge. – that would fit vehicles built by every manufacturer. and packages. the major development was tactical wheeled modernization. armor kits. bet ter k now n as the Humvee. it goes back to that. from our command standpoint. but also elements of the Navy. It was the workhorse of Vietnam. and wrecker. “From the 1960s.5 million ‘parts common’ – nuts. “Adaptabi l ity and f lex i bi l ity and collaboration – those are the keys to being relevant when called upon.” said TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) historian Randy Talbot. armored personnel carriers. including a load handling system with interchangeable flat-rack cargo beds and containerized roll-in/out platforms. material handling. etc. scout. deputy to TACOM LCMC’s commanding general. Kerri Brantley 17 . configuration management. etc. as coalition operations became the norm. “In the 1990s. a replacement for the M151 Jeep. tractor.S. Although not using that term. etc. Army photo by 1st Lt. cargo. aiming for multim ission variants w ith a reduced logistical footprint. So it became a FoV. Among the initial entrants into service in 1982 was the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) system.” Talbot said. has seen numerous upgrades. multi-variant. Ford. and the M561 GamaGoat. bolts. “But then there were seven or eight million other parts that were not common on all the vehicles provided by Chevy.” The explosion of new technologies. it was meant to replace the jeep as an administrative vehicle. The task of meeting the tank and automotive needs of the ground force – primarily Army and Marines. greater diversity also led to greater demands on logistics and. tires/tracks.
5.S. medium.” he explained. You want to get into the fight and finish it as fast as possible – the faster you do that. Mortar Carrier. the logistics convoys have to keep up with them. Afghanistan. “But with the family of tactical vehicles. and so on. acquisition. “Where before you had one truck that did this.and 5-ton fleets with one vehicle system that included a Palletized Load System [PLS]. Ghazni province.” Talbot explained. Command & Control (C2). It was designed from the beginning with all the variants. designed from day one to provide a common chassis upon which to build a variety of brigadelevel vehicles: Infantry Carrier.5 tons on the PLS truck itself.land forces had just modernized all our armor. fuel handling – all modernized to go forward with speeds comparable to the maneuver units.” In post-9/11 Southwest Asia.S. Engineer. Fire Support. which makes it a lot easier for contracting. and heavy tactical vehicles. those advanced logistics capabilities helped change the battlefield and concept of operations. and Anti-Tank Guided Missile vehicles. according to Talbot. then another doing another mission. you replaced the entire 2. Reconnaissance. U.com .” The most recent dedicated FoV is the Stryker. 18 www. they saved lives. A U. they’re sitting ducks. Now you had one truck that could carry 33 tons of supplies – 16. The vehicle he is using for cover is a Navistar MaxxPro mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle. which changed logistics by lifting everything with hydraulics. “It changed the game in terms of technology insertion because of its ability to expand and modernize. and another. and logistics. now you have one platform doing everything – and carrying a lot more cargo than multiple old trucks. now we had to do the same with the family of light. we signed the contract for the Stryker. one of a number of different “MRAP” platforms from several different manufacturers. 18 months later. “If the maneuver units have to wait two or three days for the resupply trucks. Michael J. Mobile Gun System. combat service support. So it wasn’t really one system. as well as getting there faster. MacLeod. And you then can sustain the battle as long as you want or need.defensemedianetwork. You have 10 variants of the Stryker with all common parts. and another. logistics. not just taking the platform and finding another variation. it was in the field. the fewer casualties. It adds a lot more speed with both the loading and unloading. Army paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team fires his M4 carbine at insurgents during a firefight June 30. Medical Evacuation. the same in a trailer – in a 35 mph convoy. Army photo by Sgt. As long as they are moving forward. Most important. Task Force 1-82 PAO “The Stryker was the biggest development in the 2000s. Three days before 9/11. 2012. NBC Reconnaissance. but the whole family of tactical wheeled vehicles for combat support.
LAV-M (Mortar). the FoV system really works.” he added. and LAV-EFSS (Expeditionary Fire Support System). soldiers from 1st Battalion. Just imagine having to ship 14 different kinds of tires and keeping them sorted. April 25. 2009.000 produced for service in more than 50 countries.” The best known. 1st Cavalry Division. LAV-MEWSS (Mobile Electronic Warfare Support System). always focusing on the needs of the joint warfighter. acquiring and supporting modernized and affordable systems with common integrated capabilities. the FoV “From a logistics and supply standpoint. LAV-R (Recovery).land forces “Stryker also changed the dynamics of the battle. M113. You can hear an Abrams tank coming. add the right force package and away you go. Army Photo by Spc. “When the Marines took their LAVs into A fghanistan in 2002-03. these include: M2 Brad ley Infantr y Fighti ng Vehicle (IFV) – A f lexible family of force protection platforms that can grow to meet changing requirements www. but also reduced logistics and maintenance requirements.S.” U. Iraq. built by General Dynamics Land Systems Canada and based on the Swiss MOWAG Piranha I eight-wheeled family of armored fighting vehicles. there was at least one SBCT [Stryker Brigade Combat Team] in Iraq. but far from all. with an estimated 80. 5th Cavalry Regiment. LAV-LOG (Logistics). fire an M120 mortar out of an M113 armored personal carrier (APC) on Forward Operating Base Taji.” system really works. including robotics and unmanned ground systems. It’s almost plug and play – what do you need. Two years before that. and computerization.S.S. if you’re buying in bulk. which is quiet and resilient as hell. “Now. in 24 to 48 hours.” Talbot continued. So you’ve added another element as we change the force structure to the brigade combat team. the LAV FoV includes LAV-AT (Anti-Tank). Stryker contracting also benefited from the Marine Corps’ experience with its LAV (Light Armored Vehicle). focal point in upgrading existing and leading the design and development of the Army’s advanced FoV. Joshua E. not only through added capability.” TACOM’s Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS) is the U. LAV-C2 (Command & Control). you can’t hear a Stryker.” The Stryker FoV also changed both contracting and technology insertion for the nation’s ground forces. LAV-AD (Air Defense). their task is to “pursue commonality and interoperability by leveraging common ground combat vehicle standards and systems – reducing system support costs and logistical footprint across the portfolio of ground combat platforms … execute life cycle management of the world’s best ground combat systems in a collaborative learning environment by developing. Procured by the Marine Corps in the 1980s. the production schedule of Stryker was increased because the Marine LAVs had done so well – and the Stryker is essentially LAV 2. Built with the ability to expand and modernize – an old concept given battle-ready life – Stryker platforms have seen constant updates in armor. The venerable M113 has to be considered a success story for the family of vehicles concept. Powell U. systems integration. In addition to Stryker. and HMMWV. 1st Brigade Combat Team. “From a logistics and supply standpoint.defensemedianetwork. LAV. In the current force. “From 2003 until 2011.S. with the Stryker at its center. As set out in the PEO GCS mission and vision statements. Just imagine having to ship 14 different kinds of tires and keeping them sorted. everybody uses the same tire. as a self-contained battle group. they didn’t exist. current and planned FoV are in the U.5. largely built up to handle the demands of combat in Southwest Asia since 9/11. if you’re buying in bulk. a number of FoV have contributed to the war effort. inventory. Baghdad.com 19 .
each MRAP is intended for multiple configurations While nation-specific FoV provide a wide range of advantages to that nation’s military. U. Helmand province.S. Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) – As a replacement for DoD’s obsolete. from heavy-armored ground ambulance to special operations command (SOCOM) vehicle. Afghanistan. M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams main battle tank (MBT) – Although not technically an FoV. and missions. all-climate.S. but more w idely used by the U. CV90 Armored Combat Vehicle (ACV) – Originally built for the Swedish Army by BAE Land Systems. the Abrams has been modified to meet the requirements of various militaries and combat environments. all-terrain transpor t w ith log ist ics-f r iend ly commonality of tires and parts. the Foxhound will replace the U. Mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle (MRAP) – Created for the Mari ne Corps to com bat IEDs i n Southwest A sia.K. combat support. Army as the Paladin. It is smaller than an MRAP. Three truck variants and two companion trailers comprise air-droppable.land forces through the integration of new mission equipment packages (MEP). Spartan troop carrier. Sultan command post. with Switzerland as the KAWEST.5-ton Light Tactical Vehicle perform local and long-haul. With simultaneous contracts let to a number of different contractors. 20 www. M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle (FAASV) and Fire Support Combined A rms Tactical Trainer (FSCATT). Even so. the MRAP represents a different kind of family. currently in service with the U.com . this 20-to-35 ton vehicle is in service with several nations in models ranging from IFV and light tank to forward observation and C2. Foxhound was delivered to Camp Bastion for the first time on June 2.S. but larger than the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) now in development for the U. Family variations also include ambulance and supply vehicles. each using its own platform. maintenance-heavy fleet. and combat service support unit missions.K. 2012. and South Korea as the K55/K55A1. It is the first British military vehicle to meet new Ministry of Defence Generic © Crown Copyright A Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle is pictured at Camp Bastion. Foxhound – aka the Force Protection Ocelot Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV). M109 Self-Propelled Howitzer – First introduced in the early 1960s. A rmy. Snatch Land Rover. the 5-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle and 2.defensemedianetwork. and Samaritan ambulance. they remain largely incompatible with allied and coalition FoV. U. these include the basic M1A1 found in numerous foreign fleets to the advancedgeneration M1A2 to the TUSK (Tank Urban Survivability Kit) and the Marine Corps M1ABV (Assault Breacher Vehicle). Army and Marines. the Netherlands as the M109L52. Samson repair and recovery. unit mobility and resupply and other combat. Combat Vehicle ReconnaissanceTracked (CVR-T) – Five British Army variants: Scimitar MK 2 reconnaissance vehicle. troop transport to combat engineering. it might be more accurately called an “extended family” of cousins rather than a single common platform. the M109 has gone through a number of iterations.K.
Unlike the Humvee. and Asian nations. there has been no independent verification of those claims. the Fahd 240 family includes a field ambulance. 6x6 wheeled APC. self-propelled gun. the blast-protected Casspir is at the heart of a wide family of vehicles. Fire Support Team. or undergoing initial testing include: Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) – A new support vehicle to replace the Army and Marine Corps’ rapidly aging and outmoded HMMWV. it also can be modified for a variety of other family missions. based on the latest Mercedes-Benz LAP 1424/32 chassis. and is also being evaluated by the U. Chinese ZBD-09 – First unveiled during a 2009 parade in Beijing celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). C2. military vehicles. Riot Control. Plofadder Mine-clearing System. and passenger protection from IEDs. standard digital electronic and electrical architecture for U. the SuperAV can carry 12 soldiers and a driver as an APC. and MPC-Recovery). MPC-Command. and the United States (as a possible replacement for the USMC LAV-25 in three variants – MPC-Personnel. Italian Iveco SuperAV 8x8 Wheeled Vehicle – A private development by Italy’s Iveco Defence Vehicles. the JLTV is being specifically designed for patrol and combat operations. Blesbok Freighter/Weapons Platform. South American. and fire-support vehicles. the Puma family includes the 8x8 Centauro Tank Destroyer. including mortar The Swedish CV90 is in service in several variants with a number of nations. and command post vehicles.S. recovery and repair vehicle. 15-ton capacity Gemsbok Recovery. However. engineer. It currently is in service with or being considered by Italy. Brazil. Egyptian Fahd 240 APC – The 240 is an upgraded APC. the ZBD-9 IFV reportedly is half again as fast with nearly twice the operational range. Mechem Explosives and Drug Detection System Mine Sensor.com 21 . command vehicle. South African Casspir – In service with 10 African. Duiker 5000-liter Tanker and Artillery Fire Control. in the lab. recovery. Ground Combat Vehicle program in an analysis of alternatives. Additional FoV still on the drawing board.defensemedianetwork. with a more powerful engine and slight increase in armor. recovery. However. which developed the VBM Freccia 8x8 wheeled IFV that entered service with the Italian Army in 2009. and mine layer. VBM Freccia 8x8 wheeled IFV. In addition to a standard APC. Ambulance. the ZBD-09 is a family of eight-wheeled armored vehicles that includes an IFV. anti-tank. and Mechem Low-Profile/ short-wheelbase vehicles. Those include APC. payload. At about a quarter the weight of a Bradley. with greater range. and 4x4 wheeled reconnaissance vehicle.K. carrier. Italian Puma 4x4 and 6x6 Wheeled Family – Intended to complement Italy’s modern tracked Ariete MBT and Dardo IFV. Benefiting from R&D on the future continued on page 25 BAE Systems photo www. Mechem Mine-clearing.land forces Vehicle Architecture (GVA) requirements for a single. ambulance. Mechem Vehicular Array Mine Detection System.
S.com/TopPhotos2011 U. Cameron Boyd . 101st Airborne Division return fire during a firefight with Taliban forces in Barawala Kalay Valley in Kunar province. Afghanistan. www.defensemedianetwork. 2011. 327th Infantry Regiment.U. soldiers with 2nd Battalion. March 31. Army photo by Pfc.S.
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lessons learned from both Iraq and Afghanistan require a holistic approach to balanced vehicle design. Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (A MPV ) – With the end of M113 production in 2007. multi-variant.” n www. communications. the Army looked to the AMPV as a “cost-effective and expedient” replacement. fast UAVs. C2 and light tank. With family legacies dating back to the Cold War. platforms dedicated to C4ISR (command. control. and cloud-masked helicopters. JLTVs. GCVs. Poland. and survivability. The first of the enhanced CVR(T) fleet is now operational and being put to good use by the Lancers. Canada. including utility. Sultan command vehicle. which was cancelled around 2006-07. Target Acquisition & Reconnaissance) vehicle. Switzerland.K. U. ADF also is looking to buy about 18 specialist modules or shelters and nine trailer variants. it is being designed to integrate current technologies to reclaim power margin. However. protected mobility reconnaissance support (PMRS) troop carrier. one-off and outmoded families of vehicles with even more comprehensive FoV. expected international sales of the planned U. other FoV have been or are being developed by Austria. surveillance. the JLTV family is to include five armored versions. Sweden and Turkey. “The FoV changed the concept of a one-forone replacement of systems from one generation to the next. the two main supply routes that run through the Task Force Helmand area of operations. they remain largely incompatible with allied and coalition FoV. Russia. the number of platforms throughout the world also highlights an ongoing concern. That is further supported by U. with 15 functional variants based on six basic vehicle types. the General Dynamics-U. Army armored vehicles in decades. computers. and AMPVs would greatly reduce logistics and maintenance costs and complexities in future multinational combat operations. Germany. border protection. the extent of FoV developments clearly demonstrates the concept has won the support of the world’s militaries. At the same time. infantry combat. To defeat advanced threats on the integrated battlefield. and Samaritan ambulance complete the family. The list above is far from comprehensive. The Spartan troop carrier. Commonality of platforms. “As many systems age and are reaching the end of their service life. greater mine protection than an MRAP. Scout Specialist Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) – The first new family of U.K.S. the GCV is the first IFV designed from scratch to operate in an IED environment and deliver a nine-man infantry squad to the battlefield with increased survivability. including recovery and repair. Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) – As a replacement for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle System. Brazil. providing 24-hour all-weather capability to detect and identify targets hidden in undergrowth. The Scout SV provides the Common Base Platform (CBP) for a fleet of up to 17 possible variants to come online through 2015. crew protection. and reconnaissance. it became the development of a common platform that’s multimission. While nation-specific FoV provide a wide range of advantages to that nation’s military.K.defensemedianetwork. South Korea. whose main task is to overwatch the battlespace on either side of Highways 1 and 611.land forces continued from page 21 tactical truck system (FTTS). and reconnaissance). special ops. “Instead. It is envisioned with greater lethality and ballistic protection than a Bradley.com © crown copyright 25 . more than 8. incorporating the latest M113 mission packages and Bradley M2A3-level passenger protection. military requirements and advanced technology. Australian LAND 121 (aka Project Overlander) – A replacement for Australian Defense Force (ADF) Land Rovers and medium to heavy trucks. multiple mission variants. space. and the crosscountry mobility of an Abrams. intelligence. and technology insertion will be the parameters of new vehicle design and production. interoperability. command. plans to replace a wide range of existing. platform includes a ground-based ISTAR (Intelligence. France. Members of the new family are expected to include A CVR(T) (Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance [Tracked]) is pictured being operated across the harsh desert terrain of Afghanistan by soldiers of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers. among others.000 vehicles are planned. Samson recovery vehicle.S. Surveillance.” Talbot concluded. utility. and personnel/cargo transport.
IWM Hard lessons from a small war 26 www.defensemedianetwork. 30 Years Later By norman friedman © Crown copyright.com .naval forces The Falklands.
A head-on view from HMS Broadsword of two Argentinean A-4B Skyhawks (piloted by Capitán Pablo Carballo and Teniente Carlos Rinke of V Air Brigade) as they fly through a hail of anti-aircraft fire to attack the ship north of Pebble Island on the afternoon of May 25. www.defensemedianetwork.com 27 . During this attack (which also resulted in the sinking of HMS Coventry ). destroying the ship’s Lynx helicopter en route. a bomb passed through the starboard stern of HMS Broadsword . It exited via the flight deck without exploding. 1982. Many Argentinian bombs failed to explode because the pilots flew so low that there was insufficient time for the bombs’ fuzes to arm.
S. she did not think the West was dying. particularly while continuing to pour out existing types of weapons. Ultimately the British had to land troops in the face of Argentinean air and ground forces. It was very much not the case in the Falklands. The British task force was a small-scale version of a U. the central surprise was that their key military planning assumption. The Soviet leadership was shocked. Pershing and Tomahawk missiles on their soil. or did they have a future? The popular British response to the war suggests that many in that country agreed with Thatcher. naval strike forces in the Norwegian Sea. to execute the evolving U.S. The Argentineans clearly thought much the same thing about the British. One implication was that any war that might arise out of the Cold War would pit Western weapons against Soviet-supplied ones. Within a few years. A second level was political. A postwar U. That certainly seemed to be the case in the Middle East. and the British seized them back.S. track. but they thought they could survive.naval forces It is now 30 years since the Argentineans seized the Falklands. and saw the war in much the same terms. the British f leet deployed far more computing power. The Soviets themselves were in trouble. A mericans tended to assume that they led an alliance of completely like-minded governments against the Soviets. the only demonstration of Western resolve. The third level. The West was still a serious threat. and perhaps even near. She personally demanded that the Royal Navy form a task force to retake the Falklands. Initially many in Britain seem to have assumed that Argentinean seizure of the islands was just another unavoidable step in the slow decline of the British Empire. striking force trying to go north. In the Falklands. The war between the two included the hottest naval action of the Cold War. allies using Western weapons. all other governments were neutral. perhaps surprisingly. The Falklands War was fascinating because it was a miniature version of the war U.com . naval strategists thought they might have to fight. rather instructive about how things might have turned out had the Cold War turned hot. The impact on the Soviets cannot be underestimated. The Soviets found themselves taking Western initiatives. such as Reagan’s “Star Wars. In effect. There were many surprises.S. were probably much encouraged by Thatcher’s example. The Argentineans had to do much what the Soviets had to do: They had to detect. Even after the task force sailed. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher d id n’t ag ree. It was also. They.S. It did not have the stretch it needed to compete on these new terms with the West. President Ronald Reagan. than the Soviets had in all their fleets.S. the Soviets were increasingly aware that they had been caught up in a new revolution in military technology based on micro-computers. for example. the Argentineans were the sole export buyers of the main British naval area defense missile.” very seriously indeed. that they could concentrate completely 28 www. One level was that of grand alliance strategy. the Argentineans were a sort of smallscale version of the threat the Soviets posed against U. For the British. Thatcher’s was not.defensemedianetwork. there were lessons on three distinct levels. With their missile-armed strike aircraft and their submarines.S.S. For the United States. In 1982-83.S. one of the last British colonies. of course. In fact. Thatcher saw the Falklands War as the great test: Were the British locked into decline. a new Soviet leader would be chosen specifically because he promised to clean up computer production: Mikhail Gorbachev. His attempt to solve the Soviet economic problem destroyed the Soviet Union. where most of the Cold War-era wars were fought: Israel. client and ally. was pitted against Arab governments allied to the Soviets. Before the war broke out. The Soviet problem was that their economy had been contracting for years. many in the Soviet leadership believed that the West had lost so much of its morale that its end was inevitable. the Russians found it impossible to intimidate NATO governments that had decided to accept the deployment of U. was tactical. in turn. the one usually emphasized. at about the same time. leaning one way or another. and attack the approaching British task force. In 1982. where both sides were U. Navy study concluded that in the future the United States might well find itself facing Western rather than Soviet systems. let alone dead. many on board were so skeptical of British resolve that they doubted they would be allowed to get to the Falklands. Sea Dart (the Chinese reportedly backed out of a planned purchase because they were dissatisfied with the system’s performance during the Falklands War). maritime strategy. the U. L i ke U.
On the eve of the Falklands War. the only acceptable future lay with nuclear attack submarines.com dod photo 29 . the British went through the latest of an apparently endless series of defense rev iews intended to keep defense affordable.S. The Sea Harrier. Invincible herself had been conceived as a limited carrier with anti-submarine and strike functions. the theory being that in a NATO war naval forces could be protected by land-based aircraft. The fiction clearly could not apply to a fleet sent thousands of miles from the British Isles. Nott therefore planned. Fortunately the strike airplane on the carriers. the “SHARs” shot down more than 20 aircraft and lost none in air-to-air engagements. Navy was also deployed there). had some air-to-air capability. That patrol was mounted not because some British colony or dependency was in trouble. their Blue Fox radars and the AIM-9L Sidewinder. That was not simply the legacy of empire.defensemedianetwork. the sale was canceled. On the eve of war. the fiction was maintained. but because as part of the Western alliance Britain had a vital national interest in maintaining the oil shipping route through the Gulf (somewhat later the U. probably because to admit that carrier air defense was needed would have entailed ruinous expense. the Royal Navy found itself mounting an armed tanker protection patrol in the Gulf. the Royal Navy’s attempt to give a subsonic attack aircraft air-to-air capability. the fiction had precluded any attempt to develop an www. the Sea Harrier. When war broke out. Although that did not work during exercises. Unfortunately. This would leave the Royal Navy with only the light carrier HMS Hermes. Invincible was sold to Australia. was a great success in the Falklands War. on the Central Front in NATO. among other steps. on the theory that a war in Europe would be over long before seaborne reinforcements arrived. was altogether wrong.A British Royal Navy Sea Harrier FRS1. He also planned to sell the amphibious fleet. a few years after the Falklands. To Nott. With supremely professional pilots employing superior tactics. Britain could not escape global responsibilities. He also rejected the Royal Navy’s argument that its surface force would perform an essential deterrent function during any run-up to war. Defense Minister John Nott considered surface warships useless in a NATO war. Its success was probably a factor in the Royal Navy’s decision to procure the F-35B. to sell off the new carrier HMS Invincible and to cancel her two sister ships.
found it. and thus made it possible for the carrier to give them air interception data. pilots may be blind in bad weather. Indeed. Before the task force got to the Falklands. The British view of radio silence was demonstrated when. and the next day the task force was attacked (without being hit). In U. which broke the back of the ship and sank her. Navy). It took about a decade to solve the problem using new satellites (during the 1991 Gulf War the Soviets apparently used the Argentinean technique to keep track of the buildup in the Gulf. Hermes lost two of her Sea Harriers in bad weather en route to the Falklands. and it seems that the absence of the TACAN beacon was to blame. the Sea Harriers were the most useful element of Royal Navy air defense during the war. could certainly be tracked. Navy had cut back its longhaul HF communication specifically to frustrate Soviet tracking. taken up from civilian use. One detonated while it was being defused on the night of May 23-24. it was widely believed that satellites had solved a key problem: how to communicate freely at long range without being tracked. The irony of satellite tracking was that the Royal Navy. and it appears that its officers were unfamiliar with their benefits. 1982. emphasized radio silence. Until 1982. The task force proved unable to shoot it down. The incident was interesting in that the Argentineans were able to send out the 707 to intercept the task force without conducting much of a search: They knew roughly where the task force was. the down-link of a satellite system carried too much information (in the form of Doppler) about the ship sending the up-link. IWM . en route south. During both world wars the Royal Navy benefited handsomely from interception of enemy radio signals. the Royal Navy preferred not to use them.S. Now it became clear that shifting to satellites was not enough. Normally TACAN ensured that a carrier’s aircraft could find her. It turned out that even without the airborne radar support.defensemedianetwork. far more than others in NATO. The sinking of HMS Antelope in San Carlos Water. Two bombs had been dropped on Antelope by an Argentinean aircraft flying at extremely low level during the day on May 23. but that may have been exploitation of merchant ship satellite communications). Since she was carrying only 10 30 www. The only alternative means of long-haul radio communication. Although it adopted digital data links like those of its sister navies (particularly the U. The idea was that the narrow up-beam from the ship could not easily be detected. which did not explode. high-frequency (HF). practice it also gave pilots their positions relative to the carrier.S. It turned out that an Argentinean university had discovered that ships using satellite communications could be tracked passively (the same technique was rediscovered several times). lodged in the engine room of the ship. This photo shows the ship’s magazine exploding. Without TACAN. The bombs. the captain of the carrier Hermes ordered her tactical air navigation (TACAN) beacon cut down from her mast.S.com © Crown copyright. for years the U.naval forces airborne early warning (AEW) capability for the carrier – a capability to detect and track air targets below the radar horizon of the fleet. an Argentinean Boeing 707 airliner.
This information went onto the fleet’s data link net. Navy did (and does). The Argentineans therefore fuzed their bombs with relatively long delays. she turned off her electronic intercept gear while using her satellite link. The data link provides all ships in a force with a joint tactical picture. On the day she was hit.S. the link will show it if any other ship in the force detects it.defensemedianetwork. It happened that the information did her no great good. USS Stark (FFG 31) demonstrated what that could mean. fuzes failed. It did not explode. The “Super Es” fired their two Exocets. only to sink the next day in www. The ship’s tactical officer considered it pointless to remain at his command post without these sensors. unaware that a flight of Exocet-armed Argentinean navy Super Etendards was coming. the loss was significant. Radar conditions in the Gulf were notoriously bad. Given Royal Navy sensitivity about electronic emissions. she was escorting the carrier Hermes. Stark received that data via a standard link. one of which hit Sheffield.com 31 . He took a coffee break. ship. and she ran out of the battle area. Whether or not the ship’s own radar sees an incoming target. The fire did not stop the ship’s engines. Like all contemporary satellite up-links. A few years after the Falklands War. To avoid false alarms. In fact. Sheffield should have been receiving this information – but the Royal Navy did not habitually use data links the way the U. The loss of HMS Sheffield seems traceable to lack of familiarity with data links. Sheffield ’s functioned in the radar frequency band. his ship was effectively blind. but it started a fire that soon spread to the ship’s fuel oil. and Stark ’s own radar range was very limited.S. of these rather important aircraft. In others. In several cases. The resulting smoke drove the crew off the ship. which could interfere with the satellite up-link. a Saudi AWACS airplane detected an Iraqi fighter approaching the U. However. bombs passed all the way through ships before exploding. She also turned off her air search radars. Sheff ield rather than Hermes was assigned responsibility for satellite communication back to London.A low-flying airplane can be destroyed by the blast of its own bomb. but she was certainly aware that an airplane was coming before she was hit. and bombs lodged in ships. other ships in the task force detected and tracked the radars of both the attacking Super Etendards and of the Neptune maritime patrol airplane that cued the Super Etendards. Sheffield was not nearly so lucky.
This should not have been a completely novel situation to the Royal Navy. Fighting in or near a Norwegian fjord.com U. the air defense batteries of the deployed ships were reinforced by landbased mobile missiles (Rapiers).S. Instead of simply searching for the target. the British knew that Argentinean aircraft would operate over Falkland Sound. Navy photo .S. Navy seems to have assumed that anyone attacking a ship armed with effective anti-aircraft missiles would adopt practices much like those of the Argentineans. When he reached the Gulf and saw an Iranian P-3 flying an apparently aimless pattern. her stability gone because so much of her fuel had been burned out. cued by a standoff radar airplane. Rogers of USS Vincennes (CG 49) was briefed on exactly such practices. and it also adopted a much more capable link. the British ships offshore would surely have been within range of anti-aircraft missile batteries Photo by Griffiths911 32 www. Argentinean observers ashore could cue the attack aircraft. In 1982. once the British were landing troops.defensemedianetwork. Navy. and there was little or no question of where the British destroyers and frigates were. For their part. For its part. When his ship worked up off Subic Bay en route to the Gulf six years later. They placed their valuable carriers as far east as possible. That perception in turn helped precipitate the action that destroyed an Iranian Airbus. Most of the Argentinean air attacks were conducted over Falkland Sound. The incident made the Royal Navy far more data link conscious. the distance being set by the endurance of the Sea Harrier aircraft. one of its key wartime missions was to support Norwegian forces fighting off a Soviet attack. the Sea Harrier was nuclear-capable specifically so that it could destroy massed Soviet army units.a storm. the attacker would fly below the radar. After the war. and giving away the intent to attack in the process. the U. Once the British had troops ashore. it adopted data link practices more like those of the U. For example. Rogers quite naturally assumed it was targeting him for an unseen attacker. Not all lessons of a war turn out to be correct. Capt.S. and it began to use data links much more freely.
bombs passed all the way through ships before exploding. only one Skyhawk kill was confirmed.S. the idea being to saturate Coventry’s air www. which they had bought on board two missile destroyers. Sea Dart had been conceived with the open-sea NATO mission in mind.S. The Sea Harriers had to operate in areas the missiles could or did cover. The Argentines had experience with both Sea Dart. it had been developed to replace 40 mm guns. and Sea Dart and Sea Wolf missiles. The gun would be trained to follow the acquiring Type 909 radar and therefore always be aligned to follow the missile and thus pick up the telemetry data. Older ships had Sea Cat. wherever possible. As for Sea Cat. Three Argentinean aircraft popped up over the nearby coast. That could have unfortunate consequences. The closest U.5-inch guns.S. In several cases. The area defense weapon was Sea Dart. it could not handle saturation attacks.com 33 . It turned out to be significant that the British air search and target indication radars lacked any moving target indication (MTI) capacity. Marine Corps at the time. The Argentineans knew that they could avoid Sea Dart by flying low. One day the Sea Dart destroyer HMS Coventry was in Falkland Sound. a highly automated point defense missile. and it was neither automated nor supersonic. months after the end of the Falklands War. and Sea Cat. The Sea Dart proved less than ideal as a weapon against low-level highspeed targets merging with ground clutter. Argentinean knowledge of Sea Dart seems to have had an interesting consequence. but it was considered capable of shooting down Exocet missiles (a capability demonstrated postwar). Moreover. This arrangement made good sense in the North Sea or in the North Atlantic. which amounted to banning any missile engagements while the Sea Harriers were within range. For example.defensemedianetwork. and bombs lodged in ships. It was certainly one of intense interest to the U. accompanied by HMS Broadsword. A low-flying airplane can be destroyed by the blast of its own bomb. a Sea Wolf-armed ship. They therefore knew that attacking aircraft were in effect invisible to a Sea Dart destroyer until they left the land surrounding Falkland Sound. but that carried its own danger. there was never any link between the missiles ashore and the fleet. Experience in the Falklands suggests that this kind of operation had not been thought through. with Sea Wolf ships.naval forces A live Sea Dart missile on the British destroyer HMS Cardiff . In theory. any Sea Harriers would surely have had to help the ships and the troops in that case. fuzes failed. The British solution to the limitations of Sea Dart was to team Sea Dart ships. British ships had three main types of air defense missile. a much earlier command-guided point defense missile. Not only was Sea Wolf automated. these elements were never well enough coordinated. The Sea Harriers were generally controlled from the carriers.S. The Type 42 destroyers armed with it had two Type 909 guidance radars – which also controlled the ships’ single 4. In fact. The British solved the problem by roughand-ready rules of engagement. The telemetry receiving antenna can clearly be seen sitting on the top of the 4. since they had bought two Type 42 destroyers (equipped with the same radars used by the Royal Navy) from the British. The Argentineans therefore fuzed their bombs with relatively long delays. In others. Standard Missile (in SM-1 form): a medium-range semi-active radar guided weapon. A few British ships had Sea Wolf. when the carrier would be supported directly by Sea Dart ships and the Sea Harriers would spend most of their time at a distance. but not with Sea Wolf. Although there were initial claims that it shot down several Argentinean aircraft during the war. and they had no direct link to the missile batteries ashore. broadly equivalent to the U. Rapiers ashore. Although in theory it could handle targets at altitudes down to about 50 feet (because it was semi-actively guided). but that was nothing like the situation in the Falklands. ashore. One ship survived (HMS Antelope) only to be destroyed when an attempt to neutralize a bomb failed. That made sense in that the Sea Harriers were far more effective than missiles against the Argentinean aircraft. The Argentineans undoubtedly knew as much. equivalent to Sea Wolf was Sea Sparrow. air defense over Falkland Sound had four separate major components: Sea Harrier fighters overhead. Navy and to the U.5-inch gun. as it had to dedicate one guidance channel to each target all the way from detection to destruction. and they and the batteries would surely have faced massed Soviet air attacks.
Once the British knew that an Argentinean submarine was at sea. and it turned out that the protected area around the carrier was far too small. to justify shorter production runs and smaller capacities per ship. The sole effective Argentinean submarine had no difficulty finding the ships.defensemedianetwork. diesel su bma r i nes fou nd ca r r ier s on ly when they were constrained to stay in roughly one place. an artif icial restriction used to ensure that diesel submarine commanders would have the opportunity to make attacks. Sea Harrier endurance was limited. and sometimes by the presence of Sea Harriers – which had little ability to communicate with the ship. Lined up on deck are Sea King helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron and Sea Harrier FRS1 aircraft from 800 Naval Air Squadron. Before the war. The attack should have succeeded. two large bombs penetrated the ship. There was no possibility of maintaining a continuous combat air patrol over Falkland Sound. Instead. It appears that the arcs of Broadsword ’s missile launcher were sometimes blocked by Coventry. there will be many false alarms. estimates trended lower and lower. the British relied on attack submarines off the Argentinean coast. Hermes was saved by a fluke: part of the torpedo fire control system on board the Argentinean submarine had been misinstalled. On the other hand. They knew that the two irreplaceable British carriers were as far to the east as they could get – and the limits of Sea Harrier endurance made it fairly clear where that was. 34 www. she could not survive. British sonar range was limited. had the Argentinean commander fired from a shorter (more dangerous) range. the Argentineans were well aware of the limits of Sea Harrier performance. which could detect the Argentinean strikes as they appeared over the sea.com MoD Crown Copyright . Once they exploded. In NATO exercises. defense capacity. As torpedoes became more expensive. the two British carriers were in exactly that situation.HMS Invincible returns to massive celebrations following the Falklands Conflict in 1982. it can be argued that. and the Argentinean Type 209 submarine San Luis attacked HMS Hermes. Perhaps the most interesting antisubmarine warfare (ASW) lesson was an old one: Any time it seems that a submarine is present. he would have succeeded despite the fire control problem. On the other hand. In the Falklands. there were many attempts to estimate wartime weapon expenditure rates. and could pass sufficiently early warning back to the fleet. they clearly became nervous. The Argentinean aircraft got through.
may have encouraged the U. The main accepted lesson seems to have been that several British ships were devastated because their aluminum superstructures burned or melted. This attack. Overall. attack. which was smaller and in many ways less capable than U. had steel superstructures. the U. Arleigh Burke class. either – and the edifice collapsed. The larger lesson was that an offensive posture is well worthwhile. and that.naval forces The outstanding ASW lesson of the war was that such estimates were fantasies. It turned out that the system did not have much stretch in it. because a diesel-electric submarine on batteries has little or no distinctive acoustic signature. The war also demonstrated the psychological impact of torpedo attack on the Argentineans.defensemedianetwork. but that was due to a lot more than steel superstructure construction – which in itself would hardly have been enough. That mattered. which distinguish their targets by the Doppler due to their motion over the sea bottom.S. One consequence was that they could not distinguish whales from submarines. in turn.S. idea had been formulated long before the war. the British relied entirely on active sonar.S. forced the Soviets to take measures to change their economy and their political system.S. Navy had already dealt with air-attack problems the war uncovered. It did not help that the British destroyer. the U. It is not at all clear that this problem has been solved. The immediate reaction to the experience of the Falklands was to accelerate the Phalanx program and to provide ships with much larger loads of decoys. The U. the best that NATO seemed to do in the years after the Falklands was to develop a very cheap. The Falklands War mattered because in important ways it was the beginning of the end of the Cold War. it was cornered and bottomed. strike fleet against a miniature Soviet force. showed how serious the British were. frigates.S. and it already emphasized the use of data links – it was. but it will turn to evade a loud noise in much the way a submarine might try to evade. In other ways. One consequence was that they could not distinguish whales from submarines. it had concentrated on the open-ocean situation. Many unfortunately associated that one feature with survivability. The need for a stretch. The idea was that if the weapon were dropped on a bottomed submarine. Maritime Strategy imagined. Not only will a whale run at roughly submarine speed. The Argentineans never mounted a surface operation in the exclusion zone. as the experience of USS Cole later showed. view that submarine operations in the Soviet bastion areas would tie down large Soviet naval forces that might otherwise have interfered with NATO reinforcement in the Atlantic. Navy had sought a more automated type of defense. Like the British. The British (and others in NATO. The Maritime Strategy greatly raised the price the Soviets would have had to pay to prepare for a war. a far better chance than critics of the evolving U. not just for naval but for other military purposes. in fact. was also accelerated. the submarine’s commander would probably try to run. the success of the British showed that the full-scale strike fleet had an excellent chance of carrying out its mission. at a time when they were badly stretched. lightweight weapon. had been advertised before the war (by the British) as the epitome of modern naval power. working hard to overcome the limitations of the existing links. The Argentinean submarine did not have things entirely its own way. Navy was struck most forcibly by the suddenness of air Faced with diesel-electric submarines. The larger question raised by the war was whether surface fleets were still worthwhile in the face of missiles like the Exocet that sank HMS Sheffield. n www. the British relied entirely on active sonar. such as RAM.S. including the United States) had no weapon that could detect and attack a submarine sitting on the bottom.com 35 . creating the conditions needed by a homing torpedo. The British proclaimed a maritime exclusion zone around the Falklands as their task force approached.S. The alliance depended almost entirely on homing torpedoes. in which ships would have considerable warning of approaching air attack. Faced with diesel-electric submarines. If the war actually pitted a miniature U. designed after the war. because a diesel-electric submarine on batteries has little or no distinctive acoustic signature. Work on other close-in defensive weapons. the only legacy was the Phalanx anti-missile gun. the U. The Burkes are indeed highly survivable ships. coming at the beginning of the war. but by 1982. It already had radars capable of detecting targets flying overland. The upshot was that the new U. The nuclear attack submarine HMS Conqueror enforced the zone by sinking the Argentinean cruiser Belgrano as it steamed through the zone.S. During the Vietnam War.S.
As the war neared its end. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE). including command and control [C2]. “Bill” Hyatt Headquarters U. William Harrell Nellis. “Bill” Hyatt: We are tasked by the chief of staff of the Air Force for advanced training. Gen. Hyatt flew more than 3. We try to incorporate at both the tactical and operational level. 31. involving 28 platforms. LVAAF converted from training to a separationfrom-service facility at the end of the war. before being deactivated on Jan. Gen. James W. “Bill” Hyatt sat down with Defense senior writer J. with a peak population of nearly 11. The big difference is the TFWC was a great 36 www. level. By December 1941. LVAAF was graduating 600 new gunners and 215 co-pilots every five weeks. the Army Air Corps (AAC) began construction of an aerial gunnery school in the desert north of the small town of Las Vegas. James W. Nev. Strategic Deterrence. We talk about it in terms of air power. There are 24 weapons instructor courses – different disciplines. who was killed in action over Luxembourg in December 1944. from which he graduated in 1990 and had commanded since November 2010. surveillance. It was reactivated in March 1948 as the Las Vegas Air Force Base (AFB).000.5 months each. The Warfare Center involves all weapons systems – fighters. you are nominated by your squadron commander. strategic deterrence. Air Forces Europe Director of Operations. If you meet the minimum requirements and want to come here.D.com . usually before deployment. and nuclear integration for Headquarters U. institution that focused predominantly on tactical execution of fighter aircraft and.Interview Maj. Nearly every fighter pilot and every “ace” flying combat in Korea’s “MiG Alley” received final combat training from what. How does a trainee get to the Warfare Center? Those going to the Weapons School are of f icers who have ach ieved I by J. the base converted from B-17s to B-29s.700 combat hours over Iraq and Afghanistan in A-10As.R. Those involve squadrons.000 – with students comprising slightly less than half of that population. in the waning years. well-prepared airmen to perform in combat. Green Flag. You can be the best pilot in the world. Wilson to discuss the status and future of the Warfare Center.R. Shortly before being assigned to his new post as director of operations. We then take the top candidates and two or three alternates to meet the openings we have. The demands of the world’s first truly global war. How does the Warfare Center differ from its predecessor. with the first B-17 bombers and crews arriving for training as co-pilots and gunners. We don’t do basic training – checking you out in an airplane. 1947.S.S. cyber. ISR [intelligence. in 1950. whose personnel marked a one-third increase in the nearby hamlet’s population of 9. mobility. and Nuclear Integration. tactics development. the USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons Center (TFWC) stood up at Nellis as the premier training site for the Air Force’s top pilots. which includes the commanders of the squadrons. At the war’s peak. Maj. and other training exercises covering all aspects of aerial combat and some ground elements. then advanced from single-engine to jet fighter training J. to produce graduates who are purveyors of all things related to battlespace dominance. the USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons Center? It has morphed over time. F-16Cs. space. There are multiple applicants who are reviewed by a board meeting at Randolph AFB. incorporated bombers and other aircraft. and cyber. Wilson with the onset of the Korean War. James W.r. 10 AT-6 trainers and 17 B-10 bombers were the first aircraft flying from the Las Vegas Army Airfield (LVAAF). named in honor of Nevada native 1st Lt. but you also have to understand how you fit into the joint picture. became Nellis AFB. We take people pretty far along in their careers and do high-end training.defensemedianetwork. We also run Red Flag. and F-15Es. home to a new pilot training wing and gunnery school. Wilson: What is the primary purpose of the USAF Warfare Center? Maj. In September 1966. and reconnaissance]. but a fairly recent doctrinal change to the term air power expanded it to include air. Gen. not individuals. the current name under which the nation’s top airmen have trained to dominate the skies in every battlespace for 60 years. saw LVAAF operations rapidly escalate. which some people refer to as the Ph. It was redesignated as the USAF Warfare Center in October 2005. especially for aircraft. We also provide well-trained. How long is the training? The Weapons School has t wo classes a year. We have 13 of those at instructor-level status. and operational testing. and Former USAF Warfare Center Commanding General n the year prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. As a command pilot. 5.
Basically. after a command change or realignment? All those weapons officers who graduate twice a year – about 95 per class – go back to be weapons officers in their major commands. You can be the best pilot in the world. we can send back as weapons officers and instructors. So it is more efficient to keep that training there. to produce graduates who are purveyors of all things related to battlespace dominance. to understand how other platforms interrelate. bringing the students here for some specific courses. What is the end result you are looking for – super subject-matter experts. with enough time for them to ply that trade as instructors of instructors and battlespace integration officers.” 37 . That is still true. with eight other bases across CONUS [the continental United States] doing the 11 other courses.defensemedianetwork.S. but you also have to understand how you fit into the joint picture. We could take a major. so I can’t think of a situation where someone would come through here twice. with only 19 in the world in a single wing at Whiteman [Mo]. how cyber and space work. at about the six. For example. www. you’re a weapons officer for life.com U. but now we also expect them to become masters of battlespace dominance.Nellis and two advanced enlisted courses. Those are at other bases because they generally are high-demand. including command and control. learning everything there was to be the best possible instructor in your aircraft. we want to get captains. Once you are a weapons officer. and so on. say.]. trainers of trainers? When I came through 22 years ago. how to roll in the C2 piece at the air operations center – so a lot more depth and breadth. such as the B-2. the C-130 schoolhouse is at Little Rock Air Force Base. our AFSOC [Air Force Special Operations Command] courses are at Hurlburt Field [Fla. we were expected to become the instructors of instructors.to eight-year point in their careers. What happens then – and does anyone ever come through a second time. but they soon would become colonels doing other things. how to incorporate non-kinetic and kinetic effects. Air Force photo “We try to incorporate at both the tactical and operational level. lowdensity assets.
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Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. flies next to a U. Including the ones you jus t mentioned. B-52 at Barksdale [La. Air Force F-15D Eagle. www. C-17 at McGuire [N. and cyber into one center. which is now a named activity – the Nevada Test and Training Range [NTTR].Interview A U. space. the Space Innovation and Development Center at Schriever Air Force Base [Colo. we stood up the space weapons school. That actually works very well and we have great. Although you report directly to Air Combat Command (ACC). So that part is about 60 to 40.] does live missile shots over the ocean.S. the first class was for instructors putting themselves through the curriculum so they could begin training in July. tactics development. Operational testing depends on the subject. In cyber.] is a weapons evaluation group and the 83rd Weapons [Evaluation] Group at Tyndall [Fla. the USAF Weapons School. then.S. etc. and elements of the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center. Global Hawk at Beale [Calif. So I’m also responsible to the AFCYBER commander and to the Air Force Space commander for everything related to training for space. June 26. The T&E [test and evaluation] group is here.] is transitioning to us – not physically moving – as part of the integration of all the parts of air. over the Nevada Test and Training Range. and advanced training is conducted at Nellis and how much at its other locations around CONUS? About 55 to 60 percent of advanced training and tactics development is conducted here. here. For ACC. what relationship does the center have with Air Force Space Command and the 24th Air Force (AFCYBER) with regard to your space and cyberspace efforts? The chief of staff ordered there would be one A ir Force Warfare Center.]. How much of the center’s operational testing. For example. The people and missions haven’t changed. responsible to everyone. that changed in June 2011.defensemedianetwork. we now have four wings and a named activity. to the commander of AFSOC and so on. the cyber weapons instructor school.com U. as are the preponderance of the test aircraft. But the 53rd Wing at Eglin [Fla. 2012. during Midway White III. in the sense that is where the money and tasking flow from and where I go for staff support. Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center. and in January this year. Christopher Hubenthal 39 . Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet. Midway White is a joint demonstration involving the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.S. About 10 or 12 years ago.]. 433rd Weapons School. but personnel-wise it fell below the threshold to be a wing. Does the center operate any OCONUS sites? No. high-demand assets – everything to do with the B-1 is at Dyess [Texas]. when we stood down the 98th Range Wing.J. Then there are the low-density. so I work for the commander of every major command.]. B-2 at Whiteman. So instead of five wings. you have five wings at Nellis? No. as well as to the commanders of the Air Force Reserve and Air Guard Bureau. open relationships we continue to build.
and operational tests – where operational pilots make sure it does what it is supposed to do and other officers can understand and work with it. the Soviets were our primary adversary. we practice replicating that. Do allies or other services send officers to Nellis for training? The Weapons School is strictly USAF. etc. but they don’t belong to us. during the Cold War. and tactics we know about. the 800-pound gorilla. How large is the center’s aggressor force.com .Interview What percentage of training involves officers versus noncommissioned officers (NCOs)? About 93 percent of our trainees are officers. you have developmental testing. so from a somewhat parochial view. they have players who study and replicate that opponent. which is their variant. done by test pilots. probably 80 to 90 percent of those NCOs. Football teams don’t play their offensive and defensive units to prepare for a game. So in addition to replicating the enemy. On the high end. in its current configuration. The Navy has TOPGUN. it’s another to practice fighting someone else. an intelligence squadron that replicates Red. Most of what we get works pretty well.” 40 www. weapons. for example. they also can instruct on enemy tactics. if we find a little bug. If they have space capability. where today some may have American or Chinese aircraft? It’s a complex problem. what does that involve? When the Air Force buys a new piece of equipment. And over the “We have not enlarged the aggressor force in terms of numbers. a n a d ver s a r y t a c t ic s s u p p o r t squadron. the way an enemy would use them. and how are its members trained and utilized? Under the 57th Wing here is an adversary tactics group. Every member of the aggressors is an expert in some area. you have all sorts of others involved. We do the same. we train to replicate adversary airplanes.to four-year process. With Red Flag. and now we have a lot of other 100-pound gorillas in the room. Wasn’t that a lot easier during the Cold War. including two or three foreign units. a space aggressor squadron at Schreiver in Colorado Springs. It’s one thing to practice fighting yourself. We will have joint units come in to work with us during some training. There is one aggressor squadron under PACAF [Pacific Air Forces] in Alaska – very similar to what we do. but in scope. Occasionally.defensemedianetwork. from request to actual involvement. So in addition to replicating the enemy. the remainder enlisted. they also can instruct on enemy tactics. Same with cyber. an information aggressor squadron – cyber aggressors – with an ANG [Air National Guard] partner at McConnell A ir Force Base. Every member of the aggressors is an expert in some area. Foreign participation can require a three. those are fixed as we go. which has a Reserve partner called the 527th Space Aggressor Squadron. How would you assess the overall contribution the Warfare Center. a weapon or software. I would say we have had a huge impact. has made to Air Force readiness and capabilities? I’m obviously very proud of the USAF Warfare Center. the Marines have their version. doctrinally. We have not enlarged the aggressor force in terms of numbers. we also train them to integrate surface-to-air missile sites. The “Commander’s Priorities” listed on the center’s website include certifying equipment for integrated combat ops. when most enemy aircraft were Soviet-built and pilots Soviettrained. There also is a 64th Aggressor Squadron with 20 F-16s and a 65th with 19 F-15s. we will release something for limited ops use while bigger bugs are fixed. True. where is it located. the 57th Air Defense Aggressor Squadron that maintains threat emitters to replicate enemy threats. but in scope. Without getting into classified areas. Kan.
maturing and converting at such a rapid rate. What additional changes are anticipated as the center continues to evolve and adapt to meet changing technologies – ours and others – new threats.S. graduate-level instructor course held at Nellis AFB. U. less money? As force structure changes and systems mature to the point where they start to age out or new elements develop.An A-10 Thunderbolt II with the U. Air Force Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base. Cyber is a relatively new thing. because we have a linkage to the Air Force Space Command and they’ve been doing it for decades. We’re very good at air. I n a dd it ion . we are looking at some different paradigms. and. of course. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brett Clashman decades. Air Force Weapons School students participate in many combat training missions over the range during the six-month. We are responsible for operational testing for air. we have been the center of excellence in terms of tactics development and advanced training. I can’t imagine a squadron going to war without some kind of weapons officer who trained here. because we’ve been doing that for decades. fires an AGM-65 Maverick missile during a close air support training mission Sept.defensemedianetwork.S. and cyber.com 41 .. How does that reflect and address the USAF vision of the current and future threat. We have to think through how we are going to www. which sets off alarm bells with some people? I can’t build a better iPhone® than Apple. in terms of structure and mission? It very much reflects the Air Force mission – that’s our job – and to lean forward and see things coming. so there is a point where I have to rely on industry to contribute to some of this emerging technology. dating back to the early 1960s. we’re pretty good at space.S. We take our guidance from the major commands [MAJCOMs]. a changing geopolitical environment. Is the right answer to do ops testing here or at Cyber Command or in a partnership with industry. space. We try to give them a well thought-out reason for what we want to do and I don’t remember a time where we have sent something up to the MAJCOMs where we did not get approval to go ahead. Nev. such as cyber. we adapt as part of a constant maturation process. What influence does the Warfare Center have in bringing up things the MAJCOMs and others don’t? If there is a tactics element we think needs work. 23. there is a process to elevate those and seek approval to open up ways to handle that. but we also have to consider what is next. 2011. a i r c omp onent commanders reach back to Nellis for answers to problems they have now or they expect to develop. U. over the Nevada Test and Training Range.
and foreign military chiefs speak candidly in the DMN Q&A. simply their own words. no interpretations. William H.defensemedianetwork. McRaven www. but those operations only buy time and space.” – USSOCOM Commander Adm. The broader indirect approach with an emphasis on building partner-nation capacity is what achieves enduring success.com . “The direct approach captures everyone’s attention and imagination. No shadings. defense industry executives.DEFENSE IN DEPTH DoD uniformed and civilian leadership.
and sailors on the ground and aboard ships are as protected as they can be. where you have to fight your way in and fight your way out to get bombs on target. Space has a certain finite level. so in the future. It changes and morphs quickly. So there are things that become reliable. and operationally limited environments. Steven White. Cyber is unique in that it is the only man-made domain. marshals an AV-8B Harrier during Green Flag 12-8 June 20. political realities. that is fair. Air Force Joint Terminal Attack Controllers and airmen on the ground. maybe because a battery is dead. but also things you have to be able to do. commercial airlines had parachutes on board for everybody. the same things that probably kept my predecessors awake at night in the ’50s. land.S. The Harriers flew training missions that improved their ability to support U. both offense and defense. The aggressor squadrons are there to replicate other countries. etc.com U. 2012. And if something knocks everything off the network.defensemedianetwork. ’70s.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Today. military becoming too reliant on the digital domain – computers. Nev. Is there anything else you anticipate on the horizon that might become a significant element at the Warfare Center in the next five or 10 years? The five primary domains that warfighting occurs in are air. In the 1940s.S. too. Marine Attack Squadron 513 aviation mechanic from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.Interview do that. then added space and now cyber. sea. Ariz. Marines. land. GPS. The air. Coleman 43 . Contested are things the enemy does to us. so they are prepared to defeat our nation’s enemies? n www. at Nellis Air Force Base. reciprocat i ng eng i nes a nd i ron sights. such as jamming. Just like in the air. degraded. William P. we have trained for that eventuality. Degraded is just something that doesn’t work. And as technology advances and you learn to use it to your advantage. To what extent are you concerned about the U. That takes you to terms like computer network attack and defense and ops and deployment. and sea domains are fairly finite environments. that’s just the way it is. in terms of how far out we can go into space to do things. – things that could be fried by a major solar ejection. ’60s. sea. One of the key tenets for the 57th Wing is to train to the CDO elements – contested. there are not because airplanes are pretty reliable. you have to do the full equivalent of that in space and cyber. So we build scenarios with those things included so we become used to solving such problems. and space domains. land. just some point where it becomes so reliant you don’t need to maintain the backward skill sets. space. for example? There a re people who wou ld like to go back to airplanes with U. they are sovereign nations. in the space and cyber domains. to provide the best airmen so the soldiers. rules of engagement. which is part of the emerging technologies process. and ’80s are things I think about today: Have I best prepared these young men and women to go to war for our nation. the bad guys attacking our systems – including the space and cyber aggressor squadrons. We have to determine how those feed back to operations done in the air. There is not a finite time. and cyber. what will change will be as cyber continues to change and capabilities evolve. Any closing thoughts? At the end of the day. etc. If country X says you can’t f ly through their airspace. but technolog y advances. you have to maintain the basic skill sets for some period of time. who were in turn training on their ability to call in air strikes.S.. Then there are operational limitations – weather. You started with air. Marine Cpl. Are you working on countermeasures against possible enemy cyber attacks on our networked battlespace and interlinked systems and weapons? We try – and I think we do a pretty good job – to stay focused on all tactical and operational employments.
typically 20 mm to 30 mm cannon. Wilson rom the first combat aircraft of World War I to the early days of the Korean War.aerospace The airlaunched munitions market by J. All were short-range weapons relying primarily on visual target acquisition – the classic aerial “dog fight. and the fourth generation of American fighters that followed (F-14. F-16) all carried an integral rotary cannon. eurofighter gmbh photo by geoffrey lee. the mostused and effective weapons for fighters and fighter-bombers alike were specialized machine guns or cannon. Aircraft also became faster through the 1950s and ’60s. F 44 www. as jets replaced props.” The arrival of aircraft radar in the 1950s allowed pilots to “see” enemy aircraft beyond visual range.R. and.com . F-15. decreasing the utility of guns and rockets. But while missiles capable of locking on to targets the pilots could not see began to replace unguided rockets during the Vietnam era. Indeed. most aircraft continued to be equipped with guns.defensemedianetwork. planefocus ltd. one of the “lessons learned” during the air war was that guns were still needed on board fighters. rockets. but actual engagement was still within visual range. by the 1940s.
A Royal Air Force 3 (AC) Squadron F2 Typhoon in quick reaction alert weapon fit with four ASRAAM.000-liter drop tanks. and two 1. The Typhoon is expected to replace the AMRAAMs with Meteor BVR missiles in the future. four AMRAAM.defensemedianetwork. www.com 45 .
power conversion on Naval ships. DRS Technologies offers proven solutions to support critical power requirements across all branches of the military. National Archives photo www. or power conditioning to military satellite communication systems. 1941. better known as the Flying Tigers. but they and their shark-mouthed P-40s became legendary for their achievements against the Japanese over China and Burma. untold.com . and uncelebrated moments in military history. unknown. run for their P-40B Tomahawks in a posed photo. DRS. control and protection where the conditions are extreme and downtime is not an option.YOU NEED POWER WE KNOW HOW TO GET THERE Drawing on over forty years of success. Whether it is providing power generation to Forward Operating Bases. Power to go: That’s Go To. “brilliant mistakes” and “might have beens” of history. personality profiles of the famous and infamous. and other military anniversaries.defensemedianetwork. DMN presents the unusual. 2. DRS Technologies offers power generation. the Civil War.com/GoTo HIDDEN HISTORY American Volunteer Group (AVG) pilots. and regular series on World War II. DEFENSE IN DEPTH Classic weapons and equipment. The vastly outnumbered AVG had only 79 qualified pilots and 62 operable aircraft on Dec.
payload capacity. such as the U. these new missiles are substantially more expensive than the older generation of Sidewinder and its analogs due to the use of more advanced – and costly – imaging-infrared seekers on many of the new types. Today’s global market for state-ofthe-art (SOTA) air-launched missiles is dependent not so much on technology as on the capabilities. radars. are focusing scarce funds on targeted programs of their own.S. while most other budgetand aircraft-constrained militaries continue to buy third-generation. missions. which are expected to hold about 35 percent of the global fighter market. While traditional aerial dog fights have become a rarity. Many small air forces cannot afford this as part of the purchase price and delay their acquisition until a large number of integration programs have already been carried out and funded by others. including reduced fighter aircraft production. in large part due to the deterioration of its industrial and technology base following the collapse of the Soviet Union. For example. for the United States. European nations. especially in Europe. the United States remains the world’s top missile designer and exporter.000 or more each – about three times the cost of third-generation missiles. In the closing decade of the Cold War. – and integration with weapons control systems. but their export is extremely limited. Among all other nations. where air force modernization has remained steady in recent years. maneuverability. AGM-65 Maverick or AGM-88 HARM. missiles often are classified by generation – currently.” To reduce integration costs. There are some exceptions to this. with most fourth-generation ALMs averaging $250. aside from a few isolated incidents. air-to-air engagements have not been a major part of the air war since Vietnam. thus reducing integration costs. but has yet to become a major player in the global market for advanced systems. Russia’s export market share has slipped significantly. the F-16.S. China is advancing its technology. air-to-ground. THE MARKET Looking first at who is buying – or seeking – what in terms of ALMs across the missions spectrum. the United States exported more than 19. F-22 fighters or some of the most advanced weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – nor true equivalents to those aircraft – the full capabilities of some missiles they carry may not translate to older-generation platforms. “So far. that can be traced to post-Cold War changes. the Eurofighter also was designed for easy integration of some U. speed. notably along the Pacific Rim. and budgets of the buying nations and the level of technology transfer allowed by the producing nations.defensemedianetwork. ALMs. but also to the problems posed by aircraft integration [which] is time-consuming and costly. exports of the new generation of missiles have been underwhelming. and other sensors improved through the 1970s. altitude. Europe’s defense industry is second in both SOTA and exports.S. it should be noted some customer nations also produce and export AAMs or AGMs. which has given the air-to-surface mission much greater importance as the United States also looks to AAMs for anti-missile defense. needs. However. so has the demand for long-range missiles. etc.aerospace Vietnam also saw the first extensive use of air-to-surface missiles.000 air-to-air missiles. sensors. and Rafale. but still rely on others – primarily the United States – to fill the gaps elsewhere.-built air-to-air missiles as the AIM-7 Sparrow. This is in part due to their recent arrival. Navy AIM-54 Phoenix (100+ nautical www. AIM-9 Sidewinder. ’80s.” Teal Group analyst Steven Zaloga reported in his “2012 Air-to-Air Missile Market Overview. As with aircraft. and ’90s. for example. the ability to penetrate enemy air defenses. and precision-guided “smart” bombs. In addition to technology advances. AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced MediumRange Air-to-Air Missile).” “A decline in the fighter threat lowers the pressure to adopt new generation missiles. The “capabilities” component is a significant limitation for missiles made for the most advanced aircraft. That also applies to the correlation of a given missile to specific platform capabilities – range. and anti-ship AGM-84 Harpoon or AGM-119 Penguin. Finally. especially when obliged to pay in hard currency. the advanced computer systems behind those also led to significant improvements in air-launched munitions (ALMs). In part. most buying nations look to equip the jets they buy with missiles developed for their primary users.and fifthgeneration fighters – the latter currently in service restricted to USAF F-22 Raptors – dog fights are thought to be unlikely for top-tier air forces. Given the speed and stand-off attack capabilities of modern fourth. many still have not upgraded to the most advanced third-generation short-range AAMs. however. Indeed. both air-to-air (AAM) and air-to-surface (ASM) missiles. only Israel produces true advanced technology ALMs. typically carries such U. third and fourth generation. As no other nation’s inventory includes B-2 bombers. As aircraft speed. Europe’s air forces also are looking to the homegrown ramjet-powered Meteor A AM for the Eurofighter Typhoon. with more developed European and Asian air forces opting for fourthgeneration. which the market has long considered suspect. but the current decade is expected to see only 35 percent of that volume.com 47 . the greatest distinction between the two is cost. JAS-39 Gripen. But the size of market demand also has changed. Despite technology transfer limitations. since few of the former Soviet clients can afford the current generation of fighters. employing advanced avionics for greater precision. That has led to an even greater split in the market and global air war capabilities. which comprised both air-to-ground and anti-ship missiles. on the international market. “The decline in export of advanced fighters from the former Soviet Union has also impacted air-to-air missile sales. in service with some 25 nations. although even there.
Meanwhile. especially laser-designation. The first real test of precision-guided AGMs by NATO came during the air campaign over Libya in 2011 – and demonstrated a serious capability gap in European air forces. becoming the focus of development in both the United States and Europe. Another change comes from technologies allowing existing aircraft to be retrofitted to carry the AMRAAM and similar weapons. by U. guided bombs have been far more heavily used. becoming the focus of development in both the United states and Europe.S.1 percent/1. Magic. employment of – air-to-ground missiles.S. The U. compared to $759. mostly in medium/long-range missiles. The Russian air force continues to arm its MiG-31 interceptors with the newer R-37 (80 to 215 nm range). for example.680 versus 44. Today’s AAM market basically falls into two categories: short-range (Sidewinder. R-73. R-31.S.350 or so – about half the global total – putting the United States in position to dominate the ALM market. IRIS-T. required large aircraft to carry. But the newest generation of European fighters have limited strike capability. R-77. However. etc.4 million versus $1. That comparison changes dramatically. R-27. using GPS-Aided INS (GAINS) instead of the laser-guidance system on previous generations of Paveway-guided bombs (in the inventories of at least 32 nations). etc. and allied forces in Southwest Asia. The United States retired the Phoenix in 2004 – with the only current user being Iran. employing missiles more than 30 years old originally sold to the Shah – and has not replaced it.com Photo courtesy of mikoyan . Both were expensive. a mediumrange “glide” bomb using a closely integrated GPS/INS (Inertial Navigation System) for day/night and all-weather op er at ion s.9 percent/1. when looking at cost: $299. offering a major capability upgrade at far less cost than new aircraft. however.2 percent/785 medium/long-range in 2012.5 million in medium/long-range in 2012.defensemedianetwork. 48 www. Eu r op ea n ver s ion s include the French GPS-guided AASM (Armement Air-Sol Modulaire – Air-toGround Modular Weapon) and British Enhanced Paveway. The Teal Group forecast for production through 2021 shows some growth.8 percent/1. although the percentage split is expected to remain relatively flat – 58. MICA ASRAAM.aerospace mile (nm) range) and Russian R-33 (160 to 228 kilometer/86 to 123 nm range). by U. a GPS-based guidance kit attached to existing “dumb” bombs. and Europe’s air forces had far too few PGMs to meet the mission demands. and allied forces in Southwest Asia.) and medium/longrange (AMRAAM. However. In this decade.2 million in short-range.S.774 billion in 2021. fighter/strike aircraft production at only 1. NATO increasingly has restricted air strikes to precision-guided munitions (PGMs) to reduce col lateral damage and civilian casualties. and were intended primarily to shoot down enemy aircraft before they could launch stand-off cruise missiles – a mission no capable air force has encountered. Teal forecasts U. guided bombs have been far more heavily used.325 by 2021. the JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition). and AGM-154 JSOW (Joint Standoff Weapon). Meteor.).120 short-range to 41. growing to $414. R-37. Further affecting the ALM market is a significant decline in the production and sale of new fighter aircraft. The virtual absence of air-to-air combat has been accompanied by an increased interest in – and. but has found no export market for it. changing to 55. contributions to precisionguided bombs include a range of laserguided bombs (LGBs). the virtual absence of air-to-air combat has been accompanied by an increased interest in – and. employment of – air-to-ground missiles.
at a weapons load barn at Dyess Air Force Base. 2011. A 16-carry modified rotary launcher would increase the number of 500-pound JDAMs carried by a B-1B from 15 to 48. “Since tactical UAVs have a very modest payload. then rebounding slightly to 62. they also represent more than half the market value. a 320 percent increase in capability.9 percent.S. The United States has used JDAMs and laser-guided bombs (LGBs) extensively over the past decade.6 to 30. from a predicted 76. Europe’s primary air forces – especially Britain and France – are expected to increase both production and importation of precision ALMs. $18.465).5 billion for stand-off missiles. Teal Group’s prediction is 77. While stand-off missiles account for only 5. The U. The Teal Group’s forecast for worldwide AGM production through 2021 shows guided bombs greatly overshadowing both tactical air-to-surface and stand-off missiles in 2012 (95 percent to 2.defensemedianetwork.7 percent AGMs in 2021. Multiple generations of the Sidewinder short-range missile www.” Zaloga said.S.1 percent tactical AGMs (31. respectively) through 2014.7 to 16.” UNITED STATES The United States is expected to remain the premier exporter of ALMs for the foreseeable future.720). has started this field with the privately developed Raytheon Griffin. going from 35 percent of ALMs used in the 1999 Balkans NATO air campaign to 60 percent in Afghanistan only two years later to 68. and other weapons in this category seem likely with the proliferation of UAVs. especially AGMs. 9. before the other two categories – especially AGMs – begin gaining. and two KAB-500KR electrooptical-guided bombs. to the extent increasingly tight defense budgets allow.1 percent guided bombs (142.000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) are connected to a multiple ejector rack on a B-1B Lancer March 31. As a result.5 percent.6 percent. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shannon Hall guided bombs. two R-73 short-range infrared-guided missiles.8 percent of all estimated production through 2021.1 percent in 2019. but smaller tactical UAVs such as the RQ-7 Shadow cannot. In that respect.3 billion for U.8 billion for AGMs. $7.3 percent breakdown between guided bombs and AGMs in 2015 to 61.8 percent stand-off (10. “Large UAVs such as Predator can accommodate the Hellfire.6 percent bombs and 29.3 percent during Operation Iraqi Freedom. 17. which include cruise missiles. with the majority in all cases being guided bombs. The prominence of weaponized UAVs in Southwest Asia. left: An assortment of 500-pound and 2. and 50. and 5. meanwhile. weapons even smaller than SDB [Small Diameter Bomb] have been receiving attention.com 49 .9 and 2. $1. A major reason for the disparity is cost. has created a new niche AGM market for small missiles tailored to the unmanned platforms. For the entire decade.opposite: A Mikoyan MiG-35D carries four R-77 “Amraamski” medium/longrange active radar-guided missiles.220 units). Texas.1 percent. the three break down to 39. The growth in demand for precision AGMs has been significant.
it is now being challenged by other types. and Swedish Gripens.defensemedianetwork. Spanish. “Nevertheless. We anticipate that AIM-9X will be the single most important missile in this category in terms of production [through 2021]. the 2000 decision to go with the active-radar Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) Meteor – developed by pan-European MBDA – ended the competition. The AIM-9X continues the Sidewinder’s success story in the worldwide missile market. but there are certainly a large number of battlefield targets that do not require 1-ton warheads.” Among medium-range AAMs. “The Sidew inder w ill remain a significant player in the AAM export market through the end of the decade. we categorized this weapon with the other anti-armor missiles.S. French Rafales. it will not enter the market until mid-decade. the United States appears to be dominating new technologies. 50 www. “The Small Diameter Bomb is beginning to take off in much the same way as JDAM did a decade ago. but under the best of circumstances.K. the AIM-120 AMRA AM holds a similar lead. Air Force feels guidance improvements mean SDB can be used for many of the same missions as JDAM. Intended to offer multi-shot targeting of long-range maneuvering targets.5 percent of units and 34.” Zaloga said. including the Israeli Python and now the ASRAAM [British Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile]. since a strike nearer the target reduces the need for a larger blast warhead. This not only was difficult to accomplish.7 percent of market value by 2021. may affect their development for either domestic or export sales.” In the AGM arena. An AIM-9X is fired by a USAF F-16. British and Italian F-35s. representing nearly 43 percent of the market in units – close to 60 percent in value – according to Teal’s forecast for 2017.S.com Raytheon photo .aerospace have dominated the market. but JAGM is somewhat different in focus. “The U. although both are expected to decline from their 2014 highs of about 77 percent of units produced and just short of 90 percent of global market value.” Zaloga added. German. even though procurement in the U. the continuing sales of F-16s and F-18s will ensure a continued market for the Sidewinder. even against strong enemy electronic countermeasures. which is slated to enter service in 2015 but is expected to rise to 15. Nearly all of that will be due to the British Meteor. but added changes also are coming in smart bombs. “Earlier medium-range missiles employed semi-active radar homing that obliged the pilot to keep the target illuminated by the aircraft radar during the dogfight.. Army and Navy are jointly developing a Hellfire follow-on.S. In the past. and the AIM-9X variant looks to take over as the world’s favorite missile. being intended primarily for airborne platforms and designed for attacking a wide range of targets beyond tanks. This remains to be seen. and Italian Typhoons. with Teal Group predicting it will account for 68 percent of that category’s production through 2021 and more than 71 percent of market value. primarily due to its throttleable ducted rocket (ramjet). but limited the number of engagements a single aircraft could undertake in a given time. the Meteor ultimately is expected to be carried by U. the JAGM [Joint Air-to-Ground Missile]. aided by the advent of the F-35 JSF [Joint Strike Fighter] late in the forecast period. along with the anticipated end of combat operations in Afghanistan. “SDB has two attractive features: modest size and enhanced range. “While it once enjoyed a virtual monopoly in this field. “The new AIM-120 – and active radar missiles like it – give the pilot the same flexibility enjoyed with short-range missiles. MBDA predicts it will provide those air forces with three to six times the kinetic power of current AAMs. but future budgets.” EUROPE For the Eurofighter. most countries tend to buy aircraft and associated AAMs from the same country. has ended. The U.” he noted.
which undermined its export prospects at a time when AIM-9X and IRIS-T [Infrared Imaging System Tail/ Thrust Vector-Controlled] are entering production. Teal Group reports European development “has not been very vigorous.com photo by katsuhiko tokunaga for gripen international 51 .9X. a German spinoff of the earlier Sidewinder license manufacture program. RUSSIA While Russia has lost most of the captive customer base of the old Soviet Bloc. Afghanistan. the outlook is not as bright for the ASRAAM. In the tactical air-to-surface category. as well as two GBU-10 laserguided bombs and two drop tanks. its former Warsaw Pact customers. have spent the past two decades dumping Soviet military equipment for Western-compatible systems. In addition. its viability in the export market has stalled. That is partly due to the costs and challenges of integrating Russian missiles onto www. and Libya. The main European challenger to AIM-9X in recent years has been the IRIS-T. they continue to suffer from a significant reduction in fighter exports and potential customer concerns about both Russian political stability and long-term product support. “With ASRAAM finally getting ready for series production. according to Teal Group. For the near-term. but with less expensive alternatives. Moscow is trying to position itself for a comeback in the global AAM export market – not with the high technology of the United States and Europe. among other factors. However. Zaloga believes those drawbacks. “ASRAAM was attractive to air forces not willing to wait for the AIM.” Zaloga said.” A SAAB JAS-39 Gripen carries IRIS-T short-range AAMs on the wing tips and Meteor long-range radar-guided AAMs inboard. make it unlikely even a new generation of advanced and less expensive AAMs will enable Russia to break into traditional American and Western European markets. such as Australia. but MBDA has not been willing to fund extensive integration efforts for fighters other than European types.defensemedianetwork. Its prospects were not helped by delays in full-scale production.” although Storm Shadow and Brimstone munitions have scored successes in Iraq. almost all now members of NATO.aerospace However.
Western aircraft, given the low exports of Russian aircraft. “The Russians have tried to overcome this hurdle and adapt their systems to current Western aircraft, but this effort now appears to have gone into limbo due to a lack of funding and a lack of market interest,” he said, while adding there has been improvement in the world view of Russian stability and missile technology. “However, the dire circumstances in the Russian aerospace industry at the moment will probably lead to further drops in sales as Russia has failed to maintain significant RDT&E over the past decade. “Russia [also] currently lacks an inexpensive, single-engine replacement for older fighter types comparable to
the current F-16 or their own MiG-21. Teal Group estimates Russian fighter sales over the next decade will be about 15 percent of the market. Since AAM sales are closely linked to sales of the related fighter aircraft, this will affect Russian missile sales.” That also has affected Russian AGM efforts, along with their technology lag and the lack of global interest in using Russia’s GPS alternative satellite system – GLONASS – for precision guidance, primarily due to concerns about Russia’s ability to maintain the constellation. At the same time, however, GPS guidance is not as popular as electro-optical guidance for tactical air-to-surface weapons, although it remains the top choice for standoff weapons.
U.S. air force photo by tech. sgt. jason wilkerson
An F-22 Raptor from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron fires an AIM-120C AMRAAM, with clipped flight surfaces to fit in the Raptor’s internal weapons bays, in 2009. Note the other AMRAAM in flight in the background.
“The short-term market for Russian ASMs is tied to Russian strike aircraft sales, of which there have been few. The standard Russian export types, the MiG-29 and Su-27 families, are primarily interceptors, though the later Su-30s have ground attack capability,” Zaloga noted. “For the moment, the Russians have not made any major ef fort to adapt their weapons to common Western platforms. “The shaky financial state of the Russian aerospace industry has led to desperate Russian marketing efforts of these weapons and sales will probably be forthcoming over the next few years, aided by relatively low costs compared to comparable Western weapons.” CHINA China’s low-cost export missiles have raised its status in the international AAM market, but even cash-strapped nations have drawn a line on quality. “The poor quality of Chinese fighter aircraft and their associated missiles has kept their sales relatively low, [with] many weapons being provided as direct arms transfers to Chinese allies, such as Pakistan,” Zaloga reported. “China is on the verge of deploying a new generation of advanced fighters and this could eventually change the dynamics of the missile market. So far, projected sales of these aircraft have been limited to close allies such as Pakistan, but this could change.” OTHERS Israel has more advanced air-to-air missiles than either Russia or China, but faces other problems exporting its Python 4 and 5. “Because Israel employs American aircraft, the integration problems are already settled and Python 4 could have enjoyed some significant sales prior to the introduction of true fourthgeneration A AMs like AIM-9X and ASRAAM,” Zaloga noted. “However, Israeli sales have been hampered by political considerations in prime export regions such as the
“China is on the verge of deploying a new generation of advanced fighters and this could eventually change the dynamics of the missile market. So far, projected sales of these aircraft have been limited to close allies such as Pakistan, but this could change.”
Mideast and Southeast Asia. As a result, Israeli sales have been confined mainly to niche markets such as Latin America. This could change if India decides to shift towards Israeli missiles to arm its aircraft, [but] the Python 4 is unlikely to be widely exported outside of Israel.” Several nations are developing missiles more for domestic than export markets, primarily due to non-technology restrictions of their own. The Japanese Type 90, for example, is limited by legal restrictions on
military exports. For South Africa and Taiwan, past arms embargoes have pushed their domestic AAM capabilities, while also limiting export market potential. As a result, Teal Group “does not foresee significant exports of these missiles,” regardless of cost, capability, or integration issues. Some prev iously popular A LMs have faded from the market with new technologies, new mission requirements, and changes in platforms, from a decline in Russian fighter exports to the rise of weaponized UAVs. In addition, the rising cost of new mediumrange missiles is expected to increase spending to modify and upg rade existing inventories. The Teal Group, for example, estimates worldwide spending on mediumrange modifications will grow from about $50 million a year now to as high as $120 million by 2021. At the same time, exporters of launch-and-leave missiles are limited. “At the moment, A MR A A M and [France’s] MICA are the only significant weapons of the launch-and-leave type in the export market. The Russian Vympel R-77 [AA-12] entered production in 1997 and export sales are under way to Malaysia, India, and China in relatively modest quantities,” Zaloga said. “Since the Meteor is unlikely to be ready for several years, the Europeans have bought AMRAAM as an interim solution. “In the short-term, missile sales in this category will be dominated by platform selection. New sales of the F/A-18, F-16, and F-15 will aid further AMRAAM export, while sales of new Rafale and MiG-29/Su-27 will help MICA and R-77 sales. In the long term, these missiles will be integrated to other platforms, but this is unlikely to occur until late in the decade. This will give the AMRAAM a significant shortterm boost due to its earlier availability and greater extent of existing integration. AMRAAM already has a substantial export order book of over 7,000 missiles and we expect it will continue to dominate this category over the next decade.” n
DEFENSE IN DEPTH
“brilliant mistakes” and “might have beens” of history. and regular series on World War II.com . George S. Gen. and other military anniversaries. National Archives photo Classic weapons and equipment. personality profiles of the famous and infamous. Patton shown during maneuvers at the Desert Training Center he established in the Colorado Desert of California. untold. www. Sand clogged weapons and blew into food. DMN presents the unusual.HIDDEN HISTORY Maj. Patton lived in similar spartan conditions to his soldiers during the months he commanded the training center. and soldiers grew used to marches with full packs in 120 degree heat as they prepared to fight the Axis in North Africa. water and food were rationed. the Civil War. unknown. and uncelebrated moments in military history.defensemedianetwork.
Lockheed Martin photo by Senior Flight Test Photographer Darin Russell An F-35A and F-22A in formation. The F-35 and F-22 are the only two fifth-generation aircraft types in production in the world today. These two aircraft are expected to form the tip of the Air Force’s spear. .
com 57 . By robert f. dorr www.defensemedianetwork.aerospace the air force of 2030 Experts look and guess.
reconnaissance. But both within the Pentagon and in the outside world of thinkers. and do it.” The future top brass will need “to be ready for the full range of threats. David Deptula.” Deptula said that a new long-range ISR/strike aircraft – a bomber – and the new Boeing KC-46A air refueling tanker will be standouts on the parking aprons at some airfields. All agreed on a handful of common themes. military of the future will be leaner but will be “fast. advisers. Hypersonic propulsion and directed energy weapons are among the technologies that will be maturing. President Barack Obama told the men and women who will be the Air Force’s generals in the year 2030 that the U.com Boeing rendering . shape. plenty of thought is being given to how the United States will wield air power in a future that is fraught with short. “To get our force right. Instead. the nation must have a clear policy. As it has done since World War II. FINDING THE FUTURE To get a handle on the flying force of the future. the United States will rely on innovation and technology rather than on sheer numbers in its efforts to remain a world power. There is general agreement that if the Air Force is to be effective.” He added: “We need to get rid of attrition-based force-on-force theories.and long-term uncertainties. we need to know what our plan is. from the old danger of piracy to the new threat of cyber …” Obama’s speech in May to the newly commissioned second lieutenants in the Air Force did not include a lot of detail about the size. and versatile.S. with a few of the later-block F-16s hanging on Boeing imagery of a next-generation bomber dating from 2008.defensemedianetwork. Communication and connectivity will be more important than ever. Defense interviewed half a dozen experts with different backgrounds and points of view. We’ll be retiring the 50-year-old F-15C/D Eagle and most of our F-16C/D Fighting Falcons. and analysts.” said retired Lt. This is the first order of principles. Figure out what you want to do. able to hold at risk any potential military target on the planet. from nations seeking weapons of mass destruction to the cell of terrorists planning the next attack. The aircraft in inventory in 2030 won’t look much different on the outside than the aircraft we’re using today. A bigger proportion of the aircraft fleet will consist of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Gen. and surveillance (ISR). we need a set of strategies based on outcome. a pioneer in intelligence. and flexible. and disposition of the nation’s air arm in the years ahead. The Air Force will exploit the cyber domain. “You’ll see some of the same systems as today. but there will be plenty of differences beneath the skin. A new bomber would be part of a family of long-range strike systems.aerospace In his speech to the graduating Air Force Academy class of 2012 in May. “What is our national security strategy? That needs to be clear. Elsewhere on the ramp. From the conventional to the unconventional. 58 www. Deptula said.
will remain the “silver bullet” of the nation’s air arsenal. if it’s able to overcome a long-stand i ng problem w ith its on-board oxygen system. Deptula says that F-22s www.S. which are plagued by reliability problems.aerospace to serve a little longer. It’s likely that modernized C-5M Galaxy airlifters will still be flying in small numbers.com 59 . the long-range hau l i ng of suppl ies and mater iel across oceans. The United States will continue to rely on strategic airlift to haul things while using chartered airliners to transport people. forces are committed. most prognosticators say the F-35 will overcome teething troubles to become the most numerous U. and will surely retain the C-17A as the backbone of this mission. but that many aging C-5A and C-5B models. available in small numbers to achieve air dominance where U. Airlift will look very much as it does today. Will the ramps be bristling with F-22s and F-35s? The Air Force’s F-22 Raptor superfighter. doesn’t require much of a crystal ball because the Air Force has only recently taken delivery of its 223rd and last C-17A Globemaster III. While the future of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) appears less than fully assured in 2012.S.defensemedianetwork. warplane. There won’t be dramatic changes in platforms except the long-range ISR/strike aircraft. will have gone to the boneyard.” Strateg ic airlift. perhaps 40 or so.
and complex communications links. and the former driven through the sky by a modified snowmobile motor – will give way to jet-propelled UAS that will perform the same ISR and bombing missions but may take on other duties as well. aimed at making the pilot and sensor operator of a UAS.D. because they’ll be used against us and they’ll range in size from a hummingbird to a pteradactyl. and a new family of UAS will be taking on additional missions. but unmanned systems “are here to stay and will take on new duties as we develop new concepts of operations. Walter J.defensemedianetwork. have been employed only within permissive environments. Rebecca Grant. a KC-46A refuels a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifter. Grant believes that “a big task in this era will be countering adversary unmanned aerial vehicles.). Perhaps less likely to survive is the term remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). inter-connected digital domain. The supersecret RQ-170 Sentinel and its close relatives from the “black” world will continue to perform hush-hush spy duties. UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). long-range. so far. to use the official U. land-based air power in which manned aircraft will still play the leading role. who control their aircraft from many miles away inside a control booth. Today’s MQ-1B Predator and MQ-9 Reaper – both with straight wings.-based think tank. USAF (Ret. manned or unmanned. Boyne. government term for what most people call drones. president of IRIS. pointing to the current situation in which a single Predator orbit requires four aircraft. will fit snugly into a vast.C. Some version of a jet-powered UAS such as the V-tailed Global Atomics Avenger (formerly Predator C) as well as the RQ-4B Global Hawk will be taking on expanding missions.” The strongest supporters 60 www.S. told Defense that F-22s and F-35s may be carrying directed-energy weapons in their weapons bays – perhaps an optimistic view of where this technology will be in just a couple of decades. which is used only by the Air Force and is not widely accepted even in the ranks today. and F-35s will have been upgraded to become “flying sensor nodes” and that their stealth features are not a barrier to a role in broadening and expanding connectivity.” Not everyone is quite so enthusiastic about UAS.. The RPA term is a cultural thing. a launch site.” Virtually every aircraft in inventory.com boeing image .aerospace In this artist’s rendering. Ph.” says author and analyst Col. which. an independent Washington. equal in stature to pilots and crew members who operate manned aircraft. “of our unwillingness to invest in robust. Unmanned systems are “a symptom. a ground control system. Former Pentagon analyst Pierre Sprey believes that they are too expensive to operate. D. a former director of the National Air and Space Museum. are certain to survive and to have expanded roles in the Air Force of 2030. large and small. said Deptula.
told reporters that “the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.” Ambitious plans for an Air Force Cyber Command. Gen. the Pentagon announced that every U.” In June. the Air Force will have a couple of cyber campaigns under its belt. Alexander. They look at defensive things with the other services and with U. is attribution – knowing who’s doing it and why. Miss. Retired Marine Corps Gen. “Cyber is a ‘first in’ tool – a ‘first day. “We’ll exploit the cyber domain.” said retired Lt. who was U. combatant commander would have a cyber mission and a component that conducts cyber operations. Cyber goes back to the 1950s and to the SAGE [Semi-Automatic Ground Environment] system. former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an aviator. or a teenage hacker. were knocked flat by Washington politics. a restoration of Moseley’s hope for a dominant role by his service branch is a real possibility. something like the fighters without guns that were the rage in the late 1950s. Because the Air Force continues to have great expertise in the cyber realm. Ra nda l l Larsen. The Air Force has been heavily immersed in it from the beginning. CYBER WARFARE Perhaps spooked by the obvious vulnerability of the United States’ commercial infrastructure to cyber attack. or airlifter will be able to perform its duties without a human aboard. Md. the place where we’ll do better in the future. the UAS is likely to retain and expand a dominant role. “The role of the cyber officer and specialist is evolving. “We’re getting hundreds of thousands of probes and attacks every day in sensitive government systems and throughout industry. launched in 2008. director of The Institute for Homeland Security. 1 of that year. first night’ weapon. “Even if you improve aerodynamics and propulsion. has no protection against cyber attacks. air commander in Korea. “Cyber is the most serious of the asymmetric threats we face today. We’re getting better at that but we need to get better yet.defensemedianetwork. James Cartwright. T. Strategic Command – headquartered at Fort Meade and led by the officer who concurrently serves as director. The Air Force will have a leading role.S.aerospace of UAS say we’re not yet anywhere near the point where a fighter. not so much because this is an obvious mission for airmen but because the Air Force saw the cyber threat coming and prepared to cope with it before other service branches. Instead. National Security Agency.” said Grant. but the F-35 has no such mechanism. So you could say that if cyber had a ‘Mayflower moment. the Air Force has stepped up attendance at its 136-day cyber transport systems school at Keesler Air Force Base. “you’re not going to have a UAS that can hold its own in a ‘near peer’ war” with a country like Iran or North Korea. which was a pre-digital linking of air defense and air-picture nodes. law enforcement. the nation invested in a joint-service Cyber Command – subordinate to U. www. Once you know who the attacker is.’ it was with Air Defense Command in those early days. Keith B. or civilian agencies appreciated the threat. currently Army Gen. said the Air Force Our weakness. in May 2009.” Previous aircraft could turn off all electronic transmissions with one switch to avoid detection. We need to know whether it’s the Chinese army.” That doesn’t mean everyone is thinking about cyber all the time. “By 2030. some experts say cyber warfare will be a crucial mission in the future. northrop grumman Photo by Bobbi Zapka of the future – and the nation – will be better equipped to sustain a cyber attack and strike back because we won’t have any choice. A jet-powered armed UAS will be a likely companion to the RQ-4 Global Hawk ISR aircraft in the future.S.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade. Stephen Wood.com 61 . which has stealth capability to protect it from air defense radars. The plans died when Gates sought the resignation of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. If the United States continues to battle insurgencies in Third World trouble spots like Afghanistan.” said Sprey. there are serious ways of responding. they say.” says Deptula. a criminal. Cartwright said. The most vocal detractors of UAS regard these unmanned systems – a favorite of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates – as a fad. In May 2012. Meanwhile. Ret i red A i r Force Col. bomber.S. “Cyberspace will dominate military thinking.” Wood said offensive cyber operations are “kept very quiet and on close hold” but that “an enhanced capability for offensive cyber operations is needed. Michael Moseley on Aug. from diplomatic means to covert action to military action.” said Larsen.
or twice the speed of sound. Air Force officers now say that while establishing the joint-service Cyber Command is a good step. Noel Zamot. prolonged missions.000 miles per hour at altitude. “We are the place where the world comes to learn about test and evaluation. right around the edge of Mach 2. “With the introduction of the Cyber Systems Test Course.com U. but includes. more needs to be done to develop governmentwide plans and strategies. yet flexible approach to testing cyberintensive systems.-Israeli deployment of the Stuxnet worm that dates to 2010 or earlier. the Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicles (OTV). and was intended to infect the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in Iran.” said Col. From the time of the Vietnam War onward. Calif. But despite Natanz’s isolation. Observers wonder if a newer malware development called Flame or Skywiper marks a continuation of the attack or comes from some other source. which have carried out two spectacular.S. former USAF TPS commandant.0. the United States has built vehicles that reached orbital speed of 18.S.defensemedianetwork. or twice the speed of sound.. the X-51 is initially propelled by Despite enormous advances in thrust. This category of spacecraft is not limited to the NASA shuttle orbiter fleet that has now been retired.0. This is the first course of its kind that includes a disciplined. added a rigorous cyberspace training regimen to its coursework. The Air Force may or may not be able to regain the dominant role as it once sought. among others. who retired June 15. the situation with speed is quite different. or about 4. Development of ultra highspeed power plants has been limited thus far to demonstrator aircraft like the Boeing X-51 WaveRider. Navy photo .0. and improved fuel economy of modern turbofan engines. we can now teach our graduates and others the framework for testing cybersystems in a contested environment. This unorthodox attack required sneaking a memory stick into the plant to introduce the virus to its private and secure off-line network. HYPERSONICS – AND SPACE For decades.aerospace the Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS) at Edwards Air Force Base.” Little is being said publicly. Closer to the ground. but airmen will be crucial to cyber defensive and offensive operations in the future. That will surely happen by 2030. No one wants an all-out cyber arms race because the United States is more dependent on networked computer systems than any other country. new military aircraft were no longer flying faster than their predecessors. and improved fuel economy of modern turbofan engines. but Air Force institutional expertise was a key part of America’s first sustained use of cyber weapons with the joint U. today’s warplanes don’t fly a realistic combat mission any faster than the turbojetpowered RF-101C Voodoo of 1970. reductions in weight.000 miles per hour or more. today’s warplanes don’t fly a realistic combat mission any faster than the turbojet-powered RF-101C Voodoo of 1970. Despite enormous advances in thrust. right around the edge of Mach 2. 62 www. and highly secret. Stuxnet broke loose and eventually infected hundreds of thousands of systems worldwide. Carried aloft and dropped in flight by a B-52 Stratofortress mother ship. an unmanned scramjet aircraft capable of Mach 6. reductions in weight.
space. according to experts.0 before tearing itself apart on re-entry. reusable space vehicle. the Pentagon’s arrowhead-shaped Falcon HTV-2 space glider.. Then the vehicle’s Pratt & Whitney-Rocketdyne SJY61 scramjet takes over and accelerates it to a top speed near Mach 6. built by Boeing for the U. is an affordable.” said Wood. are fanciful and fictional. are advances in technology that will wipe away the imaginary borderline between air and space. and will surely happen. In the future. Rumors of a manned runwayto-orbit hypersonic vehicle being tested at the supersecret airfield at Groom Lake. In mid-2012. Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office. “My sense – just look at exoatmospheric sightseeing trips by commercial firms – is that there is not a defining border between air and space. the Senate A rmed Services Committee directed the Air Force to create a master plan outlining future requirements and proposed investment in hypersonics test infrastructure out to 2025 as part of the Senate’s draft version of the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill. A different demonstrator vehicle.defensemedianetwork. which the Air Force says can fly from New York to Los Angeles in under 12 minutes.Designed to be launched like a satellite and land like an airplane. we’ll probably also put up a constellation of small satellites instead of big-architecture www. “The Air Force should dominate the portion of the commons we’re responsible for: air.” states the committee’s report.0. area-denial challenges from potential adversaries.com Boeing photo 63 . an MGM-140 solid rocket booster to approximately Mach 4. “The state of the nation’s hypersonics ground test and evaluation facilities and workforce have not received adequate attention over the years” and they are “facing both threats of divesture as well as gradual decay.” Deptula added: “Right now. The committee said it is concerned because of the “dated” and limited nature of existing test facilities at a time when hypersonic weapon systems could play a significant role in overcoming the tyranny of distance in the Asia-Pacific region and in countering anti-access. and cyber. What is clearly coming.S.5 before the booster is jettisoned. may have reached Mach 20. the second X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle. Nev. we have a fragile system of space-based architecture.
The YAL-1A was predicated on the idea that a big. The sensor determines the angle and approach vector. Will hypersonic flight be the stealth of the future? many aircraft today]. And it all depends on the policies our leaders put into place. and even a microwave gun. “We’ll be much more connected. aiming it to fire at the seeker heads of the incoming missiles. FORWARD INTO THE FUTURE Among changes in the future will be a complete revamping of acquisition procedures. Northrop Grumman announced that its engineers in Redondo Beach. artillery shells. that carry the president using the call sign Air Force One. Consider a warning.com image courtesy of darpa . “We’ve moved beyond the bulky chemical laser and toward a solid-state foundation for lasers and other directedenergy weapons. providing 360 degrees of coverage. “We’re focused now on cost per unit platform. slow aircraft could fly within a couple of hundred miles of an enemy’s ballistic-missile launch sites and would be able to zap the missiles while in the boost phase – but the scenario requires an enemy capable enough to have missiles while incapable of mounting air defenses. which is coming into widespread use. according to Deptula.” said Deptula. the AAR-54 and AAQ-24 duo appeared quietly in 2011 on the two VC-25As. It has a high reliability rate and also can handle multiple threats with a high reset rate. In 2009. the Air Force will look further at gas dynamic lasers. Our aircraft of all sizes will become flying sensor nodes.” said analyst Grant. There will be much more networking. If the nation can continue to afford to develop. The Air Force has retired its airborne laser test bed.” said Deptula.aerospace [satellites]. had successfully built and tested an electric laser capable of producing a 100-kilowatt ray of light. They won’t replace the big ones entirely. “When a hostile missile is fired at aircraft equipped with AAR-54 PMAWS and AAQ-24 DIRCM turrets. Gourley. and even to set aside those ideas that need to be tried before being rejected. “We’ll have different concepts of operations. It is starting to reap the fruits of some investment in a wide range of unusual technologies – airships. Without fanfare. the YAL-1A or Boeing 747-400. and mortar rounds. But we’re on the cusp of a big change from a 20th to a 21st century way of doing business.” ISR will be part of that story. unmanned aerial vehicles. Everything we use will be used in an integrated fashion.” The familiar and the unfamiliar: That’s the Air Force of the future. the Air Force has had good success with AAR-54 PMAWS (Passive Missile Approach Warning System) sensors that detect the threat and cue a companion AAQ-24 Nemesis DIRCM (Directional Infrared Counter Measures).” “Directed energy is just one of many new technologies that show enormous potential. And we’ll be linked with sea-based and space-based assets. detection. [AAR-47 was the first-generation sensor seen on DARPA imagery of simulated flight of a hypersonic vehicle. but sometimes small ones are good enough. Said Grant: “This Air Force has made ISR one of its primary pillars. high-energy radio-frequency weapons. These sensors are in fixed positions around the fuselage of the airframe. According to analyst John A. The directed energy concept will see numerous variations. including non-lethal lasers designed to stun or dazzle. The time to plan for 2030 is now. powerful enough to destroy cruise missiles. partly as an economy move but partly because a very large chemical laser carried aboard a very large and slow aircraft was a step in the wrong direction. Calif. Many aircraft such as the V-22 and C-130 have this system. who added that directed energy weapons could be part of the U. Producing real and practical directed-energy weapons isn’t an easy undertaking and won’t succeed fully without missteps along the way. We need to help the Air Force find its mojo in being innovative and in measuring results rather than pieces of hardware. and directed-energy system that may be a precursor. “Changes to the Air Force in 2030 will not all be easily visible.defensemedianetwork. and stare into the airspace. “We should be looking at cost per unit effect.” DIRECTED-ENERGY WEAPONS The notion of a death ray wiping out everything in its path was once the stuff of science fiction. To protect large aircraft against heat-seeking missiles. rockets.” As for other developments.” said Deptula. much as the current and upgraded AAR-47 does. It’s a sure bet that over the next couple of decades. causing it to lose lock and fly harmlessly past the target aircraft. and signals the AAQ-24 Nemesis system to aim in the sector and fire an intense beam of electronic energy sufficient to overload and overwhelm the seeker head of the missile. n 64 www. offensive arsenal in the Air Force of 2030. the AAR-54 detects the hot exhaust plume of the inbound weapon. directed energy weapons will be a key part of the future Air Force. and innovate.S. say if a volley of missiles were fired to bring down a large aircraft. test. or Boeing 747-200s. We can be just as strong as we are today with fewer systems..
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