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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

Warlord / Warrior

Warlord, previously called Warrior, is a development effort by the Army to merge, on a single workstation, the best features of software from ASAS block I, Warrior, the ASAS Collateral Enclave, and the Common ATCCS Support Software. Warlord is a workstation that can be used with multiple communications equipment, such as the current ASAS block I communications set, the Trojan Spirit system, the Mobile Subscriber Equipment, and others. Warrior and its successor, Warlord, have many key features desired in ASAS.

Warlord is an initial operational prototype with proven software that is robust enough for issuance to operational units. Warrior, the predecessor to Warlord, has already been issued to operational units and has performance characteristics desired by current users. Troops in both Germany and the United States accepted the former Warrior performance as adequate to meet current operational joint and Army missions. For example, troops used Warrior to (1) conduct all-source intelligence data analysis; (2) provide European intelligence data to the Atlantic Command; (3) exchange intelligence data in a seamless architecture from echelons above corps to corps, to division, and to brigade; (4) provide capability to deployed contingency forces; and (5) provide redundancy to prevent catastrophic loss of capability.

Assessment by the Commanding General of the 1st Cavalry and III Corps stress the need to include Warrior as a part of ASAS. According to the Commanding General of the 1st Cavalry Division, Warrior was of great value to targeting and situation development, and corrected a limitation of the current ASAS block I configuration by expanding intelligence processing capabilities throughout the Division. A May 1993 III Corps assessment said the block I collateral enclave and the communications van are working well, but the JPL-developed workstation in block I remains a weak link. The Corps assessment concluded that the Corps could (1) abandon ASAS, (2) continue to use the JPL workstation under specific conditions, or (3) replace the JPL workstation with Warrior workstations. A July 1993 III Corps assessment said the Warrior provided more accurate and quicker situation and target development than any system previously used. A Corps official said the Corps considers Warrior an essential element of ASAS block I.

Warlord also provides capabilities that the ASAS program manager is trying to include in ASAS block I through major configuration upgrades and/or develop in block II. For example, Warlord (1) supports split-based, jump, and networked operations and (2) provides communications and data links with national, joint, coalition, and Army battlefield command and control systems. Other Warlord capabilities the Army is seeking in the follow-on block II program include (1) receipt, processing, and display of framed images and live video; (2) electronic connectivity to national intelligence data bases; and (3) open computer architecture. In addition, Warlord does not require downsizing to meet transportability requirements, whereas the Army is modifying the ASAS block I configuration in an effort to downsize the system.

Another major benefit of the Warlord alternative over the ASAS block I is the potential to procure enough sets to field throughout the Army and provide redundancy in each unit at a reasonable cost. Lack of enough block I equipment to deploy Army-wide and lack of redundancy in each Army unit with block I equipment are major problems to operating troops. The 11 existing ASAS Block I sets to be fielded will go to first-priority Army units only; however lower-priority Army units went to Somalia and to Operation Desert Storm. Based on data provided by the Army, enough Warlord workstations could be bought to equip the entire Army for about $21.6 million. This does not include the cost of communications and supplemental equipment and training.

Additional Warlord units allows Army-wide fulfillment of another key ASAS block II requirement to provide intelligence processing capabilities at all Army organizational levels, from echelon above corps, to corps, to divisions, and to brigades. Warlord units are needed at the echelons above corps and brigades levels because the ASAS program manager has only enough block I units to field to corps and divisions. USAREUR has bought enough Warrior units to provide this capability.

Warrior and its successor Warlord also have the potential for lower operations and maintenance costs than those for the current ASAS block I, and, at the same time, to meet block II requirements for direct computer-to-computer connectivity and to implement new Army intelligence doctrine. Preliminary Army cost studies--the ASAS Independent Cost Estimate, dated January 1993, and the ASAS Baseline Cost Estimate, dated February 1993--show that each ASAS block I set should cost about twice as much to operate and maintain, as compared to block II and follow-on systems. According to DOD, block I costs are estimated at $2.1 million annually per set. Warrior is similar in design to the ASAS block II workstation.

New Army doctrine combines two separate block I intelligence units at both corps and divisions--one unit has original JPL block I equipment and the other has Hawkeye--to provide a single integrated intelligence unit. An all-Warlord system provides operational flexibility from one set of equipment, and meets the block II requirement for direct computer-to-computer connectivity so all analysts can see the same picture.

Warrior has been widely deployed and used in missions by USAREUR and other military activities, including the Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Command, and contingency forces in Somalia. As of April 1993, 195 Warrior workstations were in the inventory. Of these, 93 workstations were deployed to Army units in Europe. Another 20 units were deployed in other joint and emergency support operational locations.

The Army now plans to use Warlord as an integral part of the 11 sets of block I to be fielded and to provide Warrior/Warlord capabilities to units not receiving block I.

Sources and Methods



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Created by John Pike
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Updated Saturday, June 21, 1997 11:14:49 AM