Annex F. Special Operations Technology
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)


10. Future Force Application Weapons and Munitions, Enhanced Explosives and Munitions, and Non-Lethal Technologies

Technologies that should have the potential to provide the basis for advanced offensive and defensive weapons and weapons related systems which demonstrate significant improvements in responsiveness, range, accuracy, reliability, and target effects. Systems are desired for fixed and rotary wing aircraft, small boats, and HMMWV-size vehicles. Defensive weapons are desired to counter IR, laser, TV, and other smart or seeker-head guided munitions. Demonstrate or identify technologies that provide miniature guided or precision projectiles with long-range, non-line of sight destructive capabilities. Technologies must destroy, disable, or render unusable fuel tanks, light armored vehicles, fortified positions, other soft military vehicles, and SO critical military and industrial target nodes and systems. Technology should allow the operator to conduct firing operations with a LPD and from within enclosed areas.

Applicable technologies should have the potential to provide SOF operators a man-portable, reliable, long-range, accurate, signature-less, sustained rate of fire, day and night capable, tunable, or non-lethal weapons systems. In the non-lethal role, the system must be able to stun an opponent or temporarily incapacitate multiple targets in proximity to the operator. Non-lethal technologies are needed for area applications (crowd control), for point applications (selected individuals in close proximity to non-combatants, prisoners, etc.), and for anti-material applications. Non-lethal technologies are needed for both man-portable and platform mounted systems.

In the lethal role, the weapon system must be able to be used in a medium-range (250 to 600 meters) sniper role to defeat key personnel and to disable soft targets, such as radars, C2 vans, aircraft, sensors, POL containers, weapons systems, etc. Effective ranges to 2,000 meters are the eventual goal. Demonstrate or identify technologies that provide increased lethality, enhanced flexibility, reduced weight and volume, increased accuracy and controllability, and improved safety of explosive charges and munitions. Technologies should demonstrate anti-material capabilities for a wide range of target types for small and medium caliber SOF weapons systems--both hand-held and platform mounted. Multipurpose, low-detectable munitions and explosives are preferred. Items must be certifiable as safe for use and transportability (land, sea, and air) by all Service or USSOCOM safety review and certification boards.