News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan



Technology Transition

The number of major weapon system new starts will decrease substantially the rest of this decade, while increased reliance will be placed upon technology insertion into existing systems via such upgrading mechanisms as engineering change proposals (ECPs), product improvement proposals (PIPs), preplanned product improvements (P3Is), and block improvement and multistage improvement programs (MSIPs).

Technology Demonstrations

A Technology Demonstration can serve as the means to demonstrate that a STO has successfully achieved its objectives, to highlight a new technical capability developed in the S&T community, or to assess the technical maturity of a capability identified outside of the S&T community. These programs, whose designation is at the discretion of the technical director, are a means to demonstrate a new technical capability that has potential application to an ATD, ACTD, or system acquisition program. Funded in either 6.2 or 6.3, these programs differ from ATDs and ACTDs in that they either are not conducted in an operational environment or do not involve experimentation with technology–driven operational issues. They can serve as the means to demonstrate that a STO has successfully achieved its objectives, to highlight a new technical capability developed in the S&T community, or to assess the technical maturity of a capability identified outside of the S&T community.

There are two special types of TDs that greatly improve technology transition, ACTDs and ATDs.

Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations

Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations provide a mechanism for intense involvement of the warfighters while incorporation of technology into a warfighting system is still at an informal stage. This allows iterative change of both the system construct and the user’s concept of operation without the constraints and costs that are incurred when the discipline of formal acquisition is involved. ACTDs are user oriented, even user dominated.

The ACTD has three driving motivations: (1) to have the user gain an understanding of the military utility before committing to large–scale acquisition, (2) to develop corresponding concepts of operation and doctrine that make the best use of the new capability, and (3) to provide limited, initial residual operational capabilities to the forces. ACTDs are of sufficient scope and scale to establish military utility. The operational unit is left with a residual capability for continued use for up to 2 years. This provides a significant improvement in the ability to refine the tactics and gain further insight into the potential utility and impact on doctrine. The ACTD process is shown in Figure I–17. All Army ACTD proposals must now have the approval of the commander of TRADOC. In the Army, ACTDs primarily involve system–of–systems demonstrations incorporating individual equipment developed under ATDs.

Figure I-17. ACTD Process
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Figure I-17. ACTD Process

Formal requirements for the operational forces are typically generated during the ACTD after military utility has been demonstrated. The outcome of an ACTD is determined by the conclusions of the participating users. If the user is not prepared to initiate acquisition, the effort will be terminated. If, on the other hand, the user determines that the demonstrated concept should be brought into the forces, there are two possible avenues. If large numbers are required, the system should enter the acquisition process at whatever stage good judgment dictates. If only small numbers are required, it is preferable to modify the demonstration system appropriately and then to replicate it as needed. This latter avenue might apply to command, control, and communications (C3), surveillance, and special operations equipment, as well as to complex software systems where evolutionary development and upgrading is preferred.

In FY98, the Army is participating in seven S&T–funded ACTDs, five as the lead service: Line–of–Sight Antitank (Chapter III and Figure I–18), Theater Precision Strike Operations (Figure I–19), Rapid Force Projection Initiative (Chapter III and Figure I–20), Combat Identification (Chapter III and Figure I–21), and Rapid Terrain Visualization (Chapter III and Figure I–22). The Army and Navy/Marine Corps jointly lead two ACTDs: Joint Countermine (Chapter III and Figure I–23) and Military Operations in Urban Terrain (Chapter III and Figure I–24). Most of these ACTDs are composed of one or more Army ATDs (described in Chapter III and Volume II, Annex B).

Figure I-18. Line of Sight Antitank ACTD
Figure I-18. Line of Sight Antitank ACTD

Figure I-19. Theater Precision Strike Operations ACTD
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Figure I-19. Theater Precision Strike Operations ACTD

Figure I-20. Rapid Force Projection Initiative ACTD
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Figure I-20. Rapid Force Projection Initiative ACTD

Figure I-21. Combat Identification ACTD
Figure I-21. Combat Identification ACTD

Figure I-22. Rapid Terrain Visualization ACTD
Figure I-22. Rapid Terrain Visualization ACTD

Figure I-23. Joint Countermine ACTD
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Figure I-23. Joint Countermine ACTD

Figure I-24. Military Operations in Urban Terrain ACTD
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Figure I-24. Military Operations in Urban Terrain ACTD

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