[Index]

Approval Date:

26 Apr 95

Document:


            


 
MISSION NEED STATEMENT (MNS)


FOR AN


AIR DEFENSE, TACTICAL HIGH ENERGY LASER (THEL)

          

(NO. AAS 49)

     
1.  Defense Planning Guidance Element.  This need responds to National Security Objectives, Danger, and Strategy and the Priorities and Force Planning Objectives found in Sections I and II of the Defense Planning Guidance for FY 1996-2001, dated 23 May 1994.  This Mission Need Statement (MNS) satisfies Equipment Requirement #32.4.6 (M) in the Marine Corps Master Plan (MCMP) 1994-2004, of 21 July 1993, as well as Mission Area Analysis (MAA) #32, (Anti-Air Warfare) deficiencies #4, 12, 15, 20, 21, and 24.

2.  Mission and Threat Analysis 

    a.  Mission

        (1) Marine Air-Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs) deploy worldwide and are involved in expeditionary operations across the spectrum of conflict.  The purpose of Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) is to gain and maintain that degree of air superiority which is necessary to protect the MAGTF, allowing for subsequent maneuver operations.  Air defense, as a subset of AAW, is designed to protect the MAGTF from air and missile attack while the MAGTF maneuvers to engage and defeat the enemy.  An Air Defense, Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL), employing state of the art high energy laser technology, is needed to supplement and complement the capabilities of current MAGTF short and medium range air defense weapons systems.

        (2) The Integrated Air Defense System (IADS) must be capable of detecting, identifying, tracking, and engaging a broad spectrum of air and missile threats while employed in any existing environmental or operational condition.  Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) technologies have fostered a whole series of weapons technologies which recently have become available to augment the AAW capabilities of the MAGTF.  These weapons include: Lasers, Radio Frequency/High Power Microwaves (RF/HPM), and Charged Particle Beams (CPB).  In the Tactical Directed Energy Warfare Study (1995-2010), the Marine Corps has articulated an operational concept for Tactical Directed Energy Warfare.  This MNS is the first in a series of Mission Needs which respond to that concept in the mission area for AAW.

        (3) The Air Defense, THEL, employing demonstrated and proven HEL technologies, will be a key component to the future IADS, in that it will provide the MAGTF with a rapid fire, accurate and resilient air defense system which will be highly resistant to enemy aircraft and missile saturation attacks particularly in an electronic warfare environment.  By fielding the THEL, the IADS will achieve the capability to disrupt, degrade, damage or destroy hostile aircraft (including late acquired targets), missiles and airborne sensors at rates and ranges in excess of currently fielded Marine Corps short and medium range air defense systems.

    b.  Threat  

        (1) Marines must be prepared for deployment throughout the world and be capable of engaging and defeating any threat force encountered.  Enemy forces might range from light infantry, to heavy mechanized and armor formations supported by a sophisticated array of aviation and indirect fire support weapons.  The rapid proliferation of weapons systems and technologies throughout the world will undoubtedly result in ever increasing threats to the MAGTF.

        (2) Potential air and missile threats to be countered include rotary/fixed wing attack and fighter aircraft, theater ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles, all potentially employing DEW.  Each of these threats is expected to proliferate throughout the world, particularly in third world nations.  Projected technologies include weapons of reduced signature and increased lethality, coupled with Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) which could be space or ground based.  Threats to the MAGTF are validated in various Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Marine Corps, general military scientific and technical intelligence handbooks including:  "Marine Corps Intelligence Center, Mid-range Threat (1992-2002), Volumes 1 and 2, May 92", "Tactical Air Threat Environment Description, DST-2660F-730-92".  Additional threats are found in MCCDC, Tactical Directed Energy Warfare (TDEW) Study (1995-2010) (S), "FASTC, NTIC Threat Assessment, Tactical Aircraft Systems, NTICTA 017-90, NTIC, "Directed Energy Weapons CIS Overview, DST 2700S-765-92", "DIA Fact Book, Communist Forces", and the "Rotary Wing Aircraft Handbook".  The current Marine Corps Mid-Range Threat Estimate describes the global technical threat for the next decade and describes potential flashpoints for future Marine Corps involvement.

    c.  System Deficiencies/Shortfalls.  The Marine Corps doctrinally employs an IADS for all active air defense.  The IADS is comprised of multi-role fighter aircraft as well as medium and short range air defense systems.  HAWK, Avenger and Stinger Man Portable Air Defense (MANPADS) teams perform the medium and short range air defense functions of the IADS respectively.  The AAW deficiencies addressed in this MNS focus on MAGTF medium to short range air defense assets only.  Specific deficiencies addressed are the shortage and improper mix of air defense assets required for the defense of all MAGTF areas, the inability to adequately defend against simultaneous massed Tactical Ballistic Missile (TBM) and Air Breathing Threat (ABT) attack, and logistical deficiencies regarding fuel, missile, and spare parts resupply.
   
        (1) Weapons Deficiencies/Shortfalls 

            (a) Firepower.  The MAGTF currently has an insufficient number and mix of AAW assets to provide continuous ABT and TBM air defense coverage to all defended MAGTF areas.  The current medium range air defense systems of the MAGTF lack the capability to overcome massed and coordinated air attacks from multiple attack axes.  This deficiency is particularly apparent in a heavy electronic warfare environment and during Tactical Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD) operations.  The HAWK missile system can not efficiently conduct simultaneous engagements against massed attacks due to system requirements for continuous wave acquisition radar tracking from trigger pull to missile impact.  Although the Low Altitude Simultaneous HAWK Engagement (LASHE) feature of the current Block (Phase III) upgrade to the IHAWK system somewhat ameliorates this deficiency, the system still can not adequately respond to enemy mass attack tactics employing a Tactical Ballistic Missile/Cruise Missile (TBM/CM), bomber and attack helicopter mix.  Although somewhat capable, IHAWK and Stinger based systems are deficient in their abilities to engage the Cruise Missile (CM) threat.  The IHAWK requires two different missile variants against ABT and TBM targets, and is deficient in its ability to simultaneously conduct TBMD while defending against targets such as fixed and rotary wing attack aircraft, CM and Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs).  Marine Corps Stinger based air defense systems are deficient in their ability to engage low altitude targets in IR clutter at ranges which preclude an enemy first shot.

            (b) TBMD.  IHAWK is the only MAGTF system with any demonstrated capability against TBM attack.  The IHAWK (Phase III) system is capable against a limited portion of the TBM threat set, specifically the shorter range ballistic missiles.  Stinger based systems, MANPADS and Avenger, have no TBMD capability, and only limited counter CM capability.  Although the Marine Corps is actively pursuing an aggressive TBMD program, current interim and near term solutions to TBMD are deficient in their ability to engage multiple TBM attacks, particularly when those attacks are combined with ABT attacks.  Thus, the  deficiency centers on the proper mix of AAW weapons to counter the ABT, which will allow the IHAWK or its replacement to concentrate its fires against the TBM threat.  This deficiency is addressed through the fielding of an air defense, THEL weapon which will be capable of rapidly and effectively engaging the short and medium range/altitude air breathing threat, while IHAWK or its replacement system, is freed to focus on the TBMD mission.  Although the projected far term solution for USMC TBM potentially will address this shortfall to some extent, the MAGTF will not possess the numbers and mix of AAW weapons which will be capable of simultaneously providing air defense for two MEFs.

        (2) Logistics
   
            (a) Supply Stocks.  Operation Desert Storm reports have indicated that in order to sufficiently resupply USMC air defense assets, reserve aircraft were forced to be stripped of their missile supplies in favor of general supply prior to departing for SWA.  General ammunition, replacement and spare parts blocks were at insufficient levels to support sustained operations.  High Energy Laser (HEL) technologies, on the other hand, are based on the utilization of laser canisters which provide for hundreds of shots worth of chemical ammunition without reload.  The THEL will reduce the amount of resupply necessary for air defense units by eliminating the need to move missiles for units employing THEL.

            (b) Distribution of Logistical Supplies.  Distribution of supplies to air defense units are often difficult due to the tactical dispersion of the individual fire units during operations.  The dispersion and tactical concealment of the fire units often makes resupply hazardous.  Air defense units in close proximity to supply points often are resupplied at the expense of remote fire units.  Confusion can exist between the ACE and the supported commander (normally the GCE) as to responsibility and priority of resupply for short units.  The inherent mobility of the THEL weapon, vice a static system like HAWK may facilitate better resupply schemes for water, food, ammunition and spare parts blocks.

            (c) Maintenance.  Current air defense systems are primarily comprised of aging, although sophisticated, electronic components.  A deficiency in trained and skilled electronic and repair technicians is common throughout air defense units.  Limited availability of supply parts, often as a result of systems age, exacerbates the maintenance problem while deployed and operating in field conditions.  The age of the IHAWK system often dictates utilization of intermediate and depot level maintenance, causing lengthy down time for critical components.  A greater mix in newer, more reliable air defense systems will help alleviate this problem.  
  
    d.  Timing.  The existing and projected threat justifies a desired Initial Operational Capability (IOC) of FY 02, and a Full Operational Capability (FOC) of FY 04.  MAA 32 (Antiair Warfare) analysis supports assignment of the THEL system to a priority for Air Defense just below TBMD.

3.  Nonmaterial Alternatives.  Mission Area Analysis contained in MAA 32 does not provide nonmaterial alternatives for this
requirement.  Changes to doctrine, organization, training  education or tactics will not adequately satisfy this need.

4.  Potential Material Alternatives

    a.  Product Improvement Program.  The HAWK system is at the end of its ability to be modified any further except by the introduction of newly developed major components.  Marine Corps Stinger based systems would require either a new missile (advanced seekers) or the acquisition of new technologies and equipment such as the Army's Rapid Response Air Defense Program (RRAD).

    b.  Nondevelopmental.  Several technical solutions may meet this need.  Each of the services is pursuing laser technologies for specific applications ranging from target designation to target destruction.  The U.S. Army initiatives in HEL technology most closely reflect the Marine Corps mission need.  Additionally, technologies obtained from other DEW such as Charged Particle Beams (CPB) and Neutral Particle Beams (NPB) may be beneficial.  It is anticipated that future technologies must achieve downsizing to meet amphibious and strategic lift requirements.  There is strong potential for interservice and allied cooperation in the development and fielding of any HEL system.  Specific laser technologies development which might be investigated center around tunable solid state lasers, semiconductor laser diodes, dye lasers, and linear/nonlinear optics.

    c.  Research and Development.  Although the U.S. Army has pursued tactical laser development in support of the infantry for a number of years, efforts specifically targeted to air defense applications are of relatively recent development.  Research and Development specialists from the U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command (SSDC) are pursuing top level concepts and technical evaluations for a number of theater high energy laser systems.  These systems can either be mounted on the M1086 standard U.S. Army Vehicle, or a M993 MLRS chassis.  Laser alternatives being evaluated by the Army consist of HF/DF Chemical, Solid State, Free Electron, CO2 and Chemical Oxygen Iodine variants.  U.S. Army developmental efforts show great promise as they meet, and in some cases exceed aspects of IHAWK missile system capabilities, while greatly exceeding the engagement rates of either the IHAWK (Phase III) or Patriot PAC 2 systems.  The U.S. Navy has been investigating the use of ship based high energy lasers for anti-ship missile defense.  Lasers considered to be most promising in this mission are primarily based on CO2 laser applications.  The U.S. Air Force has focused its effort on development of airborne lasers systems for helicopter and fixed wing aircraft (707/747 airframes).  New research and development efforts exploiting emerging technologies such as adapted optics, atmospheric compensation techniques and compensated thermal blooming, may be required to meet Marine Corps required range, altitude, fire rate parameters.  The acquisition of CORPS SAM or similar air defense systems along with a high energy laser weapon could satisfy the deficiencies stated above.  As mentioned above the Army RRAD concept employing advanced radar, gun systems (76MM) and smart projectiles (hit to kill) could potentially satisfy portions of stated MAA 32 deficiencies.

5.  Constraints

    a.  General.  The THEL system must not degrade the current medium and short range air defense capability of the MAGTF.  The system and all of its components will be organic to either the LAAD or LAAM Battalion.  The system should utilize Pre-Planned Product Improvements in its design, in light of rapidly improving HEL technologies.  THEL should be developed as a separate system rather than as a component of current Air Defense systems of the MAGTF.  It is desired, that as technology improves, the THEL be capable of being mounted on a HMMWV chassis, or prime mover of similar dimensions and weight.

    b.  Logistics Support.  Organizational maintenance will be provided by personnel organic to the Missile Batteries of the LAAD or LAAM Bn.  Intermediate Maintenance (3rd and 4th echelon) will be provided by the Headquarters and Service Battery of the LAAD or LAAM Bn.  The system must be supportable within existing and projected Marine Corps maintenance concept.  The need for unique tools, special purpose test equipment/support equipment, or any other special maintenance consideration should be kept to a minimum.  The system should be self contained for tactical power and environmental control.  The use of components capable of being transported by lightweight protective containers that are Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) resistant should be maximized.  Utilization of Line Replaceable Components and Built-In-Test (BIT)/Built-In-Test-Equipment(BITE) technologies should be emphasized.

    c.  Mobility and Transportation.  The THEL system and each of its components must conform to all Department of the Navy shipboard qualification requirements.  The system must be certified for deployment aboard current Strategic Airlift Aircraft (C-130,C-141, C-5, C-17) and should meet or exceed the strategic and amphibious deployability of the current IHAWK missile system.  The system components must be capable of operating after receiving vibration/shock from transportation over rough terrain.  

    d.  Mapping, Charting, and Geodesy Support.  All components of the system using mapping, charting, and geodesy support must conform to Department of Defense standards and protocols.

    e.  Manpower, Personnel and Training.  Manpower requirements to support the THEL system as well as all of its subcomponents should make the greatest possible use of existing Marine Corps resources.  The designation of a new Military Operational Specialties (MOS) may become necessary with regard to Laser repairmen and Laser technicians.  Training of operators and maintainers must be compatible with existing training systems.  The training of operator personnel should not generate any new MOS.  Additional required training, such as for Laser Maintenance technicians and repairmen must be integrated into the current curricula taught at Marine Corps and U.S. Army Air Defense Schools.  The system should contain integrated training and simulation devices.

    f.  Command Control Communications, Intelligence Interfaces  The THEL system, as a component of the Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS), must be fully interoperable with senior and subordinate agencies of the MACCS as well as be capable of interfacing with Joint and Allied Air Command and Control Systems including those C3I systems of NATO.  Any THEL command control and communications suite must be designed to conform to all USMC, Joint and Allied interoperability standards, such as JCS Pub 3-56.24 and the JCS Pub 6-01 series.        

    g.  Security.  The system and its subcomponents must conform to Department of Defense security and TEMPEST standards.

    h.  Operational Environment 

        (1) Operational Concept.  The THEL is an air defense weapon which may be organic to either the LAAD or LAAMBn.  THEL operations will differ somewhat from those of the IHAWK (Phase III) and Stinger based systems, since THEL should possess the mobility of Avenger and LAV-AD along with the firepower and range of the IHAWK (Phase III) system.   An operational concept which takes into account these added capabilities will have to be defined in specific documents such as the Concept of Employment (COE) and the FMFM 5-50 series.  As a MAGTF air defense weapons system THEL shall be capable of sustained combat operations in conventional and electronic warfare environments.  THEL will most likely receive long range sensor queuing from the TAOC and/or other joint sensors through the ADCP.  THEL should be capable of detecting, acquiring, and identifying short and medium range targets via organic passive and/or active sensor suites.  THEL shall be capable of sluing its laser based on organic and external tracking inputs.  The THEL will perform both short and medium range air defense operations as a component of the MAGTF IADS.  The command and control relationships which doctrinally dictate the employment of the MACCS shall govern those of the THEL.  Due to the complementary nature of the THEL system to potentially both short and medium range AD systems, it is envisioned that THEL will be required to deploy at locations normally assigned to both LAAD and LAAM Bn.  THEL will be capable of amphibious operations in support of all sized MAGTFs.  THEL will be capable of sustained operations ashore in support of MEF FWD sized and larger MAGTFs.    

         (2) Performance characteristics.  THEL as well as its system subcomponents must be fully mission capable in any environment in which MAGTF air defense units may be employed.    THEL shall be designed to disrupt damage, disable and destroy short and medium range air breathing targets of the IADS as well as CM and UAVs.  THEL shall be capable of: disrupting or damaging enemy target acquisition electro-optics, disrupting or damaging the optical guidance systems of enemy missiles, disrupting or damaging enemy surveillance and navigational electro-optics, or potentially destroying all types of enemy aerial air breathing targets along with UAV and CM threats.  Through evolutionary development or product improvement THEL may attain some TBMD capability.  THEL shall be capable of engaging those valid targets which are remotely acquired as well as those targets acquired from any organic active or passive sensor.

         (3) Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare.  There is no requirement for hardening against nuclear weapons effect beyond that of the current IHAWK (Phase III) system.  The system must be capable of being operated by Marines in all MOPP postures.  Operational maintenance (echelons 1 and 2) must be capable of being performed on the system while maintainers are in MOPP IV posture.  The system will possess chemical and biological survivability equal to or greater than that of current MAGTF Air Defense systems.

6.  Joint Potential Designator.

    a.  U. S. Army -- Joint.

    b.  U. S. Navy -- Joint Interest.

    c.  U. S. Air Force -- Independent.
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