[ISN] Pentagon trains tech for war

From: William Knowles (wkat_private)
Date: Tue Jun 26 2001 - 13:18:26 PDT

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    June 26, 2001 8:09 AM PT
    WASHINGTON--The Defense Department said on Tuesday it was pouring
    research dollars into high-energy lasers, microwave systems and a host
    of other advanced gizmos designed to win 21st-century wars more
    quickly and decisively than ever.
    Development of such things as unmanned systems for land, air, space,
    sea and underwater was to counter the spread of "asymmetric" threats
    to U.S. forces in the past decade, Pentagon officials told Congress.
    Among these they cited ballistic missiles, possibly tipped with
    nuclear, chemical or biological weapons; keyboard-launched
    "information operations," for instance against U.S. military
    satellites, and "terrorism."
    "Future adversaries will increasingly rely on unconventional
    strategies and tactics to offset the superiority of U.S. forces,"
    Edward Aldridge, the Pentagon's new chief weapons buyer, said in
    testimony prepared for the House Armed Services Research and
    Development Subcommittee. "We must be conscious of these threats as we
    foster technology breakthroughs ... to cope with that environment."
    Aldridge did not spell out precisely how much was being spent in his
    joint statement with Delores Etter, deputy director of defense
    research and engineering. But they said basic defense science and
    technology research accounts for about 40 percent of federal support
    for all engineering research in universities.
    Revolutionary war-fighting concepts
    All told, the Defense Department employs 28,500 scientists and
    engineers in its 84 labs and research and development centers, down 42
    percent from 43,800 at the end of 1990, they said.
    Aldridge divided U.S. needs into three categories: "hard problems," or
    significant technical challenges that, if solved, would check a
    significant threat; "revolutionary war-fighting concepts," and
    militarily significant research areas.
    "Hard problems" include developing a remote capability to detect and
    identify potentially toxic chemical and biological agents and to
    forecast their dispersion through a battlefield. Another such
    challenge is coming up with munitions capable of knocking out deeply
    buried targets.
    For "revolutionary war-fighting concepts," new technologies are being
    worked on for "fuller dominance of space." Key areas include
    affordable space transportation including advanced propulsion and
    long-lasting power systems; sensing technologies for enhanced space
    surveillance, and protection of U.S. assets in space.
    Also needed are network systems that communicate seamlessly among
    themselves, operationally responsive and reliable networks and tools
    for boiling down vast amounts of information and helping decision
    makers, the officials said.
    In militarily significant research, the third category, a priority is
    the "generation, storage, use and projection of electrical and other
    forms of power throughout the battle-space," Aldridge and Etter said.
    He said "directed-energy" weapons--lasers and high-powered microwave
    systems--had the potential to shoot down ballistic missiles as they
    were lifting off, to defeat high-speed anti-ship and anti-aircraft
    missiles and to zero in on targets in urban centers without harming
    Breakthroughs were needed in "advanced power," including new battery
    systems and fuel cells, to enhance the U.S. capability to focus power
    and energy in a way that could be supported logistically, added
    Aldridge, the department's third-ranking civilian as under secretary
    for acquisition, technology and logistics.
    "Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
    without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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