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US Naval S&T Strategy for decisive warfighting advantage, in anti-access, area denial environment

China is developing ever-advancing anti-access, area denial capacity and capabilities, through deployment of long-range aircraft equipped with anti-ship cruise missiles, submarines, surface ships with long-range missiles, and land-based ballistic missiles, putting into risk, any carrier operating within 1,000 miles of the Chinese coast. It is also employing advanced integrated air defense systems, electronic warfare (EW), cyber, and space capabilities.

 

In response to these threats, USN revised its Maritime strategy to include a new function called “all domain access” which underscores the challenges forces face in accessing and operating in contested environments. The new strategy titled, “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Sea power: Forward, Engaged, Ready, “emphasizes operating forward and engaging partners across the globe, especially in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

 

The S&T Vision of USN is “The decisive technological advantage and influence for our naval forces can only be provided by cutting-edge scientific research and technology.” The Office of Naval Research, has released its ” The Naval S&T Strategy ” to align S&T with naval mission and future capability needs, balance and manage the S&T investment portfolio , communicate the S&T vision and approach to senior decision makers, key stakeholders, partners, customers and performers.

 

U.S. naval forces require a broad spectrum of core capabilities to assure access across the global maritime domain. Accordingly the S&T Strategy is, “To discover, develop and deliver decisive naval capabilities, near- to long-term, by investing in a balanced portfolio of breakthrough scientific research, innovative technology and talented people.”

 

“[We will] develop concepts and capabilities to provide more options to national leaders, from non-conflict competition to high-end combat at sea. Operations short of conflict should be designed to contain and control escalation on terms favorable to the U.S. Combat at sea must address “blue-water” scenarios far from land and power projection ashore in a  highly “informationalized” and contested environment,” says Admiral John Richardson Chief of Naval Operations

The Commander Submarine Forces (COMSUBFOR) established the Undersea Warfare Chief Technology
Officer (USW CTO) to understand, influence, and align Undersea Warfare (USW) Science and Technology (S&T) efforts to ensure S&T investments are properly balanced to meet near, mid and far-term capability needs.

COMSUBFOR Commander’s Intent

In his Commander’s Intent, COMSUBFOR emphasizes above all else that the undersea force must continue to own the undersea domain. In addition, COMSUBFOR asserts:

• Undersea forces operate far forward, are persistent and covert,
• Non- provocative influence from under the sea can deter and de-escalate potential conflicts by providing cross-domain intelligence, real-time warning to U.S. leadership, and rapid transition from peacetime if required, and
• Undersea forces are the anti-A2AD force, operating inside adversary defenses, using our access to set the table for the joint force, exercising stealth and surprise at the time and place of choosing.

 

COMSUBFOR’s Commander’s Intent identifies four lines of effort (LOE):
1. Provide Ready Forces
2. Employ the Force effectively
3. Develop Future Capabilities
4. Empower our People, the Foundation of our Strength.

 

The extent of the future undersea warfighting environment is unknown but the undersea force is leading the way with developing innovative concepts and processes.

The goals are to develop future capabilities that will allow the Undersea Force to:
• Own the Best,
• Beat the Adversary’s Systems,
• Grow Longer Arms,
• Protect Our Strategic Assets…and Threaten Theirs
• Be the Best,
• Get on the Same Page,
• Get Faster

 

Integrated Undersea Future Investment Strategy (IUFIS)

The Integrated Undersea Future Investment Strategy (IUFIS) is OPNAV N97’s internal guidance on the “means” to achieve the strategic objective in COMSUBFOR Commander’s Intent LOE 3: Develop Future Force Capabilities – Prepare for future operations and warfighting.

The IUFIS identifies investment opportunities in the undersea domain, aligned with the five core competencies of the Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century (CS-21R) as follows:

• Deterrence: Provide a survivable, effective and sufficient sea-based strategic nuclear deterrent
• Sea Control / Assured Access: Provide undersea forces capable of controlling the sea at the time and place of our choosing and seize the offensive initiative early in any conflict.
• Power Projection: Provide robust ability to strike targets with surprise from undersea, including time sensitive targets and those with particular value within an Air-Sea Battle context.
• Maritime Security: Provide a sustained undersea ability to insert, support and extract Special Forces.
• Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief: Sustain a global undersea rescue capability that is available to our allies and friends.

S&T investment is spread across four components: Quick Reaction S&T that is responsive to immediate warfighter needs, Technology Maturation of subsystems and components for current and planned programs, Leap-Ahead Innovations for higher risk, high payoff disruptive technologies and Discovery & Inventions in fundamental science for long-term initiatives.

Affordability is pervasive across all of the USW S&T focus areas, “Affordability concerns should always influence the way government and industry designs,
develops, manufactures, maintains and disposes of our myriad undersea systems.”

 

Focus Areas

The capability gaps have been mapped into nine S&T focus areas, that help align, balance and communicate the efforts between the warfighter, ONR and the S&T community:

1. Assure Access to Maritime Battle space

Proliferation of anti-access, area denial capacity and capabilities among potential adversaries drives the need for technologies that assure access for naval forces. This focus area improves anti-submarine warfare, mine warfare and Navy Special Warfare technologies and capabilities. Innovative approaches (not requiring perfect knowledge) to modeling and simulations of complex environments, including interactions with systems, form a key part of this challenge.

GOALS:

• Assured access to the global ocean and littoral reaches and hold strategic and tactical targets at risk
• Sense and predict environmental properties in the global ocean and littorals to support tactical and strategic planning and operations
• Improved operational performance by adapting systems to the current and evolving environment

Objectives

USW-AA-01: Reduce both acoustic and non-acoustic signatures of undersea assets both above and below the water surface to avoid detection and counterdetection and quickly regain stealth.
USW-AA-02: Improve detection, classification and contact management capabilities against undersea warfare targets across all projected operational environments
USW-AA-03: Improve above water sensing capability and ability to covertly determine contact parameters across alloperational environmental conditions
USW-AA-04: Develop environmentally adaptable sensor suites,based on inputs from organic measurements and METOC information, to optimize detection, classification, and localization performance above and below the water surface. The environmental information will also be used to improve platform stealth and control its signatures
USW-AA-05: Improve capability to exploit and defeat adversary undersea assets
USW-AA-06: Develop Theater ASW Commander battle management decision support system tools

 

2. Autonomy and Unmanned Systems

The vision is to achieve an integrated hybrid force of manned and unmanned systems with the ability to sense, comprehend, predict, communicate, plan, make decisions and take collaborative action to achieve operational goals. The employment of these systems will reduce risk for Sailors and Marines and increase capability.

GOALS:

• Seamless integration of manned and unmanned/autonomous undersea systems into the undersea warfighting domain
• Common control architecture and interfaces that support unmanned/autonomous systems operation

Objectives

USW-AUS-01: Develop the capability to utilize unmanned systems as forward undersea controllers/threat designators
USW-AUS-02: Improve the endurance, persistence, reliability and safety of unmanned systems and sensors through launch, mission execution, recovery and turn-around
USW-AUS-03: Develop capability to enable rapid and reliable targeting of multiple contacts via improved unmanned systems sensor exploitation
USW-AUS-04: Enable seamless integration of unmanned systems into the undersea force and cross-domain mission planning, information management and energy management environment
USW-AUS-05: Develop remote support capabilities for UUS including power and energy and delivery methods to position and pre-position a large number of unmanned undersea assets
USW-AUS-06: Optimize operator integration with unmanned underwater systems to achieve greater mission effectiveness
USW-AUS-07: Develop capabilities to counter adversary unmanned systems
USW-AUS-08: Develop a multiple modality undersea communication network to improve reliability,
reduce latency, and provide sufficient data rate to enable coordination of large number of unmanned
undersea assets

 

3. Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare

The vision is to enable the warfighter to have complete control of the electromagnetic spectrum to ensure that naval forces can utilize it as required for electronic warfare (EW), surveillance and communications; deny the adversary the ability to use the spectrum except as we allow it; and assure that our sensors and electronic attack systems operate across the full span of the electromagnetic spectrum.

4. Expeditionary and Irregular Warfare (EIW)

Emerging geopolitical and socioeconomic conditions have resulted in the rise of non-traditional threats, failed states and a decrease in assured host nation support. Naval warfighters of the future will possess the full spectrum of expeditionary kinetic and non-kinetic capabilities required to operate across the entire range of military operations, decisively defeat traditional threats and effectively confront irregular challenges. Undersea assets are key enablers for Expeditionary and Irregular Warfare (EIW). They provide the ability for small, clandestine units to exploit the undersea environment. They also enable littoral access and crisis response for conventional forces across the range of military operations. These capabilities become increasingly important in A2/AD operations of the future.

GOALS:
• Safe, reliable and less complex interfaces that enable future EIW operations
• Reduced time and complexity of deployment and recovery of expeditionary forces and
associated systems

Objectives

USW-EIW-01: Improve the tagging, tracking and locating (TTL) capability of Special Operations Forces (SOF) against quiet or stationary targets and threats
USW-EIW-02: Improve submarine platform interfaces to increase efficiency and safety of deployment and recovery operations for SOF
USW-EIW-03: Develop reliable, secure and clandestine high data rate underwater communications capability to support SOF
USW-EIW-04: Develop capability to use submarine launched UAS for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) support to EIW forces

5. Information Dominance and Cyber (IDC)

Globalization and the exponential growth in computing and wireless communications capabilities have transformed the information environment from an enabling medium to a core warfighting capability for both our naval forces and those of our adversaries. Undersea assets are key enablers to achieving and sustaining information dominance. They provide undersea C2 and undersea enablement of battlespace awareness (environment and adversary disposition). These challenges must be met with the dynamic and complex environmental context of the Undersea Domain as well as any and all operational conditions – spanning the permissive, contested and denied.

GOALS:

• Assured undersea command, control & high data-rate communications and significantly improved battlespace awareness capability for Undersea Forces
• Ensure Undersea Forces have the capability to defend against cyber-attack and have the ability to counter and/or deliver cyber effects

Objectives:

USW-IDC-01: Improve capability and capacity to safely, reliably and securely transmit tactically relevant
information/data at depth across a constellation of manned, unmanned and unattended systems
USW-IDC-02: Enhance robust, tactically-responsive, cross-domain C2 for undersea assets with
minimal risk of counter-detection
USW-IDC-03: Develop cyber vulnerability assessment tools that inform undersea warfighters of adversary intrusion of undersea systems
USW-IDC-04: Develop cybersecurity vulnerability assessment tools that inform the operator of the transition from the current state to the desired state
USW-IDC-05: Develop Electronic Attack and Electronic Protection capabilities that reduce an adversary’s ability to challenge friendly information warfare objectives, while simultaneously challenging the adversary’s ability to conduct their own information operation

“The electromagnetic spectrum looks potentially very attractive in your ability to put an effect
on a target to perhaps neuter its capabilities, to otherwise make it ineffective for what it’s doing there. With a reversible effect on it without going all the way to a level of violence that may not be appropriate,”
says RADM Charles Richard Director, Undersea Warfare Division

6. Platform Design and Survivability (PDS)

The vision is to provide naval platforms that are agile, fuel efficient, flexible and capable of operating cost effectively in varied environments. Enable manned and unmanned naval platforms and forces to seamlessly operate in hostile environments while avoiding, defeating and surviving attacks. Addressing all phases of design, development, construction and deployment is critical in order to develop
agile, energy-efficient, and flexible platforms. Undersea platforms must be capable of operating in the harsh undersea environment and enable operations in hostile areas while avoiding, defeating and surviving attacks.

GOALS:

• Design and engineering tools to support future development, deployment, maintenance and support of undersea systems
• Advanced manufacturing tools and technologies that support rapid, low-cost and/or remote design and manufacture
• Ability for undersea platforms to remain undetected and operate unencumbered in the future operational environment

Objectives:

USW-PDS-01: Develop the capability for undersea assets to measure in-situ vulnerability, control their
distinguishing signatures and mitigate emissions, allowing undersea platforms to blend into/mimic
the surrounding environment

USW-PDS-02: Develop platform and component design tools that provide for optimum mission flexibility without compromising mission accomplishment
USW-PDS-03: Improve and validate models and tools designed to reduce the susceptibility of undersea platforms to detection
USW-PDS-04: Improve capabilities to predict, monitor, prevent and control corrosion/marine growth fouling on undersea platforms without degrading performance
USW-PDS-05: Improve ability to assess and/or repair damage while forward deployed or underway
USW-PDS-06: Develop/improve non-invasive capability to monitor, diagnose, and prognosticate hull conditions, predict failures and alert operators while underway and during scheduled/unscheduled maintenance
USW-PDS-07: Develop/certify advanced platform, component and/or part design and manufacturing
capabilities that allow for qualification and production of processes and materials to support rapid, low-cost manufacture for in-service and acquisition programs

 

7. Power and Energy

The increasing global demand for energy, heavy reliance on fossil fuels, environmental issues and rising costs emphasize the need for energy security and self-sufficiency. There is a critical need for greater energy efficiency, reduced consumption and increased use of alternative energy sources.
The vision is to increase naval forces’ freedom of action through energy security and efficient power systems. Increase combat capability through high energy and pulsed power systems. Provide the desired power where and when needed at the manned and unmanned platform, system and personal levels.

Safe and reliable power and energy sources are key enablers that ensure undersea dominance is maintained. Long endurance systems will support the disruption of enemy activities and provide maximum mission flexibility. High power and energy dense systems must support the operations of multiple undersea assets and missions without sacrificing payload volume.

GOALS:

• Improved energy density, safety and reliability of power and energy sources that support undersea platforms and operations
• Ability for Undersea Forces to take advantage of the abundant energy sources that reside in their operational environment

Objectives

USW-PE-01: Develop safe, reliable, affordable and high efficiency energy management, generation,
transfer, shipment, deployment and storage for undersea platforms
USW-PE-02: Develop safe, reliable, affordable and efficient high pulse power management, generation, transfer and employment.
USW-PE-03: Develop the capability to reliably and safely harvest, obtain, store and transfer energy to
undersea assets
USW-PE-04: Develop capability to reliably characterize the failure effects and modes of power and energy sources

“Undersea dominance – that is an inherently Department of Navy domain. And we are just scratching the surface in some of the capabilities to be able to give…forward fleet commanders the emerging capabilities and technologies to build the Eisenhower highway network undersea across the entire sea. Thousands of miles of logistical networks to allow large scale deployment of UUVs, allowing them to
communicate, engage, resupply…those technologies are focused around the same technologies that support our directed energy, our unmanned systems and our electric weapons,” says RADM Mathias Winter Chief of Naval Research

8. Strike and Integrated Defense

The vision is to strengthen and enhance naval power-projection capabilities and integrated layered defense by improving manned and unmanned platforms, payloads and weapons. This enables U.S. and our partner nations’ forces to complete missions at extended ranges within hostile environments by avoiding, defeating and surviving attacks.

Undersea assets are key to projection of military power and defense of United States interests at home and around the globe. Undersea warfighters will utilize on demand weapons, undersea platforms and systems that enable Undersea Forces to complete missions in hostile environments by avoiding, defeating and surviving attacks.

GOALS:
• Increased capability, capacity, endurance, affordability and range of undersea weapons systems to include the development and integration of directed energy weapons
• Ability for undersea systems to avoid, detect and/or counter enemy attack

Objectives:

USW-SID-01: Improve offensive undersea weapon lethality performance to deny adversary safe havens and support mission and platform kill
USW-SID-02: Increase submarine payload capacity

USW-SID-03: Develop the capability to target and prosecute adversary mobile and fixed distributed netted systems (DNS)
USW-SID-04: Improve strike weapon system performance and affordability
USW-SID-05: Develop the next generation of weapons, countermeasures and payloads
USW-SID-06: Improve the ability to counter adversary Undersea Warfare (USW) capabilities, including unmanned systems that threaten undersea systems
USW-SID-07: Improve modularity in weapon system design to permit mission reconfiguration, repair and reduce support requirements
USW-SID-08: Improve weapons systems design to permit over-the horizon targeting from multiple sources to extend the range beyond organic sensors, decoupling the shooter from the sensor

“We need to be thinking about cross-domain capabilities like nextgeneration sub-launched anti-surface weapons, land-attack weapons, and more. Like I said, there are a lot of different things that could fit in those nice big tubes that will be on the Virginias, and we need to be thinking about how we can exploit that flexibility to achieve the greatest tactical, operational, and strategic effects,” said CONGRESSMAN J. RANDY FORBES (R-VA) Chairman, House Armed Services Committee

9. Warfighter Performance

The vision is to enhance warfighter performance through improvements in personnel selection, assignment, training and decision support. Design training and operational systems that enable effective human machine interaction and mission readiness across individual, team, platform and integrated fleet levels.

Prepare warfighters to deploy anywhere and anytime using configurable systems that adjust and adapt to their needs across the full range of military operations. Maintain warfighter health and recovery from injuries at point of injury, during casualty evacuation and in isolated and austere operational environments afloat and ashore.

In order to optimize warfighter performance and effectiveness in the undersea environment, future forces will leverage new techniques in processing, displays, training, health surveillance and delivery, behavioral solutions, personnel processes and man-machine teaming. These enhancements will correlate to return on investment measures as expressed as total ownership cost decision trade space for USW technology insertion. The outcome measures should improve major program managers’ design and procurement decisions resulting in reduced total ownership costs and increased readiness.

GOALS:

• User-centered design methodologies to solve submarine “Plan-Brief-Execute-Assess”
support needs
• Improved availability, reliability, quality, time-latency of receipt and usefulness of critical
data and information needed by the tactical team to make better-informed decisions in
the time available
• Human machine interface designs based on results of task analyses, applying cognitive
science, human factors expertise and best-practices
• Training tailored to the individual and team anywhere, anytime through simulationbased
technologies for multi-mission, multi-platform training
• Enhanced submariner readiness and retention by monitoring and improving the health,
wellness, and resilience of the submariner
• Systems that support and exploit individual differences of undersea operators

Objectives

USW-WP-01: Develop unmanned systems battlespace management capability that collects relevant sensor data, in real time, network platform sensors, detect threats, control, coordinate and de-conflict operations
USW-WP-02: Develop human-centered analytic techniques that allow submarine commanders to rapidly and confidently move from data-to-options-to-informed decisions both tactically and in terms of personnel and administrative data
USW-WP-03: Develop on-board adaptive training tools to support both individual operator instruction and integrated team training that both increases operator retention and improves individual and team proficiency
USW-WP-04: Develop distributed schoolhouse capabilities that operates within a common virtual environment to allow access and manipulation by geographically distributed students (individually or collaboratively in teams) and instructors
USW-WP-05: Enhance the resilience of individual submariners to reduce unplanned losses through selection, selfassessment, training and informed submarine force integration processes
USW-WP-06: Improve submariner medical health and psychological wellness through comprehensive
monitoring to identify and reduce the medical and psychological risk factors
USW-WP-07: Improve the effectiveness of shallow water submarine escape, rescue and survivability

“Virtual and simulated environments offer an unprecedented opportunity for the Department of the
Navy to transform how it connects people, ideas, and information,” said Ray Mabus Secretary of the Navy

In addition, USW leadership believes that Undersea Maneuver Warfare (UMW) and Undersea Precision Navigation and Timing (UPNT) are critical areas that must be addressed to support future undersea operations.

Undersea Maneuver Warfare (UMW)

The UMW Focus Area directly addresses the need to develop capabilities that not only allow undersea forces to operate in their traditional roles and missions, but to expand their capabilities to counter emerging enemy undersea warfare capabilities related to sea-bed operations, sensor deployment, unmanned systems and undersea infrastructure.

Maneuver warfare is based on rapid, flexible, and opportunistic maneuver that seeks to shatter the enemy’s cohesion through actions which create a turbulent and rapidly deteriorating situation with which the enemy cannot cope. Undersea Forces inherently support major tenets of maneuver warfare in the areas of surprise and deception. Future Undersea Forces will become increasingly critical to the Joint force as the enabler for conventional, above-water forces to be employed to defeat the threat posed by A2/AD tactics.

GOALS:

• Manipulate the adversary’s maritime situational awareness
• Deny the adversary freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain
• Enhance freedom of maneuver for U.S./Allied forces in the maritime domain
• Deliver kinetic and non-kinetic effects from the undersea that impact an adversary’s ability or will to fight
• Enable means of swift aggregation and disaggregation of Undersea Forces

Objectives

USW-UMW-01: Improve ways to control undersea force signatures and manage force exposure to better drive adversary perception and response to undersea maneuver
USW-UMW-02: Provide methods of active and passive signature control to support undersea maneuver
USW-UMW-03: Widen the spectrum of effects which Undersea Forces are able to create against adversaries using innovative payloads
USW-UMW-04: Develop ways for Undersea Forces to better communicate via non-traditional spectra in order to widen the array of deterrent, response, and maneuver options available to the undersea force
USW-UMW-05: Develop methods of swift undersea lifting and handling capability to support the maneuver of lowmobility undersea forces
USW-UMW-06: Develop technologies which allow Undersea Forces to dynamically respond within the vicinity of one another to adversary actions and emerging situations
USW-UMW-07: Improve methods of command and control of Undersea Forces to better coordinate undersea maneuver within the Undersea Domain and across domains
USW-UMW-08: Enable the execution of multiple concurrent missions by Undersea Forces to maximize the effects which Undersea Forces are able to create
USW-UMW-09: Develop low cost, unmanned auxiliary Undersea Forces which are able to extend the ability for Undersea Forces to spread effects and enable better disaggregation of Undersea Forces.

“The next generation of fast attack submarine has to have UUV’s as a key part of expanding its reach so the affected domain of that submarine grows from just the immediate area that its sensors interact with to something larger” said RADM Michael Jabaley, Program Executive Officer, Submarines

Undersea Precision Navigation and Timing (UPNT)

The UPNT Focus Area directly addresses the increasing concern regarding the threat that anti-access and area denial (A2AD) poses and how undersea forces will need to maintain precision navigation accuracy in order to perform current and emerging missions

The ability for undersea assets to operate with precise understanding and awareness of positional location is paramount toward conducting undersea missions. Future undersea assets will require new innovative methods for determining position and timing with minimal error in an increasingly adverse operational environment.

GOALS:

• Identify, pursue, and mature enabling technologies that allow undersea assets the continued ability to reliably determine position and timing with high accuracy confidence and minimized uncertainty in an evolving far-forward environment.
• Identify, pursue, and mature new positioning, navigation, and timing technologies which enable reduced dependence on overhead sensors.

Objectives

USW-UPNT-01: Improve precision navigation capabilities for undersea assets that reduce position errors in GPSdenied and/or detached, degraded, intermittent, and low-bandwidth (DDIL) environments
USW-UPNT-02: Develop methods to gather and utilize bathymetric data to be used for alternative navigation sources
USW-UPNT-03: Develop next generation capabilities to support strategic deterrence mission without use of above water sensors
USW-UPNT-04: Develop next generation capabilities to collect geo-acoustic and oceanographic data using organic and non-organic sensors
USW-UPNT-05: Develop data fusion technologies to integrate navigation data from multiple sources to enable navigation planning, waterspace management, and improved situational awareness via a holistic
navigation operational picture
USW-UPNT-06: Develop submarine navigator tools that support planning activities, and the means to determine the limitations of knowledge surrounding such planning tools, as expressed by a suitably quantified uncertainty

“Undersea forces operate far forward, are persistent and covert. Our non-provocative influence can deter and de-escalate potential conflicts by providing cross-domain intelligence, real-time warning to U.S. leadership, and rapid transition from peacetime if required. We are the anti-A2AD force, operating inside adversary defenses, using our access to set the table for the joint force, capitalizing on our stealth,
and exercising surprise at the time and place of our choosing,”  said VADM Joseph Tofalo Commander, Submarine Forces

 

The Undersea Warfare S&T Strategy supports the Naval and USW strategic foci and is supported by USW S&T Objectives (STOs) that guide available S&T development investments with the future technology requirements of Undersea Warfare. The COMSUBFOR Commander’s Intent for the U.S Submarine Force and Supporting Organizations and the Integrated Undersea Future Investment Strategy (IUFIS) serve as the foundation for the Undersea Warfare S&T Strategy and the STOs.

S&T Successes

S&T investments made decades ago will enable the Navy to deploy, on a ship bound for the Persian Gulf, the first solid-state laser that can deliver shipboard defense at $1 per shot. Other technologies under development, such as the electromagnetic railgun, will offer new multi-mission capabilities for ships.

Recent advances in hull coatings for ships will translate into roughly $1 billion in lower fuel costs by reducing drag on vessels at sea, as well as lower maintenance costs needed to keep the ships free of marine growth and debris. New technology for Marine Corps tactical vehicles will also cut fuel usage by millions of gallons per year and provide greater operational range.

Additionally, advanced manufacturing techniques developed for programs like the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, Virginia-class submarine and Littoral Combat Ship bring significant cost savings: on the order of a billion dollars over the next five years. There are many examples where small investments up front lead to big savings over the lifetime of a system.

In the near future, autonomous systems will be used to reduce risk to Sailors and Marines and extend aircraft, ship, vehicle and submarine capabilities at a lower cost than manned systems.

The ONR has made breakthroughs in underwater technologies for power, power generation, navigation, and sense and avoid, Adm Winter said at Navy League. This has provided the ability to deliver at some point in the future, he said, “an unmanned underwater vehicle that will be able to deploy for weeks, months, and years at a time.”

In 2014 the ONR demonstrated the ability of unmanned surface vessels (USV) to conduct swarming engagements, moving as a single entity, and then being able to break apart and come back together. UUVs should be capable of doing that too, he added.

Adm Winter, as CNR, said the ONR is making a difference. “We are pushing forward, making inroads, changing policies, and getting the awareness of how we can support the current fleet, the fleet under development, and the future fleet,” he said. “The future of science and technology here at ONR is bright. We have strong a commitment and support from [Congress], from the Department of the Navy, industry, and academia.”

The article sources also include:

http://www.defenseinnovationmarketplace.mil/resources/2016_USW_Strategy_Distro%20A.PDF

http://www.defenseinnovationmarketplace.mil/resources/2016_USW_STOs_Distro%20A.PDF

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