Luftfahrt - Background zu US-NAVY - UAV-Laser-Abschuß-Teil3


With these factors in mind, if DE technologies are to jump the developmental
“valley of death” to become full-fledged programs, DoD should transition responsibility
for their oversight to organizations whose purpose is the acquisition of
new capabilities. Acquisition organizations are focused on developing systems
to meet known capability gaps as quickly as feasible, and they are rewarded for
producing capabilities, as opposed to pursuing a series of research projects.
reso urce cha llenges
If DoD is to capitalize on maturing DE technologies, it will need to change investment
priorities that remain heavily weighted toward kinetic weapons. DoD’s
missile defense investments illustrate this dynamic. The FY 2011 defense budget
requested $10.2 billion to develop and procure kinetic weapons that are intended
primarily to defend against air and missile threats. In contrast, DoD allocated
a little over 5 percent of this amount—approximately $500 million—for electric
laser and HPM technologies that could lead to new systems capable of countering
a much wider range of enemy capabilities, including cruise and ballistic missiles,
UAVs, advanced IADS, and command and control networks (see Figure 11).
Today, none of DoD’s DE initiatives are resourced at levels required to transition
them to full-scale acquisition programs, nor are prospects particularly
good that DoD as a whole will signifi cantly reallocate funding to support DE
acquisition programs in the near term. In fact, given downward pressure on the
defense budget, some DoD organizations may choose to reduce funding needed
to sustain existing DE development. As a result, it is quite possible that a lack of
suffi cient resources could replace technical challenges and institutional resistance
as the most signifi cant barrier to transitioning promising DE technologies
to fully operational capabilities.
Previous DE programs that over-promised and under-delivered created an environment
in which DoD is reluctant to move toward to a new generation of potentially
game-changing DE capabilities. Barriers to transitioning DE concepts to
operational capabilities include technological challenges (which are no longer as
daunting as they were in the past), institutional desires to seek “perfect” technological
solutions, and insufficient funding.
Three themes emerged during CSBA’s discussions with DoD and industry DE
experts on how these challenges might be overcome. First, a concerted effort is
needed to better inform senior civilian and military defense leaders about DE
technologies that have matured to the point where operational capabilities could
be developed and fielded within this decade—many within five years. Second, the
defense DE community may need a significant “win”—the successful transition
of a major high-power DE weapon system to operational status—to prove DE’s
value to Service leaders and Combatant Commanders. Third, it may require the
first use of a high-power DE capability in an event of great military significance,
or a DE technology “breakout” by an enemy, before DoD finally grasps its full
potential to transform the character of warfare.
The U.S. military’s traditional paradigm of sequentially deploying a large joint
force to forward operating locations, rolling back enemy threats, and then conducting
decisive combat operations is no longer a particularly useful template
for future operations in a maturing precision-guided weapons regime. In such a
“post–power projection” world, U.S. forces deploying abroad should instead assume
that they will need to fight for their freedom of action in all operating domains.
Moreover, relying on increasingly expensive kinetic capabilities to counter
an enemy equipped with large quantities of precision-guided weapons will
create a cost-exchange dynamic that does not favor the United States. Of greater
concern is the possibility that continuing to rely solely on kinetic weapons to
counter proliferating threats such as ASCMs, ASBMs, and G-RAMM could lead
to scenarios where projecting U.S. forces into harm’s way risks prohibitive losses.
Against this backdrop, philosophical debates over whether new technologies
may lead to “game-changing” capabilities are of little value. This assessment
concludes that it is more important to understand how the proliferation of
precision-guided weapons and other advanced military technologies has already
changed the game for future U.S. operations. In this context, high-energy laser
and high-power microwave technologies offer the promise of new capabilities
that could enhance the United States’ ability to conduct military operations in
increasingly challenging threat environments.
Although the advent of mature DE capabilities could significantly change the
way the U.S. military conducts future operations, it is unlikely that DE alone will
underpin a new military revolution that renders “obsolete or subordinate existing
means for conducting war.”128 Perhaps one of the most significant insights developed
during this assessment is that DE applications have great potential to com
plement and significantly increase the effectiveness of kinetic systems, rather
than obviate the need for them. Although DE weapons cannot replace kinetic
capabilities in the foreseeable future, they have the potential to become powerful
new force multipliers and greatly reduce the overall cost of conducting
key U.S. offensive and defensive operations. In particular, a combination of
non-kinetic and kinetic systems could enable U.S. forces to prevail more rapidly
over enemies fielding sophisticated A2/AD weapons. This could create a dilemma
for opponents, who could not simultaneously spend enough on offensive weapons
to overwhelm the “bubbles” of protection that a layered combination of kinetic
and DE systems could extend over U.S. forces and field sufficient additional defensive
capabilities to counter U.S. long-range surveillance and strike systems.
Thus, the fielding of DE capabilities could help the United States buy back its ability
to project power at acceptable levels of risk while imposing disproportionate
costs on future enemies.
There are challenges to overcome before the first generation of high-power DE
weapons can be fielded. This assessment concludes that cultural factors and a
lack of funding, not technology, are now the most significant barriers to developing
major new DE capabilities over the next decade. To overcome these barriers,
it may be useful to acknowledge that DE capabilities, which could complement
rather than replace kinetic systems, do not pose an existential threat to the
Services’ most cherished weapons programs. It is also important to understand
that waiting until “perfect” DE technological solutions are available could create
opportunities for competitors to gain a significant advantage over the United
States by fielding their own DE weapons. Sadly, to overcome the barriers elaborated
upon above, it may take a catalytic event such as a DE breakout by an enemy
before the U.S. military fully grasps that these weapons have become reality
rather than interesting science projects.
In lieu of an unfocused strategy in which multiple organizations fund similar
directed-energy S&T efforts, DoD should develop an acquisition plan that: (1)
focuses its efforts on DE concepts that have the most promise to transition to new
operational capabilities over the next decade; and (2) considers the maturity of
DE technologies and their system requirements—including size, power, and cooling
needs—that would affect their integration with operational platforms. This
report recommends that such a plan should include the following initiatives:
>> DoD should support the U.S. Navy as the “first adopter” for weaponizing an SSL
capable of producing a sustainable 100-plus kilowatt beam of laser energy. Surface
ships with sufficient power, space, and cooling are particularly well-suited as platforms
for SSLs that could become part of an integrated network to defend against
UAVs, cruise missiles, and fast attack craft. This technology could also transition
to support the U.S. Marine Corps’ Ground Based Air Defense program
and a ground-mobile HEL system for the U.S. Army. This does not mean that
the U.S. Navy should forgo some level of its planned investment in higher-risk
free electron laser technologies that could eventually lead to new defensive
capabilities for countering more challenging threats, such as ASBMs in their
terminal phase of flight.
>> The U.S. Army and Air Force should leverage mature laser technologies to develop
deployable, ground-based, DE defenses against air and missile threats
to high-value bases and strategic chokepoints in the Western Pacific and
Southwest Asia. It may be advisable for DoD to establish a “competition” fund
to support the development and procurement of the most promising concepts.
>> DoD should support the U.S. Air Force and Navy as lead Services for developing
HPM weapons that could be integrated into mobile platforms such
as manned and unmanned aircraft, cruise missiles, and ground vehicles.
Unlike state-of-the-art SSLs, HPM systems appear to be sufficiently mature
to be weaponized into packages that could be carried by air platforms in as
little as three years. The Air Force should continue to pursue technologies
that could increase HPM power outputs and ranges, as well as concepts that
could lead to recoverable and reusable systems capable of attacking scores of
targets per sortie.
>> The military Services should work with the Commandant of the U.S. Marine
Corps, DoD’s executive agent for non-lethal weapons, to transition advanced,
non-lethal DE applications being developed by the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons
Directorate to programs of record. A more concerted, internal DoD “outreach”
effort could improve Service and Combatant Commander understanding of
the potential for non-lethal DE capabilities such as the Active Denial System
to support future operations.
>> Additional lethality testing is needed to substantiate the effects that high-energy
lasers and HPM devices can achieve against air, ground, and maritime threats
in operationally relevant environments. Near-term testing should prioritize
the collection of data on laser lethality against small boats, UAVs, cruise missiles,
and ballistic missiles, and the impact of environmental factors such as
aerosols, humidity, and obscurants on laser weapons operating in maritime
and ground battlefield environments. In 2007, a Defense Science Board task
force suggested that “the Deputy Secretary of Defense should assign responsibility
to a military department to develop a laser and high power microwave
effects manual.”This report recommends that a joint entity, such as
the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and
Logistics, may be a more appropriate DoD organization for overseeing the development
of a lethality database that would span future DE operating domains
and applications.
>> Finally, DoD should assess how future DE capabilities could support AirSea
Battle operational concepts for the Western Pacific, Persian Gulf, and other
regions where emerging A2/AD battle networks threaten the national interests
of the United States. Over time, DE systems could become a key element
of counter-A2/AD operations while reducing the U.S. military’s need to procure
costly kinetic weapons that require extensive supporting logistics networks
and large forward footprints. In other words, DE could become part of
the prescription for how the DoD will deal with the “fiscal realities of limited
resources” while creating a new force that “is agile, flexible, deployable, and
technologically equipped to confront the threats of the future.”


A2/AD Anti-access/area denial

ABL Airborne Laser

ATL Advanced Tactical Laser

ASAT Anti-satellite

ASCM Anti-ship cruise missile

AWACS Airborne Warning and Control System

CHAMP Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced

Missile Project

CIWS Close-In Weapon System

COIL Chemical oxygen-iodine lasers

CSG Carrier strike group

DE Directed energy

ELLA Electric Laser on a Large Aircraft

ELSA Electric Laser on a Small Aircraft

FEL Free electron laser

G-RAMM Guided rockets, artillery, mortars, and missiles

HEL High-energy laser

HPM High-power microwave

IADS Integrated air defense system

ISIS Integrated Sensor Is the Structure

JHPSSL Joint High Power Solid-State Laser

LAIRCM Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures

LaWS Laser Weapon System

MANPADS Man portable air defense system

MCM Mine countermeasures

MLD Maritime Laser Demonstrator

MRBM Medium-range ballistic missile

OTHR Over-the-horizon radar

PLA People’s Liberation Army

PLAAF People’s Liberation Army Air Force

PRC People’s Republic of China

SAM Surface-to-air missile

SRBM Short-range ballistic missile

SSL Solid-state laser

THAAD Terminal High Altitude Air Defense

THEL Tactical High Energy Laser

TEL Transporter erector launcher

UAV Unmanned aerial vehicle

UCLASS Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike

VLS Vertical launch system

WMD Weapons of mass destruction


Quelle: CSBA