Transcript : DoD News Briefing : Dr. Paul Kaminski, USD (Acquisition and Technology)
Friday, February 2, 1996 - 1:30 p.m.
[Also participating in this briefing: Col. Ed Mahen, USAF, Technical Assistant to the Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency; Maj. Gen. David Kelley, U.S. Army, Vice Director, Defense Information Systems Agency; and Capt. Mike Doubleday, USN, DATSD (PA)]
Captain Doubleday: Good afternoon.
This afternoon's briefing is part of a continuing series on support to Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR. Dr. Paul Kaminski, the under secretary of defense for acquisition and technology, will introduce DoD's initiative to improve command control capabilities in the U.S. European Command theater, and in particular, in support of JOINT ENDEAVOR.
Following the briefing and questions and answers on this subject, he will discuss the acquisition decision regarding the Hunter UAV program.
Also briefing are: Air Force Colonel Ed Mahen, who is the technical assistant to the director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency; and Army Major General David Kelley, the vice director of the Defense Information Systems Agency. Mr. Emmett Paige, assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence; Mr. Larry Lynn, director of ARPA; and Mr. Jack Bachkowsli, deputy under secretary of defense for advanced technology, will also be available to answer questions following the briefing.
With that, I'll turn the podium over to Dr. Kaminski.
Dr. Kaminski: Hi.
We're here today to announce an important initiative that will provide information dominance for OPERATION JOINT ENDEAVOR. This initiative has many of the ingredients that I've spoken to you about in the past from a philosophical bent in our programs. It includes the use of Integrated Product Teams to pull this together, the use of our Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration Program, the application of commercial systems and technologies to our defense needs, and it advances us a significant step forward towards our objective of information dominance for the battlefield.
What we're talking about here is deploying advanced command and control capabilities in support of the U.S. European Command and operations in Bosnia, thereby further enhancing our coalition forces' significant information advantage.
This concept, which was formally known as the Bosnia Command and Control Augmentation System, really had its genesis in the 1994 Defense Science Board summer study. This was a summer study on the subject of information architecture for the battlefield, and it was co-chaired by two people -- Craig Fields, who is now the chairman of the Defense Science Board, and General (Ret.) Jim McCarthy.
At the conclusion of that study in October of '94, we all recognized that we had an opportunity to employ commercially developed technology, particularly the use of the commercial direct broadcast TV services kinds of capability to significantly improve our information dominance.
Last summer we also initiated another special DSB effort. This was chaired by Charles Gandy and again, General Jim McCarthy.
The purpose of that Defense Science Board task force, which was entitled Improved Application of Intelligence for the Battlefield, was to focus on our situation in EUCOM; and, in particular, it was directed in anticipation of our future deployment of forces in Bosnia. This study looked specifically at our posture for employment and the use of intelligence derived from national and theater assets for the European theater.
It turns out that the executive secretary of that task force was Colonel Ed Mahen -- who you'll hear some more about this afternoon -- who has followed up with this initiative from his ARPA perspective.
In September of '95, Secretary Perry and the DCI, John Deutch, took a briefing on significant findings of this specially focused DSB task force. The findings included the following: the need to do a better job of sharing intelligence with our IFOR partners; the need to adjust our security procedures to allow this to happen; the need to quickly reallocate the bandwidth of our military communication satellites to best employ them; the need for commanders on the ground to be able to dynamically task our intelligence collection assets. The Department acted on implementing solutions to these findings and needs.
The Bosnia Command and Control Augmentation System being briefed to you today is one of those solution initiatives. It deals with several of the problems. The credit for this initiative primarily goes to the Advanced Research Projects Agency -- to ARPA -- for making the technology pieces available; and also very much so to DISA -- the Defense Information Systems Agency -- for taking those component technology pieces and putting them together into a workable system to implement this initiative.
This system will provide better communications connections between U.S.-based information sources into the theater, and among rear and forward deployed commanders. We are using commercial satellite technology protected at the Secret level through the use of encryption devices to directly broadcast information to operation centers and to deployed forces.
In a sense, you can think of this direct broadcast approach as having a long range, remote control; that is, on low bandwidth, being able to select a channel with the information that you need and having it deployed forward at high bandwidth in the theater.
We are also putting in place a high bandwidth secure tactical Internet using commercial satellite transponders. This also will be protected at the Secret level. This is in addition to secure land lines and fiber optic links between the U.S. and European Command.
This initiative builds on work that has been accomplished in our ACTD programs. By taking advantage of commercial technology and commercial business practices, we will reduce costs and improve performance, supportability, and maintainability of the communications infrastructure. In addition, this effort is moving on a very compressed schedule, which would not be possible without taking advantage of commercial technology and innovative contracting methods. It is a superb example of how the Department is changing its way of doing business through our acquisition reform initiatives.
This initiative combines the most advanced defense and commercial technologies. The system will provide our commanders with a common operational picture so that regardless of location and military service, they will operate with the same information at the same time. This will increase our forces' effectiveness and reduce the risk. Overall, our commanders will have access to more information and more quickly.
For example, they will be connected to each other so that they can collaboratively play with secure video teleconferencing and shared electronics maps.
As I said earlier, we've been approaching this through the use of an Integrated Product Team. The credit for the accomplishment rightly goes to the two lead agencies, the Advanced Research Projects Agency -- ARPA -- and the Defense Information Systems Agency -- DISA. Let me stress that the system came about as the result of the hard work of many more individuals and organizations across the whole department. The augmentation system is being managed by an Integrated Product Team that includes representatives from the Joint Staff, the unified commands, the intelligence and mapping agencies, and our armed services. As you can tell by the list of team members, it's quite a feat to have a fully coordinated effort ready to go a month after the first troops arrived in Bosnia.
Before I introduce the people to my left, I would like to acknowledge Secretary Emmett Paige's assistance in this activity, especially in applying previously planned improvements to the Department's capabilities in command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
In addition to Mr. Paige, I have with me today Mr. Jack Bachkowsli. Jack is the deputy under secretary for advanced technology and responsible for running our ACTD programs, and he's Secretary Perry's OSD staff focal point for evaluating the suitability of applying advanced technologies in support of OPERATION JOINT ENDEAVOR.
I'd also like to recognize the efforts of DISA's director for this particular initiative, Brigadier General Beale, who could not be with us today. He has been a key leader in putting together and integrating this effort, and been a principal moving force in making it happen.
Larry Lynn, the director of ARPA, is also with us today. This activity really was largely stirred by Larry's vision in terms of the time and effort he spent in the theater, understanding theater needs and how the ARPA technology base can be applied.
At this time I'd like to bring Colonel Ed Mahen of ARPA to the podium, and he will then be followed by Major General David Kelley, the vice director of DISA. Following that, we'll be available to take questions on this subject.
I'd like to close out our discussion on this subject before we get into questions about the Hunter program.
Colonel Mahen: The ability to achieve a program like this in very short order rests not only in the wisdom of the Defense Science Board, but the vision of the Joint Staff, looking forward to how one uses this information in advanced battle space -- what we all information dominance -- the long-term investments that ARPA has made in the underlying technologies, in transitional technologies into the commercial marketplace -- so they meet defense needs and we can bring that technology back and apply it in very short order.
The information dominance vision really is a transition from how we look at information today in a single thread -- from the source of the information through the distribution system to the user -- and transforming that into information geographically oriented or oriented in the way the soldier sees it in his battle space. Being able to take information from a number of different sources, organize it into this geographical orientation, and provide it to all the commanders at one time to provide this common operational picture. For this concept to be successful, one needs a unified integrated communication networking system, and that's really the objective of this Bosnian Command and Control Augmentation Program.
What this program will provide for the warfighter primarily is a lot more communication capacity to places where he really doesn't have it today. The last mile, as we refer to it, tends to be a very difficult place to get a lot of communications. We have a lot of luxury in this country because we can pick up the phone and get a lot of connectivity. Forward-deployed troops don't have that kind of connectivity or bandwidth. The use of these commercial direct broadcast capabilities allows it to put a lot of this connectivity and capacity down to the very distant end of the soldier in the field.
Together -- since everyone is looking at the same information base -- it provides everyone a common picture. This provides better decisions, more timely decisions, and minimizes the fratricide and the complexity of military operations.
We're using this as a model to understand how advanced information technologies can be used for future contingencies, and to give us a way to accelerate the insertion of advanced communications and command and control technologies that ARPA and other agencies are developing. This, in effect, allows us to utilize the richness of the technology base of this country to provide our warfighters capability in very short order to meet the rapidly changing environment we find ourselves in in today's battlefield.
To go into more depth into the details of the program, I'll turn the podium over to General Kelley.
General Kelley: The depiction you see on this chart is the infrastructure as it is today. We have a large command and control infrastructure in Bosnia, primarily focused on core C2 requirements. The nature of the terrain here, as we often find when we go into an area on an operation, the infrastructure simply is not there to let us do terrestrial extensions. When you couple that with the terrain in Bosnia which is highly compartmented and mountainous, and then you throw in the mine situation where there are literally thousands of mines in unmarked locations, the thrust within country has been to use space assets to establish the backbone of communications. Largely military satellites. That means we've used a lot of the capacity in military satellites. We also have the grid communications in the nations that are cooperating with us, and we have connections from the European continent back to the United States through undersea fiber optic cable.
What this initiative is going to do is really add to the capability of the forces in a dramatic fashion. This broadcast satellite has the ability to see the entire theater. We have the potential now, for example, to put a Predator UAV flying over Bosnia, downlink that information to a satellite station, uplink it back into the broadcast location, and put it out to multiple locations on the battlefield.
One of the biggest problems we had in DESERT STORM was disseminating large bandwidth information. This broadcast capability is going to allow us to do that.
Additionally, we can, on the broadcast, put the intelligence summaries. We can have the soldiers in the field pull the information that they need. The commanders can pull the information from databases in the United States.
Another initiative that's tied in very closely with the American forces in Tuzla is the telemedicine capability. This initiative will allow us to connect Landstuhl Hospital to deployed hospitals in the Tuzla area where medical expertise can be called upon. If the answer's not good enough in Landstuhl, we have connectivity back to the United States to San Antonio, where from there we have a hub that can reach every hospital in the United States that's tied into the telemedicine network. So that way, we can have the specialists on call at any time across time zones.
So we have telemedicine, the potential to do real-time information that will extend the eyes of the commander to see the terrain out in front of him with the UAV, and then to broadcast that information to locations that need it.
This is a dramatic step forward. It's an ambitious initiative, but something that we think will really pay dividends for the soldiers that we have deployed into the Bosnia area.
We're really focused on the idea of one team and one fight. In this case, we hope the peacekeeping operation stays at that level. It's one team with one major mission -- to maintain the peace. But the commanders that are over there need to be able to provide a credible appearance of force and the ability to use force should it be required. This command and control system that we're putting out there will allow them to coordinate... Vertically, we always do a good job, but horizontally, this really improves the horizontal coordination among the command with this initiative.
The thing that it brings to the table primarily is improved situational awareness -- the common operational picture that was mentioned earlier. From that common picture, the commanders can make a decision taking into account the variables and the different aspects of the operation. Finally, it allows the commanders to synchronize their forces. That is one of the most complex problems our commanders say in any deployment: the ability to synchronize the different services and the different forces. In this case, the allied forces as well. So this initiative is going to provide us a real look-ahead to the 21st century and the capabilities of command and control we see on the horizon.
With that, I'll stop and let Dr. Kaminski return for the questions.
Dr. Kaminski: Questions for any of us?
Q: When will all this be usable?
A: It's being deployed at bases. I'll ask General Kelley to comment specifically on bases.
A: We're looking for the broadcast capability for the Predator to be available in phase one around the middle of March -- the 15th of March. The land- line improvements. For example, the undersea improvements that we're going to do to increase the capacity, is to be in at the end of February. Then we have a block program improvement throughout the remainder of the time there. It will improve the capabilities as we go along.
A: This is a moving forward arrangement in which we work out the capabilities in the rear, and when they're checked out -- or the bugs are deployed -- then we move the capability forward.
Q: Will the whole thing be usable in Bosnia before the operation is over? In a couple of months you're saying?
A: Aspects of it are usable right now. We have got pieces on three of the transponders. For example, the broadcast satellite is an Orion satellite. We've already got the lease on that. We've also done the preliminary work needed to identify the availability of ground terminals.
We went out to industry on a call in December and said, what is available in this bandwidth? They came back with 42 responses. Literally thousands of terminals are available. We're in the process now of doing the contracting on the tight turn-around, very fast. Within days of getting the contract in place, we can have delivery of the terminals. So it's really moving now. We also have first right of refusal on another transponder for expansion capability of the initiative.
Q: You talked about a large bandwidth. What kind of bandwidth are you talking about here?
A: We tend to think of bandwidth in terms of megahertz or megabytes. The direct broadcast satellite is capable of providing 30 megahertz of bandwidth. We're initially going to use 23 of that, until we know that we can get the signals and noise and the performance out of the transponders that we need.
There's a second satellite transponder involved in this. We call it VSAT. It's like a business satellite. That transponder has 150 megahertz worth of bandwidth -- or the ability to support at least 12 fully internetted major command and control centers -- as well as the links required to support the Predator and other reconnaissance systems in the theater.
It's hard to compare that in terms of number of normal telephones, if you think of a normal voice telephone using something like 10 kilohertz of bandwidth, we're really talking about the ability to handle the better part of a million phone conversations. So this is orders of magnitude and capability beyond typically what we deploy with our forces forward. So it gives us the foundation for this information revolution.
Q: Can you tell us how much you'll save by using commercial technology?
Kaminski: I can't tell you how much we'll save. What I would say is that there isn't a path to do this, relying on developing something from scratch at a defense base. What we're doing is relying on the commercial-developed base because it's a quick base as well.
Q: Who are the commercial providers?
A: Hughes is the primary provider of direct broadcast TV that you can buy in the United States, and that's the technology we're leveraging off of -- that type of technology.
Q: The undersea fiber optic cable, is that being just ungraded, or is it being laid from scratch...
A: It's being leased.
A: All the components -- communication components -- of this program were in place. These are commercial systems. Commercial industry invests to attract customers. We're a customer. We've gone out and leased that undersea cable through MCI.
Just to follow up on General Kelley's comment Some parts of this program, or I should say all parts of this program, are competitive. We're not going out to even achieve these fast time scales with sole source contracting. These are all competitive procurements. Because it's commercial, industry turns around these procurements very, very quickly.
Q: The MCI link, is that from (inaudible) to Belvoir and are you going to be doing asynchronous transfer in lieu of protocol?
A: Yes, sir. It is. This is building on a joint program that ARPA and DISA put in place two years ago called the ARPA/DISA Joint Program Office which is implementing the ATM technology coming out of the Global Grid Program, and that fiber will use ATM technology.
Q: How much is all this costing you to set it up?
A: Total cost of this effort is $88 million.
Q: What role has the Army's 5th Signal Command had in the development of this?
A: One of the key things we're doing in this initiative is making sure that we integrate it into the existing networks that are in theater. We don't want to create just a stovepipe. Not only this initiative, but this initiative being the forerunner of global broadcast that we're going to do as a program for the Defense Department. It's going to be integrated into the Defense Information Systems Network. That's one of the reasons that we in DISA are so much involved in this. We want to make sure that we keep this wired together.
Q: What happens when the Bosnia operation is over?
A: I think this is a capability... It's a leave-behind capability with EUCOM. It's a capability we will, I believe, end up replicating the best features of. I see this providing a foundation to support future CINCs as well. But this particular system will go to the highest bidder -- the CINC with the greatest need -- and the default will be leaving it in EUCOM.
Q: In your describing the way this will improve the use of the Predator and distribution of Predator's information, how did the Predator work before in terms of distributing the information?
A: The Predator had two link capabilities before: direct downlink to something within line of site, and also a satellite link up. What this does is it provides now a broader distribution path to anybody who's in that downward receiving beam, for example.
Q: So the system functions essentially -- for the novices in the room -- like a direct television system. You have a small unit, a two-and-a-half-foot dish, a portable dish...
A: In this case it's a little bigger dish. It's a meter dish. Well, I guess it depends on the two...
A: About a 30-inch dish.
Q: And a couple of crates of hardware that can come along in a vehicle, a HUMVEE? One piece?
A: It's made up of several sections, but it really only represents a foot or so of a 19-inch rack. It's not crates. It's a relatively small compact system.
Q: One person can carry it? It's a 40-pound unit or something?
A: Less than that.
Q: It functions, essentially, like a direct broadcast system?
A: The programming is a little different, but... (Laughter)
Q: And that unit is capable of dealing with the encrypted... A separate unit for that?
Q: Battery-powered? Can be battery powered?
A: At the present time it's really designed to operate much like your direct broadcast TV set within your home. And it runs of 110 volts of AC, which we have in most of these command centers, as the primary source of power.
Q: Do you have to move it from one satellite to another, or are you... Pretty much take everything out of the sky by pointing it in one general direction?
A: The up-link capability is located here in the United States. We bring back the picture over that undersea cable, and we'll be able to up-link that to the satellite and then down to the broadcast.
Q: So there's one satellite in position over Bosnia at the moment...
A: That's correct. That's the Orion satellite.
Q: And that's taking a signal coming directly from the United States where everything is synthesized and then sent back?
A: Yes. And it can be information directly from the United States or from the theater, sent back over the undersea cable.
Q: Dr. Kaminski, you mentioned earlier that the DSB study recommended that these communications be secure. I thought maybe you'd talk about what's being done to make sure that's the case here.
A: The system as implemented in today's implementation, is secured with NSA encryption devices. The links individually are encrypted. This summer we will move to NSA's key agile system called Fast Lane which allows us to mix a number of different kinds of information in the system simultaneously and take better advantage of even this great bandwidth that we have, than we can today. The system is fully encrypted, end to end.
Q: I was wondering what you see as the main challenges in getting interoperability with the existing military network.
A: The main challenge with the broadcast system is going to be the information management -- the content management. That's probably the newest, and that's the area where we have to do the most work. The technology for the space segment is there in the commercial technology. So we really have to figure out how we're going to best utilize it. Then we're going to have to do the real time links, for example, from the Predator back to the up-link and out over the broadcast.
Q: On the architecture that you have on the chart here, the satellite labeled "commercial broadcast satellite," that's the Hughes satellite?
A: No. Hughes is the technology. They're the ones that first developed direct broadcast TV. Orion is the satellite -- that first one there -- that has the direct broadcast. That's Orion.
Q: What's the other one?
A: The other two satellites depicted are INTELSAT.
Q: How does this tie into Global Command and Control System?
A: The Global Command and Control System. We plan to deploy it over there probably in the late March time frame. As you know, we are working right now on going into the test phase. The major issue with the global command and control... We've got 99 percent of it done. We're ready to turn WWMCCS (Worldwide Military Command and Control System) off with one critical test remaining. We must make sure that we have the synchronization of the databases. We have 16 databases that are throughout the United States as well as globally. That test has to be done. When that test is successfully completed, we are going to be ready at that stage to move forward with the GCCS.
There is a plan to put it into the theater as soon as we've got that done.
Q: What kind of support do you plan to have in theater to make sure that the commanders aren't overloaded with a lot of information when this goes on-line?
A: Before we actually started this initiative we spent quite a bit of time with the commanders in theater, and particularly with Admiral Smith, to ensure that as we develop these technologies and employ them in the theater, that we don't, as you say, overwhelm them or upset their operational concepts.
The system in a way can be viewed as a direct extension of the current network. It's over these current networks that GCCS information flows, so we're extending those networks with a lot more capacity.
What the warfighter will see initially is the ability to get at information that has been difficult to date. And the timeline of getting that information will be greatly improved. So initially, as he pulls information in, he won't be overwhelmed. Most of the information that he will get is information he's asked for. So we're not just trying to push it down, but we're giving him a better way to deliver the information that he's asking for.
Q: Could one of you gentlemen describe how this differs from what went on in Bosnia, and what magnitude of improvement this means? And also if this is more complex and more sophisticated than what went on in DESERT STORM?
A: As I mentioned earlier, one of the problems we had in DESERT STORM was the ability to pass around on the battlefield high bandwidth information -- imagery, video. Telemedicine would be a problem because of the large bandwidths required. This is a major step forward with this broadcast capability.
As you know, we have broadcast satellites now in our inventory, but they're typically 9.6 and 2.4 -- very slow data rates. We're now talking in the 23 megabytes per-second range. That is a phenomenal increase. The arithmetic can be done, but it's a many-fold increase. So we really do expect that this initiative... It's gotten great support here in the building. I think many people recognize the potential that this can provide.
You can put down as many receivers... Wherever you want the information, it can appear. It doesn't have to have a ground network to do it. You don't need the terrestrial network to put it out there. That is ideal for the kind of situation we're facing now with the terrain -- with the mines -- to get the information out.
A: That combination, I think, is what's so powerful: a thousand-fold or so increase in bandwidth of a link, and then available to anybody who's got a 30-inch dish and a set of decryption equipment who's in the beam. Mobile.
Q: How many dishes are you going to buy?
A: EUCOM has not pinned down the total number of sites they want to deploy this to. The initial procurement action is for 45 systems of the direct broadcast satellite capability, and seven major command and control nodes.
Q: This is for General Kelley. How many of these technologies were tested during the JWID demonstration, and how did that affect the decision to deploy these?
A: That played very heavily in our decision. The JWID is the Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration that we conducted last September. We demonstrated the ATM technology; the direct broadcast technology; and as a matter of fact, the up-link that we're using right now at the Naval Research Lab was in fact the same location that we did the test in September. So we've got a great deal of confidence from that time period that we're on the right track. That was a very good effort that was done and really gave us the confidence to move forward on the initiative.
Lynn: There were a couple of comments that occurred to me in listening to the interchange, one on the schedule.
You asked about the schedule. We basically expect to have everything deployed by April -- at least the initial capability, and we'll improve it from that.
The second comment I wanted to make... We talked about some things moving around, but one of the big problems in DESERT STORM was with imagery. You can move huge amounts of imagery -- weather, maps -- around, which was all done by truck, typically, in DESERT STORM.
The third comment I wanted to make was the... We talked about this being part and parcel here and using U.S. pieces as well as in-theater. This whole thing is designed to be completely under the theater's control, all of the information flow. They have access to information that resides here in the States, but it is a theater asset, and is completely under the control of Smith.
Q: Can we move on to Hunter?
A: Any other questions on...
Q: One final question. To what extent will our allies have access to these terminals and capabilities?
A: Basically the allies have access to this as determined by the commander on the scene. That is, what we're doing is providing together the pipes. And the command and control operations are under the control of the local commander.
Q: Do you have a rough idea of how many hospitals in the U.S. are linked to the telemedicine system?
A: There's about seven of them. Walter Reed; Tripler; San Antonio; obviously, Landstuhl in Germany. And we can get the rest of them.
Q: I just thought you could comment on how you feel this fits into your vision for C4I for the warrior and...
Paige: All the way, 100 percent. As was stated earlier, we've already tried it out. We tested it as a part of JWID '95. So we're looking forward to moving ahead with it. No question.
Dr. Kaminski: With respect to Hunter, let me make a few statements and then take any questions that you have.
Basically, we've decided to not make any further purchases of the Hunter Joint Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicle. This decision is in agreement with the JROC October '95 recommendation to reduce the number of our UAVs and to seek a more cost effective alternative.
In the Hunter program we developed two developmental and seven baseline systems. Each of these systems includes eight air vehicles plus the ground and mission planning equipment to support the capability.
One of these baseline systems will be deployed to Fort Hood, Texas, with a training capability maintained at the DoD UAV Training Center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. The Army will use the deployed system to develop and refine UAV concept of operations in support of Force XXI. Residual systems will be placed in storage.
As I look back through this program, I think we've obtained from it a number of lessons learned. I would cite a few of them for you.
One is the importance of interoperable ground stations. Hunter successfully demonstrated the use of UAV software applications on different land and ship-board hardware suites.
Second is the established need for a timely and accurate picture of the battlefield.
Third is the expected finding that UAVs must be reliable, survivable, and maintainable.
Fourth, we established something I think is very important, and that is that the same type of disciplined, operational procedures that we have worked out through the years for the operation of manned aircraft must also be developed and applied to the operation of our unmanned aircraft vehicles. There's a lot of attention been focused on the performance of the vehicle itself, but an equal amount of attention has to be focused on how you operate the vehicle and the procedures that we've learned through tens of years by trial and error in manned aircraft systems, you must have the same kind of discipline associated with our UAV systems.
To date, the Hunter has flown about 4,600 flying hours.
I'll be happy to take any questions on the program.
Q: I guess my first question would be why are you killing the program now? It's been something of a plagued program. Why did it take so long to get to this point?
A: The program went through two cycles of problems. One -- which we took then under a major set of management reviews -- had some difficulties in both the management structure and the performance. I think we got through those basic problems.
We then had another set of issues with some faulty equipment that didn't have suitable quality control.
But I would say the issue that's causing us to not proceed forward is a fundamental issue on requirements -- on looking at the need for a more cost effective system, a smaller system, one that's more flexible in its use. It's that direction that we're heading in with our tactical UAV ACTD program.
Q: I'd like to follow up with the five systems that are going to remain in storage. What's going to happen to them? Are they going to be sold? Just mothballed? How much is it going to cost each year to maintain the two systems that you're going to use at Hood and Huachuca?
A: I'll have to get for you the exact number associated with using those systems, but it's on the order of about $15 million per year, plus or minus...
Q: [Paid to] the contractor?
A: That's total support costs for operating support of those systems. We don't have plans defined one way or the other for the remaining systems in storage. Should we start to see potential for some operational use or greater training, we could pull those systems out of storage. No plans today.
Q: You mentioned it not meeting the requirements. Does this have to do with the transportability of us moving them by cargo plane? (Inaudible) too many pieces or what?
A: I would really want to get you in touch more with those who develop requirements to talk about this; that is, the JROC. But let me give you my view of it.
This is a vehicle that doesn't have the flexibility that a tactical UAV would have in terms of being able, for example, to be launched from unprepared turf, to be able to move forward. This vehicle needs a little more infrastructure to support it. It's a bigger vehicle than we're talking about in the tactical UAV.
Q: Bigger physically?
A: Bigger physically. For example, if you looked at the endurance and the speed, it could fly probably five times further than what we're talking about in a tactical UAV.
Q: How did UAV procurements, in general, get out of control? Which (inaudible) the decision to terminate this program?
A: This issue is an issue, as I've said, of fundamental requirements. That is, we could, if we wanted to, continue to buy this vehicle. The purpose of our ACTD programs is to look at the utility of the concept and to try to establish that utility or the degree of it before we committed to fill out the inventory of systems. Had we proceeded on this program, we would have proceeded all the way through to buy something like a total of 400 air vehicles on this program. So we stopped it way short of that, having had the experience operating it and seeing how it fits -- or doesn't fit, in this case.
Q: What weight did the test failures have on the final decision to terminate this program?
A: They had some weight. But I think this is more fundamentally a prioritization of requirements issue: what's most important from the requirements of the use.
Q: A requirement for this program still exists. What will you be replacing the Hunter with?
A: We will not be making any one-for-one replacement of the Hunter.
Q: You mean the Pioneer will be kept in service longer than planned, then?
A: We will probably keep the Pioneer in service for some time.
Q: Do you have a date?
A: I don't have a date.
Q: The overall cost of the program to date... Aand have you received any pressure from Israel to continue the program?
A: The overall cost of the program is $667 million obligated to date. We have had, and I expect that we'll continue to have, discussions with Israel from time to time.
Q: That's including R&D and everything?
A: Including R&D and the procurement cost of the two developmental and the followon systems.
Q: Do you know what, if any, termination payments have to be made to TRW by...
A: I don't believe we have any termination payments. What we've decided, really, is to not go forward to the next phase.
Q: Will the TUAV pick up some of the missions of the Hunter?
A: Yes. It will perform some of the kinds of capabilities. The TUAV will be a smaller vehicle -- a lower on-station time -- but it has capabilities to perform some of the functions that the Hunter would have performed.
Q: A longer range than originally designed? A 50-kilometer range?
A: Actually, at the upper range of the objective would be a range as long as 200 kilometers.
Q: Which would be able to do... The 50 kilometers it was supposed to do. Would you buy more TUAVs than the original 50 systems you talk about as part of the new Maneuver UAV program, its predecessor?
A: Would I buy more of the Maneuver?
Q: Buy more...
A: We have no plans to do that at this point.
Q: Fifty is still the number?
A: Our next step is to evaluate what comes back as an ACTD in this tactical UAV program. We would expect to buy something on the order of 24 air vehicles in this tactical UAV ACTD program.
Q: Vehicles or systems?
A: Air vehicles.
Q: How many systems?
A: Six systems.
Q: Is that the total?
A: That's the total for the ACTD.
Q: Beyond that?
A: Beyond that, I can't tell you what our plans are. Our plans are to evaluate the ACTD result before going forward to structure a followon program.
Q: Considering that Hunter and the newly named Joint Tactical UAV ACTD have some similar characteristics -- like was mentioned, range -- was it illogical to maybe retool the Hunter program a little bit, rather than start over? I would assume it must have been.
A: We're looking for a lower performance, lower cost version. For example, the endurance provided by Hunter is about 10 hours. The endurance we were looking for in a smaller, unprepared turf launchable tactical UAV is about four hours. The unit cost that we were talking about with the Hunter vehicle was about $2 million. The objective for the unit cost of the tactical UAV is about $350K.
Q: Can you repeat those numbers?
A: Yes. The unit cost for the Hunter was about $2 million. The unit cost we're looking for -- for a tactical UAV -- is about $350,000 as it gets into production, somewhere around the 30th vehicle or so. The endurance numbers that I gave: 10 hours for Hunter, four for tactical UAV. But the big difference here is the ability to operate from unprepared turf. To be able to operate forward.
Q: Forgive me for sounding dense here, but I'm a little bit unclear on exactly what you're going to get out of using the two baseline systems at Hood and Huachuca.
A: I raised this issue of developing disciplined procedures for operation of the system, and experience in employing it. I expect we'll get that. And so that we will develop an operational capability to understand how we could or would use it. And, in fact, we will have the capability to deploy it, should we choose to. But it's just one of the systems that we've deployed.
Q: So it's really the potential for possible use of Hunter in the future with what you've purchased?
A: Yes, there certainly is the possibility for use of that system. Our plans are not to procure any more.
Q: Why hasn't there been discipline in the procurement of UAVs? I would have thought we would have learned a lesson from the Seawolf procurement, which is another failed program in terms of developing a UAV versus adopting somebody else's UAV.
A: The issue there is simply more an issue simply of the acquisition. The issue, I think, is in large measure understanding what the requirement is, how one fields and uses the system, how you put that all together. That is something you have to learn by doing, as I said. There is a need for the same kind of discipline that we've established through the years in the operation of manned aircraft that we have not always applied. In fact, we don't have an experience base to have fully developed for UAVs. I think we've developed that experience base for Predator. We know how to operate that vehicle.
Q: You think it's on operational problems the, it's how we "tried" to operate it?
A: It's a combination of working those out. The operation isn't trivial. There are a set of discipline things you have to do, and there are things that if you do, you run into trouble.
Q: On another subject, have you made a decision on the long-range buy for the C-17s?
A: Yes, I have. Yesterday, I signed the ADM approving a multi-year program which will occur over about seven years before what will lead to a total buy of 120 C-17s. When I announced the C-17 decision, I announced the fact that we had an option to do a year-by-year buy. I also indicated our interest in looking at a multi-year purchase of C-17 aircraft, and I expressed the hope that we might be able to save as much as five percent of the system cost by doing a multi-year. We, indeed, have achieved that objective in a multi-year program, so I've given approval to proceed to do that.
Q: How does that break down on orders per year?
A: I'll have to get those for you. I don't have them in my head, unfortunately. But it has been established. It is a faster buy than was under the baseline program. It ramps up starting at eight. The peak buy is nearly twice that. I think the peak buy may get up to 15 per year. I will make available for you a buy profile.
Q: You save five percent...
A: Yes, you save in excess of five percent.
Q: How much money is that actually in dollars, do you know?
A: Total dollar value is nearly a billion dollars.
Q: In savings?
A: In savings. The production schedule is eight, nine, 13, 15, 15, 15, and then the residual five left in the last of the seven years.
Q: That starts this year?
A: Starting this year.
A: We'll have a Blue Top out.
Q: The total value of the contract, do you know?
A: The total value is $16.6 billion, and I will get for you a unit production cost. This drives unit production cost down another notch.
Q: In fact there was a Hunter decision on basically the quality of U.S./Israeli defense cooperation?
A: No, I don't think so. I think our cooperation is broad-based. As I said, we haven't written off the potential use of that Hunter vehicle. As a matter of fact, our inventory of Hunter vehicles right now compares favorably with the entire Israeli inventory of UAV vehicles. We have a fair capability to be able to bring to bear should we choose to do it.
Q: Will they be sent back to Israel?
A: They could be, if the Israelis would be interested in buying them. (Laughter)
Q: Back to the Hunter. How were you able to determine our requirement for the new Joint Tactical UAV when the Navy hasn't even figured out its own requirements for that?
A: This requirement that I'm talking about is a joint requirement agreed to by all the services. It's a JROC established and blessed requirement. The Navy's been involved in it.
Q: Some industry officials have expressed some skepticism about the ability to meet the $350,000 cost cap because they say they're going to need better sensors and a better data link to meet the 200-nautical mile range.
A: I'm sure there will be a fair amount of skepticism. If there aren't bidders capable of meeting those goals, we'll go back and revisit; but we believe there is the potential to meet those goals. You're probably hearing from those who don't have the capability to do it, or have existing products designed that don't quite fit.
Q: Can you comment on whether you think this is a trend in terms of when programs either outlive the requirements or maybe have some problems in their acquisition? I know the Army's reportedly going to cancel the armored gun system and now Hunter. I thought maybe you could tell me, is there a trend there that maybe requirements might outlive the systems and there may be problems as far as industry being able to build them to your specs?
A: There is maybe only one trend that I would comment about, and that has to do with cycle time. The longer time it takes to execute a program -- to develop and to field -- the more time there is for mischief, for requirements to change or base of stability to change. So that's one reason we ought to try to be compressing our programs overall. But the world changes. Views of requirements change. Opportunities change as new technology comes along to offer us different or better solutions. So all of those are factors. The more quickly we can move in developing and fielding -- which the ACTD process I think is an important ingredient -- the better off we'll be.
Press: Thank you.