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Transcript : DoD News Briefing : Dr. Paul G. Kaminski, USD(Acquisition and Technology)

Presenters: Dr. Paul G. Kaminski, USD (Acquisition and Technology)
April 28, 1996 3:45 PM EDT

Friday, April 26, 1996 - 3:45 p.m.

[Also participating: Captain Mike Doubleday, USN, DASD (Public Affairs)]

Captain Doubleday: Good afternoon.

Dr. Paul Kaminski, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition andTechnology is here this afternoon to brief you on decisions that were madeearlier today by Secretary Perry on upgrades to military passenger-carryingaircraft.

Dr. Kaminski.

Dr. Kaminski: Good afternoon.

I'd like to announce that Secretary Perry today signed out direction toprovide for important safety upgrades on our military passenger-carryingaircraft. The benefits of the direction that the Secretary provided involvefirst GPS, providing for enhanced situational awareness on those aircraft; andenhancements in both enroute navigation and terminal approach capability.

Secondly, also direction on flight data recorders with benefits to providesupport for maintenance functions as well as the ability to do accidentreconstruction.

In the general guidance provided by Secretary Perry for implementation, he hasput highest priority on accelerated installation of GPS for safety purposes onall such aircraft. The next priority, providing flight data recorders on fixedwing, commercial derivative aircraft. Then the next priority on flight datarecorders on other aircraft, including troop carrier and rotary wingaircraft.

To get more to the specific guidance, the Air Force, which has the most suchaircraft, will immediately install interim GPS systems on over 1,200 aircraftat a cost of about $4 million. This is an interim solution that will provide acombination of commercial technology, our military, hand-held PLGR system, ourPrecision Light GPS Receiver, and we've got an example of one of thosereceivers here.

There are some applications in which we'll go a step further than this PLGRtechnology to provide a semi-degree of integration in which we'll also beadding weigh point and bearing indicators, and in some applications even afurther step in which we'll be integrating this with a moving map display on alaptop computer. We have demonstrated those kind of capabilities, are in factusing them in a small number of aircraft. What we're doing is getting on thepath to more fully integrating the capability over time.

The other element in the Air Force inventory is accelerating installation offully integrated GPS systems for all other passenger-capable aircraft. Thiswill cost just a little under $70 million.

The two new features here in this element is the acceleration of this interimcapability that I've described and the acceleration of our fully integratedsystems. The fully integrated systems have been planned for some time, andwhat we're doing is moving those up somewhat with this additionalexpenditure.

Additionally, navigation and safety systems for our distinguished visitoraircraft and our operational support aircraft will be included. This includesflight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders for those systems.

That summarizes the guidance to the Air Force.

With respect to the Navy, they too, will be doing interim hand-held GPS PLGRkinds of installations. This will be completed in FY96 on all theirpassenger-carrying aircraft including troop transport aircraft. This is some854 aircraft that will be so equipped. The cost of this interim installationis about $3 million.

We will also accelerate as soon as possible, installation on about 200executive airlift and passenger-carrying aircraft, the installation ofintegrated cockpit voice recorders, flight incident recorders, and integratedGPS systems. This should be completed in FY98 and the total cost of that pieceis about $50 million.

Finally, with respect to the Army, the Army had in place already awell-grounded fully integrated GPS installation program. The plan was to haveGPS fully integrated in all fixed wing aircraft in FY99 -- that's about 270aircraft; and GPS in some form in every Army aircraft by FY2000. This is over5,000 aircraft, including the rotary wing aircraft, with about 3,100 of thosepassenger-carrying aircraft. We expect to have GPS fully integrated in allArmy aircraft by FY 2002.

The Army will continue to develop its requirements for the future installationof flight data recorders in their fixed wing passenger-carrying aircraft.

The resources to do this, we are in the final stages of finalizing theresources. We estimate the cost will be just a little over $200 million over FY96 and FY 97. And I believe we've identified those resources now to proceedforward with in our mid-term, mid-cycle review.

The out-years will be addressed in the services' budgets from FY98 to 2003.Our estimate for the total cost increase from FY96 through FY99 is about $335million.

Let me go back...

Q: I thought it was $355...

A: My notes say $335.

Let me come back to one point which there could be some room for confusion on,and that's this issue of integration. What we had in our baseline plans was tofully integrate the GPS system, that is have it be fully integrated into thewhole flight control system of the aircraft. What I described to you todaywere various degrees of integration. Obviously the smallest degree ofintegration is simply to add this to a cockpit. The next degree of integrationis to help it with weigh-point indications. A third degree of integration isto add a laptop system. Of course the fourth degree of integration is fullyintegrated into the cockpit of the aircraft. That's where we want to get to intime, is the full integration. So what I've described to you is a set ofinterim measures.

For those of you who may be interested, I don't have it available today, ateam of us saw it demonstrated on Monday of this week as we went through thepreparations for a decision, we saw demonstrated this PLGR system integratedwith a laptop. That has been used now for some period of time, and it's aninteresting demo to see what integration does for you. To take the navigationinformation and begin to provide some degree of integration. It's harder for meto show you the full cockpit, but we can make available -- to anybody who'dlike to see it, Monday or Tuesday of next week -- what this looks likeintegrated with a laptop computer.

That concludes my announcement. I'd be happy to take questions.

Q: Dr. Kaminski, the release makes no mention of cockpit voice recorders. Youdid mention them in your remarks. It is clear that you will be putting incockpit voice recorders along with...

A: We will be putting in cockpit voice recorders. They're on a differentpriority. They have a high priority for the passenger aircraft, a lowerpriority for the non-passenger aircraft.

Q: And the release also does not mention anything about Army aircraft used fordistinguished visitors. Are there no such aircraft, or are they not on anaccelerated schedule?


It says the Navy and Air Force DV aircraft will get these systems in by '96,but the Army will not. Unless there are no such aircraft.

A: I'll have to get back to you on Army DV aircraft. Can anybody help me onthat? [Pause] I believe there are some, but...

Q: Can you give us the parameters on even these small... How far do they tellyou... How does it tell you where you are at?

A: How accurately does it tell you where you are? This PLGR system, whichuses the encoded signal, provides an accuracy of about 16 meters or so.

Q: Less than 50 feet.

A: Yes.

Q: That can be refined much more accurately, as I understand it.

A: It can be refined only by differential correction kind of schemes. Thisbasic unit is what we're talking about using, so it will be about 16 meters.

Q: In three dimensions.

A: In three dimensions.

Q: None of the stuff that you all have mentioned would really have doneanything to prevent an accident like the T-43 that went down a few weeks ago.The flight data recorder, the CVRs, those are sort of after the fact, maybefind out what happened. And GPS, there's no GPS-guided landing. Unless youhave a map that shows a mountain is exactly here and your GPS tells you that'sexactly where you are, it doesn't do any good.

One of the things the Air Force is talking about is a much broader and moreextensive plan to work in some real navigation and safety measures. What's thestatus of that, and what is the thinking on the part of OSD in putting thesesystems in that don't really do a whole lot to increase the safety ofindividual flights?

A: The reason that we're doing this is that we think it will do some good.What we had in place prior to this were fully integrated GPS systems. We thinkthose will provide a help. They'll provide a better base of situationalawareness and redundancy.

I cannot comment on the specific accident at this point. We, as you know,have a very thorough accident investigation board in place, and when thoseresults are done I think we'll be able to comment in a more intelligent waywould the GPS additions have helped.

Q: What about the Air Force plan? It's much more expensive, about $750million...

A: It is a longer range plan. We're certainly going to be looking at thatseriously. What we wanted to move ahead on as soon as we could, is to do thethings that we could do to enhance situation awareness. This will do that.This will also enhance enroute navigation and it will enhance approaches.Knowing where you are to within 16 meters is a big help.

Q: The $355 million will be for the accelerated [move of this]. What will bethe overall cost of putting these devices in, including what had been budgetedpreviously?

A: All I have here, Charlie, are deltas. We'll be happy to get the budgetsfor you for the total integration cost. They will be substantially higher.These are the things that were in our budget previously to do the fullintegration. We'll get you those numbers. They will be far larger than the$335 million.

Q: ...crash warning devices?

A: Those devices are also being considered as part of an overall plan.Terrain and collision avoidance approaches. Some of those are being consideredin this second and third priority categories that I described.

Q: Not in the $355 million.

A: There actually is some small component of the $335 million in that base,but I think we'll end up doing more in that arena in time.

Q: Can you describe, in a general way, why Dr. Perry is taking this action?

A: We met about Monday of this week -- it was Monday of this week -- to lookat all of our various alternatives. We felt that we had a good base plan inplace, moving ahead with our integrated GPS solutions in our various platforms.We felt we should leave no stone unturned in terms of providing the very bestcapability that we could provide as soon as possible. We have this PLGRtechnology. As I indicated to you, the costs for introducing this PLGRtechnology are modest, and the money associated with making these availableisn't wasted. That is, as the fully integrated systems come on-line, thesePLGR systems are back useful in our forces. So our sense was this wasn't a bigcost to pay and we wanted to do everything we could to provide the very bestsituation awareness and en-route navigation.

Q: A different subject while you're here: the overall budget bill thePresident signed this morning includes the authorization you requested for themulti-year procurement of the C-17, but it also requires you to get moresavings than either you or the company officials have indicated would be easilyfound. When you were testifying on the Hill you indicated that a five percentsavings that you're looking at now, the company said, I believe, that it waspretty ambitious as it is.

What is your sense of how you're going to proceed on those negotiations nowthat they're demanding more savings?

A: I think we'll go back and have another go at it, but I would differ withyou on one interpretation there. It didn't require us to get more. Itrequired the Secretary to certify that this is all we could get. So we'll haveto go through a process that gives us comfort in making that kind ofcertification.

Q: So is it your sense you won't exceed the savings you expect...

A: I don't know the answer to that. I think I need to make a good faitheffort to look. But I would point out, as I did in my testimony, that thereare really three components of the savings. The first one has to do with whereone started, and there was some about $5 billion taken out of the C-17 programbefore we started that negotiation. The second piece, and I think one of thebenefits of a multi-year, is that there was about another seven percent savingsassociated with ramping up to the higher build rate and staying on thatprofile. Then over and above that, there was the five percent savings directlyattributable to the multi-year.

I actually count in some of my sense of the value of the multi-year, a goodpiece of that seven percent as well. So I think there's a very substantialsavings overall. But we will obey the sense of the Congress and go back andhave another pass. I think it's an aggressive figure, as I testified, butwe'll have another pass at it.

Q: Do you expect to have that all done by June 1st?

A: Yes, we want to keep open the real option for a multi-year. In thissituation that we find ourselves in today, looking for modernization funds,when we see an opportunity to save $900 million, I don't like to pass it overquickly.

Q: Can I go back to GPS and follow up on Mark's question? A third of abillion dollars in these times is a lot of money to speed up a program whichyou yourself said would probably be...

A: Yes.

Q: What is the cause of the rush? Is it just the Brown crash? Or do you haveany indication, in some internal setting, to suggest that there is a widersafety problem that you should address?

A: I don't have any indication that there is a wider safety problem. What wewere seeing in the past showed that we, the lack of incidents showed that wehad an adequate base. However, I think this is a modest cost. It's modest inthe sense that all the equipment we're procuring for this purpose is usable forother purposes once the fully-integrated upgrades that we were already planningcome into place. So I don't really attribute $300 million for this purposealone. This is equipment that will be useable equipment. These PLGRs areuseable equipment by our forces. So the costs of providing them in the cockpitare costs that we'll recover for other uses.

My direction in this was to do every reasonable thing we could do to enhanceour situation, and that's what we're doing.

Q: Are you doing anything for the distinguished visitor aircraft or the OSDaircraft that you haven't done and don't plan to do for combat aircraft? Andif so, why?

A: Yes, we are doing things for distinguished visitor aircraft that we're notdoing for combat aircraft. For example, in some of the distinguished visitoraircraft we have the opportunity to use this kind of a PLGR system with alaptop. In some of our combat aircraft, a laptop isn't a sensible thing tocarry. Operating with a laptop in a rotary wing aircraft causes some othersafety of flight issues.

Q: Does Air Force One have everything already?

A: Yes.

Q: Can you tell me how many parameters the FDR will have? Will it meet FAAstandards for new flight data recorders?

A: I believe it will, but I can't tell you how many parameters.

Q: Holding up that device, it gives you latitude and longitude. How does apilot flying even in a DV airplane in a storm when he's got all this otherstuff going on, how does he look at this and determine if he's off or oncourse?

A: It gives you a latitude, a longitude, and an altitude, and of course theseare all in absolute coordinates, so this by itself without a map having thosecoordinates isn't very useful for either enroute navigation or terminalnavigation. That is why I talked about those three different degrees ofintegration that are useful. This is the most basic capability. To use thisyou need a map.

Q: So the pilot has to look at that on final approach, read the latitude andlongitude, then go to a map and plot it onto a map.

A: In a non-fully integrated or non-integrated installation where you justhave a PLGR, you have to have in mind a set of coordinates of where you want tobe, and now what you have is an independent means to look to see are thecoordinates that I thought I was at the coordinates that this device is tellingme.

Now it is obviously better to do this in a fully integrated way, where this isfully integrated into the cockpit instrumentation, and what you have is justanother source of navigation signal. That was the plan we were on. What weare trying to here is enhance that base plan. In some cases we've moved thatforward, but those programs take time. Then, as I said, we have threedifferent degrees of integration. Besides this unit alone, we have a schemethat gives you weigh points, so it gives you directions to fly to.

I would encourage you to see the laptop demonstration which is a moving map.The advantage of that degree of integration is on the laptop, you can see themap and you can see a dot that says here's where I am.

Q: Is this schedule the quickest the Department can do these upgrades?

A: It's the quickest reasonable schedule.

Q: The crews that will be using this, are they already familiar with thetechnology, or will there be some kind of training involved to get themfamiliar with it?

Secondly, the question came up about using it, since these are mostlymulti-crew cockpits, will it be one person flying the aircraft, one personusing this? Is that the plan now?

A: It will be mostly multi-crew aircraft, and there is going to be the needfor some training and experience gain.

Q: How much do a hand-held GPS things cost apiece?

A: I think these PLGRs are now about $1500?


Unidentified Speaker: We're now getting them for $850. The integratedversions cost more with the additional...

Q: If you're spending $3,300 per PLGR... If they cost $850, the rest of thebudget is for training or something else?

A: Once again, we have these three different degrees of integration. Quite anumber of these are being provided with weigh point and bearing indicators.Then another degree come with a laptop computer that have the moving mapdisplay, so that's fully integrated.

Q: Weigh point and bearing is integrated into that hand-held unit or...

A: There's another device that goes with it, I think, an add-on device, andsome software that gives you weigh point and bearing.

Q: That all comes from Rockwell?

A: Rockwell is one of the manufacturers, but also...


Unidentified Speaker: Rockwell makes the PLGR, but the other devices come fromother places.


A: Thank you all.