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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Divine Strake Background

Potential adversaries of the United States are increasingly using tunnels and underground bunkers, collectively designated hardened and deeply buried targets (HDBTs), as part of their defensive strategies. These types of facilities are used for command and control, storage of munitions (including weapons of mass destruction, and long range missiles), modern air defenses, a variety of tactical weapons, wartime refuge for national leaders, and a multitude of other offensive and defensive military uses. In order to deny an adversary the ability to use these capabilities against its forces, the U.S. military must have the ability to defeat HDBTs.

To defeat these facilities and the assets they protect, the United States must have the capability to find, detect, characterize the potential targets, and then to plan, attack, and assess the results of such attacks. In September 2001, the DoD's Congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review report established a shift in defense planning from a "threat based" to a "capability-based" model, advocating a transformation of DoD planning to achieve critical operational capabilities. The Congressionally directed Nuclear Posture Review in December 2001 further outlined the foundation for the U.S. nuclear strategic posture for the 21st Century. In addition the January, 2001, DoD Capstone Requirements Document for Hard and Deeply Buried Targets established a new paradigm for addressing strategic targets to include the Global Strike concept.

In response to the requirements outlined in these documents, the President of the United States directed the Secretary of Defense in May 2002 to develop the capability to be able to hold all potential adversarial targets at risk, as an integral part of the nation's policy of deterrence. This was to become a DoD extension to the 26 June 2001 U.S. Air Force's Global Strike Force concept to quickly respond to threats anywhere in the world with conventional tactics and munitions. In May 2002 the Secretary of Defense directed the military services to develop Concept of Operations Plans to implement the Global Strike concept with United States Strategic Command USSTRATCOM as the overall coordination group.

Per a Presidential Decision Directive issued in Summer 2004, the USSTRATCOM was directed to extend Global Strike to counter all HDBTs to include both tactical and strategic adversarial Through the DoD Advanced Concepts and Technology Demonstration Program (ACTD), DTRA is studying methods and associated technologies to defeat HDBTs. The Proposed Action is an integral part of the Congressionally authorized DoD FY2002 Initiated Tunnel Target Defeat ACTD.

In order to obtain vital information regarding the methodologies and technologies developed under the Tunnel Defeat ACTD, DTRA proposes to conduct a single large scale, open air high explosive detonation above an existing tunnel complex. Such a project would require extensive diagnostic and monitoring capability to ensure recovery of high quality data. The desired results of a project include: (1) Improve the scientific understanding of weapons effectiveness versus collateral effects; (2) reduce geotechnical targeting uncertainties; (3) obtain a relevant full scale database for code validations; and (4) provide test beds to develop improved weaponeering algorithms.

The results of numerical modeling assisted Los Alamos field geophysicists in the planning of experimental activities by providing estimates of peak accelerations, velocities, and stresses. Outcomes of a proposed Los Alamos experiment that would consist of a 1x80 ft, 3300 lb. cylinder of ANFO detonated at an Indiana coal mine are calculated based on "best guess" estimates of material properties. These calculations are used in concert with phenomenological scaling curves to guide experimentalists in the placement of gages in the field.

As part of the HDBT program, smaller scale testing (from grams of chemical explosives up to a few pounds) has been conducted in laboratory experiments and field tests to help develop and validate modeling computer codes. An intermediate scale test bed was constructed in a limestone quarry near Bedford, Indiana, and two 3,000 pound (1,360 kilogram) chemical explosive tests were conducted to help evaluate and validate the modeling codes. The intermediate scaled test measured ground shock and tunnel damage at Mitchell Quarry. Owned by the Rogers Group Inc, the Quarry produces Crushed Stone & Rock, Lime & Limestone, Sand Gravel & Aggregate and Stone & Rock. This test bed was located in a limestone with similar material properties as the NTS U16b site; however, the structural geologic setting at the Indiana site was simple, consisting of horizontal bedding planes and vertical joints. This simple geologic setting allowed for the validation of new computer codes prior to attempting to model the proposed U16b site with its complex structural geologic setting involving dipping bedding planes and several joints sets at various orientations.

The Tunnel Target Defeat/Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration meeting was held on January 21-22, 2004 at the United States Strategic Command in Omaha, NE. The Test Working Group discussed updates on Discrete Gemini (Intermediate Scale Test) and Divine Strake (Full-scale Test). In the Site Characterization Working Group Session, Cole discussed relevant issues related to Los Alamos' work on GAMUT (Geologic Assessment Methodology for Underground Targets) applications.

Working groups and discussions were held in the following areas: Computational Working Group on the results of the Verification Problem 4; the final guidance for remaining verification problems; and the results of material property tests to support calculators (the three weapons laboratories and three Defense Threat Reduction Agency contractors) including a brief presentation of proposed approaches for modeling Discrete Gemini I and modeling requirements for Discrete Gemini 2.



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