THE DTRA THERMOBARIC
SUBJECT: Thermobaric (TB) Advanced
Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD)
OPERATIONAL NEED: Improved
operational capability to defeat critical mission equipment in complex
tunnel targets. This ACTD is responding to requirements derived
from the following:
- Special CINC and Joint Staff requests for a tunnel defeat weapon.
- Capstone Requirements Document (CRD) for ┬"Hard and Deeply Buried Target Defeat┬" (HDBTD) approved by the JROC Jan 01 and signed by the sponsoring CINCs, USSTRATCOM and USSOCOM.
- USFK Mission Need Statement.
- ACC-USSTRATCOM Mission Need Statement (CAF 317-92).
- Joint Warfighter┬'s Capability Objective of the Joint Warfighting Science and Technology Plan
OPERATIONAL SPONSOR: US Forces
Korea is the proposed CINC sponsor for this ACTD.
Technical manager: DTRA TDSH
is the proposed technical manager for this ACTD.
SERVICE SPONSOR: The USAF is
the proposed service sponsor for the TB weapon system. The program will
be closely coordinated with Navy explosive payload development activities.
ACTD OBJECTIVE: The objective
of the TB ACTD is to leverage existing concepts and work in energetic
payloads technology to weaponize, demonstrate, and deliver within three
years an improved weapon system for the functional defeat of tunnel
The TB ACTD will be co-managed by the DTRA Technical Manager and the
USFK Operational Manager. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian
Head will lead the payload development technical efforts. The
Air Force Air Armament Center, Precision Strike System Program Office
will conduct required aircraft/weapon system integration. The
following paragraphs provide summary of technical approach.
Requirements Definition: Operational
and functional requirements for the thermobaric weapon system will be
formalized. Operational metrics will be quantified to judge selected
weapon fills and delivery concepts. For example, a key operational
measure of merit may be the number of weapons required to functionally
defeat a specified target. The derived functional requirement
may be to double the range of lethal effects for the thermobaric weapon
in a specified target/environment.
Concept Development: Trade
studies supported by analytical computations will be accomplished to
define the trade space, estimate performance of potential warhead fills,
and address basic concepts for delivery, dispersion, fill initiation,
etc. This early analysis will be used to define the weaponization
concept/approach and select a limited number of candidate fills.
Candidate Payload Development:
Experiments will be conducted to quantify the performance of each selected
payload. These initial experiments will validate the earlier performance
calculations and provide substantial data for future modeling of thermobaric
weapon effects in tunnels. Additional sub-scale testing will be
accomplished using scaled weapons fabricated to simulate the selected
weaponization concept. Data analysis will support decisions for
narrowing the field of candidates. Two to three candidates will
be selected for full-scale static emplacement tests at a selected tunnel
facility. These tests will be used to validate calculations and
performance models, quantify scaling issues, and collect critical data
to validate thermobaric weapons effects and equipment fragility.
From these full scale tests, a single payload concept will be selected
for full integration into the thermobaric weapon system. Risks
associated with the ACTD payload development will be reduced by close
coordination with other parallel energetic materials technology development
efforts by DTRA and the Services, and DOE.
Weapon System Integration:
Warhead integration will be accomplished by the Air Force sponsor.
To minimize the timelines and reduce operational impact, modification
of inventory weapon systems such as the GBU-24, 27, 28, 15, and AGM-130
will be considered as primary candidates. Required ground testing
and flight testing will be accomplished to provide a realistic combat
capability. Steps include necessary safety certification, development
of required technical data for transport, storage, assembly, loading,
and employment, sled testing, and flight testing. Operational
flight clearances will be issued to support the employment of the residual
Planning Tools: Planning
tools will be developed and delivered to support weaponeering and operational
planning of the new thermobaric weapon system. The approach will
be to update the existing Integrated Muntions Effects Assessment (IMEA)
weapons database and tunnels module.
Operational concepts will be developed in concert with the operational
sponsor for employment of the thermobaric weapon. Delivery tactics,
techniques, and procedures will be developed for effective employment
and will consider coordinated attacks with other weapon systems.
These tactics will be operationally demonstrated during three test events
at White Sands Missile Range. These operational demonstrations
are the foundation for the sponsoring CINC┬'s Military Utility Assessment
of the thermobaric weapon system and the final validation of the operational
planning tools. Data will also be collected during the operational
demonstrations to support identification of unique signatures to support
Bomb Damage Assessment.
DELIVERABLES: The following capabilities will be delivered and transitioned to the warfighter/ acquisition community at the end of the TB ACTD program.
residual assets ┬- thermobaric filled warheads with required technical
data to support storage, transportation, assembly, loading, and employment
of the weapon system. Guidance kits and other inventory hardware
is not included.
target planning tools necessary to effectively weaponeer and employ
the modified weapon system.
operational tactics to employ the TB weapon system.
Plan for follow-on service acquisition program.
PROGRAM SCHEDULE / FUNDING:
FY02 FY03 FY04 FY05 FY06
DTRA RDT&E (PE xxxx) 14.0M* 15.0M 7.0M 1.0M 1.0M
- Management/Integration (DTRA)
- Weaponization/Qualification (Air Force)
DTRA PDW (residual assets) 1.0M
Navy RDT&E (PE xxxx) 7.0M* 6.0M 3.0M
DUSD(AS&C) RDT&E 1.5M 2.5M 5.0M 2.0M 1.0M
TOTAL 22.5M 23.5M 16.0M 3.0M 2.0M
* Funding provided under PBD 803
Approve the TB ACTD for an FY02 start.
AUTHENTICATION: Lt Col Tom Ward, (703) 325-1235, DTRA/TDSH, 25 July 2001
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