Long Range Strike Platform (LRSP)
The Air Force Research Lab's (AFRL) Long Range Strike Platform (LRSP) study and the Institute for Defense Analysis's (IDA) study both concluded that to provide the future desired LRS capability and meet the OSD directed 2012 Long Range Strike Platform (LRSP) acquisition program start date, the Air Force needs to make Science and Technology (S&T) investments in several areas - platform concepts, weapons, and C4ISR. Doing so ensures that critical technologies supporting several concepts would be available to enable the initiation of a concept refinement phase of an LRS capability acquisition program. Their analysis showed that a single concept could not provide all of the required capabilities drove their decision to invest in the technologies supporting multiple platform concepts.
The AFRL and IDA studies also determined that the platform concepts having the maturity for a 2012 start with an affordable S&T investment were limited. They determined that the high supersonic and hypersonic technology would not be mature enough to support a 2012 program start, but recommended that the DoD should continue to invest in hypersonic technology to provide a prompt global strike capability in the 2050 timeframe.
In December 2003, the Air Force opened the Long-Range Strike Summit that aimed to consolidate the findings of the numerous ongoing studies described earlier. After those findings were briefed to Air Force senior leadership, Secretary Roche and General Jumper announced that they would stand up two offices. On 11 Feb 2004, the new Long Range Strike (LRS) office led by Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) met for the first time. The second office, an Air Combat Command (ACC)-led LRS integrated planning team (IPT) stood up in the last week of February to participate in developing an Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) and manage possible acquisition of the LRS capability. The Air Force plans to use a portion of the $45 million FY04 Congressional plus up to establish the LRS office. Its first priority will be to work with the ACC IPT to define the capabilities needed to provide the desired effects supporting the national military strategy by completing the Functional Capability/Needs Analysis and Functional Systems Analysis process. In the end, establishment of these new organizations and this pre-Milestone A activity signals our commitment to moving forward in this important area.
In parallel with this year's establishment of the LRS office, Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), using the Long Range Strike Platform (LRSP) recommendations, is defining the fiscal year 2006 and Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) Science and Technology (S&T) investment needed to mature selected technologies supporting multiple platform concepts. Mature technologies are needed to support the start of a LRS Systems Development and Demonstration (SDD) acquisition effort in the 2012 to 2015 timeframe. In defining the funding requirements, AFRL will leverage existing DoD and NASA technology investments including $190 million in FY08 and $590 million in FY09 ear-marked to support a Long Range Strike acquisition program. Based upon the LRS platform concept selected, the SDD effort would lead to a Milestone C production decision in the 2020 to 2025 timeframe and subsequent fielding in the 2025 to 2030 timeframe.
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