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Agent Defeat Weapon - Air Force Program

The Air Force Agent Defeat Weapon Program was initiated in response to a Combat Air Force Mission Need Statement. The objective of the current Concept Exploration and Definition acquisition activity was to develop an agent defeat weapon to neutralize, destroy, or deny access or immobilize CW/ BW agents and their associated weapon and delivery systems. All agent defeat weapon concepts will minimize collateral damage and effects and be deliverable by current Air Force platforms. Key program accomplishments include forming an IPT structure, building a preliminary assessment framework, collecting weapon system concepts from industry and the DoD and DOE laboratories, construction of an empirical lethality model to determine the effectiveness of inventory and conceptual weapons systems against CW/ BW agents.

The Agent Defeat Warhead (ADW) Demonstration (ADWD) program objective was to develop and demonstrate a warhead with a payload specifically tailored for use against fixed ground targets associated with the development, production, and storage of chemical (C) agents, biological (B) agents, and CB weapons (CBW). The goal of this program was to develop, mature and demonstrate an agent defeat warhead design to the maximum extent commensurate with available program funding. Ideally the maturation and demonstration of the contractor's warhead design will progress through a comprehensive ground test program and culminate with a short flight test demonstration series. It was recognized, however, that the nature and extent of the test program will be dictated by program funding limitations, and the characteristics of the specific design proposed by the contractor (e.g., a simple warhead may be less costly to design, fabricate and test, than a more sophisticated design).

The US Air Force conducted the Agent Defeat Weapon (ADW) program to develop the capability to destroy, neutralize, immobilize, or deny an adversary access to biological and chemical agents with little or no collateral damage. The effort was in concept exploration. Studies were being performed to identify and evaluate concepts to satisfy the mission need, with the goal of fielding an NBC specific strike capability. All concepts must comply with relevant arms control treaties. Analysis tools being developed to support ADW include Agent Release models, Internal Dispersion and Venting models, and a Lethality model to evaluate inventory and conceptual weapon effectiveness against NBC/M targets.

In 1999 Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Ordnance Division (AFRL/MNMI) initiated a two phase Agent Defeat Warhead Demonstration Program, that will be approximately 42-months in duration. The concurrent technical objectives of this program were to demonstrate a warhead with the ability to: a) disrupt the functioning of fixed ground targets associated with the development, production and storage of chemical (C) and/or biological (B) weapons (CBW); b) neutralize the maximum possible amount of CB agents residing within the target; and c) limit the potential for collateral damage (i.e., human casualties resulting from the unintentional release of CB agents beyond the confines of the target structure) by minimizing the amount of viable CB agents, which might be inadvertently expelled from the target as a consequence of warhead employment.

This development effort consisted of the Phase I- Concept Development and Assessment, plus one optional phase. In Phase I the contractor would fabricate a sufficient quantity of full scale warheads, based on the sponsor approved preliminary warhead design, to support the conduct of static test(s) designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the warhead against the relevant target category(s) that the contractor's ADW was designed to defeat.

Phase I consisted of three basic tasks. During Task 1, Concept Evaluation and Selection, the contractor would perform design trade excursions relative to the proposed Agent Defeat Warhead Baseline Design concept, as well as identify and evaluate other promising concepts. Based on the results of the warhead design trade study, the contractor would then recommend a concept for sponsor approval. The contractor shall also identify the test methodology, metrics, and success criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the recommended concept for use during the remainder of the program.

Upon sponsor (i.e., the government program office) approval of the recommended concept, the contractor would proceed with Task 2, Preliminary Design, which would develop a preliminary warhead design. The level of design detail achieved during Task 2 would be sufficient to support the fabrication of the warheads to be tested during subsequent static effectiveness tests, and to accurately assess the technical risks associated with the ADW design. The contractor conducted sub-scale testing as necessary, during Phase I to aid in the concept evaluation and to support Preliminary Design development. The contractor wouldl also develop a Master Test Plan Outline, which covers all testing proposed for Phases I and II.

During Task 3, Warhead Effectiveness Demonstration, the contractor would fabricate full-scale warheads in quantities sufficient to support static lethality/effectiveness tests. The contractor would then conduct full-scale effectiveness tests of statically emplaced warheads for various agent defeat target scenarios relevant to his ADW design. The contractor would then evaluate the test results in accordance with the sponsor approved evaluation methodology, metrics, and success criteria. Subsequent to receipt of Government approval, the contractor would proceed with Phase II- Warhead Design and Test, which consists of Tasks 4 and 5.

Under Task 4, Detailed Design, the contractor would accomplish the detailed design of the sponsor approved Preliminary Design inclusive of all components, subsystems and interfaces. The level of design maturation achieved for the warhead's fuze/weapon safety controller would be tailored/limited to be commensurate with the ADWD program funding, but as a minimum, it shall be sufficient to facilitate the warhead tests conducted under Task 5.

Under Task 5, Fabrication and Test, the contractor would fabricate test warheads in quantities sufficient to support the proposed Phase II test effort. The contractor would then conduct tests of the warheads to demonstrate the survivability, functionality and effectiveness of the warhead when delivered against simulated CB targets.

The extent of the Phase II test effort would be tailored/limited to be commensurate with the ADWD program funding. The contractor would tailor the scope of the proposed design and test effort in the manner believed most appropriate to the proposed Baseline Design. If the proposed Phase II effort included activities related to either the preparation for flight tests or the actual conduct of flight tests, then the contractor would obtain Procuring Contracting Officer (PCO) approval prior to initiation of such activities. While inclusion of a flight test demonstration was considered potentially desirable, the contractor would not consider such tests a mandatory part of the proposed Phase II test effort.

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Page last modified: 05-09-2013 13:09:51 ZULU