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Hard and/or Deeply Buried Target
Defeat Capability (HDBTDC) Program

Conventional explosive-filled penetrating weapons are often relatively ineffective in destroying large underground reinforced concrete facilities, even if the weapon detonates inside the facility, due to substantial interior walls and/or floors that confine the blast and fragmentation to a small area or result in complete and uncontrolled destruction of soft buried and aboveground facilities.

Hardened and deeply buried targets (HDBTs), namely tunnels, present the greatest challenge. They cannot be physically defeated with current conventional munitions. Hence, a variety of weapons options and damage or functional-kill mechanisms have to be evaluated. One of the options is to attack the tunnel portals with weapons that penetrate into or through the thinner cover rock above the portal or through the exterior doors, resulting in an internal detonation. This internal detonation generates a severe airblast environment within the tunnel system. Airblast propagation within a confined area, such as a tunnel, is significantly increased over that found in the open air. If the airblast environment is sufficiently severe, considerable damage to the equipment used in the production or delivery of WMD can be achieved.

When these facilities protect WMD, the random use of conventional weapons greatly increases the risk of NBC agent dispersal that may result in extensive civilian or friendly force casualties. Agent neutralization will require key data needed to understand the collateral effects consequences of strikes against chemical and biological weapons-related facilities. The program also provides expelled agent viability experiments on bunker strike demonstration tests already planned under other programs.

The capability to destroy or disrupt an adversary's NBC/M infrastructure - and to do so with minimal collateral effects - is a top priority of the CINCs. NBC/M infrastructure targets in five states nations, organized by function (nuclear, biological, or chemical production or storage facilities) and hardness (aboveground soft or hard, shallow underground, deeply buried, and tunneled), were reviewed by a DSWA-convened panel of weapon and weapons effects experts to evaluate current and projected counterforce capabilities against these targets. They concluded that current capabilities to hold NBC/M infrastructure targets at risk significantly limit CINC counterforce options.

This JROC and USD(A&T) approved effort is developing non-nuclear concepts to defeat hard and/or deeply buried targets. This Joint Service program was established in response to Mission Need Statements from USSTRATCOM and the Combat Air Force. The Air Force is designated as the lead Service, with participation by the other Services, the Joint Staff, DSWA, OSD, DoD and DOE laboratories, and DIA.

The initial "Concept Exploration and Definition" phase of the acquisition process began the program. Key program accomplishments include forming an Integrated Product Team (IPT) structure for efficient program development, collection of HDBTDC concepts from industry, assessment of baseline weapons systems concepts, development of an analysis of alternatives

The program goals and objectives are: i) deny, disrupt, or destroy the highest priority assets essential to the enemy's warfighting ability and which are heavily defended and protectively hardened; ii) develop weapons having operational advantages over existing weaponry in defeating hard and deeply buried targets; and iii) provide improved capabilities that are significant, not marginal. Key targets to be defeated include hardened and/or deeply buried command and control facilities and tunnel surface-to-surface missile storage and assembly complexes.

This project will develop, integrate and demonstrate advanced conventional weapons technologies that will improve mission effectiveness against WMD facilities while minimizing collateral effects. These technologies include improvements in adverse weather/precision guidance, enhanced penetrating capabilities, and agent defeat payloads that can reduce collateral effects by neutralizing agents before they are released. Technologies that have been successfully demonstrated will be weaponized into prototype systems.

Current planning covers several phases of the Counterproliferation (CP) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD). The Phase I ACTD target is a bermed above ground simulated biological storage facility. The Phase II target is a cut-and -cover simulated chemical production facility. The focus for Phase III and follow-on phases includes adverse-weather precision weapon guidance and advanced sensors for target characterization and BDA and enhanced weapon payloads to minimize collateral effects.

DSWA initiated its Hard Target Defeat Program in FY 1996 to: i) evaluate the hard target defeat problem end-to-end, from detection through counterforce to BDA; and ii) develop improved tactics and technologies to defeat hard targets, especially tunnels. This program supports the HDBTDC IPT with weapon-target interaction analyses for defeating targets that are difficult to counter because of their physical hardness. An IPT has been established to employ existing analysis tools and data bases to determine the physical and functional vulnerability of high value/high risk targets and provide quantitative results to support analysis of alternative target defeat approaches. This program also supports the development of advanced capabilities in tunnel facility characterization, target planning, weapon effects, and functional defeat mechanisms. These efforts complement the NBC/M counterforce activities supported by the Counterproliferation Support Program, including the Counterproliferation ACTDs.

Advanced fuses will enable weapons employment options which maximize lethality and/or control collateral effects. Enhanced payloads will explore alternate warhead options to conventional blast/fragmentation with the objectives of minimizing collateral effects associated with dispersal of WMD materials while also minimizing the number of weapons required to functionally defeat WMD facilities. Functional defeat refers to eliminating a facility's capability to perform its intended function, even though the structure itself may remain largely intact. Capabilities established by this program directly support the development of payload upgrades.

The DTRA Hard Target Defeat (HTD) Program Office is developing plans, schedules, budget estimates, trade studies, test plans and engineering evaluations for the new Thermobaric Weapon ACTD (ACTD) and technology development programs. It is working to develop HTD program briefings and organize coordination meetings with the technology development team. It also assists in evaluating new explosive fills for current inventory bomb bodies, program technology risks, schedule critical path, and cost growth trends in support of DTRA program office.

The United States and its allies face a growing threat related to critical military targets hidden within and shielded by hardened, deeply buried tunnel complexes. These complexes may house biological/ chemical/ nuclear weapons production or storage facilities; command, control, and communications facilities; and theater ballistic missiles and their transporter- erector- launchers (TELs). An objective of this project is to examine the existing US and Allied capabilities to hold hardened, deeply buried tunnel targets at risk, thereby defining a current performance baseline. Any deficiencies will be identified and the ability of planned systems to address these deficiencies will be assessed. Finally, new technologies needed to mitigate remaining shortfalls will be evaluated as candidates for new hard target defeat acquisitions. Activities respond to warfighting requirements derived from the Hard and Deeply Buried Target Defeat capstone requirements document, and to RDT& E priorities by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (OUSD( A, T& L)). Additional FY 2002 funds provided as part of the Secretary of Defense's recent strategic review are being used to develop technologies identified in the Hard and Deeply Buried Target Defeat S&T Plan (Report to Congress).

This project focuses weapon/ target interaction and target planning tool technology base efforts completed in Project BD on tunnel applications. The program depends on test planning and execution support from Project BE. Products from this project are transitioned to PE 0603160BR, Project BK for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) facility demonstration and the Thermobaric Weapon (TW) demonstration. Efforts in this program provide part of the technology base needed for counterproliferation activities conducted in other DoD programs.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is seeking commercial technology solutions to address the Department of Defense's needs for advanced energetics and novel explosives. The targets of interest are those that may generate more energy, larger power, larger impulse or greater lethality than conventional high explosives. 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, and AGM-130 were originally considered as primary candidates.

The HTD program objective is to develop and demonstrate end- to- end capabilities for the functional defeat of hard targets, particularly tunnels, and assess developing weapon and sensor concepts against such targets. The program does not develop new sensors; it assesses existing or emerging technologies being developed by others. The HTD program develops technologies under PE 0602715BR, Project BF and transitions them to this program for demonstration. The demonstrations require test planning and execution support from PE 0602715BR, Project BE. The currently planned HTD demonstration ends in FY03. HTD customers are USPACOM, USSTRATCOM, USSOCOM, and the Air Force's Air Combat Command.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:51:23 ZULU