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Prompt Global Strike

Global Strike refers to a portfolio of capabilities that provide for global reach, accelerated planning, and execution of operations using the full range of kinetic and non-kinetic strike capabilities in support of national or theater commanders' objectives. As such, it provides a means to hold particularly threatening capabilities of potential adversaries at risk. Although the explosive power of non-nuclear weapons is orders of magnitude below nuclear systems, they are capable of generating strategic effects.

The notion of global strikes through space received less than enthusiastic support within the military. In February 1997, the AFSPACE Directorate for Requirements signed out a draft Mission Needs Statement (MNS) for “Prompt Global Strike.” When the draft MNS was coordinated with other military services and Unified Commands, typical among the comments was that forward deployed forces — particularly Navy and Marine — provide sufficient deterrent and combat capability for the expected threats. AFSPACE kept the issue alive.

The Prompt Global Strike (PGS) Mission Needs Statement (MNS) and follow-on PGS Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) identify the warfighter's need for a capability to strike globally, precisely, and rapidly, with kinetic effects, against high-payoff, time-sensitive targets in a single or multi-theater environment, when US and Allied forces have no permanent military presence or only limited infrastructure in a region, regardless of anti-access threats.

Current CPGS projects focus on the development and demonstration of technologies that could support an eventual U.S.-based operationally deployed system. Current efforts are examining three concepts: Hypersonic Technology Vehicle, Conventional Strike Missile, and Advanced Hypersonic Weapon. These projects are managed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Center, and Army Space and Missile Defense Command respectively.

In 2001, President Bush directed reductions in U.S. nuclear strike capabilities to a force level of 1,700 to 2,200 Operationally Deployed Strategic Nuclear Warheads (ODSNW) by 2012. The Presidentially approved 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which outlined the changes to the strategic environment since the end of the Cold War, established the New Triad to address these changes and prepare for a less predictable future. In a significant change from the past, the offensive leg of the New Triad now included non-nuclear systems. Although there will continue to be a national security role for nuclear weapons, non-nuclear systems represent a major element of the Global Strike mission that may be used, when appropriate, in lieu of nuclear capabilities.

In early 2003, AFMC, AFSPC, AFRL, and the Product Center Commanders established an Enterprise Leadership (EL) Long Range Strike (LRS) Task Team (LRS-TT) whose charter was to build roadmaps to describe the integrated development of LRS capabilities/solution options. Task teams uniquely bring together expertise from across enterprises & MAJCOMs to attack horizontal integration issues & produce integrated solutions in response to identified shortfalls. ACC had conducted several studies to research, assess and define LRS options. AFSPC has initiated the Operationally Responsive Space lift (ORS) Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) as part of the drive towards responsive space capabilities.

A Prompt Global Strike (PGS) AoA was planned by AFSPC in FY05/06. USSTRATCOM has a newly defined Global Strike mission to provide Global Strike forces/options as a supporting or supported Combatant Commander. The Air Force needed to develop integrated air and space LRS capabilities to present forces for JTF/CC-directed Global Strike missions. LRS solutions must be developed to address shortfalls in current LRS capability. Operationally responsive space enables rapid access to space and power projection, space superiority, and enhanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities

Consistent with the 2005 Global Strike Report, the DoD continued to strengthen its Global Strike capabilities with the introduction of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) and the Tactical Tomahawk (TACTOM) cruise missile. These missiles offer stealthy (in the case of JASSM), standoff capabilities that can be employed in substantial numbers to destroy high-value, well-defended, and/or relocatable targets. Testing has begun on the JASSM Extended Range (JASSM-ER), which will possess more than double the range of the JASSM (over 500 nm, vice 200 nm). JASSM-ER also will be able to loiter and transmit in-flight imagery to planners. T ACTOM possesses many of the same traits as JASSM-ER but also can also be retargeted in flight. In addition, the DoD reconfigured four strategic nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) into guided-missile submarines (SSGNs). The first three SSGNs completed their conversion with the final conversion to be completed in late FY07.

In December 2002 the DepSecDef directed the Air Force and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to establish a joint program office, named Falcon, to accelerate the advanced technology efforts that could be leveraged for PGS. As a result of FY2005 Appropriations language prohibiting weaponization, CAV was redesignated the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV). The CAV PE funds the Air Force cost share for the HTV program culminating with two flight tests in 2009. The FY2008 Appropriations and Authorizations Acts noted the value of developing conventional prompt global strike technologies using a synergistic approach. Both Acts directed the consolidation of Navy & AF FY2008 PGS funding into a defense-wide PGS PE (0604165D8Z) under the cognizance of OSD AT&L. The FY2009 PB remained consistent with this direction by transferring all outyear funding from PE 0604856F into PE 0604165D8Z. The FY2008 Appropriations Act added funds to PE 0604856F in FY2008 for Ballistic Missile Technology development. BMT funds were added directly to PE 0604856F and were not transferred to the defense-wide PE.

The New START Treaty does not contain any constraints on current or planned U.S. conventional prompt global strike capability. The growth of unrivaled U.S. conventional military capabilities has contributed to our ability to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks, assuring allies and partners of our security commitments, and reinforcing regional security. The Department of Defense (DoD) explored the full range of technologies and systems for a Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) capability that could provide the President more credible and technically suitable options for dealing with new and evolving threats.

New START protects the U.S. ability to develop and deploy a CPGS capability. The Treaty in no way prohibits the United States from building or deploying conventionally-armed ballistic missiles. Long-range conventional ballistic missiles would count under the Treaty's limit of 700 delivery vehicles, and their conventional warheads would count against the limit of 1550 warheads, because the treaty does not make a distinction between missiles that are armed with conventional weapons and those that are armed with nuclear weapons. (The prior START treaty also made no such distinction). This warhead ceiling would accommodate any plans the United States might develop during the life of this Treaty to deploy conventional warheads on ballistic missiles.

DoD studied CPGS within the context of its portfolio of all non-nuclear long-range strike capabilities including land-based and sea-based systems, as well as standoff and/or penetrating bombers, concluded in summer 2010, with investment recommendations reflected in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget submission.

The portfolio of Global Strike capabilities needed to be balanced with the addition of prompt conventional capabilities. In 2005, the STRATCOM Commander led an analysis of options for fielding a prompt, global, non-nuclear strike capability. The results of this analysis and the decisions made in the QDR can be separated into nearterm and longer-term categories. Near-term options are limited to modifications of legacy systems. As a result, the President's FY 2007 Budget requested funding for a Conventional Trident Modification (CTM).

The CTM involves developing precision conventional warheads and deploying them on Trident D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles in place of nuclear warheads. These non-nuclear warheads, coupled with the enhanced accuracy of the CTM, can be lethal against certain targets. Adapting the existing Trident D-5 missile-a weapon system with a superb reliability record-to the CTM presents a low-risk, relatively lowcost, near-term conventional option for prompt Global Strike. Deploying CTM will provide the United States its first long-range non-nuclear capability to defeat a set of threats almost anywhere on the globe, on short notice, in the event that effective forward deployed forces are unavailable. It also continues the post-Cold War trend of reduced US reliance on nuclear weapons and will provide the President with a viable nonnuclear strike option.

However, progress towards CTM was hampered, in large part, by concerns that prompt Global Strike involving the use of conventionally-armed ballistic missiles could be misinterpreted as a potential nuclear attack. Congressional CTM budget action, cutting the President's requested $127M for research and development in FY07 to $20M, was predicated largely on these concerns.

DoD strongly believed that conventional prompt Global Strike is a critical capability to address the United States' evolving 21st-centuty security needs. The joint DoD-Department of State Report on CTM, directed by the FY07 Defense Authorization Act, addresses congressional concerns and presents a clear strategy for mitigating potential risks associated with the use of a CTM.

In addition, the FY07 Defense Authorization Act directed the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a study on CTM and other potential alternatives. The DoD supported the NAS study effort fully with the intent to secure funding for CTM in FY08 in accordance with the President's budget request to Congress. The request for FY08 is for $175.4M to cover research and development, procurement, and other costs.

Although DoD determined CTM to be the best near-term conventional option for prompt Global Strike, the Department considered other, longer-term solutions, both sea- and land-based, to broaden the portfolio of prompt, non-nuclear capabilities. Analysis of options for conventional land- and sea-based Prompt Global Strike (PGS) capabilities in both the mid-term (~2013-2020) and long-term (~2020 and beyond). The range of potential PGS capabilities includes CONUS and forwarddeployed land- and sea-based missile options of varying ranges. Several analyses assessed mid-term options, along with the PGS Analysis of Alternatives, which focused on long-term options.

Studies of advanced technology solutions for PGS options included precision guidance; maneuverability through trajectory shaping/hypersonic glide; advanced conventional weapons; advanced propulsion systems; and varied basing options. The focus was on a family of systems approach that will leverage open architecture, interoperable and modular technologies/components that can produce tailored effects across the range of warfighting requirements.

The October 15, 2008 Final Report of the Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force on "Time Critical Conventional Strike from Strategic Standoff" fournd that "None of the scenarios exposed a need for “one hour, global range delivery.” There appears to be nothing unique or compelling about one hour. ... Covert, loitering strike systems enabled by robust target ISR and tracking, C3 and fire control capabilities would revolutionize global strike for both the long war and for deterrence of rogue and near-peer nations.

"The most cost-effective enhancements to current capabilities appear to come from two new types of munitions and warheads; strike delivery platforms focused on nonstationary targets; enhancements to ISR capabilities; improvements to provide robust global communications, rapid adaptive command and control and mission pre-planning systems; and capabilities to rapidly deliver, support and extract SOFs from long distances. Because planning and decision time may swamp weapon delivery time, realistic exercise of the entire planning and decision making process, including involvement of the principals, is critical..."

Subsequently, the terms "Prompt" and "Global" faded from view.

The 2013 Precision Strike Technology Symposium (PSTS-13) was held at the JHU/APL Kossiakoff Center on Oct. 22-24, 2013. This three-day SECRET/NOFORN meeting provided an opportunity to engage in defense strategy and priorities, as well as key security challenges related to threats in the areas of cyberspace, cruise missiles, and WMD proliferation. Further, PSTS-13 allowed the precision strike community to keep pace with requirements and capabilities of advancing adversaries focused on DoD’s strategic shift. PSTS-13 was orchestrated by the Precision Strike Association. Peter Huessy — President, Geostrategic Analysis — presented very sobering remarks during the luncheon about Stopping the Nuclear Cascade: Terror Sponsoring States and Nuclear Proliferation. Huessy talked about future prospects of a cascade of nuclear weapons proliferation as “Iran and North Korea permanently elude the stricture of nuclear arms control and become full-fledged nuclear powers.”

The 2014 Precision Strike Annual Review (PSAR-14) provided the precision strike community with a compendium of the most pressing near-term topics central to this theme. PSAR-14 showcased the Military Departments and International Precision Weapons Sessions. Numerous stand-alone presentations were featured that addressed precision engagement and the need to remain relevant.

ATK is addressing miniaturizing warheads through leveraging proprietary enhancements to create lethality-enhanced effects (LEO). The ATK-optimized LEO warhead offers larger warhead lethality in a precise miniature package. Precision today means first strike lethality with no collateral damage, period. Hammer and Hatchet are highly effective precision munitions that provide lethal effects without collateral damage risk. By matching the “bullet” to the target, ATK effectively rebalances the cost-curve while providing UAS operators with many multiples of current target servicing capacity. ATK’s Hammer and Hatchet both incorporate a SAL seeker, an ATK-optimized warhead (LEO) with its proven electronic safe and arm device, creating leading edge capabilities.

ATK’s Hammer is a small glide weapon weighing in at 16-lbs. Hammer provides tailorable effects in a small package to increase the operator’s ability to effectively target a wide-range of target sets. Beginning in late 2013, ATK and the U.S. Army tested Hammer’s capability on the Shadow. A single Shadow can carry up to four Hammers.

Hatchet is ATK’s miniature glide weapon weighing seven pounds that is designed for precision and effectiveness against soft targets. Utilizing scalable rotary launchers, UAS can carry small multiples of Hatchets to well over 100 per aircraft. The ability to prosecute over 100 precision targets with limited collateral risk is a game-changing advancement in precision strike capabilities. ATK will undertake trials that include captive carry testing followed by guide-to-hit tests with inert weapons. Live warhead testing concluded in 2014.

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Page last modified: 24-04-2018 13:59:20 ZULU