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THE JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER

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AU/CAM/207/96-04 THE JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER A Development Study Presented To The Directorate of Research Air Command and Staff College In Partial Fulfillment of the Graduation Requirements of ACSC by Maj
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AU/CAM/207/96-04 THE JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER A Development Study Presented To The Directorate of Research Air Command and Staff College In Partial Fulfillment of the Graduation Requirements of ACSC by Maj Derek W. Avance Maj Robert E. Clay Maj David S. Grantham Maj David Kelly Maj John Rupp Maj Christopher S. Ceplecha Maj Terry M. Featherston Maj Patrick A. Kelleher LCDR Garry L. Pendleton Maj Christopher E. Yelder April 1996 Disclaimer The views expressed in this academic research paper are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the US Government or the Department of Defense. ii Contents Page DISCLAIMER...ii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS... v PREFACE... vi ABSTRACT...viii INTRODUCTION AND PROBLEM DEFINITION... 1 Introduction and Problem Definition... 1 Development Study Assumptions... 7 Methodology and Review of Related Literature... 8 Overview...9 THE ENVIRONMENT OF CONFLICT Introduction The Emerging Global Environment Expeditionary Warfare The Littoral Arena Joint Warfare Summary JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER MISSION REQUIREMENTS Introduction The Future Surface-to-Air Threat Signature Reduction Threat Warning and Countermeasures A Foundation for Performance Target Detection Identification of Targets Target Tracking and Designation Killing the Target Assessment Summary THE BENEFITS OF A SINGLE JOINT AIRFRAME Introduction iii Operational Benefits Training Benefits Maintenance Benefits Summary AN ARCHITECTURE FOR CHANGE Introduction Phase I: Planning ( ) Phase II: Transition ( ) Phase III: Implementation ( ) Conclusions The Bottom Line BIBLIOGRAPHY Articles Books Lectures...56 Miscellaneous References Regulations, Manuals, and Pamphlets Studies iv Illustrations Page Figure 1. DOD Share of US GDP... 2 Figure 2. Doctrinal Missions of US Air Arms... 5 Figure 3. JSF Strike Warfare Tasking... 6 Figure 4. Methodology... 8 Figure 5. US Spectrum of Conflict Figure 6. The Littoral Region Figure 7. JSF Attack Cycle Figure 8. JSF Cockpit Displays Figure 9. Desert Storm Casualties Figure 10. JSF Versatility Figure 11. JSF Training Network v Preface The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program is responsible for producing the next generation of strike aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The research team concluded that the individual services are fixated on individual service needs at the expense of warfighting capability and mission requirements for the 21st century battlefield. This study examines the JSF program, then proposes that the mission of future strike warfare can best be accomplished by the short takeoff, vertical landing (STOVL) strike fighter. This development study initially intended to provide the United States Marine Corps (USMC) with recommendations for a more capable strike platform. However, the research team subsequently decided that parochial interests and USMC desires should not dominate the research effort. This modified focus produced a more holistic approach that applies to all three services. The critical development criteria promoted by the JSF program office and the individual services are thoroughly examined. The research team offers alternative views in several areas with the intent of influencing the final design. The value of this study lies in its potential to make such a contribution. The research team acknowledges the efforts of numerous military officers, civilian engineers, and defense industry reporters who shared their JSF insights. Their knowledge of the program provided a research foundation. The greatest acknowledgment, however, is reserved for the team s faculty research advisor, Colonel Tom Moore and his assistant, vi Lieutenant Colonel Ed Gregory. Their guidance and encouragement over the course of the study convinced team members that audacity, tempered with honesty, produces an unbiased and viable product. vii ACSC/CAM/207/96-04 Abstract The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program is responsible for the development of the next generation of strike-fighter aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The program is approaching critical stages in the development process. This study proposes that the JSF program is veering off course. The individual desires of the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps are superseding the requirements for a preeminent strike fighter. JSF program objectives are clearly defined. The JSF must be joint, operationally sound, and affordable. This development study proposes that the JSF must also be expeditionary and capable of performing in the littoral arena. These requirements can be met by the development and deployment of a single aircraft. The short takeoff, vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the JSF should be the choice of the US. It will successfully accomplish the mission of strike warfare for all three services. A flexible development study process consisting of independent research, interviews, and group discussion led to this thesis. This study initially provides background information on the JSF program and examines the emerging environment of conflict. It then provides tactical recommendations for the design of the JSF and expounds on the benefits gained by the employment of a single strike fighter. Finally, an architecture for the planning, transition, and implementation of the JSF is offered to ensure it meets and exceeds the demands of strike warfare in the 21st century. viii Chapter 1 Introduction and Problem Definition The [Defense Science Board] Task Force found that the numbers of aircraft needed to sustain force levels in all three services require that there be revolutionary improvements in aircraft affordability. Defense Science Board Task Force report on JAST [JSF] September 1994 Introduction and Problem Definition The United States military is undergoing a critical transformation. A new world order led by the United States of America has not materialized in the shape or manner once predicted by former President George Bush. Instead, the United States and its military are engaged in a world characterized by ethnic strife, transnational violence, and an acute sense of hatred that knows no bounds or borders. The US is enmeshed in a global state of disorder. The military components of the US are attempting to predict the regional conflicts of tomorrow. They are planning to meet the national security threats of the future. As the world s only superpower, the US is in the unique position to shape events around the globe to provide a more peaceful and compatible national security environment. Concurrently, the defense establishment is experiencing its most drastic reshaping since World War II. Fiscal realities and the need for efficiency leave the services with 1 few alternatives. The people of the United States expect the military to develop and procure systems that are necessary, affordable, and applicable to the needs of all services. The development of weapon systems in an evolving strategic environment has become complicated by the reality of shrinking defense budgets. Department of Defense (DOD) outlays as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) have declined since This trend is expected to continue (fig. 1). '2'6KDUHRI86*'3 RI*' )RUHFDVW DV LQ /RZHVW VLQFH SULRU WR :RUOG :DU,, :RUOG.RUHDQ 9LHWQDP 5HDJDQ 0 :DU,, :DU :DU %XLOGXS Source: Lt Col Jon Krenkel, Joint Requirements Oversight Council and the Joint Warfighting Capabilities Assessment Process, lecture, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., 12 February Figure 1. DOD Share of US GDP The DOD is responding to this austere environment in a number of ways. The most significant change is the realization that aggressive pursuit of joint cooperation in defense-related matters yields operational and fiscal dividends. In no area is this more prevalent than weapon system development and procurement. The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, formerly the Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) program, is a product of this new initiative. Its goal is to produce the next generation of strike-fighter 2 aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps capable of defeating the 21st century threat. The JSF is the strike aircraft of the future and the subject of this development study. The JSF concept originated in 1993 as a result of former Secretary of Defense Les Aspin s Bottom-Up Review. The JSF program consolidated the efforts of all three services for the production of the next generation strike fighter. The mission of the JSF program is to facilitate development of fully validated operational requirements, proven operational concepts, and transition mature technologies to support successful development and production of affordable next-generation strike weapon systems for the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and our allies. 1 In layman s terms, the JSF program is charged with projecting requirements, developing concepts, and producing the strike fighter of the future. This must be accomplished with affordability as a cornerstone of success. Key program objectives are to significantly reduce the cost of performing joint strike warfare, demonstrate the critical operational concepts, and identify and demonstrate innovative solutions and approaches to affordable joint strike warfare. 2 The program objectives are clear. The JSF should be joint, operationally sound, and affordable. The JSF program is approaching critical points in the weapon system development process. As the program matures, it appears the three air services involved are not cooperating, but diverging. Parochial interests threaten to drive the program off course. This is not unexpected. Admiral William Owens, former Vice Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, has expressed the view that history reveals a tendency for the services to diverge rather than coalesce during periods of relative fiscal austerity. That is, each service tends to put planning priority on assuring and protecting core competencies at the 3 expense of those capabilities that support and facilitate operations of the other services. 3 The current problems in the JSF program stem from the desire of each service to tailor this aircraft to perform its perceived service missions. The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps need the JSF to fill voids in their aviation tasking. The Air Force needs the JSF to fill the battlefield air interdiction and close air support functions of its aging F-16s and A-10s. The Navy needs the JSF to provide a survivable advanced strike capability that complements the F/A-18 E/F and replaces the A-6. The Marines need this aircraft to be expeditionary and capable of replacing its aging F/A-18s and AV-8s in the close air support role. Each service has defined its desired JSF capabilities. However, they have not thoroughly considered how such an aircraft can fill the needs of the combatant commanders who will fight and win our nation s conflicts. The parochial desires of the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps should be secondary to what missions the strike-fighter aircraft of the next century is required to perform. The strike missions of each air service do not vary widely. Indeed, many of the missions are identical except for each service s unique doctrinal terminology. The strike requirements for all three services fall into a narrow band so definable that the mission of strike warfare should be performed by one aircraft, not three (fig. 2). 4 Doctrinal Missions of the US Air Arms USAF ROLES AEROSPACE CONTROL FORCE APPLICATION CLOSE AIR SUPPORT INTERDICTION STRATEGIC ATTACK FORCE ENHANCEMENT FORCE SUPPORT USN MISSIONS BATTLESPACE DOMINANCE POWER PROJECTION CLOSE AIR SUPPORT INTERDICTION DEEP AIR STRIKE COMMAND, CONTROL & SURVEILLANCE FORCE SUSTAINMENT USMC FUNCTIONS OF AVIATION ANTI-AIR WARFARE OFFENSIVE AIR SUPPORT CLOSE AIR SUPPORT INTERDICTION DEEP AIR STRIKE EW, RECONNAISSANCE & CONTROL OF AIRCRAFT & MISSILES ASSAULT SUPPORT Figure 2. Doctrinal Missions of US Air Arms Before progressing any further, it is necessary to define the mission of strike warfare for the JSF. As depicted in figure 2, all three services have potential strike missions of close air support, interdiction, and deep strike/strategic attack. The composition and distance to potential targets and the proximity of US troops normally define the limits of these three tasks. This development study proposes that JSF utilization will predominantly fall within the realm of close air support and interdiction. Expensive stealth aircraft and cruise missiles will continue to perform the deep strike mission. The JSF program should concentrate its efforts on producing an aircraft unmatched in the performance of close air support and interdiction (fig. 3). 5 JSF Strike Warfare Tasking CLOSE AIR SUPPORT INTERDICTION DEEP STRIKE Distance to Target (Nautical Miles) TACTICAL OPERATIONS STRATEGIC OPERATIONS Figure 3. JSF Strike Warfare Tasking The thesis of this development study is clear: The Joint Strike Fighter needs to be designed to perform the mission of strike warfare in the 21st century. The parochial desires of each competing service must be subjected to intense scrutiny, especially in light of the current fiscal environment. The Joint Strike Fighter should be joint, operationally sound, and affordable. It should be one aircraft, not three derivatives. The Joint Strike Fighter chosen to fight in the 21st century should be the short takeoff, vertical landing (STOVL) variant. By examining the emerging global environment and how the United States plans to respond to conflict in the future, it will become clear that the STOVL JSF is the choice for the US. 6 Development Study Assumptions The scope of this study has been limited to aircraft systems and the desired tactical capabilities of the aircraft. Aircraft performance in propulsion, aerodynamics, and other airframe-related areas is not covered because initial research revealed that their development is well underway. Recommendations in these areas would have little chance of affecting the eventual design of the aircraft. Instead, the study has taken a tacticians approach. This study, conducted by the research team with over 20,000 hours of operational and combat flight experience, provides recommendations to make the systems and weapons more versatile and lethal. These recommendations should provide the strikefighter pilot of the 21st century with an aircraft that can successfully accomplish the mission of strike warfare. This development study proposes the manufacture of a single airframe JSF, based on the following assumptions: 1. The JSF period of employment will be the time frame. 2. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps roles and missions will not significant change prior to the introduction of this aircraft. 3. US air forces will operate throughout the full spectrum of conflict. 4. US air forces will be employed as part of a joint or combined task force, heavily dependent on interoperability. 5. The JSF will perform in an expeditionary environment. 6. The JSF will perform in the littoral regions. 7. Advanced technologies employed on the JSF will permit STOVL flight which is efficient, reliable, and affordable. At the heart of these assumptions is the commonly held belief that the conduct of warfare in the 21st century will be distinctly different from that experienced throughout most of the 20th century. The application of the military instrument of power will no 7 longer be the domain of one particular service. In the new paradigm it is difficult to envision any point on the conflict spectrum where a single service would be committed alone. 4 The STOVL JSF will be a crucial addition in this emerging era of joint warfare. Methodology and Review of Related Literature The research team used a flexible methodology to research and project the desired capabilities of the JSF (fig. 4). The thesis and breadth of this development study were discussed vigorously among team members. The initial stage of research was spent canvassing military periodicals and aerospace technology publications to establish a base of knowledge that allowed team members to conduct follow-up interviews. METHODOLOGY ARRIVAL BRAIN- STORMING CONCEPTS BROADENING ASSESSMENT RECONSTITUTE REFOCUS TEAM REFINE/COMBINE FOCUS Overview Group Formed Admin Brief Problem Defined Initial Research Interviews Independent Research Draft Concept Papers Collation of Research Thesis Finalized Independent Research II Dissertation Final Draft SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR Figure 4. Methodology During the next stage of research, team members were selected to interview personnel directly involved in the JSF. Military representatives, industry experts, tech- 8 nologists, and authors of JSF/JAST literature were accessible via telephone. Their viewpoints were used as a foundation for later development and research. The research effort was then divided into conceptual areas of responsibility and independent research on subjects as wide ranging as the global environment and aircraft technologies was conducted. Each team member then presented his findings as an initial research draft document which covered his conceptual areas of responsibility in detail. The collation of all writings was then shared among the team members. A series of dynamic group discussions then allowed members to share their operational points of view. The final stage of research led team members to conclude that the production of a single model JSF was the most viable and efficient option. With a thesis finalized and a structure of the development study agreed upon, team members completed their research responsibilities and presented their findings. Since that time, the study has been completed and is presented here in its final form. A review of related literature revealed that many of the specifics regarding the JSF program and its emerging aircraft are classified. However, among the worldwide web of information, military periodicals, and aerospace technology magazines, there exists enough data to form a basis of information. As a result, this study draws upon material obtained through individual research and extensive group discussion based on the individual and collective flight experience of the team members. Overview This development study proposes that the design of the JSF should hinge upon the mission requirements of the next century. Chapter 2 will validate the planning 9 assumptions and expound on the emerging environment of conflict. Chapter 3 will delineate the desired capabilities of the JSF. Chapter 4 will discuss the operational, training, and maintenance benefits derived through the production of a single airframe. Chapter 5 will provide a framework for the planning, transition, and implementation of the Joint Strike Fighter and summarize this study s conclusions. Notes 1 RADM Craig E. Steidle, Joint Advanced Strike Technology 1994 Annual Report and Master Plan, JAST Internet Home Page, October 1995, Slide 2. 2 Ibid. 3 ADM William A. Owens, JROC: Harnessing the Revolution in Military Affairs, Joint Force Quarterly, no. 5 (Summer 1994): Lt Col Frederick R. Strain, The New Joint Warfare, Joint Force Quarterly, no. 2 (Autumn 1993): Chapter 2 The Environment of Conflict Unless soldiers and statesmen, diplomats and arms control negotiators, peace activists and politicians understand what lies ahead, we may find ourselves fighting or preventing the wars of the past rather than those of tomorrow. Alvin and Heidi Toffler War and Anti-War Introduction The ability to accurately project the desired capabilities of a future aircraft depends upon the environment in which the nation expects to employ it. This chapter analyzes the current global situation, predicts the environment of conflict in the year 2010, and validates the previous assumptions regarding the future of warfighting. Specifically, it examines the requirements for the JSF to be expeditionary, configured for operations in the world s littorals, and capable of sustained operations in a joint environment. The Em
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