The budget for FY98 marks an important transition year. We will be well embarked on our recapitalization strategy to dedicate the increasing resource levels necessary to provide modern, capable platforms and systems for tomorrow's Navy-Marine Corps team. At the same time, we will be reaching the end of our projected resource downslope, and will begin maintaining an essentially level fiscal profile beyond FY98. The current budget attempts to negotiate the path from the point Congress will have led us through FY97, through the necessary reforms and efficiencies critical to long-term affordability, and to the continued satisfaction of our core warfighting requirements within the President's plan for Defense.

Program Summaries

The following programs are key elements in building naval forces capable of protecting U.S. interests around the world today and into the 21st century. They represent an unprioritized, yet integrated, view of the wide range of capabilities necessary for the Navy-Marine Corps team to support and enforce national security objectives.

Shipbuilding and Naval Weapons Programs

Aircraft Carriers: Twelve aircraft carriers form the centerpiece of naval global forward presence, deterrence, crisis response, and warfighting. In addition to their power-projection role, they serve as joint command platforms in the worldwide command-and-control network. Harry S Truman (CVN 75) is currently under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding and is expected to be commissioned in 1998. At that time, the Navy's oldest active commissioned ship, Independence (CV 62), will transition to the inactive fleet. CVN 76's keel has been laid for a 2002 delivery, and CVN 77 will enter the fleet in 2008, as the two remaining Kitty Hawk-class carriers are retired. CVN 77 will act as a transition ship toward CVX, incorporating numerous new technologies and process design changes that will move naval aviation to a future carrier design. Selection of transition technologies will focus on life-cycle cost and manpower reductions. CVX development effort became an officially recognized program in 1996, and currently is examining the future sea-based tactical air platforms and the aircraft carrier that will support those platforms.

Amphibious Lift: Naval amphibious forces provide the most flexible and adaptive combined-arms crisis-response capability today and remain the nation's only self-sustainable forcible-entry capability. The current modernization plan will provide amphibious lift for 2.5 Marine expeditionary brigade (MEB) equivalents. The future amphibious force is being shaped in the correct number and types of ships that will allow the formation of 12 amphibious ready groups (ARGs) to meet our forward-presence, contingency, and warfighting requirements. The plan includes the completion in FY01 of the seventh Wasp (LHD 1)-class ship the centerpiece of the ARG and the delivery of the final Harpers Ferry (LSD 49)-class ship in FY98. However, a critical piece of our future amphibious force does not arrive until FY02. This is the San Antonio (LPD 17)-class of ships. LPD 17 will incorporate a major improvement in command-and-control capabilities and enhanced ship self-defense systems, which will increase its ability to operate independently of the ARG when required. Most important, it is a critical link in completing the goal of a 12-ARG amphibious force. LPD 17 replaces the aged LPD 4, LKA, LST, and LSD 36 classes of ships and is key to regaining the full 2.5 MEB lift equivalents. Current amphibious lift is being augmented with a combination of Naval Reserve Force and Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility assets ships the LPD 17 eventually will replace. Construction of the second ship is planned for FY99 with future procurement planned for two ships in FY00.

Through this modernizing and tailoring of the amphibious fleet, over-the-horizon launch platforms will be provided for the MV-22 aircraft, the short-take-off and vertical-landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the advanced amphibious assault vehicle and the already proven landing craft air cushion all critical pieces in fully executing operational maneuver from the sea. Ultimately, the amphibious force will be composed of 12 LHA/Ds, 12 LPD 17s, and 12 LSD 41/49s; capable of forming 12 ARGs (or operating independently when necessary) and lifting 2.5 MEB equivalents in all five lift parameters (vehicle square foot stowage, cargo cubic capacity, troop capacity, vertical take off and landing capacity, and LCAC capacity).

New Attack Submarine (NSSN): The New Attack Submarine (NSSN) is tailored for the 21st century joint littoral operations. The NSSN incorporates the best new technologies, is designed for maximum flexibility and affordability, and will maintain U.S. superiority over all current and projected undersea threats. Its inherent flexibility includes space for mission-specific equipment, carry-on electronics, and remotely operated or autonomous vehicles. Improved electromagnetic and acoustic stealth, along with enhanced sensors and processing, will ensure the NSSN's ability to detect and avoid mines and destroy advanced-capability submarines. In addition, NSSN will be capable of interdicting shipping or defending sea lines of communication, a role that will become increasingly important as the number of our overseas bases is reduced. NSSN's clandestine strike and significant organic special-operating forces capabilities will afford policymakers enhanced military leverage.

The cornerstone of the NSSN program is the design/build process. Using computer-aided design, engineering, and manufacturing techniques, the design process permits rapid assessment and evaluation of new technologies. This innovative process, coupled with new modular-construction techniques and contract teaming plan, fundamentally changes the way this ship will be produced and is the key to its affordability. Other features include:

NSSN also plays a pivotal role in the Navy's recapitalization plan. By the year 2011, Los Angeles (SSN 688)-class submarines will start to reach the end of their service lives at a rate of three-to-four per year. The Navy needs to achieve a low, continuing, and efficient submarine construction rate to build our next generation of quiet submarines in adequate numbers to counter the proliferation of advanced capability submarines and submarine-related technology worldwide. Starting the NSSN construction in 1998 accomplishes this goal, effectively counters an increasingly sophisticated undersea threat, and is the foundation for future development and technology insertion into the submarine force.

Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF): The 13 ships of the MPF continue to be a vital part of the Marine Corps ability to respond quickly to crisis worldwide. They also improve operational flexibility significantly for combat, disaster-relief, and humanitarian-assistance operations. In 1995, to ensure even better response, Maritime Prepositioning Squadron (MPS) One relocated forward from the continental United States to the Mediterranean. Procurement of three additional ships for MPF, known as MPF Enhancement, will provide Marine air-ground task forces (MAGTFs) enhanced capabilities in naval construction, medical support, and expeditionary airfield construction. The first MPF Enhancement ship is planned for delivery by FY99. Funding for the remaining two ships in the program was appropriated by Congress in FY97. Although the Aviation Logistics Support Ships (T-AVB) are not members of the MPF squadrons, they are an integral part of the MPF concept. The T-AVB ships provide rapid and dedicated sealift for the sustainment and maintenance of the MAGTF's aviation combat element, both rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft. These ships can provide repair capability on board or off load their equipment to provide shore-based support.

Arleigh Burke (DDG 51)-Class Destroyer: The DDG 51-class are the finest multimission destroyers in the world. They play an integral part in power projection, including precision land attack through strike and naval surface fire-support capabilities. The DDG 51 class, along with its companion class of CG 47 Aegis cruisers, provide battlespace dominance to include joint force air defense for carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and joint expeditionary forces. To keep pace with advancing technologies and stay ahead of emerging threats, the Navy constructs Aegis destroyers in flights to introduce improvements in combat capability in a disciplined, yet expeditious process. Eighteen destroyers are already in commission, and another 20 are authorized or under contract. The Aegis destroyers requested under the multiyear procurement plan will continue to incorporate Flight IIA warfighting advancements, including improved surface-to-air missiles (SM2 Block IV and Evolved Sea Sparrow), embarked helicopters, and the battle force tactical trainer. The first Flight IIA destroyer, DDG 79, is currently under construction. Future ships will include such other essential improvements as the AN/SPY-1D(V) littoral radar upgrade, Cooperative Engagement Capability, and Theater Missile Defense Capability. The Burke-class destroyers will represent the largest component of the early 21st century surface combatant force.

Naval Fires: Fire support requirements for the future are being addressed by wedded Global Positioning Systems and gun technologies that will enable surface ships to engage targets ashore more than 60 miles distant. Especially promising are composite-material technology breakthroughs, which could enable gun systems to engage targets beyond 100 nautical miles. Research-and-development funding has been allocated to develop these capabilities for future deployment in the fleet.

The Army's Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, is a medium-range weapon that provides a quick-response strike capability to support our expeditionary forces within ten minutes of the call for fire. The Navy is evaluating a seagoing version of the Army missile for deployment on board surface ships and submarines. The quick-response strike capability of a Navy TACMS makes it ideally suited to engage mobile command-and-control, air-defense, and cruise-missile launch platforms. In the near future, the TACMS missile could provide an effective means to counter weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by providing the ability to destroy them without warning. A joint Army/Navy project currently under way will develop and test a warhead that will give TACMS the capability of destroying deeply buried or hardened targets, such as those used for WMD production and storage facilities.

The Navy is also investigating the concept of modifying the Standard missile for a surface-to-ground strike role. Studies are under way to determine which missile option is the most cost-effective way to provide a rapid response, all-weather strike capability in support of military power projection ashore.

Arsenal Ship: Arsenal Ship is a technology demonstration program exploring affordable and innovative enhancements to our force of carriers and strike capable combatants and submarines. Armed with missiles and with space for future extended range gun systems, Arsenal Ship has the potential to provide massive firepower in the early stages of a crisis, and to augment fire support to landing force or other ground commanders. These platforms could be continuously forward deployed, available for rapid movement upon receipt of warning or changes in the tactical situation. Much like our Maritime Prepositioning Force, Arsenal Ships could remain on station as required for indefinite periods without dependence on host nation support or permission. The program is designed to develop technologies for incorporation in the SC 21 and other future platform types.

Afloat Prepositioning Force (APF): The APF is divided into three groups: 13 Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) ships loaded with U.S. Marine Corps equipment; 14 Army War Reserve, including 3 ships that support a U.S. Army heavy brigade; and 7 prepositioned ships dedicated to multiservice requirements such as transporting fuel for the Defense Logistics Agency, ammunition for the Air Force, and a field hospital for the Navy.

Seawolf (SSN 21)-Class Attack Submarine: Seawolf-class submarines were designed to operate autonomously against the world's most capable submarine and surface threats, and these impressive capabilities translate directly into enhanced joint-warfighting performance in high-threat littoral areas. These multimission combatants will set the standard for submarine technology well into the next century.

In addition to their strong capabilities in countering enemy submarines and surface shipping, Seawolf submarines are ideally suited for battlespace-preparation roles. Incorporation of sophisticated electronics produces greatly enhanced indications and warning, surveillance, and communications capabilities. These platforms are capable of integrating seamlessly into a battle group's infrastructure, or shifting rapidly into a land-battle support role. With twice as many torpedo tubes and a 30% increase in weapons magazine size over the Los Angeles (SSN 688)-class submarines, Seawolf is exceptionally capable of establishing and maintaining battlespace dominance.

Seawolf's inherent stealth enables surreptitious insertion of combat swimmers into denied areas. SSN 23 will incorporate special-operations force capabilities, including a dry deck shelter (DDS) and a new, specially designed combat swimmer silo. The DDS is an air-transportable device that piggy-backs on the submarine and can be used to store and launch a swimmer delivery vehicle and combat swimmers. The silo is an internal lock-out chamber that will deploy up to eight combat swimmers and their equipment at one time.

Seawolf performed superbly during initial sea trials in July 1996, and demonstrated that it is the fastest, quietest submarine in the world. The addition of Seawolf to the fleet will significantly enhance the U.S. margin of undersea superiority against the most capable adversaries.

Surge Sealift: Surge shipping is the immediate transportation of heavy military equipment that our forces will need to meet warfighting requirements. The Navy's role in providing surge capability depends on a mix of sealift, including eight fast-sealift ships, Ready Reserve Force ships, and chartered ships from private industry. As a result of the Mobility Requirements Study, the Navy is currently undertaking a sealift expansion effort, to increase Department of Defense's ability to move military equipment quickly in the event of a contingency or war. The study highlighted a strategic sealift surge and afloat prepositioning shortfall of five million square feet and recommended the acquisition of ships to meet it. A total of 19 prepositioning or surge Large Medium Speed Roll-On/Roll-Off ships will be required to satisfy the sealift requirements identified by the Mobility Study. Our budget reflects our efforts to meet these requirements through shipbuilding or ship conversion.

Surface Combatant of the 21st Century (SC 21): SC 21 is more than a replacement for ships retiring at the end of their service lives. As a land-attack combatant, SC 21 will support the land campaign by being able to operate in the littorals, will carry a mix of strike and close support weapons, and will be designed for joint interoperability. The SC 21 Cost and Operational Effectiveness Analysis (COEA) has begun the process of examining future mission requirements and alternative approaches to meeting those requirements. The COEA has just completed the first part of this effort, characterizing the mission deficiencies of the currently planned forces in the years 2015 through 2025. While the currently planned forces remain quite capable in the future timeframes examined, there are shortfalls in several mission areas, especially in terms of affordability. The second part of the COEA will evaluate alternative ship concepts that will better meet the requirements and affordability measures. Innovative concepts of operation, building from Marine Corps and Army planning, will be combined with joint initiatives and emerging technologies to tailor the new capabilities to the requirements.

SSN 688 Class Submarine Modernization: The creation of the Acoustic Rapid COTS Insertion (A-RCI) program was based on a detailed review of the U.S. acoustic advantage compared to foreign nuclear and diesel electric submarines. This program is the centerpiece of the Los Angeles (SSN 688)-class modernization effort. SSN 688 class submarines, which will comprise 68% of the attack submarine force in 2015, must be modernized to ensure that they remain effective when operating against increasingly sophisticated undersea adversaries. The use of COTS and Open Systems Architecture (OSA) will enable rapid (annual) updates to both software and hardware, and the use of COTS-based processors means that sonar system computing power can grow at the same rate as the commercial world.

A-RCI is a four phased transformation of existing sonar systems (AN/BSY-1, AN/BQQ-5, or AN/BQQ-6) to a more capable and flexible COTS/OSA-based system. It also will provide the submarine force with a common sonar system. The process is designed to minimize the impact of fire-control and sonar system upgrades on a ship's operational schedule, and will be accomplished without the need for major shipyard availabilities. Phase I, which will commence in November 1997, will enhance towed-array processing. Phase II will provide additional towed- and hull-array software upgrades. Phase III will upgrade the spherical array, and Phase IV will upgrade the high-frequency sonar system on SSN 688I-class submarines. Each phase will install improved processing and control and display workstations. The current installation plan completes all SSNs through Phase III by FY03.

Mine Warfare: This is an essential supporting warfare capability integral to the ability of naval forces to open and maintain sea lines of communication and to dominate the littoral battlespace. An imposing array of modern mine countermeasures (MCM) systems continues to be developed and procured. Our dedicated MCM forces, composed of surface MCM ships, airborne MCM helicopters, and explosive-ordnance-disposal divers are among the best in the world. With the recent addition of the MCM command and support ship Inchon (MCS 12), the United States has a true expeditionary mine countermeasures capability.

We also are aggressively developing MCM systems that will be organic to the forward-deployed carrier battle groups and amphibious ready groups. Focused science, technology, and developmental efforts are producing solutions to some difficult mine-warfare problems. For very shallow water, such efforts as the Shallow Water Assault Breaching System and the Distributed Explosive Technology net system are on schedule in their development. These two complementary systems are designed to defeat mines and obstacles in the difficult surf-zone region. Another example is the Remote Minehunting System, which will provide a surface ship-hosted, mine-reconnaissance capability.

Augmenting dedicated and organic MCM capabilities are contributions from organizations outside of the traditional mine-warfare community. As an example, the Oceanographer of the Navy collects and disseminates environmental data that are essential for effective mine countermeasures. Mine warfare-relevant emphasis in projects dealing with MCM digital-route surveys; maintenance of a global mine-like contact database; and development of mine warfare-specific environmental databases augment our ability to rapidly access, avoid, or neutralize the sea mine threat.

Tomahawk Baseline Improvement Program (TBIP): The Tomahawk land-attack missile provides Navy surface combatants and attack submarines with a potent long-range precision strike capability from the sea. The TBIP program was restructured in FY96 into a two-phase program that will provide a technologically advanced, yet lower-cost missile with an initial operating capability in 2000. The Tomahawk Block IV Phase I development provides a comprehensive baseline upgrade to improve system flexibility, responsiveness, accuracy, and lethality. Essential elements of the program include upgrades to the guidance, navigation, control, and mission-computer systems of the missile, along with the associated mission-planning systems and weapons-control systems. Phase I will provide a UHF satellite communication data link to enable the missile to receive in-flight mission reassignment messages, to transfer health and status messages, and to broadcast Battle Damage Indication messages. Phase I also includes the development of an advanced antijam Global Positioning System receiver and antenna system for the missile. The Advanced Tomahawk Weapons Control System and Afloat Planning System will improve tactical responsiveness by allowing for mission-planning and modification afloat, thus reducing mission planning timelines in many scenarios. Concepts for the Tomahawk Block IV Phase II include a seeker, an antiarmor variant, and a possible hard-target-penetration variant.

Ship Self-Defense Systems: The confining geography and proliferation of antiship cruise missiles combine to make littoral operations particularly challenging. Ship-defense systems provide a layer of protection that enables battle groups to position themselves for successful mission execution. Key programs include:

Common Missile Development/Standard Missile: The Navy continues to build on the proven Standard missile family by adding capability to counter existing and emerging threats. Two new upgrades currently are in production:
Trident D-5 Missile: The Department of Defense completed the Nuclear Posture Review in September 1994. This comprehensive assessment of the nation's long-term requirements for strategic deterrence concluded that the optimum force structure for the sea-based leg of the strategic triad in a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) II environment would consist of 14 Ohio (SSBN 726)-class submarines, all equipped with the Trident II D-5 missile. To meet this requirement, four Ohio-class submarines currently equipped with the Trident I C-4 missile will be upgraded to carry the larger and more capable Trident II D-5 missile. In addition, under the terms of the START II treaty, the Navy's Ohio-class submarines will assume a dominant position within the strategic triad by carrying approximately half of the allowable strategic warheads.

Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS): IUSS is comprised of fixed, mobile, and deployable acoustic arrays that provide vital tactical cueing to ASW forces. The IUSS is a model for innovation and the smart use of technology. Work stations, enhanced signal processing, and modern communication technologies enable remote array monitoring, which reduces manpower costs and improves efficiency.

The Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) provides deep-water long-range detection capability. Consolidation of SOSUS by array retermination, remoting, or closure will be complete by FY97. Recent closures include Bermuda, Adak, and Keflavik. All other arrays will remain operational.

The Surveillance Towed-Array Sensor System (SURTASS), a prototype twin- line array, was tested in a variety of locations around the world, with outstanding results. It is far superior to any other shallow-water passive towed-array system. SURTASS processing is being transferred to the AN/SQQ-89 towed-array sonar system to provide an immediate increase in detection capability without the need to modify or procure additional wet-end hardware. The minimum fleet requirement of eight SURTASS ships is funded through the FYDP.

The Fixed Distributed System (FDS) currently is operational and has successfully demonstrated the ability to detect, classify, and track quiet submarines. The outstanding results achieved to date validate the fact that acoustic ASW remains feasible against advanced-capability nuclear and diesel-electric submarines. New fiber-optic technologies, algorithms, and enhanced signal processing are enabling exploitation of weak signals in environments of high background noise and provide timely and accurate detection and track data to tactical assets.

The Low-Frequency Active (LFA) system has detected submarines at long ranges. The first LFA ship, TAGOS 23, is under construction. In the interim, a leased ship, Cory Chouest, is being used as a fleet asset to test and validate LFA technologies. In addition, compact acoustic source technologies are under development that will provide a 50% reduction in weight and power requirements. Successful maturing of these technologies will allow LFA-type arrays to be deployed from existing TAGOS 19-class vessels.

The Advanced Deployable System is a theater-deliverable acoustic surveillance system that will provide continuous acoustic coverage over vast ocean areas for an extended period. This is a theater-surveillance asset that will provide unique surveillance information to tactical forces. It will be capable of detecting quiet nuclear submarines, diesel-electric submarines on the battery, ships exiting or entering port, or mine-laying operations. The importance of this portable capability will intensify as our surveillance requirements increase, owing to the Navy's focus on the littorals, the growing popularity of diesel submarines, and the downsizing of our own force.

The current IUSS program satisfies all military requirements and has been designed to accommodate future growth and capability expansion affordably, as new technologies appear and mature.

Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUV): The Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) program will extend knowledge and control of the undersea battlespace through the employment of clandestine off-board sensors. Although significant progress is being made with onboard sensors, it is clearly preferable to have an off-board sensor to accurately image tethered, volume, and bottom mines. Knowledge of the full dimension of the mine threat, without exposing reconnaissance platforms, is vital to exploiting the tactical benefits of maneuver warfare.

An initial capability, designated the Near-Term Mine Reconnaissance System (NMRS), is a mine-hunting UUV launched and recovered from a SSN 688-class submarine's torpedo tube. The UUV, in combination with an SSN, represents a long-endurance, clandestine, reconnaissance system capable of mapping the undersea environment and providing time-sensitive information on mining activities to the theater commander. The NMRS will provide an effective and much-needed capability to the fleet in FY98.

The Long-Term Mine Reconnaissance System (LMRS) will leverage developing technologies and lessons learned from the NMRS. The LMRS also will be launched and recovered through a submarine's torpedo tube, but it will have enhanced endurance, range, search rate, and total search-area coverage.

Ground Weapons Programs

Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV): Once fielded, the AAAV will provide the Marine Corps a weapon system fully capable of implementing ship-to-objective maneuver as an integral part of the amphibious triad (AAAV, MV-22, LCAC) supporting operational maneuver from the sea. The AAAV, currently in the demonstration/validation phase, will allow rapid, high-speed maneuver of Marine infantry units as they emerge from amphibious assault ships located well beyond the visual horizon. The AAAV will insert forces in a single, seamless stroke, maneuvering to exploit weak points in enemy littoral defenses. Designed to possess more than three times the water speed of the AAV-7A1, it will have mobility equal to or greater than the M1A1 tank, will be one of only two nuclear-biological-chemical collective protective combat vehicle systems in the U.S. inventory, and will have twice the present armor protection. The AAAV is targeted for fielding during FY06.

Medium Tactical Vehicle Remanufacturing (MTVR): The MTVR program remanufactures the aging medium fleet of M809/M939 series cargo trucks to a capability that meets Marine Corps requirements for added mobility and cargo capability. Currently in the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the acquisition process, this effort will integrate industry-standard truck components on the existing five-ton truck. Added mobility is required to keep pace with fast-moving maneuver elements on the battlefield, and to rearm and refuel them without requiring return to a major road network. The combination of mobility and capability enhancements increases allowable cargo weights up to 8 tons off-road and 15 tons on-road. Significant improvements in maintainability and reliability also are expected, as a result of the reduced-shock-and-vibration benefit of the independent suspension. When fielded, the MTVR will be the world's most capable cargo truck in its class.

Lightweight 155mm Towed Howitzer (LW155): The LW155 is a joint program, with the Marine Corps as the lead service, and will provide organic artillery fires to Marine air-ground task forces. While retaining the same range as our current howitzer, the LW155 will have significantly improved mobility because of its reduced weight. This will result in increased survivability, responsiveness, and efficiency of artillery units. Capable of being transported by the MV-22, the LW155 is designed for expeditionary operations requiring light, highly mobile artillery, as well as for conventional operations. The program is in the engineering and manufacturing development phase, with a contract expected to be awarded in the second quarter of FY97.

Javelin: Javelin, a soft-launched, medium-range, fire-and-forget antiarmor system, is a joint Army and Marine Corps program with fielding to begin in FY99. It will satisfy an antiarmor operational requirement for increased range, improved lethality, and gunner survivability. The Javelin consists of a reusable Command Launcher Unit and a missile, and can be employed as a stand-alone thermal sight. The launch motor allows it to be fired from enclosures and bunkers to enhance gunner survivability. Three training systems have been developed for basic training and field exercises.

Predator: Predator is a unilateral Marine Corps antiarmor program with fielding to begin in FY00. It will fill the Marine Corps requirement for a lightweight, man-portable, disposable, short-range weapon, lethal against current and future main battle tanks. The missile has a soft-launch rocket motor that allows the weapon to be fired from enclosures, and travels in a flyover, shoot-down profile to facilitate warhead penetration into the top of the target.

Aviation Weapons Programs

F/A - 18E/F Super Hornet: The F/A-18 Hornet is the cornerstone of naval aviation strike warfare. This year's budget request includes continued funding for warfighting improvements to our existing F/A-18C/D aircraft as well as funding for the procurement of 20 F/A-18E/F aircraft. Procurement of these first low-rate-initial production aircraft will begin the orderly transition from the Navy's F/A-18C/D, and in FY01 the F-14A, to this improved strike fighter aircraft. Building on the proven design of earlier model F/A-18 aircraft, the F/A-18E/F will have greater range and payload flexibility, an increased capability to return to the carrier with unexpended ordnance, room for avionics growth, and enhanced survivability features. It will increase the capability to conduct night strike warfare, close air support, fighter escort, air interdiction, and fleet air defense. The aircraft program is on cost, on schedule, and 800 pounds under specification weight. Most of the strike fighter assets on aircraft carriers after 2008 will be the F/A-18 E/F.

MV-22 Osprey: The MV-22 remains the Marine Corps' most critical acquisition priority. A revolutionary approach to power projection operations, the MV-22 tilt-rotor capability provides significant operational advantages over helicopters. The MV-22 is strategically mobile, allowing it to self-deploy globally, enabling greater flexibility in planning. The combination of range, speed, and payload nearly triples the depth of the present-day battle space, complicating a potential enemy's defensive requirements. The designated replacement for the aging CH-46E and CH-53D helicopters, the MV-22 will serve as a critical element of operational maneuver from the sea. Funds were appropriated for procurement of five MV-22s in FY97, with an initial operating capability of 2001.

AV-8B Remanufacture: The remanufacture of the AV-8B Day Attack Harrier to the AV-8B Radar/Night Attack Harrier configuration will increase the service life and multimission capabilities of this proven aircraft in the role of offensive air support while saving 23% of the costs of a new aircraft. The AV-8B remanufacturing program extends the service life of 72 older Harriers by 6,000 hours. It greatly increases the Harrier's night, reduced-visibility, and poor-weather capabilities for close air support, and also improves the aircraft's combat utility and survivability through standardized configuration and safety enhancements. Still the only tactical aircraft capable of operating from small flight decks at sea or unimproved areas on land, the remanufactured AV-8B is capable of delivering all future smart weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munitions and the Joint Standoff Weapon in support of ground forces. The first flight was conducted successfully in November 1995 and delivery of the first three remanufactured aircraft occurred this past year.

Helicopter Master Plan: The Navy Helicopter Master plan provides for a modernization of active and reserve helicopter forces, while reducing operating cost and infrastructure. This plan reduces eight Navy helicopter types (H-1, H-2, H-3, H-46, H-53, H-60B/F/H) to three (H-53, CH-60, SH-60R). Antiship and antisubmarine warfare will be executed by the SH-60R. The Master Plan stipulates 286 H-60B/F/H models will be remanufactured into SH-60Rs to extend the airframe life while upgrading warfighting capabilities to support increased surface ship requirements and improvements. Navy logistics, combat search-and-rescue, special operations warfare support, and utility missions will be performed by approximately 200 CH-60s. Leveraging on their commonality, the H-60 programs will simultaneously reduce costs and increase flexibility in meeting the Navy's tactical helicopter requirements until 2020.

UH-1N and AH-1W Four-Bladed Upgrade (4BN/4BW): The Marine Corps 4BN/4BW program is a comprehensive upgrade designed to remanufacture 280 existing AH-1W and UH-1N helicopters with identical dynamic components. Included in the upgrade is a newly developed four-bladed rotor system, a performance-matched drive train and tail rotor system, and common T-700 engines. The 4BW (attack version) also will include a new, fully integrated cockpit designed to reduce pilot workload and increase situational awareness and structural modifications to accommodate six weapon stations. The 4BN/4BW program reduces life-cycle costs, increases operational effectiveness, resolves existing safety deficiencies, and extends the service life of both aircraft until a joint replacement aircraft is fielded. The Engineering Manufacturing and Development (EMD) contract for the 4BW and 4BN development recently was approved. The contract calls for the delivery of two 4BN EMD and three 4BW EMD helicopters for ground and flight testing. The development phase is scheduled for completion by September 2003.

F-14 Update: The F-14 Tomcat is now being configured as a potent precision strike fighter with incorporation of the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) Targeting System. With LANTIRN, the Tomcat now has a deadly accurate autonomous designation and targeting capability for delivery of laser guided bombs. Beginning in 1997, all forward-deployed carrier airwings will have LANTIRN capability. In addition to LANTIRN, two major flight safety improvements for the Tomcat are also underway. The Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) has demonstrated significant improvements in departure resistance/spin recovery as well as much improved flying qualities during shipboard recovery. Installation of the DFCS will begin in June 1998. The TF30 Engine Breather Pressure Modification incorporates a new sensor in the engine that detects an abnormal increase in breather pressure and allows the pilot time to take appropriate action to prevent catastrophic engine failure. Installation began in November 1996 and will complete in 1997. With these warfighting and safety improvements, the F-14 series strike fighter will provide Battle Group Commanders with essential warfighting capabilities and additional flexibility until replaced by the F/A-18E/F.

EA-6B Prowler: This year, the EA-6B Prowler assumed its role as the Department of Defense's primary standoff radar jammer. The Prowler also supports joint operations by providing electronic surveillance, communication jamming capability, and employment of the high-speed antiradiation missile. The EA-6B's expanding role in joint operations requires 125 aircraft and the reestablishment of five additional squadrons in FY96 and FY97. Navy and Marine Corps EA-6B squadrons deploy to U.S. and coalition air bases overseas in support of joint requirements for tactical electronic warfare. These operations will be conducted in addition to the continuing EA-6B operations with Navy carrier air wings and Marine air-ground task forces. Emphasis in the EA-6B program is on maintaining aircraft safety and inventory levels, achieving a standardized configuration, and improving its warfighting capability.

Joint Strike Fighter (JSF): The Joint Strike Fighter Program, formerly the Joint Advanced Strike Technology Program, will develop and field a tri-service family of next-generation strike aircraft, with an emphasis on affordability. The family-of-aircraft concept allows a high level of commonality while satisfying unique service needs. JSF will replace both the AV-8B and the F-18C/D, completing the Marine Corps neck-down strategy of an all short-take-off-and-vertical-landing fixed-wing force. For the Navy, the JSF will provide a survivable strike fighter to complement the F/A-18E/F. A primary objective of the JSF Program is the reduction of costs associated with development, production, and ownership. The program is accomplishing this by facilitating the services' development of fully validated, affordable operational requirements, and lowering risk by investing in and demonstrating key leveraging technologies and operational concepts. In November 1996, designs from two contractors were selected to compete in the JSF concept demonstration phase. Transition to engineering and manufacturing development begins in 2001. This joint approach to development is anticipated to produce significant savings, when compared to the costs of separate programs. Additional savings are provided by the United Kingdom's participation in the concept demonstration phase. Participation by other allied countries is anticipated.

CH-53E Super Stallion: Capable of lifting 32,000 pounds, the CH-53E is the only helicopter in production today that satisfies Marine Corps heavy helicopter lift requirements. It is the ship-to-shore prime mover for the light armor vehicle, M-198 Howitzer, the HMMWV transport vehicle, and most Marine Corps engineering assets. Capable of transporting 55 Marines or 24 casualty litters, the Super Stallion has a secondary assault support mission to augment the medium-lift helicopter fleet. Aerial refuelable, the CH-53E has unlimited range for over-the-horizon special operations such as anti-terrorist missions, embassy evacuations, and other crisis-response missions. Four CH-53Es, funded in the National Guard and Reserve Account in FY96 and FY97, will continue to provide needed modernization to the Reserve Force's Vietnam era RH-53D fleet.

P-3C Orion: The P-3C Sustained Readiness Program and Service Life Extension Program will extend the operational service and fatigue life of existing airframes to approximately 48 years, thereby delaying the requirement for delivery of a follow-on production aircraft until 2015. The Antisurface Warfare Improvement Program enhances the aircraft's ability to perform both autonomous and joint battle group missions in the littorals. Improvements will allow the P-3C to collect, correlate, and confirm tactical data and transmit information and imagery to the Joint Task Force Commander in near-real time. Both the active and reserve P-3C fleets are being converted to a common avionics force (Update III) that consolidates maintenance, improves training efficiency, reduces long term logistic support costs, and maximizes reserve forces participation.

Air-to-Ground Weapon Programs: The most significant joint air-to-ground weapon development initiatives are the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), and Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER). JSOW is a family of air-to-ground glide weapons designed to attack targets from beyond enemy point defenses. JSOW is a Navy-led program and will be capable against a broad target set during day, night, and adverse-weather conditions. JSOW will replace a variety of weapons in the current inventory. JDAM is an Air Force-led program to develop an adverse-weather capability for general-purpose bombs through the use of strap-on Global Positioning System (GPS) guidance kits. SLAM-ER meets the Navy's requirement for a Standoff Outside Area Defense (SOAD) weapon. SLAM-ER is an adverse weather, precision-guided weapon that simplifies mission planning, increases penetration, and nearly doubles the range of the original SLAM. The SLAM-ER PLUS will add autonomous capability and Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) to the SLAM-ER and will be incorporated into all missiles. Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) is the Navy's potential long-term answer to its SOAD requirement. JASSM is an Air Force-led program focused on developing an autonomous, adverse-weather, precision-guided, SOAD weapon with an ATR feature. The Navy also is planning to increase the quantities of laser-guided bombs through the Skipper conversion program. This program will help alleviate the current shortfall in precision-weapons.

Air-to-Air Weapon Programs: The AIM-9X Sidewinder and the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) continue to be the foremost joint air-to-air weapons programs of the Navy and Marine Corps. The Navy-led AIM-9X program upgrades the current missile with an advanced guidance control section, a highly maneuverable airframe, and signal processors that significantly upgrade its infrared counter-countermeasures capabilities. The Air Force-led preplanned product improvements to the currently deployed AIM-120 weapon include enhanced electronic counter-countermeasures and improved kinematics. The AIM-9X and AMRAAM missiles will serve Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps aircraft well into the 21st century.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): Naval Forces currently are employing the Pioneer UAV system in support of a broad array of expeditionary operations, such as reconnaissance and intelligence support in Bosnia. Pioneer's potential replacement as the tactical UAV is "Outrider." It currently is in the advanced concept technical demonstration phase of development. The new tactical control system will enable broad UAV interoperability and connectivity to the naval command, control, computers, communications, and intelligence (C4I) architecture.

Advanced Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System (ATARS): As the only manned tactical reconnaissance system for naval combat aircraft currently under development, the ATARS will provide a major increase in timely imagery intelligence information to the theater, operational, and tactical commanders. The digital data-link capability of the system will allow all levels of command to receive time-sensitive imagery simultaneously, providing real-time imagery for accurate intelligence preparation of the battlefield and pre-strike and post-strike planning and analysis. ATARS is a suite of sensors and data-link pods that will be installed in the F/A-18D and associated ground stations. When fully operational, ATARS will be joint data-link capable and will provide support to all services. Due for delivery in FY98, ATARS will provide high-resolution, real/near-real time, digital imagery, day and night, in all weather conditions through infrared, electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar sensors. The imagery will be digitally linked via the Joint Services Imagery Processing System and Tactical Exploitation Groups. The F/A-18F will field reconnaissance capabilities which will capitalize on ATARS off-the-shelf advances.

Command and Control and Other Programs

Navy-Marine Corps C4ISR: The naval command, control, communication, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) vision, called Copernicus...Forward, is designed to support joint and naval warfighting strategies. It enables the Navy-Marine Corps team to expand, adapt, and integrate their C4ISR capabilities to meet the demands of the new strategic environment, emerging operational concepts, and evolving information technologies. While this vision provides a general naval approach to the implementation of Copernicus...Forward, there are, by necessity, unique requirements for Navy and Marine Corps application which make it useful to address these service-unique features in separate development and implementation concepts. Copernicus...Forward defines four essential functions of C4I that are being executed and implemented successfully in the fleet: connectivity; common tactical picture; sensor-to-shooter; and information warfare. The goal in every case is achieving technical and operational interoperability with the joint Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating Environment as rapidly as possible. Some of the C4I systems now operational within the Navy or Marine Corps or under evaluation are highlighted here:
Norway Air-Landed Marine Expeditionary Brigade (NALMEB): The NALMEB is the Marine Corps' only land-based prepositioned stock and is a cost-effective deterrent to assist in the protection of NATO's northern flank. Through burden-sharing agreements with Norway (renewed this year), the program cost is minimal and the agreement serves as a tangible reaffirmation of U.S. commitment to NATO and to our Norwegian allies.

Asset Tracking Logistics and Supply System (ATLASS): ATLASS is the Marine Corps operational and retail level supply, maintenance, and material readiness system and is interoperable with joint systems. ATLASS provides comprehensive connectivity to higher, adjacent, and supporting headquarters. This improves asset visibility and logistics status for commanders. The development of ATLASS included functional and technical integration of Marine Corps ground maintenance and supply systems with the Navy maintenance and supply systems under the Naval Tactical Command Support System (NTCSS) umbrella. Subsequent ATLASS initiatives will continue on a migratory path with NTCSS, further standardizing Navy-Marine Corps business processes and resulting in greater levels of interoperability.

Nonlethal Weapons: On 22 March 1996, the Secretary of Defense designated the Marine Corps as the executive agent for the Nonlethal Weapons (NLW) program. Since that date, the Marine Corps has established an integrated product team to develop the framework for a NLW program that will ensure unity of effort among the services and enhance the timeliness of fielding NLW systems to users. To this end, the Marine Corps developed a mutually supportable memorandum of agreement, which addresses the overall conduct of the NLW efforts and codifies responsibilities for NLW management cells, to include: a NLW Directorate, a Joint Concepts and Requirements Group (JCRG), and a Joint Acquisition Group (JAG). The Commandant's Warfighting Laboratory (CWL) continues to coordinate NLW testing within the Sea Dragon Advanced Technology Concept Demonstration, to identify areas of applicability. As a result of the unified effort of all participants, and the coordination of the JCRG, JAG, and CWL, a funding profile has been established to support NLW efforts in the out years.

Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) Defense Programs: Numerous enhancements are being pursued that will increase the effectiveness for Marines to operate in an NBC environment. Some of these are:
These programs, in concert with the latest standup of the Chemical-Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF), highlight the importance the Marine Corps is placing on the future NBC threat to our forces.

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