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various mission profiles and demands of the manned ground vehicle suite pose a design challenge to package required mission equipment within the power, weight, and volume constraints. Computer aided design and engineering models have confirmed the feasibility of this solution approach. By maximizing basic component commonality, the Army expects to realize significant savings in development, production, training, maintenance, and logistics costs. The challenge will be to maximize commonality without compromising the overall vehicle performance capabilities throughout the vehicle variants. The driving philosophy is to maintain commonality where it saves money and provides an operational benefit to the user.
Question. Congress provided NLOS funding to the Army program management staff responsible for development of artillery systems. In fiscal year 2004, the Army budget request proposes combining this into the funding line for the FCS. Why?
Answer. Realigning the FY04 program will more accurately reflect the true characterization of the program. FCS is a system of systems linked by a battle command network, rather than a collection of various independent platforms. Furthermore, the realigned FY04 program also more accurately reflects the execution of the work being accomplished. Since the Army is developing all variants through one system of systems Lead Systems Integrator, the Army expects to achieve improved efficiencies in the FCS program. The system of systems contractor will maximize commonality and also ensure supportability is engineered across the system of systems.
Question. What changes in program management does the Army propose as a result of realigning, funding for NLOS development?
Answer. Realigning the program funding for NLOS has not resulted in any substantial changes to the program management of the NLOS-C program. The Crusader management staff has transitioned to form the NLOS-C management staff to support the initial FCS program in general.
Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Shadow 200
Question. The Army's Tactical UAV recently underwent its Operational Test and Evaluation.
Please give a summary of the operational test and evaluation report—was the Shadow 200, the Army's tactical UAV, found to be operationally suitable and operationally effective?
Answer. The TUAV Shadow 200 system is deployed with the 4th Infantry Division and with the first and second Stryker Brigade Combat Teams. These systems have the full confidence of the senior commanders of those combat units. The TUAV Shadow system was one of the DoD's most successful acquisition programs achieving a Milestone II to III decision in less than three years to include a successful initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E). One of the key elements in this success was an Army approved acquisition based on a blocking strategy to achieve early success with anticipated block upgrades.
The DoD Joint Interoperability Test Center remarked that the TUAV Shadow was the "model for future C4I development." As tested by the Army's Test and Evaluation Command in the Block I configuration, and the rapid acquisition strategy, the TUAV Shadow is effective, suitable, and survivable. Finally, the Army has deemed the Shadow system affordable, and full rate production go ahead was approved in September 2002 with the full rate production contract being awarded in December 2002.
Question. What is the Army plan for continuing the TUAV program?
Answer. The Army acquisition objective is 83 systems while the Army procurement objective is 41 systems based on the fiscal year 2004—2009 Program Objective Memorandum. Thirteen systems had been procured under low rate initial production contracts; the full rate contract award in December 2002 was for nine systems with procurement for the remaining 19 systems to take place from 2004 to 2008. Systems will eventually be fielded to each of the Army's divisions, Stryker Brigades, and the training center.
The Future Combat Systems Lead Systems Integrator released requests for proposal for four classes of UAVs in February 2003 that would include at least two UAV capabilities possibly met by the TUAV Shadow 200 or a growth version of that same system. In addition, the Army continues to work towards further improvement of the TUAV Shadow 200 with a series of targeted upgrades including improvement of target location error, incorporation of a tactical common data link, and conversion to a heavy fuel (JP-8) engine. The TUAV Shadow will deploy in the Persian Gulf region as part of the 4th Infantry Division.
Question. Has the TUAV program presented in the fiscal year 2003 budget been restructured in the fiscal year 2004 budget request?
Answer. The TUAV budget has not been restructured in the fiscal year 2004 budget request.
Question. How many Shadow 200 systems does the Army intend to acquire in fiscal year 2003 and 2004?
Answer. The Army will procure nine TUAV Shadow systems in fiscal year 2003 and eight systems in 2004. The maximum production capacity is 12 systems per year.
Question. In what ways does the TUAV not satisfy the Army's requirement for a longer-range, more robust UAV capability? What program are you pursuing to meet this requirement?
Answer. While the Shadow 200 TUAV is an outstanding asset—easily deployed, and focused on the needs of the tactical maneuver commander, it has limitations. The TUAV has a small payload capacity, cannot carry multiple payloads, and has a limited range. These limitations are due to its smaller size. In accordance with Objective Force guidelines, the Army is pursuing an extended range/multi-purpose • ER/MP) UAV that is light, mobile, and flexible to meet projected division/corps requirements beyond the 50-kilometer range the Shadow 200 TUAV operates in.
At the same time, the U.S. Air Force Predator and Global Hawk UAVs, while outstanding platforms, cannot meet the Army ER/MP UAV requirements due to limited assets, requirement for extensive logistical support, and differing Army missions. Additionally, neither Predator nor Global Hawk is responsive enough to provide support at multiple echelons at once. Given the nature of the anticipated roles of division and corps under Army Transformation, the requirement for an ER/MP UAV is critical.
The operational requirements document for this capability is undergoing final adjustments in preparation for a May Army requirements oversight council, and we hope to have this important capability to the Army beginning in fiscal year 2006/ 2007. We do not intend to develop a new ER/MP UAV capability; rather, we will conduct a fly-off in fiscal year 2004 among current UAV platforms to determine the air vehicle the Army will select to meets its extended range UAV requirements. Finally, the ER/MP UAV must be compatible with the Shadow 200 UAV ground control equipment to ensure commonality of equipment, reduced training requirements, and overall cost savings of not having to maintain two separate ground control systems.
Aerial Common Sensor
Question. With the cancellation of the Joint SIGLNT Avionics Family (JSAF) program, the Army was required to restructure its Aerial Common Sensor program. Please summarize the new acquisition strategy for your Aerial Common Sensor (ACS) program.
Answer. Due to the cancellation of the JSAF program, the Army rated the communications intelligence (COMLNT) sub-system for ACS as a high-risk area. Therefore, the milestone decision authority approved a change to the acquisition strategy allowing two contractor teams to proceed through the technology development phase to reduce risk. The exit criteria for the phase were adjusted to include the demonstration of a prototype COMLNT sub-system in a system integration laboratory environment. The technology development phase began in April 2002 and will conclude with contractor technical demonstrations in early July 2003.
Upon completion of the technology development phase, the Army will select a single contractor team in an open competition to complete the system architecture, develop, test andproduce the system, and develop the sustainment plan for the life of the system. The first ACS unit will be equipped in fiscal year 2009.
Question. What are the major milestones in the decision-making process and what are the timeframes for these milestones?
Answer. The next program milestone is the Milestone B decision planned for September 2003. The Milestone B decision will formally initiate the program and authorize entrance into the system development and demonstration phase. The system development and demonstration phase will begin with the award of the system development and demonstration contract in January 2004 and conclude in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2007.
Key events during this phase are the developmental tests of the ACS prototype. Developmental test #1 is scheduled in fiscal year 2006 and developmental test #2 is scheduled for fiscal year 2007. Developmental test #2 and a follow-on limited user test will provide the necessary system evaluation to proceed to Milestone C in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2007. The Milestone C decision will authorize low-rate initial production of the ACS system. Initial operational test and evaluation will occur in fiscal year 2009 and supports the full rate production decision, also in fiscal year 2009.
UH-60 Black Hawk Fielding Plan
Question. Among the systems proposed for restructuring in the fiscal year 2004 budget request is the UH-60 Black Hawk. The restructuring is tied to the Army Aviation Modernization Plan (AAMP) which proposed a reduction to the total number Black Hawks the Army will field. The fiscal year 2004 budget request is consistent with an overall decline in the number of Black Hawks as the number of aircraft requested drops from 12 to 10.
How many UH-60 Black Hawk aircraft are requested in the fiscal year 2004 budget? How does this compare to the requested and enacted levels of the last two years?
Answer. The Army has requested 10 UH-60 aircraft in the fiscal year 2004 budget. The Army requested 12 UH-60s each in fiscal years 2002 and 2003. Congress provided seven additional UH-60s in fiscal year 2003 and 10 additional UH-60s in fiscal year 2002.
Question. Please explain the modified fielding plan for the UH-60 Black Hawk as a result of the Army Aviation Modernization Plan (AAMP).
Answer. The 2003 AAMP continues the Army's efforts to retire all legacy aircraft quickly, structure the Active and Reserve Components with like units, and field all these units with modernized aircraft. The plan also eliminated or reduced the size of a number of units to align the aviation force structure with current and future warfight requirements. The RAMP retires all operational UH-ls by the end of fiscal year 2004, reduces the number of UH-60s in the Active Component, cascades aircraft to the Army National Guard and the aviation training base, and continues Black Hawk procurement to reach the Army's total UH-60 requirement of 1,680 aircraft.
Question. Does the AAMP propose a lower number of aircraft to support Army requirements?
Answer. The Army has reduced its total requirement for UH-60s from 1,956 to 1,680.
Question. How will the number of aircraft proposed in the AAMP change for the Active Army versus the Guard and Reserve?
Answer. The Army will reduce the total number of UH-60s in Active Component warfight units by 28 percent. The Army National Guard UH-60 warfight requirement will be reduced by five percent. However, the number of UH-60s on hand in the Army National Guard will grow by 32 percent from 2002 to 2007. The number of UH-60s in the Army Reserve does not change.
Question. The Committee understands the result of the AAMP, together with retirement of older aircraft such as the UH-1 and OH-58, is that some Army aviation units will be at between 50-70 percent of fill. Is this correct? If so, for now long?
Answer. At the end of 2002, the Army had fielded approximately 92 percent of its total Black Hawk requirement (1,550 of 1,680 required), and the Army National Guard had 85 percent of its requirement on hand (587 of 687 required). As units transition to their new structure in 2003 and 2004, there will be approximately 10 to 15 companies in the National Guard that will be filled at the 50 to 70 percent level for 12 to 18 months. By the end of 2Q04, the National Guard should have approximately 610 of their 687 UH-60s on hand. This provides enough aircraft to fill all of the National Guard high-priority units at 90 to 100 percent and the remaining units at no less that 80 percent.
Question. Does the reduction in the total number of aircraft proposed in the AAMP give rise to the need for a more robust recapitalization plan for the Black Hawks that are currently fielded? If so, how is that supported in the fiscal year 2004 budget request?
Answer. The Army is currently funding two UH-60 recapitalization programs. The UH-60A to A program is funded to recapitalize 20 UH-60As in fiscal years 2004 through 2013. The UH-60M recapitalization/upgrade program is funded for continued development and certification in 2004 and initial production beginning in 2005.
CH-47 Chinook Helicopter
Question. The Army plans to rebuild the aging CH—47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter. The program is in the second year of Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP). $327.1 million is included in the fiscal year 2004 budget for 16 aircraft. The current Army program will produce 340 aircraft compared to a requirement of 513. Of the total planned production, 53 aircraft will support Special Operations requirements. In the fiscal year 2003 bill, the Congress added $39 million to this program provided that the Army restructures the CH—47 program to upgrade the entire fleet (465 aircraft) at a rate of not less than 36 aircraft per year. The current Army plan, as reflected in fiscal year 2004 budget request, does not implement this direction.
Please explain the significance of the CH—47/MH-47E to the Army and the Special Operations Command in general, and to supporting the Global War on Terrorism in particular.
Answer. The Army Special Operations Forces (SOF) MH—47E Chinook was absolutely critical in providing the vertical envelopment capability infiltrating Special Forces teams, Army Rangers, and Navy SOF into Afghanistan during the early stages of Operation Enduring Freedom. The aircraft was also deployed to the Philippines supporting Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines. The aircraft's unique SOF peculiar one-of-a-kind systems include its terrain following/terrain avoidance radar, aerial refueling capability, and over-the-horizon satellite communications. This equipment enabled SOF teams to be flown over desert and rugged mountainous terrain in excess of 20,000 feet, flying at times in zero visibility due to brown out and atmospheric conditions. During Operation Enduring Freedom, the MH—47Es aircraft mission equipment enabled combat aircrews of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment to fly combat missions in excess of 12 to 14 hours using night vision goggles. During Operation Enduring Freedom, the MH—47E conducted the longest rotary wing infiltration of Special Forces in Army history. This unique MH—47E capability saved the SOF ground force commander several weeks of critical time during Operation Enduring Freedom.
The MH—47E also performed other highly successful missions that included SOF exfiltration, air assault, resupply, forward air refueling point operations, sling load, selected combat search and rescue, and medical evacuation operations for SOF deep within the battlefield. The MH—47E proved to be the strongest workhorse on the battlefield supporting Army Special Operations Forces and other U.S. forces into Afghanistan and Iraq. Within the Army and the Department of Defense, it is the only aircraft capable of flying the extremely long missions.
Due to limited number of MH—47Es, the CH-47 provided a tremendous complementary capability in support of Special Operations Forces where the CH—47s were determined to be suitable and feasible. Like the MH--47, the conventional CH47D Chinook also demonstrated its vertical lift capability in Afghanistan. The CH47D provided air assault, resupply, sling load, and medical evacuation operations for conventional forces; however, the CH-47 does not offer the mission range or possess the same optic systems as the MH—47E. The CH—47D was able to safely operate in the environment because of the recent significant engine and communications equipment upgrades made to the aircraft.
Question. How many of each type of these aircraft are currently deployed in support of the war on terrorism, and in support of operations in Iraq?
Answer. The Army has 120 total CH-47D and MH-47D/E aircraft deployed in support of these operations.
Question. What is the mission capable rate of the fleet of aircraft that is deployed?
Answer. The CH—47D mission capable rate is 71 percent and the MH—47 mission capable rate is 84 percent.
Question. What is the status of the CH—47/MH—47 rebuild program?
Answer. The CH—47/MH-47 rebuild program is on track, but is in the process of restructuring to accommodate the increased priority of the Special Operations aircraft. The low-rate initial production contract was signed on schedule in December 2002. The first aircraft was subsequently inducted into the production line in January 2003. Two additional aircraft have since been inducted into the program.
The President's Budget placed increased emphasis on the early production of the MH—47G. Due to the pressing requirements of the global war on terrorism, the production of the MH—47G was accelerated. Most of the first three production lots will be dedicated to the production of the MH—47G. This will introduce some inefficiency in the resultant CH-47F program that will result in an increase in unit cost. The current estimate is that the cost increase will be less than 10 percent. The Army Cost and Economic Analysis Center is currently developing a revised cost estimate.
Question. What is the quantity of aircraft proposed in the fiscal year 2004 budget request?
Answer. Sixteen CH—47Ds are programmed for remanufacture to the MH—47G configuration.
Question. The fiscal year 2003 bill provided $39 million above the budget request, and directed the Army to structure this program to produce not less than 36 aircraft per year, and a total of 465 aircraft over the life of the program. What steps has the Army taken in the fiscal year 2004 budget request, and over the FYDP, to structure such a program?
Answer. None. Currently on OSD withhold, the $39 million would have provided long lead items for one production lot. The estimated cost to complete this program is an additional $2 billion. Due to competing priorities and limited resources, the Army cannot afford an increase of this magnitude. Additionally, the operational impact of a 36 aircraft per year in the remanufacturing program is considered too high. With the planned increase in MH—47 inventory from the current Army CH47D inventory, the Army would have to stand down one CH-47 unit or resource below authorization 10 CH—47 units through fiscal year 2018 to execute a 36 aircraft per year program.
Question. How has the shift in initial lot production from the CH—47F to the MH47G model impacted the CH-47F program?
Answer. Adjusting the production schedule to comply with the Program Decision Memorandum will add an estimated $177 million to the CH—47F, of which $77 million will be realized in fiscal year 2005-2009, and slip the Army's CH—47F first unit equipped 21 months into fiscal year 2007.
RAH-66 Comanche Helicopter
Question. In October 2002, the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) recommended that the Army proceed with the Comanche program and approved production of 650 aircraft at a rate of not to exceed 60 per year. Of the total, the DAB approved production of 73 low-rate initial production (LRIP) aircraft. The quantity will be reassessed at the Future Combat System (FCS) Milestone B decision in May 2003. The fiscal year 2004 budget request includes $1.1 billion for Comanche. Test aircraft 3 will make its first flight in May 2005.
In October 2002, the DAB recommended that the Army produce 650 RAH-66 Comanche helicopters. What is the basis for the quantity recommended by the DAB?
Answer. Six-hundred fifty Comanches fields a 12-helicopter squadron in each Objective Force unit of action and a similar unit in the reconnaissance, surveillance target acquisition (RSTA) squadron of the unit of employment. There are projected to be 30 unit of action and 10 RSTA units for a total of 480 Comanche helicopters. Additionally, Special Operations will field 16 aircraft, and 154 are required for the training base, operational readiness float, testing, and other missions.
Question. Please compare the DAB figure to the total Army requirement. What is the basis for the total Army requirement? Does the Army total assume that Comanche will serve only as an armed reconnaissance aircraft or as an attack aircraft as well?
Answer. The Comanche is a multi-role armed reconnaissance and attack helicopter integral to the Army's future force. It addresses Army battlefield reconnaissance requirements as a lethal, low-observable, reconnaissance sensor, communications, and weapons platform and will replace the Army's vintage combat aircraft. Comanche is designated as the initial system for the Army's Transformation within its future Objective Force and is the combat aviation element within the Future Combat System. The total Army requirement for Comanche is 819 in both units of action and units of employment. This includes 652 in Active Component reconnaissance, attack, cavalry, and special operating forces units; 167 for flight school, operational readiness float; testing; and other missions. The DAB permitted Army procurement to the units of action and the reconnaissance units in the units of employment. This equates to 650 Comanches: 496 in Active component units and 154 for schools, operational readiness float, testing, and other missions.
Question. The DAB specifies that the Comanche should be produced to meet Block III capabilities. Please describe Block III capabilities. Do aircraft of this specification differ from the Army's plan prior to the DAB?
Answer. Comanche Block III will begin fielding around 2013. Block III adds full sensor packages including sensor fusion and also the external fuel armaments system that adds the capability of extended ranges and external weapons. Block III focuses squarely on the armed reconnaissance version because this represents our greatest aviation battlefield deficiency. Basically, the requirements did not change during restructure except for the addition of tactical control data link that permits control of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Question. The DAB requires use of the Cost Analysis Improvement Group (CAIG) cost estimates for program and budget formulation. Please explain how these estimates differ from the Army's estimates.
Answer. The difference between the Army's position and OSD CAIG's in research, development, testing, and evaluation was .only one percent (two percent when excluding sunk costs), and the procurement difference was nine percent.