SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 1083]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2004H.R. 1588
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING
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TITLE IIRESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TEST, AND EVALUATION
MARCH 26, 2003
TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania, Chairman
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
HOWARD ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
WALTER JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
EDWARD SCHROCK, Virginia
RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK LoBIONDO, New Jersey
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
ROBERT BRADY, Pennsylvania
JOHN LARSON, Connecticut
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
KENDRICK MEEK, Florida
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
Douglas Roach, Professional Staff Member
Bob Lautrup, Professional Staff Member
JJ Gertler, Professional Staff Member
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJesse Tolleson, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Wednesday, March 26, 2003, Fiscal Year 2004 National Defense Authorization ActDepartment of Defense Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Programs
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2003
FISCAL YEAR 2004, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTDEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE UNMANNED COMBAT AIR VEHICLE (UCAV) AND UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE (UAV) PROGRAMS
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Weldon, Hon. Curt, a Representative from Pennsylvania, Chairman, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
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Abercrombie, Hon. Neil, a Representative from Hawaii, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
Weatherington Dyke, UAV Planning Task Force, Defense Systems, Air Warfare, Office of The Secretary of Defense; accompanied by: Gary Graham, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Deputy Director, Tactical Technology Office; Col. John Burke, Program Manager, UAVs, United States Army; Capt. Dennis Sorenson, PMA263, United States Navy; Col. John Feda, Deputy Director for Surveillance and Reconnaissance, United States Air Force; Col. Martin J. Sullivan, Deputy Branch Head, APW, United States Marine Corps; Capt. John Costello, J8, Joint Chiefs Of Staff (JCS), United States Navy; Paul Morgan, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Weldon, Hon. Curt
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
FISCAL YEAR 2004 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTDEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE UNMANNED COMBAT AERIAL VEHICLE (UCAV) AND UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE (UAV) PROGRAMS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, March 26, 2003.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:05 p.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Curt Weldon (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CURT WELDON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM PENNSYLVANIA, CHAIRMAN, TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. WELDON. The hearing will come to order. Before we begin the proceedings today, I want to acknowledge our valiant and brave men and women in our Armed Forces, those of the coalition and supporting personnel, who are as we speak fighting to defend the fundamental freedoms on which this Nation was founded. Our heartfelt condolences go to families and loved ones of those who have been injured or have given the ultimate sacrifice. And our prayers are with those in harm's way throughout the world and we hope for their safe return.
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And just one additional comment. We had a briefing in this room three hours ago which I co-chaired with Chairman Duncan Hunter, and we had the unfortunate opportunity to view for 12 minutes the videotape of our troops that was broadcast all over the Arab world and especially on al-Jazeera TV, and I have never been so outraged in my life to see the despicable lack of regard for human life and the absolute terror in the eyes and minds of the people who support Saddam Hussein. And as I said frequently, even though this is not the purpose of this hearing, I think we are witnessing the 21st century version of Adolph Hitler in terms of the outrageous terror that he has perpetrated on innocent people.
This afternoon the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee meets to receive testimony on the Department of Defense's (DOD) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or UAV, programs and the DOD UAV roadmap of the future.
I would like to welcome Mr. Dyke Weatherington with the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) and author of the recently issued DOD UAV roadmap which this committee requested in legislation last year. I would like to acknowledge the military service and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) representatives seated directly behind him. Thank you all for coming.
In the mid-nineties when I had the opportunity and privilege of chairing this committee's Research and Development (R&D) subcommittee, we together, Democrats and Republicans, advocated a more aggressive approach to fielding UAVs. And I would like to remind our committee Members of the important role that we play as a co-equal branch of the Federal Government, and here is a chance for us to look back at some success that we had because it was in 1996 that our subcommittee adopted and the full committee supported legislation directing the DOD to weaponize both the Predator UAV and the Hunter UAV.
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And listen to this, Members; at that time, DOD opposed our initiative. DOD opposed our initiative to weaponize both the Predator and the Hunter. Last year, 6 years after our subcommittee's legislative initiative and DOD's opposition to that initiative, DOD was heralding its weaponization of the Predator. So this committee can take direct responsibility for the action it took in the mid-nineties on UAVs.
At the termination of the Hunter UAV program, the Army put the existing systems in storage. Our subcommittee recognized the utility of a core capability and encouraged the Army to bring those systems out of storage. Now the Army is employing those systems and experimenting with weaponizing some of those UAVs.
In 2000, our subcommittee legislated the establishment of the joint operational test bed for UAVs, to support the efforts of Joint Forces Command, to facilitate joint operational employment of UAVs. And last year, we required that DOD establish an architecture and a roadmap for UAVs.
Today the utility of UAVs is an integral part of our intelligence and operational military capability. It is generally well recognized. The improved situational awareness and emerging rapid strike capability the UAVs can provide without risk to personnel is seen by most as fundamental to successful military operations.
This is not to say that all military service cultural opposition has been overcome, because it has not. The success achieved with UAVs does not come without a significant price tag. Too often, promised capabilities have fallen short, with costs greatly exceeding estimates.
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While most agree that a mix of UAV types will be required to complement other Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, there has been and continues to be a controlled proliferation of unmanned vehicle programs within DOD. These range from micro-UAVs on the order of 6 inches in diameter to high-altitude endurance UAVs such as Global Hawk. Almost daily we read about some new UAV that is being developed by DARPA or the military services. Our concern has been that it does not appear to be a logical, effective plan to focus UAV development and acquisition that leads to equipment commonality. We see rapidly changing requirements with a myriad of ground stations and software, communication in control links and sensors as well as the platforms themselves.
As an example, an important program like the X45 can't seem to break the cultural barrier in the Air Force. Different parts of that service view the program differently. As a consequence, there is no validated requirement. OSD is forced to fund the program because of Air Force failure to do so. In fact, the fiscal year 2004 Air Force budget submission is different than the DOD UAV roadmap that was just released. The budget request is for the X45B and the roadmap outlines the UCAV of choice as the X45C, a vehicle with more than twice the payload as the B model. The schedule and mission for the X45 has also changed frequently over the past 2 years.
I am also concerned that each program be well managed. To do this, great effort must be made to ensure that not only the air vehicle, but sensors, communication, and all other facets are managed to minimize cost, achieve interoperability, while maximizing effectiveness.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It is clear that modern warfare is based on a system of systems, part of which is ISR. UAVs provide a growing part of ISR that must be fully integrated with other military capabilities. There must be a transition plan that logically introduces UAVs into our Nation's warfighting capability to meet valid requirements. While there may in some cases be justification for several variances of a particular class of UAV, too often it appears that the same propensity exists for UAVs as for manned aircraft for each service to go its own way. This Nation cannot afford to develop the same capability multiple times. And OSD must ensure that any decision not to adopt a common capability is justified.
Before we proceed with Mr. Weatherington's testimony, I would like to recognize my good friend from Hawaii, Mr. Abercrombie, for any remarks he would like to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Weldon can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. NEIL ABERCROMBIE, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM HAWAII, RANKING MEMBER, TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. As usual, Mr. Chairman, I think you stated the case very, very well and I want to get onto the hearing. Suffice it to say for my part, I am very concerned that the priorities may not be straight here, and, as you have indicated, there are some things that I think Congress has initiated that have turned out very well. There are some emphases in this budget that may be misplaced.
And I want to conclude by reemphasizing for the record the role of Congress here. We are not rubber stamps. We are the ones that make the decision, and I think you are on the right track with your opening remarks.
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Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman for his comments and thank everyone for attending this very important hearing. And with that, we will now turn it over to Mr. Weatherington. And your statement will be accepted as part of the record, without objection, and you may take as much time as you would need, and following that, we will open it up for questions.
STATEMENT OF DYKE WEATHERINGTON, UAV PLANNING TASK FORCE, DEFENSE SYSTEMS, AIR WARFARE, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE; ACCOMPANIED BY: GARY GRAHAM, DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY (DARPA), DEPUTY DIRECTOR, TACTICAL TECHNOLOGY OFFICE; COL. JOHN BURKE, PROGRAM MANAGER, UAVs, UNITED STATES ARMY; CAPT. DENNIS SORENSON, PMA263, UNITED STATES NAVY; COL. JOHN FEDA, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR SURVEILLANCE AND RECONNAISSANCE, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE; COL. MARTIN J. SULLIVAN, DEPUTY BRANCH HEAD, APW, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS; CAPT. JOHN COSTELLO, J8, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF (JCS), UNITED STATES NAVY; PAUL MORGAN, UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND (USSOCOM)
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for the opportunity to bring forward the Defense Department's UAV roadmap. I have a short opening statement I would like to read. Before I get on with that, I would like to introduce just a few members of the large and diverse group of the men and women who are working diligently to migrate UAV capability to the warfighter today.
On my right is Dr. Gary Graham from DARPA, Tactical Technology Office TTO, representing the DARPA organization. I also have Captain Dennis Sorenson representing the Navy, PMA263 organization; Commander John Costello representing the Joint Staff; Colonel Marty Sullivan representing the Marine Corps; Colonel John Burke representing the Army Tactical UAV Program Office; and Colonel John Feda representing Headquarters, Air Force Operations.
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Mr. Chairman and Members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity today to showcase the Defense Department's Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle programs. We are excited about the opportunities unmanned technology offers as the Department transforms to meet future threats and provide a more efficient and safer method to conduct military operations.
Mr. Chairman, I am head of the Department's Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Planning Task Force. In October 2001, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics established this task force as the Defense Department's focal point responsible for assisting the services in their acquisition planning, prioritization and execution of our UAV and UCAV programs. Our goal is to ensure the Department's UAV and UCAV programs proceed in a coordinated and efficient manner. Senior leadership from the Secretary of Defense down is placing great importance on moving this capability into the hands of the warfighter as soon as humanly possible.
Operation Enduring Freedom provided just a glimpse of the contributions UAVs can make on the battlefield of the future. I believe the planning task force has and is successfully contributing to this effort. The task force was instrumental in identifying UAV technologies and systems for rapid transition to aid the warfighter. Funds provided by this Congress after September 11, 2001 have made a significant impact. As an example, all Predator UAV systems are being upgraded to use the Hellfire missile and many of the vehicles in the Central Command (CENTCOM) theater currently have this capability, and I believe some of those results have been reported recently in the media.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC A little over a week ago, on March 17, my office publicly released the second edition of the OSD UAV roadmap, covering the period from 2003 to 2007. The recently released roadmap is a capstone of a year's worth of effort by personnel from the services, joint staff, agencies and combatant commands. The overarching goal of the roadmap is to define a clear direction to the services and agencies for the logical, systematic migration of mission capabilities to a new class of tools in the military tool box, namely UAVs.
The document's specific purpose is threefold:
First, to help provide options to senior decision-makers in the development of broad strategies that will define future DOD force structure. In this regard, the roadmap identifies those mission areas that can be impacted significantly by emerging UAV technology. We want to address the most urgent mission needs that can be supported both technologically and operationally by our UAV and UCAV systems. Some mission areas are well supported by current capabilities inherent and fielded or near-term systems. An example of this might be air lift where the C17, in combination with other field and transport systems, provides the required capabilities to the warfighters. Other mission areas are in need of additional capability and several of these mission areas present high risk to our air crews. These mission areas will be where the UAV roadmap focuses both in technology and systems development.
The second goal of the roadmap is to help define near-term resource allocation decisions in concert with the defense planning guidance. While there are many potential development options the Department may choose to invest in, the roadmap provides those high-priority investments necessary to move UAV capability to the mainstream. In many respects, it may seem that new UAV ideas and concepts are popping up daily and, in many cases, this is true. The potential capabilities UAVs offer range across virtually every mission area and capability of interest to DOD. At the same time, a systematic, logical method to migrate UAV capability will benefit the warfighter and help organize the use of limited DOD resources.
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Finally, the roadmap is a guide to our industry and allies identifying the highest-value areas for independent investment and areas for international cooperation. While our industry partners have and will certainly continue to show innovation, a little help from the government identifying key shortfalls will help focus their attention.
The roadmap is a living document. We will update it as technologies and programs mature. Likewise, as the Department transforms, we will integrate new operational concepts and capabilities. For example, we have recently made a great deal of progress in implementing network centricity that has not been fully reflected in this document. Future updates will capture the latest developments in such areas as version 2.0 of the global information grid, the transformational communications architecture and horizontal fusion initiatives.
Your staffs have recently received advanced copies of the roadmap, so by now you may already be familiar with its layout. In this latest roadmap edition, we have expanded the content and, where appropriate, set goals that will help focus our near-term efforts and allow the Department to measure progress.
The briefing that follows this statement will provide some additional details of the specific content of this roadmap. The services' use of UAVs has come a long way in the past decade.
In 1991, during Desert Storm, Pioneer was the only DOD field UAV system, one that still remains in service with the Marine Corps.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Eight years later during Allied Force, the Department employed three separate systems: Army Hunter, Air Force Predator, and Navy/Marine Corps Pioneer.
During Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), three systems were employed: Predator, now used in addition to its ISR role, in a strike method; the developmental Global Hawk system; and the Small Pioneer UAV System.
Today, there are over 10 UAV systems in development and being deployed in support of operations in Iraq. Providing a very broad capability, these include Army Shadow, Hunter and Pioneer; Navy/Marine Corps Pioneer and Dragon Eye; Air Force Global Hawk, Predator, and the small force protection surveillance system. In addition, there are several other small UAV systems supporting specialized warfighter requirements.
In summary, the wide array of capabilities offered by UAVs range from the very small hand-held systems to emerging combat vehicles to the very large long-endurance platforms. These vehicles provide dramatic, some would say revolutionary capability to virtually every mission area and at every eschelon of command.
The rapid rate at which these capabilities can be developed and delivered to the warfighters uniquely positions the United States to adapt to new and emerging threats. Such a substantial transition requires coordination and detailed planning, crossing traditional service boundaries.
The UAV roadmap provides a defense-wide plan for future UAV and related technologies, ushering in a new era of capability and options for our military and civilian leaders.
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Mr. Chairman, this concludes my remarks. I would now like to present a briefing to you and the Members that covers in somewhat more detail the UAV roadmap.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Weatherington can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Mr. Chairman, Members, the briefing before you has four broad themes outlined in the outline. I would like to spend just a few minutes discussing the roadmap specifically. I would like then to transition to our current programs for a few minutes to describe the impact those current systems are having in operations today, and then finally close with a few ongoing efforts.
On chart 3, we see the roadmap's purpose. As I indicated in my testimony, there are three broad areas that the roadmap chooses to serve. At the very top level, it is to stimulate the planning process for U.S. Military and development of UAVs and how we migrate that capability to our warfighters. At a slightly lower level, it is to assist decision-makers and develop long-range strategies for UAV development and acquisition, and we see this in a number of acquisition programs going on today. Additionally, it contributes initiatives to defense planning guidance and quadrennial defense reviews, and we have seen that in such programs as UCAV. And finally it is a major message to our industry and coalition and allied partners that identify areas for high-risk investment and international cooperation.
Chart 4 addresses some of the key questions that the roadmap attempts to answer. Fundamentally, it describes what capabilities UAVs could potentially provide to the warfighter and the time frames those might be available. It goes into some detail in different technology levels, some of which we have outlined in the chart in the area of platforms. We address engines, signature control and a variety of speed options that UAVs might use. In the sensor systems, which you identified in your statement, we addressed every sensor system that UAVs carry today and could potentially in the future.
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Communications is another large area where we have spent a large amount of time in the roadmap describing the future architecture or the current architecture and describing what the future architecture needs to be to adequately support our UAV systems. And finally, a large amount of effort was spent describing information processing and how that will allow us to move more autonomy to the vehicles. We also describe how we can identify and better control costs, foster commonality, and ensure better interoperability in our current systems and certainly in our future systems.
Chart 5 simply is a layout of the document and as I mentioned before, your staff has received this document approximately 2 weeks ago so I won't go into a lot of detail here.
I will point out in regard to this document compared to the earlier document that was published in 2001, we have added 10 appendices to this document that go into a higher level of detail on critical areas we feel are absolutely necessary to foster the full capabilities that UAVs offer.
Chart 6, it is appropriate before we go into the specific UAV programs, to identify the components of all UAV systems that DOD is operating today. While it is not unusual for the vast majority of the population to focus on the air vehicle and that is certainly an important component of the system, the UAV system must encompass all the elements that make it effective to the warfighter. That includes the air vehicle and its payloads and sensors, the communications architecture, and the command and control system. All of these are equally important in the delivery and capability of the warfighter.
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And finally, just to highlight the comment at the bottom of that page, today our UAV systems that are deployed supporting the warfighter are contributing to all three of those three broad categories of the dull, dirty, and dangerous missions.
I would like to transition to our current development programs just to give you a top-level view of the progress that the Department has made over the last few years.
Chart 7 is three of our small UAV programs: Marine Corps Dragon Eye, Air Force Protection System (AFFPS), and the Navy Neptune Program. We categorize small UAVs as those less than 100 pounds of weight. I am happy to report that both Dragon Eye and AFFPS are in theater today supporting our troops. And the rapid progress of those two systems is testament to the advantages that UAVs have to rapidly develop and then push capability to the warfighter. Navy Neptune is a unique system in that it can be deployed on land and water. That provides additional capability to our Special Forces team that they currently don't have today.
I also point out that the systems are relatively inexpensive. As you can see, Dragon Eye has a cost of approximately $36,000 per aircraft. That is based on a very limited prototype production run. The goal of this system is to get the airframe and sensor costs in the range of $20,000.
Next chart, Pioneer, our longest running UAV program currently being operated by the Marine Corps and supported by the Navy. Operational since 1986. And this program has been a workhorse for the Department. As many of the Members know, this is a technology borrowed from international partners and it represents a first-generation UAV system.
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The next chart indicates the Army's Shadow program. I am happy to report that the Army achieved milestone full rate production for this system in September 2003. For this fiscal year, fiscal year 2003, the Army will deliver approximately 28 Shadow air vehicles to support the warfighters. This is a rapid buildup of force capability to the warfighter. And again as I mentioned before, Shadow systems are in theater supporting activities today.
Next chart identifies Army Hunter. The Hunter again is a legacy system, but being used very effectively. Its planned replacement is the Army's extended range multipurpose program beginning in fiscal year 2004. Hunter again has been a work horse, and the Army is using this not only in operations but as a test bed to demonstrate new technologies, including weaponization of their UAVs. I mention that Hunter is helping the Army define its Future Combat System (FCS) requirement for their classes of UAVs that are incorporated in FCS.
The next chart identifies the Air Force's Predator program. Predator as you are aware has been a star of Operation Enduring Freedom and is currently today supporting operations in Iraq. Very successful program and the one that DARPA can take credit for originally, the first Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) that transitioned to service and was successfully integrated into their force structure. Again I am happy to announce that the Air Force will take delivery of approximately 21 Predator systems this year, to a large measure as a result of funds that this Congress provided in the emergency supplemental. In addition to its original mission of ISR, as you are well aware, Predator has been modified with weapons capability and is now providing dual use for the warfighters in Iraq.
Next chart outlines the Global Hawk program, again an Air Force activity; another very successful ACTD transition from DARPA. This program is the most robust and extensive of any UAV program we have thus taken on. While still early in the development phase, it is important to note that Global Hawk is now in its second operational deployment to support the warfighters in the field. And an absolutely amazing statistic of the total hours that the system has in development in excess of 40 percent of those hours are in combat support. So again we can see that an acquisition program very early in the development phase can be pushed to the warfighter to provide him capability very early.
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Air Force will acquire two Global Hawks this calendar year. In fact, they have already accepted air vehicle 7 earlier this year. And in fiscal year 2004, the Air Force will accept three production Global Hawks. In addition, the Navy, under the Global Hawk demonstration program, is acquiring two air vehicles.
Next chart is another development program that we have, Fire Scout. Fire Scout, being supported by the Navy, has gone through EMD and has achieved over 20 hours of operational test and evaluation. The program is being evaluated for some upgrades that the Navy has determined are appropriate. Navy is going to take this system out and do a rather extensive demonstration supporting, Littoral Combat Ship LCS definition later next year.
Next chart identifies our various Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle programs. The current Air Force Boeing/DARPA program, the current DARPA Navy/Northrop Grumman program, and the current DARPA Army/UCAR program. As identified in the roadmap, this is a rapidly evolving program. I am happy to announce that with Department leadership, we are encouraging the services, Air Force, Navy and Army, to develop a joint program office that would incorporate requirements from those three services into a broad program that would deliver capability to support a range of mission areas.
While the development of that program office is still early in the development phase, I will tell you that the DARPA has a large role in that. As you are well aware, DARPA is currently leading all of these development programs. And the Department, in concert with the services and DARPA, is defining exactly the standup and the definition of that joint program office.
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Chart 15 identifies the major various UAV programs that the Department has. We have identified them by service. While it appears that there are a large number of programs, and in some cases that is true, you will also notice that we are transitioning in many cases from those first-generation systems, those Pioneer and Hunter, to our second- and third-generation systems. Those systems have served us well, but in the preceding 10 years we have gained understanding and can better identify new and emerging requirements for UAV systems. I also identify within each of the services, there are small UAV programs that provide new capabilities that are currently not available with our current fleet of UAVs.
The next chart, chart 16, provides a little additional detail on our current UAV systems. The color coding on the left, the blue identifies our current operational systems. The green identifies our developmental systems. Again, it is important to point out, especially for Dragon Eye and for Global Hawk, that while these systems are developmental and we have relatively few assets, we havethe acquisition community, at the request of the warfighter, has pushed these forward for operational use. And while I can't go into details, I am happy to report that in general our UAV systems are supporting the warfighter very well. It probably is appropriate to notice that in most cases the time between first flight and IOC for these systems is relatively short, again identifying that we can develop and field these systems in a very rapid manner, staying ahead of the threat and adapting to that threat.
Chart 17 identifies the Department's annual funding for UAV programs. I think the important point to note here is the general trend in the chart, that of a significantly increasing slope identifying the value that the warfighter and the services have identified in UAV systems.
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The next chart goes into a little more detail on the fiscal year 2004 President's budget. I will point out the major programs. Certainly Global Hawk is a relatively large program as it provides significant capability to the warfighter, and not only for the Air Force, but for the joint service commander. You will see a significant increase over the previous year in the UCAV program, both Army and Navy. I am happy to report that this was an area that had considerable OSD interest and was supported as such.
Also point out that the UCAV line does not include the Army and DARPA UCAR program. We have identified that separately. And there is significant funding in that line also.
Finally, I will point out, the last line, the very smallest UAV programs. While these represent approximately 3 percent of the overall budget, they are providing some of the most robust and rapidly increasing requirements that the Department has.
Chart 19 identifies some ongoing efforts that the Department and the services are working diligently. Certainly, Mr. Chairman, you identified interoperability, and interoperability is one of those two areas that both OSD and the services are focused on to a very high degree. The Department, in concert with the services, is focusing on standard-based approach for interoperability that will not only achieve interoperability at the payload level, but also at the command and control and at the architecture interoperability level. The broad view is that the platform is only one component in the system, and if we can adequately define the interface between the platform and the communications architecture, that allows us to upgrade those platforms at a much more rapid rate.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Area space integration is another area that includes additional effort. For UAVs to fulfill their full capability, we need to integrate them into the military airspace and the civil airspace, and we are working diligently with our industry and government partners, including National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and a variety of industry groups to develop the technologies, improve the regulatory aspects and then implement these capabilities into our UAVs.
Finally, weaponization provides us an area for fruitful growth. We have seen just the beginnings of weaponization on a couple of UAV platforms. The Department is taking this seriously and taking a very broad approach. We are working with the services and DARPA to define the process and procedures that would allow us to migrate a broad range of lethal capabilities to a broad range of UAVs.
Chart 20 is a summary of our UAV support to military operations. We have identified the year of those activities and UAV systems supporting it. I will just make a point for this current operation, Enduring Freedom, we have in excess of 10 different types of UAV systems supporting operations, by far the largest increase that we have seen in recent memory. And, as again I mentioned, these systems are providing the warfighter a capability that is virtually impossible for him to achieve through any other means.
In summary, I just would like to say that we have multiple UAV systems supporting our forces today. We have made much progress, but additional progress remains to be made. Our UAV roadmap defines the areas to be worked. In short, we have a plan and we are executing that plan. While much work does remain, the future looks very promising. There are multiple mission areas that seem right for expansion. The Department's goal is to migrate those capabilities in a logical and systematic way, learning from our previous activities and delivering capability early to the warfighter.
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Finally, as a broad statement, we do believe that UAVs will continue to complement larger segments of demand and space areas. As technology procedures and familiar area improve, we would expect that additional systems and greater capability would be provided to the warfighter.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my formal briefing. I will be happy to entertain any questions you have sir.
Mr. WELDON. We will be operating under the 5-minute rule for questions, and that will include myself.
First of all, I want to congratulate you. I think the roadmap you have produced is very thorough and indicates the action Congress took last year in asking the Department to come up with a unified approach to UAVs. The question I had, however, is what methods do you have to ensure that only UAVs that meet validated requirements and incorporate designs that will be inherently interoperable with the future ISR architecture are procured? In other words, what power do you have to direct service compliance with the approved roadmap? And the reason I ask that, one of the reasons, is we had a hearing last week on FCS for the Army. And in their planned series of new initiatives were four UAVs, yet your roadmap only outlines two. So the question becomes: Who really has the authority and is this roadmap going to be adhered to?
I read one article that said we had as many as 90 UAVs operating right now. I don't know if that is true, but it was in the press. It was in an ''Aviation Week'' article on March 24 this year. It quoted you, not to that figure, but quoted you in that article.
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So that is my overall question. We have been very supportive. We have plussed that money, but we are not confident that perhaps we are going to have the discipline to make this process move forward in a coordinated way that does not waste the taxpayers' money but meets the requirements of the warfighter.
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Thank you, sir. Interoperability and the ability to share information from a variety of platforms, not just UAV platforms, is key to the ability to network and adequately fuse the vast amounts of data that are being collected, again not only from UAVs but potentially ground unmanned systems and service and underwater systems. I am happy to report that the Department in conjunction with Joint Forces Command, Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I) and joint staff, last year initiated a UAV interoperability working group that is addressing the key interoperability capabilities that we need to enhance our interoperability.
More specifically to your question, I will note in a standard section of the roadmap, we have identified specifically standards that the Department will hold the services to for incorporation into their systems. While I myself have no power, I certainly have the ability to provide recommendations to the senior decision makers at the OSD level for adjustments or modifications to programs to provide that interoperability requirement that we deem necessary. We have joint staff, the J8 folks work hand and glove with us in our interoperability working group, and they have taken a large role, especially in the UCAV program, to define the requirements process and identify those key interoperability requirements early in the process to allow those to be incorporated into the program.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. I am also on the Homeland Security Committee, as are some of my colleagues here. I take it your role in the roadmap does not include the use of UAVs for civilian homeland security purposes, and if in fact that is correct, do you think that perhaps the oversight that you are providing should have some homeland security implications? Is there a plan that you are aware of that the new Agency will have its own operational oversight for the use of UAVs?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Again, sir, excellent question. As you are aware, the focus of this roadmap was primarily on DOD activities. We are talking to homeland defense, specifically attempting to define their requirements. In general, I would say the current range of capabilities that DOD UAV systems possess probably fill a large fraction of the requirements that Homeland Security has. But specifically we are working with those individuals to identify those specific requirements and identify where we have current capabilities that match and where there are holes. If there are holes, then we would work through a joint activity to develop those technologies that are required, again, because there is probably a high commonality between their requirements and ours.
Mr. WELDON. Perhaps one of the areas we should look at is whether we should look to require a roadmap on the civilian side in this year's bill. I don't mean to embarrass any of the services, but I couldn't help but notice that the Navy has no fielded UAVs. Why?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, the Navy's decision to migrate Pioneer to the Marine Corps was the primary result of a Marine Corps requirement for that capability. I think I will let Commander Sorenson answer that question.
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Commander DUQUETTE. Mr. Chairman, Commander Dan Duquette. I am the UAV section head for Air Warfare for N78. We have got a lot of plans in the works for UAVs and fielding UAVs. We are real excited about the insert of the technology with the Global Hawk maritime demonstration and getting that capability into the fleet. We are working very hard on tactical UAV and the effort to field the UAV for Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). We are working closely with the Air Force on a UCAV program and fielding for the future. And we specifically don't have a UAV fielded right now in the large range, but we are working closely with the Marine Corps and looking forward to the future of what we can get working, sir.
Mr. WELDON. Gentleman from Hawaii, Mr. Abercrombie is recognized.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Weatherington, I am disturbed by the point that you made when you saidI believe I am quoting youyou don't have any authority. Did I hear you correctly?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, my office has oversight and coordination responsibilities for those UAV activities among the services and DARPA. We report directly to Mr. Mike Wynn, the principal Deputy for the Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. So we believe we have appropriate access to senior decision makers. We also work closely
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. To make recommendations then.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Yes.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Wynn have the authority?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Mr. Wynn, in concert with Under Secretary Pete Aldridge, certainly has appropriate decision making authority at the acquisition level to modify acquisition programs, yes, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. The reason I am asking the questions is we have to determine whether or not the Congress is going to write legislation that will require certain things to be done, or can we recommend certain things to be done when we require the appropriations and the authorization process?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, in general, I would say the message from the Department has been extremely strong with respect to UAVs. In a number of programs, the Department has demonstrated its commitment to migrate UAV technology to the warfighter and to add funding to those programs which we feel are appropriate and the technology maturity is sufficient to demonstrate their capability.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Is that manifested in the fiscal year 2004 President's budget? As I look at this, I see Predator goes from 212 to 326. Pioneer, 29 to 36. Hunter, from 34 down to 29. Global Hawk goes up from 509 to 623. Shadow, 179 to 132. Does that reflect what you just said, that these programs that are losing funding are out of favor? Is that the idea?
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Not at all, sir. If you compare the President's 2004 budget to the 2003 budget, I think in many areas you will see substantial increases in funding. UCAV is only one of those. The Department added almost $2 billion through the 5-year defense plan for UCAV compared to the 2003 budget and added significant funding for a number of other programs, Predator being one.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. What relationship do you see to the Predator, the Pioneer, the Hunter, even the Shadow, with respect to the Global Hawk? Where would you put your priority?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Those systems are providing capability to a wide range of warfighters' needs. The more tactical systems are focused on the tactical commander in the field. Global Hawk
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I understand all that. What is the relationship to one another in terms of priority?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, I would say from the Department's perspective, they have virtually equal priority. I have oversight of all those programs and track each one of those program's budgets virtually on a daily basis.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. You think there iswith respect to the Global Hawk, you say the amount of money that has been spent on that and what we get for it right now, how does that compare to what we are getting out of the Hunter and the Predator, let us say?
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Certainly, sir, the total investment in Global Hawk is significantly larger than the tactical UAVs. It is a much larger system. Providesfulfills a different set of warfighter requirements than the tactical systems do. Provides the ability to range much further, look much deeper than the tactical systems.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I understand that part. In terms of its utility right now, are you satisfied and can you say to this committee now, that there are sufficient numbers of Predator, Hunter, Pioneer, et cetera, provided for in this budget to meet all the contingencies we are likely to face with the deployments we have right now, as opposed to whether or not the Global Hawk and other such projects, worthy as they might be in and of themselves, might be crowding out some of the budget for that? Can you say with authority to us today that you have sufficient funds to be able to provide for the Predators, the Hunters, et cetera, that are needed right now for the various deployments and likely deployments that will be taking place, and that there is not a competition for those dollars that may be going to the Global Hawk and other programs? I am not trying to trick you. I got to find out because we have to make decisions.
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, I understand the question. Within the Department, there is always an issue where we have to balance resources and capabilities. The Department, I believe, has taken the lead on supporting the acquisition, development, and fielding of these systems to provide a broad range of capabilities.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Excuse mebecause I am running out of timeI am asking, do you have enough?
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WEATHERINGTON. The short answer is yes, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. And you have taken into account the present circumstances. This budget was prepared before we went into this war.
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. With respect to acquisition dollars, yes, sir. Now, if we lose significant assets in our current operations, we will certainly need to replace those assets and we certainly have to support the operating and support budgets for the various services and their capabilities. The President has made
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. You brought someone from the Air Force with you today, right?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Yes, sir, I did.
Mr. WELDON. Could I get an answer there to my question? You got the short straw. You understand why I am asking the question. I am not trying to trap anybody or put anybody on the hook. I am trying to be helpful to the Chairman in making the decision as to how we allocate what dollars are going to made available to us, given the present circumstances.
Colonel FEDA. Currently we have an executable program, as you have stated.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. That could be a very unfortunate phrase, depending on how you look at it.
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Colonel FEDA. There is always a challenge in the resources. Obviously that is the struggle that we are in now; what are the priorities in the near future and in the long-term? But as of today, we have the fundable and affordable acquisition strategy for Global Hawk.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Gibbons is recognized.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. In the number of years that I have been on this committee, each year the price of these unmanned vehicles keep rising as we progress through the requirements change through each iteration of that vehicle. Give me a brief rundown for the next 5 years what your procurement changes will be on the Global Hawk based on the new price that you have got down here of around $37 million per copy. What did you have planned, say, 3 or 4 years ago for the number and what are you planning on now at 37 million a copy?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Yes, sir; 37 million for the air vehicle and sensors represents the current cost for a spiral 2 Global Hawk that we are procuring in fiscal year 2004.
Mr. GIBBONS. How many?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. For fiscal year 2004 we plan to procure four of those vehicles. Over time, in a spiral development program such as Global Hawk, we expect to add capabilities to that platform primarily in the area of sensors and communications improvements. We do expect the overall cost of the air vehicles and the sensors to grow over time. We have identified that in a spiral 4 configuration. That is one vehicle that has the upgraded radar signal capabilities and an upgraded electro-optical and infrared system to be in the range of 47 to $50 million per vehicle.
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Mr. GIBBONS. Seems like as we keep adding to the price of these vehicles, we keep pricing them out of our ability to fund them. They just get more and more expensive and we get fewer and fewer of them to do the job we need them to do. I don't know if I read the roadmap correctly that I am looking at here, but as I see that the UAV mishap rate is projected at 15 per 100,000 hours of flight time by the year 2015, this seems to be about four or five times greater than the current fighter aircraft mishap rate. What is the current UAV mishap rate, and what system or limitation is driving that rate and your expectation, and why do you seem to be setting the bar so low at 15 per 100,000 hours?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Excellent question, sir. The reliability issue was such a significant one that in this iteration of the roadmap, one of the appendices we added was UAV reliability. Not to be evasive, but our current UAV systems range greatly in mishap rate. Our first generation systems such as Pioneer have a fairly high mishap, about 300 per 100,000 flight hours. Now I must indicate that none of the UAV systems we have today achieved 100,000 flight hours, so we are extrapolating on our current activity.
Predator today has a mishap rate of approximately 31 per 100,000 flight hours, again understanding that it is only flown about a total of 60,000 flight hours. Hunter has a mishap rate of approximately 16 per 100,000 flight hours. As a comparison, the AV8 Harrier has a mishap rate between 10 and 13 per 100,000 flight hours. Certainly the mishap rate that we have for our current UAV systems is an artifact of their early development, their immaturity, and to some degree training. In general, we have seen an improvement in mishap rate as these systems have matured in the field. We believe the goals that we have set forth in the roadmap are achievable.
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However, your question as to why they aren't equivalent to manned aircraft, there is always a tradeoff between reliability and the cost of reliability and the mishap rate. You just indicated the concern over the cost growth in UAV systems. That is a fine line that the Department and the developer has to walk between increased reliability, which results in a lower loss rate, and the increased cost that occurs on the platform.
Mr. GIBBONS. At $47 million a copy, I hope we do start looking at the reliability a little closer than we would on a Predator which costs a far less dollar amount than does a Global Hawk at $47 million a copy.
Mr. GIBBONS. But putting that aside, what expenditure in my last question, what effort are you putting forward in the R&D to reduce the footprint that is required by these services to operate a UAV, because right now I can tell you that there is a vast difference between other folks in defense that operate these and the Department of Defense in terms of total footprint required to operate a UAV, doing the same mission, same job, 10 times, 10-fold difference? What are you doing to reduce that footprint?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Again, sir, an excellent question. In general, I think I can safely say that through the maturity of these systems, the footprint and the requirements for airlift to move these systems into theater and use them effectively has been a large area of concern, and that has been one of the primary areas, especially the Army hazards in the Shadow system. And if I could, I would like to ask Colonel Burke to come up here and identify to you the improvements that the Army has made in the footprint of the Shadow system.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GIBBONS. Well, if you could do it for the Army, I would also like the Air Force to do it for the Predator.
Colonel BURKE. Sir, John Burke with the Army. The Shadow system in the Army is flown by enlisted pilots and air vehicle operators. An Army platoon consists of 22 soldiers with self-contained logistics. And it also has the ability to jump one-half of the unit and recover at a different location. So in that context we have standardized on what we call the one system ground control station, which is commonwill be common across the Army UAV fleet. We are converting the Hunter systems this fiscal year. So we are using the same common ground station.
We are also standardized on the Army HMMWV, the Army standard HMMWV shelter and also the internal computer and componentry. So interoperability between systems from a hardware, software, personnel and training standpoint is common across those classes of vehicles.
Mr. GIBBONS. Well, that didn't tell me you are reducing the number of people that is required to operate it, though.
Colonel BURKE. Well, sir, the current Hunter unit has about 48 people in it. The Shadow unit has 22. So one of the advantages of going to a common ground station (CGS) where you have an automatic takeoff and landing system and the ability to control multiple UAVs does reduce the size of that footprint.
Colonel FEDA. Sir, as we went through the planning stages for the current contingency that we are in one of the things we tried to do was reduce the forward footprint, especially in the Predator, and try and use more reach-back. And what we have done is we have expanded some of that capability to be able to use the resources at Nellis to support the forward operations. That is one thing that we are looking at, trying to minimize the forward footprint, controlling multiple Predators from one ground station at one time. We were not able to get entirely to that point. We think we can do that in the future, though.
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As far as the LRVs go, our launch and recovery elements, we have minimized those, and Air Combat Command (ACC) is currently going through a contract of logistics support analysis to determine exactly what kind of mix we can try and migrate to between contractor support and blue suit support.
Originally, the game plan was all blue suit, and as we looked at it, we said, wait a minute, there is probably a smarter and better way to do this. So we are trying to get these synergies.
The reach-back on the exploitation as well, we are able to use our command ground system (CGS) to be able to support multiple platforms forward in our exploitations. So our footprint there is greatly reduced.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman, and I thank the witnesses.
The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Meek, is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. MEEK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have had the privilege in the past, because I am a new Member to the committee, of hearing about these UCAVs, but I wanted to ask a question. I was reading in some of the material that you provided dealing with the AGM14 Hellfire missile, also the RQI Predator which was designed originally for surveillance purposes.
And I know in Afghanistan just recently during Operation Enduring Freedom in late 2001, the armed version of the Predator demonstrated I guess its capabilities as relates to one Hellfire missile that blew up a car in Yemenit was identified by U.S. intelligence agents as carrying a senior member of al Qaeda.
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Tell me, as it relates to some of the flights that this vehicle has taken in the past, I know that the weather has had a lot to do with some flights being scratched in combat situations. Tell me, are we going to be able to move beyond that, especially what we are facing now in Iraq?
And then my second question would be along the lines of when one of these vehicles goes down as it relates to the technology, need it be surveillance video? I know recently as it relates to a helicopter that went down and what we are dealing with now, that it was destroyed, but it is notI am just trying to figure out what are the procedures that is followed as it relates to making sure that it doesn't fall into enemy hands?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Yes, sir. In general, I will say that when the Predator system was developed it was understood that it had some operational weather limitations. It does have a deicing system that can be incorporated into the system and flown with that. It does help it in severe icing conditions, but you are correct that there are some weather conditions that severely limit Predator's operation.
Now, it is important to understand that the primary sensor for Predator is a TV sensor, an electro-optical ball. So when the weather conditions are such that Predator would have trouble flying, those conditions are probably also such that the sensor systems aren't terribly effective.
Your question as to the level of sensitive technology on it, Predator by and large utilizes commercial off-the-shelf, COTS technology, and so there is really very little, if any, sophisticated technology on the aircraft. The aircraft itself is a very low tech structure. It is fiberglass and composite. So there is not anything to be discerned there. With the exception of the weapons themselves, if the Predator is weaponized on a mission, there is virtually no technology advantage that an enemy could derive from any resultant wreckage that he could scavenge from a crash site.
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Mr. MEEK. That was one of the main concerns as it relates to the missile that would be attached to this vehicle and as it relates to the weather issue; even going further down in the notes here, it alsoas it relates to the Bosnia theatre in 1996, 1997, nearly half of the 200only 226 out of 479 actual missions were carried out. It was canceled because of the weather situation, and I know that this is going to be something that is ongoing, especially the War on Terrorism. If we continue to try to operate in the Middle East theater, dealing with the sandstorms, things of that nature, is definitely something I feel we need to focus on as it relates to the weather.
As we move through the roadmap, I didn't really see anything there that was really tuning in and homing in on the conditions issue, the weather issue, and I don't know what kind ofI don't know if we are putting great emphasis or focus on that in the future, because definitely what we have here is going to save American lives, ultimately. And we find that even in the conditions that our troops are in right now, we have folks that are used to dealing with those kind of weather conditions, even though that they don't have the capabilities that we have. They still move forth under those conditions when we time after time recently have hunkered down and secured equipment, things of that nature, under these conditions.
So I guess I would justif you can go any further on the weather issue, I would like to know about it. I think it would be important to the committee.
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Certainly, sir. The United States has a range of both man and unmanned assets that provide a broad range of ISR capabilities. In those cases where the weather conditions are such that a Predator or for that matter any other tactical UAV would not be appropriate to be operated in, we do have other assets. Global Hawk flies at very high altitudes. It utilizes a synthetic aperture radar that can see through most weather conditions. That provides surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in those cases where Predator could not operate.
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I will also say that at the service labs and at the service system program office levels, they are evaluating improved technologies that would extend the range in weather conditions the Predator or other tactical vehicles could operate.
So to this date those technologies have not reached a maturity level where we believe they are appropriate for migration, but certainly in the future as those technologies improve you very well may see improvements to those platforms or incorporation in the new platforms that will allow us to extend our use in the poor weather conditions.
Mr. MEEK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Turner, is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. TURNER OF OHIO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In looking at your presentation and the different UAVs that are identified, their capabilities and their specifications, they are so varied. And many of them are strikingly different from one another. I know lots of questions have been asked concerning costs and funding.
An issue that I am curious about is how is the technology information from the research and development and implementation of these different systems in the different services being shared so that we can be certain that, for example, the Dragon Eye has all of the information that was learned in doing the force protection aerial surveillance systems for the Air Force so that we can make sure that each of these are the best systems that they can be and we are not repeating either mistakes or losing a technological edge?
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Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Again, sir, it is a very appropriate question. I am happy to report that in a number of areas the Department and specifically the planning task force in our role in coordinating service activities has brought individual services together to coordinate development activities that have resulted in common capabilities. One such example is Dragon Eye. Dragon Eye originally had a daylight-only capability. It had a requirement for a nighttime capability, but that was not originally funded in the Marine Corps budget.
The Air Force for its FPASS; that is, Force Protection UAV, had both a daytime and a nighttime capability. The Department was able to bring those two services together and coordinate activities that while the Air Force was developing their nighttime IR capability that could also be utilized on Dragon Eye. So I am happy to report that in that case we were effective in coordinating service activities that saved resources and actually sped capability to the warfighter.
Another example, the Department, as I mentioned, is working on the development of a joint UCAV program office. Certainly those three services, the Air Force, the Navy and the Army, at the technology level share many of the same requirements between those platforms, and so by developing a joint program office that can integrate individual service requirements, we believe we can more quickly develop those technologies and then apply them quicker to individual service platforms and migrate that capability to the warfighter.
Mr. TURNER OF OHIO. That sounds very good, because besides just the issue of capability issues that might rise to your level of trying to find a solution, just the day-to-day information from research and development processes should be shared that might cause someone else to find an edge or an application for something that might have been missed otherwise.
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Also in looking at the list that we have here, I didn't see any reference to research and development of using UAVs and laser weapon systems, I know laser-guided systems and the like, but the lasers themselves as a basis as the weapon.
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Yes, sir. The Air Force has a long-term plan for development of directed energy systems, not just laser but a whole host of directed energy systems. And Air Force UCAV is one potential platform that those technologies may be migrated to.
The Air Force has a directed energy master plan that specifically identified unmanned systems as a potential platform for incorporation of those technologies where they are mature.
Mr. TURNER OF OHIO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from South Carolina is recognized, Mr. Wilson, for 5 minutes.
Mr. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And Mr. Weatherington, thank you for what you have done and everybody behind you, too, for what you are doing to promote the UAVs. I was in Kuwait in November and was particularly impressed to see how the Predator operated. I was just amazed, and it made me feel a lot better last month when I was visiting the troops at Camp New York on the front lines, the 3rd Infantry Division, the 1st Marine Division, to know that there was the Predator capability of the surveillance. And I just want to thank you for that and what it means to the troops. It may made me just feel very, very good about the security of our personnel.
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And I am also interested in continuing the development, in particular with the smaller UAVs and in particular a proposal that would provide small UAVs with the capability for nearly unlimited endurance by transmitting eye-safe laser energy to photovoltaic cells attached to the UAVs. Are you familiar with that technology? And I know there is a lot of other, too.
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, I believe I will throw that over to Dr. Graham at DARPA.
Mr. GRAHAM. Well, sir, DARPA's role has been to develop technology aggressively over the years, and the Predator program and Global Hawk have their roots back there.
We also are developing sensor technology that might be appropriate. Ultimately though, the acquisition and deployment of that of course is dependent on the services and the coordination is dependent on road map activities like the one that you are hearing about today.
Mr. WILSON. And the interest that I have is to have the maximum number, but it seems like the numbers are so limited. Is there any reason why they wouldn't beaside from the cost, more of them being utilized?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, specifically for the small UAV area of the larger UAV segment, that is the area that the Department and frankly the services see the largest growth in. You will notice on
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Mr. WILSON. 17.
Mr. WEATHERINGTON [continuing]. Chart 16 that the Marine Corps plans a total buy of Dragon Eye of nearly a thousand airframes, and they are producing those. When they go on contract they will produce those in fairly large numbers. So certainly that is one case where we believe we will see a significant increase in small UAV capability delivered directly to the warfighter, the guy on the ground that can support him and help him make life and death decisions virtually instantly.
Mr. WILSON. Well, that is excellent again. I thank all of you for what you are doing and yield the balance of my time.
Mr. WELDON. The gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Akin, is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. AKIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have got a couple questions here. This is for the Navy. We haven't asked you as many questions this afternoon.
First, what is the Navy looking at in the way of a UCAV demonstration? How many aircraft would be involved, and what sort of a land-based or carrier demonstration would be required? That would be the first question.
Mr. DUQUETTE. Sir, the Navy is working with DARPA and Northrop Grumman, and we seethe demonstration that we are after is specifically about the capability of takeoff and landing on an aircraft carrier.
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Mr. AKIN. It is or is not?
Mr. DUQUETTE. It is. So our goal with that demonstrator is to investigate the issues and the technologies involved with taking a low observable vehicle, a tailless vehicle, off on an aircraft carrier in the aircraft carrier environment.
Once we finish that demonstration, then we can move forward and know what challenges are there tothat we can meet to move forward with UCAV.
Mr. AKIN. That kind of leads into my second question. Last year the Navy didn't have sufficient funds to go forward with the UCAV program. Are we on schedule with contractors and funding, and how close is the Navy to starting the program? Is that all dependent on this landing on the carrier?
Mr. DUQUETTE. Well, the first part of the program is the demonstration. We see the demonstration being completed in theI think it is the 2006 time frame. I can verify that, sir. And that is the first step that we have to take.
Mr. AKIN. Are you saying that the Navy will not be moving forward with the UCAV until that demonstration is complete?
Mr. DUQUETTE. No, sir. I am saying that the first step of our UCAV program is the demonstration. Once we go through that phase and show that we can take off and land on a carrier, then we continue on.
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Mr. AKIN. Okay. So until that is done, then, I think I am hearing you say that that has to be established first?
Mr. DUQUETTE. Yes, sir. The aircraft carrier vision for UCAV is that it operates on the aircraft carrier. It is integral part of the aircraft carrier operations, and therefore that is why the demonstration is so critical to make sure we can operate on a carrier.
Mr. AKIN. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, do I have time for one more general?
All right. Just a general question just for somebody who has not studied the unmanned vehicles that much. It seems to me that you could perhaps, particularly going across all the different services, come up with hundreds and hundreds of special things that you would like to have an unmanned aerial vehicle to do for you. On the other hand, it would seem like from a cost point of view, maybe we could come up with something highly sophisticated like small, medium and large and we could hang things on those to fitor to suit the particular mission. Is this something you have been giving thought to, or is it not quite as easy to keep it simple like that?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, at a very top level, that is exactly the Department's perspective. And in fact, in the road map we generally categorize our systems in small, medium and large. So to a large extent the Department views most UAVs as simply a truck that we can modify to carry a number of different payloads, whether those be sensors or weapons or future capabilities that we can envision today.
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While there is an idea that fewer is better in this early development cycle, the Department believes strongly that competition is one of our best assets for controlling cost, and specifically for Navy UCAV, the demonstration program, the Department added money in this budget cycle to add competition to that Phase 2(b) demonstration program, the demonstration that will demonstrate near and carrier operations. So we believe that while in the long term we may net down to a few systems, in the developmental cycle more competition generally is better. That is certainly true at the small UAV level where the barriers to competition are very low, where most of these technologies are commercial off-the-shelf and you have a large potential commercial base that can provide you capabilities.
Mr. AKIN. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. LoBiondo, is recognized.
Mr. LOBIONDO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I believe that you had asked a question earlier about homeland security and what UAVs are being utilized in homeland security missions? I am not sure I heard that answer.
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. The short answer is yes, sir. Today we have a variety of service UAVs that have been used for various homeland security types of missions, border patrol, port security, that kind of thing. So there is resident capability within the Department of Defense for at least some of the requirements that homeland security may have for emerging UAV requirements.
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Mr. LOBIONDO. So UAVs are currently being used for some port security missions?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, I don't believe we can say today that they are being utilized. There have been demonstrations of how current Department assets could potentially be used for missions such as port security.
Mr. LOBIONDO. And is the Coast Guard involved with development of that plan?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Yes, sir. Specifically for the Coast Guard's deep water program, they have identified specific UAV requirements.
Mr. LOBIONDO. So there are some demonstration or tests being done at this point, is that what I am understanding?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, my specific insight into the homeland defense requirements is not terribly specific. If I could, I would like to take that question for the record .
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. LOBIONDO. Sure. I would appreciate that.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Another follow-up, I understand that probably in about the year 2010 or 2012, F16s are planned to be used as UAVs. Is that correct?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Certainly, sir, we see a wide range of proposals from industry as how we might utilize emerging UAV systems, whether those be new systems or modifications of manned systems. Certainly we have seen proposals that unmanned, manned aircraft. In many cases these utilize aircraft that have been decommissioned. In fact, my office supports the evaluation of those modifications. In some cases those appear attractive. In general, it is questionable whether in a large sense the modifications and the costs to modify those aircraft are of value in the long term, but it is really on a case-by-case basis.
Mr. LOBIONDO. So there is not a plan at this point that you could see way down the road to use as a replacement of manned F16s?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. No, sir. I am not aware at this point in time of any specific plan to unman F16s that would replace manned aircraft capability.
Mr. LOBIONDO. Last question is have you seen up to this point any personnel issues with pilots in regard to UAVs?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. I think I would like to get Colonel Feda up here. He has probably got the most experience with Predator on manning issues.
Colonel FEDA. Sir, I don't have a lot of the details, but General Jumper commissioned a study to try to get into how are we going to man that force, how do we migrate it, and our challenge right now is since it is a new area, what we are trying to do is see how we grow a second lieutenant all the way up to the squadron commander and have a career path available for those folks.
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Currently, right now what we are doing is taking other pilots, currently qualified in other airframes, and using them to support the Predator and the Global Hawk. And what we are trying to do is study how do we set up a career path for them and what is the source to be able to do that in the future?
Mr. LOBIONDO. I appreciate that. If I could be a little more specific, the pilots that are trained for other airframes, do you find any personnel issues with them being moved over to UAVs with retention rates or they are not particularly happy to be put in a position of not flying themselves?
Colonel FEDA. I would say when the system was new, there was some resistance to go over there, but I think it has evolved and matured to the point where it is a new mission area, and the guys that are flying them out at Nellis Air Force Base are pretty happy to be there. They enjoy the mission. The weaponization gives them a lot of new area to try to develop more Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) and go from there. So I would say that the people at Nellis are very satisfied flying the system, sir.
Mr. LOBIONDO. Last question I have, Mr. Chairman, is that in my home district issecond district of New Jersey is home to the 177th Fighter Wing, which is the F16 wing that flies combat air patrols (CAP) currently over Washington and New York.
Is there any plan to integrate UAVs into any of the homeland security missions such as with the 177th or wings like them that would help in the surveillance aspect of what is going on or is that not on the radar screen right now?
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Colonel FEDA. Sir, I was just going to say that I don't think right now we are looking atif we do a near-term CAP capability, to intercept, which is the mission that your unit has. But I do think that like Mr. Weatherington said, we are trying to sort through homeland security, what the mission is, so that we can give them what the exact requirement is so that we can support their mission.
Mr. LOBIONDO. So as you are sorting through with the Department of Homeland Security, is this something you are likely to have a handle on in three months, six months, a year? Can you say, project, guess?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, I would say within a year we will have a good handle on what the homeland security requirements are and what are those requirements our current capability UAVs might be able to support.
Mr. LOBIONDO. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Virginia Beach is recognized, Mr. Schrock, for 5 minutes.
Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Weatherington, when you get that report for Mr. LoBiondo, I would like to have a copy of that as well, because I am interested in the Coast Guard element of that, and if you are looking for a good port to test in, the port of Hampton Roads is a good one. It just happens to be in the Second Congressional District of Virginia, not New Jersey, but I would like to put my plug in for that.
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Mr. LOBIONDO. We will talk about that.
Mr. SCHROCK. We will talk about that. All right. I supported your Coast Guard.
Mr. Weatherington, the Pioneer Improvement Program (PIP) of course is strongly supported by Congress to meet the requirements of the Marine Corps. We also understand the program is structured to address the critical needs of interoperability, logistics and commonality with the Army. I am just wondering what the status is of the fiscal year 2003 funding for that program. Has the Navy executed any of that funding, and what has the Navy done to meet the issues of, you know, logistics, commonality and operability requirements of the Marine Corps, Marine tactical UAVs with those of the Army?
And to get this in so I don't run out of time, because I know if I asked all the questions that will allow you to answer them all, several of our UAVs use enormous amounts of bandwidth, and I am just wondering if that would limit your capabilities, what your spin is on that, if there is something being done to address that as well.
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, if I could, while Captain Sorensen is coming up, I will address the bandwidth issue. Certainly the road map identifies one of the key areas that requires additional work as the development of a broad range of coms requirements to support a broad range of UAV missions. I am happy to report that as a cosignatory on the UAV road map was the C3I organization within OSD Command Control and Communications Intelligence, and in fact as part of their development of the transformational communications architecture, UAVs play a prominent role as bandwidth customers for that architecture.
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We have taken a first cuta near-term cut at what the requirements for our current UAV assets are, and we believe we have adequate bandwidth to support that. But as we evolve to combat UCAVs and more robust UAV systems, we believe more attention is required on the communications architecture.
In general as we move more autonomy to the vehicle, that generally requires less bandwidth because we are processing more data on board and moving less. But in a macro sense, C3I has taken the lead in developing the next level of road maps specifically for the communications bandwidth requirements for our various UAV programs.
Mr. SCHROCK. It is not going to hamper you in any way?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Today we are able to manage the bandwidth requirements that we have. Our most aggressive width users are Global Hawk, and we have a plan in place to migrate the Global Hawk program from its exclusive use of commercial communications support over to a system that the U2 utilizes, the extended tether program, which provides much greater capability. For the tactical platforms, we believe there is adequate support in the commercial industry in the near term, migrating to the longer range transformational communications architecture to support those systems around the 2010 and out time frame.
Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you.
Captain SORENSEN. Thank you for the question on Pioneer PIP. We in the Navy recognize the importance of the Pioneer PIP program to support the Marine Corps that are currently deployed overseas, and there are a number of things we have been doing over the last few months to support that effort. Based on an urgent need statement, we have actually procured 12 Pop 200 sensors, the same sensors as the Army is flying with their Shadow air vehicle. We have integrated those with the Pioneer system, done the flight test and completed the knee tops changes to the system so that it is able to be flown safely and effectively, and those systems are over in theater doing the job right now as we speak.
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The other issue I think that you addressed on the Pioneer PIP are the status of the funds. The funding is in-house. We do have a plan to address some of the major concerns of the Pioneer program as it is currently structured. So improve the mobility and reduce the footprint, looking at new launchers.
From an interoperability perspective, we are looking at upgrading a ground control station to a configuration that will allow interoperability with Pioneer as well as with Fire Scout, as well as with our Naval UAVs in the future.
And we are also looking at integrating a tactical common data link (TCDL) in conjunction with the Army, a TCDL, that will allow the system to be interoperable with the current Fire Scout ground station, Fire Scout and then eventually the Shadow as well.
Mr. SCHROCK. Okay. Thanks. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for holding this hearing. I think the UAV subject is one of the most exciting that we are seeing and that we are going to see.
I was privileged toI know nothing about flying except getting on, putting my seat belt on and going, but I sat in the trainer for the F22 and JSF, and after an hour or so I thought, you know, I could learn this, which told me in this mind that I was probably sitting in the last craft of manned aircraft and that everything from then on is going to be UAV. I know the pilots don't like that very well, but this is a subject we need to address and get more information. I am just sorry every member wasn't here, because it is clearly the future, and everybody needs to understand this and understand it well. And I thank you for coming, and thank you all for participating as well.
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Mr. WELDON. And I thank the gentleman for his questions and his involvement, and we appreciate his leadership.
We will go for one additional question for members that might have it. I just havewithout objection, I will enter into the record, along with my colleagues, questions that we would ask you to respond to for the record that we won't ask publicly, but one I do want to ask publicly is I have an interest in our lack of focus on rotorcraft research, and there has been some work in rotorcraft UAVs. Would you comment on how rotorcraft UAVs fit into your road map and what your plans and thrusts are for the next 5 years or so in that area?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Yes, sir. As the road map identifies, rotary wing UAVs provide a unique capability that is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve through fixed-wing aircraft.
We have heard some discussion on the Fire Scout UAV being developed by the Navy. DARPA has a number of other rotary wing technology programs under development today which are identified in the road map, but just very briefly, DARPA has the A160 Humming Bird rotary technology, utilizing a hingeless hub that promises to provide very long endurance improvements to rotary aircraft, potentially to the place where we could start to duplicate the very long endurances we get with fixed-wing aircraft with a rotary wing aircraft.
DARPA also has the Canard Road Wing program ongoing and the Army's UCAR program. So we believe that we are exploring a large portion of the mission areas that rotary wing technologies could support in the future.
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Mr. WELDON. I would ask you for the record if you and DARPA would both give me the names and the contacts for the rotorcraft work that is being done in the area of UAVs, for the record.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Abercrombie, do you have any questions?
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I was consulting, Mr. Chairman. Excuse me. To think, Mr. Weatherington, you were inches from a clean getaway.
How much is the Global Hawk? I think I called it the Golden Hawk before. It was a slip of the tongue. My mind was wandering. I think the Golden Hawk was Errol Flynn. I am not quite sure, but the Global Hawk.
We have got in the GAO report here $90 million here now, and when I was looking at the budget there under the procurement budget, it was listed at 4 at $256 million, which would be 60you know, if I just divided it by 4, which is a crude way of doing it. But is it $90?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, the current Global Hawks that we are procuring in fiscal year 2004, the Spiral 2 versions of that aircraft, are approximately $36 million for the air vehicle and the sensor payloads. As I indicated before, Global Hawk is a spiral development program where we are delivering initial capability and then growing that capability.
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There are some development activities informed in that program. The Air Force is improving the payload capability, increasing it from approximately 2,000 pounds today to a 3,000-pound payload that enables larger and more
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Is that going up to $90 million?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Well, sir, that does account for some of the research and development dollars in that line, that account for the total budget for that year.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I am just trying toyou don't have to explainI am just asking you. That could account for it, right?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Certainly part of it, sir. There are also development dollars in there for improved sensors that are required
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Would that end up making it more than $37 million a copy?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Yes, sir. The Air Force currently projects that a spiral 4 Global Hawk is in the neighborhood of $50 million for the air vehicle and the sensors.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Would that include it being able to be modified to be in the broad area of maritime surveillance activity that the Navy is seeking?
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Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, the Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program is a competitive acquisition. Global Hawk is one of the platforms they are evaluating, but they are evaluating a number of platforms to meet the requirement.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Wait. Wait. Wait. The whole idea of being able to add on to the initial partif you say 37if you are going to add sensors, you are going to add this and that, all of which increases its capability, that is fine with me and we can discuss back and forth, Mr. Chairman, whether, you know, the utility of that, the military utility. But I was not aware that you were contemplatingyou mean you are contemplating doing a separate experimental vehicle to the Global Hawk?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, the Navy has a Global Hawk maritime nonadministration program where they are procuring the Global Hawks to evaluate Global Hawk for the BAMS mission in general. The specific BAMS program is a competitive acquisition program that the Navy will begin, I believe, in fiscal year 2004.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. But I was under thethis is a surveillance system, right?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. The program has surveillance requirements, yes, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Excuse me, Mr. Chairman. I don't mean to take a lot of time. Am I understanding you correctly that this will be doneor you are going to experiment with the Global Hawk? You are notthey are not contemplating another vehicle? Did I misunderstand?
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Mr. WEATHERINGTON. The Navy's decision for the specific solution for the BAMS program could theoretically be a platform that is not Global Hawk.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Jesus. Well, we will have to go into it another time, Mr. Chairman, but that sets my heart fluttering. I will follow up with a question for the record.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman. I certainly don't want his heart fluttering, so I thank the gentleman for his questions.
Other members that have questions? Mr. Gibbons.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and, Mr. Weatherington, thanks again for appearing before us today. Your testimony has been excellent.
With regard to the Predator having a 400-nautical mile range, duration, multiple hours, the Global Hawk having a 5400-mile range, 30-some-odd hour duration, over the hill line of sight capability and control is a problem, bandwidth problems. When you start data linking down everything that they are capable of doing, what are you doing to control the cost of tethering or actually linking up those systems beyond the horizon for control back to a station, say, at Nellis? What would you be doing? How would you be looking at that? How would you take care of those over the hillI know you have got to have satellites up there, but you can't always have a satellite in the same place at the right time. What are you doing to link up that control?
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Generally, sir, I will say for Global Hawk, the satellite communications architecture we are migrating it to has a very broad coverage, virtually global coverage for where we might want to operate a Global Hawk. So satellite access for Global Hawk is well in hand, I believe.
Mr. GIBBONS. So that would be a geostationary satellite that looks at the whole hemisphere?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Sir, the specific architecture we would be happy to get with you in another forum. To be more specific at this security level, about all I can say is that architecture is very robust and has been demonstrated with the U2 program. So we are very confident that is a mature and capable system.
Mr. GIBBONS. And that is the intended system you plan to go with for
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. GIBBONS [continuing]. Over the horizon control?
Mr. WEATHERINGTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman. Other Members who might have questions, please indicate. Mr. Wilson, Mr. Schrock, Mr. Meek?
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No other questions. Let me just say you canI think the indication by the attendance of the Members and the amount of questions indicates the significance of the importance of this issue. We had 19 Members attend here, which is very unusual.
But even more unusual, I would say to you, is that it is very rare, if at all, that we have someone at your level testify before the House Armed Services Committee. Usually sitting where you are are the chiefs, the 4-stars, the 3-stars, the 2-stars, and I would just say to you that you have done extremely well. In fact, I would put your quality of testimony up against any other witness, and I think my colleagues would probably agree with me on that.
That is a testament to your leadership on the issue, and I would say we have confidence in where you are going. We have some very real questions, but we appreciate the sincerity of the leadership that you have shown here today.
And I also would say the same thing about our colleagues from the services. We thank you for the great work that you are doing, and none of our questions were meant to question the commitment of our troops to the mission that they are involved with and the leadership provided by those distinguished leaders that are here today.
We simply want to make sure that we are giving you the best in the way of resources, and we are doing it in the most responsible way possible to the taxpayers that we have to answer to. But in the end, this committee will always come down on the side of what is best for our warfighters, what is best for those people that are out there serving the country.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So we thank all of you for coming today and for giving us an outstanding hearing. This hearing now stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:50 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]