FROM THE ARMY ACQUISITION EXECUTIVE
THE HONORABLE HEIDI SHYU
I often refer to science and technology (S&T) investment as the seed corn of our future. There is no doubt that an enduring pillar of our national security stems from the technological advantage that our world-class research institutions have engendered. Our Army remains the best-trained, best-equipped fighting force in the world—an accomplishment that is attributable, in part, to the cutting-edge technologies applied to Soldier weapons, equipment, infrastructure, and training.
As threats evolve and the pace of technological change accelerates, however, we must work to retain our leading advantage. The future suggests that disruptive technologies may proliferate, which could complicate our ability to conduct future operations against a variety of threats, to include asymmetric and nonstate actors. Unconventional threats, to include cyber attacks and electronic warfare, present unique dangers. We must also prepare for a future in which our ability to conduct command and control of operations is challenged by hostile actors using technologies that may become more accessible and advanced over time.
We must make the right investments in S&T to maintain this technological advantage. The Army is working to assess its longterm investment priorities—across a 30-year timeframe—as part of this effort. This calls for a sanguine evaluation of threats and emerging future gaps in capability, followed by a carefully planned road map for translating scientific research into future fielded equipment.
Looking ahead, our S&T priorities are likely to relate to several key challenges the Army must address with future capabilities. These challenge areas span a wide range of missions, while focusing on protecting and empowering our Soldiers.
•The Force Protection challenge area relates to our overriding commitment to keep our Soldiers safe as they conduct a wide range of dangerous missions. This is reflected in our pursuit of the very best vehicle and Soldier equipment available in the world, to include ongoing upgrades to existing Soldier body armor and protective gear, blast-resistant armor in combat vehicles, and protection in forward operating bases.
Early detection of traumatic brain injury
(TBI) is another key area of focus. Program Executive Office Soldier is working with the National Football League and academic institutions on research regarding head injury prevention, mitigation, and protection associated with TBI. We are continuing to invest in key areas such as biomarker detection.•
remains a fixed priority for the Army, now and in the future. We continue to work across various equipment portfolios to provide Soldiers with timely situational awareness on the battlefield. This is reflected in our development of software-defined radios such as Rifleman and HMS Manpack, and command and control systems like Joint Battle Command – Platform.•Easing the burden on Soldiers and small units in combat operations will continue to guide Army S&T investment, following a decade of combat experience. Our Soldiercarried weapons, equipment, and ammunition must continue to get lighter, using advanced materials and engineering.
Also, we continue to explore ways to achieve advances in expeditionary power to reduce the weight Soldiers carry. These solutions include power generation systems, power scavenging, power distribution, power management, and power storage solutions that are lightweight
Successful development of new technologies to address operational energy
and Soldier-portable or wearable. We will also incorporate emerging technologies, such as harnessing renewable energy in austere environments, improved battery technology, and smart textiles.
needs is another priority for our future. The Army’s investment in an Improved Turbine Engine, with a goal of 25 percent less fuel consumption in our aviation platforms, attests to this need. The Mobile Electric Power program, designed to achieve fuel efficiency and greater system reliability through next-generation power sources while addressing tactical needs, is another key example of the types of capabilities we need in order to address this challenge area.•
of our platforms in a full spectrum of operational environments, and at a high operational tempo, remains a priority.•Reducing the logistical burden of storing, transporting, distributing, and retrograde of materials is also a key challenge area. Over the past decade, the Army has learned that it must plan for logistical challenges in the conduct of future operations. Technologies are needed that support effective, affordable, and sustainable logistics operations.•Efforts to establish and maintain
for Soldiers must continue to drive our S&T investments into the future. In this
area, we seek enabling technologies that provide our Soldiers with capabilities such as increased lethality and accuracy delivered by the best arms possible.
through innovative S&T is another goal as we pursue affordable and effective capabilities for Soldiers. We must plan for sustainment costs in the development of future weapon systems and equipment.
in the future. S&T investment must continue to pursue innovation in protective equipment, detection, and containment of such threats.
S&T must also continue to drive innovation in the Army’s
Technologies that facilitate individualized and team-based training have achieved significant success. We will need to continue to leverage developing technologies toward this end.
Our strategy will focus on identifying and linking critical enabling technologies to existing and future programs of record.
We will partner with academia, Army research institutions, and industry to leverage S&T research in determined support of future Army capabilities that maintain our critical advantage.