Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1970
Research and Development
The Army conducts both basic and applied research. In fiscal year 1970, the commitment in Southeast Asia gave direction to much of the research effort, but long-range projects also retained a share of the funding.
In fiscal year 1970, the Army's approved research and development program totaled $1,631.9 million, some $30 million less than the figure for fiscal year 1969.
A restrictive clause of the 1970 Defense Appropriation Act (Public Law 91-171) stated that funds for research, development, evaluation, or testing, when unobligated for periods longer than two years, should be proposed for recission. To insure maximum use of available resources, the Army established a recoupment objective of $33 million from unobligated balances to fund high priority fiscal year 1970 requirements. The Army was able to recoup $28.8 million and submitted formal requests for approval to reprogram $24.4 million. By June 30, 1970, the Congress had approved reprograming of $12 million to finance civilian pay raises. Other actions were withdrawn by the Army for further consideration.
During fiscal year 1970, it was necessary to obtain additional emergency funds for accelerated research and development in support of Southeast Asia operations. Of the $34.1 million in emergency funds requested, the Office of the Secretary of Defense released $23.3 million.
On June 30, 1970, the $1,631.9 million allocation for Army research, development, test, and evaluation was broken down as follows: $1,596.8 million from the fiscal year 1970 appropriation; $12 million brought forward from prior-year accounts; $23.3 million from OSD emergency funds; and $0.2 million transferred to the General Services Administration.
In the President's Budget for fiscal year 1971, $1,717.9 million was requested for research and development activities: $80.1 million for research; $232.7 million for exploratory development; $397.4 million for advance development; $140.7 million for engineering development; $300.3 million for management and support; and $566.7 million for operational systems development. As fiscal year 1970 ended, neither authorization nor appropriation bills had
passed the Congress. A joint resolution authorized the continuance of the research and development program for fiscal year 1971.
In addition to funding problems, other considerations led to curtailment of some Army research programs.
In Section 203 of the 1970 Military Procurement Authorization Act (Public Law 91-121), the Congress supplied guidelines for expenditure of funds on research projects:
None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act may be used to carry out any research project or study unless such project or study has a direct or apparent relationship to a specific military function or operation.
Although Army policy on research has generally conformed to this principle in the past, the inclusion of the provision in the new legislation prompted a review of the current research and development program. Employing a detailed interpretation of the regulation by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Army research and development community examined 4,000 projects and studies for compliance with Section 203. Of these, fourteen did not meet the requirement, less than 0.35 percent of the total. Because of the obvious benefits of continued research in the areas covered by the fourteen projects, the Army recommended that they be continued under the auspices of other federal agencies.
As a result of the President's decision to renounce biological warfare, a biological research program was developed to attain a defensive capability against biological warfare. In the chemical areas, research and development continued on offensive materials necessary to maintain a deterrent retaliatory capability. Defensive research and development continued on the detection and warning of chemical agent attacks, individual and collective protection, medical therapy, and decontamination materials and equipment.
Research facilities excess to the needs of the Army as a result of the President's decision were identified, and planning began for their disposal. Considerable interest in these facilities was evidenced by other government agencies that participated in the planning.
The work done in the life sciences yielded some especially encouraging results in the past fiscal year. Army researchers isolated in tissue culture an agent which may be a cause of viral hepatitis, and intensive studies to characterize this agent were in progress. Thirty-four thousand volunteers received inoculations with a new type of meningococcal vaccine that has reduced the incidence of infection caused by one type of meningococcus in a controlled study. The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, in a co-
operative project with the National Institute of Health's Division of Biological Standards and a number of university contractors, developed an attenuated strain of human measles discovered in a basic virological study.
An advance came in the control of influenza with the improvement of methods of producing influenza vaccine and assaying its potency. Since an epidemic can be halted by the swift production of immunizing agents, new techniques which the Army helped to develop are of particular benefit; they allow the production of vaccines more rapidly after the isolation of the individual strain of flu virus.
A new and highly effective vaccine against epidemic typhus was tested in epidemic conditions in Burundi with gratifying results. In a similar case, the Army provided immediate assistance to Guatamala and El Salvador upon the outbreak of an epidemic of Venezuelan equine encephalitis. The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases had developed the vaccine for this disease, which is potentially dangerous to humans, during work on the defense against biological agents. The U.S. Agency for International Development delivered large amounts of the serum, which checked and eradicated the danger.
In other projects, taxonomists have described a new species of mosquito from Thailand that may carry dengue fever. One species of mosquito was completely eliminated on an island in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida by sterilizing the male. A subhuman primate was discovered which regulates its body heat by sweating, a valuable model for Army research into the mechanics of perspiration.
Malaria remains an obstacle in U.S. Army operations in tropical areas. Previously unknown strains of malaria parasites have appeared in recent years. Many are resistant to previously standard methods of prevention or treatment developed during World War II. Over 250,000 compounds have undergone examination in a concerted effort to control the disease. Programs of drug testing now include Aotus monkeys infected with drug-resistant strains of human malaria, as well as tests involving human malaria parasites in isolated blood cells.
The Army continued to search for new insect repellants that will stay on the skin longer, even under extreme conditions of heat and sweating. An improved chlorine test for the potability of drinking water also contributed to the protection of the combat soldier. The incidence of bacterial and fungal skin diseases in Vietnam led to the development of a new method for studying them, and for the first time, controlled human studies in the pathenogenesis and
treatment of fungal infections are possible. The prophylactic use of griseofulvin has reduced the number of cases of skin infection of all kinds. Research into the causes of prickly heat revealed that it is a form of heat exhaustion due to a temporary malfunction in normal sweat glands. New media for culture development have improved the laboratory analyses of infections and have reduced their cost.
The Army has found that by adding adenine to stored blood, the shelf life of the blood is increased. This formula is now used in Southeast Asia.
The Army also investigated the adverse effect of smoking on operations at altitude. Tests documented a decrease in the ability of hemoglobin to transport oxygen to the tissues in man after smoking. Although this effect is already known, the Army remains interested in how smoking may impede the performance of mountain troops and aircraft pilots.
Dental research developed a new technique for a quickly applied splint for simple jaw fracture, which was used successfully in Vietnam and in the United States. The Army maintains a comprehensive program to apply decay-preventive fluoride to each soldier's teeth. Though a large proportion of men in the service receive this treatment from a dentist, most soldiers have been supplied with fluoride toothpastes in an effort to extend this protection to the whole service.
The analysis of food staples used by the Army determined that the eight sugar and sugar phosphate compounds found in such common vegetables as fresh carrots offer possibilities for the development of safe and natural additives to improve the taste of rations. Work on beef revealed that the aroma of the meat derives from certain intramuscular lipids. These studies and one on moisture and vapor in dehydrated experimental foods led to new packaging concepts for military rations and produced fresher tasting food with a longer shelf life.
Operational testing of a helicopter-borne crash rescue and fire fighting system which had been proposed as standard equipment revealed that the system could not be deployed rapidly enough after a crash to promote crew survival in fires that most often accompany helicopter mishaps. In a related area, the Army adopted a new helmet for air crewmen which is lighter, affords better sound attenuation than older models, employs an unbreakable sun visor, and has an improved suspension for better retention on impact.
Several new items of medical equipment were tested and developed. A dispenser which does not influence the flight character-
istics of helicopters is now mounted without modification to the airframe to disperse insecticide dust and granules. Medical officers in the field are using a new wet bulb temperature kit to determine when conditions might cause heat casualties among trainees. The Special Forces have received a prototype portable surgical lamp designed to assist in bringing medical treatment to cases in remote areas. A dental hygienist set and a mobile X-ray stand are now standard equipment. A study has shown the feasibility of a lightweight automatic lens-fabricating machine that will produce new safety eyeglass lenses in the field, thus eliminating the delay encountered in having spectacles replaced at fixed rear area support bases.
In the field of animal husbandry, the Army organized a breeding experiment for the German Shepherd stock that has served so well as scout dogs in Vietnam. Studies identified the micro-organism which caused the hemorrhagic disease that killed 175 dogs in Southeast Asia, and researchers are now attempting to develop a vaccine.
Advanced Ballistic Missile Defense Program
The Advanced Ballistic Missile Defense Agency (ABMDA) of the Office, Chief of Research and Development, manages a program to continue the work begun under the Nike-X Advanced Development Program and the Advanced Research Project Agency's Project Defender, transferred to the Army after the decision to deploy the Sentinel (Safeguard) system. The ABMDA is responsible for advanced system and component development necessary to counter the Soviet threat to U.S. strategic offensive forces and their command and control centers; development of new system concepts and components which result in increased ballistic missile defense effectiveness; development of technology to counter a sophisticated threat to American cities from the Soviet Union or from Communist China; and the use of experimental facilities to assist in evaluating the effectiveness of American strategic offensive forces by the acquisition of data from re-entry and penetration tests employing U.S. missiles. To meet these requirements, the ABMDA pursues technology developments in radar systems, interceptor missiles, optics, data processing, target discrimination, re-entry physics, and nuclear effects.
The Army is now working on new systems concepts and components to defend the Minuteman system and to counter a postulated larger and more sophisticated Soviet force than the current U.S. Safeguard system can accommodate. This Hardsite defense system would supplement Safeguard with a larger number of
defense modules, each defending a small portion of the Minuteman force. The radars of this system would be smaller, simpler, and cheaper than the Safeguard radars, and the system would be less costly than the proliferation of Safeguard components.
The Army has contributed to the research and development of high speed computers needed to assure that their data-handling capacity is adequate for the more severe threats.
Radar research has concentrated on the high-powered phased array radar with multibeam capability and a low susceptibility to countermeasures. Increased reliability and efficiency are being sought through the development of solid state radar components.
Advances have also been made in terminal interceptor technology areas offering accurate control under the stress of high speed and acceleration, in order to deal with highly maneuverable re-entry vehicles. Advanced studies continue on the feasibility of a long-range homing interceptor that destroys, through nuclear or nonnuclear means, re-entry vehicles in mid-course before they can endanger the United States.
Concurrently, effective schemes are being developed to discern a warhead from various penetration aids an attacker might use. This feat is accomplished by measurement and analysis of radar and optical data obtained during missile tests.
The Safeguard System Office and the ABMDA retain interrelated but separate research and development programs, the latter organization being charged with the development of components and technology to counter threats that will be beyond the capability of Safeguard. The work on more advanced systems is intended to provide options in the event that defense officials find themselves pressed to improve upon Safeguard in the face of new and increased threats from abroad.
Research and Development and Vietnamization
Until recently only limited channels existed through which the Army could determine the research and development requirements of the South Vietnamese. In December 1969, procedures were arranged between the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), and the U.S. Army, Vietnam (USARV), command structure to permit the U.S. Army to extend research and development support to the South Vietnamese Army.
The USARV organization known as ACTIV (Army Concept Team in Vietnam) was designated as the nucleus of the research and development effort in Vietnam under the Vietnamization program, to handle those requirements for the Vietnamese Army while
continuing to perform the combat developments and materiel evaluation mission in support of U.S. forces. ACTIV provides technical assistance to host country units and their advisers concerning hardware requirements. New equipment developed for U.S. use and potentially suitable for use by the Vietnamese Army is evaluated by units of both countries.
In March 1970, two channels were developed through which the Military Assistance Command may gather information on which to base decisions for Vietnamese Army requirements. The first channel centers on requests coming from U.S. advisers and South Vietnamese elements seeking answers to specific problems that would require new designs or modifications. Requests arising from these sources move through regular advisory channels to MACV headquarters. The second channel works in reverse, forwarding new equipment designed for the U.S. Army to South Vietnam for combat evaluation. These items are evaluated by ACTIV and the Vietnamese at their Combat Development Test Center; the results of the combined evaluations are forwarded to MACV headquarters and then through routine U.S. Army, Vietnam, and U.S. Army, Pacific, channels to the continental United States.
With these procedures, American and Vietnamese operational forces can readily determine their requirements, and the Vietnamese receive the same research and development support as the U.S. Army.
The Army has given high priority to surveillance, target acquisition, and night observation devices and techniques. In November 1969, a separate division was established in the Office, Chief of Research and Development, to manage developments in this high priority field. The surveillance, target acquisition, and night observation (STANO) division manages programs in night vision, radar, special purpose detectors, and unattended ground sensors.
Two night vision devices have already been successful in operations in Vietnam. The first is a system mounted aboard a helicopter gunship which allows the pilot to search out targets at night and to engage them with his standard armaments. More of these units will be sent to Southeast Asia by the end of fiscal year 1971. A second night vision device is the hand-held infrared viewer. Designed primarily as a target acquisition device, the viewer has shown an unexpected ability to detect newly placed mines.
A laser target designation system has proved itself doubly valuable in solving the navigation problem in attempts to find small landing or drop zones during field operations. Landing zones now
can be marked with laser beams on the ground, and supporting helicopters and troop lift ships identify the zone by laser-seekers mounted on the aircraft.
The Army is procuring test models of an eighteen-pound ground surveillance radar for use by forward troops. With miniaturized and integrated circuitry, the AN/PPS-15 is operated by one man and is well suited to small unit patrol action. For base defense, the Army is building a radar system capable of penetrating dense foliage and of scanning an entire perimeter. A new German- and French-developed long-range radar is being modified to replace the ten-year-old U.S. Army surveillance set, AN/TPS-25. Work continued on the mortar-locating radar, AN/TPQ-28, and a longer range counterbattery radar. Similar projects have defined specifications for artillery counterbattery radars.
Based on experience in Southeast Asia, the Army has studied the possibilities for worldwide use of unattended electronic sensors and is exploring alternatives for a system capable of worldwide deployment. The direction of this program will be more fully determined by the end of fiscal year 1971.
In the area of conventional weapons, several of the Army's current programs underwent extensive review for the reduction of production costs or for contract defaults. In spite of some difficulties, the programs in new ordnance yielded data and engineering knowledge on which to base new developments in the future.
The joint effort with the Federal Republic of Germany, under which the main battle tank 70 (MBT-70) has been developed, was modified to a co-operative program in the middle of the fiscal year. Changes in the U.S. design were recommended to decrease production costs and increase the reliability of the vehicle; sacrifices in combat effectiveness were minimal. In December 1969, the new program was reviewed in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and in the following month the recommended changes were approved. The design changes have thus reduced the estimated unit cost of the tank by almost 30 percent. With the modification of the program and of the co-operative features of the engineering effort, the tank received a new designation, XM-803; the composite nomenclature MBT-70/XM-803 is to be used until February 1971.
The program to develop the novel AH-56A Cheyenne attack helicopter faltered amid contract difficulties in this fiscal year, but technical progress continued. The fire control and weapons subsystems met specification accuracy in aerial firing, and with an
improved rotor control assembly, the vehicle demonstrated a true air speed of 186 knots. A night vision system for the aircraft was bench tested satisfactorily, and the aircraft weapons system was demonstrated for Defense Department officials during April 1970, when its complete design armament including the TOW missile was fired. The prime contractor, Lockheed Aircraft, appealed to the Secretary of Defense for relief after experiencing financial difficulties following the proceedings for contract default brought by the Army (see chapter 8; see also the 1969 annual report). As the fiscal year ended, the secretary was still considering these requests.
On November 4, 1969, the Senate and House Armed Services Committees Conference Report directed the Army to re-evaluate the Shillelagh and TOW missiles with an eye toward substituting the Shillelagh for the TOW in order to meet the Army's requirement for an antitank weapon for both the helicopter and infantry.
The re-evaluation for the infantry application, completed in March 1970, addressed the cost, schedules, and operational effectiveness of the two systems. The findings were that the substitution of Shillelagh for TOW would delay the fielding of an acceptable heavy antitank-assault weapon for at least four years, result in no dollar savings, be less satisfactory from an operational viewpoint, and introduce the inherent risk of any development program. (Shillelagh was designed to be fired from a closed breech in an armored vehicle; in infantry and helicopter roles, an open breech launcher and miniaturized guidance and control components would have to be developed and tested.) The Army therefore recommended to the Congress that the TOW program be continued and that no further consideration be given to Shillelagh as a basic heavy infantry weapon. As the fiscal year closed, the re-evaluation of the Shillelagh and TOW missiles as helicopter-borne armament remained under study.
The first tactical communications satellite has been in a synchronous orbit for over a year, and all the services continued to test its performance with a variety of super high frequency (SHF) and ultra high frequency (UHF) terminals of advanced design. The Army remained the lead service, procuring prototype tactical terminals from the prime contractor, Radio Corporation of America (RCA).
During the past fiscal year, the Army completed tests with ten UHF and eight SHF terminals. These terminals are constructed in five basic types: a one-man back pack for listening only that plays out printed alert or address messages; a three-man team pack which transmits and receives; a jeep-mounted version with an alert mes-
sage receiver; a transceiver; and a teletype. A larger shelter-installed terminal can be transported by a 1 ¼-ton truck, a larger helicopter, or a cargo aircraft. As the year closed, the Army was testing a UHF terminal in a UH-1 helicopter.
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Last updated 9 August 2004