Abstract Due Date: 22 December 2017
We invite you to participate in the 25th NFCS Symposium which will take place at the Hale Ikena Conference Center on Ft. Shafter in Honolulu, Hawaii 5 - 8 February 2018, plus an optional tour on Kauai on 9 February. This site was specifically encouraged by the NFCS Advisory Committee to bring the event closer to the operators. The numerous service and joint commands, located on the island of Oahu, will provide ample opportunity to engage with operators tasked to provide our country with frontline defense. The NFCS, heralded as the premiere forum for discussing the entire kill chain, has served the Integrated Fire Control Community of Interest (IFC-COI) for over two decades. Due to its restricted and no-foreign format, the NFCS is in a unique position to cultivate lasting relationships between the forward operators, service communities, warfare centers, laboratories, and our industry partners.
Initially launched in 1992 by the Air Force, and subsequently supported by the Army, Navy, and Marines, the NFCS is now an industry sponsored event. The 2018 event features a lead technical advisorship by the Navy. The event has been successful in engaging the multi-services, industry, and academia in synergistic relationships and discussions. With continued reduction in budgets, the government has an increasing reliance on cooperative research efforts. The size and focus of the NFCS promotes a greater number of productive contacts and collaborative relationships, provides an overview of a larger number of external research efforts, and provides U.S. researchers with a deeper understanding of the state-of-the-art and the warfighter’s perspective. The net result is the potential reduction in duplication of work completed by academia, industry, and the services, as well as the promotion of scientific advances resulting from joint efforts that could save DoD valuable time and financial resources, while defining innovative solutions to technology challenges.
Along with concurrent technical sessions offered throughout the week, attendees can attend a flag level Plenary Session, a science and technology round table with senior S&T advisors as panel members, a special topics session focused on the challenges of today’s operators, a technical poster session, an exhibit area, a tour to the Pacific Missile Range Facility, and many networking and collaboration functions. The 2018 theme “Sharpening the Spear – Strengthening the Warfighter” is intended to build upon the dialogue initiated by PACFLT in the “Sea of Dreams” conference held in September 2016. The 2018 presentation selection will emphasize solutions to the issues raised during that initial discussion and will cover additional topics included on the following pages.
There are a variety of opportunities for you to maximize your participation including attending, presenting, networking, exhibiting, and sponsoring. We encourage you to engage in this event and look forward to seeing you in Hawaii on 5 February 2018!
As one of the most challenging geographic Combatant Command Areas of Responsibility (AORs), PACOM consists of an expansive, dynamic security environment, rapidly evolving threats, and the global significance of maintaining stability and security in the Indo-Asia Pacific region. This topic will look to gain insight on those key challenges facing warfighters and the operational security concerns posed by regional peer/near peer competitors, the threat of ISIS, need to preserve access in all shared domains, militarization advancements in strategic areas such as the South China Sea and the effect on operations/employment, and joint/allied and nation tactics, and techniques and procedures (TTPs) associated with multi-domain/cross domain fires. Submissions by those actively engaged in PACOM operations are encouraged to provide context to the “fight tonight” imperative, advancement of joint TTPs, and capability needs related to integrated fires with topics to include:
Engagements against targets in an Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environment require rapid execution of the kill chain in the face of ever more complex and difficult combat environments: (1) mobile and extended range target engagements compress decision times; (2) advanced sensors provide high volumes of raw data that must be processed to extract target information; (3) expectations of precision targeting at long ranges extend kill chain execution times; and (4) coordinated actions by distributed forces require reliable data exchanges for command and control.
“Kill Chain & Distributed Lethality” will consider approaches to accelerating and improving all links of the kill chain for air-to-surface, air-to-air, surface-to-air, surface-to-surface and subsurface-to-surface engagements. In addition, this topic will explore the innovative algorithmic, architectural, hardware, software, and system integration solutions; near-term operational lessons learned; the legal decisions and processes involved in target selection; and current and emerging fire control requirements for all services. All aspects of the kill chain are open for discussion along with technological improvements, including but not limited to:
Emerging concepts and technologies will be part of the warfighter’s future arsenal and fire control capabilities. These are the “seed corn” for advanced fire control sensors and systems and the technology game changers that will give tomorrow’s military forces break-through capabilities and overwhelming advantages in future conflicts within both the conventional and unconventional (asymmetric) environments. This topic addresses:
Development and deployment of a reliable and accurate Combat Identification (CID) capability for warfighters is critical to the success of fire control for future military operations. CID enables the warfighter to locate and identify critical targets with high precision, permits use of long-range weapons, aids in fratricide reduction, enhances battlefield situational awareness, reduces leakage and wastage, and reduces exposure of U.S. Forces to enemy fire. Combat ID invites abstracts addressing all functional elements of cooperative and non-cooperative CID for air-to-surface, air-to-air, surface-to-air, ballistic missile defense, and surface-to-surface engagements, including:
This topic will explore the innovative algorithmic, architectural, hardware, software, and system integration solutions, as well as near-term operational lessons learned, the legal decisions and processes involved in CID, and current/emerging CID requirements for all services.
The ability to provide a conventional precision strike on time-sensitive and critical targets is of extreme importance to the DoD, as is the ability to defeat the adversaries’ hypersonic weapons. This session will be devoted to examining the various service and agency capabilities and the technologies and testing associated with achieving hypersonic velocities, advanced flight dynamics, and defeating hypersonic threats. Areas of interest include:
Hypersonic cruise and glide threat vehicles present unique challenges to our defenses including very high speeds, high-G maneuvers, low detectability, exo- and endo-atmospheric flight, difficult endgame dynamics, and demanding reaction times. This topic area will examine technologies, capabilities, and experimentation to defeat these threats with both hardkill and softkill techniques.
Ranging from the low-end capabilities of individual actors to high-end and well-funded strategic efforts, cyber warfare is the most prevalent, persistent, and pervasive form of attack facing the DoD and the national infrastructure. Continuous probing and successful attacks are pervasive. The ability of our military to operate under these conditions requires fire control systems that are robust and resilient under cyber attack. This is particularly challenging given the threat is increasingly easy and inexpensive to deploy and very complex to defend against. This topic invites abstracts addressing all aspects of fire control in the cyber warfare domain, including:
Directed Energy (DE) technology has reached the stage where services are maturing the doctrine and tactics associated with the integration of DE weaponry into the operational capability of our military. It has long been seen as a “weapon of the future,” but the technology has advanced, and continues to advance so rapidly that the operational realities need to be addressed. They will have the inherent ability for quick, highly accurate engagement of threats with little or no collateral damage for hardkill and non-lethal solutions. The very nature of the weapon that allows for the highly accurate engagement also presents a new challenge to traditional methods of fire control. The symposium would welcome all DE related abstracts addressing, but not limited to:
Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare (EMW) is the Navy’s warfighting approach to gain decisive military advantage in the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) to enable freedom of action across all Navy mission areas. EMW and its associated active and passive activities directly support the overall fire control capabilities of operational forces. Success demands a holistic systems-of-systems focus looking not only at the systems themselves, but also the “interstitial” space which is the dimension between the systems. EMW will require coordination and integration across all domains from land, sea, subsurface, air, cyber, and space. Dominance of the EMS is a key enabler to all domain access. EMW will drive changes in operational CONOPS to better leverage and employ capabilities across all warfare areas. This topic area welcomes all EMW related abstracts supporting Fire Control capability, addressing, but not limited to, the four tenets of EMW:
Electronic Warfare (EW) is becoming a weapon of choice given the current emphasis on affordability, re-use, and minimizing collateral damage – especially in urban environments. Whether it is enemy Electronic Attack (EA) against U.S. radars, Electro-Optical (EO) or Infrared (IR) systems; U.S. EO/ IR Countermeasures; Electronic Protection (EP) of U.S. systems; U.S. EA systems targeting enemy radars and missiles (i.e., softkill weapons); or Electronic Warfare Support (ES) to improve situational awareness - EW has an increasing role in fire control. This topic invites abstracts addressing all aspects of EW, including:
Integrated fire control kill chains that utilize multi-mission sensors and weapons platforms are a crucial capability to enhance U.S. and Joint Forces effectiveness in a wide variety of theaters. Specific challenges face the Pacific Fleet in support of the “Pivot to the Pacific Rim”, as discussed in the 2016 Sea of Dreams Conference. This topic covers engagement of the multi-mission threats, at home and abroad, to include:
Lessons learned from operational employment, exercises, wargames, test, evaluation, and training activities of our fire control systems, platforms, and processes are crucial to enhancing our warfighter’s capabilities. Recent tactical fire control events in overseas operations highlight the importance of constant refinement of our systems and processes. Warfighter discussions of lessons learned from these operational experiences provide invaluable insight for weapon control engineers, scientists, researchers, and product developers. Equally valuable, and of key interest to this national fire control community, are significant exercises, experiments, and wargames that provide realistic venues to evaluate hardware, software, tactics, techniques, procedures, and concepts of operation. Assessments and insights gained from these and other test venues are crucial to the future of fire control. We must learn from “on-the-fly” and “in-the-field” adaptations, as well as focusing on new technologies and capabilities to facilitate rapid development, and change in conjunction with these current and emerging capabilities. Submissions supporting all topics in this area are encouraged.
Fire control performance is generally dependent on a set of sub-systems integrated into an air, space, or surface platform. This topic focuses on the fire control solution from the platform perspective. Discussion of a platform’s impact on the fire control system performance is invited. In addition to considering offensive fire control performance, this topic also addresses defensive capabilities that enable the fire control system to perform in contested environments. Other areas included in this topic are:
The organic effectiveness of weapon systems is enhanced when integrated with other sensors and weapons. Joint systems can leverage networked or shared information from other platforms to achieve greater overall capability, with the potential to substantially improve joint and coalition operations to enable distributed lethality and integration of systems into an interoperable kill chain/ kill web. This topic will address:
Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) Modeling & Simulation (M&S) in tactical scenarios plays an increasingly important role in the development, assessment, and organizational training of integrated fire control capabilities. As the number, diversity, and complexity of interconnected fire control systems grow, field testing the resulting “integrated” capability becomes increasingly expensive and logistically demanding, requiring the coordination of assets from across the services. These same considerations pose significant limitations on the accomplishment of training objectives once systems are successfully fielded. Abstracts covering any technical aspect of LVC testing, M&S, or wargaming and training exercises are encouraged. Of particular interest are abstracts discussing:
Multi-Domain Command and Control & Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance is critical to the warfighter’s ability to deliver precision effects through the integration across domains with advanced networking, integrated sensor approaches, and multi-node collaboration/decision support tools. Abundant challenges exist to rapidly orient to evolving threats, and associated effective tasking, collection, processing, exploitation, dissemination, and management of the extensive and diverse set of data sources. These core capabilities and mission needs are imperative to provide warfighters with high velocity, decision quality and actionable combat data at the tactical edge. Abstracts are sought for current and proposed systems and technologies that solve these challenges and improve the warfighter’s ability to deliver precision effects through the integration of Battle Management/C2 and ISR capabilities to enable freedom of action. Examples of topics include, but are not limited to the following:
DoD continues to transform into a lighter, highly flexible, and more effective fighting force. Changes on the battlefield accelerate the need for speed and efficiency in meeting warfighter needs. In a fiscally constrained environment, new capability development often requires being reliant on mature and adaptable technology with short acquisition schedules. This topic will focus on supporting fire control in the following areas:
As our fire control systems become more complicated depending on multi-sensor inputs (EO, IR, RF, offboard), there needs to be a capability to fuse sensor data, as well as integrate and manage onboard and dispersed sensors to reach a fire control solution. This topic includes sensor fusion at the data, feature, and decision levels. Additionally, abstracts will be accepted that address Sensor Resource Management (SRM) technologies that incorporate SRM as a top tier system-of-systems function with real-time (or near real-time) interfaces to battle management and planning, command, and control such as:
Theatre and Homeland Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense, supporting both Homeland Defense and Operational forces, continues to evolve from organic sensor-shooter systems to networked sensing, decision tools, and weapon elements that can support integrated fire control. These capabilities can expand the defended battlespace; accommodate multiple engagement conditions by improving defense capability against a full spectrum of threats to include cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, individual and swarming unmanned vehicles (UAV), rockets, artillery and mortars, and extend the radar horizon limitations. This topic invites abstracts addressing any aspect of these areas including:
Undersea warfare continues to be an increasingly complex operational environment for defensive and offensive military operations. Underwater situational awareness is critical for military advantage. New concepts for distributed underwater sensors and coordination are being developed. Other contributors to this complex environment include technological advances such as unmanned underwater vehicles. Maintaining the military advantage in the undersea environment is important for safe commercial shipping and defense of surface ships and submarines. The detection, classification, and targeting of tunnels and buried land targets present a different yet similar set of challenges to the undersea problem. Examples of topics include, but are not limited to the following:
Unmanned systems continue to expand their presence on the battlefield from strategic High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) systems conducting strategic surveillance, down to small hand launched systems. Today many unmanned systems serve to carry Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) sensors or communications relay payloads, while a number of platforms are being weaponized. Unmanned systems of all types will continue to be an integral part of modern-day combat fire control. This topic invites abstracts that focus on any fire control-related aspect of these platforms (whether in the air, on the ground, on the surface, or underwater) and will include, but are not limited to, such key topics as:
Space operations impact our warfighters’ effectiveness and provide indispensable strategic, operational, and tactical capability. This is especially true in A2/AD environments where space assets may provide our only visibility deep in denied territory. Our need for accurate and timely fire control requires situational awareness that, in turn, requires persistent intelligence, surveillance, & reconnaissance, and connectivity in the tactical theater, specifically in active combat locations. This topic seeks abstracts that address:
There are many options available for weapon engagement that are enabled by the future of netted systems and the increasing array of available weapons. The ability to engage targets globally is still a high priority that brings its own set of challenges. This topic will focus on one or more of the following areas: