White Paper - Laser System Development

The Director, Operational Test and Evaluation’s (DOT&E)   Joint Test and Evaluation (JT&E) Program assists the warfighter in solving operational problems through the development of non-materiel solutions.   OSD/DOT&E chartered the J-FLaME two-year joint test (JT) on 27 August 2014 to develop tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) for the integration of directed energy lasers (DELs) in support of joint operations.   Naval Surface Warfare Division Dahlgren is the project sponsor.   The JT team leverages existing doctrine while introducing new procedures required due to the nature of this innovative weapon.   The team works collaboratively with subject matter experts to draft the TTP.   These TTP are then tested during field tests and modified based on test results and warfighter input.   Final TTP product delivery is in August 2016.

The United States and its partners face a spectrum of new asymmetric threats and challenges associated with the Anti-Access/Area Denial environment.   These threats include a multitude of small, low-cost, airborne and surface-borne platforms such as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and small boats.   As the asymmetric threat pushes the limits of conventional defensive systems, directed energy in the form of laser weapons offers numerous advantages, either as an adjunct to conventional systems or as stand-alone systems.   These advantages include deep magazines, low cost per shot, rapid and precision engagement, and variable lethality.   The DEL provides an increased emphasis on precise accuracy and on nonlethal and graduated effects.   DEL systems will be employed at the tactical level supporting both surface-to-surface and surface-to-air fires, and later air-to-surface fires (air-to-air fires will not be addressed in this TTP due to the joint test’s limited scope).   As the DEL is new to the complex battlefield, it requires development of appropriate command and control measures.   Coordination measures (CMs) are required...