The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Fires thrust seeks to enable warfighters employed in small, distributed units with tools to locate and decisively destroy larger enemy forces by applying timely, reliable, precise and accurate fires from a myriad of platforms. Products will equip warfighters with integrated, light-weight optics and sensors to see through all battlefield conditions (day, night, low-light, obscuration) and light-weight, organic, advanced weapons for the rapid, accurate, effective application of firepower. Productions would also equip tactical units frequently operating well beyond conventional parameters of direct fire mutual support. The increased intelligence capabilities delivered by company intelligence cells will generate more potential targets in the future. Technology investment areas include:
- Targeting and Engagement: Developing targeting technologies (detection, locating, identification, designation, and tracking) for faster, more precise engagements, while simplifying tasks for the warfighter. Specific interests include: precision location of targets, reduction of ballistic flight error, and eye-safe, low-power, designation technology.
- Advanced Ammunition: Providing more capable, lighter weight ammunition across the spectrum of lethality (to include contained collateral damage situations); with increased reliability, range and precision; for direct and indirect fire weapons, small arms through major caliber; with low costs and logistics burden, and increased operating, transportation and storage safety; and increased shelf life with reduced storage maintenance requirements. Specific interests include affordable guided flight control, improved first round Probability of Kill (Pk) and novel seeker technologies.
- Advanced Weapons: Increasing the capabilities and reducing the weight of the Marine Ground Combat Element (GCE) through Marine Rifle Company organic weapons systems and Navy Expeditionary Combat Command organic weapons systems. Specific interests include: reducing weight and cost, increasing range and safety, and extending the service life.
- Energetic Materials: Investigating the fundamental science of energetic materials that will lead to the development of ammunition propellants with improved performance and minimized safety hazards. Specific interests include: improving timing and initiation behavior; reducing shock, impact, storage and transportation hazards; furthering the understanding of material properties at the nanoscale.
Fires Science and Technology Challenges
Targeting and Engagement
- Miniature guidance, navigation and control system for 81mm mortar high explosives projectiles to enable affordable precision fires for battalions
- Miniature azimuth sensors with 1mil accuracy, for precision target location
- Novel low power eye safe laser designator technologies, for eye-safe, light0weight, low-power target designation
- Advanced focal plane array, miniature display and scene enhancement technologies; to enable threat detection, recognition and identification out to effective ranges of small arms and crew served weapons
- Novel warhead technologies that combine kill mechanisms for various target sets
- Improved reliability and output of safety-and-arming and ignition devices, to improve munitions reliability
- Reduced small caliber ammunition weight (by 50 percent) and volume (by 40 percent), to "lighten the load" and reduce logistics burden of ammunition
- Manufacturing processes that improve characteristics of materials used in weapons systems, to reduce weight and to extend service life
- Integrated tactical network of threat detection sensors and remotely operated weapons systems on moving vehicles, to enable coordinated threat response
The Expeditionary Maneuver and Combating Terrorism Department welcomes innovative ideas and white papers in response to the ONR long-range broad agency announcement.
Download the Fires Thrust area's Willful Intent slides.