This is part 1 of a 2-part special report on Army R&D.
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is zeroed in on key initiatives aimed at giving soldiers an edge on future battlefields against advanced adversaries.
There are only 10 efforts that have been deemed essential research programs, ARL Director Philip Perconti noted in an interview with National Defense.
“We want to make sure that the laboratory is focused on the priority problems and answering questions … that will get the Army to multi-domain operations,” he said.
ARL’s long-range distributed and collaborate engagements program is in line with the service’s top modernization priority: long-range precision fires.
The aim is “to be able to take multiple munitions and have them either combine their effects or deliver an effect in some coordinated way from a very long range, which requires a sophisticated amount of technology,” Perconti said.
The lab is trying to figure out how the Army can develop networked weapons full of cutting-edge sensors and other components that can survive hundreds of Gs and be delivered precisely. The systems would also need to be affordable, he noted.