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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 8, 1996


Deep Attack Weapons Mix Study

The ability to precisely strike targets deep in the heartland of a potential adversary is a critical operational capability of our Armed Forces. The Military Services field an expanding arsenal of deep attack munitions, which can be delivered from a variety of platforms -- land- and sea-based tactical aircraft, long-range bombers, sea-based cruise missiles, and land-based ballistic missiles.

The Deep Attack Weapons Mix Study (DAWMS) is a cross-service review of all our deep strike capabilities, both the munitions themselves and the delivery platforms. It is a follow-on to the Congressionally-directed Heavy Bomber Study that was completed in May 1995. In addition, conducting such a study was one of the major recommendations of the 1995 Commission on Roles and Missions.

The study is divided into two parts. The first part, which is already underway, is developing models and metrics to measure and compare the operational effectiveness of different deep strike packages, and conducting weapons mix cost-effectiveness and force-inventory analyses. It is also examining organizational arrangements for providing timely intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, as well as flexible command and control to support effective deep attacks. The analyses is examining projected capabilities in three time periods: 1998, 2006 and 2014. The objective of the first part of the study is to identify the appropriate mix of different munitions for our current force structure, focusing in particular on tradeoff(s) between stand-off and direct attack weapons and the needed inventories of different precision-guided munitions.

Some Members of Congress have raised concerns about the adequacy of our bomber force. In the response, the President has directed the Department of Defense to address these concerns in a second phase of the DAWMS. This part of the study will focus on the potential that the growing inventory and the increasing capabilities of the weapons could allow some consolidation of the ships, aircraft, and missiles that deliver these weapons. The increasing precision of modern munitions and the reduced vulnerability provided by stand-off weapons supported by timely intelligence and advanced command and control holds the promise of producing a reduction in the number of sorties required for deep attack missions. This potential reduction could produce opportunities for appropriate force structure and delivery platform tradeoffs. The second part of the study is to be submitted to Secretary Perry and General Shalikashvili in early 1997.

DAWMS is under the direction of an oversight committee co-chaired by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is being conducted in a collaborative effort by the Joint Staff, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Requirements, the Director of Strategic and Tactical Systems, the Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation and the military services. The study is being supported by the Institute for Defense Analyses.

In addition, to support both parts of this study, the Defense Science Board (DSB) will be asked to form a special panel to provide an independent assessment of the analytic tools and models employed and make any recommendations for improvement in the study's analytic approach. The DSB will also be updated on the progress of the Phase 2 periodically.

The core objective of this two-part study is to evaluate the different combination and quantities of deep attack capabilities -- both weapons and platforms -- to ensure that we have the most cost-effective and operationally sound force. The study's results as they are available will be used to develop the Fiscal Year 1998 and Fiscal Year 1999 defense programs.