Military researchers approach industry for rapid responses to time-sensitive enemy threats

March 6, 2019
WASHINGTON – U.S. military researchers are asking industry for new ideas on rapid responses to time-sensitive enemy threats like mobile nuclear missiles and other relocatable weapons of mass destruction.
WASHINGTON – U.S. military researchers are asking industry for new ideas on rapid responses to time-sensitive enemy threats like mobile nuclear missiles and other relocatable weapons of mass destruction.

Officials of the Washington Headquarters Services in Washington issued a broad agency announcement on Monday (HQ0034-19-BAA-TSTMPD-0001) for the Time-Sensitive Target Mission Payloads Demonstration project.

Experts are looking for offers on how to advance space-based and high-altitude-based payloads and enabling technologies that support attack operations against time-sensitive targets, including analysis, experimentation, and demonstration.

Enemy threats from missiles and other weapons of mass destruction continue to grow, which underlines the importance of maintaining defensive capabilities. This threat is likely to increase and grow more complex, officials say.

Related: Warfighters on the digital battlefield require robust information technology for secure, reliable, real-time access to mission-critical information

Enemy missiles are mobile, survivable, reliable, accurate, and long range. While deterrence is the preferred strategy against missile attack, a broader approach is necessary.

U.S. military capabilities to attack time-sensitive targets like mobile missiles prior to launch at stand-off-ranges with precision-strike weapons can disrupt, or destroy an enemy’s missiles before launch, and reduce the number of enemy missiles to be intercepted in flight.

Space-based and high-altitude reconnaissance assets like electro-optical and infrared satellites and synthetic aperture radar are crucial to engage time-sensitive targets. The same is true for targeting analysis, threat capability assessment, situational awareness, battle damage assessment, and fire control quality data.

Yet space is a naturally hazardous environment and is increasingly congested, contested, and competitive. Natural threats to satellites include solar activity, radiation belts, and natural orbital debris, while man-made threats include satellite debris, electromagnetic interference, jamming, lasing, cyber attacks, and anti-satellite weapons.

Related: Air Force seeks to use artificial intelligence (AI) for attack planning on enemy moving targets

Features of a space-based or high-altitude sensor payload may include collecting intelligence under all feasible natural or hostile conditions; extracting target information in the presence of clutter and noise; processing information in real time; operating in harsh environments; exploiting artificial intelligence; using autonomy to reduce or eliminate human intervention; and demonstrating resiliency to enemy threats.

This project has three phases: white papers, concept design studies, and demonstrations. Companies should email white papers no later than 15 March 2019 -- nine days away -- to [email protected].

White papers should define a payload or enabling technology for attack operations against time-sensitive targets. Companies submitting promising white papers may be invited to participate in concept design studies and demonstrations.

Email questions or concerns to Sharon Hilton at [email protected] or Christina Gess at [email protected]. More information is online at

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About the Author

John Keller | Editor

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

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