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Science and Technology (S&T)

What is it?
The Army S&T strategy supports the Army's goals to restore balance between current and future demands by providing new technologies to enhance the upgrade and modernization of systems in the Current Force and to enable new capabilities in the Future Force. The S&T program supports all four major elements of Army modernization: 1) rapidly field the best new equipment to the Current Force; 2) upgrade and modernize existing systems; 3) incorporate new technologies from Future Combat Systems (FCS), and 4) field the FCS Brigade Combat Teams.

What has the Army done?
Army S&T has enhanced Soldier protection in the Current Force by rapidly developing and transitioning force protection technologies that facilitated the expedient armor upgrades for the new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. Army S&T also provides the technology for many of the upgrade and modernization programs for existing systems.

What continued efforts does Army have planned for the future?

For FCS and the Future Force, the S&T program invests in a diverse portfolio of technologies and research to provide solutions across the spectrum of Army needs. The Army's largest S&T investments are for force protection technologies that include the ability to detect and neutralize improvised explosive devices, mines, rockets, artillery and mortars, to improve Soldier and vehicle survivability, and to enhance area/facilities protection.

The S&T portfolio also includes investments in technology for command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, lethality, Soldier systems, unmanned systems, logistics, advanced simulation, medical and manufacturing technologies, and basic research. Basic research establishes the foundations for new technology by expanding the frontiers of knowledge. Promising areas of research with the potential to provide paradigm shifting capabilities include: nanomaterials for ballistic protection, biotechnology for improved materials for network sensors, network science to enable next generation network-centric technologies, neuroscience research and immersive simulations for training, mission rehearsal, and improved Soldier performance in multi-cultural environments.

Why is this important to the Army?
The technological sophistication required for 21st Century operations constantly increases with the broadening nature of threats and the greater availability of technology to our adversaries. Much of the Army's ongoing research is characterized as high-risk, high-payoff—the type that the private sector is not likely to sustain over the "long haul" because there is no linkage to acquisition programs at the outset of research. This high-risk research is essential if we are to achieve the technological breakthroughs for dramatic performance improvements in the Army's systems. One such breakthrough in guidance and control technology led to the "Excalibur" precision artillery munition that has virtually eliminated collateral damage to noncombatants. Today's Current Force has significant technology-enabled advantages as a result of the Army's past investments in S&T, particularly in night vision, precision munitions, and individual Soldier protection. Scientists and engineers continue to expand the limits of our understanding to provide technology to our Soldiers in the systems they use to achieve transformational capabilities required for decisive victories.

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