Industrial College of the Armed Forces: Industry Studies 2001: Munitions   [open pdf - 87KB]

Munitions are critical war-fighting commodities of the modern military. Historically, this industry included a wide variety of weapons: small arms, mortars, cannons, artillery, gun munitions, bombs, rockets, missiles, chemical munitions, mines, demolition material, grenades, flares, torpedoes, nuclear weapons and pyrotechnics - without which a military cannot fight successfully. Munitions, however, are in the midst of a transition from the traditional free-fall weapons ("dumb bombs") to precision guided munitions (PGMs), with the ability to hit specific targets across increasing distances during all-weather conditions with minimal collateral damage. This paper focuses on the ongoing transition. PGMs are becoming more complex and much more expensive. They are requiring increasing amounts of national imagery and communication resources. PGMs promise a greatly improved war-fighting capability, but their management within the Department of Defense (DoD) is fragmented, both within and among the services. Finally, munitions, even the preferred precision guided weapons, are not adequately funded because of other modernization requirements. Budget reductions in both the United States and Europe are driving a wave of consolidations on both sides of the Atlantic. Competition among the remaining firms is fierce. Accomplishing Joint Vision 2020 (JV 2020) goals of precision engagement and focused logistics will require more resources and long range disciplined planning devoted to munitions.

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Industrial Studies 2001
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