Technology Demonstrators Definitions
Whilst an increase in Technology Demonstration activities with
TTCP Group activities is a laudable objective, in order for this
action to be executed, clear definitions of the scope and intent
of Technology Demonstration within the context of TTCP is required.
Certainly, experience with some of the Groups has revealed that
there is no common, accepted definition of what constitutes a
Technology Demonstrator (TD). In some cases, Groups have requested
clarification of the scope and definition of a TD. Each TTCP
participating nation has its own scoping definition.
The Australian approach is to use the terminology "Capability
and Technology Demonstrator - CTD", with the objective of
providing opportunities to demonstrate whether advanced technology
can provide significant enhancement in priority capability areas. One
objective is to conduct limited exploration of higher risk
approaches to determine if a means exists by which advanced technology
may enhance the military capability. However, a CTD would only
be undertaken when (successful) incorporation is likely. Recognition
of an industrial technology capability is an issue as is the issue
of government and industry risk sharing.
Succinctly, the CTD may be defined as:
"A project that demonstrates how technology may be
operationally exploited to enhance Defence capability in a previously
The focus is on a technology-driven capability. Technical
risk assessment is a key area for CTDs to explore.
The Canadian R&D Branch has a Technology Demonstration
Programme targeted at demonstrating and/or validating technological
solutions to new or emerging forces operational and/or systems
concepts. Proof-of concept investigations based upon new or emerging
technologies are conducted, in addition to narrower risk reduction
initiatives for equipment acquisitions under advanced development.
Support from the Canadian Forces operational community and
industrial participation are key factors in project selection. With
respect to scope of technical maturity, the Canadian programme
spans the US ACTD and ATD programmes, covering technologies primarily
in the 6.2 and 6.3 definitions, although occasionally it can go
beyond 6.3 with increased stakeholder participation.
US Definition - ACTD
The US has selected the title "Advanced Concept Technology
Demonstrations - ACTDs" in this context and the programme
aims to achieve capability demonstrations and evaluation. The
primary objective is the development and employment of technology
and innovative operational concepts by the military user. Some
constraints and characteristics are:
- Technology can come from any source.
- The objective is to assess the utility of near-term
deployable solutions which respond to an endorsed military need.
- An interim capability must result directly from the ACTD to
facilitate evaluation and refinement of solutions.
- The ACTD is structured to support rapid transition into
formal acquisition. It is understood that the US also has a separate
Advanced Technology Demonstrator Programme.
US Definition - ATD
The Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) programme of the
three Services aims to accelerate the maturation of advanced
to upgrade existing systems and enable the development of next
and future generation systems. In US funding and programming
parlance, this equates to part of the 6.3 programme. In essence
the key objective is to bring together the Service requirements
staff and industry to explore the technical feasibility, affordability
and potential of technologies to support current and emerging
Risk assessment and risk reduction are included as implicit
objectives, through ATDs permitting the exploration of technical
options and the elimination of unattainable technologies in the
early stages of a programme. An Integrated Product/Process Development
(IPPD) team is mandatory for all ATDs.
Characteristics for and requirements of ATDs include:
- Potential for new or enhanced military operational
capability not covered by another programme.
- A programme with a duration of no more than three to four
years, endorsed by the materiel developer. Costs may be typically
between $2M and $100M.
- Agreement by the User community that the stated minimum
performance is militarily significant.
- Participation by the Director of Combat Development, Battle
Lab. etc. in test and demonstration.
- A reasonable chance of the transition of the technology
after completion of the ATD.
The UK has a multi-faceted Technical/Technology Demonstration
Programme within its defence research structure. The main objectives
of the TD activities are:
- Reduce technological or industrial risks in subsequent
- Demonstrate novel system capability.
- Provide pull-through link between research and projects.
The UK has four types of TD activity:
- The Applied Research Technology Demonstration,
which aim to prove research principles within the ARP. Consistent with
the broad remit of the ARP, the aims are to quantify cost and risk to
enable the formulation of operational requirements which will meet
forces needs for affordable equipments planned to enter service over
the next 20 years.
- The Operational Concept Demonstration.
This aims to allow the service end-user to evaluate the military worth
of technology, ahead of an acquisition commitment.
- The Equipment Project Technology Demonstration.
This has the main objective of reducing production risk within an
endorsed procurement project.
- Technology Demonstator Programme. This
provided generic technical risk reduction post-research, but ahead of
Technology demonstration is seen to reduce technical and
- Expanding a range of concepts and equipment which may be
considered as feasible in formulating requirements.
- Reducing overall equipment development costs.
- Advancing the dates by which desired levels of in-service
equipments can be achieved.
- Highlighting problem areas.
- Incorporating new technologies for equipments already in
- Upgrading in-service equipments.
Basis of TTCP Technology Demonstrators
It can be seen from the individual summaries of the four
outline definitions of Technology Demonstration/Demonstrators
- unfortunately no data on a comparable initiative has been received
from New Zealand - that there are both common objectives but also
certain differences between the nations. For a consideration
and distillation of the programme definitions, the following generic
objectives and candidate definition are proposed for TTCP Technical
Demonstrators, aiming to assist Exec. Chairs in their identification
of candidate TDs and formulation of joint TDs.
Generic Objectives of TTCP TDs
- Provide opportunities for the participating nations jointly
to demonstrate whether advanced technology can enhance significant
equipment/functional capability in defined military capability areas.
- To demonstrate and validate the efficacy of novel
technology to new or emerging military forces operational and/or
- To act as a focus and catalyst for the integration of
complementary technologies in a system context. Key aims and objectives
are to assess and demonstrate successful and effective integration into
a system solution. Technologies from within a single Group and across
Groups should be considered.
- To act as a vehicle for the identification and reduction of
technical risk and the quantification of residual risk in taking
through the TD product to full development, production and eventual
- To construct a demonstrator system of military relevance
and application, allowing interoperability with the participating
nation's existing equipments to be assessed.
- To provide a co-ordinated technology set which can be
demonstrated and indeed assessed by the participating nation's military
users. This will assist in the pull-through of research into possible