HomeMission AreasPrecision StrikeOverview 


The core purpose of APL's Precision Strike organization is to enhance the nation's ability to deter, fight, and win wars. Our mission is to conceive and develop integrated precision strike capabilities for the U.S. government. Our vision is to be an acknowledged leader for innovative, operationally relevant, end-to-end solutions that support warfighter "effects on demand." We focus on achieving the end effects desired in a given situation, and we seek innovative solutions to difficult problems and work to ensure that these solutions can be truly integrated into the nation's overall warfighting capabilities. Our values are:

  • Dedication to the defense of the nation,
  • Recognition of the worth of our staff,
  • Commitment to our responsibilities,
  • Excellence in all that we do,
  • Integrity in our actions, and
  • Objectivity in our perspectives.

Detect and Engage CycleAt APL, Precision Strike programs are organized around the three top-level functions that must be performed in order for the military to conduct conventional power projection missions: Detect, Control, and Engage. A precision engagement starts with gathering and processing intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting information (Detect). The results, along with the commander's intent, then pass to decision makers who determine how and with what weapons an engagement will be conducted (Control). These decisions are then passed to the detailed weapons planners and finally to the executers—those who operate the ships, submarines, or aircraft that launch the weapons (Engage). Weapons systems may produce kinetic effects, such as the Tomahawk conventional weapon, or non-kinetic effects, such as the suppression of enemy surface-to-air missiles by the EA-6B aircraft.

After the engagement, the process starts again by detecting and assessing the damage and deciding whether another engagement of that target is desired or to move on to the next. We are seeking concepts and technologies for all three functions to enable significant shortening of this process—from the days and hours of today to minutes and seconds in the future.

Significant Precision Strike programs active at APL include those in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting (ISRT); Navy ship and submarine weapons systems and precision weapons launched from those platforms; and Navy, Air Force, and Joint tactical aircraft and their air-launched precision weapons. We are also focused on significantly increasing our contributions in the critical area that ties these together—command and control (C2). In other words, APL is today a critical contributor to the nation's capabilities in Detect and Engage and is rapidly increasing its contributions to the nation's Control capabilities. We are leveraging our historic role of developing advanced precision engagement systems for U.S. Navy sponsors into the development of transformational capabilities for the future joint warfighting environment through efforts for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Special Operations Forces, and other agencies.