In this paper we discuss a common set of image processing functions arising from selected Army, Air Force, and Navy tactical scenarios. These include target detection, recognition, multiple target tracking, target handoff, fire control, bandwidth compression and aimpoint selection. A number of VHSIC objectives are considered, including reduced acquisition cost, fault tolerance, reliability, maintainability, reduced support costs, and reduced pilot load. The image processing problem requires a throughput capacity of 10x109 instructions/sec in a volume of less than one cubic foot and a power requirement of less than 300 watts. Approaches to the design problem in terms of architecture, software, hardware, and testability are indicated.