Smart aircraft

Smart aircraft

A drone directed by one or more Soldiers through uncontested skies is a thing of the past. Army aviation is developing collaborative and intelligent systems for manned and unmanned fleets in contested air-space. by Mr. Kevin Kee Future warfare will present challenges to Army aviation assets not seen since the contested airspace of World War II. Communication, navigation and command-and-control systems will be degraded and jammed, and aircraft will encounter air defense threats with new capabilities. While sobering, these challenges offer an opportunity to leverage autonomy and teaming in both manned and unmanned aircraft. Army aviation uses a manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) capability first fielded in 2009. This capability provides full-motion […]

Strength in architecture

Strength in architecture

Development of a government-led architecture specification promises to transform Army aviation mission systems. by Mr. Scott Wigginton and Mr. William “Bill” Jacobs Mission systems provide crucial elements of our warfighting capabilities—in the case of aviation mission systems, components integrated directly onto an air vehicle and encompassing traditional avionics (communications, navigations and displays, for example) as well as specific warfighting capabilities (weapons and sensors). Current methods of acquiring these systems, however, lead to duplication of effort and a multiplicity of requirements for different contractors providing essentially the same capability. The Aviation Development Directorate (ADD) of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Command (AMRDEC) is researching new methods […]

Simple Intent, Complex Mission

Simple Intent, Complex Mission

An eight-month assignment as chief of contracting in Kandahar yields an abundance of lessons learned. by Maj. Michael Z. Keathley The commander’s intent for U.S. Army Expeditionary Contracting Command – Afghanistan—the clear, concise expression of what the force must do and the conditions it must establish to accomplish the mission while allowing subordinates the greatest possible freedom of action—directs Soldiers and civilians to “stay left of bang,” “exploit the data” and “leave lasting footprints.” These three axioms have worked well to produce successful contracting operations. But between the seemingly simple principles and the successes is a universe of best practices based on lessons learned in contracting environments that are anything […]