BALTIMORE (Nov. 7, 2016) - The U.S. Army's platform community has been faced with challenges in keeping pace with the rapid evolution of technology, and no matter how great the technology is provided to the Soldier, it has minimal impact if it cannot be effectively integrated in a timely fashion, officials said.Aberdeen Proving Ground organizations discussed hardware/software convergence during MILCOM 2016 at the Baltimore Convention Center Nov. 1.The U.S. Army Material Command's Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, is working to improve the engineering agility of the Army's systems and trying to improve the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or C4ISR, systems to provide faster technological advancement in the field for the Soldier."The threat is very dynamic," said Mark Kitz, acting director of System of Systems Engineering for Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors. "The communications infrastructures that we have today is very brittle and fragile to how we conduct our jamming operations of tomorrow."Kitz was joined by CERDEC Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate's Intel Technology and Architecture Branch Chief Benjamin Peddicord and CERDEC Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate systems engineer Ronald Kane."To me, the most important problem we are trying to address is that it takes too long to deploy new capabilities to the field," Peddicord said. "So if we accept the idea that we can't predict the future and that we need to be agile, we need to be able to adapt our systems to a changing environment, then we need to build them differently. We need to do something different so we can drop in new capabilities rapidly."The Army's science and technology community is addressing the challenges with a uniform open-system architecture, which will allow for faster, more flexible hardware and software upgrades for the tactical edge by replacing a capability processing card. This effort is known as hardware/software convergence.One of the solutions CERDEC is currently working on is building truly modular systems to allow new capability to be dropped in without have to tear out all of the existing capabilities.This eliminates the number of boxes on platforms, as well as reduce redundant government-off-the-shelf items and save time, money and other logistical burdens associated with retrofits back at the Army's depots.Not only will this enable the agility of the Army to deal with unprecedented future needs, it will also help to reduce platform size, weight, power and cooling aspects, and help reduce redundant systems on these platforms. In the long term it will save time, money and things related to logistics support associated with the future retro fits to these platforms.----The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.