By Argie Sarantinos-Perrin, CCDCOctober 21, 2019
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- Modernizing the Army involves more than developing new technologies into capabilities. It also involves maintaining equipment already in the Army's inventory and looking at new processes and ways to save time and money.
To ensure the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command is focusing on the right technology, CCDC Data and Analysis Center provides objective analysis, experimentation and data across the materiel lifecycle. This information not only leads to more timely development and fielding of technology, but also more return on investment.
"The Data and Analysis Center develops models and simulations that characterize future technologies. Using this information, we make informed decisions about technology that will affect Soldiers for many years," said Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, CCDC commanding general.
In addition to DAC, the CCDC team includes six centers and a laboratory where more than 10,000 scientists and engineers make discoveries and develop technologies that will become capabilities for the future force. Integration across its centers and laboratory is an important component of the command, as well as partnerships with other organizations. These partnerships enable the command to not only deliver technology more quickly, but also cost effectively.
"Integration is one of CCDC's charter missions for a reason," Wins said. "Recent modernization efforts focus on adding new capabilities to existing platforms. We need to take a cue from industry. They're proving every day that when you integrate technologies -- for example the phone, the tablet, the computer, the TV, the cloud -- you give the end user capabilities beyond what each technology can offer."
Whether it is teaming with industry or with one of its academic partners, CCDC is focused on developing cost-effective technologies needed to build capabilities and systems that support the Army's modernization priorities.
CCDC's cost savings projects include:
-- CCDC Aviation & Missile Center worked with General Electric Partnership to reutilize processing modules and components for the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter engine. The project not only improved the turnaround time to produce the engines, it also helped reduce the shortage of UH-60 helicopter engines. The estimated cost savings in FY19 was $7.53 million.
-- CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center partnered with Tank-Automotive and Armament Command, Life Cycle Management Command, Program Executive Office Combat Support and Combat Service Support and Product Director Light Tactical Vehicles to provide a safety analysis for High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle tires. The analysis allowed the Army to minimize the cost of replacing HMMWV tires, while maintaining a greater than 90 percent safety level for HMMWV tires in the fleet. The estimated cost savings was a minimum of $30 million.
-- CCDC Soldier Center Soldier developed the eSoldier, a tool used to evaluate equipment worn by Soldiers, including radios, GPS devices, power generators, Nett Warrior platform products and exo-skeletons. The government-owned system uses multiple sensors to record measurements on equipment in the field. It can measure up to 12 devices at once with high accuracy. The estimated cost savings over time will be more than $3 million.
-- The Army's CCDC-managed ManTech program partnered with the Anniston Army Depot, Corpus Christi Army Depot, National Institute of Science and Technology, Penn State University, America Makes Manufacturing USA Institute and Army Materiel Command to develop and qualify additive fabrication and repair manufacturing processes to repair and build new weapon systems components. Three additive technology areas were explored: cold spray, Laser Engineered Net Shaping and direct metal laser sintering. The cold spray project refurbished worn steel Bradley vehicle 25mm turret gun mounts. By repairing gun mounts, replacement parts do not need to be stockpiled, and the cost to repair each mount is $1,000 compared to purchasing a new mount for $25,000. The cost avoidance for LENS repair and cold spray was $255,000 in FY18; $191,000 in FY19; and projected as much as $4 million per year, starting in FY20.
--C5ISR Center worked with Communications-Electronic Command Integrated Logistics Support Center and Acquisition Contracting Center to buy 3,853 vehicle intercom headsets directly from the vendor instead of through the prime integrator for the vehicle intercom system, avoiding significant overhead and pass-through fees. The cost savings to the Army was more than $3 million.
The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC), formerly known as the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), has the mission to lead in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our Nation's wars and come home safely. The command collaborates across the Future Force Modernization Enterprise and its own global network of domestic and international partners in academia, industry and other government agencies to accomplish this mission. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.