REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (April 4, 2022) – Modular Open Systems Approach is the future for the U.S. Army and what better place to showcase that future than the Army’s premier aviation conference.
The Program Executive Office Aviation and U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center are joining together for their largest booth ever at the Army Aviation Association of America’s Aviation Mission Solutions Summit 2022 this week in Nashville, Tennessee. The booth will feature seven different interactive stations staffed by MOSA experts from both organizations.
PEO Aviation will conduct the demo while AvMC is central to the ability to do that by providing substantial subject matter expertise and integrating efforts from across the PEO Aviation.
“AvMC is supporting the MOSA Transformation Office in organizing and demonstrating MOSA objectives in a clear and concise manner as a tool for general officers and program managers to gain a solid understanding of its significance to rapidly field modular, open and reliable capabilities to the Warfighter,” said Barbara Jennings, OpenITB and Fixed Wing High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System Contractor Project Lead for the Software, Simulation, Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate.
Booth visitors will learn how making key modularity and openness decisions will enhance the Army Aviation’s fleet by expanding its capabilities to keep pace with new threats -- especially as technology rapidly evolves, use a representative cockpit that demonstrates modularity and openness in flight capable software and hardware components, interact with Common Operating Pictures defined through modularity decisions and utilizing software capabilities from multiple third party vendors, take control of a ground vehicle or unmanned aerial vehicle with the same controller, and learn about modularity and openness evolutions in Army unmanned vehicle systems.
They will also see MOSA based communications equipment in action, experience how the use of open systems and commercially available products can be integrated to bring new capabilities to the soldier, and learn how MOSA will support the joint force commanders' mission planning to compete, deter and win against the enemy.
It is an opportunity for the MOSA experts to bring clarity to a process that for some is still nebulous. The Army historically has not always embraced change, but in the current climate with emerging threats, MOSA is simply not a catchphrase or a fad, but a fundamental transformation to how PEO Aviation and the greater Army functions, said Matt Sipe, Director of MOSA Transformation for PEO Aviation.
“For modernization, critical to where we go in the Army or really across services, everyone is facing the same problems,” Sipe said. “If we expect to keep a modern and relevant fleet, we have to figure out a more effective and efficient way to pursue that.”
The demo is also an opportunity to meet with leaders from the industrial base to have a dialogue about what will be expected from them and what they will be able to provide. Sipe said that while MOSA is meant to be a disruptor – they do not want to constrain the industrial base so severely that they end up with a weak industrial base.
“This is a valuable effort and something we must do within the Army,” Sipe said. “But it will come with investment costs. Acquisition and how we fund MOSA efforts will have to continue to evolve. Currently, funding aligns to user requirements. MOSA is more about how we acquire things to achieve certain objectives vs procuring a specific end user capability. For example: MOSA doesn’t give the Warfighter a new gun, but MOSA can certainly help us procure a new gun quicker and/or more affordably. Since funding aligns to user requirements, this makes funding a challenge for implementation of MOSA across the enterprise. However, Title X clearly gives the charge to go do MOSA. We have to realize, if we want to reap the benefits of MOSA, we need to be willing to make the investments needed for MOSA.”
“PEO Aviation recognizes that we must operate more effectively and efficiently,” Jennings added. “The Army has a need to maintain a modern aviation fleet. Enduring platforms must remain ready and relevant to meet evolving threats as the future vertical lift aircraft are introduced. MOSA Transformation is changing the way we introduce capabilities. It will enable flexible capability insertions. We will be able to introduce capabilities better, faster and cheaper. We are breaking the cycle of one vendor provides us a single capability in a single Line Replaceable Unit.
“Showcasing these objectives at AAAA in the form of realized successes across PMs gets decision makers excited about prospects for their own programs.”
The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.
The Program Executive Office Aviation supports the Army’s operational commanders by delivering capabilities to the Combat Aviation Brigade. In support of the Army Modernization Strategy, PEO Aviation is preparing for future Multi-Domain Operations battlefields by developing capabilities that meet or exceed the CAB commander’s existing and emerging requirements to ensure an MDO ready fleet by 2028 and an MDO capable force by 2035.