REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Jan. 3, 2023) – The whiteboard in U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center Director Jeff Langhout’s office is a testament to the missions accomplished in 2022, and the important work yet to be done for the warfighter in 2023.
Technological strides made at major demonstrations that will ultimately shape the Army of 2030 – to include successes within Precision Strike Missile, Intelligent Teaming and Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher programs? Check.
Provide top-notch support to the Center’s partners and customers, with a special focus on strengthening relationships? Check.
Langhout’s mantra, be intentional? Check.
And that’s just a few of the goals the AvMC workforce exceeded in 2022.
“Maybe I didn’t have lofty enough goals, because we checked all those boxes,” Langhout said with a smile. “We have so much more work to do – lots of fun things ahead for 2023.”
That work is to develop, integrate, demonstrate and sustain aviation and missile systems capabilities to improve readiness and shape the Army of 2030 and beyond. 2022 accomplishments – a list that could take Langhout hours to expound upon – included support to the Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team at the 2022 Experimental Demonstration Gateway Event and Project Convergence in the area of intelligent teaming; progress with the Precision Strike Missile; and a positive demonstration of the Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher.
“What is impressive to me about the Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher is the team was asked to do a lot in a ridiculously short period of time,” Langhout said. “Their engineering can-do spirit said we’ll get it done, and when all is said and done, they ended up getting things done faster than they thought they could. So not only did the team overachieve from my perspective, but they overachieved from their perspective. It’s just another great reminder about the quality of people that make up this great workforce.”
Looking forward to 2023, PrSM increment two, continues to be the “number one requirement” for the Center, with “lots of milestones” ahead.
“2023 will be another big year for that team, and we’re excited about the upcoming flight test,” Langhout said. “It largely goes unheralded – so much stuff goes on behind the scenes, yet I’m lucky enough to see pieces of it. If anybody can pull it off, we’ll be able to pull it off. As I remind people, this is hard work. A lot of times technology doesn’t follow the calendar. All we can do is give it 100%, and I am 100% convinced that’s what our team is doing.”
AvMC’s science and technology contributions to the Army in the new year will be more than just physical – they’ll be virtual too. Langhout will be looking to the Center’s Game Studio in 2023 to figure out gaming tools Soldiers could use to train in fighting future battles with some of the capabilities that have yet to be fielded.
“I really want to play some of these virtual games, because I think a big part of what we’ve got to do is figure out how we’re going to use this stuff,” Langhout said. “Yes, it’ll be plenty hard enough to build it and make the technology work, but we owe it to our Army to figure out how we’re going to use it as well, and that’s an area we can really help Army Futures Command.”
Other things to look for from AvMC in 2023? More strides in intelligent teaming, electric vertical take-off and landing, support to the Army in creating an autonomous Black Hawk, more simulation and hardware-in-the-loop work for the Center’s missile defense customers, and laser focus on missile and aviation sustaining engineering and all things airworthiness – the list goes on as the AvMC workforce strives to solve the Army’s really hard aviation and missile challenges.
“There’s a lot of reasons to be bullish on 2023,” Langhout said. “We are fortunate to be in the AvMC workforce because we get to be the engineers working across the entire lifecycle of our weapon systems. It is such an honor be able to serve our Army in such broad ways.”
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.