Ambitious plans are in the works to pair stealth fighters with unmanned aerial vehicles that could serve as robotic wingmen in high-end combat. Missions could include a variety of tasks such as reconnaissance, electronic jamming, and marking or destroying targets. “The idea behind the remote carriers is that you will have a manned mothership, accompanied by … drones that are flying in the swarm, which are having to perform different tasks depending on the mission.
Top 50 Questions Implement Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) Concept to Connect Sensors from all Military Services into Coordinated Network
- Joint All-Domain Operations JADC2 concept provides commanders access to information to allow for simultaneous and sequential operations
- Surprise and the rapid and continuous integration of capabilities across all domains.
- Joint all-domain command and control, or JADC2, is envisioned as a way to better link the armed forces’ sensors and shooters on the battlefield.
- The Air Force has taken the lead on the effort through the development of its Advanced Battle Management System with high-profile “on-ramp” exercises this year where it has worked alongside industry to test numerous technologies.
- Data is the beating heart of JADC2. Its success will be dependent on efficiently managing information. The services must make information available via resilient networks and then control who can have access to it.
- A key part of JADC2 will be “the structure of the data, publishing it so it’s available and then making it so that you can subscribe to it and you can pull that data
- Build your own common operational picture any way you want.”
- The Air Force is working alongside the Army as it pursues combined JADC2 and recently entered into a memorandum of understanding to “build the interconnected digital infrastructure
- Must allow our services to bring each of our capabilities to the flight and still connect to one another.”
- Current decades-old platforms cannot adequately leverage new technology; and the supporting structures to enable future C2 either do not exist or require maturation.
- DoD officials have stressed that a JADC2 architecture would enable commanders to 1) rapidly understand the battlespace, 2) direct forces faster than adversaries, and 3) deliver phase linked combat effects across all domains.
- JADC2 envisions providing a network battlespace for the Joint force to share intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data, transmitting across many communications networks, to enable faster decision making.
- JADC2 intends to enable commanders to make better decisions by collecting data from numerous sensors, processing the data using artificial intelligence algorithms to identify targets
- Recommending the optimal weapon—both kinetic and nonkinetic e.g. electronic weapons to engage the target.
- “When you lay the data strategy out and you really go to the principles inside of it, what you’ll see even down to the vision statement is it really is about creating operational advantage and efficiencies.
- The operational advantage puts JADC2 right at the heart of the data strategy and it was designed to be that way.”
- Some critics take a skeptical approach to JADC2. They raise questions about its technical maturity and affordability, and whether it is even possible to field a network that can securely and reliably connect sensors to shooters and support command and control in a lethal, electronic warfare-rich battlespace.
- JADC2 is not an easy endeavor. Sharing information across multiple security layers, harvesting data and then turning it into accessible, discoverable and transportable information is a challenge.
- While this year’s Convergence exercise focus on the Army, the service is already working with the Air Force to meld the two. “We have been in discussion with the Air Force for the better part of the year on how we integrate with the effort they have going on like live meetings on JADC2 [Joint All-Domain Command & Control] with all of the architects of ABMS.”
- Communications are a modernization priority since it provides the basis for sharing data between a wider array of Army robotic vehicles and device-carrying soldiers.
- It remains to be seen how well all of those Army pieces will connect to other services as part of the Pentagon’s new Joint All-Domain Command and Control networks.
- Key goal is to demonstrate the real-world value of the hard-to-describe effort in tangible, understandable ways. JADC2, previously named multi-domain operations command and control
- Relies on ABMS to develop software and algorithms so that artificial intelligence and machine learning can compute and connect vast amounts of data from sensors and other sources at a speed and accuracy far beyond what is currently attainable.
- “It is the core of adversaries warfighting strategy to gain an advantage in terms of their ability to affect decision-making at strategic, operational and tactical level.
- “The way we can counter that is through our own capabilities — call them ABMS, JADC2 allow us to maintain an advantage in terms of information.”
- Air Force has spearheaded critical efforts to upgrade the dated Department of Defense’s command and control systems. These efforts are better known as the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) under Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2).
- Advanced Battle Management System aims to fuse information sharing across the full spectrum of warfighting, from the fighter pilot’s cockpit to the echelons of maneuver commanders, matriculating down to the tactical-level operators.
- Critical to the Army’s contribution to JADC2 will be its new Multi-Domain Task Force because of its ability to provide long-range precision effects, as well as intelligence, information and cyber capabilities.
- The Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) community continues to evolve and progress. MDO is, and will be the fundamental enabler for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) and the way our nation fights future wars.
- The importance of widespread adoption is baked into ABMS’s founding concept. The Air Force intends ABMS to be the technical backbone of Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), a new command and control construct emphasizing decision speed across all the domains
- Air Force defines JADC2 as “the art and science of decision making… [in order to act] faster than an opponent.”
- Widespread adoption is fundamental because, as long as people rather than machines are responsible for critical choices, and deciding fast will require the widespread diffusion of decision authority.
- The only way to make a lot of critical choices fast is to have a lot of people making those choices. If only a few central decision makers can access ABMS, decisions will bottleneck and ABMS will fail JADC2.
- Advanced Battle Management System is the leading candidate to be the backbone of a future Joint All-Domain Command & Control (JADC2) network-of-networks linking all the armed services for many types of missions, including logistics
- Experiments in what’s called Joint All Domain Command & Control, like the Army’s Project Convergence and the Air Force’s ABMS “on-ramps,” aim to automate that process by transmitting data directly from machine to machine.
- The vision is that spy-satellite photos and other reconnaissance information flow into artificial intelligence software, which spots concealed foes far faster than human analysts can
- Priority targets are picked and sends precise targeting data to whatever friendly unit is best armed and located to strike, be it an aircraft, ground-based missile launcher, or other weapon.
- “We have some different systems. We have some different domains that we operate in, but we have already identified and seen great synergy in how we might link these together.
- That’s the goal of JADC2. “There’s not some science fiction going on that we’re all building to make work. It’s about taking the systems we have – the legacy systems we have, making them work together – and for all future systems we roll out and develop, they’re going to be built that way.”
- Navy struck down any notion that the services are not on the same page as they pursue JADC2, saying “we’re all in.”
- What is the relative priority for JADC2 compared with other major DoD programs?
- How have combatant commands embraced the JADC2 concept?
- Is there some resistance within DoD?
- What are the initial takeaways from Army and Air Force demos to implement JADC2?
- How do Navy/Marine requirements differ from the other services to implement new command and control concept?
- What personnel, equipment, facilities, and training resources would be required to achieve JADC2?
- What is the estimated cost for force-wide implementation and lifecycle upkeep of JADC2?
- When could the network become operational?
- What role would AI have in JADC2 development?
- How much human-in-the-loop decision making is necessary if sensors are linked to shooters in real-time?
Top 100 Outline Unmanned Systems Strategy/Approach to Develop/Deploy Ensure Tech Operates in Architecture of Operational Mission Networks
“Can Drone Swarms Map Battles in Real Time?”
With air and ground robots, DARPA tested autonomous systems built to scout and map battlespace environments. The drone swarm maps the neighborhood below, with buzzing and plotting, sharp angles and short orbits, creating in real time a blanket of surveillance over the selected objective.
Quadcopters are pieces in a greater whole, an incremental step to providing an expansive robot’s-eye view to humans fighting on the ground.
Quadcopters worked with ground robots to identify locations of interest and then create a perimeter around that objective, in a process DARPA likens to “the way a firefighting crew establishes a boundary around a burning building.”
Firefighting looms large in the modern conception of swarm tasks. A project was launched for drone swarms to model wildfires, with lessons applicable to military and battlefield uses.
Finding danger and plotting a path for humans through it is an ideal task for robots.
In an exercise, the swarm had to find a mock city center, an objective inside that building, and then provide situational awareness over the area in runs that lasted 30 minutes. The program wants to create in real life as close to the kind of real-time tactical information a person might find in a strategy video game.
The schedule is to have new exercises and new updates with the goal is for swarms of up to 250 drones to operate autonomously, providing real-time information to humans who can then move through the battlefield confident that the area has at least been robotically scouted and monitored.
Building tactics from the new capabilities, and machines specific to swarm-human teaming, will have to come later.
It’s worth looking at the swarms as a possible component of future battlefields, and when designing technologies to meet the needs of the now, keeping an open mind to how the functions of swarms might change in the future
Multi agent systems have become an essential part of the real-world applications of networks like Swarm Sense robotics-based systems. Due to the interconnection of multi agent systems and wireless networks, group of drones can be enabled to cooperate and coordinate them to perform the missions automatically, which require a large-area coverage, immediate data processing, efficient deployment without exact pre-planning, and uninterrupted cooperation and coordination during the emergency operations.
A common drone swarm system could consist of two drones unmanned aerial vehicle/over thousands of drones. The required autonomy increased to control such systems without any manual pilots, when the number of drones in a swarm system exceeded a predetermined threshold. Therefore, it is vital to create the autonomous drones which manage themselves automatically, effectively, and robustly in any anti-access, bandwidth-limited, and area-denied environments.
- Advance manned/unmanned teaming within the full range of Naval and joint operations
- Build a digital infrastructure that integrates and adopts unmanned capabilities at speed and scale.
- Incentivize rapid incremental development and testing cycles for unmanned systems.
- Disaggregate common problems, solve once, and scale solutions across platforms and domains
- Create a capability-centric and sustainable approach for unmanned contributions (platforms, systems, subsystems) to the force.
- Creation of an enduring plan of action and accountability through a concentrated group of senior authorities.
- Work across boundaries and barriers to connect enterprise vision with collaborative solutions
- Encouraging deliberate risk and embracing the “Red” culture improvement models.
- Adapting, learning, correcting, and attacking barriers.
- Driving a sense of urgency in improvement through centralized accountability and decentralized execution to maintain cohesion of plan and vision
- Platforms & Enablers Requirements, resources and investment plans through development of a cross-domain capability-centric lens, addressing whole capability solutions to rapidly integrate across the Force.
- Strategy, Concepts, & Analysis Alignment of strategic priorities, connecting cycle of analytics and informing and reporting on wargames, studies, exercises and experiments.
- Fleet Capability, Capacity, Readiness & Wholeness Derive employment plans, exercises and CONOPs to inform requirements applied to fleet issues regarding manning, training, and equipping the fleet
- RDT&E/Science & Technology Identifying, informing, and integrating the Naval Research Enterprise on focused capability development, validation and insertion.
- Logistics & Infrastructure Ensuring the maintenance, sustainment, basing, and support of unmanned systems is understood and prepared to scale with the fleet.
- Ensuring one coherent voice and vision is shared across the DON when it comes to the future of UxS.
- Free warfighter for critical operations, by automating routine/repetitive tasks
- Operate in complex and contested areas with reduced risk to life, force and mission
- Awareness and exploitation of physical operating environment
- Increased range, endurance and persistence – scalable beyond human operator limitations
- Decreased risk to human life and access to uninhabitable environments
- Enable faster, scalable, and distributed decision-making putting humans at the apex of command
- Increase resilience, connectivity, and real time awareness with distributed network nodes
- Utilize UxS capabilities and MUM-T operational concepts in planning to execute operations in new and unpredictable ways
- Deliver performance at the speed of relevance, prioritize reliable and proven delivery of unmanned systems
- Execute continuous adaptation accept frequent modular upgrades
- Organize for innovation consolidate, eliminate or restructure as necessary to increase lethality or performance
- Streamline rapid, iterative approaches from development to fielding Ensure S&T organizations, Sponsors, Program Offices, SYSCOMS and the Fleet
- Increase capacity at decreased cost allows robust connectivity and communication resiliency.
- Create platform agnostic and unmanned capability-centric narratives. Free resources through common systems that enhance overall capacity and readiness.
- Aggregate demands on Command and Control (C2), proprietary system interfaces
- Scale subsystems, prototypes, and technologies that have been tested and proven.
- Ensure studies and analysis include unmanned focus
- Coordinate with Naval Warfare Analysis Office on existing knowledge base
- Incorporate unmanned system behavior and performance into the building of modeling and simulation environments
- Mature these tools and use resultant findings to identify gaps.
- Identify areas where Fleet, industry, and warfare centers can perform experiments to test and exercises to validate prototypes and hypotheses regarding potential unmanned solutions at the platform, system, and subsystem levels.
- Include unmanned elements in all operational wargames
- Conduct iterative unmanned centric games.
- Incorporate appropriate, realistic assumptions around unmanned aspects of wargaming.
- Use early prototyping to prove out new technologies prior to integrating these subsystems onto a platform.
- Consider entire solution including logistics, training, infrastructure, and Fleet Engagement from outset for successful fielding
- Utilize land-based testing sites to allow for decoupling critical systems and testing prior to major design decisions, reducing risk before scaling into production.
- Drive virtual modeling and simulation environments to study and compare technical and operational trades earlier in the design process.
- Develop an adaptive infrastructure base that can support testing, sustainment and maintenance.
- Increase joint interoperability between conventional forces and unmanned vessels.
- Develop tactics, techniques and procedures to maximize the potential of new technologies, and CONOPS for joint forces to ensure safe operations, reliability and endurance.
- Secure digital communication standards and common C2 interface protocols to enable shared situational awareness.
- Develop secure supply chains, and joint operational maintenance and repair capacity
- Ensure core technologies, enablers, and standards are common to all and testing happens early and often.
Top 50 Goals Promote “Build a little, test a little, and learn a lot” Construct for Navy/Marines Unmanned Systems
- tightly coupling our requirements, resources, and acquisition policies
- develop, build, integrate and deploy effective unmanned systems faster.
- Framework contains overall concepts and strategies
- execution plan of action and milestones (POA&M)
- Secure digital communication standards and common C2 interface protocols
- enable shared situational awareness.
- Development of secure supply chains,
- joint operational maintenance and repair capacity
- .System development to ensure common core technologies, enablers, and standards
- testing happens early and often.
- advance manned/unmanned teaming within the full range of Naval and joint operations.
- Create capability centric and sustainable approach for unmanned contributions (platforms, systems, subsystems) to the force.
- Disaggregate common problems, solve once, and scale solutions across platforms/domains.
- Incentivize rapid incremental development/testing cycles
- Build digital infrastructure to integrate/adopt capabilities at speed/scale
- Use early prototyping to prove out new technologies prior to integrating these subsystems onto a platform.
- Consider entire solution including logistics, training, infrastructure
- Allow for decoupling critical systems and testing prior to major design decisions, reducing risk before scaling into production.
- Drive virtual modeling and simulation environments
- study and compare technical and operational trades earlier in the design process
- develop an adaptive infrastructure base to support testing, sustainment and maintenance.
- increase focus on developing enablers required to successfully scale lessons across investments
- develop detailed technology maturation and acquisition roadmaps
- innovate quickly to provide solutions for hard-to-solve problems of current and future conflicts.
- Increased range, endurance and persistence
- Scalable beyond human operator limitations
- Enable faster, scalable, and distributed decision-making
- Increase resilience, connectivity, and real time awareness with distributed network nodes
- expand our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance advantage
- add depth to our missile magazines
- Provide means to keep our distributed force provisioned.
- moving toward smaller platforms provides affordable solutions to grow.
- exploiting the technical revolution in autonomy, advanced manufacturing, and artificial intelligence
- create many new risk-worthy unmanned and minimally-manned platforms that can be employed in stand-in engagements
- prototyping, experimentation, and demonstration of new capabilities prior to transitioning to Programs of Record
- Coordinate efforts in programming, resources, and acquisition.
- Create platform agnostic and unmanned capability-centric narratives.
- Free resources through common systems that enhance overall capacity and readiness.
- Aggregate demands on Command and Control (C2), proprietary system interfaces
- includes intelligence, wargames, experiments, exercises, testing, modeling, and simulation to inform strategic decision-making
- Include unmanned elements in all operational wargames and conduct iterative unmanned centric games
- Incorporate appropriate, realistic assumptions around unmanned aspects of wargaming.
- Incorporate unmanned system behavior and performance into the building of modeling and simulation environments. Mature these tools and use resultant findings to identify gaps.
- Identify areas where Fleet, industry, and warfare centers can perform experiments to test and exercises to validate prototypes for potential unmanned solutions at the platform, system, and subsystem levels.
- Stop independent system solutions to drive “solve once and scale” constructs
- standardize autonomy interfaces and enable interoperability
- shorten fielding times by leveraging scale modeling and live virtual environments in parallel to system development to build trust and expertise as systems are created.
- evaluate current and future programs through mission level modeling and simulation
- identifies how programmed platforms contribute to completing mission-specific tasks
- informs programmatic decision-making to identify strengths/weaknesses within each target
Top 10 Core Tech
- Navigation & Timing
- Sense & Decide
- Mission AI
- Cyber & Physical Security
- Payload Integration
- Power & Endurance
- Edge Processing
Top 50 Opportunities to Execute Smart Processes in Every Phase of Weapons System Deployment Project and Do So within Established Program Imperatives.
1. All parts of our weapons systems program must execute smartly, and we constantly are examining steps that can reduce schedule risks and improve quality of product
2. The program is considered a high priority in part to ensure the resources we need to execute the program are not endangered. We are always reviewing our ongoing affordability initiatives.
3. We would like to share that everything that everything we do is focused on delivering the required capability to the Warfighter in the most affordable and timely manner possible while meeting our commitment
4. We are continually seeking to drive cost out of the program and maximize the dollars entrusted to execute this program.
5. An accelerated/high risk program requires a stable funding profile, especially early in the program.
6. The accelerated acquisition construct results in unusual budget and financial execution metrics.
7. Minor budget changes/corrections or marks to the program have significant impact due to compressed time for analysis and recovery..
8. Program requirements and their relationship to threats have been thoroughly scrubbed with design and system development elements of the program tightly coordinated with stakeholders.
9. Technical risks are well understood with sound mitigation strategies aligned to earliest retirement prior to lead system construction.
10. Since achieving lead system and follow “ready for patrol” milestones are paramount to meeting mission requirements
11. We are on track for cost and performance, and system development is on schedule.
12. Challenges remain in program oversight, program staffing, test schedule, production quantities, and integration with other systems.
13. Opportunities include introduction of a new Mission Control Station, and a common baseline for system model types.
14. We have several major development efforts, which are closely monitored with respect to the program controls regarding cost, schedule and performance.
15. All stakeholders must act as a team to execute our current program activity within cost and schedule constraints.
16. The program impact of shifting of funding, and the generation of disruptive, unplanned activity, creates problems.
17. We have to manage a highly technical, challenging program with associated risks.
18. We have a very methodical, build-up prototype testing and risk management approach in support of design/technology maturation in order to minimize risk and increase confidence in a successful effort leading to production and fielding of this critical capability. .
19. We have established an initiative to improve weapons system program office reliability. To give us confidence that we are aggressively progressing up the reliability growth curve to meet reliability requirements, though further work is required and continued diligence.
20. Our sustainment team has worked extremely hard to put a lot of effort into our Reliability and Maintainability (R&M) efforts, getting a head start on our understanding of risk areas for R&M
21.Staffing maintenance monitors throughout the testing at by incorporating Supportability Test and Evaluation into our ground test program, and by improving on known R&M cost drivers.
22. The assessment is that, while we are not where we need to be for reliability, we really are not in too bad of shape either when looked at in the context of what it takes to introduce a new system of this complexity. The fundamental building blocks all work.
23. We received the proposal and continue to work through the contractual actions required to get to award.
24. This remains one of our highest priorities and we have undertaken an effort to monitor progress daily to ensure we stay on schedule for award.
25. We have multiple areas that we are paying close attention to and sharing for your awareness but not looking for help.
26. Must get our prime contractor under contract in a timely manner to execute the program in front of us. We have a highly competent team that has continued to perform at a high level for a long time.
27. Track record isn’t great with Quality Management. We have a history of quality escapes where vendors have provided noncompliant parts,
28. Our management process did not detect those escapes until after they were installed in subsystems. We have focused special effort on vendor inspections, first article inspections, and acceptance testing to turn this around.
29. Another area of concern is contracting. We are currently war-gaming options that include requesting the extension of critical scope through completion of development while exploring opportunities to compete other parts of the program.
30. These potential competitive opportunities include all up round production, operations and support of the fielded system, system level engineering, test support, and some portions of the ground system.
31. Breaking out these areas for competitive award provides opportunity for future cost savings. We will need to step up our game with integrating these functions to maintain a closely coupled system.
32. We are working multiple procurement actions, all in different stages of execution.
33. Through the normal course of retirements, rotations, and promotion opportunities elsewhere, we have undergone a fairly significant turnover in personnel where we have lost significant experience and institutional knowledge specific to the program.
34. Even with qualified personnel, ours, like any program, requires time on station to be fully effective in order to execute efficiently. The net effect is it takes longer to execute as we collectively grow and come up to speed as a team. We may go slow for a while in order to go fast in the long run.
35. Another problem we have is that the manning structure does not support an increasing workload.
36. We struggle to meet schedules and constantly re-prioritizing work to ensure we do not lose money, exceed proposal validity dates, etc.
37. The current composition, numbers and skills, was designed to support the original program strategy.
38. heavy reliance was placed on the vendor for support and resolution of issues with program office oversight.
39. Over the past several years, we have seen a steady increase in technical issues and wear and tear on the aircraft.
40. We have program staffing challenges in the area of contracting. Shortages of Contract Specialists have put us behind in contract awards and make it difficult to get sufficient contract input early in the procurement planning process.
41. While our existing workforce is hard-working and extremely motivated, there is a shortage of experience and insufficient numbers to produce work of the desired quality and quantity.
42. Another staffing concern is in program management. While current staffing is sufficient, continued pressure on manning levels gives us concern we will lose some of the billets needed to properly plan and monitor execution of our procurements.
43. The program is progressing through system design, having completed to-date the System Requirements Review at which the system requirements baseline was formally established
44. System Functional Review, where system functional baseline was established, and is scheduled to complete the Preliminary Design Review with establishment of the system allocated baseline.
45. Prototyping and test activity provides for data to inform the system design process as well as a methodical approach to risk reduction to—and increased confidence in—the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase and meeting of system Key Performance Parameters/Attributes .
46. We have demonstrated labor savings from optimized modular construction plans.
47. An examination looks at multiple elements of construction, including the best strategy of major ship module construction between contractors and how to best capitalize on material and component procurements from the industrial base.
48. We produced a tailored set documentation for our upcoming milestone and achieve the proper balance for a build program for statutory compliance, appropriate oversight, and value-added efforts for the program office to generate documents that are useful to our ability to execute our mission.
49. We have said there should be an opportunity established up-front for all future non-developmental, commercial-based recapitalization programs to make the same decision earlier so as to afford maximum program benefit, including avoidance of unnecessary program efforts and documentation development.
50. The program has been on track for key areas of focus including the System Development and Demonstration
51. ransition to production, preparations for fleet integration and introduction occuring following Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) in and the initiation of the development effort for a capability upgrade.
52. We have focused the review boards on prioritizing our deficiency trouble reports, and on aligning that prioritization with their potential to manifest as deficiencies from the test team or as risk to satisfaction of an IOT&E Measure of Effectiveness or Suitability.
53. We will align the build to correct all the deficiencies that we can within the cost and schedule parameters that we have, and will ensure we have a thorough understanding of the risk or work-arounds for those deficiencies we are not able to fix prior to IOT&E.
54. We manage risk through close collaboration between the daily review boards, our development team’s weekly cost and schedule reviews, our test team daily and weekly reviews, and PM reviews.
55. Each of these elements is a collaborative effort and pressure points are the volume of deficiencies we will have to manage.
56. Management is key to maximizing functionality and meeting schedule.
57. We have some margin with the schedule, and we work every day to balance discovery that might drive delays with opportunities to accelerate
58. Emphasis on applying execution reality to our attempts to capture those opportunities.
59. Our production team has done an excellent job gaining insight into why our system costs what it does to produce, and we are using that insight to establish the best incentive arrangements for our production contracts.
60. Our focus is on the cost of poor quality, indirect costs, and schedule.
61. We will incentivize quality so that we do not have excessive scrap rates built into supplier costs,
62. We will target indirect costs deep into the supply chain, and we will incentivize reduced lead time to meet our delivery needs and reduce build time cost.
63. We are doing Business Case Analyses to identify the optimum sources of depot repair and analyzing how to drive repair of items to the lowest level, understanding that it is less expensive to repair items at an operator level instead of a depot level.
64. As the program progresses, we will continue to use an events-based approach but will work to instill increased schedule discipline without being reckless.
65. The Program Office has been awarding single-year contracts for production and sustainment. We are trying to break that cycle. The production contract is planned to have a base year with multiple option years.
66. The contractor has struggled to get the cost data from their suppliers to support it. If we have to, we will award the single year and re-attack, but we have not given up yet.
67. The sustainment contract was originally planned for an even longer period of performance.
68. Pulling us back to a shorter multi-option year contract is not ideal, but this would still give us breathing room before negotiating the next one and at least break the single year paradigm.
69. The next contract we are awarding is our next system improvement contract. This could be an interesting negotiation, as we did not receive the funding to support all the system changes.
70. Despite the success in executing to the recovery plan, we need to see continued maturation in contractor production processes
71. Iimprovements in subcontractor and supply chain management. There remain inefficiencies which may impact execution and cost when the production quantities increase.
72. Engaging with the prime, first, and second-tier vendors is a step forward. We had reduced onsite visits in the past but apparently swung the needle too far.
73. We have seen benefit with the increased contractor site visits. We also placed pressure on other agencies for improved support. This effort had been lacking for some time, but now overall support has been excellent and effective.
74. It was evident that material cost and labor rates were increasing for suppliers.
75. We have been very engaged with contractor not just for their cost analysis, but to support an assessment of the industrial base.
76. We had them conduct an initial criticality and fragility analysis and based on the result, we identified several vendors that we need to monitor more closely.
77. But some contract compliance requirements are levied on the programs without funding, causing planned capabilities to be pushed to the right or out of scope completely.
78. If the new contracting compliance requirements were bundled and sent out on a scheduled basis with sufficient funding and time to implement, the programs could make the necessary adjustments without negative consequences on program objectives.
79. An area where our programs need help is in the cycle time for review and approval of acquisition milestone and contracting documents.
80. Specific concerns include the serial nature of the process, the requirement to include documents that are ancillary and/or premature to the decision point, the duration of individual reviews.
81. It’s also a problem to receive comments that are not substantive or material to the acquisition Strategy. It simply does not make sense to require development and review of, for example, a final Performance Work Statement and Source Selection Plan for an acquisition whose strategy is not yet approved.
82. We will better focus on the work ahead, more adequately spread the load, and improve our overall speed and agility. We are preparing alternative offers to our resource sponsors, which will assess the risk of manpower cuts at various levels while also identifying tasks which will not be completed as a result.
83. The complexity of coordinating and maturing new processes, executing multiple efforts within the network architecture in a fixed price contract structure, and aligning with our industry, operational and external partners and organizations introduces significant risk of using excessive processes as a preferred control approach by the team.
84. To combat complexity internally and mitigate the risk of process stasis in the new program model, standing orders have been issued to each division lead to eliminate any piece of a process that, in their judgment, does not clearly add value.
85. . We are exploring innovative contract strategies to reduce the cost of competition and enable a smoother budget profile over time. To date we have identified some alternative strategies, which may meet these needs and which we continue to flesh out
86. We need to look into ways to use special contracts approaches if required to enable faster fielding of equipment and services.
87. We must support acquisition streamlining and limit documentation to only those which are either clearly proven to provide value added to the PM or meet a statutory requirement.
88. Although there are some parts shortages that are causing delays and out of station rework, these are manageable and part of a typical production launch for a complex system. These inefficiencies have contributed to some cost growth, but the growth is small when compared to total contract value. Of course Readiness Matters More than cost.
89. We do not expect the schedule delays to impact the test events on the critical path yet, and with the contract structure, the vendor is motivated to correct the issues.
90. Parts shortages are on a path to be corrected soon so that later vehicles will be built more efficiently with few or no out of station retrofits.
91. Upgrades for increased survivability and reliability are in production and the fielding effort is on schedule and well below cost
92. We have experienced cost growth related to underestimating prototype build cost and the c3mplexity of meeting Information Assurance requirements.
93. Requirements have grown more complex and challenging for our systems recently, and there is a shortage both in the PM shops and at the vendor of personnel with a solid grasp of the field.
94. The program is challenged with respect to RDT&E funding. We have deferred some requirements, like training devices, in order to live within the adjusted budget. Though program disbursements should return to health eventually, additional RDT&E decrements or sequestration will force a significant schedule slip.
95. With the significant number of technical issues that have escalated over time, we struggle to support them all in a timely manner due to limited resources across their competencies. To meet acquisition office requirements as evidenced through engineering contract modification proposal inadequacies and lengthy negotiations complicated by inconsistent/non-compliant disclosures and rate structures as determined by review boards.
96. On the positive side, some vendors have made progress in resolving some outstanding contractual and audit non-compliance issues. There is now a more “customer focused” approach, which has improved the overall situation.
97. The modernization effort has been long time coming and the light is finally at the end of the tunnel. This program is progressing in an exemplary fashion and is tracking extremely well, accomplishing key critical milestones. Bottom line, this effort is proceeding very well, and we are confident we can overcome the challenges that still remain by empowering the PM to make critical decisions.
98. My weapons system program extension efforts are technically sound and delivering on schedule. However, I have increasing concerns in my long-term ability to sustain the reliability and accuracy of the Weapons System.
99. It is critical my project continues to get support from senior leadership to ensure the success of my program, I must be properly resourced. I am constantly battling for resources to offset the “loss of buying power” Without getting the budget stability a program needs my buying power will be decimated and compromise my ability to continue to certify and maintain a capable weapon system,.
100. At some point, it will become impossible for my best efforts to result in continued program success unless we make reliability investments in developing tools/systems to assess combat support resource levels and ensure constant communications with warfighter.