Volume 03, Issue 6
Integration, teamwork and partnership are cornerstones of Army Systems
By Bob Algarotti
But there’s one corner of Boeing where another color is the mainstay. It’s the Army Systems business unit of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, and the color is green.
Boeing has a unique relationship with these customers in green. For decades, Boeing has delivered quality products and services to the U.S. Army, as well as allied forces around the globe. The company has built upon a foundation of trust and respect to create a true partnership with its Army customers-one based on teamwork and unprecedented levels of integration-to help them meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
At Army Systems, integration encompasses not only the business units' major facilities and programs, but also its customers, including the U.S. Army.
"Army Systems is about partnership, with not only our Army customers but also our teammates across the enterprise," said Roger Krone, senior vice president, Army Systems. "The partnerships we have developed with our customer and other business units define how Army Systems delivers products and services that will change the way the military manages its armed forces of the future."
With the support and integrated solutions provided by Boeing, the Army is on its way toward realizing its vision of the networked war fighter-a vision that integrates situational awareness with unprecedented agility, lethality and effectiveness.
Army Systems and its more than 10,000 employees are working on a multitude of products and services. They range from rotorcraft programs such as the AH-64 Apache Longbow multirole combat helicopter and the CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter to weapon systems such as Brimstone, an antitank missile system being developed for the United Kingdom.
Yet it's programs such as the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems and the Joint Tactical Radio System Cluster 1-programs rooted in communications and networked information collection and dissemination rather than platforms or weapons-that exemplify how Boeing's unique integration abilities are providing the customer with new and revolutionary capabilities, Krone said.
"We are the only company that could bring together the people and resources to partner with the Army and help develop the Future Force, the Army's vision for a lighter, more agile and more lethal fighting force," Krone said. "The Army is restructuring to more modular, capabilities-based forces to better meet combatant commanders' requirements. Thanks to the diverse team we've assembled, representing Boeing, our partners and our customer, there is a whole new vocabulary, creating new conversations and new solutions. While FCS is at the center of many discussions, we also talk about leadership training, joint operations and the Future Force. It all ties together."
In addition, other teams across Boeing are working on programs for the U.S. Army, including those working on programs such as Tactical Intelligence systems, directed energy, aerospace support, unmanned air vehicles, and command and control systems.
Here's a closer look at Army Systems' main products and services.
Boeing is teamed with Science Applications International Corporation as the Lead Systems Integrator for Future Combat Systems.
FCS is a networked "system of systems"-one large system that uses advanced communications to link soldiers with 18 individual systems, including new generations of manned and unmanned ground and air vehicles, sensors and weapons. The strength of each individual system is maximized by linking it to all the other systems on the network. Soldiers linked to these platforms and sensors on the network have access to information that can provide a much more accurate picture of what's going on around them.
As the basis for the Department of Defense's visionary transformation plan, FCS will significantly increase the Army's agility and effectiveness and reduce logistics requirements. FCS also is designed from the ground up to enhance joint operations and coordination between U.S. and coalition forces.
In July, the U.S. Army announced its intent to accelerate delivery of new FCS capabilities to the current force. The changes to the program will allow the Army to field accelerated capabilities beginning in 2008. The first fully equipped FCS Unit of Action will be fielded in 2014.
"Systems acceleration will enable the commander to execute the battle with superior situational awareness, shape the battlefield with standoff precision fires and effects with long-range non-line-of-sight weapon systems and enhance synchronized operations through an integrated network," the Army said in its press release announcing the acceleration.
"Consistent with our role as Lead Systems Integrator, we have worked closely with the Army and our One Team partners to meet the program's ambitious goals to date. Together we have succeeded in keeping FCS-a program of unprecedented complexity-on schedule and budget," said Dennis Muilenburg, vice president and general manager of FCS.
Network Communications is another major part of Army Systems. This includes programs such as JTRS-Cluster 1 and Grenadier Beyond-Line-of-Sight Reporting and Tracking, which lets Army commanders track the locations of their units on the battlefield even without line-of-sight communications and help prevent fratricide.
JTRS, considered a pivotal transformation program within the Department of Defense, will bring Internet-like communications to the tactical battlefield. It will provide mobile military users on the ground, in the air and on the sea significantly improved, simultaneous, voice, video and data capabilities across the joint battlespace environment.
In July, the JTRS Cluster 1 team delivered the first integrated pre-Engineering Development Model radio ahead of schedule. "The delivery of the first JTRS radio is the culmination of months of hard work by Boeing and its teammates to provide the first radio set for integration with software and lends further credence to our strategy to take JTRS from vision to operational reality," said Ralph Moslener, Boeing JTRS program manager.
Apache and Chinook helicopters are both in the midst of major capabilities improvements. And both programs are working closely with the FCS and the JTRS teams to tie these rotorcraft into the wideband network that will connect the Future Force.
The Apache Longbow will play a new and key role in the Army's Future Force. Apache Longbow upgrades-including the planned Block III program, a critical component of the Army's Aviation Modernization plan-are enhanced by the interconnection of our programs. Current Block II improvements incorporate the latest in advanced avionics, digital enhancements and communications upgrades. With these capabilities, the Apache Longbow is already demonstrating Boeing's network-centric capabilities.
In the war against terror, the Chinook demonstrated that it can provide intratheater mobility where other systems simply cannot. Chinooks were the only aircraft capable of handling heavy loads in the high mountains of Afghanistan and also established themselves as a combat assault asset. This year Boeing began delivering the newest and most capable versions of the Chinook-the CH-47F and the MH-47G designed for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. And by creating a plan to put JTRS on Chinooks, Boeing can provide additional capability to the future Army.
"Rotorcraft's top priority is to meet the demands of the future war fighter," said Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager, Rotorcraft Systems. "Whether it's through the integration of new technologies and capabilities, reducing production costs, or exploring the outer limits of our imaginations, we are committed to producing the best solutions possible."
Brimstone is a smart, modular missile developed for United Kingdom's armed forces that recognizes and tracks targets day and night, as well as in adverse weather. The system includes three missiles mounted on a three-rail launcher, integrated to operate from Harrier, Tornado and Eurofighter aircraft.
Boeing is the major subcontractor to European defense firm MBDA to develop and produce the Brimstone weapon system. Boeing provides antiarmor missile system expertise, the missile subsystems other than the seeker, the new high-speed launcher and missile-launcher integration.
Army Systems is also keeping an eye toward the future, thanks in part to the work of its Advanced Army Systems segment. This entity, responsible for developing and transitioning concepts, technologies and processes to Army products and services, comes out of Phantom Works and Integrated Defense Advanced Systems (IDeAS), an organization that develops forward-looking technologies that both meet and anticipate customer needs.
Among the potential future projects involving Army Systems:
"We've had a terrific run of adding backlog to Army Systems," Krone said. "We've pioneered network-centric development and now we need to demonstrate we can execute flawlessly on the programs we have won. Our ability to grow is as much dependent on the trust we build by meeting our commitments as it is on creating great new concepts. We will be able to leverage that success and take it into all the other aspects of Boeing and to all of our customers."
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