As part of Modern combat spaceThe “Experts in the Field” series, our editorial team connects with various experts from the defense community to share their experiences and ideas with our readers. From members of the active service to veterans, to technology experts, we single out leaders from different backgrounds, with one thing in common: they are committed to developing the battlefield to win future battles.
In many cases, in order to keep up with the latest threats, the defense community needs to innovate faster with the DevSecOps approach to get the tactical solutions of open systems in the hands of combatants faster. In our latest podcast, we spoke with Rob Scott, General Manager, Tactical Communication at Collins Aerospace, who shared that his diverse project management and engineering training in the retail sector and how this gave him a new insight into shortening the product life cycle in defense.
“Throughout my career, I have had a passion for applying new technologies and problem-solving capabilities that help our customers as we grow our business,” he said. “What makes the space and defense zone special is what we create, saving lives.” This makes the acceleration and speed of innovation even more critical. DevSecOps approaches allow the industry to get technology into the hands of combatants as they need it to combat the threat, Scott continued. “It’s always useful to hear stories about how a military fighter managed to accomplish his mission and return home safely with the help of our product or service.”
As Scott looked to the future of the battlefield, he noted, “With any major change, it’s imperative that the collective defense team and industry focus on the first principles.” CJADC2, which is activated by a connectivity that develops at the speed of the threat.
“The first principle in coalition interoperability is that all operators must use the same time, know exactly their position, have radio stations that are on the same frequency, and have the same or inversely compatible waveform and cryptography.” he explained. “While this may seem obvious, the biggest challenge is integrating, testing, configuration management and technology insertion training, while ensuring that these parameters are met in the face of ever-evolving threats from partners.”
As it is necessary to shorten the product development schedule and ensure a longer product life, it requires an open systematic approach. Scott sees this change in the modernization of communications technology for combat. In particular when comparing legacy radio systems with modern software radio stations, he noted that legacy radio stations update waveforms every few years and crypto-modernization every five to 10 years, which determines the replacement of systems.
“Because software-defined radios are available, we have plans for field operations that improve technology deployment by more than twice the percentage of older systems,” Scott said. “Compared competitors cause the need for even faster technology adoption. Our radio system includes a completely software-defined waveform and cryptography, allowing a significant reduction in the cost of introducing technology over a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. “
While this is one of the challenges in the battlefield, the industry is also struggling with “a staggering number of open system approaches, many of which have conflicting requirements,” Scott said. While the industry works with defense to ensure that the solutions are really open and can be integrated with each other, there are still other options for defense modernization.
According to Scott, these opportunities include “a push for DevSecOps, flexible acquisitions and a number of other initiatives in the pursuit of development and field systems at speed (or faster) than the commercial industry.” However, to accelerate innovation, Scott said: “This requires a fundamental cultural change in risk management, transparency of communication and leadership, so as not to overreact to the imperfect information combined with the architectural approaches of the open systems being developed. and apply. “
Listen to Scott’s full podcast below: