How Do You Spell Joint? A-R-M-Y: A DOD Update on Unmanned Systems Defense

How Do You Spell Joint? A-R-M-Y: A DOD Update on Unmanned Systems Defense

Contenders on the FTUAS rodeo. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army.

In a March 4, 2020 Policy Memo (PM), the brand new Secretary of Defense (SecDef), General Lloyd Austin, unveiled his high three priorities: defending the nation, caring for individuals and succeeding by teamwork. At the AUVSI Unmanned Systems Defense Phase I Air Day, Christopher O’Donnell, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense or Acquisition (DASD(A)), who offers steerage for unmanned techniques (UxS) throughout all domains, mentioned how the DOD will fulfill these priorities within the unmanned plane area by Autonomous and Remotely Crewed Systems (ARCS) and counter-UAS (CUAS).

ARCS de Triomphe

O’Donnell’s examples advancing ARCS have been each Army endeavors: Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) and Future Tactical UAS (FTUAS).

The DASD described the SRR effort as “how we get quadcopters within the fingers of the warfighter.” Public-private-joint collaboration resulted within the Blue small UAS (sUAS) program, with 5 firms now on the General Service Agency’s (GSA) shortlist of trusted non-foreign sUAS. “The DOD is engaged on the following Blue UAS program for bigger techniques to hold bigger payloads,” O’Donnell mentioned. New Blue UAS will probably be added to the record, with two key objectives: cybersafe UAS techniques and strengthening the U.S. protection industrial base. An Army Requirements Oversight Council (AROC) resolution on the SRR is predicted by finish of third quarter 2021.

According to O’Donnell, the FTUAS program illustrates one other nice option to companion with business for COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) warfighter tech (see IUS FTUAS protection right here). Using a “buy-try-inform” method, the Army carried out a 12 months’s value of demos—500-plus flights and 1,500-plus flight hours—with the 4 business companions (AeroVironment/Arcturus, L3Harris, Martin, Textron) vying to interchange the Shadow UAS in brigade fight groups. The capstone occasion was held in early March at Fort Benning, Georgia. An abbreviated functionality doc has been created, an AROC date is pending and the Army is initially scheduled to area FTUAS to eight UAS Platoons in FY23.

Efforts to Counter

Both the SecDef’s PM and occasion audio system centered on the necessity to defeat peer opponents (learn: China). Per the DASD: “The Services will more and more function ARCs. Our adversaries are doing the identical.”

To synchronize efforts, the DOD not too long ago created an Army-led Joint Counter sUAS Office (JCO). It revealed a small CUAS technique with three targets, upon which the DASD elaborated:

  • Ready the Force—A risk-based method for a set of options to deal with rising necessities: risk assessments, syncing S&T, accelerating CUAS tech, growing widespread architectures and establishing joint CUAS T&E methodologies.
  • Enhance the Force—Joint capabilities throughout the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, Facilities and Policy (DOTMLPF-P) spectrum. The Army has established a full-time CUAS college at TRADOC, and efficient C2 with fastened, semi-fixed, semi-mobile and hand-held options are all on the desk. The DASD emphasised that acquisition (AQ) on the “the pace of relevance” is the center of DOD AQ reform efforts.
  • Build the Team—Deeper and broader relationships with allies and companions to guard U.S. pursuits at house and overseas. This includes new partnerships, a nationwide safety innovation base, interoperability and interagency applications.

The general message: unity of effort throughout stakeholder constituencies will prepared the joint pressure for at present’s challenges and put together for the long run—Army type. HOOAH!