Common Mission System Architecture Could Save Millions

Embedding a common mission architecture system across Australia's future fleet has the potential to shave years from its construction schedule and avoid hundreds of millions in costs by reducing engineering effort and integration risks.

Speaking at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's Future Surface Fleet conference in Canberra today, Raytheon Australia's managing director, Michael Ward , says substantial investment in the mission system architectures and technologies recently developed has created a dividend of knowledge that should be used for the future surface fleet.

"It is our combined experience drawn from the investments we have made in the AWD, AUSPAR and ASMD projects that gives us the best opportunity to reduce time, risk and budget for Future Frigate," Mr Ward says.

He cited as an example of combined experience the current AWD mission system architecture, developed to facilitate long-term capability growth and for the management of obsolescence.

In addition, interoperability with ADF and allied, particularly the Unites States Navy (USN) task groups would be facilitated by applying the same key architectural principles.

Mission system design at the platform level would then subsequently involve the selection of specific sensors, missiles, and command and control systems consistent with the architecture.

Mr Ward said through a fleet-wide approach to mission system architecture, the benefits to the Royal Australian Navy would be considerable, including:

  • reduced engineering costs;
  • reduced integration risk associated with evolving mission system capabilities customised for each platform's individual role; and
  • lowering the whole-of-life costs through commonality, economies of scale and operational efficiency.

Mr Ward said that with common mission systems architecture, Australia could take the opportunity to reduce cost of ownership for the future surface fleet as well as maximising its capability.

"It will be especially important if we are to grasp the benefits of network-centric warfare alongside our allies, and in particular the US Navy, to deliver operational advantage," he said.

"This is critical if the Future Frigate is to be a truly multi-purpose surface combatant capable of operating across the full spectrum of maritime operations.

"Once a common architecture is adopted across the surface combatant fleet, the next challenge will be to achieve further cost savings by developing a focused fleet-wide baseline management through collaboration between Defence and industry."

Source: Raytheon Corporation (NYSE: RTN)
Date: Apr 1, 2015