Army employs digital engineering to replace Bradley

Washington — The US Army is using digital engineering to develop next-generation ground combat vehicles, including optionally manned combat vehicles.

In the simplest iteration, digital engineering can move the design process from a 2D blueprint to a 3D virtual model and plug it into a realistic simulation to test performance.

At the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army on October 12, Army officials said they would use a digital engineering approach to develop an OMFV under design. Swap Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles..

“We intend to use digital engineering in a model-based environment. It will award those contracts to design the vehicle in the next phase, Phase 3. Now it looks exactly what it looks like. I’m thinking about it, but I would like to access the cloud-based technology stack to see the evolving designs in real time and be able to execute them. Models these designs and the data that accompanies them. You can plug it into a simulation so that it can run digitally, and you can use that technique to avoid costly obstacles in the test area, “Schirmer said.

Physical testing cannot be completely eliminated, but digital testing can significantly reduce the risk of the entire development process, he added.

The Army is still considering how to implement digital engineering. The service finds out which cloud environment to use, whether the model is hosted by a contractor or the Army, and the type of contract language to use.

“There are some difficult questions that the Army must decide early on,” Schirmer said.

A draft request for proposal will be published early next year outlining the Army’s digital approach to OMFV.

Schirmer said Phase 3 marks the beginning of OMFV’s digital engineering efforts for services, but the Army’s acquisition plans are already using the digital concept.

First, the cross-functional team of next-generation fighting vehicles has withdrawn certain highly restricted specific requirements for the platform and replaced them with much more flexible “needs characteristics.” This allowed five contracted teams (Point Blank Enterprises, Oshkosh Defense, BAE Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems, and American Rheinmetall Vehicles) to innovate in developing products that meet the needs of the Army.

“I just received it Concept delivery from 5 industry teams I have a contract. We’ll take the data from them, plug it into the model, and run some simulations to see what the performance will look like and how it will affect the battlefield, “Schirmer said. increase.

Feedback from these simulations allows the Army to improve its requirements and set up a complete and open competition to select three contractors to create actual prototypes.

“That’s not the case. That’s not the way we’ve done it in the past,” Schirmer said.

Major Rothkovman, director of the next-generation combat vehicle cross-functional team, has signed five teams to create digital designs, allowing the Army to work closer to the team building the design than some previous projects. Said that it became possible to cooperate with.

“Because they were chosen, we can have open, candid and honest one-on-one conversations. We can see and say them:” Hey, explore this trade And let’s see what it does for your car design, “Kofman explained.

Kofman added that if the current design phase is competitive, the Army needs to ensure that its communications are uniform and universally shared.

Michael Cadieux, director of the Ground Vehicle Systems Center, said the Army also wanted to use digital engineering to develop robotic combat vehicles. Specifically, the service said it is considering a virtual environment to test and modify the robot system to ensure that the robot system works and meets the needs of the Army.

The Army is not the only Pentagon organization that employs digital engineering. This approach has been adopted at various levels in the commercial industry. Will Roper, a former Deputy Secretary of Air Force acquisition, technology and logistics at the 2020 Digital Engineering Manifest. Only three programs in the army have been fully digitized: T-7A Redhawk aircraft, ground-based strategic deterrence weapons systems, and next-generation aviation-dominated fighters.

However, in the year since then, the number of digital engineering initiatives operated by the Pentagon has increased significantly. While individual programs such as the Missile Defense Agency’s hypersonic and ballistic tracking space sensors use digital engineering capabilities, there is also significant service-wide effort to drive digital engineering throughout the acquisition. Specifically, the Space Force said earlier this year that it wanted to be the world’s first fully digital service. And it started to carry out that vision..

According to Sylmer, the Army has turned to the Air Force’s major digital engineering efforts to develop its own approach. This tour will help the service determine issues such as the size of the team needed to implement a model-based systems engineering program.

Schirmer admitted that the Army was unlikely to understand it exactly and correctly in the first attempt, but used contractors to fill the gap and adapt the process over time.

Nathan Strout covers C4ISRNET’s space, unmanned, and intelligence systems.

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