Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT October-December 2017 Contents war by giving us a lethal capability, as well as a logistics capabil-
ity, but we aren’t really sure about its full potential or how it can
be fully applied in a military setting. (See “Decades to ‘ZAP,’”
We have to work the whole range of RD&E now if we want new
technologies to build new capabilities for the future fight. If we
stop working toward all of those horizons, gaps in capability
will occur. Soldiers of the future will turn to us and we won’t
have what we need to create the capability they need. That’s the
day they walk into a fair fight, or perhaps when we’re at a disad-
vantage. We can’t let that happen.
Once we identify that need, we need people who can not only
master the scientific and technological disciplines we know today,
but who can also identify and pioneer the ones that have yet to
emerge. And the same is true of the facilities and tools they’ll
need. With that talent, we have to provide the best environment
in terms of labs, equipment and knowledge so they can perform.
Consequently, managing talent and infrastructure is a big focus
of our internal campaign plan for this reason. Just as the Army
realizes you need good trainers and good training facilities to
make good Soldiers, we realize you need good scientists and engi-
neers in world-class facilities to create world-class capabilities.
Sarantinos-Perrin: Speaking of the future, are there any
research programs that you’re especially excited about that may
not be fielded for many years?
Wins: Quantum effects holds great promise for the future. For
example, when we can make quantum communications work,
we will be able to communicate without worrying about our
messages being intercepted. That will potentially be a revolu-
tionary shift from today, when we put so much time and effort
into protecting the network. Of course, our competitors are
working on this as well. What will it mean when both major
parties of a conflict can communicate at the speed and in the
volume we do today without worrying about their adversary
intercepting their communications? What will that do to the
rest of the battlefield? To signals intelligence? What will we have
to give commanders to allow them to dominate that battlefield?
Artificial intelligence [AI] is another area where we are exploring
the use of autonomous or semiautonomous technology to con-
trol combat. By using AI, there is the potential for the Army to
engage the enemy at a greater distance and keep them off guard.
We are also looking at ways to better protect Soldiers in a multi-
domain battle, which includes the cyber domain. All domains
will be contested, so we have to be able to throw the enemy off
by attacking from different domains, which will require more
capacity and [more] lethal and resilient systems all around.
Soldiers will need to know which network will give them the
right effect, which will more than likely not be the network
that we have today. The future network will enable Soldiers to
perform uninterrupted command in a contested environment—
with the ability to scale down to a degraded mode, if necessary,
then back up to a robust mode—and it will be self-healing, resil-
ient and allow Soldiers to communicate over extended distances.
Sarantinos-Perrin: Can you walk us through the development
of a recent prototype? What is it, how was it conceived, how was
it developed and where is it going?
Wins: Our team at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile
Research, Development and Engineering Center [AMRDEC]
created the Multi-Mission Launcher [MML] prototype, which
is the first government development of a major acquisition pro-
gram in more than 30 years. Truly a team effort, the MML was
developed by more than 150 subject matter experts across the
AMRDEC enterprise and representatives from five directorates
and more than 20 functional areas, as well as 85 industry part-
ners who assisted in designing and manufacturing.
The MML program is part of the Indirect Fire Protection Capa-
bility Increment 2 – Intercept [IFPC Inc 2-I] system, which
is a mobile, ground-based weapon system designed to defeat
unmanned aircraft systems, cruise missiles, rockets, artillery
The project began in 2012 when the IFPC Inc 2-I product
office approached AMRDEC to determine if an MML was
feasible from an engineering standpoint. Working together, our
AMRDEC engineers and the IFPC Inc 2-I product office moved
the project forward, and two prototype MMLs were delivered
We are past the time in history when one
part of RDECOM can develop a major
capability without the help of some other
part—or many other parts—of the
command and our partners.
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