Combat vehicle integration is as important as ever within BAE Systems Land UK's product base. Land UK's lead for combat vehicle integration, Rory Breen, explains why this is important for customers buying military off-the-shelf (MOTS) vehicles, saying, "Many armed forces buying MOTS need to tailor the vehicle to meet national requirements. BAE Systems has a suite of offerings to integrate mission-critical systems, such as C4I, as well as comprehensive test services to make sure equipment keeps working in the toughest environments."
BAE Systems, from its combat vehicles base in the West Midlands, UK, is currently focusing on combat vehicle integration for a series of British Army programmes. The company offers a range of services, from assembly and manufacture through to maintenance, repair and performance-enhancing upgrades.
The challenge is to provide the user with the capability they need through an affordable programme, evolving over time to accommodate changing threats and developments in technology.
As part of this offering, BAE Systems' Generic Vehicle Architecture mission system provides an open architecture, satisfying Defence Standard (DEFSTAN) 2309, as well as the ability to integrate and network a wide mix of capabilities. As part of this strategy, the company is seeking partners to assist in providing a toolkit approach to offer modular, scalable mission requirements across the contemporary operating environment.
The approach allows customers to start with a simple vehicle and then to add to it as needed, as Breen explained: "A baseline variant could comprise a remote weapon station, local situational awareness (SA), communications suite and display systems for crews and dismounted personnel."
Breen details how this baseline solution could evolve, with next-generation technologies providing customers with more sophisticated capabilities, including: 360° SA; see-through armour displays; and integrated blue force tracking and threat detection technology.
"The challenge is to provide the user with the capability they need through an affordable programme, evolving over time to accommodate changing threats and developments in technology. It needs to complement the increasing importance and quantity of detailed information on the battlefield, and the increased threat from cyber.
"The solution has to include soldiers as part of the system; for instance how does a soldier dismount from a vehicle without any break in SA?"
BAE Systems' objective is to partner with customers and industry to deliver the right solution for the market.
"We take real pride in equipping soldiers for their missions, so we make sure everything we do is simple to use and helps the mission. We start with the effect our customer wants to achieve, then work backwards to tailor the system in order to deliver it," Breen concludes.