PEO C3T Program Review & Vision Guide

VICTORY Over “Bolt-On” Integration  

By Amy Walker, Symbolic Systems, Inc., supporting PEO C3T milTech Solutions

While deployed in the close quarters of a Stryker in 2003, Col. Buddy Carman arduously monitored three separate display screens along with the five GPS units that fed his various battle systems. Today, an open architecture is being standardized across platforms to eliminate these and other redundant components while reducing size, weight, power and cost.     

“The more that we can streamline and make data more accessible to leaders, the more it’s going to increase reaction time and make situational awareness clearer, and that is huge,” said Carman, Training and Doctrine Command capability manager, platform battle command and combat identification.   

The Vehicular Integration for C4ISR/electronic warfare inTerOpeRabilitY (VICTORY) initiative is expected to transform the current “bolt-on” integration methodology into one that is more network-centric and systems-oriented. This will build an integrated networked infrastructure during vehicle production rather than afterwards.

The Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) strives to re-engineer processes, such as bolt-on integration, to increase capability and reduce cost. The PEO’s Systems Engineering and Integration Futures Office (SE&I-F), a lead coordinator in this effort, held a VICTORY Spiral 1 Stryker demonstration in Detroit, MI, in the fall of 2009.

The demonstration, attended by members of the various PEO communities, focused on the integration requirements for Stryker modernization and the ability of VICTORY to satisfy those needs.

“If you think about all the pieces to be integrated onto the platform, they each bring their own processors and their own display in some cases,” said Ross Guckert, assistant deputy for acquisition and system integration for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisitions, Logistics and Technology.

“VICTORY allows us to collapse those and bring in applications that ride on a common backbone.”
Three objectives associated with the current modernization of the Stryker are critical to the platform’s future: digitization, weight reduction, and the increase in power. The VICTORY architecture addresses all three, said Ruth Ann Haider, director for C4ISR Integration, for the Project Manager Office, Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
“We reduce weight because we have reduced the number of systems that have to be on the platform. We reduce our power consumption when we reduce the number of systems. And then most importantly, (we digitize) the vehicle with an intra-vehicle network that is critical to our ability to plug into the WIN-T (Warfighter Information Network-Tactical) network and into the GIG (Global Information Grid),” Haider said.

Due to the success of the VICTORY Stryker demo, PEO Combat Support and Combat Service Support (CS & CSS) has requested that the SE&I Futures Office accelerate a partial standards version of the 1.0 architecture for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAP) and High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) that is due out in April of 2011, said Kay Griffith-Boyle, PEO C3T SE&I Futures Office lead.

The overall VICTORY implementation strategy focuses on the development of a common architecture and the base-lining of common components and standard interfaces. The standard architecture can then be applied to any tactical vehicle platform through elements such as common displays, distributed timing, distributed situational awareness, and application sharing.   

In early spring, the SE&I Futures Office will hold an industry day to kick off the body that will create the standards for the VICTORY architecture. The intent is to have industry engage with VICTORY’s government stakeholders to help define the standards so that vendors will be able to build systems and platforms that will interoperate and provide flexibility to reconfigure in accordance with mission needs.