The US Army has announced plans to acquire modern digital fires products to improve its decision-making and accelerate kill chains against near-peer threats.
According to a request for information issued earlier this month, the initiative aims to support the service’s Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System and Joint Targeting Integrated Command and Coordination programs of record.
As part of the request, the army is seeking industry input about a more agile and iterative software that can coordinate mortars and missiles on the battlefield.
Program Executive Office official Col. Matt Paul argued that while the US Army has a robust capability to do fires, its systems were not built for how the service should share data in the future.
“We want to work with industry to modernize our fires capability so that we can robustly share data, enable sensor-to-shooter architectures, and be able to iterate the program over time,” he said.
Unlike other requests for information, the move to seek industry input on modern digital fires will follow a “consortium-like” approach, providing multiple vendors with opportunities to participate in the program.
The approach will also allow for open communications among interested parties to help shape the army’s approach to the planned fires modernization.
Furthermore, the army said it will allow non-traditional defense contractors to provide input under the new strategy, aiming to build the best product to support the army of the future.
“We see the future of fires built around teams doing the work instead of one industry partner, which is a change in strategy from the past,” product manager Lt. Col. Timothy Godwin explained.
“There will not be one sole primary contractor. Multiple industry partners can be part of the solutions to building an agile, iterative software for the modernization of our fires products.”
All white papers are due to be submitted by November 22.