Three Areas of Focus for Military Readiness in 2022

military readiness

The defense industry has been undergoing significant changes in the past two years, all in the midst of navigating the impacts of COVID and continuing to deliver capabilities focused on military readiness into a constantly evolving, connected battlespace. With all of this change, Craig Bries, Vice President Sales, Marketing, & Business Development, Avionics at Collins Aerospace, believes that 2022 will be a year of retasking for the defense community.

Every side of the industry was impacted. “We all had to reorient ourselves in a world that is permanently affected by COVID-19,” Bries reflected. That reorientation requires new ways of delivering solutions and engaging with customers in a world that’s constantly changing.

As the defense community looks to the future and what it may hold, Bries believes that the connected battlespace will require “retasking” to focus on the Pacific and how warfighters will need to adapt to the future fight. With this in mind, Bries offers three main lessons learned from 2021 that will be applied to military readiness in 2022.

Defense Industry and Government Partnership

The first area that Bries pointed to is partnership. This calls for closer alignment within military services across the DoD and the defense industry “to create a co-development sustainment approach that eliminates redundancy and wrings out all the non-value-add processes.” He expressed the necessary collaboration between industry and the customer to create the right solution for the mission. One example of this needed collaboration results from standardizing the interfaces and data modules by leveraging open systems approaches. Bries explained that this will give the military the ability to upgrade their systems and platforms in the field faster than they’ve ever done before. He also expects to see these open standards and approaches evolve over time as new technologies emerge but stressed that creating common data models will be key to future success.

Development of Smart Systems

The second area of focus that Bries highlighted was the development of smart systems that leverage predictive data capabilities. He explained that these systems “should have the ability to self-diagnose and rapidly report when there is a failure issue. This way it can be quickly addressed by troubleshooting on the aircraft and if it needs to go into the repair chain cycle, it can do so quickly and efficiently and with accuracy.”

Advanced AI to Predict Lifecycle and Supply Chain Risks

The third area of focus that Bries believes is critical for future military readiness is advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence. “With the latest advancements with AI, we have the opportunity to optimize operational costs, drive sustainment, ensure that the aircraft is always ready and that the supply chain is always ready.” While no one could have anticipated the impact of COVID on both the supply and repair chain, Bries told us that there were some valuable lessons learned, especially in risk evaluation. “We had to look at our supply chains and work with them to ensure that they could deliver to us. It was all about being proactive and flexible to ensure that we could continue to deliver to our customers.”