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Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems comprise the backbone of military operations. Yet the legacy systems currently deployed function well below their potential capabilities. Stovepiped systems make it difficult—and sometimes impossible—to collect, analyze and disseminate critical threat and operations information or to obtain a complete, single view of the battlefield.
Current technology innovations and trends could, and should, be used in weapons systems. Yet in today’s current acquisition and development environment it takes a minimum of two to three years, and often longer, to get new capabilities into the field—making those technologies obsolete by the time of deployment.
“Budgets continue to shrink, and the military is spending all their funds on sustaining legacy systems put in the field 20 years ago rather than responding to adversarial threats,” says Dick Johnson, Booz Allen vice president and a leader in the firm’s Air Force C4ISR business. “Not only are today’s acquisition process and legacy systems barriers to innovation, there is simply no way many of these systems can be secure.”
As a result, IT managers are hamstrung—they cannot respond to operational needs nor create new opportunities. This leaves warfighters and citizens at risk.
In a recent study looking at the military’s top challenges working with traditional C4ISR systems, more than half of survey respondents saw interoperability across military organizations as a problem that cannot be solved without the true integration and networking of C4ISR. They also indicated an integrated approach to C4ISR would be beneficial to their organizations. Booz Allen Hamilton partnered with Market Connections, a leading government market research firm, to assess the challenges in C4ISR and identify solutions that provide the flexibility military decision makers need to respond to current and future warfighting in the context of ever-changing technologies.
“Budgets continue to shrink, and the military is spending all their funds on sustaining legacy systems put in the field 20 years ago rather than responding to adversarial threats.”