Historically, the United States has built its military capabilities on highly capable, multi-function platforms. These platforms have been expensive and have had long development times, but have incorporated sophisticated military technologies that potential adversaries have not had the ability to access or counter. This strategy has been highly successful, leading to a long period of U.S. air dominance.
However, the globalization of technology has made this strategy increasingly unsustainable. Potential adversaries are now able to access advanced technologies with relative ease and incorporate them quickly into military systems—sometimes accomplishing multiple upgrades during a U.S. weapon system’s development and acquisition period.
The goals of the System of Systems (SoS) Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE) program are to: develop SoS architectures to maintain U.S. air superiority in contested environments; demonstrate rapid integration of mission systems into existing and new architectures; and demonstrate the combat effectiveness and robustness of those architectures.
SoSITE aims to demonstrate that an SoS approach to maintaining air superiority: will be militarily effective; can adapt apace with the emergence of new technologies; and will impose on any adversary seeking to counter these systems a financial cost greater than it costs the United States to field.
SoSITE seeks to develop and deliver systems architecture concepts for rapid integration of new U.S. technologies as they are developed, without requiring significant re-engineering of existing capabilities, systems, or systems of systems. A successful SoSITE program will help U.S. forces maintain their advantage in a fast-changing world by facilitating the integration of new technologies faster than near-peer adversaries can adapt to or counter them.
SoSITE will leverage advances in algorithmic, software and electronics technology to pursue multiple objectives: first, to distribute functions across networks of manned and unmanned platforms offering favorable capability-cost tradeoffs; second, to rapidly integrate advanced mission systems onto manned and unmanned platforms using open system architectures; third, to apply warfighter-managed autonomy to coordinate distributed effects; and fourth, to enable system heterogeneity to reduce common-cause vulnerabilities and provide system adaptability.
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