The Systems Domain of the MCM ITP (Domain 1) assesses a broad range of technologies which are fundamental to the overall development and integration of future missile systems. The domain aims to develop innovative techniques that complement the emergent technologies developed across the programme and that enhance the capability of missile system solutions to meet future operational requirements.
The most promising emergent techniques are investigated under five main themes:
A major element of costs associated with a weapon system arises during development, qualification or during in service maintenance and support, and these fall into scope for Domain 1. Tools and technologies that can help to reduce these costs could be given priority over technologies that only improve performance.
Recent campaigns have highlighted the effectiveness of precision guided weapons in reducing collateral damage. Just as important, they demonstrated how military capability can be maintained if not improved with a lower stockpile of weapons. Increased precision of effect means that there is a higher probability of hitting accurately the right target, with the first weapon, the knock on effect is that fewer weapons need to be fielded, which reduces the cost to the user. Hence increased precision also supports the reduced cost objective. At the same time, we search for ways to reduce the equipment complexity and cost with minor impact on the precision.
One of the frequently overlooked areas of missile system design is the human element. All systems require an operator at some point in the chain and they are there to supervise normal operation and provide direction in coping with unexpected situations. As the battlefield becomes more complex and systems more autonomous, technology is needed to help manage operator workload.
Robustness is the ability to achieve the desired effect, despite adverse circumstances. These can include the effects of target behaviours, sensor errors, weather, jamming, unfavourable terrain or sea state, and enemy actions etc. Traditionally our weapon systems are designed to overcome virtually all imaginable combinations of adversity at the same time, despite that there is a low probability.
New Weapon concepts can be triggered by the potential of emerging technologies (push), or the evolving Capability needs (Pull). These concepts may be at Weapon system level, or novel approaches to existing systems.