DARPA Maintains the US’s Air Relevance via SoSITE

With the constant need for evolving defense strategies, the United States Department of Defense has taken an increased interest in emerging technologies and robotics. The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has maintained a lasting reputation for innovation and perseverance. The agency has launched a recent project to expand on current technology, known as the Systems of System Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE). In an April 2015 announcement, a representative of DARPA stated, “As advanced technologies have become more readily available to adversaries on commercial markets, the nation’s focus on ever more complex weapons systems has become not just a strength but also a weakness. Effective as they are, US military systems today are often too expensive to procure in the quantities needed, and may take so long to develop that the electronic components they contain are obsolete by the time they become operational.

” Thus, DARPA wants to create a cost-effective solution to increase technological advancements within the defense system. This will involve contracts with several leading companies, including Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. In addition, BAE Systems and Rockwell Collins will be cooperating together to develop approaches in improving the current design. Program manager of SoSITE John Shaw described, “SoSITE’s technology integration focus area will build the ‘under-the-hood’ verification and cyber-defense capabilities so airborne platforms can host interchangeable ‘app’ functions.”

The SoSITE team hopes to increase mission efficiency, reduce threats to in-air and on-ground personnel, and decrease costs. The underlining plan is to make changes to specific components rather than the entire system. For example, improvements will be made to planes, missiles, and communication devices to improve the system as a whole. Since its founding date in 1958, DARPA has been awarded an average annual budget of about $2.8 billion under the U.S Department of Defense. SoSITE’s innovative plans will bring great changes to the Department, which may increase funding in the future.

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