Weaving a digital thread for the US Air Force
The U.S. Air Force general put it plainly: hostile nations are getting very good at fielding new technologies quickly.
“Today’s adversaries are rapidly delivering new systems and are threatening and, in some cases, surpassing our capabilities,” said Air Force Materiel Command commander Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr. “The increasing time it takes us to field new capabilities is our greatest hindrance to maintaining our Air Force dominance in the future.”
Bunch made those statements in support of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s “digital transformation” initiative – which includes the use of techniques such as modeling and simulation to put new capabilities in airmen’s hands at commercial-market speeds.
The digital transformation is also happening at Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, where engineers are using those same techniques for the Air Force in every stage of a product’s lifecycle, from design to production to sustainment.
“We’re focused on getting superior products into warfighters’ hands quickly,” said Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “Digital design helps us field weapon systems faster because we can make modifications and improvements virtually and immediately test those changes. It removes a lot of the time and cost associated with traditional testing methods.”