Grey Havoc

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Oct 9, 2009
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The U.S. Army is tapping nontraditional businesses to tackle the challenge of future robotic combat vehicle sustainment, according to a statement from the Army Applications Laboratory.
The AAL is establishing a cohort of innovators “who can develop hardware and software components around sensors and sensor data to gather, fuse and interpret RCV sustainment requirements and operational capabilities in order to deliver actionable information to decision makers,” the May 6 statement noted.
The Army has a history of not planning for or thinking much about sustainment during the development phase of programs, instead attempting to solve how to manage systems after they are fielded. The service, as it modernizes, is trying to take entire life cycles into account from the beginning. Savings in both cost and time could result from planning sustainment strategies alongside development.
The Army Applications Lab, which is part of Army Futures Command, serves as an interface with businesses that may not have much experience in the defense world but have technology with useful military applications.
“AAL’s Cohort Program is similar to an accelerator, similar to a hackathon, similar to traditional acquisitions, but none of those things by itself. It brings together businesses that don’t usually work with the [Department of Defense] and focuses them on solving a specific Army problem,” the statement read. “They work side by side with soldiers and with a community of Army experts and stakeholders on a shared learning journey.”

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