C4iSR: Land

US Army pursues greater synergies in vehicle systems

08 January 2018

The US Army’s effort to consolidate multiple vehicle C4ISR systems onto computer cards that could be easily swapped out and tailored to meet specific mission requirements is expected to be ready for implementation in early 2018.

Referred to as the C4ISR/Electronic Warfare (EW) Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS), the goal is to move away from traditional, bulky form factors for equipment such as communications; EW; Position, Timing, and Navigation (PNT); and mission command systems.An artist rendition of how the US Army will apply CMOSS to upgrade vehicles. (CERDEC)An artist rendition of how the US Army will apply CMOSS to upgrade vehicles. (CERDEC)

Transitioning to CMOSS will reduce the footprint of C4ISR systems, and will also enable the army to be able to quickly reconfigure its vehicles for specific environment, terrain, or mission requirements, instead of reintegrating components into already cluttered platforms, according to the service's Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC).

CMOSS calls for specially designed boxes, known as common chassis, to be developed for specific platform types. This will enable the service to better synchronise vehicles within the same family during their upgrade cycles – especially between older platforms and their new-built counterparts – and maximise the potential for lifecycle cost savings.

Another aspect of the army’s transition to a modular and open vehicle systems architecture is the decision to move the power amplifier from inside the vehicle and co-locate it with the antenna.

Referred to as the Radiohead concept, the strategy is to design a radio-based mount with a low profile mechanical footprint that includes the electronics necessary to serve as a high-powered amplifier. The effort will free up space inside the vehicle while reducing signal loss to the antenna.

While CMOSS and Radiohead are targeted toward existing and emerging vehicles within the army’s Brigade Combat Teams (BCT), the technology can be applied to other air and ground platforms.

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