As the future of warfare changes to encompass the rise in adversarial capabilities, the current environment is shifting to near-peer threats with increased lethality, range and speed, requiring a renewed service-wide emphasis on interoperability. Warfighting capabilities must be developed with allies and partners to create global force integration to support joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) operations. The success of global military integration will depend on it, and lead systems integrator SNC says the solution lies in open architecture (OA).
SNC began perfecting its OA approach with heavy investment in an internal research and development program (IR&D) to create a common open backplane reconfigurable architecture to increase agility for mission needs. With a 60-year heritage, the company has experienced substantial growth over the past decade due to its comprehensive understanding of customer needs and willingness to invest in the mission.
“It’s important to create an open architecture environment that promotes scalable growth both for your products and the company,” said Stu Wildman, senior vice president of strategy for SNC’s MST business area. "We invested significantly in learning and building modular designs with key interfaces and non-proprietary, truly open industry standards — both to help break vendor lock and to ensure the best solution for each mission.”
The company redefined SNC software as plug-and-play and built lower size, weight and power (SWAP) modular hardware. This increased platform and warfighter readiness through commonality in hardware and compliance with industry standards. Today, the company offers a complete portfolio of OA products including its RAPCON-X™ A-ISR solution, high-altitude balloons, the unmanned Voly-T aircraft and its SNC TRAX® software that connects it all.
SNC’s OA solution uses government standards and is configurable for multiple missions and applications using the same chassis and backplane. When combined with SNC TRAX software, this capability provides an open interface for fast third-party access and easy hardware upgrades to reconfigure platforms quickly. As a proven OA solution, SNC TRAX seamlessly integrates with over 50 platforms and more than 15 third-party applications to enable multi-domain interoperability.
“Commonality is essential to providing force-wide capability, and architectures that expect and support rapid integration of the next waveform, sensor, weapon and protocol will become key to maintaining an advantage,” said Tom Klonk, SNC senior director of programs.
SNC TRAX software is heavily fielded throughout the Department of Defense. It digitally bridges disparate networks, sensors and systems to create a common operational picture. The software’s open architecture interface and platform-agnostic solutions approach allow SNC TRAX to act as a modular, certified, command and control (C2) software suite. It feeds all integrated data sources into one unified picture, creating a seamless JADC2 experience that improves situational awareness, decision making and mission success across domains.
The software creates a scalable foundation for meeting warfighter requirements by providing resilient and interoperable connectivity in degraded, contested and resource-limited environments. It dramatically reduces timelines for threat detection, correlation and engagement, enabling distributed mission command – ultimately becoming the source of JADC2. Operational since 2012, SNC TRAX is used by thousands of combatant command leaders, tactical operators, operational centers, aircrews and ground units worldwide. It offers a greater integration capability than other systems and provides secure interoperability between U.S. and allied defense forces.
“By utilizing non-proprietary open systems through software-driven systems, common data models and reduced hardware dependencies, SNC delivers a superior technological JADC2 environment that will tie forces and databases together across land, air, sea, space and cyber,” said Wildman.