The US Air Force (USAF) and Lockheed Martin have worked in collaboration to upgrade the signals intelligence capabilities of the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS).

DCGS is an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) system that generates actionable intelligence from data collected by sensors on manned and unmanned ISR platforms.

With the use of the agile software development approach, Lockheed Martin has enabled the USAF to transform DCGS to a modern architecture capable of rapidly integrating new capabilities with the rise in threats.

“This will also enable the airforce to transform DCGS from traditional sites to a worldwide hub-based architecture, which would support centralised processing and remote support.”

Lockheed Martin Unmanned Aerial Systems C4ISR vice-president Dr Rob Smith said: “To help our customers upgrade systems, Lockheed Martin is using modern agile methodologies, which unlike other software development approaches, welcome change.

“For DCGS, we worked with the airforce to provide a spiral-based agile development and integration model leading to ‘continuous integration, continuous delivery’.”

The improved signals intelligence capabilities will help aircrew members carry out the DCGS worldwide intelligence mission more quickly and effectively.

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This will also enable the airforce to transform DCGS from traditional sites to a worldwide hub-based architecture, which would support and promote centralised processing and remote support.

The worldwide hub-based architectural tenet will offer significant cost savings in support contracts. The savings can then be reinvested into the development of new applications and capabilities for the system.

Currently, Lockheed Martin is focusing on modern agile methodologies to field capabilities that are modular, open, non-proprietary and customer-specific, and promotes faster and cost-effective development efforts.