The Business of Systems Integration

By Andrea Prencipe; Andrew Davies et al. | Go to book overview

14 Systems Integration in the US Defence Industry

Who Does It and Why Is It Important?

Eugene Gholz

Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA

Modern systems integration techniques were developed in the cold war American defence establishment (Sapolsky, Chapter Two, this volume). They were aggressively applied, largely successfully, to develop technology for that conflict. Now, the American military again intends to improve its capabilities radically, presumably augmenting America's national security, by capitalizing on the information revolution. Each of the military services (Army, Navy/Marine Corps, and Air Force) has developed its own particular version of information-enhanced operations, and they are working together (called 'the jointness') to conduct warfighting experiments and to set overarching objectives for the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs. The realization of the vision in part depends on organizational changes in the armed forces to help them fight in new, information-oriented ways, but it also depends on the acquisition of new weapons and communication technologies. The first key step in transformation—defining the way in which scientific advances will be applied in the military context and thereby converting technical progress into innovation—relies on America's unique capabilities in systems integration.

The information revolution in military affairs is, in fact, the apotheosis of the 'systems approach' to warfare, on which the US military embarked in the early days of the cold war. During the Second World War, land forces learned the advantages of combined arms, melding infantry, artillery, and armour into a system for overcoming defensive obstacles; later in the cold war, aviation became truly integrated into that force package, improving combined arms capabilities still further (Herbert 1988). Similar advances were made, also drawing on the Second World War antecedents, in anti-submarine warfare, using aviation, surface, and subsurface platforms and independent sensors like the SOSUS network in a system approach (Sapolsky and Coté 1997). Forces for air defence, over-the-horizon strike targeting, strategic ballistic missiles, and many other categories drew from the cooperative use of many different weapon and support systems

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The Business of Systems Integration
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Business of Systems Integration iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Notes on Contributors xiii
  • List of Figures xix
  • List of Tables xxi
  • References 12
  • Part I the History of Systems Integration 14
  • 2 Inventing Systems Integration 15
  • References 32
  • 3 Systems Integration and the Social Solution of Technical Problems in Complex Systems 35
  • References 54
  • 4 Integrating Electrical Power Systems 56
  • Acknowledgements 74
  • 5 Specialization and Systems Integration 78
  • References 89
  • Part II Theoretical and Conceptual Perspectives on Systems Integration 93
  • References 110
  • 7 Corporate Strategy and Systems Integration Capabilities 114
  • References 130
  • 8 The Role of Technical Standards in Coordinating the Division of Labour in Complex System Industries 133
  • References 150
  • 9 The Cognitive Basis of Systems Integration 152
  • References 171
  • 10 Towards a Dynamics of Modularity 174
  • References 196
  • Part III Competitive Advantage and Systems Integration 199
  • 11 The Geography of Systems Integration 201
  • References 226
  • 12 Modularity and Outsourcing 229
  • Acknowledgement 251
  • Acknowledgement 275
  • References 276
  • 14 Systems Integration in the Us Defence Industry 279
  • Acknowledgement 302
  • References 304
  • 15 Changing Boundaries of Innovation Systems 307
  • References 330
  • 16 Integrated Solutions 333
  • Acknowledgement 365
  • References 367
  • Index 369
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