Moving 30 sites to common technical baseline
The top Air Force official for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance says the service’s Distributed Common Ground System could be operated for “pennies on the dollar” if some of the fundamental cost drivers like redundant processes and the extraordinarily high cost of integrating sensors can be eliminated.
According to Lt. Gen. Robert Otto, moving incrementally to an open architecture could drive down the cost of operating the global intelligence processing and distribution network by 75 percent compared to the price of running the system today. “I’m going to challenge them to do it for pennies on the dollar,” Otto told Inside the Air Force after an Air Force Association event in Washington Feb. 18.
In a phone interview the day before, Col. James Lawrence, director of the 25th Air Force’s capabilities division, said a review is underway to determine how to convert the current system into an “agile, IT-based weapon system” with a common operating baseline across each of the 30 global DCGS sites.
He explained that today the DCGS sites operate off different technology baselines, because as new sensors and platforms have been plugged into the system it has naturally morphed and grown more complex.