by Dave Koopersmith, vice president and general manager, Boeing Vertical Lift Division
When we talk about United States military armed forces and working relationships with allies around the world, we often hear about the significant benefits of interoperability.
Why is this an important strategy for the U.S. and what are the implications for global security?
Interoperability is the capability of allied military forces to effectively work together to achieve a common goal. An international effort involving warfighting, humanitarian or peacekeeping response requires aircraft and other military assets to share information as well as facilities and support efforts. This translates to a more effective response and limits the risk of the mission.
We see the value of this every day. When multiple countries responded with humanitarian relief and rescue efforts following last months’ earthquake in Nepal, assistance could be coordinated to areas of intense need through common radio communications and shared logistical maintenance support. The ability to use similar technologies and capabilities lets us fly, fight and save lives together.
Today’s advanced aircraft operating together make us even more cost- and mission-effective. Digital cockpits provide platform-to-platform dialogue in secure operating modes and operating on a common platform adds stability of our supply chain and production schedules. Additionally there’s an advantage in a support structure of training and sustaining based on the same platform. When you consider, for example, that about 20 countries currently operate Chinook helicopters , the U.S. government and its allies achieve an economy of scale in development, production and in sustainment of the 30-, 40-, even 50-year lifecycle of the product.
Through system and platform interoperability, global security can be enhanced, and combined coalition operations can be more effective. The world is made smaller with advancements in technology and efficiently employing that technology across multiple forces. The results are far greater mission capability, operating efficiency and maintainability. Working together, allied nations can support operational missions that accomplish the objectives, attain the goal and save lives around the world.