Digital Engineering: Recommendations for the U.S Department of Defense
Digital Engineering (DE) has received considerable attention in both industry and government as a tool to reduce acquisition timelines and costs, allow for more rapid systems upgrades, and streamline maintenance and upgrades. Specific to Department of Defense (DoD) system development, DE may be defined as the integration of data provided across industry and government engineering disciplines through the use of commercially and DoD-developed tools to support lifecycle activities from concept development through disposal.
This paper, authored by James Faist, will offer an overview of the evolution of digital engineering (DE) in systems design, development, and testing from an engineer’s viewpoint, and will also offer observations on how the DoD might best take advantage of DE to accelerate force modernization developments and transitions. Going beyond DE as a marketing tool, this paper outlines specific areas of practice unique to DoD where DE can support better outcomes. The DE challenge for DoD is attaining knowledge-based integration of data sufficient to answer lifecycle questions, including:
- How do the currently fielded systems or those under development support near-term missions?
- What is the performance and cost impact of replacing a subsystem in a legacy system?
- How do design decisions today impact system sustainment and operations availability?
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About the AuthorMr. James "Jim" A. Faist is Vice President, Chief Technology Officer for Technology, Innovation, and Labs at CACI International, leading the development of advanced 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), electronic warfare, cyber, and communications technologies in support of future intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for the Intelligence Community (IC) and the Department of Defense (DoD). Previously, Faist was Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Advanced Capabilities, reporting directly to the Under Secretary of Defense Research and Engineering within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has led an extensive career in industry and government in national defense, including progressive responsibilities and experience in military operations, advanced technologies, system development, engineering leadership, and program management. He has advanced degrees in Electrical Engineering and is a recognized expert in advanced sensors, weapons, and electronic warfare for space, air, and ground capabilities.