Tapestry Solutions will play a major role in modernizing Weapon Planning Software (WPS) over the next decade using an agile software development approach. The Boeing Global Services subsidiary is upgrading the WPS software under 10-year contract recently awarded by the U.S. Air Force. The WPS contract has a ceiling value of $259 million.
The WPS suite – a core component of the Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) – will enable U.S. and partner nations to collaboratively plan for precision strike warfare on a more powerful software platform. It supports precision-guided munition (PGM) planning for A-10, B-1, B-2, B-52, F-15E, F-16, F-22, F/A-18 and F-35 aircraft.
“We are proud to deliver next-generation weapons software to our warfighters – and deliver it faster and more cost-effectively using an agile development approach,” said Debbie Churchill, vice president, Mission Products and Services, Tapestry Solutions. “This will ensure our forces maintain the precision strike advantage, because in today’s battlespace, success depends on data, speed and interconnectivity.”
Why Agile Development?
Agile development places an emphasis on delivering many rapid iterations on a shorter timeline, allowing for a faster deployment of scalable, modular software. It enables developers to quickly respond to evolving requirements while ensuring quality.
“Agile software approach improves our ability to achieve first-time quality while meeting mission-critical deadlines,” said Jeff Mintzlaff, Tapestry’s director of Mission Planning. “This approach reduces costs, because customer involvement and buy-in are accomplished early and often in the development cycle.”
Many defense programs still use the traditional “waterfall” model, in which development is more structured and linear in nature. Waterfall development flows in a step-by-step sequential process, from conception and design through testing and deployment.
Tapestry’s WPS developers are also leveraging a software development model, called service-oriented architecture (SOA) to make it easy to integrate new capabilities over time. SOA is built with loosely coupled “services” that form a modular, layered architecture. SOA allows for greater customization and modularity that allow an enterprise system to evolve without costly redevelopment.
“Our development approach will ultimately aid in a faster release velocity for U.S. Air Force,” said Mintzlaff. “This will provide greater flexibility to integrate new weapons, platforms and emerging enabling technologies for the WPS program.”
A Closer Look at WPS & JMPS
The WPS software suite helps warfighters plan every detail of a mission, including route planning, flight simulation performance, threat avoidance, and points for weapons launches. The program centers around JMPS mission planning requirements for precision-guided munitions, such as laser-guided bombs and cruise missiles. PGMs are the weapon of choice for the U.S. Department of Defense, because they provide a high degree of accuracy in all weather conditions while avoiding widespread collateral damage.
The WPS program leverages Tapestry’s expertise in navigation, guidance and control telemetry technology, as well as its extensive experience with JMPS development. For the JMPS effort, software developers in St. Louis, Mo., are creating an innovative, cost-effective Unique Planning Component (UPC) for the F-15, F/A -18, F-22, and T-38. The UPCs allow the warfighter to prepare the aircraft data necessary for mission execution.
The UPCs are a critical part of a system-of-systems called the Mission Planning Environment, or MPE, which provides the ability to interactively plan and validate missions. The MPE gives crews a full range of mission information, from preflight data reports to post-flight debriefing materials.
ABOUT TAPESTRY SOLUTIONS
Tapestry, which is part of Boeing’s services business, brings decades of experience developing mission planning software solutions for military aircraft including the F-15, F/A-18, F-22 and T-38, as well as weapons systems software for the Tomahawk missile and Boeing’s Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) program.
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