Northrop and MDA realise $7m in savings through software affordability initiative

27 July 2015 (Last Updated July 27th, 2015 18:30)

Northrop Grumman and the US Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Modelling and Operations Software Affordability Initiative has helped the team achieve nearly $7m in savings in 2014.

Northrop Grumman and the US Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Modelling and Operations Software Affordability Initiative has helped the team achieve nearly $7m in savings in 2014.

The initiative, which was expected to bring $5m in savings, is designed to decrease software development costs, while increasing productivity and creating an enhanced user experience for a critical ballistic missile defence system (BMDS) software community.

Northrop Grumman Information Systems missile defence integration director Ken Cox said: "We are delighted to achieve significant cost savings in 2014 through efficiencies targeting best-of-breed code reuse and we anticipate even greater savings this year.

"Next, we're rolling out changes, such as interfaces with a common look and feel that will reduce user time and effort expended."

The initiative focuses on accelerating frameworks, interfaces, and tool sets for use in BMDS modelling and simulation and operations.

Enhancements include the development of intuitive user interfaces through modern, streamlined user experience (UX) processes.

"We are delighted to achieve significant cost savings in 2014 through efficiencies targeting best-of-breed code reuse "

Northrop was able to realise significant savings in UX-based user interface development across multiple MDA activities through a systematic software reuse approach.

The company is also applying its UX expertise along with common tool sets to optimise software design, development, and sustainment efforts.

The team used Defence Acquisition University's methodologies to calculate the software productivity and savings data.

Modelling and simulation software plays a vital role for affordable development and assessment of the BMDS as ground and flight tests require substantial resources.

Executed under the Joint National Integration Centre Research and Development Contract (JRDC), the initiative also improved the software used for operating selected systems of the BMDS.

Northrop serves as the MDA's prime contractor of the JRDC, and leads the highly interdependent activities necessary to boost the BMDS and bring such capability improvements to troop operations.

The activities include BMDS-level modelling and simulation, ground and flight tests, war games, and exercises, as well as mission-critical operations and enterprise networks.