Proceedings, July 2012
Downloading application software from online stores created by companies such as Apple has radically transformed the market for goods and services around the world. Now, joint and Coalition tactical networking for U.S. service members is benefiting from a similar business model. The Joint Program Executive Office (JPEO) for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) is expanding competition, reducing costs, and increasing innovation in defense communications by sharing and reusing tactical networking waveform software applications that significantly improve warfighter capabilities.
Recognizing the crucial need for improved tactical interoperability, situational awareness, and informed decision-making, the Department of Defense (DOD) initiated the development and acquisition of JTRS networking capabilities at the beginning of the 21st century. In 2005 the JPEO was established to lead these efforts. To encourage competition and innovation, the JPEO created a new business model to acquire tactical networking capability. The JTRS Enterprise Business Model gives companies without government contracts access to tactical networking waveform software applications, allowing them to develop networking radio products that compete directly with those being developed under government contracts. The new approach is more agile than traditional defense systems acquisition and generates a greater variety of powerful, affordable networking solutions for joint and Coalition warfighters.
By sharing waveform software applications through its own app store, known as the JTRS information repository, JPEO/JTRS greatly expands the number of competitors in its radio hardware market. More competition lowers procurement costs and accelerates innovation.