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'Systems integrators' under political fire, but the military needs them more than ever.

In the defense industry, "systems integrators" are both villains and saviors. The Defense Department needs them to link up components and subsystems and ensure that the pieces function together. But systems integrators also were blamed for the cost overruns and delays in major military programs such as the Army's Future Combat Systems and the Coast Guard's Deepwater.


Political theater aside, the demand for systems integrators is expected to rise. The "network" is the coin of the realm in today's weapons, and the military is hugely dependent on integrators to connect disparate systems and to enable the information-centric approach to warfare.

"Everything points to more networked solutions," says David Melcher, president of ITT Defense and Information Solutions. The company recently reorganized its $6.3 billion defense and aerospace businesses in order to position itself to compete more successfully in the information-technology and systems integration worlds. More interoperability, more integration, more intelligence fusion is "what our customers tell us they need," Melcher says.
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Title Annotation:DEFENSE INSIDER
Comment:'Systems integrators' under political fire, but the military needs them more than ever.(DEFENSE INSIDER)
Publication:National Defense
Date:Feb 1, 2010
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