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DARPA Unveils ‘Mosaic-Like’ Weapons Development Approach to Industry

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has unveiled a new weapons development concept that would help build military systems through the “mosaic-like” integration of components such as sensors, command and control nodes and manned and unmanned platforms.

DARPA said Friday its strategic technology office outlined the mosaic warfare concept at the “Sync with STO Day” in Arlington, Virginia that attracted approximately 300 industry participants.

The approach is intended to address the rapid pace of commercial technology development, which can quicken the obsolescence of new military systems, DARPA added.

“Applying the great flexibility of the mosaic concept to warfare, lower-cost, less complex systems may be linked together in a vast number of ways to create desired, interwoven effects tailored to any scenario,” said Dan Patt, STO deputy director.

“We’re focused on developing processes and tools that would focus on trusted connections between known entities, enabling easy backwards compatibility and just-in-time, custom creation of any needed connections to enable rapid, intelligent, strategic assembly and disassembly of diverse systems,” Patt added.

STO’s mosaic strategy is designed to boost the effectiveness of existing military systems in maritime, ground, air, space and cyber domains as well as help build new unmanned platforms.

Mosaic systems will work to accommodate on-demand production, maximize available resources, adapt to changing threats and withstand losses and attrition, DARPA noted.

The agency also expects mosaic warfare to change the U.S. military’s acquisition process — from launching years-long development projects for “monolithic” systems to buying mosaic components continuously.

STO has released a broad agency announcement on FedBizOpps to gather industry proposals in various areas of interest that could help establish the mosaic warfare strategy.

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