Joint Mission Planning System

The Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) program began in 1997 with the objective of replacing earlier planning systems and providing aircrews with well-structured automated flight planning tools for aircraft, weapons, and sensors. JMPS will provide support for unit-level mission planning of all phases of military flight operations and will eventually evolve to support Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and U.S. Special Operations Command fixed and rotary wing aircraft, weapons, and sensors, including precision guided munitions (PGMs), cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles. It will have the capability to provide necessary mission data for the aircrew and will also support the downloading of data to electronic data transfer devices for transfer to aircraft and weapon systems.

A JMPS for a specific aircraft type will consist of the basic operating framework, common software components, and a basic mission planner, mated with a software module called a Unique Planning Component (UPC). UPCs provide functionality unique to a particular aircraft or weapon system.

JMPS will be used in several different configurations for shipboard or land-based environments. Hardware is provided separately by each Service and will consist principally of commercial off-the-shelf computers, ranging from laptops to desktop systems to multi-processor workstations, depending upon the need for supporting specific weapon systems. Some configurations are non-network stand-alone configurations, while others include secure, network-connected systems, supported by servers. JMPS complies with the requirements of the Common Operating Environment, as applicable to Windows 2000.

Northrop Grumman Information Technology (NGIT) was selected in 1999 to develop JMPS Version 1.0 (JV1), the framework and common software components that enable basic flight planning capabilities. NGIT also delivered a Generic UPC and a Software Development Kit that can be used by independent developers to develop aircraft-specific and other common UPCs. JV1 was released on March 17, 2003, but will not be used operationally.

In July 2001, the Navy awarded a contract with NGIT to develop JMPS Version 1.1. Version 1.1 will be the first operational JMPS version to be fielded and will be used by Navy F-14, F/A-18, and E-2C aircraft. Version 1.1 augments JV1 with crypto key support, Global Positioning System almanac capability, and other functions. It also adds PGM planning capability, allows mission planning in a networked server environment, enables "walk away" mission planning, interfaces with critical data sources (weather, imagery, target data, threat data, and Strike Planning Folder), and provides functions needed to plan and prosecute Navy combat missions. JMPS Version 1.1 is being developed using a spiral development process with three beta releases. It is scheduled to enter OT&E in March 2004 and to be fielded by September 2004. JMPS Version 1.1 is also planned to replace the AV-8B Mission Support System in late 2004 and the EA-6B Tactical EA-6B Mission Support system in mid-2005.

In March 2003, the Air Force tasked NGIT to add capabilities to JMPS that will lead to JMPS Version 1.2. Version 1.2 will enable Air Force PGM planning and linking of PGM routes to aircraft routes. Other changes and enhancements to JMPS and the development of a UPC will allow fielding a JMPS planning system for the F-15E in 2005. Development of JMPS UPCs for other Air Force aircraft will begin in FY04, upon selection of a Mission Planning Enterprise contractor (or contractors).

In May 2003, the Air Force increased and centralized mission planning funding resulting in the Air Force program being designated a Preliminary-Major Defense Acquisition Program.

The Mission Planning program has three systems. The legacy systems fielded today are the UNIX based Mission Planning System and the PC based Portable Flight Planning System. The future PC-based planner, Joint Mission Planning System with major integration expectations, will serve the warfighter into the next decade.

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