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Mission Planning Systems (MPS)

The Mission Planning Systems (MPS) program, formerly the Air Force Mission Support System (AFMSS), is a family-of-systems that provides automated support for flight and weapons delivery planning. The requirements for mission planning have grown as the complexity of the individual weapon systems have increased. In 1994 this growing complexity was recognized by the Senate Committee on Armed Services which requested that the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition) survey the Department's mission planning systems used for weapons systems and outline a plan for consolidation and coordination of current and future systems. The result of that survey was the long-term consolidation of the Navy's Tactical Automated Mission Planning System and Air Force's AFMSS program to a single mission planning system as the system of record. MPS includes the Unix-MPS established in 1990, the PC-based Portable Flight Planning Software (PFPS) added to the program in 1996, and the Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) established in 1998.

The objective of the MPS program is to migrate legacy Unix MPS and PFPS to a seamless, collaborative, single multi-service PC-based system operating in a net-centric environment. Mission planning is the development of a detailed flight plan based on threats, targets, terrain, weather, aircraft performance capability, and configuration. It is an essential task that must be performed prior to any fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft sortie. The planner must have the ability to plan weapon, cargo, passenger, and/or fuel delivery; calculate aircraft fuel requirements; and assess the route based on known enemy threat location and type. Mission planners must be able to optimize and de-conflict flight routes with other aircraft; review, print, and brief the mission plan; and download pertinent flight information to on-board aircraft avionics. MPS will assist crew members with mission planning and enhance the user's real-time situational awareness. MPS will support operational missions and improve effectiveness by enabling the exchange of information between the warfighter's networks and databases.

Increments I and II were previously completed. Increment IV did not complete Milestone B prior to 31 December 2007 and will be reported in the future. The MPS Increment III program provides a family of next generation automated mission planning tools and integrated support for aircraft and guided munitions. The Increment III program will migrate the F-16 Block 40/50, F-22A, A-10, B-1B, and RC-135 aircraft and associated guided munitions from legacy mission planning systems to the new MPS family of PC-based mission planners. Mission Planning products are fielded and referred to as Mission Planning Environments (MPEs). Each MPE is composed of the hardware, software, data, training, and logistics items needed for an aircraft or munitions platform to perform its mission planning functions.

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