The 'Family of Systems’ concept describes a perspective on ISR that moves away from a platform-centric approach to ISR capabilites across multi-platforms.


Maritime ISR systems are evolving rapidly and the net results are enhanced common operating pictures and battlespace awareness. Captain W. Perkins (US Navy) introduces the 'Family of Systems' concept where ISR evolves from platform-centric to an integrated and interoperable function. This involves tactical ISR systems collaborating to provide accurate, timely and actionable intelligence to support the full spectrum of joint operations. How might this capability benefit an operational commander's decision-superiority? What challenges does it pose? The relationshiip between the P-8A Poseidon aircraft and the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aerial System is one example of how the Family of Systems concept might function. Captain Perkins discusses each capability and how the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) might efficiently operate future maritime ISR noting the potential to support both the joint force and a Maritime Component Commander. Incidentally, Australia intends to procure 12 P-8A Poseidon and seven MQ-4C Triton aircraft, which should reach full operating capability by 2026.