Army all-domain sensing team playing the long game with eye toward 2030-2040 time frame

The Army's new cross-functional team will seek to help drive capabilities for the 2030-2040 time frame.
(Photo courtesy of Bombardier Defense)

The Army’s newest cross-functional team — focused on “all-domain” sensing — will be taking a longer-term view focused primarily on driving investments, capabilities, doctrine and policy between 2030 and 2040.

The new team was born out of the assured positioning, navigation and timing CFT, whose focus was the Army of 2030 and delivering capabilities to soldiers on that timeline.

With that new, elongated timeline, the sensing team will look to establish partnerships, take the Army’s future operating concept in concert with how it fights in a joint warfighting context, and identify capabilities, concepts of required capabilities, and figure out what elements will fight with formations to deliver real operational capability in the future, Michael Monteleone, director of the all-domain sensing group, said at the Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama.

“Most CFTs were focused on the path to Army 2030. And then as the Army 2040 concept starts to develop, it’s going to shift our focus over time. And my focus will certainly shift to that 2030 to 2040 time frame,” he told reporters.


Long-range precision fires have been a top modernization priority for the Army in the past few years. But in order to shoot across thousands of miles, the service must be able to see and sense the targets it needs to hit. The Army has several capabilities in development relevant to the deep-sensing problem.

Monteleone told reporters those efforts are going to be foundational layer capabilities that will be built upon or updated over time. These include, among others:

  • The Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node (TITAN), a critical modernization component for the Army’s multi-domain operations concept that will integrate various types of data from numerous platforms to help commanders make sense of a fast-moving and complex battlefield. Palantir won a $178.4 million other transaction agreement for the first phase of the program in March.
  • The High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System (HADES), a high altitude, jet based, next-generation ISR capability that will include a variety of sensors for communications intelligence, electronic intelligence, synthetic aperture radar and moving target indicator data.
  • The Multi-Domain Sensing System (MDSS), a family of capabilities providing a layered approach of aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for long-range sensing — of which HADES is one.
  • The Terrestrial Layer System (TLS), a family of systems aimed at integrating signals intelligence, electronic warfare and cyber from the brigade and below level and over large distances for echelons above brigade.
  • The Theater SIGINT System (TSIGS), an effort to combine a variety of quick-reaction capabilities in the field into a single program of record aimed at providing integrated SIGINT tools to support multi-domain operations, force protection and information superiority for Army service component commands and combatant commands.

Using TITAN as an example, officials said the program has benefitted from numerous solider touchpoints or opportunities for troops to use the system and provide feedback about what worked and what didn’t, allowing incremental tweaks along the developmental process.

The cross-functional team will continue to be involved in that user feedback process while looking at future issues to help tackle them for the program office to quickly adapt or add capability if needed.


TITAN “is a great use case, a great example of the innovation that occurs when you’re partnering with the … CFT and that relationship. TITAN is really the first program in the Army that was designed from its inception to be what they call a dual pathway for both hardware and software,” Brig. Gen. Wayne “Ed” Barker, program executive officer for intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors, told reporters. “What that does is that builds in the agility — the organizational agility, the programmatic agility — to be able to address changes in technology, changes in threat, changes in resourcing, changes in the world, quite honestly. I would think that you would see more acquisition strategies follow that type of approach, building in an agility, leveraging the tools that Congress has given us with regard to OTAs and Mid Tiers and software acquisition pathways to really get at it. That would be … a good example case of kicking things off the right way.”

Monteleone noted that within this role, he gets to be a synchronizer for various constituencies within the Army building toward a singular goal: helping the service sense and see across vast distances to facilitate better decision-making and enabling long-range missiles to accurately hit their targets.

“I get to be one of the chief cat herders of the Army to pull all the key members of the Army community together, but also our joint partners, our allies and others in the intelligence community with our G2 partners, to really get after a lot of these key activities,” he said at the conference.

“What’s really right now is establishing the partnerships, understanding what’s in that requirements space, broader than just the intelligence capabilities, and then synchronizing across the counterparts in not just the CFT directors but also our” capability development integration directorates, Monteleone told reporters.

Initially, it will be working on getting the team in place while understanding the mission space and crossover between other cross-functional teams. Once the Army made the team focus on all-domain sensing, that expanded the scope a great deal


“As soon as we put that word ‘all-domain’ out there, we’re representing a lot of the intelligence here on this conversation, intelligence community part of it. But when we talk ‘all’ it expands quite a bit,” Monteleone told reporters.

It will also be working to spin down and transition the assured positioning, navigation and timing cross-functional team and the capabilities it developed into permanent institutions across the Army.

“The APNT CFT again, doesn’t go away today. We will be transforming … There’s no new plus one CFT, it is a net zero,” Monteleone said. “But if you look at it from like, here’s APNT today, it’s going to start doing this and then ADS is probably down here and it’s going to start doing this and at some point, there’ll be an inflection point where I’m doing more and more ADS related activities.”

Four lines of effort

The team will have four key lines of effort: multi-sensor dominance, sensing architecture, advanced processing and dissemination, and operational enablers.


Multi-sensor dominance really boils down to taking stock of and advantage of all the disparate sensors on the battlefield — traditional and non-traditional — as well as countering adversary use of their sensors to hurt friendly forces, Monteleone told reporters.

The sensing architecture, he elaborated, relates to the team’s ability to help stitch these sensors and capabilities together along with the Army’s network team as it works on next-generation command and control to ensure the sensor data gets to the soldiers. It also involves working across the other military services and intelligence community to ensure intelligence data is available without saddling new programs and program managers with various cross-domain solutions.  

Advanced processing and dissemination is about applying machines and artificial intelligence to cue humans to the right data or information coming off sensors to improve decision-making and better optimize human analysts.

Lastly, the operational enablers focus area deals with slowly turning over the assured positioning, navigation and timing cross-functional team. The other portion involves synchronizing kinetic and non-kinetic effects — namely electronic warfare and navigation warfare — to decision makers and C2 systems, Monteleone said.

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