When most people think of how a naval platform fights, the first thoughts are of guns, missiles and radar. These elements form part of the platform’s combat system and they are essential to achieving any navy’s mission to fight and win at sea. At the heart, is the Combat Management System (CMS), which integrates sensor information and provides situational awareness and decision support to the war fighter in both defensive and offensive action. This technology must be flexible and adaptable to enable rapid integration of new technologies to meet evolving threats. What is in the future for combat system development?
With changing times and technologies, it was vital to modernize and upgrade the existing legacy Combat Management Systems to build a more robust state of the art Naval Command and Control System (C2 System). In the quest to improve the development of future-centric naval technologies, it was essential to eliminate / reduce UI induced frustrations, confusions and costly irreversible human-errors. Thus, there was an inevitable need for UX Design interventions to simplify the mission critical UI of this software intensive complex system that offer numerous overwhelming capabilities to its specially skilled operators. The key missing ingredient was to adopt a soldier-centric design approach to bring consistency and intelligently organize technology around the user’s needs, behaviours, mental model and capabilities. This in turn would help achieve the goal to reduce the cognitive workload of the operators by portraying a clear, actionable tactical picture of their environment. Thereby truly fulfilling the core functionality of C2 system of enhancing the operator’s situational awareness, promoting better and timely decision making. Incorporating an iterative agile UX design approach, offers numerous benefits and value ads not only to the operator but also helps streamlining the development process by reducing time, effort and cost of development.