Case Study: Mission System DC power


Confusing Capability Requirements led to the client potentially expending millions of dollars on bespoke DC Power Generation Mission Systems, that only provided limited functionality to the end user.

The Systems Engineer/ILSM identified the issue during a requirements traceability study, and worked through the solution with both the OEM and client to integrate the function within a similar Mission System that was already providing power generation to the end user.

The outcome was a substantial cost saving for the client, a more flexible Mission System for the end user, and reduced manufacturing time for the OEM.

Situation / problem statement

Original Capability Requirements necessitated that a separate Mission System was required to provide end-users with standalone DC power. However, the origins and quantum of demand for DC power within the end user community couldn’t be traced back to any particular tactical function/effects.


The client’s original Capability Requirements were written poorly, often conflicting and their origin was not well understood by staff. Additionally, the DC power usage statistics within the organisation were misleading and indicated there was very little use for this function.

Investigation by the Systems Engineering and Integrated Logistics teams was required to identify the specific end user group, and in what operational context a requirement for DC power existed.

It was discovered that an extremely small group of end users required DC power to provide a niche function. This function was currently being provided by locally purchased products that were not fit-for-purpose and not being managed internally, both technically and logistically.

This meant that limited historical data was available as to the quantum of power required and the respective power profile throughout its operation. Therefore, an interface capability document was developed to understand which Mission Systems required power and the variables around its use.


The original Capability Requirements were investigated and scrutinised by the Engineering Team through a series of traceability studies and workshops with end user groups. This allowed a realistic usage data set to be provided to the client as to the actual use case for DC power generation.

Once these elements were known, the Engineering and Logistics teams both worked with the OEM and the client to understand how this function could be provided on an extant Mission System design without the need to build a bespoke system with limited functionality for such a small user group. The end result was that the function was integrated into a Power Generation System with much wider functionality and capacity, thereby negating the need to design, manufacture and procure a bespoke system.


The solution provided by the Systems Engineer/ILSM initially clarified the problem for the client, enabling them to accurately understand who and which Mission Systems required DC power. Through collaboration with the OEM and the client, the proposed modification to an existing Mission System design then addressed the problem by providing this functionality, amongst many others, within a product that delivered more flexibility to the end user.

This outcome provided significant cost savings to the client, as they no longer required a bespoke product to provide this function. The OEM gained substantial Schedule and workforce concessions as they were no longer required to stand-up another design and production line. Most importantly, the end user groups were now being delivered a product that was significantly more flexible than initially intended and could provide this seldom-used function, if required, without the need to transport and maintain additional equipment.