About S3D

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Introducing the Science, Systems and Sustainment Division

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The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) has embarked on a strategic initiative to enhance capabilities and streamline operations to meet the pressing needs our sponsors face given the changing demands within the national security environment. The centerpiece of IDA’s strategic initiative is a new research division — the Science, Systems and Sustainment Division (S3D) — in the Systems and Analyses Center. Under the leadership of V. Bram Lillard, S3D will integrate expertise from basic science, system evaluation and sustainment to create a capability for analysis crossing the entire life cycle of weapon systems. The new division brings together talent and portfolios from three divisions of the Systems and Analyses Center.

S3D’s eight portfolios represent the broad scope of our research:

  • Science and Emerging Technologies: Focuses on basic science and the identification and tracking of emerging technologies with potential national security applications. Strategic Technology Assessments: Focuses on evaluating existing technologies for decision-making, emphasizing feasibility, effectiveness, maturity, scalability and international competition.
  • Advanced Weapon Concepts and Experimentation: Aims to develop innovative yet feasible weapon system concepts based on emerging technologies, and novel application of existing weapon systems and subcomponents.
  • Developmental Test and Evaluation: Provides analytical support for developmental test and evaluation (T&E) of established systems and programs using IDA’s extensive knowledge of T&E methodologies, statistics, technology evaluation, cybersecurity and resource management.
  • Weapon Employment Evaluation: Addresses operational considerations of diverse weapon systems, spanning from validation and verification of models to real-world employment considerations.
  • Systems, Mission and Force-Level Analyses: Focuses on conducting comprehensive analyses at the system, mission and force level for weapon systems with a focus on both technical performance, operational impacts and cost.
  • Resilience Science and Technology and Infrastructure: Focuses on conducting analyses of existing technology or systems and emergent concepts and technology with a focus on enhancing the resiliency of the national security enterprise.
  • Weapon System Sustainment and Readiness: Addresses the long-term viability of deployed weapon systems accounting for the interconnected nature of operations, logistics, maintenance, personnel and supply processes throughout a system’s life cycle.

S3D consolidates strengths in basic science, system evaluation and sustainment to provide sponsors with comprehensive, technically grounded analyses of the short- and long-term challenges of both existing weapon systems and future novel weapon concepts. In establishing S3D, IDA reaffirms its commitment to proactively staying ahead and aligning our capabilities with the evolving landscape of national security challenges. IDA is well-positioned to continue offering invaluable insights and delivering impactful solutions to our sponsors, thereby strengthening our role as a trusted advisor to the DOD.

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