Lowering the Cost of Upgrading C5ISR Systems with the Standardized A-Kit/Vehicle Envelope (SAVE) for Army Vehicles

Lowering the Cost of Upgrading C5ISR Systems with the Standardized A-Kit/Vehicle Envelope (SAVE) for Army Vehicles

The Standardized A-Kit/Vehicle Envelope (SAVE), a new physical size, weight and power (SWaP) and connector standard for fielding new C5ISR capabilities, stipulates the internal mounting and physical interfaces for connecting CMOSS (C5ISR Modular Open Suite of Standards) solutions, such as radios, to platforms. In Army vehicles, SAVE regularizes the size, shape, and physical interfaces (RF, data, power, etc.) for mounting those systems, and joins the CMOSS standards – such as VICTORY, MORA, and OpenVPX, that are already called out by the GCS Common Infrastructure (GCIA) framework. SAVE only covers the purely physical elements of these CMOSS solutions, and not, for example, how data flows between the systems integrated on a vehicle. The goal of the SAVE standard is to lower the cost of deploying new C5ISR capabilities on combat vehicles by minimizing the time and effort of integrating SAVE-compliant systems. It accomplishes this by ensuring that systems fit into the same size envelope, use the same mounting holes, and have the same connector types.

SAVE is defined in an Interface Description Document (IDD) issued by the U.S. Army’s Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Ground Combat Systems (GCS). The standard is intended primarily for new integrations and systems and for modular systems that electrically or digitally integrate into Army platforms. 

On the other hand, SAVE isn’t relevant for stowed equipment, vehicle elements such as engines or weapons, or external components such as antennas or armor.Because the SAVE IDD defines only the outer envelope (maximum dimensions), a wide variety of possible configurations are permitted within the envelope. The idea is to provide flexibility within the standard to encourage innovation and competitive acquisition. The standard physical volume defined by SAVE is based on the standard existing radio shelves envelope, which measures 15.9 inches wide by 16.1 inches deep and 9.3 inches tall. Within those maximum rectangular dimensions any size and shape of subsystem is allowed. Adaptor plates can be used to mount smaller devices as long as they fit within the set dimensions. Connectors defined within SAVE include RF cables at radio, RF cables at antennas, RF-GPS, power input, power output, plus audio and data cable types.

“SAVE is defined in an Interface Description Document (IDD) issued by the U.S. Army’s Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Ground Combat Systems (GCS).”

SAVE specifies ATPD 2407A 2404A Interface Standard Environmental Conditions for Ground Combat Systems and ATPD Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) for U.S. Army Tank and Automotive Vehicle Systems tailored From MIL-STD-464C for vibration, operating temperature, and RF tolerances.

CMOSS/MOSA SAVE Solutions

Examples of C5ISR solutions addressed by the SAVE standard include handheld, man-pack, and small form fit manpack (HMS-MP) data radio; legacy SINCGARS radios; future CMOSS systems; capability set (CS, ITN) systems; IVAS Mounted Soldier and Nett-Warrior support kits; and robotic systems with manned ground vehicles. SAVE will facilitate the integration of new radios, waveforms, Assured Position Navigation Timing (A-PNT) systems, electronic warfare (EW systems, and vehicle protective systems (VPS) components and subsystems.

Examples of  CMOSS chassis designed to meet SAVE requirements are Curtiss-Wright’s eight-slot CMOSS/SOSA Enclosure, a powered enclosure aligned to CMOSS/SOSA Technical Standard 1.0, and the CMOSS/SOSA Starter Kit (CSSK), which carries a pre-integrated four-slot SWaP-optimized SOSA-aligned 3U VPX system combining a VICTORY network module, A-PNT module, single-board computer, and a 3U VPX power supply unit.

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