For John Durkot, one of our HybriDrive® Solutions employees, attention to detail is key as he plays a pivotal role in overseeing production requirements for the Paladin Integrated Management program (PIM) – the latest cannon artillery system that the U.S. Army will use to enable "shoot and scoot" capability, protecting the crew from counterbattery fire. John’s main role is to ready the generator, bi-directional converter, and generator inverter to meet the requirements for the PIM, which BAE Systems will begin low rate production on this year. The complex work he performs will help make the PIM one of the most technologically advanced artillery systems in the Army’s inventory.
John joined BAE Systems in 2008, working on generators for a variety of military and commercial vehicles. He now applies his unique skill set to the U. S. Army’s latest Howitzer combat vehicle, ensuring this vital technology enhancement program is on track for full production.
So, what does this mean? John takes an in-depth look at every nut and bolt that goes into the making of the PIM to ensure that each system is functioning and meeting production requirements. Therefore, questions like, “Is that bolt too long?” are a part of John’s work every day. He and his team redesign pieces to meet production requirements and test them so that once full production is reached, any operations assembler can pick up the manufacturing instructions and know what to do.
“What I do provides a link between engineering and operations,” says John. “It’s rewarding to help the designs come to fruition and production from their original conception.”
Not only must each requirement work with the others, but every bolt necessitates a certificate of origin to meet U.S. Department of Defense standards, and it all must be completed within schedule and budget – that’s the level of minutiae to which John subscribes. The reward for his attention to detail is realized in the field when his products are tested in remote locales, like the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona, where he gets to see his products in action and meet the soldiers that his work supports.
“There are very few finish lines in what I do,” says John. “When we get to test the product at Yuma or elsewhere, the sense of accomplishment is tremendous.”
As the PIM rolls forward into production, John knows his role is nearing fruition.
“This vehicle is so far beyond its predecessor from a technological standpoint,” he says. “The possibilities it creates for the customer have sparked a lot of enthusiasm, from both their perspective and ours.” That spark is what makes the journey worth it, and every bolt along the way.