3 Questions with Kelly Moran, Research & Development Manager

While all of our work at BAE Systems is inspired by continuous improvement, there are some jobs at where you get to create something no one has ever imagined and truly help define the future.
Kelly Moran is one of those visionaries on the Research & Development team. Together with a group of talented innovators, she helps to lead a bold and fresh perspective that shapes the future of the battlespace. While much of exactly what they are exploring is proprietary and classified, suffice it to say we can share that they are spending a lot of time thinking about the future of lethality and ways to make our soldiers as safe as possible.
 
Kelly Moran, Research & Development Manager

Claire Powell, Communications Manager:   Can you tell us what ideas you’ve been exploring recently and why?

Kelly Moran, Research & Development Manager and Engineering Fellow:   As the landscape changes, and near peer competitors to the United States get more advanced, my team has really had to step out of our comfort area and start looking at artillery applications with extended range. We have some internal research programs and some significant CRAD efforts that are ongoing in this area.

CP:   Do long-range technologies fundamentally change the battlespace, as we know it today?

KM:   Yes. It really protects the soldiers. If we can have a larger distance between us and the enemy, then we’re in a much safer position. That’s why we’re really talking about extended range. It allows the solider to back off the battlespace and be at a safer distance. As we have higher stand-off distances, accuracy becomes more important. We will see a lot more guidance packages added on to these applications as we move forward into the next-generation.

CP:   If you were talking to your team, what’s one thing you would share with them as they dream about supporting the future of defense?

KM:   One of the fun things about being in R&D is not restricting the creativity. Just because we can’t do it right now does not mean that it can’t ever be done.
 
If someone has thought of it and it’s been out there – then most likely it didn’t work. So, we’ve got to keep thinking outside of the box, innovating and keep the creativity of the group. Really, we work better as a team – so a lot of collaboration between folks. A lot of our design and development takes place in the hallway – or on a white board – with people adding their perspectives and having a creative debate to be able to expand our design space.

Everyone on the team plays an important part in delivering progress and innovation on this scale. It’s incredible to think how many generations have walked on these sites with eyes on the future. Thanks, Kelly! #doyourpart