As you might expect, at DSEI in September, we’ll hear how governments, the armed forces and the wider industry are placing greater emphasis on multi-domain integration (MDI). It’s no surprise; almost every threat we face today is multi-domain. And we’re not just talking at the national level – international allies will need to unite across borders to achieve the advantage. 

It’s a complex, yet delicate design. It involves integration on all levels: a highly-trained workforce, a culture of inclusivity, emerging technology and seamlessly interconnected platforms across air, land, sea, space and cyber. A recipe to concoct game-changing capabilities for our front lines. It includes a web of global suppliers, billion-dollar investments and technology evolving at lightning speeds. And it’s the job of a Lead Systems Integrator (LSI) to make sure all of these goals are achieved. It’s a role I know all too well. 
Over the years, BAE Systems has taken the LSI role on countless projects – orchestrating diverse players from all corners of the globe and combining cutting-edge technologies to deliver on an agreed value proposition from the customer. 
Take the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), for example, where we are currently developing next generation combat air capability, working in collaboration with Italy and Japan on the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) to deliver the aircraft that will sit at the heart of that future system. We are still in the early stages of this programme - with Tempest due to enter service in 2035 - and already, more than 580 partners and suppliers are engaged, from global conglomerates such as Rolls-Royce and MBDA, down to smaller, more nimble SMEs. 
Everyone has a part to play. And it’s ours to bring everyone together. To understand the intricacies of the programme, to manage the risk. Building teams that foster adaptability and collaboration for international security and economic prosperity. It’s an essential responsibility.

Of course, in the world of MDI, this responsibility is ten-fold. And the role will become more and more vital as the modern battlespace evolves to a position where no single service, no single government and no single nation can tackle the threats alone. It’s an environment that we’ve not seen in decades, but it is here. So now, the priority of the LSI has to be on integrating even more emerging technology and facilitating wider networking between partners and suppliers to give our armed forces the correct information and the right tools to make fast, but reliable decisions to overcome the threat. 

Without the Lead Systems Integrator role, programmes can arrive over time and budget, and crucial capabilities that need to interface and integrate probably won’t work. Looking at our current climate, it’s not a risk we should be willing to take. And having the LSI role in the UK, as Strategic Command has, working hand in glove with the Ministry of Defence, means that we have the ability to protect our sovereign capability. It’s not just about the current most threat - it’s also about the job market and high-tech skills; it’s about constructing an industry collective that allows the delivery of world-class products and services.
By working in collaboration, under the watchful eye of Lead Systems Integrators, partners and customers can stay on the front foot, and we can realise our strategic ambitions for a safer, more secure tomorrow.
Find out more about BAE Systems’ role as a Lead Systems Integrator on the FCAS programme here, or click here to learn more about our capabilities in multi-domain integration.

Join us

We are recruiting for thousands of roles from engineers to procurement professionals within our businesses. Search and apply below.

Ian Muldowney

Chief Operating Officer, Air Sector