Properly architected avionics systems can reduce the costs of periodic functional improvements, maintenance, and
obsolescence. With this in mind, the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) initiated the
Manned/Unmanned Common Architecture Program (MCAP) in 2003 to develop an affordable, high-performance
embedded mission processing architecture for potential application to multiple aviation platforms.
MCAP analyzed Army helicopter and unmanned air vehicle (UAV) missions, identified supporting subsystems,
surveyed advanced hardware and software technologies, and defined computational infrastructure technical
requirements. The project selected a set of modular open systems standards and market-driven commercial-off-theshelf
(COTS) electronics and software, and, developed experimental mission processors, network architectures, and
software infrastructures supporting the integration of new capabilities, interoperability, and life cycle cost reductions.
MCAP integrated the new mission processing architecture into an AH-64D Apache Longbow and participated in
Future Combat Systems (FCS) network-centric operations field experiments in 2006 and 2007 at White Sands
Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico and at the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) in 2008. The MCAP
Apache also participated in PM C4ISR On-the-Move (OTM) Capstone Experiments 2007 (E07) and 2008 (E08) at
Ft. Dix, NJ and conducted Mesa, Arizona local area flight tests in December 2005, February 2006, and June 2008.