Ansys Joins BAE Systems on MBSE Mission

Ansys and BAE Systems are on a mission to deepen digital engineering integrations in national defense systems. 

So what does that mean, and what impact could it have on national security?

Recently acquired by Synopsys, Ansys just announced it is joining the BAE Systems Mission Advantage Program. The partnership focuses on advancing model-based systems engineering within the Pentagon to improve decision making and engineering efficiency. 

Daniel Perkins, director of strategy and technology partnerships at BAE, said in a news release the combo is a “force multiplier to bring digital mission engineering to the” Department of Defense. 

The DoD is pushing contractors to adopt digital engineering. In December 2023, the department issued a new directive, DoDI 5000.97, requiring new programs to use detailed digital models as the primary means of communication over traditional documents. 

BAE Systems will lean on Ansys to help its customers move to migrate to digital modeling. The ultimate goal is to grease the Pentagon’s gears so the US can maintain its technological advantages of near peer adversaries like China and Russia. 

The companies said Ansys simulation tools will be used for analysis, testing, and creation of new tech. Their primary focuses are AI, autonomous and networked systems, human-machine interfaces, and integrated sensing. 

With model-based systems engineering, or MBSE, organizations can quickly evaluate how different systems will interact and adjust accordingly. 

MBSE emerged in the late 1990s as a remedy for out-of-control system complexity in aerospace and defense. While traditional systems engineering relies on loads of documents and drawings, MBSE uses detailed digital models to show engineers and designers how each component interact with other parts. 

In the announcement, Ansys highlighted a simulation of the entire system-of-systems of a global satellite communication system. By simulating system actions at any location and at any time, Ansys said, engineers gain a clearer understanding of system behavior and mission performance.

Ansys was acquired this year for $35 billion by Synopsys, intending to combine its semiconductor design automation tools with Ansys simulation capabilities. 

In aerospace and defense, its key competitors include Siemens Digital Industries Software, Dassault Systèmes’ SIMULIA applications, and Altair Engineering. 

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