JMUM Celebrates 25 Years of Survivability Support with Laser Focus

by Andrew Kurpik

U.S. Air Force Photo

In March, the Joint Aircraft Survivability Program Model Users Meeting (JMUM) celebrated its 25th year of promoting aircraft survivability modeling and simulation (M&S) collaboration and support.  This year’s JMUM was held at the Georgia Tech Research Institute in Atlanta and hosted by the Defense Systems Information Analysis Center (DSIAC) in partnership with the Joint Aircraft Survivability Program Office (JASPO) and select model managers.  Nearly 140 industry and government personnel participated, with attendees ranging from senior managers to new model users to members of the testing community.

Started in 1998, the annual JMUM gathering has traditionally focused on the susceptibility and vulnerability of aircraft to kinetic energy and directed energy threats.  Last year, the meeting also included a special session focusing on the evaluation and M&S of the effects of emerging cyber threats on aircraft systems and their associated mission impacts.  This year’s JMUM included a focus on current high-energy laser (HEL) threats and the M&S and testing capabilities available to evaluate them.  This focus was intended to serve as a precursor to a JASP-hosted HEL Workshop, planned for later in 2023.

The JMUM’s primary purpose is to help inform models that are supporting high-dollar design, acquisition, and operational decisions to be improved, to be better applied and used, and to produce better data for decision-makers.  The event also provides a good opportunity for model users to come together and interact directly with model managers, developers, and other users to influence the direction of aircraft survivability M&S.

The format of the JMUM is a combination of formal presentations, model overview briefings, model demonstrations, model training opportunities, and working forums.  This year’s first two days included a plenary session of model overviews, model success stories, future development plans, and a briefing on “Data-Driven Modeling and Simulation to Test Multi-Domain Operations” from Dr. Jeremy Warner, Chief Scientist of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E)’s Strategic Initiatives, Policy, and Emerging Technologies (SIPET) organization.  Also included on the second day was the HEL focus session, which included briefings from the Army, Navy, and Air Force on the respective organizations’ M&S toolsets and testing capabilities, as well as related threat descriptions from the U.S. intelligence community.

The third and fourth days of this year’s JMUM included concurrent group breakout sessions for the air-to-air engagement, surface-to-air engagement, and vulnerability/lethality model groups.  In these sessions, model managers presented details on the model/model user support efforts undertaken in the past year, such as software change requests submitted by the user community and new methodology development and implementation.  Model developers also reviewed and discussed their recent development efforts, as well as planned efforts for the upcoming year.  In addition, model users presented example use cases and user-implemented updates to the models to fit their specific needs, as well as identified deficiencies they would like to have addressed.  Closing out the breakout sessions were Configuration Control Board (CCB) meetings and training opportunities for JASP-funded models.

Community leaders have long recognized that a major key behind the JMUM’s quarter century of success is the ongoing involvement of the model users, whose participation in working forums and CCB discussions provides invaluable feedback and information not readily available otherwise.  JMUMs have also proven themselves to be a valuable venue to access intelligence agency subject-matter experts (SMEs) and threat briefings, especially for industry partners who often have difficulty accessing this level of threat information.

While JMUMs are primarily focused on JASP-supported models, the meetings also strive to include models and participation from across the M&S community, especially in areas where JASP models are leveraged or used by other related tools or frameworks (see Table 1).  This year’s JMUM presentations included the Air Force Research Laboratory discussing the Advanced Framework for Simulation Integration and Modeling (AFSIM), a framework JASP is working on to integrate select models with, and expose JASP models to, a much larger M&S community across the Services. Army, Navy, and Air Force representatives also presented the toolsets they are leveraging to assess HEL survivability and lethality.

JASPO requested that each model briefed at this year’s JMUM provide a range of intended users and applicability to the traditional M&S pyramid (shown in Figure 1).  Figure 2 shows the user and applicability mapping for several of these models.  The consolidated results show that JMUM primarily supports the SMEs of the survivability M&S community and ranges from the engineering through the engagement levels.  Some JMUM models extend to new analysts and mission-level models, although these are in the minority.

Finally, an appropriate complement to JMUM’s silver anniversary recognition this year was the golden anniversary recognition of the Computation of Vulnerable Area Tool (COVART).  Remarkably, though COVART has been updated numerous times over the last 5 decades, the core of the first version, which was introduced in 1973, is still being used today to support aircraft survivability.

JMUM planners are always seeking input from users of JASP and other survivability-related models, especially regarding topics they would like to see presented at future JMUMs.  To find out more or submit abstracts, input, and/or suggestions, please contact Mr. Alfred Yee at

Note that JMUM attendance is limited to U.S. military and DoD civilian personnel and DoD contractors possessing a SECRET-level (or higher) clearance and valid need-to-know.


Mr. Andrew Kurpik currently serves as an M&S SME for the Fighters and Advanced Aircraft Directorate of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) and previously served as the JASP Deputy Program Manager for M&S.  He has approximately 20 years of experience in Air Force acquisition and survivability and has been an M&S technical expert for ALCMC/EZJA and a co-chair for the AFSIM Threat and Scenarios Working Group.  Mr. Kurpik holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in engineering from Wright State University and is a 2019 graduate of the Air Force Air War College Distance Learning Program.