In 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) issued a mandate to incorporate Open Systems Architecture principles within procurement requirements for defense hardware and software. OSA requires the use of existing open standards for well-defined, modular hardware and software components that can be sourced from multiple vendors. OSA hardware platforms should be reusable for quick-reaction mission needs, feature upgrades and new technology insertion. These advantages reduce development risks and help ensure significantly longer operational lifecycles.
How did DoD services respond to the OSA mandate?
Three U.S. services (Army, Navy and Air Force) began developing standards that embraced OSA principles to meet future procurement needs of deployed systems for their respective services. The Army’s CCDC (Combat Capabilities Development Command) developed CMOSS (C4ISR/EW Modular Open Suite of Standards), which is based on other open standards, including OpenVPX, MORA, VICTORY, REDHAWK and SCA.
NAVAIR (Naval Air Systems Command) created HOST (Hardware Open Systems Technology) for airborne and ground vehicle mission systems. It divides hardware into three tiers: 1) the platform (airframe, vehicle, etc.), 2) the system enclosure and, 3) boards, with the latter two tiers being subsets of OpenVPX.
The Air Force’s OMS (Open Mission Systems) initiative incorporates open standards, including SOA, UCI, and FACE, all for standardizing messages, command and control mission information for avionics systems.