Embracing Open Architectures

New Electronics

Published in New Electronics
Written by Mark Grovak

What are the benefits of using a modular open systems approach to upgrade legacy military electronics systems?

The US DoD now mandates that all new defence acquisition programs be designed and developed using a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA). MOSA is not itself a technical standard, but rather an acquisition and design strategy that prioritises the use of open standards-based technology.

Codified into law, (Title 10 U.S.C. 2446a.(b), Sec 805), MOSA gained a great amount of momentum in 2019 when the U.S. DoD issued a memorandum, "Modular Open Systems Approaches for our Weapon Systems is a Warfighting Imperative," that stated the Secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force had deemed the use of open standards "vital to our success." The memo mandates that MOSA supporting standards should be included in requirements for all weapons systems going forward.

The DoD identifies five key benefits to MOSA:

  1. Interoperability
  2. Tech Refresh
  3. Competition
  4. Innovation
  5. Cost savings/Cost avoidance

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