What is the Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) Directive?
On January 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) issued a memo, signed by the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy, mandating the use of the Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA). The memo states that “MOSA supporting standards should be included in all requirements, programming and development activities for future weapon system modifications and new start development programs to the maximum extent possible.” In fact, this mandate for MOSA is even codified into a United States law (Title 10 U.S.C. 2446a.(b), Sec 805) that states all major defense acquisition programs (MDAP) are to be designed and developed using a MOSA open architecture.
The MOSA Imperative
This Curtiss-Wright position paper aims to put MOSA (Modular Open Systems Approach) into perspective and enable you, whether a defense contractor, a decision-maker at the DoD, or a public policymaker, to put the increasingly relevant MOSA to use better. MOSA drives faster time to market, lower cost, increased software portability, technology innovation, and interoperability among systems across all defense domains. This position paper will guide you through why MOSA exists, its history and context, and why MOSA is ideally suited to creating the capabilities required to counter an uncertain and dangerous world of rapidly shifting threats.
Why Open Standards Like CMOSS and SOSA Are the New Normal
A Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) is not itself a technical standard. Rather, MOSA is an acquisition and design strategy that prioritizes the use of open standards-based technology for, as the Defense Standardization Program states, "designing an affordable and adaptable system."