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DoD Open Standard Network Transformation

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DoD Open Standard Network Transformation

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is faced with the enormous task of ensuring consistent readiness of embedded computing and communications systems in the context of unprecedented technological advancement. Precipitated by Secretary of Defense William Perry’s memo, “Specifications & Standards – A New Way of Doing Business,” in June 1994, the use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components represents the foundation of military, aerospace and government ability to access commercial, state-of-the-art technology.

Today, military force transformation is guided by a vision of network-centric operations, an effort to accelerate the use of technology to provide seamless communications, collaboration and situational awareness with legacy proprietary “silos,” using a Global Information Grid, across all branches of service – securely and reliably.

The network-centric warfare vision imposes significant system-level requirements. Many complex systems will need to interoperate and provide backward compatibility with current force systems. The system architecture must:
• Enable technology insertion
• Scale to meet ever-changing missions and force levels
• Meet form factor and environmental requirements
• Address the need for cost containment and timelines.

The benefits of using true commercial off-the-shelf products for the military include systems that are cheaper, faster and better, and require no systems engineering and no testing. While COTS products have the potential for cost-effective acquisition of components and advanced technology, they do not completely deliver on DoD’s vision.

Open systems emphasize the use of standards and implementations that conform to those standards. The plug-and-play and multisource features of open systems provide a framework for the effective use of COTS products for military, aerospace and government applications. Open standards-based modular platform architecture provides a foundation capable of accelerating and sustaining force transformation.

Read the full DoD Open Standard Network Transformation Case Study.