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On 2019, the U.S. Department of Defense 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 stated 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 that states all major defense acquisition programs (MDAP) are to be designed and developed using a MOSA open architecture.

MOSA itself is not a technical standard, but an acquisition and design strategy that prioritizes the use of open standards-based technology. The MOSA directive has accelerated the adoption of a variety of open standards, such as SOSA or CMOSS, that have been adopted by the three military branches.

Adopting a MOSA open architecture allows:

  • Seamless Sharing across Domains and Machine

  • Rapid Innovation and Integration 

  • Vendor Independence and Reduced Obsolescence

  • Life Cycle Supportability

  • Minimized SWaP

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