Defense & Military

SOA: Meeting the Military’s MOSA Demands

Last Updated September 15, 2020
January 11, 2022

As part of efforts to enable fast equipment upgrades and keep costs in check, the US Department of Defense requires under law that all military vehicles be designed using a modular open systems approach (MOSA). The shift to modular systems means that each discrete component can receive the maintenance and upgrades it requires without necessitating a full overhaul of the entire vehicle. 

Defense contractors are already working with the US military on the implementation of the law and how to start using MOSA in ground vehicles. At the same time, GuardKnox is sharing with military colleagues the potential for Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) to facilitate this transition due to its secure and modular design.

What is MOSA?

An open systems approach has been a popular business strategy for years to encourage innovation and promote efficiency. By adding the word “modular”, MOSA becomes a modular open systems architecture, integrating a technical component to the business strategy. A modular system design can take advantage of changing and evolving technologies and industry standards by allowing for the easy upgrade or replacement of an individual component.

The US Department of Defense requires major defense acquisition programs to use a MOSA and benefit from the following criteria:

  • Modular system platforms and components can interface with each other.
  • System interfaces can be verified as complying with consensus-based standards.
  • The modular open systems architecture allows for the addition, removal or replacement of each major system as needed throughout the system’s life cycle.

Why is the Military Adopting MOSA?

The Department of Defense faces the challenge of ensuring that its equipment is top-of-the-line and undefeatable while also considering efficiency and affordability. MOSA’s combination of modular architecture and open systems standards fits the bill, and is expected to provide the military with the following benefits:

  • Significant cost savings 
  • Ability to deploy new technology quickly and efficiently
  • Ongoing and as-needed technical upgrades
  • Interoperability between systems

MOSA supports the interoperability, portability and scalability that the Department of Defense is looking for in determining how to build the military vehicles of the future. By enacting these standards, the military is also widening the competitive playing field of defense providers. The modular open systems approach means that smaller companies with specialized expertise in certain areas can create solutions for specific modules, even if they are unable to develop the entire vehicle and all of the systems it requires. 

The adoption of MOSA puts the Department of Defense in a position to leverage innovation without compromising on security, all while reducing costs. 

SOA: The GuardKnox MOSA

As a company founded based on years of defense aviation expertise in the Israeli Air Force, GuardKnox is in a unique position to support the US Department of Defense in its mission to bring modular open systems architecture to the development of military vehicles. Whereas GuardKnox originally took knowledge from defense aviation and applied it to the automotive industry, it’s now able to take that now-further-enhanced knowledge back to the defense industry. 

The E/E architecture in civilian automobiles is being revolutionized in order to meet the demands of a new generation of drivers for a highly personalized, secure driving experience. GuardKnox’s Software-Oriented Architecture (SOA) framework answers all of the MOSA requirements.

67 - SOA and the military table (1)67 - SOA and the military table@2x

In addition to answering the technical requirements of MOSA, SOA also offers a safe and secure operating environment. By separating critical functionalities from the non-critical, systems are better protected against the ever-growing threat of cyberattacks and hackers. 

Ultimately, the military needs to ensure that their vehicles can be easily upgraded in order to remain functionally viable and that any problems can be diagnosed and repaired quickly. By implementing a modular open systems approach using GuardKnox’s Secure SOA Framework, the entire process of developing and maintaining military vehicle architectures will become more streamlined, efficient and secure. 

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