The Air Force Life Cycle Management Command (AFLCMC) is establishing an open architecture (OA) management office to not only create affordability but improve the speed at which the service reacts to threats, according to an Air Force official.

AFLCMC Avionics Engineering Division Chief Kevin Priddy said Wednesday the OA management office, which already has two or three positions established, is comprised of several different pillars. One is Open Mission Systems (OMS) architecture standard sustainment, which Priddy called an effort to develop and sustain industry consensus and non-proprietary architectural standards for mission systems. Priddy called OMS sustainment one major focus of the office. Priddy also said as OMS affects a great number of platforms that stretch across different kinds of “engineering space” for the Air Force, the OA office is focused on making OMS succeeds.

An Air Force official said the F-22 is an early adopter of Open Mission System (OMS) standards. Photo: Air Force.
An Air Force official said the F-22 is an early adopter of Open Mission System (OMS) standards. Photo: Air Force.

Another pillar, Priddy said, is other OA standards like Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) and Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA). These, he said, will allow the office to keep on top of other open system efforts. FACE is a government-industry software standard and business strategy for acquisition of affordable software systems that promotes innovation and rapid integration of portable capabilities across global defense programs.

Priddy said the OA management office has the support of both program executive officers (PEO) and senior officers. One goal of the OA management office, he said, is to help people integrate their designs faster.

“We’re not trying to displace industry,” Priddy said at the Defense Daily Open Architecture Summit. “What we’re trying to do is create an architecture where we can take your nuggets of brilliance, cordon them off from others and yet still communicate with the rest of the ‘boxes’ and other things in our systems so that we can accomplish our mission much faster.”

AFLCMC said Wednesday it would not be able to respond to requests for comment by press time Wednesday. The Navy defines open architecture as an approach that integrates business and technical practices and yields systems with several modules that can be competed. A system constructed in this way allows vendor-independent acquisition of warfighting capabilities, including the intentional creation of interoperable enterprise-wide reusable components.