Army to discuss open architecture at industry day

By Ethan Sterenfeld / February 5, 2021 at 11:11 AM

The Army will discuss the Common Modular Open Architecture, its open systems framework, at a Feb. 25 industry day, according to a recent notice posted by the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors.

"Mike Schwartz, our new Chief of Systems Engineering, will lead a discussion on Open Systems Architecture," the notice states. "The session will delve into the new Common Modular Open Architecture (CMOA) concept from [the Army's acquisition executive] and highlight current initiatives across the PEO."

Representatives from the program executive office and Army Contracting Command will also discuss new contract opportunities and answer questions at the industry day, according to the notice.

The Common Modular Open Architecture is being developed alongside the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, the Bradley fighting vehicle replacement, then-Army acquisition executive Bruce Jette told Inside Defense last month.

The architecture could be applied to new and upgraded ground vehicles in the future, Jette said.

The service is also developing an open architecture for the Future Vertical Lift family of next-generation helicopters.

Under an open and modular architecture, vehicles would be designed so that individual components, such as a sensor or targeting computer, could be more easily upgraded or replaced with a similar product from another company.

These architectures typically involve standardization of some software and physical connectors, so that one company's sensor can interface with another company's targeting computer.

Competition for subsystems, as well as the number of subsystems in a vehicle, could increase if the Army moves toward open and modular architectures, a deputy director at the Center for International and Strategic Studies told Inside Defense last month.

This would be especially true for electronics and sensors that can be repeatedly upgraded during a vehicle's lifetime, the CSIS expert said. The program executive office hosting the industry day manages some of these subsystems.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry day will be hosted virtually, over Microsoft Teams, according to the notice.