One of the most prevalent trends in defense acquisition is that modernizing and upgrading platforms and systems need to be based on open systems architectures, which is now called a modular open systems approach (MOSA). The central thesis of MOSA is that by requiring common standards and interfaces in its major platforms, components, weapons, and systems, future acquisitions of new capabilities and upgrades to legacy systems can be accomplished faster and at lower costs. MOSA can support greater competition, enhanced innovation, and more rapid technological refresh while reducing sustainment costs. DoD is looking to implement MOSA in some new acquisitions such as the Future Vertical Lift program. The primary challenge is to introduce open systems acquisitions to legacy platforms. I have written more on this subject here.
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