A Holistic Approach to Open Systems Architecture for Army Aviation

Preamble: I had the privilege to present in Philadelphia for the 75th anniversary of the Vertical Flight Society (VFS). Unfortunately, I cannot share this paper on my site because it is part of the proceedings of the VFS, however, below is the link to the technical paper itself on the Forum75 website. Note that I receive no proceeds from any purchase of the paper, those go to support the VFS. I can paste the text of the abstract here and hope that if this paper is of interest to you that you can reach out and have a conversation about it.


The Army is pivoting to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving threat environment in an increasingly complex world; this requires an agile and adaptive capability, leveraging competition, while operating within the constraints of current budget cycles. A cross cutting architectural approach provides opportunity for the Army to maintain capability overmatch. Recent changes in acquisition law and Army modernization strategy bring particularly strong emphasis on adoption of Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) and Open Systems Architecture (OSA). Many current programs within Army Aviation rely on a best effort approach (“Do MOSA”) to deliver systems. Current programs measure success on cost, performance, and schedule of the individual program with little historical institutional support for aligning efforts across a larger “whole-system” context, such as a Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB). Specific programs, including the Utility Helicopter Program Office (UHPO) UH-60V and Crew Mission Station (CMS), as well as multiple Science & Technology (S&T) programs supporting Future Vertical Lift (FVL) such as the Mission Systems Architecture Demonstration (MSAD), that exhibit aspects of the architectural momentum in the Army enterprise. The recommendation of our team is to develop an Army Aviation Enterprise Architecture Strategy that will provide the detail necessary in order to develop individual product lines while providing synergy in architecture related efforts into a holistic approach maintaining focus on Army Aviation as a whole force in support of and integrated with the ground commander.


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