Jerry Sollick, Capability Team Leader for Survivability Research
UK MOD has recently commenced a number of initiatives aimed at the introduction of Open Architectures into the Land domain. This is because MOD now recognises that the adoption of widely accepted standards free from supplier IP will be a key enabler for through-life capability management and the optimisation of technology insertion onto soldiers, vehicles and bases and will allow systems to maintain capability in the face of rapidly evolving threats and ultimately to reduce the time when personnel are exposed to the risk of suffering life changing injury.
Much of MOD’s thinking has been shaped by underpinning research undertaken by QinetiQ, and its predecessor organisations, over the last two decades into open standards and how they should be specified and implemented in order to realise the potential benefits of new technology without constraining future solutions. This research continues today in the Vehicle Systems Integration (VSI) programme and is being exploited through the various defence standards; Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) Generic Soldier Architecture (GSA) Generic Base Architecture (GBA) and the Common Operational Infrastructure Land (COIL), adoption of which are being mandated into future procurements. The GVA Defence Standard has already been implemented on Foxhound and will also be used in elements of the Scout SV system.
With the adoption of open standards MOD will no longer be tied to prime contractors for all upgrades, will be better placed to draw solutions from across the supplier base and should ultimately see reductions in whole life costs of systems, resulting both from increased competition and new modular approaches to safety and security certification. QinetiQ has worked with MOD and Industry stakeholders to promote early endorsement of open standards as these are developed and ensure adoption as new standards are mandated in future procurements.
In addition to our continuing involvement in leading the underpinning research QinetiQ is now playing an increasingly active role in the drafting of the Defence Standards, support to DE&S Project Offices responsible for standard implementation, participation in initiatives looking at NATO wide adoption of Open Architecture standards and generally providing thought leadership and vision across the area.