FACE technical standard debuts to foster interoperability, reuse of military avionics software across common development platform

SAN FRANCISCO, 31 Jan. 2012. U.S. Navy and U.S. Army officials joined forces with aerospace and defense industry leaders, including executives from Lockheed Martin and Rockwell Collins, to help ensure warfighters can benefit from continued software innovations, both more quickly and more affordably, despite anticipated U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) budget cuts. The Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium has released the FACE Technical Standard, providing guidelines for creating a common operating environment to support applications across multiple DOD avionics systems.

The open avionics standard is intended to enable developers to create and deploy applications across the entire spectrum of military aviation systems through a common operating environment, increasing capability, security, safety, and agility while also reducing costs. FACE officials reveal that several product developments by industry and procurements by government customer organizations are underway based on the FACE standard.

Developed in collaboration with 39 consortium member organizations, including Lockheed Martin, NAVAIR, Rockwell Collins, and U.S. Army PEO Aviation, the FACE Technical Standard promotes industry-government collaboration in a trusted environment, using proven processes and governance by The Open Group. The standard introduces interoperability into an environment that has traditionally relied on the use of tightly coupled individual systems each with unique interfaces.

"The introduction of the FACE Technical Standard is an important milestone in extending interoperability among the armed forces and creating a common platform for avionics that enables systems to work together across each of the branches of the U.S. military," explains Allen Brown, president and CEO, The Open Group. "It is our hope this standard will accelerate the open and secure development of products within the Department of Defense's Airborne community by enabling industry-government collaboration."

"Modular open systems are very important to the industry, our military customers, and the warfighter," says Dave Nieuwsma, vice president and general manager of Airborne Solutions at Rockwell Collins. "We have seen the benefits of such systems within military rotary wing and tanker / transport aircraft and are pleased to participate as a sponsor member of the FACE Consortium. This publication, along with the forthcoming conformance certification process, will promote the use of widely adopted open industry standards, minimizing the cost and schedule of technology insertions and capability upgrades."

The FACE Consortium, formed as a government/industry partnership to define an open avionics environment for all military airborne platform types, is an aviation-focused professional group made up of industry suppliers, customers, and users. It is intended to provide a vendor-neutral forum for industry and government to work together to develop and consolidate open standards, best practices, guidance documents, and business models.

Members of the FACE Corsortium include:
Sponsors: Lockheed Martin, NAVAIR, Rockwell Collins, and U.S. Army PEO Aviation.

Principals: ATK, BAE Systems, Bell Helicopter, Boeing, Elbit Systems of America, GE Aviation Systems, General Dynamics, Green Hills Software, Harris Corporation, MITRE, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Sikorsky Aircraft, Textron Systems, US Army AMRDEC, and Wind River.

Associates: CMC Electronics, Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems, Defense Photonics Group, Donatech Corporation, Esterel Technologies, FMS Secure Solutions, GoAhead Software, LynuxWorks, Microsoft, Objective Interface Systems, Physical Optics Corp., Presagis, Real-Time Innovations, Stauder Technologies, System Planning Corporation, System Support Associates, Tucson Embedded Systems, ViaSat, and Zodiac Data Systems.



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