Being locked into proprietary platforms or vendor specific open architectures has made the task of achieving supremacy in warfare technology no easier. These issues limit government al ability to bring in third parties to compete or add new capabilities, resulting in expensive sole-source or single-bidder contract awards. By curb ing long programme schedules and opening more integration options , t he Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) initiative with its open systems architecture strategy can make a significant difference both commercially and technological ly.
Business and technology benefits of adopting the FACE approach
The main goal of the FACE Consortium is to increase the affordability and improve time-to-field of avionics systems and their software-based platforms. The FACE technical standard has increased innovation across the defen c e sector by allowing scie ntific and technolog ical communities to focus on developing ground-breaking capabilities within FACE units of conformance ( UoCs ) . It has negat ed the need to tackl e awkward redesign in order to shoehor n new developments into existing monolithic avionics system s .
FACE technical architecture avionics systems can now be tailored by mixing and matching UoC capabilities to support a range of ever-evolving missions. T he likelihood of entire systems becoming obsolete or outdated and of no further use is dramatically reduced. U nnecessary duplicated development efforts are minimized , as is the training overhe ad associated with installation, operation, and maintenance because of the design criteria shared by FACE UoCs .
But p erhaps the most significant benefit for the government consumer is the nullification of vendor lock -in , bolster ing effective competition and lowering costs across DoD avionics systems . Perhaps c ounter intuitively the commercial benefits to UoC software supplier s chosen to fulfil government contract s can be significant and ongoing , due to ever-evolving warfare demands. UoC s oftware developers have also seen savings in software development efforts, contributing to the reduction in time-to-field of avionics systems .