Examining the Magnitude of the U.S. Army’s Common Modular Open Architecture (CMOA) Approach

open architecture

Building more open platforms throughout the battlespace is something that The Modern Battlespace continues to examine closely, especially as in-theater systems become more sophisticated and interconnected across branches and domains. Recently, the U.S. Army formally discussed their path forward around the creation of an open architecture initiative known as the Common Modular Open Architecture (CMOA). CMOA will enable both air and ground vehicles throughout the battlespace to more easily share components due to the establishment of unified architecture standards. 

The standardization of Open Systems Architectures (OSA) has been a nagging pain point for the military. The defense community lacks a universal definition of open systems, with each service creating its own standards and architecture making it difficult for interoperability between services.  For this reason, these updates from the Army on CMOA are crucial in the path forward for truly adopting OSA and, as a result, expediting innovation throughout the defense industry.

According to Breaking Defense, the Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) is set to pilot the new open architecture approach, forging the path for multiple future ground and air systems to utilize CMOA-compliant systems as needed. The modular approach being applied here allows for more rapid updates to both hardware and software to be made and puts leading technology in the hands of the warfighter faster. 

“Modular open systems architecture: it is the foundation of all our future modernization,” Brig. Gen. Glenn Dean, Program Executive Officer for Ground Combat Systems (PEO-GCS) said earlier this year at the Defense Innovation Summit. 

Leaders like BG Dean are calling on defense industry leaders to move away from proprietary, siloed approaches in their technology and towards a design process that keeps OSA at the forefront. And that call for action is voiced clearly with the launch of CMOA. 

It’s a call that leaders like Collins Aerospace are answering with programs like their Gen II Manpack (PRC-162), Titan, and Mounted Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing System (MAPS) Gen II. “One of the best paths to bringing the systems that our warfighters need in a timely manner is through an open systems approach,” explained Ryan Bunge, Vice President and General Manager, Communication, Navigation and Guidance Solutions at Collins Aerospace. “Through a more connected, secure, and agile system of systems, overmatch goals can be met and even exceeded.”