What is the Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) Directive?

On January 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) issued a memo, signed by the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy, mandating the use of the Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA). The memo states that “MOSA supporting standards should be included in all requirements, programming and development activities for future weapon system modifications and new start development programs to the maximum extent possible.” In fact, this mandate for MOSA is even codified into a United States law (Title 10 U.S.C. 2446a.(b), Sec 805) that states all major defense acquisition programs (MDAP) are to be designed and developed using a MOSA open architecture.

MOSA itself is not a technical standard, but an acquisition and design strategy that prioritizes the use of open standards-based technology. The MOSA directive has accelerated the adoption of a variety of open standards, such as The Open Group Sensor Open Systems Architecture™ (SOSA) and  the U.S. Army CCDC C5ISR Center’s C5ISR/EW Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS), that have been adopted by the three military branches.



Adopting a MOSA open architecture offers a wide range of benefits:

  • Seamless Sharing across Domains and Machines: Common standards enable seamless interplatform communications, sharing of information across all domains, and facilitation of JADC2
  • Rapid Innovation and Integration: Interoperability simplifies insertion and deployment of new or future technologies, as well as reconfigurability, portability, scalability, and reuse with little or no modification
  • Vendor Independence and Reduced Obsolescence: Moving away from proprietary interfaces increases the sources of supply and support, eliminating vendor lock-in and increasing vendor competition
  • Life Cycle Supportability: The ability to choose parts from multiple vendors lowers life cycle management risks and costs by increasingly availability and reducing required training
  • Minimized SWaP: Increased interoperability reduces the number of systems required to field new technology, which in turn eliminates clutter caused by redundant cabling and accessories

Trusted, Proven Solutions Based on MOSA Open Standards

Our rugged hardware is designed to bring the benefits of a MOSA architecture to deployed ground, airborne, and naval platforms. We’re so dedicated to open standards development that we’re even a leading member and participant in the organizations and consortiums actively defining and improving these important system hardware standards. 

Click the links below to explore our solutions aligned to key standards influenced by the MOSA directive:

VPX3-1260 SOSA VPX3-673 CMOSS Chassi DuraCOR AGX-Xavier
SOSA-Aligned Plug-In Cards (PICs) CMOSS-Aligned Plug-In Cards (PICs) SOSA and CMOSS System Integration Services Modular Small Form Factor Systems
DuraNET 20-11 GVDU Advanced Mission Management System VPX3-152
VICTORY Solutions GVA Solutions OMS/UCI System Capabilities FACE-Supporting Hardware


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