The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program is a significant new DoD program focused on proactive measures to address the issue of aging avionics in the future. The JSF Program faces three challenges. First, it must develop processes for an affordable, effective, evolvable family of weapon systems with an operational lifetime of more than 30 years, even though most product lifetimes are less than five years. Second, the new weapons systems must be developed according to the system acquisition procedures, which include compliance with acquisition reform processes and the open systems policy; at the same time proprietary information must be protected and the integrity of competition maintained. Third, the new weapons systems must meet the needs of both warfighters (by providing real-time operation, safe flight, and security) and the needs of logisticians (by designs for reliability and maintainability, that facilitate easy upgrades and include plans for dealing with obsolescence). The JSF Program, which is committed to funding a MOSA strategy to meet these challenges, has been collaborating with industry and academia since 1994.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) formed a Tiger Team in the Information Technology Office to determine the potential of improving embedded software in DoD systems. The Tiger Team will address concerns about the growing problem of integrating embedded software in the large, complex systems. Surprisingly, DARPA has determined that the cost of integrating embedded software is 40 to 50 percent of the acquisition cost and growing. Therefore, DARPA is sponsoring studies and pilot programs to establish a new process for reintegrating physical and information sciences. The purpose of these programs is to suggest two new technologies to support this process change.
The Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA) was established by DoD to provide a broad spectrum of microelectronic services. Located in Sacramento, California, DMEA is under the direction and control of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Logistics. Because DMEA is the DoD activity involved with the obsolescence of microelectronics, it has sponsored a number of government and industry initiatives to address the growing problems of sustainment and obsolescence.
DMEA's primary mission is to leverage the capabilities and payoffs of advanced technology to solve operational problems in existing weapon systems, increase operational capabilities, reduce operation and support costs, and reduce the effects of diminishing manufacturing sources (DMS). DMEA assists weapon systems program managers by providing advanced microelectronics technologies, ensuring long-term sustainment of these systems, and providing studies and analyses of current and future sustainment problems.
The Office of the USD(AT&L) established the Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) Teaming Group to address the issue of component obsolescence. Members of the DMSMS Teaming Group, who represent DoD programs and industry, are working together to find solutions to common component obsolescence problems. The Teaming Group maintains a database of current information on component obsolescence and, whenever possible, explores resolutions that will work for all programs faced with the obsolescence problem, often reducing the cost. Membership in the DMSMS Teaming Group is open to all procuring activities. Currently, no membership or computer usage fees are required.
The Government Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP) is a cooperative, government-industry program to reduce costs by making maximum use of existing data. The program provides a medium of exchange for technical information and data essential for research, design, development, production, and sustainment.
GIDEP is managed and funded by the U.S. government and chartered by the Joint Logistics Commanders. Participating organizations include: U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, Defense Logistics Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Labor, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Postal