How to Increase Military Software Innovation and Longevity through Reuse

How to Increase Military Software Innovation and Longevity through Reuse

Software is a critical element in almost any military application and can be a differentiator that provides strategic and tactical advantages on the battlefield. However, it also has to meet set challenges – it has to be long-lived, reliable, and easily maintainable to match the longevity of the military platform on which it is deployed. That means it has to account for both innovation and longevity from the start, and be able to work consistently and effectively over decades without the risk of failure.

Yet, in long-lived military projects, software is often being rewritten from scratch, pushing up costs and delaying overall completion. For example, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlighted software delays as a key factor in the F-35 fighter jet modernization program failing to meet deadlines to move to full-rate production. This is no outlier – 10 of the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) 15 major IT projects are behind schedule.

It’s therefore time for a new approach – one that applies lessons learned from previous military software development and focuses on military grade, open source, standards-based solutions that reuse and rejuvenate existing assets. This method will deliver the innovative software capabilities that military projects require – on time and on budget.

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