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The Open Group Releases Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) Technical Standard

Standard ensures interoperability and reuse of military avionics software across a common development platform 

SAN FRANCISCO, January 30, 2012 The Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) Consortium, an Open Group managed consortium, today announced the release of the FACE™ Technical Standard, which provides guidelines for creating a common operating environment to support applications across multiple Department of Defense avionics systems. The standard is designed to enhance the U.S. military aviation community’s ability to address issues of limited software reuse and accelerate and enhance warfighter capabilities, as well as enabling the community to take advantage of new technologies more rapidly and affordably.

An open avionic standard will enable developers to create and deploy a wide catalog of applications for use across the entire spectrum of military aviation systems through a common operating environment, increasing capability, security, safety and agility while reducing costs. Product development by industry and procurements by government customer organizations are already underway based on the FACE™ standard.
Developed in collaboration with 39 consortium member organizations, including Sponsors Lockheed Martin, NAVAIR, Rockwell Collins and US Army PEO Aviation, the FACE™ Technical Standard promotes industry-government collaboration in a trusted environment, using proven processes and governance byThe Open Group, which ensures an optimal match between customer needs, capability gaps and technological innovation. The standard introduces interoperability into an environment that has traditionally relied on the use of tightly coupled individual systems each with unique interfaces.
“The introduction of the FACE™ Technical Standard is an important milestone in extending interoperability among the armed forces and creating a common platform for avionics that enables systems to work together across each of the branches of the U.S. military,” said Allen Brown, President and CEO, The Open Group. “Led by The Open Group’s FACE™ Consortium, it is our hope this standard will accelerate the open and secure development of products within the Department of Defense’s Airborne community by enabling industry-government collaboration.”

Member Organization Quotes

"The Naval Aviation Enterprise recognizes that future capability will come from systems controlled by software," said VADM David Architzel, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command. "With the creation of the FACE Technical Standard, the DoD and our industry partners in the FACE Consortium are setting the direction for software portability and interoperability. This standard will enable reduced costs and speed delivery of technical innovation to the Warfighting community."
"Modular open systems are very important to the industry, our military customers, and the warfighter," said Dave Nieuwsma, Vice President and General Manager of Airborne Solutions, Rockwell Collins. "We have seen the benefits of such systems within military rotary wing and tanker / transport aircraft and are pleased to participate as a sponsor member of the FACE Consortium. This publication, along with the forthcoming conformance certification process, will promote the use of widely adopted open industry standards, minimizing the cost and schedule of technology insertions and capability upgrades."
“I have been a supporter of the FACE Consortium and its efforts since I was first briefed on their activities,” said COL Anthony W. Potts, Program Manager, PM Aviation Systems, U.S. Army. “Software portability is essential to reducing costs and expediting the fielding of new capabilities to our aviation warfighters. I have directed the FACE standards be applied to the design and development of the Improved Data Modem Open System Architecture (IDM OSA), as the Army’s first application of this important standard.”

The Open Group FACE™ Consortium

The FACE™ Consortium was formed in June 2010 as a government and industry partnership to define an open avionics environment for all military airborne platform types. Today, it is an aviation-focused professional group made up of industry suppliers, customers and users. It provides a vendor-neutral forum for industry and government to work together to develop and consolidate the open standards, best practices, guidance documents and business models necessary to result in:
  • Standardized approaches for using open standards within avionics systems
  • Lower implementation costs of FACE™ systems
  • Standards that support a robust architecture and enable quality software development
  • The use of standard interfaces that will lead to reuse of capabilities
  • Portability of applications across multiple FACE™ systems and vendors
  • Procurement of FACE™ conformant products
  • More capabilities reaching the Warfighter faster
  • Innovation and competition within the avionics industry

Members of the FACE™ Consortium

Sponsors: Lockheed Martin, NAVAIR, Rockwell Collins, US Army PEO Aviation.
Principals: ATK, BAE Systems, Bell Helicopter, Boeing, Elbit Systems of America, GE Aviation Systems, General Dynamics, Green Hills Software, Harris Corporation, MITRE, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Sikorsky Aircraft, Textron Systems, US Army AMRDEC, Wind River.
Associates: CMC Electronics, Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems, Defense Photonics Group, Donatech Corporation, Esterel Technologies, FMS Secure Solutions, GoAhead Software, LynuxWorks, Microsoft, Objective Interface Systems, Physical Optics Corp., Presagis, Real-Time Innovations, Stauder Technologies, System Planning Corporation, System Support Associates, Tucson Embedded Systems, ViaSat, Zodiac Data Systems.


The FACE™ Technical Standard may be downloaded from The Open Group online bookstore, along with additional FACE™ publications, including the FACE™ Business Guide and the previous Snapshot versions of the FACE™ Reference Architecture:
The Open Group will also host a series of informational webinars on the FACE™ Technical Standard. Visit the webinar registration page for more information or to view the latest webinar schedule.

About The Open Group

The Open Group is an international vendor- and technology-neutral consortium upon which organizations rely to lead the development of IT standards and certifications, and to provide them with access to key industry peers, suppliers and best practices. The Open Group provides guidance and an open environment in order to ensure interoperability and vendor neutrality. Further information on The Open Group can be found at

Media Contact

Kerry Tescher
Bateman Group for The Open Group
+1 (415) 503-1818