Skip to main content

The Open Group Releases Technical Standard for Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE), Edition 2.0

New edition furthers interoperability and portability of military avionics software across a common development platform

SAN FRANCISCO, March 13, 2013The Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) Consortium, an Open Group managed consortium, today announced the immediate availability of the FACE™ Technical Standard, Edition 2.0, an enhanced version of the open avionics standard for making military computing operations more robust, interoperable, portable and secure. The FACE Technical Standard enables 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. The new edition of the standard further promotes application interoperability and portability with enhanced requirements for exchanging data among FACE components and emphasis on defining common language requirements for the standard.

Developed in collaboration with more than 50 consortium member organizations, the FACE Technical Standard is a vendor-neutral approach for addressing the affordability initiatives of the military aviation community. It is designed to enhance the U.S. military aviation community’s ability to address issues of limited software reuse and increase warfighter capabilities, as well as enable the community to take advantage of new technologies more rapidly and affordably.

“The FACE Consortium brings together leading minds in industry and government to improve portability and reuse within the aerospace and defense communities,” said Allen Brown, President and CEO, The Open Group. “Utilizing industry best practices, the latest version of the FACE Standard is another important milestone in extending open standards to environments that have traditionally relied on unique interfaces. The FACE Technical Standard is a key enabler for achieving cost-effective solutions at a high level of flexibility and openness.”

Key additions to Edition 2.0 of the FACE Technical Standard include the FACE Data Model, Language Run-Times and Component Frameworks, Protocol Mediation Services, Streaming Media Services and expanded definitions of Units of Portability. These additions broaden the standard to accommodate other languages and aviation mission requirements, including required capabilities such as streaming video, and will accelerate the rate of adoption as Edition 2.0 now further accommodates the requirements and needs of organizations within the industry implementing the standard.

Member Organization Quotes

“The release of Edition 2.0 of the FACE Technical Standard is a testament to the Government – Industry – Academia cooperation of the FACE Consortium under the guidance of The Open Group,” said Mark Swymeler, vice president of Electronic Product Line in Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training. “Lockheed Martin is a founding member and has been an active participant in the FACE Consortium since its inception three years ago. The benefits of a FACE Conformant Common Operating Environment and the rapid deployment of FACE Conformant software capabilities to the warfighter will be realized through the increased efficiencies and affordability of procurement, design, upgrade and sustainment for the modern military cockpit and mission systems. Lockheed Martin Corporation has embraced the use of open standards for our aviation systems and will be incorporating FACE conformant software for the US Navy on the C-130T program, and across our product lines.”

“The FACE approach is enabling the Navy to save money while still providing capabilities to the warfighter faster through software portability and reuse,” said Keith Sanders, the assistant commander for Acquisition for the Naval Air Systems Command, whose organization leads FACE development for the Navy. “It was the right thing to do before, but it is now imperative with the current defense budget environment. I applaud the government and industry members of the FACE Consortium whose collaborative efforts resulted in the publication of Edition 2.0 of the FACE Technical Standard. This standard will serve as a cornerstone to provide the Navy and our partners in the other service branches with innovative approaches to delivering cost-effective solutions in the future.”

“This publication continues the progress toward more affordable systems for our customers,” said Dave Nieuwsma, vice president of strategy and business development, Rockwell Collins. “Edition 2.0 of the FACE Technical Standard sets the framework for innovation in software-centric avionics capabilities, where completed and mature products can move from platform to platform with reduced development and integration effort. Rockwell Collins looks forward to utilizing this open architecture advancement in the development of next generation capabilities on programs such as the UH-60L.”

"The FACE initiative and the FACE Consortium are a "blue-print" approach for optimal industry and government (inter-service) collaboration," said Colonel Jerry Davis, program manager, PM Aviation Systems, US Army. "The FACE program has made significant progress in standard development and we expect to achieve integration cost and schedule savings as we leverage those standards and best practices developed by the FACE Consortium."

About The Open Group FACE™ Consortium

The FACE™ Consortium 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, academia, 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

Further information on the FACE Consortium can be found at


The FACE Technical Standard, Edition 2.0 is available for download from The Open Group online bookstore, along with additional FACE publications including the FACE Business Guide and the previous version of the FACE Technical Standard: FACE publications in our bookstore.

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


FACE is a trademark and The Open Group is a registered trademark of The Open Group