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Feb28

VICTORY Might Not Be a Win for Everybody

Open standards are easy to love. With a common, defined computing system, anybody can port their applications to them and the software syncs beautifully, simplifying upgrades and providing flexibility in customers’ choice of supplier.

One U.S. Army crack at open standards provides a good example of the expectation, which was to correct the problems created by the bolted-on approach of field equipment on vehicles. Unfortunately, like far too many of such standards, the Vehicular Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability, or VICTORY, falls flat on implementation.

The initiative is an attempt to save size, weight and power (SWaP) and ease the “tech refresh” upgrade process by defining interoperable, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) computing systems. In theory, VICTORY defines an architecture with systems, components and interfaces, a standard specification for interconnection and reference designs. It should allow tactical wheeled vehicles and ground combat systems to recover lost space while reducing weight and saving power through a “converged architecture with open interfaces.” The assumption is that VICTORY’s open architecture lets platforms integrate future technologies without the need for significant redesign. While the goal is commendable, reality paints a different picture.

A Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle tackles rough terrain during training at an air base in Southwest Asia.

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Ben Sharfi

CEO and Chief Architect
General Micro Systems, Inc.

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