updated 11/29/2010 1:15:44 AM ET 2010-11-29T06:15:44

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Speaking to attendees at the Defense Daily 2010 Open Architecture Summit Nov. 18, Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Michael Twyman, vice president of Integrated Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Systems for the company's Information Systems sector, said government and industry need to focus on "enduring architectures" to achieve the greatest cost-savings benefits from Open Architecture efforts.

"Looking at first- and second-generation Open Architecture implementation, there is much progress and documented evidence of success, but changes are needed to more fully realize the benefits. First and foremost, government and industry need to focus on enduring architectures," Twyman said.

An enduring architecture is not only open and interoperable now – allowing components to be easily added, reused, upgraded and changed – but also prevents any particular vendor or integrator from locking in exclusive access for making system changes and enhancements in the future.

Twyman also called for increased competition at the component supplier level and the system integrator level, both of which would be "enabled by Open Architecture." In addition, he said, more attention needs to go into enterprise-level Open Architectures, citing U. S. Air Force Electronic Systems Center efforts in this area as a positive trend.

Twyman introduced morning keynote speaker Rear Admiral Nevin P. Carr, Jr., Chief of Naval Research, Director, Test and Evaluation and Technology Requirements before participating in a panel discussing "Open Architecture or Open Acquisition?"

Although Open Architecture has not generated the promised reduction in total ownership costs, Twyman shared lessons learned about vendor and integrator lock-in, standards, open-source strategies and models. 

"The government needs more capable, effective techniques and models to better evaluate Open Architecture implementation. Every RFP (request for proposal) calls for total ownership cost reduction, but where's the model for evaluating?" Twyman asked. "Also, we need to include evaluation factors for Open Architecture in both technical and past performance subfactors."    

Northrop Grumman uses its Modular Open Systems Approach−CompetitiveTM  (MOSA-CTM) model to minimize total ownership costs and improve interoperability on a number of programs, including the Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise System (CANES). Northrop Grumman is developing one of two systems competing for the U.S. Navy CANES contract, which is scheduled to be awarded to a single company in late 2011.  

Northrop Grumman's MOSA-CTM is a strategic business and engineering process that realizes the lifecycle benefits of open-systems architecture and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components and software. Applying MOSA-CTM, the company verified "plug-and-play" modularity through extensive testing and demonstrated the ability of multiple COTS and open-source products to meet CANES current and future requirements.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

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