A review was made of the Department of Defense's (DOD) efforts to standardize military computers and software used in combat support and weapon systems. DOD has increasingly become dependent on automation to assist in accomplishing its mission. Associated with this huge computer growth has been a proliferation of many different kinds of computers with wide ranges of speed, size, power, and weight. This widespread proliferation has adversely affected DOD in terms of increased logistical support costs and operational difficulties. The overall cost to develop, operate, and maintain automated systems has increased dramatically because systems using different computers require unique system interfaces, logistics support, software development, maintenance, and training. Moreover, as the requirements for automated systems increase, problems and costs continue to grow. As a result, DOD has been forced to examine different techniques to lessen these adverse impacts so that it can deploy and maintain more cost affordable and operable automated systems in the future. Each military service has placed increased emphasis on computer standardization and is pursuing its own program to provide for standardization in future tactical systems. Although the services have many common functional requirements, they continue to spend funds on separate standardization programs.
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