Non-disclosure agreements were put in place to encourage open interaction between companies. Monthly meetings took place—not at Lloyd's and Masley's office in Abbey Wood, near Bristol, but at each participant's site, to ensure all involved got to see what each other was doing. “We refused to get bogged down in unnecessary process,” Lloyd said. “If there was something to be done, we went ahead and did it.”
GSA is likely to concentrate on power issues—the wide range of different and non-interoperable batteries required by increasingly power-hungry dismounted equipment suggests significant weight-reduction benefits can be achieved—while the base architecture includes standards to permit fast replacement of water, fuel and waste-disposal equipment, as well as power and data-management systems. All three concepts are due to be extensively tested in October, during a three-week experimental exercise in Wales.
Of course, the full benefits of LOSA cannot be achieved by one nation alone. Other militaries are looking at generic architectures, though approaches vary. The U.S. equivalent of GVA is the Vehicular Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability (Victory) standard. Its scope is different and the team there is reportedly seeking to standardize in detail, whereas GVA deliberately avoids specifying the minutia. The Victory and GVA teams are in contact, but cooperation is informal.
Meanwhile, Germany has asked NATO to convene a working group to convert the U.K.'s GVA Def Stan to a NATO standard agreement. Canada, Australia and France are also interested. It is easy to see why: If a series of LOSA-based interoperability standards can be established globally, defense procurement will never be the same again.