The European Component Oriented Architecture Programme - A Progress Update

Paul Moxon

Lead Software Architect, BAE Systems

The European Component Oriented Architecture (ECOA) is a joint UK-French industry research programme funded by the Ministries of Defence of both countries, which has been executed by a consortium of UK and French industry. The objective of the research is to reduce the cost and timescales for production and modification of complex real-time military software systems, by facilitating software portability and reuse.

The programme defines an open real-time software architecture, agreed between the programme partners, that meets the above objectives. The software architecture is based around a number of key concepts:

  • Use of flexible architectural paradigms which provide event and data distribution. These are expected to be key to rapid product upgrades,
  • Precise specification of software artefacts, allowing a detailed understanding of functional and non-functional behaviour,
  • A better model of distributed real-time behaviour,
  • Support for Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) and automated code generation to reduce development costs,
  • The ability to support various underlying hardware and software platforms, ensuring the approach is able to support legacy and new build,

More information is available on the ECOA website (, and outputs from the programme have been published as two Open Standards:

  • Def Stan® 00-973 “European Component Oriented Architecture (ECOA®) Collaboration Programme”
  • BNAE RG AERO 000-973 “General recommendations, European Component Oriented Architecture – ECOA”

The goals of the presentation are to give a brief overview of ECOA, progress since 2015, its current status and future developments.

About Paul Moxon

Paul Moxon. BEng(Hons) CEng MIET Paul is Lead Software Architect within the BAE Systems - Air, Software Architectures Group, where his role is to guide the development and deployment of software architectures for use in current and future company products. He began his career with BAE Systems in 1989, designing, developing, integrating and commissioning aircrew training devices for the new generation ‘glass cockpit’ Hawk aircraft. He moved to the Product R&D group in 1998 and has been working in the area of software architectures ever since. He is Lead Software Architect for the BAE Systems Integrated Modular Systems (IMS) product; an implementation of the ASAAC (Def Stan 00-74) layered software architecture, deployed on the Hawk and Tornado aircraft. In November 2012 he became the UK Technical Lead for the European Component Oriented Architecture (ECOA) programme.

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