System of Systems Systems Engineering Guide: Considerations for Systems Engineering in a System of Systems Environment

In order to best support the warfighter in military operations and to provide efficient support and readiness in peacetime, the Department of Defense (DoD) continually seeks to develop new capabilities and achieves a growing number of these capabilities through a system of systems (SoS) approach. As defined in the DoD Defense Acquisition Guidebook, an SoS is “a set or arrangement of systems that results when independent and useful systems are integrated into a larger system that delivers unique capabilities” (Section 4.2.6). DoD has developed SoS in the past but has recently increased its emphasis on such systems to respond to new threats, to address coalition and joint warfare, and to incorporate rapidly changing communications and information technology. SoS complexity has increased dramatically, leading to new challenges in architecture, networks, hardware and software engineering, and human systems integration. All these challenges must be addressed as several new SoS efforts are already under way.

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