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UK reveals Pyramid programme to rapidly reconfigure software across multiple aircraft types

The Tempest future fighter is set to feature the Pyramid Reference Architecture that will enable software to be easily, cheaply and quickly cross decked from one aircraft to another. (BAE Systems)

The United Kingdom has revealed a new programme, dubbed Pyramid, to rapidly reconfigure the avionics of current and future air platforms.

Disclosed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 1 October, Pyramid is billed as a reusable open-system mission architecture designed to make avionic upgrades to aircraft simpler, cheaper, and quicker.

“The Pyramid programme introduces a paradigm shift to the current method of avionic systems design and procurement,” the MoD said. “Pyramid aims to make legacy and future air mission systems affordable, capable and adaptable by adoption of an open systems architecture approach and systematic software reuse.”

Currently, each aircraft type is fitted with its own bespoke software system, meaning there can be no compatibility or crossover between them. Pyramid aims to change this by allowing each software component to be compatible with other platforms that have adopted the Pyramid Reference Architecture (PRA).

Pyramid is part of the GBP2 billion (USD2.73 billion) currently earmarked for the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI), of which the Tempest future fighter is a core component.

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