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Activity title

NATO Distributed Simulation Architecture & Design, Compliance Testing and Certification

Activity Reference



NATO Modelling and Simulation Group

Security Classification



Awaiting Publication

Activity type


Start date


End date



Compliancy, HLA, IVCT, MSG, MSG134, NETN, Simulation


The integration of distributed simulations and tools into interoperable federations is a complex and time consuming task requiring extensive testing of individual components, interfaces and the integrated solution. To support this task, NATO relies on standards and agreements on their use. The Allied Modelling and Simulation Publication AMSP-01, NATO M&S Standards Profile, provides a list of recommended M&S related standards. The NETN Federation Architecture and FOM Design Document (NETN FAFD) developed by MSG-068 and MSG-106 provides additional agreements on the use of standards to support distributed simulation. STANAG 4603 is identified as one of the cores standard for distributed simulation. It states that Participating nations agree to utilize the HLA Compliance Certification Process established by the NATO Modelling and Simulation Group (NMSG). The current software used for the HLA Federation Compliance Test Tool (FCTT) was developed by the USA and released to NATO in 2004. Since that time, the USA has made updates to the FCTT but has been unable to release the updated FCTT due to export restrictions. MSG ET-035 has investigated the feasibility of developing an open source version of the FCTT that would be available to all NATO and Partner nations but it was determined that the FCTT cannot be used as a foundation for a future certification tool. MSG ET-35 also concluded that HLA compliance testing needs to be extended beyond the HLA interface and data exchange testing and to address more complex federation agreements and requirements. Standards, federation agreements, compliance test and certification are important tools that will reduce integration risks, increase reuse of existing systems and support procurement of new interoperable simulation components. This TAP covers (1) the maintenance and update of the NETN FAFD and (2) development of procedures and Integration Verification and Certification Tools (IVCT) to support compliance testing and certification of NETN FAFD compliant simulation components including certification of STANAG 4603.


-Coordination with other MSG task groups to promote use of FAFD and incorporation of MSG task group results -Maintenance of NETN FAFD including update and release of new versions of the technical specification -Dissemination of NETN FAFD through presentations, papers and standardization activities within NMSG, SISO and other venues -Provision of persistent test and integration network to support FAFD development and test, verification and certification activities -Development of test, verification and certification procedures -Design and implementation of IVCT to support certification, integration and verification of federates in specific federation. -Development of IVCT tests to support NETN FAFD test, verification and certification


-Update and maintain NETN FAFD based on user feedback -Develop NETN FAFD compliance testing procedure and test cases -Design IVCT based on available Use Cases and Requirements -IVCT implementation in three one-year phases -1st year: Implement the first prototype able to test Conformance statement -2nd year: Implement test cases for Integration and Verification purposes -3rd year Implement the whole IVCT infrastructure -Setup data flow among all entities in IVCT processes

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