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Programming Language: Defense Policies and Plans for Implementing Ada

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Technical Report

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Government Accountability Office Washington United States

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The Department of Defense developed Ada in the 1970s to stem the proliferation of programming languages in the Defense Department and help promote the software engineering principles of reusability, portability, maintainability, and reliability. Defense approved Ada as a military standard programming language in 1980. The Ada language was subsequently approved by the American National Standards Institute in 1983 and by the International Standards Organization in 1987. In 1987, Defense directives declared Ada the single, common computer language for use in its automated weapon systems, and information systems except where another language could be demonstrated to be more cost effective. However, in their individual policies, the services interpreted the scope of the Ada policy differently. The Air Force and Army required Ada for all automated weapon and information systems, whereas the Navy required Ada only in weapon systems. The Navy allowed Ada or any other approved high-order language for its information systems.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Programming and Software
  • Government and Political Science

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