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DOD-STD-2167A (Department of Defense Standard 2167A), titled "Defense Systems Software Development", was a United States defense standard, published on February 29, 1988, which updated the less well known DOD-STD-2167 published 4 June 1985. This document established "uniform requirements for the software development that are applicable throughout the system life cycle."[1] It was designed to be used with MIL-STD-2168, "Defense System Software Quality Program".

On December 5, 1994 it was superseded by MIL-STD-498, which merged DOD-STD-2167A, DOD-STD-7935A, and DOD-STD-2168 into a single document,[2] and addressed some vendor criticisms.


One criticism of the standard was that it was biased toward the Waterfall Model. Although the document states "the contractor is responsible for selecting software development methods (for example, rapid prototyping)", it also required "formal reviews and audits" that seemed to lock the vendor into designing and documenting the system before any implementation began.[citation needed]

Another criticism was the focus on design documents, to the exclusion of Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tools being used in the industry. Vendors would often use the CASE tools to design the software, then write several standards-required documents to describe the CASE-formatted data. This created problems matching design documents to the actual product.[citation needed]


One result of these criticisms was to begin designing a successor standard, which became MIL-STD-498.[3] Another result was a preference for formal industry-designed standards (such as IEEE 12207) and informal "best practice" specifications, rather than trying to determine the best processes and making them formal specifications.

MIL-STD-2167A with MIL-STD-498 eventually became the basis for DO-178 in the early 1980s,[4] the latter followed by subsequent revisions. MIL-STD-2167 and MIL-STD-498 together define standard software development life cycle processes that are expected to be implemented and followed as well as defining standard document format and content. In contrast, DO-178B/C defines objectives that should be accomplished as acceptable means[5] of demonstrating airworthiness, permitting relative flexibility in the life cycles and processes employed to accomplish those objectives.[6]


  1. ^ "DOD-STD-2167A, MILITARY STANDARD: DEFENSE SYSTEM SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT]" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 29 Feb 1988. 
  2. ^ "MIL-STD-498, MILITARY STANDARD: SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT AND DOCUMENTATION [SUPERSEDED BY IEEE/EIA 12207.0, IEEE/EIA 12207.1 AND IEEE/EIA 12207.2]" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 5 Dec 1994. 
  3. ^ Defence Aviation Authority, Australia, AAP 7001.054(AM1): Airworthiness Design Requirements Manual, Sect 2 Chap 7 - Aviation Software, p. 10, However, DOD-STD-2167A contains a number of notable shortfalls that were resolved by MIL-STD-498. 
  4. ^ Martin Beeby (2012). "DO-178C the future of Avionics Certification". atego. p. 3. Retrieved 23 Jan 2016. 
  5. ^ AC 20-115C
  6. ^ William S. Levine, ed. (2011). The Control Handbook, Second Edition: Control System Applications. CRC Press. pp. 6–15, 6–16. 

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