This standard, describing the framework and rules of the High Level Architecture (HLA), is the capstone document for a family of related HLA standards. It defines the HLA, its components, and the rules that outline the responsibilities of HLA federates and federations to ensure a consistent implementation. Simulations are abstractions of the real world, and no one simulation can solve all of the functional needs for the modeling and simulation community. It is anticipated that technology advances will allow for new and different modeling and simulation (M&S) implementations within the framework of the HLA. The standards contained in this architecture are interrelated and need to be considered as a product set, as a change in one is likely to have an impact on the others. As such, the HLA is an integrated approach that has been developed to provide a common architecture for simulation.