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Traditional approaches to military network procurement taken by government can lead to vender lock-in, reducing the potential for competition when the systems need refreshing or major upgrades, and also for through life maintenance requirements. One solution to these problems could be to require an open systems approach in military systems procurement, reducing single supplier issues through well defined architectures, interfaces and `open by design' concepts. The paper presents a technical analysis of UK military systems procurement over the last few decades to provide context for the current open systems approach. The paper then explicitly discusses the potential benefits and challenges of such an approach and finally explores how this may impact on air interface, network and security systems. The primary conclusions of the work which will be elaborated in the paper are; that openness is key to providing increased interoperability, flexibility and agility, and that benefits can be obtained from designing a degree of openness into all aspects of military networks, for example in security, air interfaces and waveforms.