Ada is a structured, statically typed imperative computer programming language designed by a team led by Jean Ichbiah of CII Honeywell Bull during 1977-1983 under contract to the DoD. It addresses many of the same tasks as C or C++, but with one of the best type-safety systems available in a statically typed programming language. Ada was named after Ada Lovelace, often credited as the first computer programmer.

In the 1970s, the DoD was concerned by the number of different programming languages being used for its embedded computer system projects, many of which were obsolete or hardware-dependent, and none of which supported safe modular programming.

n 1975 the High Order Language Working Group (HOLWG), was formed with the intent to reduce this number by finding or creating a programming language generally suitable for the department’s requirements. The result was Ada. The total number of high-level programming languages in use for such projects fell from over 450 in 1983 to 37 by 1996.

In 1987, the US Department of Defense began to require the use of Ada for every software project where new code was more than 30% of result, though exceptions to this rule were often granted.   In 1997, the DoD Ada mandate was effectively removed  as the DoD began to embrace COTS technology.

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Updated: 7/19/2017

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