The German military has way too many legacy communication and information systems to replace them all at once, so it is looking to commercial technology to improve capabilities. EDir. IT-AmtBw Hans-Ulrich Schade, chief of Division C, Bundeswehr IT Office, described this challenge at the AFCEA Bonn Chapter's Koblenz Symposium on September 3, 2009.
Schade related that the Bundeswehr has more than 120,000 radios. These include about 200 different types of radios, and the military cannot afford to replace them all. So, any solution must incorporate these legacy systems.
For example, some forces currently can transmit either voice or data. The need to choose between one or the other will be eliminated in the near future, he maintained. He also declared that the use of commercial technology is the basis on which all improvements to Germany military IT are based.