One of NATO’s oldest and smaller member nations is vying with history and modern economics as it endeavors to tailor a modern military that can respond to any contingency coalition operation around the world. Portugal, which has been an independent nation for more than 850 years, seeks to maintain its global tradition of international cooperation amid rapid changes in the military and economic makeup of the Atlantic alliance.
Portugal’s reliance on information technologies for defense has increased the importance of the country’s private sector. A robust high-technology industry increasingly is called upon to provide advanced systems for the Portuguese military.
A founding member of NATO is weathering uncertain economic times by focusing on dual-use commercial and military technologies to energize its electronics and software industries. By launching a number of national initiatives supporting its defense sector, Portugal is leveraging its national information technology capabilities to provide its armed forces with modern communications and computer equipment. This effort also allows the nation to benefit from participation in multinational research and development programs.