The armed forces of the Czech Republic are wrestling with interoperability issues as they strive to modernize in place a military largely built around legacy systems. The 60-year-old Atlantic alliance to which the Czech Republic belongs still has not achieved complete interoperability, so the former Warsaw Pact member is trying to achieve compatibility with an organization that has not yet reached its own interoperability goals.
An innovative software-defined radio soon will help the Spanish government test and develop new capabilities for its military communications systems. Researchers will be able to evaluate software and equipment quickly so systems can be modernized and the military can participate in multinational research programs.
The French military has launched two programs to modernize its tactical and strategic communications systems. One effort will equip army logistics units with a wireless network allowing commanders to track supplies and to access the national military intranet. The second program, now in its preliminary phase, will link all of France's individual military networks into a single system.
The Swedish Air Force is upgrading its command and control systems to become interoperable with NATO equipment. The nation's primary aircraft and sensor management system recently underwent a major upgrade designed to enhance its capabilities and to prepare it for future operations with alliance and coalition forces.
In the near future, robot warplanes could autonomously take off, navigate to their targets and identify them—all before contacting human operators for clearance to attack. This operational independence is the promise of a new program underway in the United Kingdom. Building on experience gained from several other recent technology demonstrations, the project emphasizes systems development and integration. The aircraft's situational awareness will rely on its ability to process and translate flight and sensor data without human interaction.
Long-neutral Sweden faces major defense changes as it shifts its military emphasis from homeland defense to coalition operations. A force built around defending the territory of a single Scandinavian nation now must open up to interoperate fully with other nations in distant locales. This is bringing about changes in funding, logistics and force size.
Finland's military is facing its own force transformation as it alters its structure and its mission. The Baltic nation is looking at broad-based equipment modernization, substantial personnel cuts and a network-centric architecture to define its armed forces.
Slovakia is preparing to deploy a highly sophisticated mobile communications system for its army. Linking all echelons, from small tactical units to national headquarters, the network consists of state-of-the-art software-defined radios interfaced with legacy equipment. The system's Internet protocol-based technology is compatible with U.S. and NATO equipment, allowing Slovak forces to participate in multinational operations.
Odin, the chief god of ancient Scandinavia and the patron deity of war and wisdom, used guile and intelligence to defeat his enemies. Like its namesake, an advanced command, control and communications system allows warfighters to understand the operational situation quickly and to make informed decisions.
The French army soon will issue its troops an advanced suite of technologies that will improve their lethality, survivability and situational awareness. Consisting of an integrated system of communications, sensors and body armor, the equipment will allow small tactical units to integrate into larger network-centric formations.