But upgrading legacy systems does not necessarily achieve interoperability.
Two new Czech Republic JAS-39 Gripen aircraft fly in formation. Confronted with a large bloc of obsolete or non-interoperable hardware, the Czech military has been replacing some systems outright and upgrading others to extend their usefulness.
Twin efforts seek to provide wireless services to ground forces, unify aging defense systems into one national architecture.
The wireless local loop (WLL) program will provide the French army’s logistics units with a cellular communications system designed to carry voice and data traffic. The WLL system allows commanders to track supplies and to access the French Ministry of Defense’s intranet.
Research-oriented radio system opens door for future advanced tactical equipment.
TERSO is the Spanish Ministry of Defense’s first software-defined radio (SDR) platform. It is a development system that will help the government create new waveforms and test new SDR equipment slated for use by the nation’s armed forces.
British unmanned combat aircraft demonstrator is designed for long-range missions with limited operator control.
The Taranis unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) is the largest unmanned aircraft developed by the United Kingdom. Designed for a high degree of autonomy, it will demonstrate capabilities for stealthy, long-duration, deep-penetration missions.
An incremental pace hides dramatic changes.
Finnish and German personnel check communications system configurations during exercise Combined Endeavor 2007. Finland is building a new military command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) infrastructure as it increases its participation in multinational operations.
Generations of domestic defense give way to an out-of-area focus.
Swedish army vehicles move in a multinational convoy in the Mazar-e Sharif region of Afghanistan. In a shift from longtime policy, Swedish military forces are taking an active role in multinational operations far away from their homeland.
Modern communications equipment allows a small nation to interoperate, cooperate with larger allied powers.
The Slovak army’s mobile military communications system (MOKYS) will link warfighters across all echelons. Mobile command posts will use high-data-rate digital radios to connect small tactical units with national headquarters.
Modernization comes amid increasing security operations.
Minister Bliznakov examines newly upgraded anti-aircraft defense equipment for Bulgaria. The former Warsaw Pact nation is modernizing its military to provide new capabilities for its new roles.
New constellation and ground infrastructure keep far-flung troops in touch.
The SatcomBw program will provide the German military with its first dedicated military satellite communications system and ground infrastructure.
A single all-encompassing defense agency leads the way to a single all-encompassing infrastructure.
A Royal Air Force Tornado drops flares during combat operations in Iraq. The United Kingdom’s Defence Communication Services Agency, or DCSA, provides communications connectivity down to the warfighter level.
New network replaces legacy equipment, provides enhanced security.
The Bundeswehr’s NuKomBw messaging system will provide the German military with secure e-mail capabilities and will replace aging legacy equipment. NuKomBw features advanced security applications and remote management and diagnostic capabilities.
Newly consolidated acquisition group also given mandate for development, implementation of information technologies.
Germany has accelerated a longtime move toward acquisition reform by consolidating diverse activities in its main procurement agency. These changes have been driven largely by Germany’s new security mission and by the need to incorporate substantial amounts of high technology into hardware and doctrine.
The military’s high-technology challenges are now the commercial defense community’s challenges.
Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, other barriers are crumbling within the German defense community. The private sector is playing a key role in convincing the military to abandon its old ways of doing business and adapt to the dynamism of the information age.
Interoperability remains a quest as stratified long-term stovepipe systems defy easy interconnection. Burgeoning information systems mandate effective security solutions throughout the infrastructure. And, multiple generations of new technologies appear during the lifetime of a single acquisition program.
Traditional defense contractors assimilate off-the-shelf electronics to link combatants in theater operations.
Defense electronics contractors are going commercial in a bid to equip the United Kingdom with a rapidly deployable battlefield communications network. The country’s Ministry of Defence is seeking a commercial off-the-shelf solution that is low-risk, easy to enhance and ready for deployment in about two years.