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Definitions of Dual-use Related Concepts by the U.S. Department of Defense

Dual-use technology refers to fields of research and development that have potential application to defense and commercial use. Some technologies are important for both the Department of Defense (DoD) and private businesses. At the generic level, most of today’s important technologies can be considered dual-use.

Dual-use processes are those that can be used in the manufacture of both defense and commercial products, such as soldering, process control, and computer-aided design. In defense, these processes are frequently tied to military standards.

Dual-use products are items used by both military and commercial users. Examples are global positioning systems used for navigation, aircraft engines, and most medical and safety equipment used by the DoD. Some modified commercial products are similar enough to those used by the military to be considered dual-use.





Some examples are the Air Force’s KC-10A Extender aircraft (which is a modified version of the Chevy Blazer).

The DoD’s ability to buy dual-use products is limited by the requirements of military specifications and standards and by the degree to which commercial firms are willing to comply with defense purchasing requirements.

Quoted from: “Military technologies and commercial applications: public policies in NATO countries,” by Giulio Perani, CeSPI - Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale.