25.11.2019

This is a question which goes to the heart of the Network for the Sky (NFTS) team.

Interoperability is key for enabling military organisations to conduct joint operations with different nations.  Steve Napier, our NFTS expert explores how the potential for interoperability can be exploited to the full.

Achieving greater interoperability

A NATO paper outlining Interoperability for Joint Operations from as early as 2006 sets the vision of “Forces, units and systems operating together”.

“Interoperability refers to the ability of different military organisations to conduct joint operations. These organisations can be of different nationalities or different armed services (ground, naval and air forces) or both”. 

For this to take place, interoperability requires Forces to share common doctrine and procedures to be able to communicate effectively with each other. But how easy is it to achieve? The NFTS team has analysed the connectivity requirements of many of the individual forces across NATO and has designed a common communications infrastructure. Coupled with a pan-DLOD  development within each force, this provides the basis to achieve and maintain  successful communications links.

Industry may think coalition interoperability at the NATO level is a realistic goal. However, it could be argued that focusing on achieving effective information exchange in Joint Domain is today’s challenge in the current environment.  Although NFTS is of course working towards the future vision of true interoperability, defining today’s requirement, with a realistic economically driven procurement policy, is where the NFTS team are concentrating their efforts with our customers.

Network for the Sky enables joint operations and interoperability

NFTS is an enabler for the future, designed to enable greater interoperability between organisations by providing the gateways for legacy systems. We believe the focus should ideally be on Joint Force interoperability and ensuring Army, Navy, Air Force & SOF are exchanging information at/to the point of need.

Moving the right information to the right Headquarters and facilitating the ability for information to be processed and analysed, at the right point, possibly at the tactical edge of any interaction, is what is required to achieve competitive advantage.

The future is having trusted electronic intermediaries. We aim to remove any interfaces that require manual data information movement.  The human interaction comes in the form of data extraction, analysis, and action… all at the most tactical level. 

NFTS aims to remove any barriers that could stand in the way of communication

NFTS aims to overcome any geographic, national, individual service and physical barriers by using the network and directing communications traffic as required. The Airbus Combat Cloud will provide the ever changing and constantly resilient networks, for assets and Headquarters to plug into  and communicate, when required. 

NFTS have an ambitious demonstration and trial programme for 2020 and 2021. These trials are driven by customer demand and requirement. If your parent Force has a desire to improve its communications effectiveness in any particular domain please do let us know and we can design and deliver your roadmap to communications success and, ultimately, mission success.

Steve Napier

Steve.Napier@airbus.com

+44 (0) 7786 113641

 

 

 

 

Go to the top