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Interoperability -- An Australian View

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Conference paper

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Australias traditional allies have been New Zealand, the United Kingdom UK, and the United States U.S.. Before the advent of digital C3I Systems, interoperability among Australian, British, and American forces was maintained through the use of common communications equipment and procedures but also by people, training, and doctrine. Australia has traditionally procured its major military equipment, including C3I systems, from the United States and the United Kingdom. This tradition has assured the Australian Defence Force ADF some level of interoperability with U.S. and UK forces. Australia also has a long history of training with military forces in the United Kingdom and the United States and participating in exchanges of personnel. Looking over the past decade, it is clear that the majority of future operations conducted by the ADF will be Operations Other Than War OOTW. This will require the ADF to operate in coalitions or alliances. The partners within these coalitions or alliances may not have common doctrine, training, or operating procedures. Security also will be a major issue. In addition, the operational environment within these partnerships will need to take into account civil and national influences, as well as influence from United Nations participation or control and from Non-Governmental Organizations NGOs. Interoperability can be defined as the ability of systems, units, or forces to provide to and accept services from other systems, units, or forces, and to use the services so exchanged to enable them to operate effectively together. Interoperability cannot be thought of solely on an information systems level it must include doctrine, people, procedures, and training. This paper will examine the interoperability of Command and Control Systems C3I with reference to the ADF. The paper includes a discussion of the technical concepts of interoperability, as well as an examination of ADF requirements and its current status.

Subject Categories:

  • Information Science
  • Computer Systems
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Command, Control and Communications Systems

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