The quest for effective interoperability - issues in achieving a naval coalition force virtual combat system
Looney, Michael J.
Conrad, Thomas P.
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Over the last few years, experiences in naval coalition force activities have indicated a considerable shortfall in interoperability between participants. This has been detrimental to their overall capability and reduced their effectiveness. The problems are associated not only with the technical differences between the participating platforms but also with the lack of understanding of how to 'function' as a network centric coalition task force. The latter being caused by the limited experience of working in such an environement, due to their limited occurrence, and also the cost of running any large scale exercises to address the basic problems. A collaborative venture has been underway for 18 months between UK and US naval reesearch groups where an encrypted link is being used for the network connectivity to provide a suitable research environment to investigate the problems. The objective is to address such areras as data requirements, management and filtering along with the necessary control strategies essential for effective interoperability in a networked coalition force. As well as gaining experience in areas that can be transferred onto operational systems, the four year plan should provide some yardstick for measurement of interoperability and whether there is an improvement in technical capability or, perhaps, show that coalition force activity is primarily a political requirement.
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