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Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

Image of a C2 map The ICT functional area embraces technologies related to the application of information and simulation systems to military systems. On the one hand, it includes technologies concerning information management within military systems, also their transmission and all security aspects; and on the other, technologies used for training and operational support.

This Functional Area includes six Functional Sub-Areas:

Command and Control Systems

This Sub-Area includes R&T activities focused on information systems providing capabilities for military C2 functions, improving the current systems by making use of new technologies, as well as developing new systems to automate and address functionalities that are not currently covered.

  • Command and Control Systems
  • Communications
  • Network Enabled Capability
  • ICT Security
  • Simulation
  • Concept Development and Experimentation (CD&E)

Due to the particular nature of C2 systems, they cannot be considered in isolation from the other Areas and Sub-Areas, particularly now that new technological capabilities are enabling a level of integration with platforms, weapons systems and simulators that just a few years ago was inconceivable.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 6.1.1 To enhance the integration and interoperability of C2 systems.
  • TG 6.1.2 To increase the automation of CIS capabilities associated with C2 systems.
  • TG 6.1.3 To increase technological capabilities to assist in the decision taking process.
  • TG 6.1.4 To facilitate human interaction in C2 systems.


This Sub-Area includes R&T activities aimed at achieving military communications systems and networks to facilitate interoperability in both wired and wireless areas of activity, including in the latter respect radio, free-space-optics and acoustic communications. Within their inherent limitations, elements in the wireless sector should be mobile, with high data transmission capacity, and be adaptable to the medium and reconfigurable, at both node and network-wide level.

This Sub-Area includes R&T activities aimed at improving geolocation and radio-navigation systems, and applying them in tactical environments.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 6.2.1 To increase technological capabilities to develop secure military radio communications systems, based on software radio and cognitive radio.
  • TG 6.2.2 To improve the interoperability of secure military communication systems and networks.
  • TG 6.2.3 To increase technological capabilities to develop non-guided optical communication systems.
  • TG 6.2.4 To increase technological capabilities to develop radio navigation systems in tactical environments.
  • TG 6.2.5 To increase technological capabilities to develop submarine acoustic communications systems.
  • TG 6.2.6 To achieve interoperability in J series data links and expanding the range of transmission media supported.
  • TG 6.2.7 To increase technological capabilities to develop intelligent antennas that can be streamlined with platforms.

Network Enabled Capability

This Sub-Area includes activities to test the technical viability of the NEC concept, developing the architectures, tools and technologies to support and implement the national NEC concept.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 6.3.1 To increase technological capabilities to develop national NEC architecture.
  • TG 6.3.2 To increase technological capabilities in the area of knowledge management technologies and collaborative environments.

Communication and information systems security

This Sub-Area is aimed at advancing the technological development of communication and information security, by developing cryptology systems and algorithms, multilevel and biometric systems, etc., and by defining and developing standards.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 6.4.1 To increase technological capability to develop cipher devices, both software and hardware, in order to increase communications security and ensure interoperability among different implementations using the same protocol.
  • TG 6.4.2 To increase technological capabilities to develop systems that can work at different levels of security (Multilevel Security).
  • TG 6.4.3 To increase technological capabilities to identify and/or authenticate persons and devices in tactical environments.
  • TG 6.4.4 To improve capabilities to evaluate and develop cyber defence technologies.


Flight simulation  

This Sub-Area includes R&T activities related to simulation technologies, focused on:

  • Training (individual and collective).
  • Systems acquisition (simulation-based acquisition), experimentation and capability development.
  • Tools for analysis, planning and operations support.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 6.5.1 To increase technological capabilities for interoperation among simulators and real systems, in order to obtain more realistic simulation environments.
  • TG 6.5.2 To achieve the technological capability to design simulation environments reusing components, making them more effective, configurable, flexible and adaptable.
  • TG 6.5.3 To update the technological capability to model the battlefield and its environment.

Concept Development and Experimentation (CD&E)

The Ministry of Defence seeks the technological capability to implement concept development and experimentation, from both operational and technological points of view, in order to transform and modernise the Armed Forces.

In this context, “concept” means the possible solution to a specific problem arising from the needs facing the Armed Forces in responding to a specific threat in a given scenario, environment or situation. It may include organisational or doctrinal aspects, the application of new technologies, improvements in the procurement process, etc. "Concept development" is understood as the entire process that takes place from the identification of possible solutions (concepts) to specific problems until they are implemented. This concept development is carried out by means of "experimentation" as the scientific method of establishing hypotheses, and subsequently the evaluation of them.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 6.6.1 To improve capabilities to obtain and define the technological needs and functional requirements of the Armed Forces.
  • TG 6.6.2 To acquire the capacity to evaluate technologies, standards and solutions arising from different areas of technological application.
  • TG 6.6.3 To improve technological capabilities in the area of experimentation.
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