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Why a Collaborative Approach to Interoperability Across Allies is Critical

Dec 12, 2022

They parachute over a drop location with groups of anyone from one to four other players and, while gliding into the fight, are already discussing landing location, weapons strategies and attack-and-defence roles. 

Those keyboard-and-console warriors don’t know it, but they are already employing one of the most vital real-life lessons of battlefield success – interoperability.

NATO spells out interoperability as “the ability to act together coherently, effectively and efficiently to achieve tactical, operational and strategic objectives.”

That’s where L3Harris comes in, especially in cross-domain electronic warfare (EW). By providing advanced battlefield technology to U.S. and allied militaries around the world, L3Harris enables effective and seamless collection, protection and flow of information among countries. Communications pass through the warfighter, sometimes without them even knowing, sending raw data from sensors to headquarters for processing and analysis, then turned into a decision brief for the commander. All of this is underpinned by unyielding cyber protection.

Why is this so important? The modern threat landscape never stands still. Ever-changing, contested and increasingly congested, the electromagnetic spectrum is dense with constantly emerging threats and new devices that continue to challenge how commanders achieve spectrum superiority. As this shift in landscape continues, interoperability becomes increasingly important to keep pace.

Achieving Interoperability Across Allied Countries

Interoperability benefits include some vital advantages, like sharing operation burdens across partners and filling important capability gaps within force structure. There is a growing need for common standards, interfaces and architectures across multiple allied countries to ensure as many forces as possible are able to easily interoperate with one another.

Three key things critical to ensuring EW interoperability are common standards, open systems and cross-network information sharing. These create a common set of technical requirements that drive collective capabilities. The results are increased unity and greater coordination that informs specific decision-making and action. Partners readily share information, capability and components for more coordinated and decisive impact.

A Common Approach Across Countries

Coalition partners can plug and play as needed, reducing integration effort and associated cost. If everyone is relying on the same set of common standards to achieve mission success, this ensures no one is left behind. This is of particular importance at present within the Asia-Pacific region.

Interoperability within the Asia-Pacific

A considerable issue faced by the Asia-Pacific region is the substantial geographical distances that exist between partners. This emphasises an urgent need to attain interoperability between the Asia-Pacific members of the Five Eyes (FVEY) community – Australia and New Zealand – with the others, the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Governments within Asia-Pacific are therefore more actively driving this push for greater FVEYs interoperability, while also ensuring the development of sovereign capabilities that embrace and enhance this joined-up approach.

How L3Harris Drives Interoperability

L3Harris’ extensive portfolio is designed specifically to enable interoperability across domains and allied countries by collecting, protecting and disseminating mission-critical information:

Collecting: L3Harris harnesses standard outputs across capabilities. In land EW, for example, next-generation architecture CORVUS is entirely compliant with OpenVPX and OpenCPI and other FVEYs interoperability standards, enabling multi-role, multi-function cyber electromagnetic capability.

Protecting: L3Harris’ award-winning range of CATAPAN® encryption devices enable sensitive and mission-critical data protection on both a national and global scale, providing customers with the freedom and flexibility to operate without constraint.

Disseminating: L3Harris specialises in robust, ever-present communications capabilities that enable partner nations to share mission-critical information as quickly and effectively as possible.