Cover: Interoperability

Interoperability: A Continuing Challenge in Coalition Air Operations

A Continuing Challenge in Coalition Air Operations

by Myron Hura, Gary McLeod, James Schneider, Daniel Gonzales, Daniel M. Norton, Jody Jacobs, Kevin M. O'Connell, William Little, Richard Mesic, Lewis Jamison

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The United States is increasingly participating in coalition military operations. Coalition support may be required for successful military operations and in most such operations the United States desires to share the burden. U.S. allies recognize the increased security that coalition operations can bring. Because interoperability is a key element in coalitions, RAND undertook research to help the Air Force identify potential interoperability problems that may arise in coalition air operations and to suggest nonmateriel and technology-based solutions. The research focus is on command, control,communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C3ISR) systems in out-of-NATO-area operations. The authors' review of recent coalition air operations found that interoperability problems arose because of differences in doctrine, incompatible communications, different planning and execution systems, and different weapon system capabilities. For example, allies may lack sufficient all-weather, day and night precision-guided weapons. The authors suggest the following to increase interoperability in coalition operations: (1) common or harmonized doctrine for combined joint task force operations, from planning through assessment, (2) compatible or adaptable concepts of operation for airborne surveillance and control, (3) common information-sharing standards and compatible tactical communication systems, and (4) expert, experienced personnel who understand the capabilities of coalition partners. From a technology perspective and cost considerations, C3ISR initiatives appear to offer the best opportunities for interoperability enhancements.

Table of Contents

  • Preface PDF

  • Figures PDF

  • Tables PDF

  • Summary PDF

  • Acknowledgements

    Acknowledgments PDF

  • Acronyms PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter Two

    A Broad Definition of Interoperability PDF

  • Chapter Three

    Interoperability Challenges in Recent Coalition Operations PDF

  • Chapter Four

    New Trends That May Affect Future Interoperability PDF

  • Chapter Five

    Command and Control PDF

  • Chapter Six

    Space Developments PDF

  • Chapter Seven

    Air Surveillance and Control PDF

  • Chapter Eight

    Ground Surveillance and Control PDF

  • Chapter Nine

    Tactical Data Links PDF

  • Chapter Ten

    Fighters and Weapons PDF

  • Chapter Eleven

    Illustrative Military Value PDF

  • Chapter Twelve

    Concluding Observations and Suggested Actions PDF

  • Appendix A

    Allies' Participation and Contributions in Recent Coalition Operations PDF

  • Appendix B

    New Operational Concepts from Joint Vision 2010 PDF

  • Appendix C

    MIDS Case Study PDF

  • Appendix D

    Notional Fighter Deployment PDF

  • Bibliography PDF

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Project AIR FORCE division.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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