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Research Questions

  1. Based on current best forecasting of the FOE (i.e. the demand placed upon the C2 enterprise) and the likely state of science and technology (S&T) and workforce trends (i.e. the potential supply of technical and people solutions to enhance C2), what are the opportunities, challenges and dilemmas for designing the future C2 enterprise?
  2. What are the most significant properties that collectively drive the effectiveness of this enterprise? How might these properties interact with each other?
  3. What barriers might need to be overcome to realise these properties within Defence? What opportunities might exist?
  4. What barriers might need to be overcome to realise these properties within a whole-of-society approach? What opportunities might exist?
  5. What new requirements (new capabilities, concepts, functions and necessary activities, etc.) does such an approach entail?

This is the second in a series of four papers examining how Command and Control (C2) will manifest in the future. This paper focuses on what will likely constitute the C2 enterprise: that is, understanding the current Defence C2 enterprise and likely changes to adapt to requirements of the future operating environment; the future organisational and technical attributes and processes which will be needed to facilitate C2 in the future; and the requirements that this will impose both for the C2 enterprise as a whole and for the individuals involved.  It then identifies likely barriers and opportunities to implementing change, including a selection of recurring dilemmas and trade-offs that Defence is likely to face in designing the C2 enterprise. The findings of this paper thus set up further analysis and development of recommendations in the third and fourth papers.

This publication was revised in February 2024 to correct minor errata.

Key Findings

  • The UK Defence enterprise already spans a wide and diverse ecosystem, with multiple different configurations of actors.
  • Ensuring that individuals with the necessary technical and soft skills are in place throughout Defence will be a key enabler for C2 in the future.
  • To enable C2 systems in the future, Defence as an organisation will also need to cultivate a number of characteristics and abilities.
  • The requirements anticipated for C2 systems in the future raise several trade-offs and dilemmas that Defence will have to resolve.
  • Integration across domains is anticipated to remain a key challenge for C2 in future, multi-domain operations.


  • Recommendations from across all four Concept Papers are included in Paper 4.

Research conducted by

This research was prepared for the Development Concepts and Doctrine Centre and conducted within RAND Europe.

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