There is increasingly a requirement for new capabilities to operate in a coalition rather than just within a country's own
network centric (or platform centric) force. This paper discusses an approach for characterising a coalition C4ISR
architecture in the future timeframe, for the purpose of analysing information exchange and interoperability issues that
may occur when introducing a new system into a mix of future systems and legacy systems with the requirement to
ensure NCW readiness.
To characterise the C4ISR environment two timeframes, 2010 and 2020, are envisaged for the architecture. These two
timeframes represent different types of models of the architecture. The closer timeframe represents a physical model of
the C4ISR environment, with the assumption that the time is no further out than what is covered by defence capability
plans and knowledge about legacy systems that will still be in use. Its purpose is to allow constructive information
exchange with potential future coalition partners regarding interfaces and interoperability. The distant timeframe is set
beyond the plans for future capability development. However, known capabilities will still be present at that time. This
timeframe represents a requirement and functional concepts model of the architecture. Its purpose is to allow the
development of new concepts perhaps more aligned to NCW thinking.
The approach utilises systems engineering as a basis for the process and a combination of architecture products for
documentation. The work is supported by the use of a collaborative engineering environment and a number of common
systems engineering tools such as DOORS, CORE and Systems Architect.