Due to their specific defence roles, the avionics of many military aircraft are not fully interoperable with today's civil aviation communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) infrastructure, constraining military mission effectiveness at a time of increased security concerns triggered by Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.
This CNS infrastructure is however set to be transformed by progressive digitalisation over the coming years – and it is this transition that represents a perfect opportunity to develop and deploy a dual-use CNS system that is capable of seamlessly accommodating and integrating military air operations, and thereby ensuring that the European aviation network is able to cope smoothly with rising levels of military traffic.
This paper argues that the time has come to define a new range of innovative and secure civil-military interoperability solutions that are tailored to the data-centric nature of modern air traffic services. These would take advantage of new civil-military interoperability opportunities such as emerging performance-based concepts, enhanced data sharing, virtual and remote services, and increasing avionics predominance, coupled with software-intensive technical approaches. And a core feature of this new dual-use system would need to be resilience to security vulnerabilities that affect all users, addressing data encryption, jamming protection, GNSS outages and concealment of surveillance parameters.