Military transformation - need for industrial participation

Defence technology developed in Norway plays an integral part in all defence platforms currently operated by the Norwegian armed forces. Increased interaction between the Norwegian armed forces and the defence industry is a fundamental pre-condition if we are to succeed in creating a leaner, lighter and more deployable defence system.

Krohn-Devold.jpg (34391 bytes)

The members of NATO have agreed to implement a military transformation. This requires changing the structure of our military forces, our military culture and doctrine and streamlining our warfare functions.

 

An efficient and co-ordinated transformation effort imposes the need for reciprocal efforts from both sides of the Atlantic. In the transformation process, we must ensure efficient and relevant European input. Or to put it differently: the proof of the pudding is in the eating. It shouldn't matter on which side of the Atlantic an idea originates, as long as it is good. The most difficult question to answer is how do we do it?

 

The answer is what I usually refer to as the Norwegian "four-legged plan". First, we must review existing and planned national assets and capabilities in order to make them more relevant to current security challenges. Second, we need more specialisation. The Alliance has to give increased attention to the need for a division of labour. Smaller specialised units, operating within important functional niches, will enhance the Alliance's overall capabilities and strengthen its ability to respond swiftly and decisively. Third, we have to identify partners and expand co-operation among groups of Allies. New and smaller Allies must find specific strategic partners within the Alliance in order to form teams for closer co-operation with a particular focus on both enhancing existing capabilities and developing new ones. And fourth: it also makes sense to make use of multinational funding in order to fulfil a few specific and large multilateral projects. A NATO Airborne Ground Surveillance capability is a good, top priority example of such a project.

 

To do this, the Alliance has to foster specialisation and division of military labour, and member states will need strategic partners within the Alliance. In that respect, big ideas are not reserved for bigger nations only. That is an inspiration and a challenge for the smaller Allies. Concentrated efforts will pay off.

 

How we choose to implement our forces against a determined and mobile enemy is also important. In the future we must be able to get the right forces quickly to where we need them, make better use of intelligence to identify the threat, decide how to deal with it, and then strike. We will make this possible by adapting Network-centric warfare. The development of network-enabled capabilities will allow us to meet the requirements of high speed operations.

 

In order for Norway to play a meaningful and relevant role in these processes we need to develop areas of operational expertise, areas where we have unique world class capabilities to offer. In much the same way that all of our friends and allies are focusing on their particular skills, we must find and exploit niche expertise. Our new security environment demands enhanced co-operation between like-minded nations. As Norway's operational capabilities are being streamlined to fit today's security environment, we need a defence industry that adheres to the same principles. This means more international co-operation through joint ventures or international programs and the creation of national areas of defence industry excellence.

 

Military transformation must also affect the way defence companies operate and prioritise. I know that Norwegian based defence companies have the know-how, skills and the intellectual capital to contribute to this evolving process. By seeking international partners, I am convinced that technology developed in Norway will continue to be a valuable contribution to improved military preparedness at both the national and international levels.


Kristin Krohn Devold
The Norwegian Minister of Defence

Related articles

Latest articles

Ship Energy Efficiency: The Fourth Wave

Shipping has seen three waves of energy efficiency trends since 2007. The latest buzz is the Big Data revolution.

Sustainable Fish Farming Solutions: From Feed to Egg

The challenge of rising fish feed and sea lice costs is stimulating new sustainable technology solutions in Norwegian aquaculture. In the future, producers might raise salmon in egg-shaped offshore farms.

Standardization Key During Low Oil Price

The Norwegian petroleum industry is focusing on standardized solutions, inspired by Formula One and Lego, to help tackle rising field development costs.

Blue Growth for a Green Future

The Norwegian government recently launched its new maritime strategy “Blue Growth for a Green Future” aimed at keeping the country’s second largest export industry competitive and sustainable.

New Development Licenses Spur Ocean Farming

Norway has initiated free development licenses to spur new technology concepts to tackle the aquaculture industry’s acreage and environmental challenges. Many of the applicants are innovative ocean farms.

Bucking the trend: Norwegian Shelf Still Attractive

The Norwegian Continental Shelf continues to be attractive even amidst the low oil price environment. Statoil’s giant Johan Sverdrup oil field development is just the latest example.

British Showing Great Interest in “Frozen at sea”

The British are the world’s largest consumers of cod. 70 percent is used in the “fish and chips” market. Lately several Norwegian owners of trawlers have discovered the British market for the “frozen at sea” concept.

The many reasons to choose Norwegian seafood

There is an ongoing debate regarding the pros and cons of eating wild or farmed fish, or, in fact, eating seafood at all. In this article we look at the arguments for and against wild and farmed fish. Seafood is not just a...

New Ways to Enhance Oil Recovery

Norwegian companies are testing more advanced ways to enhance oil recovery, everything from converting shuttle tankers to stimulate wells and springing titanium needs inside liner holes to open up tight formations.