Government officials from Germany and the Netherlands signed an agreement for the building of the first-ever joint military Internet, so-called TEN (Tactical Edge Networking).
The agreement was signed this week in Brussels, during a meeting of NATO defense ministers.
“The accord was signed on Wednesday in Brussels, Belgium, where NATO defense ministers met this week.” reads the post of ZDnet that first reported the news.
“The name of this new Dutch-German military internet is the Tactical Edge Networking, or TEN, for short.”
The Tactical Edge Networking (TEN), is the first-ever project that allows states to merge their military networks.
Military and defense analysts believe that in the future, the NATO alliance will create for all its members a unique military network.
The TEN will be located in Koblenz, Germany, while a design and prototype center will be located at the Bernard Barracks in Amersfoort, the Netherlands.
In the first phase of the project, TEN will unify communications between the German army’s (Bundeswehr) land-based operations (D-LBO) and the Dutch Ministry of Defence’s ‘FOXTROT’ tactical communications program.
Under the TEN project, soldiers from both governments will use the same equipment (i.e. Computers, radios, tablets, and telephones).
The cost for the overall project will be very high, analysts believe it will reach millions of euros.
TEN’s deployment is expected to cost the two countries millions of euros in costs to re-equip tens of thousands of soldiers and vehicles with new compatible equipment.
According to German newspaper Handelsblatt, both governments aim at a full integration of the defense netwotks.
“The digitization of their land forces will tackle the Netherlands and Germany together. The goal: At the latest in the 2030s, the armies of both countries should be networked at all levels and communicate with each other electronically without any restrictions.” reported the Handelsblatt
“It’s a really big step, we’ve never done so before,” said Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten on Tuesday to Handelsblatt on the sidelines of the meeting of the Nordic NATO defense ministers in Berlin.”
Even if Dutch and German army have already conducted joint foreign missions, they have never exchanged information across national borders.
“Today we cannot even communicate across borders with our radios,” said Bijleveld-Schouten.