NATO Interoperability Exercise CWIX concludes after three weeks of testing.

The ability to share relevant data reliably and in near real-time amongst Allies and Partners across all five military domains – Air, Land, Maritime, Cyberspace and Space – determines superiority on the battlefield. As such, data generation and data sharing was the focus of the Coalition Warrior Interoperability Exercise (CWIX), NATO’s biggest interoperability event.

With 18 Focus Areas ranging from Air to Logistics, from Space to Federated Mission Networking, CWIX convened more than 1,500 technicians, scientists, operators, and engineers from 35 allied nations and organizations who performed more than 12,000 interoperability testing events and ultimately resolved critical interoperability challenges.

The annual event held at the NATO Joint Force Training Centre in Bydgoszcz, Poland, from June 8th until June 22nd, addresses current and future gaps of the most pressing interoperability challenges for Command & Control capabilities that are critical for tomorrow’s security challenges.

"Interoperability ensures that NATO’s military power is always greater than the sum of the Allies’ military capabilities," said General Lavigne, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in his opening address at the CWIX VIP Day.

Allied Command Transformation Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Guy Robinson, highlighted the value of CWIX as a key enabler of NATO’s digital transformation. "To stay ahead of our adversaries we must continually adapt," said Vice Admiral Robinson. "At CWIX, allies and partners break down interoperability barriers to ensure the effective exploitation of increasingly large quantities of data. CWIX enables higher readiness, resilience, and resource efficiency."

Three weeks of focused experimentation enabled accelerated transformation, so the Alliance can equip the warfighter with what is needed to succeed.

CWIX has been and always will be about digital transformation. The 340 command and control capabilities and IT services being tested at CWIX touch all five NATO military domains of operation. As the most recently recognized domain, Space played a featured role at CWIX 2022. Data from national and commercial Space assets need to be integrated into all other domains to provide a solid baseline for accurate military decision making. Federated Mission Networking is continuously developed to support the data exchange among NATO allies and partners.

CWIX is a forward-looking event that enables the acceleration of innovation and features emerging and disruptive technologies. One among many examples is KRADOS. With the help of the NATO Allied Command Transformation Innovation Hub and U.S. Air Force Kessel Run, the "Kessel Run All Domain Operational Suite” has been adapted in record time to work with NATO capabilities. KRADOS is a set of integrated applications for non-real time air battle planning in an Air Operations Centre. These applications work together, share information, and can be developed independently from each other. With its modular microservice architecture, it is agile, flexible and easier to develop. The Allied Command Transformation Innovation Hub adapted KRADOS to work with the NATO standardized format. At CWIX it was proven that the Allied Command Transformation version of KRADOS can send and receive data to current NATO enterprise and national systems. Thus, proving that it can be integrated in the full scope of NATO Air Command & Control systems.

With capabilities such as the Extended Reality simulation, CWIX creates added value for operators. This “Military Metaverse” immerses the commander into a virtual battlefield. The capability promises to improve swift and accurate decision making as large data streams can be visualised to bring the complexity of the anticipated operation across to a Commander in a remote location.

Data lakes are being tested that are used to make data discoverable, retrievable, and understandable in a coalition environment. The blockchain technology is tested across services and domains to secure data. In addition, communication via 5G and IP-based technology is tested to enable data-rich military applications due to its bandwidth, latency, and flexibility. Those are just some of many of the highlights at this year’s CWIX.

Through exercises like CWIX, NATO Allied Command Transformation advances digital transformation as the Alliance’s future success relies on the power of data and the interconnectivity of its forces.