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Royal Netherlands Air Force, Thales and NLR join forces for faster and secure exchange of data

Nieuw-Milligen, 12 March – Thales and the Netherlands Aerospace Center (NLR) will support the Royal Netherlands Air Force in the development of the Air Power Information Hub platform. The platform improves cooperation between military and civil partners in the security domain, by the secure  sharing of Air Force information. The decision-making process is improved and leads to efficient training and commitment in the Netherlands thanks  to  these new possibilities.

At the Air Operations Control Station in Nieuw-Milligen (AOCS NM) of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, aerial information is compiled, which is valuable for civil partners - such as the police, coast guard, safety region and the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security - for the execution of their tasks. This information enables the civil partners to obtain an exact aerial picture of where (for example) an airplane, hot air balloon, helicopter or drone is located. However, this information is classified and therefore may not be shared via unsecured networks. The Air Power Information Hub guarantees that this information is exchanged quickly and securely between the Air Force and the partners in the security domain. This will create a more complete image and will improve the decision-making and execution process.

Captain Chris van den Berg, Head of Knowledge and Innovation at the Ministry of Defence says: " In a world that is increasingly fast-moving and unpredictable, it is necessary to continue to innovate. We prepare for the future by cooperating with industry and knowledge institutes in the so called National Technology Project of the MoD , where technical innovations are developed and tested. One of the challenges we face is how we deal with sharing classified information quickly, efficiently and securely. With the signing of this National Technology Project we have started building this hub."

Air Power Information Hub
The Air Power Information Hub focuses on collecting and sharing secure information between the Air Force and the civil partners in the safety ecosystem in the Netherlands. In contrast to the current separation between (un)classified networks, this technology makes it possible to exchange specific information of different classifications between users, if necessary.
"There is an urgent need for this digital information exchange, to create a joint image in order to work better and safer. AOCS NM will remain in full control of the information shared in the Air Power Information Hub. AOCS NM can decide real-time what information will be received by which stakeholder and during which period. Information can then be transferred and analyzed more accurately and quickly turn into actions." explains Mike Balm, Director New Business at Thales.


Thales, NLR and the Ministry of Defence develop the technology and create the prototype and demonstration of the information hub. Thales has developed the cybersecurity technology called Martello, which shares secure information with partners in the security domain. The applications to demonstrate the cybersecurity solution are provided by NLR.


Erik van Brunschot, NLR: "For the first time, an information hub will be developed that creates a real-time digital connection between military and civilian networks. This means that information from the Royal Netherlands Air Force is immediately shared with relevant services, such as police, fire brigade and the Ministry of Justice and Security. This is an important contribution to increase the safety of Dutch territory and airspace.”