A QinetiQ led consortium has been awarded the Enabling Secure Information Infrastructure (ESII) programme by the UK MoD’s (Ministry of Defence) Research Acquisition Organisation (RAO).

The initial four tasks are worth in excess of £5 M and form the first research packages let under a three and a half year enabling contract.

The consortium, comprising 23 leading British defence contractors, Small Medium Enterprises and top British universities, will assist the MoD in maximising its communications capability.

As part of the Defence Industrial Strategy and Defence Technology Strategy, this contract will research ideas and technologies to improve the flexibility, efficiency, resilience and security of the MoD’s Communication and Information Services (CIS) systems.

The first tasks will be to evaluate the benefits of wideband mobile communications and policy and infrastructure management to support end-to-end voice/data convergence. A spiral development approach using commercial off the shelf (COTS) technologies as well as Command & Information Systems Planning and Traffic Management will allow the MoD to incrementally shape and direct the research, adapting to ongoing technological developments across military and commercial systems.

The other two tasks in this first package will make an assessment of the security properties of different technologies in a military context and the impact of their use on security policy and to scope future research for the Global Information Infrastructure (GII).