Defense signs for renewal of IT backbone - Future Force

30 December 2020

Defense signs for renewal of IT backbone

The Groundbreaking IT (GrIT) program must ensure a completely renewed IT infrastructure. Defense will immediately start building future-proof IT infrastructure in 2021. Today State Secretary Barbara Visser signed a contract for this with IBM on behalf of the Athena consortium (IBM / Atos / Unica).

A start is made with the parts that have the most added value for operational action. The armed forces are closely involved in this.

The Groundbreaking IT (GrIT) program must ensure a completely renewed IT infrastructure. GrIT is developing a reliable, secure, future-proof and flexible IT infrastructure and services for the next 10 years.

“Technology and the smart use of information are crucial for Defense,” states Secretary of State Barbara Visser. “GrIT stems from this necessity and provides for the renewal of the IT backbone of Defense.”

The digital transformation is an important part of the Defense Vision 2035. Program director Ron Kolkman: “GrIT is much more than an innovation of an information system. There will be a completely new, highly advanced IT infrastructure, which should turn the armed forces into a high-quality, information-driven organization. “

Own mobile network
Work will start in the 1st quarter of 2021. The construction of new data centers (planned duration 20 months) and the renewal of the network for sending highly classified information (planned duration 12-24 months) will start first. The realization of its own mobile network of the Ministry of Defense is also starting (planned duration 11 months).

“Thanks to GrIT, Defense will even have its own mobile network. As a result, we are not dependent on others, “says Visser. “That is a very strong point for an organization like ours, which operates worldwide under difficult circumstances.”

Best of both worlds
Due to the rapid pace of IT innovation, Defense is entering into strategic partnerships with companies. In this way, the Ministry of Defense responds quickly and structurally to new developments and innovations.

“It is planned that GrIT will be rolled out after 7 years,” explains State Secretary Barbara Visser. “And by working together with market parties, we acquire the best available technology. We will be working with mixed teams, so that we combine the best from Defense and the market. In order to get the best result. “