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Friend/Foe Identification

Volume 403: debated on Thursday 10 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been budgeted for Friend/Foe Identification in the Defence budget since 1991; and what proportion of the budget has been spent on this purpose. [107978]

'Combat Identification' is the term we use to describe the capacity to distinguish between friend, foe and neutrals in modern joint and coalition military operations. Effective Combat Identification is delivered through the combination of three elements: Situational Awareness (knowledge of what is happening in the battlespace), Target Identification (the ability to positively identify a target within the battlespace), and Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (including such measures as the use of recognition devices on vehicles and the clear definition of areas of operation). Because it is so key to overall operational effectiveness, Combat Identification is a characteristic spread across a wide range of defence equipment, information systems, information technology applications, joint doctrine, training effort and battle procedures: it is not a standalone capability. It would therefore be impossible to give a meaningful dis-aggregated figure for Departmental spending on Combat Identification since 1991.