Degree Name

Master of Information Technology (Hons.)


School of Information Technology and Computer Science


The nature of defence is changing such that significant advantage will be achieved through the creative, timely and decisive use of information. The ability to access, use, manipulate and protect information will be fundamental to future military operations. To achieve this "information edge", a complex information network known as the C4I system will be developed and implemented. Existing tactical networks, which are limited in their capability and features will need to be redefined and redeveloped to support the future C4I system. This necessitates a new approach to tactical network planning given the need for better coordination throughout the defence organisation and the increased complexity of technology. This dissertation develops a formal Network Planning Process (NPP) for the military tactical environment to meet this challenge. The NPP embodies the planning factors and elements drawn fi-om academic based strategic planning processes in addition to the unique planning practices of the defence organisation. When combined, these provide a novel, network requirements analysis based strategic planning process tailored for the military tactical environment. The ultimate deliverable of the NPP is a network strategy that articulates the future direction and role of technology in a military tactical environment. The network strategy achieves this by documenting comprehensive requirements and objectives sets supported by a broad architectural model that graphically illustrates the business, information, application and technology architectures of the defence organisation. In this thesis, the NPP has been used to develop a network strategy for the example Australian Defence Force (ADF) maritime tactical element. The network strategy is then translated into a concept design to demonstrate the ability of the NPP to deliver a practicable network solution that is based on the outcomes of the strategy. The NPP makes a number of major contributions that directly result from the process and its deliverables. Such contributions include improvements to formal SPP for technology, defence planning practices, and the enhanced operational capability that accompanies formal technology planning.