Military technological superiority has become a major imperative and an essential deterrent which contributes to the sovereignty of the state. Faced with the evolution of the geostrategic, technological and economic context, military research has become an essential lever in the development of combat potential.
The rapid evolution of science and technology has led to the situation where the current weapon systems, and in general combat means (equipment), are becoming more and more complex. These weapon systems require multidisciplinary skills and integrate technologies that are increasingly sophisticated and highly interwoven. They require an ever-greater level of mastery for their operational and technical deployment, as well as for their modernization according to technological changes and new threats. It is essential therefore that the endeavour should be sustained and coordinated, both in terms of research and training in military technologies and in building of a competitive defence industry. The latter guarantees our strategic autonomy and our long-term supplies.
Given the recurrent restrictions on the transfer and acquisition of key technologies, the highest authorities of our institution, aware of the role and importance of scientific research and technological development for the control and development of technologies underpinning the combat potential, have initiated, in parallel with the process of advanced training in multiple fields of science and technology, the establishment of central bodies, having an inter-forces dimension, charged with the management and implementation of research and development projects, for the benefit of various components of the armed forces.
The research architecture put in place was centred, at higher hierarchical levels, around a central orientation and planning body along with a structure in charge of the management, evaluation, coordination, valorisation, technological watch and internal and external cooperation. These central entities supervise decentralized research structures that are closer to force components, to central support (supply) structures and military manufacturing companies, in order to enable greater responsiveness in the management of sectoral research and technological development programs and projects. In parallel, this architecture is completed by a regulatory framework governing the organization of the management process, the implementation of research programs and projects, the evaluation of researchers and the results of research, as well as the certification and valorisation of the resulting products or services.
Given the range and complexity of combat platforms, whether they be terrestrial, aerial, naval or air-defence, comprised, in general, of weapon systems incorporating more and more automation and intelligence, and starting from the adage "the shortage of technology must drive intelligence", military research is situated at every level of the technological upgrading process. This is valid for the control of the integrated technologies as well as for the evaluation, the expertise, the adaptation of components, subassemblies and assemblies during maintenance, modernization with new systems integration, innovation and new products design and manufacture based on emerging technologies, as well as the operational readiness service. This is accomplished to allow the differentiated evolution of the range of current and future equipment of our defence tool.
The objective is to reduce our technological gap through the implementation of research plans and programs in accordance with our stance and aiming at, on the one hand, promoting the most promising technologies that increase the armed forces capacity, and, on the other hand, meeting the operational needs of our armed forces as well as to make scientific research and technological development an essential lever in supporting decision-making related to defence and security equipment acquisition and in preparing the defence of the future.
Moreover, the role of military research is not limited only to defence technology aspects, it also incorporates other non-exhaustive aspects, such as those related to the deployment environment of forces, technologies and security of command systems, information and communication systems and weapon systems, forensic science and, in a different register, to improve the soldier multiform support in terms of education and training, hygiene and operational medicine, individual and collective protections as well as the stewardship aspect.
The military research should also seize the new opportunities offered by the emerging technology segments that should be selected and adopted as part of actions aiming at anticipating and preparing the future by relying, for this purpose, on intra-institutional work as well as the work that could be initiated through the cooperation with the civilian research sector, the national industrial sector and our foreign partners. Through this vision, the aim is to foster interaction between technological foresight and operational foresight.
Finally, the ultimate goal is to have a reactive, autonomous and sovereign capacity and to develop technological solutions able to respond to new threats, and to meet the operational needs expressed by our armed forces.