October 1997

Chapter 17: Standardization and Interoperability

Principles of NATO Standardization

1708. The following principles of NATO Standardization apply whenever NATO standards are being developed and used:

  1. Application Field. NATO standards are developed for use under interacting activities in the Operational, NATO Consultation, Command and Control (C3), Armaments and Logistic domains: Operational doctrine and or procedures may have an impact of equipment Research and Development or vice versa; common production of equipment may have an influence on cooperation in combat services support; etc.
  2. National Commitment. Nations ratify and implement Standardization Agreements on a voluntary basis.
  3. Levels of Standardization. Compatibility is the minimum level of standardization required for Alliance forces. However, nations should strive for the standardization level of interoperability, or higher as required, as this will better enhance the Alliance's operational effectiveness.
  4. Use of Existing Standards. Standardization agreements will only be developed when the respective requirements are not covered by recognized civilian or already existing military standards; adoption of existing standards needs to be reflected in STANAGs.
  5. Coordination of Effort. Duplication of effort is to be minimized through consultation, liaison and information exchange between Main NATO Bodies involved in standardization under the coordination of the NATO Committee for Standardization (NCS). The aim must be the successful development and timely achievement of effective and well integrated NATO standards.
  6. Common Terminology. NATO standards will use agreed NATO Terminologynas developed within the NATO Terminology Standardization Programme.

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