The NATO C3 Board Interoperability Profiles Capability Team (IP CaT) has developed the attached version of the NATO Interoperability Standards and Profiles (NISP) taking into account, wherever relevant, national Technical Architecture programmes.

The work undertaken in this development takes into consideration the interoperability shortfalls experienced by both NATO and the nations. These shortfalls are notably assessed to result from an interoperability strategy limited to standards adherence only, whilst in large parts ignoring other design and implementation considerations. From this viewpoint, NISP aims to improve, complement and complete an Open Systems approach, by providing architectural building blocks, standards and profile recommendations.

NISP development also tracked the evolution of the Communication and Information Technology market where commercial aspects have become predominant and Service Oriented Architecture approaches have risen to the forefront.

Against this background, the challenge that the NISP has to face is to propose the best trade-off between the two complementary approaches in line with NATO requirements:

  • COTS-based approach to optimise the cost-effectiveness of NATO C3S programmes development;

  • Open Systems approach based on an appropriate selection of interface standards to adapt to technology advances while avoiding any product or vendor lock-in.

  • Service Oriented Architecture approach to directly support Interoperability in NATO's Network Enabled Capability initiatives.


NATO Policy for Interoperability of C3 systems addresses development, from the perspective of achieving specified interoperability requirements, on the basis of three architectural views: Operational, System and Technical.

The NISP is clearly intended to contain and describe the capabilities and attributes of all procedures, data (standards and products) and their relationships necessary to develop the Technical View and part of the System View.

NISP Broad Contents

In practical terms, the NISP consists of a set of 5 documents.

Volume 1: NATO Interoperability Standards and Profiles - Introduction and Management: This volume deals with the NISP purpose, the structure and the process of collecting standards from stakeholders, including the configuration management and publication of the NISP.

Volume 2: Near Term: This volume provides the architectural reference models to help establish the architecture of a C2 system project in the near term (less than 2 years).

Volume 3: Mid to Far Term: This volume provides the architectural reference models to help establish the architecture of a C2 system project in the mid to far term (2 to 6+ years).

Volume 4: Profiles: This volume provides Interoperability Profile Guidance and references.

Volume 5: Design Rules: This volume provides Design Rule Guidance and references.