What is C4ISR?

C4ISR is an acronym used by the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. intelligence agencies, and the defense community which stands for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance.

In common vernacular of the defense community, the term C4ISR is used in reference to organizational and technological attributes that can enhance, reinforce, or execute command and control strategies and directives within military and intelligence frameworks.

A manageable, singular term that encapsulates consideration of national security issues on a global scale, C4ISR editorial is frequently referenced regarding global military transformation, non-state actors in military contexts, network-centric war technologies, impacts of climate change on military facilities, federal government manager issues, and more.

One overriding aspect of most C4ISR discussions is technology, due to its inherent impact on every element in the C4ISR cannon. From military and government decision-makers to vendors supplying technological capabilities to procurement specialists managing contracts, C4ISR comes up in stories about radio and communications systems, command and control systems, communication systems, display systems, electronics, headsets, intelligence and research, intercoms, microwave receivers, navigation/mapping, radar, radio gear, satellites, secure data transmission, signature management, surveillance technologies, telemetry systems, transceivers, and even visual systems. There is always a C4ISR angle to every military or intelligence topic.


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