skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer

ADF iWar capability development


The Defence Information Warfare Division was formed in 2017 with the aim of building critical information warfare capabilities such as cyber, and integrating these to have a decisive impact in the battlespace.

Lessons learned and observed during recent conflicts and crises demonstrate the character of the contemporary battlespace and highlight the criticality of information warfare (iWar) capabilities. As the ADF fields more advanced capabilities, it is important that the ADF develops and integrates iWar capabilities as part of its combat power.

The ADF requires iWar capabilities that reinforce friendly information while degrading that of potential adversaries in order to create a decisive advantage during times of conflict and/or crisis.

ADF iWar capabilities include command, control, and communications; joint data networks; battlespace situational awareness; cyberspace operations; electronic warfare; space warfare; influence activities; targeting; and joint intelligence capabilities such as human intelligence, counter-intelligence, biometrics, advanced analytics, and production, exploitation and dissemination.

Within the first six months of Information Warfare Division’s operation, the Chief of the Defence Force formally established the Defence Signals Intelligence and Cyber Command, an element of Information Warfare Division. The Defence Signals Intelligence and Cyber Command was formed to unify the ADF’s Signals Intelligence and Cyber personnel working under a single command structure, providing mission clarity and service identity for this important part of the ADF workforce. It works closely with Headquarters Joint Operations Command in the planning of ADF operations, providing a niche range of information and effects to support operational execution.

Within Information Warfare Division, the Joint Cyber Unit coordinates the delivery of defensive and offensive military cyberspace effects in support of Australian Defence Force operations. Joint Cyber Unit is tasked with providing critical Signals Intelligence in support of Chief of Joint Operations intelligence priorities. It operates under the direction and control of Australian Signals Directorate and under the command of Commander Defence Signals Intelligence and Cyber Command.

While it is still in an embryonic state, future Joint Cyber Unit growth was clearly articulated in the 2016 Defence White Paper, so both the size and mission of the unit will evolve over time. The iWar capabilities being generated by Information Warfare Division will deliver a coherent suite of information effects to ADF Commanders that can integrate into their plans whether they be for combat operations, or operations other than war. The goal is to one day have iWar as an integral part of all operational planning and execution. We will know we have succeeded when combat commanders consider kinetic and cognitive effects together.