Thales to build “Cyber Range”, cyber security training, testing facility for Dutch Defence Cyber Command


The cyber security training and testing facility for the Dutch Defence Cyber Command will be used to train its personnel.

In the Netherlands, the Defence Cyber Command (DCC) and Thales entered into a contract to set up a sophisticated cyber security training and testing facility, also referred to as “Cyber Range”. With this “Cyber Range”, the Dutch Ministry of Defence will acquire a number of key cyber security capabilities, in particular for education and training of its own personnel.

To continuously improve the reliability and security of its sensor, weapon systems, command and control systems, information systems, networks and digital infrastructure, the DCC must not only be able to quickly and effectively respond to new threat developments, but also to acquire and test new cyber-defence techniques at an early stage. With the Thales “Cyber Range”, both small-scale and large-scale training can be carried out.

In this facility, cyber attacks, incidents, as well as protective measures, can be simulated and tested on different defence systems, IT environments and communication links. As part of the agreement, Thales will build the facility and provide continued support for the next three years.

Brigadier General and Commander DCC Hans Folmer said: “The Cyber Range is an important step for the Defence Cyber Command (DCC). It is a facility at which many forms of cyber operations can be simulated. This is essential for training our staff and testing our systems.”

The DCC forms part of the Dutch Armed Forces and is responsible for developing and preparing cyber capabilities and conducting cyber operations. One of the components of the DCC is the Defence Cyber Expertise Centre (DCEC), which aims to enhance the specific knowledge and the innovative capacity of Defence within the cyber domain.

The Dutch Ministry of Defence has a long-standing relationship with Thales in the field of cyber security. In particular, Thales secures Defence NATO communication links and has recently launched a study on cyber situational awareness in collaboration with the DCC and the Dutch research organisation, TNO. The study looks into how existing SEWACO systems (sensors, weapons and command systems) can continue to be used securely in the future. The Cyber Range is a major step in expanding this collaboration.