The New Zealand Defence Force is to spend $11 million on its first foray into battlefield management software.

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the government has approved the purchase of a battle management system from Danish firm Systematic as part of a programme to digitise the army.

Its SitaWare battle management software will cost $11m over three years and replace the army's current manual process of receiving and disseminating information.

It has been trialled for several years, Brownlee said.


"The new system will enable NZDF to gain a complete picture of the situation on the ground and share information quickly."

The SitaWare system will link headquarters, units, vehicles and individuals, allowing a full picture of the battlefield and the ability to share information quickly.

The Systematic website shows a demonstration of its software, where commanders can see on their a map of the battlefield showing the location of friendly and enemy units.

Vehicle commanders can also see what is going on and orders can been given via the software.

Brownlee said it would also allow the Defence Force to operate seamlessly with partners when deployed in a coalition.