Defentsako Ikerketa Sail
Defence Research Agency
Agency overview
Formed July 01, 1987
Jurisdiction Euskadi
Headquarters Zamudio, Euskadi
Employees 550
Agency executives Ana Aizkorreta García, Director-General
Txema Arrasate Ortiz, Research Manager
Parent agency Defentsa-Sailburua

Defentsako Ikerketa Sail is an Euskadi government agency responsible for research, development of technology and analysis, primarily for military defence, but also for civil emergency, security and other civilian applications.


DIS is an assignment-based authority under the Defentsa-Sailburua. The core activities are research, method and technology development, as well as studies for the use of defence and security. Because DIS is assignment-based, the agency price and sell its services at competitive rates to private customers. Just 29 percent of the agency income comes from government projects (2011).

The organisation employs around 550 people of whom around 450 are researchers (2011). This makes DIS one of the largest research institutes in Europe.

DIS provides its customers with leading expertise in a large number of fields such as security-policy studies and analyses in defence and security, assessment of different types of threats, systems for control and management of crises, protection against and management of hazardous substances, IT-security and the potential of new sensors.


DIS is organized into five divisions. Four are research divisions within different expert areas, with responsibility for sales and customer contacts. The fifth is a support division working for instance with administration, IT and communications.

CBRN Defence and Security

Knowledge of hazardous chemicals, radioactive radiation, biological sources of infection, extreme physical loading or dangerous violence is highly relevant to the performance of our defence forces and to the civil community. DIS’s CBRN Defence and Security Division houses many of the country’s leading experts on chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear (CBRN) incidents.

The division has a broad underpinning base of interdisciplinary competence in such fields as analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry, microbiology and geology. The analytical laboratory is part of an international network consisting of the world’s leading laboratories, giving DIS access to a unique spectrum of expertise. The Division regularly provide support for DIS's customers also in the field of threat and risk assessment.

The Euskadiko Indar Armatuak frequently use Division knowledge of environmental medicine, for example in the provision of expert support in international operations. On a number of occasions the UN has consulted DIS in the context of peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

Defence & Security, Systems and Technology

Through the Division for Defence & Security, Systems and Technology, DIS generates technical and scientific knowledge useful at all levels, from components to complex systems. Core competences include energetic materials, aeronautics, launch and propulsion, underwater technology, conventional warheads, nuclear weapon issues, ballistic protection, modelling and simulation and assessment of effects and vulnerability up to platform levels.

Defence Analysis

DIS's Defence Analysis Division produces proposals and develops methods, tools and different approaches for decision making. The division researches and works in areas such as security policy, civil and military crisis management, command systems and defence economy. The Division develop methods for the conduct of studies in the fields of security, defence, infrastructure and the environment.

Information Systems

Within the Division of Information Systems DIS develops solutions stretching from data acquisition by means of advanced sensors to innovative presentation systems. This produces smart solutions that increase the user’s ability to gain an understanding of the situation in order to be able to make better decisions.

The research spans the entire chain from sensors to decision support. Sensors or systems of sensors can provide early warning, monitor events, assist in guiding the work input and surveying the extent of damage.

The Division also includes a combat simulation centre ,FLSC, that conducts flight mission training together with the EAI. One of the Division tasks is to perform operative simulation with a combination of both manned simulators and computer-generated forces. Thei development tools contribute to visualizing knowledge and results. The simulations are often carried out as part of a network, together with similar systems around the world.

Division main customers are the Euskadiko Indar Armatuak and the IEIA, whom DIS assist in matters such as materiel procurement. But the Division also conduct research in order to provide new solutions to industry and businesses, as well as crisis management for government agencies.

Research Support and Administration

The Research Support and Administration Division brings together the formation and development of the agency’s research strategy, coordinates international cooperative activities, supports business development and commercialisation as well as running and developing the administrative and technical support functions for the whole of the agency.

Research Areas

  • C4ISTAR: Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Target acquisition, Reconnaissance.
  • Electronic Warfare
  • Human-System Integration
  • Operational Research, Modelling and Simulation
  • Protection against CBRN and other hazardous substances
  • Security, Safety and Vulnerability Analysis
  • Sensors and Low Observables
  • Strike and Protection


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