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Network-Optional Warfare (NOW)

  • Vulnerabilities arise for naval forces using constant communications due to lost stealth and dependence on external information.

  • Emissions control (EMCON) and limited use of low-probability of intercept (LPI) data channels can restore naval covertness and tactical surprise.

  • Data compression and a well-defined signal book enable fluid operations across Network-Centric Warfare (NCW) and NOW.

Network-Centric Warfare (NCW)

  • “Seeks to translate an information advantage, enabled in part by information technology, into a competitive advantage through the robust networking of well-informed geographically dispersed forces.”
  • “This networking—combined with changes in technology, organization, processes, and people—may allow new forms of organizational behavior.”  http://

Operational View (OV-1) shows optical signaling via QR codes and Digital Flashing Light (DFL). Only 2 EM-based lightning bolts!


  • Stealth:  gain deeper access into battle space, utilize inherent covertness of unmanned systems

  • Surprise:  choose time and place to shift from passive to active use of electromagnetic spectrum

  • Coherence: formal mission brevity codes are actionable and precise with well-defined semantics

  • Uncertainty: reduced opponent confidence that threats are located and attack is unchallenged

  • Flexibility:  tactical commanders decide use of NCW/NOW on per-platform, per-mission basis

  • Scalability:  incremental response using low-cost assets avoids destabilizing high-cost escalation


Don Brutzman, voice +1.831.656.2149