Littoral operations, deployable unmanned systems, and a refactored force mix for surface ships pose a growing set of naval challenges and opportunities. Network-optional warfare (NOW) precepts include Efficient Messaging, Optical Signaling, Semantic Coherence and Ethical Human Supervision of Autonomy for deliberate, stealthy, minimalist tactical communications.
Network-Optional Warfare (NOW)
Major vulnerabilities: naval forces conducting constant communications lack stealth and become dependent on continuous data exchange.
Agile EMCON: "Radio silence" emissions control with judicious use of low-probability of intercept (LPI) communication channels, such as optical.
Messaging maturity: efficient compression and a coherently defined signal book, aiding remote command initiative and operational freedom of action.
- Ethical Human Supervision of Autonomy: allow unmanned systems with potential for lethal force to operate reliably at a distance, directed by humans to follow same tasking + constraints as any other trusted participant.
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.”
- Source: Network-Centric Warfare, Wikipedia
Operational emphasis: opportunity to restore naval covertness and potential for tactical surprise, enabling fluid operations by fleet and marine forces across NCW and NOW.
Operational View (OV-1) shows line-of-sight (LOS) optical signaling via Quick Reaction (QR) codes and Digital Flashing Light (DFL). Only two radio frequency (RF) lightning bolts!
Tactical Opportunities afforded by NOW