Naval forces do not have to be engaged in constant centralized communication. Deployed Navy vessels have demonstrated independence of action within coordinated operations for hundreds of years.
Littoral operations, unmanned systems, and single-purpose ships pose a growing set of naval challenges and opportunities. Network-optional warfare (NOW) can be achieved through efficient communications, signaling stealth, and deliberate tactical messaging.
Network-Optional Warfare (NOW)
Network-Centric Warfare (NCW)
Operational View (OV-1) shows line-of-sight (LOS) optical signaling via Quick Reaction (QR) codes and Digital Flashing Light (DFL).
Only two EM-based lightning bolts!
Overview Resources for NOW
These references describe tactical techniques, operational concepts, and strategic possibilities that emerge when regaining asymmetric advantages.
- Network-Optional Warfare: Concepts Exploration and Enabling Technologies slideset (.pdf, also synopsis).
- The full version includes quick looks at many thesis research opportunities, starting on slide 26.
- Network-Optional Warfare: Operational Employment Concepts lists component concepts of interest plus numerous relevant references.
- Network-Optional Warfare: Information Transfer Considerations analyzes the transition space between always-on NCW and all-off NOW operations.
- Network Optional Warfare: Overview Video (200 MB) produced for the NPS Littoral Operations Center (LOC) inaugural workshop, 24-26 March 2014.
Tactical Opportunities afforded by NOW
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 force locations are known 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
- Autonomy : loosely coordinated command via Rules of Operation (ROO) and Engagement (ROE)
Don Brutzman, email@example.com voice +1.831.656.2149