and their platforms, from shore-based installations through ships, manned and unmanned aircraft, and spacecraft; processing and display subsystems; communication links; common supporting software; the standards, rules, and procedures that lend structure to the network and enable seamless, integrated functioning of all its parts; and the people at all levels, in joint and combined forces, who use the information in carrying out their tasks and missions and who maintain and operate the system’s infrastructure. The Naval Command and Information Infrastructure (NCII), meshed with and functioning as part of a joint and national infrastructure, must provide a functional framework for establishing and maintaining the relationships and for transferring information among all the system parts, and for coordinating functions across all the platforms and force units in the joint and combined environment.

Figure 1.1 summarizes the comprehensive nature of network-centric operations systems; that view guided the committee’s deliberations.

1.2.2 Creating Network-Centric Operations Systems

Transforming the naval forces from platform-centric to network-centric design and operations will require a disciplined approach to developing very-large-scale integrated systems. New concepts of operation embodying new technical capabilities will have to be developed and then tested in the field, with the test results used to refine the concepts continually and adapt them to changing conditions of threat, environment, and technological advance. This means using up-front, empirically founded operational and system analyses to set system performance, cost, and schedule requirements based on emerging concepts of opera-

FIGURE 1.1 An NCO system structure.

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