Technological Innovation and Defence: The Forza NEC Program in the Euro-Atlantic Framework

Technological innovation and the military have always been in a state of constant interaction, fostered especially during the post-Cold War period. In this context, the present study focuses on the relationship of Italian, American, British, French and German Armed Forces with Information Communication Technology (ICT). The aim is to analyse in a Euro-Atlantic perspective the path undertaken by the Italian Army to develop Network Enabled Capabilities (NEC) through the “Forza NEC” Program. The acronym NEC refers to the interconnection of different elements of the Armed Forces in a single broad network, making them interact in order to achieve a strategic superiority.
The book is composed of three chapters, which offer respectively an analysis of the American case, an overview of recent developments in France, Germany and the UK, and a discussion of the situation in Italy. The volume – which comes four years after the IAI publication The Transformation of the Armed Forces: The Forza NEC Program – aims at analysing state of the art of the evolving relationship between technological innovation and the Armed Forces. This evolution is hindered by the fact that efforts to digitize and interconnect land forces and their equipment by using ICT sometimes clash with both operational di culties and budget constraints. Such a clash poses challenges and roadblocks on the way towards NEC undertaken by the Armed Forces of the countries discussed in this book.

Produced within the framework of the project "The Armed Forces in the age of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and the Forza NEC Program". Presented at the conference "Forze Armate e innovazione tecnologica nel programma Forza NEC", Rome, 4 June 2015.

Italian version: Quaderni IAI 14.

Roma, Nuova Cultura, April 2016, 161 p.
Publication date: 

Executive Summary
List of Abbreviations
1. US Ground Forces and Network Enabled Capabilities: Finding the Balance, by Maren Leed
1.1 The state of the art of the American debate
1.2 The US Armed Forces’ requirements related to NEC
1.3 Relevant procurement programs related to NEC
1.4 Future challenges
1.5 Conclusions
2. The Paths towards NEC: France, Germany and the United Kingdom, by Nick Brown
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Cyber
2.3 Command and Control (C2)
2.4 Satellite Communications (SATCOM)
2.5 Naval connectivity
2.6 Air connectivity
2.7 Conclusions
3. Italy and the Forza NEC Program, by Tommaso De Zan
3.1 The Italian defence policy and the role of the Army
3.2 The Italian Army and the netcentric capability
3.3 The industrial dimension of the Forza NEC program
3.4 Forza NEC perspectives: challenges and opportunities
3.5 Conclusions
4. The Challenges of Netcentric Capabilities, by Alessandro Marrone, Michele Nones and Alessandro R. Ungaro

Research area