The Transformation of the Armed Forces: The Forza NEC Program

Information technology (IT) has had, and will continue to have, a deep impact on the defence sector. The most advanced countries, not only the U.S. but also France, Great Britain and Italy, over the past few years have undergone a transormation of their armed forces aimed at exploiting the strategic advantages of IT.
The goal pursued in Europe, and also promoted by NATO, is Network Enabled Capability (NEC). That is combining equipment and soldiers, as well as different doctrinal, procedural, technical and organizational elements, into a single network to obtain their interaction in order to achieve substantial strategic superiority. In practice, this also occurs with a strong, efficient and secure telecommunications network, and through netcentric modernization of armed forces' capability and systems aimed at connecting them to the net.
This research paper analyzes the military netcentric modernization and transformation programs - still in progress - in France, Britain and Italy, with special focus ton the joint program led by the Italian army called "Forza NEC". Opportunities and challenges of "Forza NEC" have been considered according to the Italian armed force's requirements, developed during two decades of experience in international military operations, as well as in the light of the evolution of strategic doctrine at a European and transatlantic level. Particular attention has been devoted to the interaction between industry and the armed forces, and to the involvement of many Italian companies in different "Forza NEC" activities, as it represents one of the pillars of the procurement program.

Produced within the framework of the project "Forza NEC programme and Europe". Italian version: Quaderni IAI 2.

Roma, Nuova Cultura, October 2012, 174 p.
Publication date: 

Executive summary
Foreword, by Giuseppe Valotto
List of Abbreviations
1. New requirements and Network Centric Warfare (NCW)
   1.1. The digitization race and the NCW
   1.2. The NATO Network Enabled Capability (NNEC)
   1.3. The cornerstones of a net-centric force
   1.4. The spiral approach and the changes in defence procurement
   1.5. The limits of a net-centric transformation: the US case
2. The Italian case study
   2.1. Reflection within the Italian Armed Forces
   2.2. The Italian experience in international operations
   2.3. The digitization of the Italian Armed Forces
   2.4. Forza NEC program
   2.5. Forza NEC's industrial commitment
3. The French case study, by Philippe Gros
   3.1. The French net-centric concept
   3.2. The Joint level programs
   3.3. The French Army
   3.4. The French Air Force
   3.5. The French Navy
   3.6. The Joint convergence to SIA
4. The British case study, by Nick Brown
   4.1. The digitization debate
   4.2. The British Army
   4.3. The Royal Navy
   4.4. The Royal Air Force
   4.5. Joint capabilities
   4.6. Industry cooperation
Bibliography and web references

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