Network-enabled capability, or NEC, is the name given to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence intent to achieve enhanced military effect through the better use of information systems towards the goal of "right information, right place, right time – and not too much". NEC is envisaged as the coherent integration of sensors, decision-makers, effectors and support capabilities to achieve a more flexible and responsive military. In this future vision commanders will be better aware of the evolving military situation and will be able to react to events through voice and data communications.
NEC is a long-term change programme. It will be some years until the communications systems, information systems, operational procedures and knowledge will come together into this improved approach to UK military operations.
NEC is related to the US concept of network-centric warfare (NCW), which at the time was described as "translating an information advantage into a decisive warfighting advantage". More recent US thinking has moved towards the vision of network-centric operations (NCO) which reflects that not all military activity is warfighting, for example peacekeeping.
NEC is related to the Australian concept of Ubiquitous Command and Control (UC2), which includes not only network enabled capability, but network-enabled military intent, and network-enabled awareness. UC2 extends the "networking position" of NEC and NCW, to include positions on decision devolution; embracing the ubiquity of available decision makers; a future of computing in achieving that ubiquity; the necessary human-computer integration in decision making; decentralisation of intent and physical dispersion; social coordination protocols to unify intent, capability and awareness; and management levels to bound behaviours.
- Joint Services Publication 777 Edition 1, available online from the Ministry of Defence.
- Understanding Network Enabled Capability
- An Introductory Study to Cyber Security in NEC
- BAE Systems NEC
- QinetiQ NEC
- Roke Manor Research NEC
- Systems Engineering & Assessment NEC
- Thales group NEC
- Ericsson white paper: C4ISR for Network-Oriented Defense
- NECE 2008
- Centric Labs
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