Network-centric concepts will allow the individual platforms and systems of the task force to be in constant communication, but if the Navy relies only on classical command-and-control arrangements, the submarine may wind up as odd man out.
"Network centric" is the Chief of Naval Operations' shorthand for a force design in which the capabilities of an individual unit are less important than the uses to which the combined capabilities of the force can be put. This is a departure for naval forces, which heretofore have been built around and measured by the strength of their dominant platform—triremes, galleons, battleships, then aircraft carriers. Network-centric design gets its power from using modern information technology to harness all the capabilities present, regardless of individual platform design or location. Put elegantly, it takes advantage of the "enhanced capabilities of network centric computing, which link disparate platforms and systems for synergistic effect."