POGGIO RENATICO, Italy - From February 5 to 9, the Deployable Air Command & Control Centre (DACCC) hosted the second iteration of the “Air Offensive Operation Conference” with a key focus on the integration of fifth-generation aircraft into the air campaign.
More than twenty participants from several NATO Nations convened for discussions revolving around the deployment of highly manoeuvrable stealth platforms underscoring the growing significance of advanced air capabilities.
As geopolitical tensions continue to evolve, we have to acknowledge the importance of maintaining a balance between technological superiority and global stability
In his opening remarks, Portuguese Air Force Colonel Duarte Freitas, acting Director of the DACCC's Deployable Air Operations Centre, addressed the key role of fifth-generation aircraft, such as the F-35 Lightning II, in shaping the future of air warfare. “These systems with their ability to seamlessly integrate with other assets provide us a decisive edge in contested environments. At the same time the integration of advanced sensors, network-centric capabilities, and stealth technologies enhance our effectiveness conducting joint operations,” Colonel Freitas added.
Participants of the Air Offensive Operation Conference hosted by the Deployable Air Command and Control Centre at Poggio Renatico, Italy, pose in front of an Italian Air Force Tornado fighter jet. Photo by DACCC.
Modern fifth-generation fighters like the Italian Navy's F-35B Lightning II have a pivotal role in shaping the future of air warfare. Photo courtesy Tiziano Menabo.
A Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35 integrating with French Air and Space Force Rafale jets during tactical drills over Poland in 2023. Photo by Arnaud Chamberlin.
During the conference, the international audience of Air Command and Control experts shared insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with incorporating fifth-generation platforms. The participants explored collaborative efforts aiming to establish standardised communication protocols and interoperability frameworks to optimize the potential of cutting-edge fifth-generation aircraft. “As geopolitical tensions continue to evolve, we have to acknowledge the vital importance of maintaining a delicate balance between technological superiority and global stability,” added Colonel Freitas.
“Fifth-generation aircraft play a pivotal role in Counter Anti-Access/Area Denial (C-A2AD) strategies, showcasing advanced stealth and technological capabilities,” said Brigadier General David Morpurgo, Deputy Commander of the DACCC. “While offensive in nature, C-A2AD can be perceived as defensive when implemented by a collective security Alliance like NATO. This is because measures to neutralize an established A2AD architecture deter potential adversaries and remove the imitation on friendly forces’ ability to operate freely in a given region,” he went on to explain. “By creating obstacles and denying access, an Alliance aims to protect its own territory and interests, bolstering its defensive posture against potential threats.”
“Conferences like this one are promising occasions to discuss collective and collaborative efforts among Allies, highlighting the potential for a new era in air warfare,” said General Morpurgo. “The integration of fifth-generation aircraft is expected to redefine strategic doctrines, emphasizing joint operations and multinational Alliances as the cornerstone of future air offensive campaigns,” he concluded.