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Navy Technologies

Ocean Research Fleet Will Be Adrift Without New Technologies

December 2009
By Jim Sweeney

Bandwidth demands and the increased use of autonomous aerial and underwater vehicles are among the challenges for the nation’s aging fleet of ocean research ships. A new report predicts that the fleet will face even more demands on its time in the future.

An Info-Centric Navy Sets Sail

December 2009
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Navy is transitioning from network-centric to info-centric as it adjusts for the changing missions of the 21st century. The shift represents less a technology change than an organizational and operational one as the sea service faces more diverse missions with fewer assets.

Poseidon Rules the Waves From the Air

December 2009
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Navy is rolling out its first new maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft in four decades, pushing mission technologies into the future. Upgrading the capabilities of the platform’s predecessor makes it better suited for today’s battle environment. Improvements include the ability to process more data, fly higher and longer and cover a larger area. The aircraft’s main purpose will be antisubmarine warfare, but it will be inherently flexible. In addition, the open systems architecture will make onboard adjustments easier and less expensive for the Navy and its partners while commercial production practices will reduce costs. Foreign nations and U.S. allies also are purchasing the aircraft and will provide input to the development process.

Regular Technology Insertions Keep Critical System Fresh

December 2009
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Navy continues to take advantage of open architecture and an open business model to incorporate the most advanced capabilities into a key piece of the Submarine Combat System. Navy leadership is employing a program where technology upgrades can be inserted as necessary and as available to provide sailors with the tools they need to perform their missions. The effort reduces the time between upgrades as well as implements the best new ideas in industry more quickly. The plan is benefiting tactical control on submarines by keeping technologies in a state-of-the-practice configuration at all times, while being responsive to requests from the fleet and lowering costs.

Dual-Band Radar Illuminates New Missions

December 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

An advanced radar being designed for the U.S. Navy would provide future warships with a powerful sensor capable of detecting and tracking a variety of threats, from ballistic missiles to aircraft and supersonic, sea-skimming anti-ship missiles. The new radar will combine the capabilities of two existing radars, resulting in fewer antennas on a ship’s superstructure, increased reaction time and the ability to adapt to changing combat environments rapidly. The system also will feature a modular plug-and-play architecture allowing quick system upgrades, more efficient use of hardware and bandwidth, and reduced power and cooling requirements.

Chinese Warships Struggle to Meet New Command, Control And Communications Needs

February 2009
By James C. Bussert

China may be building a navy that features some world-class technologies aboard new ships, but its large numbers and variety of naval and air weapons still are operated in isolated methods because of the lack of effective command, control and communications and datalinks. Of 494 Chinese navy ships, the only combatant warships with credible Level III command, control and communications are four imported Russian Sovremennyi guided missile destroyers, 11 new construction guided missile destroyers, four 054A guided missile frigates, two upgraded Luda-class destroyers and 12 submarines, including nuclear strategic ballistic missile submarines.

Path Forward for Sea Service Leads to Machines Functioning on Their Own

February 2009
By Rita Boland

For centuries, navies around the world have sent sailors over the salty brine to explore and conquer. But as seafarers and their technologies have advanced, knowledge of what lies below the ocean’s surface has become more critical to success. The U.S. Navy has launched numerous projects to enhance underwater capabilities, and some of the most important will reduce the human component of vessels until people are almost absent from the equation.

Commercial Equipment Speeds Naval Communications, Replaces Aging Hardware

February 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

An advanced satellite communications terminal is boosting the connectivity of U.S. Navy warships. Part of an effort to complement vessels’ military satellite communications capabilities, the new commercial terminals are designed to increase data transmission speeds to meet the service’s growing need for network-centric applications such as live tactical imagery.

Naval Intelligence Ramps up Activities

February 2009
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Navy is revamping its intelligence structure with command upgrades and a new set of priorities designed to rebuild naval intelligence. This effort includes the creation of a new maritime intelligence office that will move the Navy out of providing service-specific intelligence fully into the realm of national intelligence.

Navy Network Governance Changing Course

February 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

As the U.S. Navy continues to fine-tune its plans for the Next Generation Enterprise Network, its information technology leaders are focusing on the larger information technology picture, including who has command and control of its networks. Among their other priorities are decision superiority, cybersecurity, maritime domain awareness and training. All of these issues are being viewed through a magnifying glass of fiscal responsibility as the specter of defense budget reductions looms.

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