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Navy Technologies

NGEN Bidders Offer
 Continuity With Change

December 1, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

The program may be revolutionary, but its product is evolutionary.

Despite its sea-change approach to acquisition, the U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Enterprise Network program is being designed to evolve from its predecessor, the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, in bids submitted by the two teams vying for the multibillion-dollar contract. The two bidders are focusing their efforts on the transition between the two networks, which is a process that will take several years.

Two teams are competing for the ground-breaking Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) program. One, led by Hewlett-Packard (HP), includes AT&T, IBM, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. The other, led by Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and Harris, includes Dell, General Dynamics and Verizon. They have submitted bids based on an request for proposal ( issued by the Navy earlier this year. NGEN is designed to replace the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) early next year (SIGNAL Magazine, December 2011, page 18, “NGEN Race Heats Up”).

The teams offer varying emphases on the value of their proposals. However, they both stress the importance of the transition from the NMCI to NGEN, and they state that their proposals are designed to ensure stability while easing in innovation.

Bill Toti, vice president and account executive, HP Navy and Marine Corps Accounts, offers that his team’s bid is strengthened by the fact that the team includes the progenitors of the NMCI. “We’re the only people who have ever done this,” he declares, adding that this is a consideration that the Navy will have to take into account during source selection.

Technology Will Be the Leveling Tool for Pacific Rebalancing

November 16, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

TechNet Asia-Pacific 2012 Online Show Daily: Day 3

Quote of the Day: “Anyone who wants to go to conflict is not right.”—Lt. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski, USA, commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific

Technology advances hold the key for the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) to fulfill its new missions as part of the U.S. strategic realignment toward the Asia-Pacific region. Many of the technologies that top the wish lists of PACOM leadership are the usual suspects: enablers of interoperability and data sharing. But, in addition to introducing new capabilities, technology advances also are needed for defending against emerging vulnerabilities.

The third and final day of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2012, held November 13-15 in Honolulu, Hawaii, featured a well-distributed set of PACOM leaders describing their challenges and needs. One panel featured four of the command’s joint directors discussing their requirements in the context of each other’s fields. Ultimately, the head of the Pacific Fleet delivered a straight-up wish list designed to carry the fleet well into the foreseeable future.

One item that seemed to be at the top of everyone’s list is the ability to share information across domains. Rear Adm. Paul B. Becker, USN, commander, PACOM J-2, director for intelligence, cited the ability to engage in multidomain data transfer. That common wish was expanded on by Brig. Gen. J. Marcus Hicks, USAF, director, communications systems, J-6, PACOM. Gen. Hicks also requested interoperability and the ability to move data across the domains.

China Ship Upgrades Enable Underwater Surveillance

October 1, 2012
By James C. Bussert

Recent improvements in Chinese destroyer technology have opened the door for greatly expanded surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, particularly for undersea operations. Advances range from new power plants and weapons to radars and sonars that provide versatility known to other modern navies. Many of these upgrades involve long-overdue improvements in warship operations. Electronics and missile advances acting synergistically are enabling new shipboard defense systems. But new sensor suites, particularly in sonars, are changing the nature of Chinese naval missions.

Sailors Simultaneously See Same Fleet Readiness Data

December 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Navy is in the midst of a revolution in its systems that eventually will connect information among the command and control, combat, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance realms. Not only does the effort introduce new technology, it also marks a deviation from previous development and acquisition cycles in an effort to roll out tools faster. Proving the value of the technology, sailors in the fleet are clamoring for the prototype even as developers work to transition the pieces into programs of record.

NGEN Race Heats Up

December 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

Cost, security and the transition from the existing network to a new one are the top criteria for determining which company wins the contract for the U.S. Navy’s successor to the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet. The Next Generation Enterprise Network, which is estimated will cost the Navy several billion dollars, would take a different contracting approach than its predecessor. This difference is only one of the departures from precedent that characterize the new network.

Navy Amasses Digital Armada

December 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Navy is operationalizing cyber throughout the service as it reconfigures both its force and its overarching network. The goal is to pull cyber operations out of the corner and into the middle of daily force activities as part of the Navy’s information dominance mission.

Underwater Communications Rise to Surface Fleet

December 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Navy is in the early stages of an endeavor to duplicate a successful program for upgrading the communications centers of its submarines and apply it to surface warships.

Navy Delays Starting the NGEN

December 2010
By Daniel P. Taylor, SIGNAL Magazine

After 10 years of service, it is time to say goodbye to the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet—almost. The massive network serves more than 700,000 sailors, Marines and civilians and makes up about 70 percent of the total Navy information technology footprint ashore. It originally was supposed to finish its time with the Navy in early fall to make way for the Next Generation Enterprise Network. Instead, the sea service has extended the life of the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet and will spend $3.4 billion on a continuity-of-services contract to keep the network around for another 43 months.

Digital Navy Poised to Set Sail

December 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Navy is steaming full speed toward attaining its dream of a digital force, but the most difficult part of the journey may lie just ahead. The sea service has its technological map, and its course has the endorsement of the top leadership. However, it must deal with a new set of challenges as its info-centric force evolves into a new form.

Fleet Boosts Cyber Might

December 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

With the ascension to full operational capability, the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet is moving the U.S. Navy’s role in cyberspace alongside the ranks of space, air, surface and subsurface in defending the United States from attack. No longer viewed merely in a support role, information professionals are in operational mode worldwide. Their mission is to protect U.S. networks while contributing as a force multiplier by assisting in kinetic warfare and wielding nonkinetic effects.


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