U.S. Navy

August 7, 2017

Kratos Technology and Training Solutions Inc., San Diego, California, is being awarded a $46,217,067 firm-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for program planning, and technical and instructional services to support the government of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals. Work will be performed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (30 percent); Jubail, Saudi Arabia (30 percent); Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (30 percent); Ras al Ghar, Saudi Arabia (5 percent); and Orlando, Florida (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in August 2020. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $15,405,689 are being obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

August 4, 2017

Six 3 Advanced Systems Inc., doing business as BIT Systems Inc., Dulles, Virginia, is being awarded a $29,848,193 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, performance based contract (N65236-17-D-8009) with provisions for cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price task orders. This contract is for life-cycle support for the Red Falcon systems installed on Navy ships and shore stations to include engineering, technical support services, software upgrades and maintenance, and depot level repair in support of Ship's Signal Exploitation Equipment Increment F and Cryptologic Carry On Program.

May 8, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
An unmanned aerial vehicle launches from a multi-utility tactical transport vehicle after exiting an autonomous amphibious assault vehicle during Ship-to-Shore Maneuver Exploration and Experimentation Advanced Naval Technology Exercise 2017. U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams

Direct feedback and technical evaluations from warfighters and senior leadership participating in an amphibious, autonomous warfare exercise could affect the way the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps look at prototyping and rapidly acquiring technology. By pairing sailors and Marines with scientists and technologists, the Ship-to-Shore Maneuver Exploration and Experimentation Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (S2ME2 ANTX) will help increase the pace of innovation, says Dr. David E. Walker, director of technology, Office of Naval Research (ONR).

April 20, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division Aviation Unit will initially train with a 3-D Robotics X-8M quadcopter similar to this one prior to moving on to larger types of unmanned aerial systems. Photo by UVA Systems International

The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division's (NSWC PCD) Aviation Unit is working with the Aviation Unit and Fleet Liaison Office to establish an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) flight program. Created to support the command's research, development, test and evaluation mission, the program will foster innovations in payloads and mine warfare as well as expeditionary warfare systems.

In the near future, NSWC PCD will be qualifying and designating the aviation detachment pilots as the initial cadre of air vehicle operators and unmanned aircraft commanders. Soon after, they will hold an inaugural training class to qualify command civilians and non-aviation personnel for flight.

February 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
An aviation electronics technician first class performs maintenance on a mission computer aboard an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter on an aircraft carrier. The U.S. Navy seeks better computer and information systems for faster upgrades and less vulnerability to cybermarauders.

Cleaner, more modular software that can be updated with less fuss tops the U.S. Navy’s wish list as it girds its fleet for warfighting in cyberspace. These advances would not only help the service stay atop the wave of information system innovation but also contribute to better security amid growing and changing threats.

The Navy wants industry to develop operating systems and software from the start with fewer bugs. These software products should have fewer vulnerabilities that can be exploited by an adversary, which compound the service’s efforts at cybersecurity.

February 1, 2017
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

All the U.S. military services have had to do more with less, but the Navy is facing a challenge that strikes at the heart of its raison d’être. Simply put, the Navy is underequipped. It does not have the number or types of ships it needs to adequately address its global role. Maintenance is backlogged, and because the supply of ready forces does not meet demand, deployments are longer. This downward curve in operating capability is reciprocal to the growth in its missions. The cost to re-establish the dominance of the Navy is significant, but it must be met—and in several areas. Further delay only adds to the expense and the risk to national security.

February 1, 2017
By Cmdr. Jamie Gateau, USN (Ret.)
A U.S. sailor aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer sets up a virtual server administrator account during a training course provided by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems (SPAWAR) Command. The command furnishes fleets with fly-away network operations support teams that offer tailored, hands-on information technology and information assurance training to maintain command, control, communications and computers readiness.

U.S. Navy commanders often struggle to deliver uninterrupted communications at sea without the added complications of providing command and control in denied or degraded environments. They face a double whammy of operational and technical hurdles. 

Processes for developing concepts of operations are complex, painstaking and exacting. Although technology sets the boundaries for what is possible, most of the hard work is decidedly nontechnical. It lies in determining which signals and messages have priority, which data sources and destinations are critical, and which ones can be relegated—and for how long.

February 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
This image captures the results of an experiment conducted at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., where scientists set up radio sensors around buildings to test whether they could locate a small transmitter by listening for its emissions. They located the transmitter, but they were less successful as the emissions got farther away. An algorithm under development could help locate an emitter with a network of inexpensive power sensors.

Advances in a plethora of military communication and situational awareness platforms have created unintended repercussions for the U.S. Navy, from the “forest of antennas” that can consume a ship’s deck to the debilitating effects of radio interference that clog airwaves and impede critical links to vessels, aircraft, drones and even satellites. Navy engineers are toiling on a handful of projects to ensure effective and secure communication links, which are so fundamental to military operations. 

February 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Croatian divers and U.S. sailors with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 8 load an Iver 3 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) into the MK-5 Zodiac for testing.

U.S. Navy researchers hope to advance maritime countermine technology by developing fully autonomous systems that support the service’s latest ships and doctrine. Both new threats and innovative naval systems are remaking the undersea arena in ways that render obsolete conventional countermine

December 20, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
A U.S. Navy buoyancy glider, similar to one that was seized December 15, 2016, by the Chinese navy. The vessel was returned to the U.S. Navy December 20.

Chinese naval forces returned a U.S. Navy underwater, unmanned research vessel on Tuesday, near the location where it was unlawfully seized late last week, according to a U.S. Defense Department statement.

December 16, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
USNS Bowditch

A Chinese military ship seized a U.S. underwater, unmanned research vessel, prompting the U.S. Defense Department to launch “appropriate government-to-government channels” with the Chinese government to immediately return the vessel. On Thursday, China unlawfully seized the unclassified ocean glider while sailing in the South China Sea, according to a Defense Department news release. 

The USNS Bowditch and the unmanned underwater vessel (UUV) are used to gather military oceanographic data such as salinity, water temperature and sound speed, the release states. 

September 1, 2016
By Jim Loerch
The aircraft carrier USS George Washington and ships from the U.S. Navy, the Indian navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force participate in trilateral naval field training. Carrier strike groups may be increasingly vulnerable to antiship missile systems and could be better protected with the use of an integrated electronic warfare capability.

Integrated electronic warfare is the best and most efficient form of defense against the growing antiship missile threat that targets deployed U.S. carrier strike groups. Some experts may even argue that an integrated electronic warfare system of systems is the only capability that can protect the U.S. fleet from this threat.

February 2, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
A U.S. sailor of Coastal Riverine Squadron 10 mans a crew-served weapon aboard a patrol boat in the Gulf of Tadjoura, Djibouti. (U.S. Navy photo)

It has been less than smooth sailing of late for the U.S. Navy as the superiority gap the sea service once held over adversaries rapidly narrows, its top officer says.

The onus to secure the maritime domain, both in a militaristic approach as well as commercially, falls to the United States as it jockeys to fortify global sea-based activity in an increasingly complicated environment. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, USN, penned a strategy that directs renewed focus on how the Navy might outmaneuver and outsmart its competitors.

April 12, 2012

The Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) has been approved for full production and fielding. The MIDS JTRS is a software-based terminal that provides interoperable and secure tactical datalinks and programmable networking capabilities. Two vendors produce the system for both the U.S. Navy and Air Force. MIDS is the first member of the JTRS radio family to be approved for full production. The MIDS JTRS will soon attain initial operation capability on the Super Hornet, JSTARS and Rivet Joint platforms.

May 5, 2011
By Rita Boland

This museum is dedicated to honoring the U.S. Navy. Features include naval artifacts, models, documents and art that chronicle the history of the sea service. Interactive exhibits commemorate wartime heroes and battles as well as activities during peace. Admission is free and the site is open to the public, but because the museum is located on the Washington Navy Yard, access depends on base security protocols. The museum closes only for major holidays, except for the Display Ship Barry, which is closed Sundays and some federal holidays as well as during inclement weather.

January 26, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Navy has killed some programs and accelerated others as it restructures its budget priorities. Robert O. Work, undersecretary of the Navy, gave the West 2011 Wednesday luncheon audience a bluntly candid assessment of which systems worked, which didn't and were canceled, and which are on probation. One of the key systems killed was the Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. While it had a troubled history, it was going well recently, but the Navy-acting on a recommendation from the commandant-killed the program because it was going to eat up too much of the Corps' budget in the future.

January 26, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Navy is re-tailoring its force as it realizes efficiencies driven by budgetary needs, according to the undersecretary of the Navy. Robert O. Work enthusiastically told the audience at Wednesday's West 2011 luncheon that the new budget direction is giving the Navy opportunities to build the type of force that it needs for the coming decades. "Our shipbuilding program is more stable than it has been in a decade," Work declared. Work described how many budget savings have been re-allocated to other programs, which is providing long-term savings through accelerated development.

January 25, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The battlespace dominance enjoyed by U.S. forces for two decades may be disappearing as many potential adversaries begin to employ the very technologies that have served U.S. forces. Dick Diamond Jr., national security trends and strategic issues analyst with Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, warned that the near monopoly enjoyed by the United States in precision guided munitions (PGMs) and surveillance is going away. "We may not be able to conduct our favorite American way of war in the future," Diamond declared. Moderating a West 2011 panel focusing on unmanned systems, Diamond went on to say that the United States may not be able to position forces forward for fighting at a time of its choosing.

January 26, 2011
By Beverly Schaeffer

Rear Adm. Peter A. Gumataotao, USN, has been assigned commander, Carrier Strike Group Eleven, San Diego.

January 25, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Navy faces an uncertain future if coming defense cuts strike at its shipbuilding budget. The sea service already is underfunded for its shipbuilding program, so cuts in that area could have severe ramifications in its mission-oriented capabilities. Ronald O'Rourke, a specialist in national defense with the Congressional Research Service, told a panel audience at West 2011 that the Navy did not have procurements that it can cut. The Navy did not use supplemental defense funding to procure new platforms, so it does not have programs that it can cut. "Some of the lower-hanging fruit in terms of efficiencies already have been picked," O'Rourke said. Nor will efficiencies alone be able to make up budget requirements.

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