Four Criteria Will Define Future Navy Information Technologies

February 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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New fleet systems must be secure, resilient, reliable and affordable, or they will not go to sea.

The U.S. Navy is counting on industry to provide the leading-edge information technologies that it will need to maintain superiority for the foreseeable future. Yet, if those technologies do not meet specific and broad-reaching criteria, they will not be serving the Navy, according to a Navy fleet commander.

Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, outlined these criteria for the luncheon audience at West 2014, co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute and being held February 11-13 in San Diego. “Secure, resilient, reliable and affordable” are the four requisites for future Navy information technology, he stated, adding “We can’t afford to invest in every IT [information technology] innovation that industry provides.”

Yet technology will play a major role in the shaping of the future fleet. “Our navy has to revolutionize its way of thinking, of investing, of leveraging new technologies,” the admiral declared.

Protecting command and control in a contested environment will be an important capability, as will reliable long-haul communications in that type of environment. In a media availability afterward, he expounded on the need for an assured way to give orders to personnel in that contested environment and then receive a receipt from them.

In his luncheon address, the admiral noted that the Navy’s shipbuilding program is moving forward with the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the DDG-1000. He described the LCS as “an ideal ship for how we are going to be using it,” and he described the Zumwalt-class DDG-1000 as an example of future-technology-rich ships coming into the fleet.

“If Batman had a ship, it would look like the Zumwalt-class destroyer,” Adm. Harris stated.


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