Navy Technologies

March 1, 2013
BY James C. Bussert

A handful of designs serves to validate indigenous and reverse-engineered technologies.

The People’s Republic of China has been introducing diverse new classes of ships into its navy for decades, but it also has employed some as vessels for weapons trials. Three ships distinctly have served as test platforms for many of the new technologies that entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy, or PLAN. An examination of these trial ships can illustrate the next generation of technologies about to be incorporated in the navy.

February 25, 2013
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Navy technology may allow in-flight conversion from helicopter to fixed wing.

Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are developing unmanned aircraft technology that will allow the conversion from a vertical take-off and landing system to a fixed-wing craft during in-flight operation. The conversion capability will provide the take-off and landing flexibility of a helicopter with the longer range, higher speeds and lower wear and tear of an airplane.

January 31, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
John Smart, president of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, tells the keynote luncheon audience that dramatic change is evolutionary and inevitable.

West 2013 Online Show Daily, Day 2

Quote of the Day: “How can you help me make the least-dumb decisions quicker?”—Terry Halvorsen, chief information officer (CIO) for the Department of the Navy, requesting cyber security solutions from industry

February 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

West 2013 Online Show Daily, Day 3

January 30, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

West 2013 Online Show Daily, Day 1

Quote of the Day:“’Flat’ is the new ‘up’ in this defense budget environment.”— Robert O. Work, undersecretary of the Navy

The military services are facing potentially crippling constraints if sequestration takes place in March. Defense officials foresee the likelihood of draconian budget cuts being imposed that will cripple the force just as it is being counted on to assume new strategic missions. In most cases, the services will have to choose to sacrifice some capabilities so that others will remain part of the force. In worse-case scenarios, the U.S. military may be unable to meet its obligations when a crisis emerges.

January 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

The shift of U.S. power to the Asia-Pacific will not be successful without an infusion of new technology and a dedicated effort to defeat a wide range of adversaries. The new strategic emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region poses a new set of challenges, mandating solutions that run the gamut from technological capabilities to cultural outreach and diplomacy.

On the military side, direct challenges range from dealing with cyberspace attacks to providing missile defense in a large-scale conflict. On the geopolitical side, centuries of conflict and confrontation among neighbors must be overcome if a region-wide security environment enabling economic growth is to be implemented.

December 21, 2012
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Navy’s next-generation tactical afloat network recently received approval to enter the production and deployment phase, Navy officials announced this week. The San Diego-based destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) was selected for first installation. The program was approved for limited fielding of 29 CANES units with 23 installations, eight of which are expected in the 2013 fiscal year.

Ultimately, CANES will be deployed to more than 190 ships, submarines and Maritime Operations Centers by 2020. Officials say they hope to reach a full-rate production decision in the 2014 fiscal year.

December 1, 2012
Reviewed by Dr. R. Norris Keeler

Book By Norman Polmar and Michael White (U.S. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland 2010, 238 pages)

In 1974, the United States attempted to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from a depth of 16,000 feet, in the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii. The submarine had been lost in March 1968. The operation to do this was camouflaged as an ocean bottom mining operation carried out by the Hughes Glomar Explorer, specially constructed for that purpose. As the Soviet general staff later admitted, the deception was excellent. They did not believe recovery from such a depth could be accomplished.

December 1, 2012
By Rita Boland

Through a foreign military
 sales program that sends ocean vessels to Iraq, officials hope to facilitate stability in the area.

Though operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn officially have come to an end, U.S. military support to the nation that contained the conflicts has not. The U.S. Navy has completed its transfer of platforms to its counterpart in the Middle East via a program to arm the developing sea service for its maritime challenges. Training and other support activities will continue in this effort designed to shore up maritime security in the region as well as to improve relations between the recent partners.

December 1, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Marines communicate digitally over a network. The Next Generation Enterprise Network, or NGEN, will take a new approach to networking yet evolve from the existing Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

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.

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.

October 1, 2012
By James C. Bussert

Towed arrays technologies add new capabilities to destroyers.

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.

December 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine


A computer screen view shows a U.S. Navy halo common operational picture within the Command and Control Rapid Prototype Continuum (C2RPC) system application.
Operators at U.S. Pacific Fleet use the system to assess platform readiness in real time.

December 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

The Navy hopes to move common radio rooms from submarines to warships.

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.

December 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine


Sailors in the combat information center of the guided missile cruiser USS Anzio monitor communications. The Navy is extending cyber operations throughout the service as it mainstreams what once was a niche discipline.

The sea service is marshalling its forces to cruise the cyber realm.

December 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine


Sailors monitor computer networks aboard the amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney. For its Next-Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN), the U.S. Navy is maintaining a degree of control over the network that will be provided by industry.

December 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine


A sailor aboard the USS Essex tests a radar display in the ship’s combat information center. The U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, or SPAWAR, is striving to ensure that the Navy’s sensors and systems operate seamlessly across the network.

December 2010
By Daniel P. Taylor, SIGNAL Magazine


The Next Generation Enterprise Network—the successor to the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet—will give the Navy more direct control of its network.

The transition to NMCI’s successor will take longer but eventually will give the sea service more control.

December 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine


Sailors in the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command monitor, analyze, detect and respond to unauthorized activity within U.S. Navy information systems and computer networks.

Information operations move out with the force.

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 report from the National Research Council’s Ocean Studies Board predicts that the fleet will face even more demands on its time in the future. “The pace of technological advances in oceanography continues to accelerate,” the report’s authors state, requiring a comprehensive, long-term plan for replacing current vessels and accommodating new technologies.