SAN DIEGO, 26 May 2011. U.S. Navy communications researchers are moving closer to deploying the next generation of shipboard, submarine, and shore-based command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) network systems, and are moving closer to selecting one prime defense contractor to oversee the project.
The Navy's latest maritime networking initiative is called Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES). In addition to boosting the capability and throughput of shipboard networking, CANES seeks to increase the amount of affordable commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) networking equipment in use throughout the fleet.
Two defense companies today are working on CANES -- the Northrop Grumman Information Systems segment in Reston, Va., and the Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors (MS2) Tactical Systems in San Diego -- and Navy officials expect to have a down-select to one lead CANES contractor late this year.
Northrop Grumman completed its CANES critical design review earlier this month in a two-day review at the company's CANES program office in San Diego. Officials from the Navy, Northrop Grumman, and Northrop Grumman's suppliers put finishing touches on development completed to date in preparation for final system integration and testing.
The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego is in charge of the CANES program. Navy officials plan to install the first CANES systems aboard surface ships sometime next year. CANES is the consolidation of existing C4I network programs, and will provide a common computing environment infrastructure for C4I applications.