Two years later, Navy is on track for big upgrades to shipboard networking and C4ISR
Posted by John Keller
It was more than three years in coming, but the U.S. Navy finally is on track to develop and deploy the next generation of shipboard, submarine, and shore-based command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) network systems, with the selection earlier this month of the Northrop Grumman Corp. Information Systems segment in McLean, Va., as prime contractor for the Navy's Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) program.
Northrop Grumman had been in a tooth-and-nail competition to build CANES shipboard networking since March 2010 with the Lockheed Martin Corp. Maritime Systems & Sensors (MS2) Tactical Systems segment in San Diego, when Navy selected those two companies to develop the CANES common computing environment (CCE), with the understanding that only one of the companies would go on as the CANES prime contractor.
The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego is in charge of the CANES program, and SPAWAR awarded a $47 million contract to Northrop Grumman to take charge of CANES early this month. Navy officials plan to work with Northrop Grumman and the company's subcontractors to install the first Navy CANES systems aboard surface ships as early as this year.
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.
Last year Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin engineers completed the formal contractor system integration testing of its CANES system for the U.S. Navy to verify whether the companies' CANES proposals met program requirements and were ready for production and limited deployment.
Northrop Grumman's CANES solution is designed to offer cost and performance improvements over existing shipboard networks, including a modernized command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) architecture with increased security and reduced development, deployment, and lifecycle costs.
Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, Va., is Northrop Grumman's major platform integration and installation partner on CANES. Other Northrop Grumman CANES subcontractors include Atlas Technologies Inc. in Fenton, Mich.; Beatty and Company Computing Inc. in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; Juno Technologies Inc. in San Diego; Mikros Systems Corp. in Princeton, N.J.; Syzygy Technologies Inc. in San Diego; and CenterBeam Inc. in San Diego.
CANES is the consolidation of existing C4I network programs, and will provide a common computing environment infrastructure for C4I applications.
For more information contact Northrop Grumman Information Systems online at www.is.northropgrumman.com ; Huntington Ingalls Industries at www.huntingtoningalls.com ; Atlas Technologies at www.atlastechnologies.com ; Beatty and Company Computing at www.beatty.com ; Juno Technologies at www.juno-tech.com ; Micros Systems at www.mikrossystems.com ; Syzygy Technologies at www.syzygy-tech.com ; CenterBeam at www.centerbeam.com ; or SPAWAR at www.public.navy.mil/spawar .