U.S. Navy orders fiber-optic shipboard networking for communications and navigation aboard allied vessels

June 21, 2023
AN/USQ-82(V) consists of Data Multiplex System (DMS), Fiber Optic Data Multiplex System (FODMS), and Gigabit Ethernet Data Multiplex System (GEDMS).

WASHINGTON – Military communications experts at the Boeing Co. will continue their support for high-speed fiber-optic shipboard networking for the navies of Japan, Korea, Australia, and Canada under terms of a $16.8 million contract announced Friday.

Officials of the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington are asking the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Huntington Beach, Calif., to continue support of the shipboard AN/USQ-82(V) family of shipboard networking systems for the four navies allied with the U.S.

The AN/USQ-82(V) family consists of the Data Multiplex System (DMS), the Fiber Optic Data Multiplex System (FODMS), and Gigabit Ethernet Data Multiplex System (GEDMS).

The AN/USQ-82(V) family of shipboard networking equipment transfers inputs and outputs for a surface warship's machinery control systems, damage-control system, steering control system, Aegis combat system, navigation displays, and interior communications alarms and indicators.

Related: Boeing to build hardware for high-speed fiber-optic shipboard networking aboard Navy Burke-class destroyers

Boeing designed this shipboard network equipment to replace the mile of point-to-point cabling, signal converters, junction boxes, and switchboards that make up a conventional ship’s cabling, Navy officials say.

As the AN/USQ-82(V) design agent, Boeing will provide advanced and specialized system sustainment technical engineering; cyber security enhancement; configuration management; systems development, qualification, and integration; testing; and technical support to manufacturing and repair vendors.

The AN/USQ-82(V) is being installed on U.S. Navy Burke-class destroyers, as well as in upgrades to flight I/II Burke-class destroyers and to flight IIA Burke-class destroyers.

Surface warships with similar capabilities and data-throughput requirements to the Burke-class destroyer are Japan's Kongo-class guided-missile destroyers; Korea's Sejong the Great-class destroyers; Australia's Hobart-class air-warfare destroyers; and Canada's future Surface Combatant.

Related: Navy asks Boeing to build high-speed fiber-optic shipboard networking for Japan, South Korea destroyers

The AN/USQ-82(V) is designed to transfer data via a reliable, redundant, mission-critical network backbone aboard Navy surface warships. It is the most recent upgrade to the Navy's Data Multiplex System (DMS) networks, and offers enhanced network communication capabilities by providing an IP-based backbone that supports multimedia services such as video and data.

AN/USQ-82(V) offers manpower reduction and increased crew safety by using video and sensors for monitoring remote or confined shipboard spaces, Boeing officials say.

In September 1989, Boeing delivered the first DMS system to the Navy for installation aboard the USS Arleigh Burke, the namesake for the DDG 51 class destroyer. As the DDG new ship construction continued, the DMS was upgraded to the Fiber Optic Data Multiplex System (FODMS) to support evolving needs.

Related: Navy asks Boeing to continue support for GEDMS Gigabit Ethernet shipboard networking

In August 2010, the Navy replaced the copper-based DMS systems installed on the Arleigh Burke and the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) with the high-performance fiber-optic AN/USQ-82(V), the latest variant in the DMS family of networks.

The manufacturer of the AN/USQ-82(V) fiber-optic shipboard network is Argon ST in Fairfax, Va., a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing, which acquired Argon ST in 2010 to expand capabilities in C4ISR, cyber security, and intelligence.

This contract includes options that could bring its value to $100 million. Boeing will do the work in Huntington Beach, Calif.; Arlington, Va.; remote Navy and foreign military shipyards and laboratories; Annapolis Junction, Md.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Tukwila, Wash., and should be finished by May 2028. For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at www.boeing.com/company/about-bds, Argon ST at www.argonst.com, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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