Navy’s next-gen shipboard IT passes critical milestone

CANES program cleared for acquisition, development phase

The Navy’s next-generation Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) project for overhauling shipboard computer networks has met key standards to move to the next phase of development, according to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.

CANES reached Milestone B approval after meeting necessary cost defense acquisition efficiency criteria, including maximizing competition, streamlining the acquisition process, targeting affordability and controlling cost growth, Navy officials said in a release.

The initiative will consolidate and improve five legacy network programs onboard Navy ships, creating a common computing environment and knowledge base and shared infrastructure for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence applications.

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Currently, the different onboard computer networks each require their own specific infrastructure, have their own, separate capabilities and configurations, and aren’t interoperable. The various duplicate hardware components and functions will be replaced with shared software applications under CANES.

Milestone B represents the initiation point for acquisition programs and the starting point of the engineering and manufacturing development phase that will begin system development and integration, establishment of manufacturing, and demonstrations of interoperability and utility. The approval also provides for the production of four limited-fielding units.

Milestone C approval will eventually launch the production and deployment phase.

“This is an extremely significant acquisition milestone for the CANES program as it validates technology maturity, stable requirements and a fully funded program,” said Navy Capt. D.J. LeGoff, program manager for the Tactical Networks Program Office. “Our next step in the acquisition process is to take the proper programmatic steps to demonstrate the ability of CANES in an operational environment.”

CANES is also in keeping with recent Defense Department measures to reform military acquisition and focus on efficiency.

“CANES meets the spirit and intent of what [DOD] wants acquisition programs to be doing to obtain greater efficiency and productivity in defense spending,” LeGoff said. “In alignment with [Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Ashton Carter’s] acquisition roadmap, the program foundation is built upon cost containment, open architecture and competition throughout the program’s lifecycle.”

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.

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