Navy awards $35M contract to boost C4ISR info sharing

In an effort to improve information sharing from its multitude of sensors, the Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to enhance the service’s C4ISR data exchange capabilities.

The indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific has a ceiling of up to $35 million over five years, and would upgrade how the Navy’s space, air, surface, subsurface and unmanned sensors would collect and disseminate data, according to a Lockheed Martin release.  

SPAWAR is the Navy’s Information Dominance system command, and is responsible for the development of communications and information capabilities for warfighters.

The Navy’s Distributed Information Operations-System, originally co-developed by Lockheed, was designed to improve interoperability and enhance battlespace awareness through network-centric intelligence, and connects a variety of signals intelligence systems for tactical data exchange.

Leveraging its experience with DIO-S, Lockheed may be working to implement a monitoring system capable of checking the statuses of all of the sensors registered in its network in the future. The same system would then display the input from the sensors for real-time planning.

Further integration of the sensors would allow cross-cueing and cooperative sensing, as well as automated target recognition. The scope of the contract also includes possible enhancements of the Navy’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles for ground attacks. 

Lockheed Martin also is a co-developer of the Distributed Common Ground System, which seeks to integrate multiple intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors from different services and agencies into a common network. The Navy’s version, DCGS-N, is the service’s primary ISR&T (the “T” is for Targeting) support system and provides processing, exploitation, and dissemination capabilities for the operational and tactical level.

These systems are designed to allow modularity, flexibility, and standardization for integrating data sources, transformation services, and user interfaces, according to Lockheed Martin.

“For the Navy, every platform is a sensor, and every sensor must be networked,” said Dr. Rob Smith, vice president of C4ISR for Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions. “We’ll leverage our more than 30 years developing and fielding signals intelligence systems to increase the Navy’s intelligence sharing capability across the full spectrum of maritime and littoral missions.”

About the Author

Joey Cheng is an editorial fellow with Defense Systems.

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