Defense IT

Navy adds 2 vendors to $2.5 billion CANES contract

Following a round of protests, the Navy has added two more companies to the $2.5 billion CANES contract for its next-generation shipboard tactical network.

CGI Federal and DRS Laurel Technologies will join five other companies in bidding for work under CANES, which stands for Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise Services. Initiated in 2010, the CANES program is intended to upgrade and streamline shipboard tactical operations and improve interoperability by replacing five legacy systems.

The Navy awarded an initial contract to Northrop Grumman in 2012, and the first iteration of CANES was tested aboard the U.S.S. Milius early in 2013. The first installation was made aboard the USS McCampbell in November of that year.

Last August, the Navy awarded a full-production contract to five companies—Northrop, BAE Systems, General Dynamics C4 Systems, Global Technology Systems and Serco, leaving bidders CGI and DRS out of the deal. Both companies protested. In December, the Government Accountability Office sustained CGI’s protest and denied DRS’s protest, but the Navy has decided to add both companies to the contract.

Under the contract, each vendor will build one destroyer-class system, then compete for work for the rest of the program. The Navy plans to install CANES on nearly 200 vessels by August 2022. The program will give the Navy a standardized system built with commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software, which in addition to increasing interoperability could also reduce training requirements.

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego is managing the contract.

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