Navy gears up for CANES deployment

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Production of a consolidated network infrastructure system for Navy ships will be subject to competitive bidding later this year, officials from the San Diego-based Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command told reporters in late December.

The system, Consolidated Afloat Networks & Enterprise Services, is a combination of hardware and software hosted locally onboard ships with some functionality delivered through the network. The Defense Department gave Dec. 14 its go-ahead for the Navy to start a low rate initial production of about 25 CANES systems. Northrop Grumman won in February 2012 a contract worth potentially $617 million for system design and initial installation. Defense owns the technical data, permitting it to potentially contract to other companies the full production.

The minimum threshold for CANES deployment is 192 ships over 5 years, said DJ LeGoff, system program manager. That number includes maritime operations centers, technically located ashore, but which the Navy classifies as afloat infrastructure that "just happens to be parked on a beach somewhere," said Rear. Adm. Jerry Burroughs, program executive officer of command, control, communications, computers and intelligence.

Installation onto the first Navy ship commenced in December, the USS Milius, a guided missile destroyer. So far, estimates are that installation of CANES on each ship will require about 18 weeks, but program officials say that could be shortened. Ships will receive CANES while in dock to receive other repairs. "It's not an 18 week tie-up just for CANES," Burroughs said.

According to slides (.pptx) posted online by SPAWAR Dec. 13, the Navy intends to award up to three contracts for CANES production with each contract lasting for 4 years with one 4 year option. A draft request for proposals is due this February, a final RFP this April, with contract award anticipated in December.

CANES is meant to replace the hardware and software of five major systems, including the main afloat networking system, the Integrated Shipboard Network System, and a system used for communicating with coalition partners, the Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System - Maritime.

For more:
- go to a Dec. 31 Navy posting on future CANES competition

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