Reforms help field C2 system faster
- By Bob Brewin
- Jan 18, 1998
SAN DIEGO— Acquisition streamlining combined with the cost benefits of substituting commercial PCs for high-end Unix workstations will allow the Navy to field its major command and control system four years earlier than anticipated.
Capt. Roger Hull program manager for Navy command and control systems at the Space and Naval Warfare Command (Spawar) said the command expects to field 5 000 PC seats of the Joint Maritime Command Information System (JMCIS) '98 by the end of 1999 instead of the target date of 2003.
Hull speaking at a panel discussion here at a conference sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and the U.S. Naval Institute said Spawar's ability to "take advantage of acquisition streamlining" as well as a shift in platforms will help the Navy field equipment faster.
The Navy which pioneered the use of blanket purchase agreements has now backed off issuing them pref erring to channel purchases through its Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Direct World Wide Web-based "storefront." ITEC Direct provides Navy information technology buyers with a "virtual electronic marketplace that makes it easy to buy " said Rear Adm. Stephen Johnson director of information support systems at Spawar.
Despite changes that make it easier and less expensive for the Navy to acquire IT systems Johnson cautioned that it will take time to upgrade the fleets. With 600 ships to equip the Navy cannot afford to do an "enterprisewide upgrade " he said. "It will be evolutionary." In the case of JMCIS Johnson said upgrades will be keyed to battlegroup deployment schedules.
Capt. Gary Graupmann Spawar program manager for the Joint Maritime Communications program said Spawar can help the Navy reduce its cycle time to two years for new communications systems by relying more on commercial gear and providers.