Modernization delayed in shrinking sub fleet

The reduced number of submarines also has caused a strain on readiness,

particularly in modernization of the submarine force's command, control,

communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) systems, according to Rear

Adm. John Padgett III, commander of Submarine Group Two Navy Region Northeast.

"Modernization frequently takes a back seat to urgent "here and now'

readiness issues," Padgett wrote in testimony this week to the House Armed

Services Committee. "In recent years, we have delayed funding for such improvements

as the submarine high data rate antenna, submarine radio room, periscope

upgrades and signals intelligence carry-on equipment to pay other bills."

Current submarine system upgrade programs are as follows:

* High data rate antenna: Navy's first multiband dish antenna and a

top-priority submarine C4I initiative. It will provide access to secure

Joint Milstar Satellites in the Extremely High Frequency (EHF) band and

the Global Broadcast Service (GBS).

* Acoustic superiority: Acoustic Rapid Commercial Off-the-Shelf Insertion

(ARCI) sonar system. New algorithms will provide increased processing power

and greater detection ranges.

* Total Ship Monitoring System: Enables quick detection and isolation

of sound vulnerabilities aboard U.S. submarines.

* MK 2 Combat Control System: COTS hardware and software is being used

to produce a readily upgradable system that provides more flexible planning,

target assessment and weapons firing capabilities.

* Integrated Undersea Surveillance System: Will provide improved "network-centric"

antisubmarine capabilities in the littoral regions of the world. Will migrate

to the ARCI architecture next year.

* Electronic Warfare Support Suite: Designed as a minimally manned,

passive-receiving system capable of detection, acquisition, identification

and localization of signals.

* Classic troll: A signals intelligence exploitation suite of synchronized

sensors that offers a 500 percent improvement in probability of intercept.

* Photonics mast: Installed aboard the USS Annapolis in the fall of

1999. Provides tactical and visual intelligence.

* Unmanned underwater vehicles: Once developed, will provide maritime

reconnaissance in denied areas, undersea search and surveillance, communications

and navigation assistance, and submarine tracking.


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