Modernization delayed in shrinking sub fleet
- By Dan Verton
- Jun 30, 2000
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.