Navy net price tag hits $10B

The Navy last week released the details of its servicewide intranet project, designed to be the foundation for hightech warfighting, and revealed that the total price for the project will be about $10 billion, making it one of the most costly government IT projects ever mounted.

The Navy last week released the details of its servicewide intranet project, designed to be the foundation for high-tech warfighting, and revealed that the total price for the project will be about $10 billion, making it one of the most costly government IT projects ever mounted.

Experts have characterized the program as a high-risk proposition. They warn that unless the Navy can prove to Congress that a massive intranet will reap benefits for the entire Defense Department, the service may find it difficult, if not impossible, to squeeze out of Capitol Hill the extra money the program needs. Today, the Navy does not have the money to pay for the system.

The Navy planned to release on Friday the request for proposals for its Navy/Marine Corps Intranet (N/MCI), which will provide a telecommunications backbone to enable the Navy and Marines to rely more heavily on computers to fight future wars. The program, which senior Navy officials say will be awarded by May, will provide end-to-end communications service, including network hardware, desktop PCs and software.

"This train is moving," said Lee Buchanan, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, to reporters at a meeting in the Pentagon. He said talks are ongoing with commanders to iron out specific bandwidth and service requirements.

The N/MCI will serve Navy and Marine Corps users at bases in the continental United States and Hawaii. It will connect ships at sea, Navy bases and units using the Navy's Information Technology for the 21st Century project. IT-21 will connect bases with ships using commercial networks. Naval and Marine bases overseas also will hook into the intranet.

Navy chief information officer Dan Porter called the N/MCI "the ultimate manifestation of Defense reform," which when fully fielded will enable the entire Navy Department, including the Marine Corps, to "be on the cutting-edge of the e-universe," with one of the largest, fully integrated and cost-efficient computing architectures in government.

Current plans call for outsourcing desktop and communications support services for up to 350,000 Navy users and up to 68,000 Marine Corps users, Buchanan said. Buchanan declined to comment on what the total cost of the program will be, but he said based on the Navy's study of private-sector projects that are similar in size, the Navy has been able to estimate what the actual costs will be.

Rough estimates have placed the annual cost of the N/MCI at about $5,000 a desktop. Multiplied across the N/MCI enterprise, the price tag comes to about $2 billion a year, or $10 billion over the life of the five-year contract.

Currently, the Navy does not have the budget to pay for N/MCI. Senior Navy officials, including Rear Adm. Jay Johnson, chief of Naval Operations, in the past year have repeatedly expressed concerns to Congress about shortfalls in DOD's budget for modernization funding, including money for N/MCI.

An industry source familiar with N/MCI called the program "an awful big risk" because "there's no new money identified for it." The source also said the Navy will likely have to appoint a spokesperson to sell the program to Congress as one that will benefit all of DOD and that fits into the overall Defense Information Infrastructure.

"This is the brainchild of a guy who is a political appointee," the source said, referring to Buchanan, who is slated to leave his post when President Clinton's term ends in January 2001. "If he has any slips in the schedule, he has almost no way of pulling this off. I would make sure I have a pilot program early on to make sure this thing is going to stick."

The RFP will focus on three levels of service, including availability, security and customer service and satisfaction. Joe Cipriano, head of the Navy's Program Executive Office for Information Technology, said bandwidth requirements will amount to about 5 percent of the overall cost of the project, with the bulk of the money being spent on help-desk services and labor.

Al Edmonds, chief operating officer and senior vice president of Electronic Data Systems Corp.'s federal group, said, "This is not incompatible with the whole concept of the DII," referring to the overall goal of the program to plug the Navy and Marines into the larger Defense establishment. "The Navy has been very clear that they plan to use the DII as the government-furnished capability."

Under those guidelines, "you can do as well as your imagination and tenacity allows you to go," Edmonds said.

Austin Yerks, senior vice president for business development at Computer Sciences Corp.'s Defense Group, said the N/MCI program is a benefit for all of DOD and called it "a major step forward and a new way to conduct business." But the challenge is in the order of magnitude, Yerks said. "The Navy is going to have to show that it [has] a more efficient way of conducting IT infrastructure [support]."

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.