WASHINGTON: The Navy will soon publish a competitive solicitation for the program of record that seeks to overhaul the service’s afloat networks — and provide multiple contractors a chance at a 10-year long contract to help upkeep the fleet’s infrastructure at sea.
The service, according to an Aug. 16 public notice, will issue its request for proposals later this year and host a full-and-open competition for Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services’ full deployment contract. Also called CANES, the program is the backbone of the Navy’s efforts to modernize the afloat C4I and cybersecurity systems onboard its ships.
The afloat network that CANES will consolidate and refresh will play an integral role in the Navy’s efforts implementing its vision for distributed maritime operations, which the service has been testing out in recent days during Large Scale Exercise 2021. Sailors’ ability to command and control unmanned vessels from traditional warships — a concept Navy brass have often discussed as a part of DMO — will rest on the modernization performed through CANES.
Rob Carey, a former Navy CIO and deputy DoD CIO who now works for Cloudera Government Solutions, told Breaking Defense the contract is an “expected” but “necessary” move.
“The concept of Distributed Maritime Operations requires pervasive and trusted information dominance…secure trusted C2 across the fleet with both manned and unmanned vessels, along with joint forces operating in space, air, and land domains to support national security objectives,” said Carey. “CANES can be the system that enables the Navy to become a data-centric force.”
A contract award is expected roughly one year after the RPF is published; Naval Information Warfare Systems Command is managing the acquisition.
CANES will “replace and modernize existing afloat networks with the necessary hardware, software and enterprise services infrastructure to enable information warfare from and within the tactical domain,” according to the Navy’s fiscal 2022 budget justification book.
“CANES provides complete infrastructure inclusive of hardware, software, processing, storage and end user devices for the Unclassified, Coalition, Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) enclaves to a wide variety of Navy surface combatants, submarines and Maritime Operations Centers,” the budget books continue.
The contract itself will be a multiple award, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract with a 10-year ordering period. In other words, the Navy plans on establishing a long-term contracting vehicle open to a large pool of companies that can compete for work to provide CANES production units, develop software, perform maintenance and provide spare parts.
Navy Poised To Issue RFP For Afloat Network Overhaul – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense is written by Justin Katz for breakingdefense.com