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Navy Readies Full Production Buy of Shipboard Network Systems

U.S. Navy ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) berths at the Changi Naval Base on Thursday April 18, 2013 in Singapore.

U.S. Navy ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) berths at the Changi Naval Base on Thursday April 18, 2013 in Singapore. // Wong Maye-E/AP

The Navy expects to kick off by the end of May procurement for full production sets of standard network computing equipment for ships and submarines. It anticipates awards to up to three vendors.

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command said it expects to release a request for proposals for its Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services contract “on or about” May 24. Winning vendors will compete for task orders on a four-year contract with four option years.

SPAWAR awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. the initial CANES contract valued at $637.8 million in February 2012. That contract covered installation on 54 ships of a standard network system based on commercial hardware and software.

The new contracts will cover procurement of CANES gear on the remaining 231 ships as well as shore installations such as network operations centers. Typical CANES configurations call for about 2,400 computer terminals on aircraft carriers; 200 on destroyers; and 500 on amphibious ships, which carry Marines.

The Navy has requested a budget of $340.1 million budget for CANES in 2014, down $1 million from 2013. Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, told a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on April 16 that this will cover installation of network gear on new amphibious ships. He added, “We are analyzing the need for upgraded communications on our older amphibious ships and will correct those shortfalls in the near-term.” He did not provide details.

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