The Pentagon's top acquisition executive has backed the Navy's plan to install a new tactical afloat network on the majority of its warships.
On Oct. 13, Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall approved a Full Deployment Decision for the Navy's Consolidated Afloat Network and Enterprise Services (CANES), according to an Oct. 22 Navy statement. With Kendall's decision, the service can install CANES on its "full inventory objective of ships, submarines and shore sites," the statement says. The approval also transfers oversight of the program from Kendall's office to the Navy.
CANES has been installed on 25 ships so far, according to the Navy, with 153 vessels left before the installations are complete in 2024.
Between August 2014 and January 2015, the Navy awarded seven companies contracts to compete for CANES production units, Inside the Navy has previously reported: BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services, General Dynamics C4 Systems, Global Technical Systems, Northrop Grumman, Serco Inc., CGI Federal and DRS Laurel Technologies. The estimated cumulative value of all seven contracts is $2.5 billion.
The service has been installing CANES on its aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and amphibious ships, among other platforms. But because CANES uses the Windows XP operating system, the Navy is revisiting whether to install the tactical network on its newer ships, like the Littoral Combat Ship and the Joint High Speed Vessel, ITN reported earlier this year. The Navy is aggressively moving away from Windows XP to the newer Windows 7.0.