Archive: Navy/USMC

An Elbit Systems Seagull Unmanned Surface Vehicle tests a torpedo launch. Photo: Elbit Systems.

Navy And DoD Release Draft Solicitation For Overlord Unmanned Surface Vehicle Program

The U.S. Navy and Defense Department’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) on Friday released a draft solicitation for the prototype Overlord Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV) Program. The Navy and SCO are looking to develop and demonstrate the capability to field an independently-deploying autonomous USV. Overlord USVs are planned “to demonstrate an enhanced warfare capability to negatively […]

Navy Awards GD $5 Billion To Complete Design Of New Ballistic Missile Sub

The Navy on Thursday awarded the submarine building division of General Dynamics [GD] a $5.1 billion contract to complete design work on the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines. The detailed design award, which includes $175.1 million in initial funding, is for the Integrated Product and Process Development and additional work, including “component and technology development, missile […]

Bell Helicopter V-280 Valor prototype readying for first ground run in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by Bell Helicopter)

Rotor Air Producers Seek Faster Acquisition Cycle, See Increasing Automation

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Officials from three top rotary aircraft producers said that the acquisition cycle can and should be made shorter to keep up with technological needs, adding that they see increased automation augmenting capabilities in the future. Steve Mathias, vice president of global military business development at Bell Helicopter Textron [TXT] said at […]

Finding a replacement for older amphibious dock transport ships such as the USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49), above, is among the issues the Marine Corps, Navy and industry are working through right now regarding the amphibious ship fleet. Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps.

Amphibious Combat Vehicles Nearing End Of Testing, RFP Due In December

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO , Va. – For the third year in a row, dueling wheeled amphibious combat vehicles (ACVs) are center stage at the Modern Day Marine expo here. The two 8×8 armored amphibious personnel carriers – one each built by BAE Systems and Science Applications International Corp. [SAIC] – sit side by side […]


Navy Moves NGEN-R Awards To Late 2018

The Navy on Wednesday said it is moving back the award schedule of the Navy and Marine Corps’ next generation information technology (IT) services contract re-compete award to late 2018. The new award schedule is for the Next Generation Enterprise Network Re-compete (NGEN-R) primary contracts, which are “evolutionary” follow-ons to the current NGEN contract. NGEN […]


Commandant Prepares Marines To ‘Fight To Get To The Fight’ In Future War

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va.–For the past 16 years, Marines have been in almost constant combat somewhere in the world, but none of them had to “fight to get to the fight” as they likely will in the next war, according to Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller. “We just went,” Neller said […]

Richard V. Spencer, Secretary of the Navy. Photo: U.S. Navy.

Senate Takes Turn To Grill Navy Officials Over Ship Collisions

Senate Armed Services Committee members were at times frustrated as they questioned the top Navy leaders Tuesday over a series of ship collisions resulting in severe damage and deaths. This was the second hearing this month inquiring into recent naval collisions, with the first being on the House side (Defense Daily, Sept. 7). The USS […]


MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va.--The Marine Corps has enshrined open architecture in its master technology investment plan as a means to rapidly upgrade communications technology as new equipment emerges.

Listed in the 2017 Advanced Technology Investment Plan, a 200-page guide to the Marine Corps’ technology development efforts and needs, is “open plug-and-play communication architecture” that will provide vehicles “the capability to add a new communication, sensor and data component to a system and have it integrate seamlessly without changing architecture or technical configuration of the vehicle.”

The full ATIP document can be accessed here.

“Adapting such architectures for the tactical vehicle fleet has great potential to improve tactical and operational flexibility for commanders,” the ATIP says. Program Executive Office-Land Systems distributed copies of the document at the Modern Day Marine expo in Quantico, Va.


Michael Halloran, science and technology division chief at PEO-LS, lists open architecture as a fundamental element of future combat vehicles for the Marine Corps.

“We need lightweight, power efficient, fuel-efficient, survivable, mobile vehicles that are common plug-and-play architecture,” Halloran said Sept. 19 at MDM.

The program office already is writing open architecture into requirements documents, he said. Industry is falling in line, but their issues of intellectual property rights remain, he added.

“Yes, it is being written into the requirements documents,” he said. “Industry is responding extremely well and we are working through the proprietary data-rights issue. Oftentimes in the requirement process and in the acquisition process, you end up trading off requirements as the cost of a given systems tends to decrease over time. Often plug-and-play is one of those things that gets traded.”

The idea is to set standards for interfacing technologies to avoid the hodgepodge of proprietary systems that were bolted onto vehicles out of operational necessity over the past decade and half. Modular, scalable, open-systems architecture enable “plug-and-play mission flexibility across all tactical vehicles, will enable rapid vehicle modernization and shared resource allocation,” the ATIP document says.

One such architecture goes by the mouthful title, "Vehicular Integration for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR)/Electronic Warfare Interoperability." Under development by the Army, it is commonly shoehorned into the acronym VICTORY.

VICTORY is a solution to a problem that arose from “operating forces applying solutions to identified C4ISR capability shortfalls through short-term solutions quickly bolted onto ground vehicles,” which weighed them down and created complex systems of systems that couldn’t always talk to each other, the ATIP says.

The architecture seeks to remedy that problem in future vehicles by defining common terminology, systems, components and interfaces. It also will set government-defined standard technical specifications for new technologies while providing a set of reference designs for industry to work into the products they pitch to the military.

So far, VICTORY has gained only minor traction, though the joint light tactical vehicle that will replace portions of the Army and Marine Corps legacy Humvee fleets is being built with a compliant electronics backbone. The Army’s Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support is working to introduce it to legacy support fleets.

The future USS Portland (LPD-27), sails in the Gulf of Mexico during acceptance sea trials. (Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industries)

Navy Accepts Another LPD And LCS

The U.S. Navy has accepted delivery of the future Amphibious Transport Dock USS Portland (LPD-27) and future Littoral Combat Ship USS Omaha (LCS-12), the Navy said Monday. LPD-27 completed acceptance trials last month and Huntington Ingalls Industries’ [HII] Ingalls Shipbuilding builder’s trials in July. This is the 11th San Antonio-class Amphibious Transport Dock the Navy […]