Finding: While the Office of Naval Research is conducting valuable research at the component level, system-of-systems integration to provide flexible and adaptive command and control (C2) is an area of limited emphasis, although it may in fact be the most critical C2 technology need.
Recommendation: The Chief of Naval Research should develop a research program, with an associated transition plan, to develop, evaluate, and mature system-of-systems integration technology for providing flexible and adaptive C2. In conducting this research program, the time to adapt algorithms, software, and systems to new capabilities, threats, and concepts of operations not in the initial design space should be a key measure of performance. The research should encompass emerging commercial technologies for enterprise integration and for the development of computing-platform independent applications as well as emerging concepts such as agile architectures under development at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and other government research agencies.
Finding: The transition from legacy to modern C2 systems will be a difficult challenge for the Navy for several reasons: (1) The task is multidimensional, involving multiple architectural, technological, process, and operational factors; (2) the time to work up and transition to new C2 systems takes a long time; (3) backward compatibility is rarely demonstrated until system(s) exit development laboratories; (4) complex system interdependencies lengthen every stage of the transition life cycle; and (5) the time required to integrate, test, and accredit new systems delays the fielding of new capabilities and complicates the management of fleetwide C2 evolution.
Recommendation: N6/N7 should prioritize the missions that will be made network-centric and identify the community of interest (COI) services and metadata standards that they require. N6/N7 thus should carry out the following:
Develop executable architectures to design and develop those COI services;
Build a spiral acquisition program encompassing the incremental and periodic integration of network-centric prototypes, test them using the Distributed Engineering Plant (DEP) (or possibly the Joint Distributed Engineering Plant [JDEP]) and Sea Trial; and
Use the results of spiral acquisition to influence the maritime component of JC2.