SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Information Warfare Systems Command’s (NAVWAR) top leaders provided candid insights into future Navy objectives and identified areas in need of industry support at the National Defense and Industrial Association (NDIA) San Diego Fall Forum Oct. 28-29 and announced plans to dive into specifics at an Industry Day scheduled for Dec. 15.
With 75% of NAVWAR’s fiscal year 2020 spending going toward contracts with industry, NAVWAR Commander Rear Adm. Doug Small and Executive Director John Pope emphasized the critical need for these types of forums, as they provide the foundation for partnerships that ultimately support the rapid delivery of information warfighting capabilities, increasing a competitive edge across all domains.
“I never want you to wonder what it is that the Navy needs, as we are dependent on your success,” said Small. “It is to your benefit and the benefit of our national security for NAVWAR and the Navy to clearly communicate its opportunities and challenges so that industry can effectively and efficiently provide the best possible solutions to our warfighters worldwide.”
Small further stressed the need for industry partnerships when he went on to talk about the recently released memo from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) regarding Project Overmatch. The CNO tasked Small in driving Project Overmatch, with the goal to enable a Navy and Marine Corps that swarms the sea, delivering synchronized lethal and non-lethal effects from near-and-far, every axis and every domain. Critical to Overmatch is the development of networks, infrastructure, data architecture, tools and analysts that support the operational and developmental environment that will enable sustained U.S. maritime dominance.
“So what does this mean for you?” asked Small. “It means urgency. I need your absolute best and I need it last week. I need you to think about what would be an audacious goal for a connected Navy of the future. This is a significant tasking and I am eager to explore all of the creative and innovative solutions you will offer to solve this problem.”
Small will provide further insight into Project Overmatch at an upcoming Industry Day on December 15 at Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific. This classified event will provide a forum for industry partners to learn about the project's vision, the technological current state, and the challenges and opportunities that would benefit from private sector support. Although, registration has already closed for this event, there are plans to hold additional Industry Days as Small moves forward with this high priority developmental initiative.
Following Small, Pope highlighted additional NAVWAR initiatives focused on the rapid modernization and digitization of Navy systems and platforms including the exploration and development of system and system-of-systems digital twins. This effort uses modern software and digital engineering practices to shift from a design-build-test methodology to a model-analyze-build methodology. This aids in the ability to test and evaluate solutions in a virtual environment before delivery. As a key initiative in the Navy’s digital transformation efforts, this will increase system reliability and cybersecurity while decreasing risk for the warfighter.
“We are operating in an environment where technology is moving too fast to support a traditional build-test-build timeline,” said Pope. “We need to work together to not only meet today’s requirements, but to continue toward digitizing our Navy, and achieving our strategic vision for the future.” He continued, “For example, take the advances we have made in the digital twin environment. Just imagine having the ability to test your solutions in a digital environment by using digital models of our systems. This way we can quickly identify what works and what doesn’t, largely increasing the pace of technology delivery from the start. In a digital environment the possibilities are endless and I welcome your ideas on how we can rapidly move this effort forward.”
Pope went on to provide a number of opportunities where small business and non-traditional partners can work together with NAVWAR. One of these initiatives being the Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP). The IWRP uses an alternative acquisition method, called an Other Transaction Authority (OTA), to streamline acquisition processes, develop prototypes, and rapidly provide advanced technologies to the fleet.
Other speakers at the event included:
- Rear Adm. Kurt Rothenhaus - Program Executive Officer, Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I) and Space Systems
- Ruth Youngs Lew - Program Executive Officer, PEO Digital and Enterprise Services
- Les Hubbard - Program Executive Officer, PEO Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions
- Capt. Andrew Gainer - Commanding Officer, Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific
In addition to leadership briefs, multiple program offices provided attendees with updates on critical Navy programs, including status, challenges, future objectives and contract forecasts; highlighting where industry plays a critical role and is needed to achieve success today and in the future.