In September, the Battlespace Awareness and Information Operations Program Office (PMW 120) reached an important milestone with the Distributed Common Ground System-Navy (DCGS-N) Increment 2.
DCGS-N is the Navy’s primary intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting (ISR&T) support system providing processing, exploitation and dissemination services at the operational and tactical levels.
“Achieving milestone B gives us the authority to start developing and rapidly deploying capability to the fleet,” said Rosa Puig, PMW 120 assistant program manager.
Defense acquisition systems are measured by milestones and a milestone B achievement means the system is approved to move forward to the engineering, manufacturing and development phase.
DCGS-N is the Navy service component of the defense department’s DCGS family of systems. The system is designed to work with the other services’ DCGS systems for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting (ISR&T) capabilities.
Increment 2 will improve the Navy’s ability to detect and identify maritime threats, combine various data sources, such as tactical and in-theater data, and allow for better visibility into maritime data collection requirements.
DCGS-N Increment 2 reached milestone B after successful prototype demonstrations during exercise Trident Warrior in July 2016 on board aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70); it showed program readiness to proceed to the development and deployment phase.
Trident Warrior is an information warfare exercise that coincides with the Navy’s largest maritime exercise, Rim of the Pacific. DCGS-N Increment 2 was one of many systems, along with the Naval Integrated Tactical-Cloud Reference for Operational Superiority (NITROS) system that was also tested during Trident Warrior on board Carl Vinson.
“Getting an ACAT I [program acquisition category] program to a milestone, any milestone, requires an incredible amount of work and coordination among multiple stakeholders at all levels,” said Puig of the collaboration that took place for this achievement.
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific is the lead systems integrator providing delivery, testing and demonstration for fleet capability.
Milestone B marks DCGS-N Increment 2’s program initiation authorizing the development of the system. This milestone approves the overall strategy for program development, fielding and sustainment, as well as baseline cost, schedule and performance parameters that will shape the life of the program.
“Teamwork at all levels, combined with a lot of patience and perseverance, were keys to the success of the program. The coordination among program offices and with the support of the PEO C4I [Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence] staff also played a significant role in our success,” Puig said.
PMW 120 worked with the Navy Command and Control Systems Program Office (PMW 150), the Tactical Networks Program Office (PMW 160) and PEO C4I to reach milestone B.
The development approach maximizes the integration of already existing applications and products within the science and technology community, the intelligence community and industry. This will provide the fleet with products that are better aligned to the mission, avoid duplication and lower cost.
These approaches provide the Navy with an opportunity to pace intelligence community development and leverage new technology much more quickly than traditional acquisition models. Both Increment 1 and Increment 2 leverage the Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise Services (CANES) hardware and software infrastructure.
CANES is the Navy’s next generation tactical afloat network. The updated network replaces five legacy networks, enhances operational effectiveness and provides better quality of life for deployed Sailors.
By enhancing the user experience and providing faster and more accurate intelligence products, CANES and improvements with the DCGS-N will make the fleet more versatile and capable.
PMW 120 provides assured, high-quality products and services that enable the information warfare mission, aimed at compressing the kill chain for both kinetic and non-kinetic fires. PMW 120 delivers critical meteorology and oceanography; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and information operations capabilities from the seabed to space, transforming data into actionable intelligence that enables decision making in the battlespace and allows the fleet to gauge enemy intentions.