Representatives from the Navy’s Tactical Networks Program Office (PMW 160) worked with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) recently to co-host the Application Integration (AI) and Agile Core Services (ACS) Developer’s Working Group in McLean, Va.
The working group addressed the future of the Navy’s Information Warfare Platform, which is driven by the need for speed, affordability and interoperability. Success requires the ability to acquire, test, install and field capability at the speed of technology while leveraging Digital Twin architecture. Digital Twins are accurate replications of network architectures which support development, deployment, cybersecurity and troubleshooting efforts. The meeting offered an opportunity for Navy software developers and other stakeholders to learn more about efforts to accelerate delivery of software to the fleet using ACS.
“This event was a major milestone in our efforts to refactor the technology, people and processes to deliver software faster, improve cyber readiness and drive availability across the entire Information Warfare Platform afloat” said Capt. Kurt Rothenhaus, program manager, PMW 160.
The program office is the provider of the Consolidated Afloat Network and Enterprise Services (CANES)—the Navy’s premier afloat information technology network. ACS is an element of CANES that provides enabling technologies for development and deployment of mission applications, including Platform as a Service (PaaS), a data analytics framework and application transport to afloat platforms. AI is the process the Navy uses to test, integrate and certify applications on CANES. PMW 160 is part of Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I). SSC Pacific provides the U.S. Navy and military with essential capabilities in the areas of C4I, surveillance, reconnaissance, cyber and space.
SSC Atlantic and various industry partners also helped coordinate the working group. The event included more than 200 application developers and core services users from a diverse group of 25 organizations including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Navy systems commands, the Navy Research Laboratory, PEO Enterprise Information Systems and fleet units.
The working group highlighted multiple areas where PMW 160 is executing PEO C4I’s Digital Twin end-state vision of automatically loading, testing, deploying and conducting System Operational Verification Tests on applications. PMW 160 has launched the Collaborative Staging Environment in the Cloud, enabling applications to develop and test in synchronization with CANES. This offering also affords applications the ability to be deployed to fleet platforms by means of the ACS Application Arsenal which provides for software delivery of approved apps to the afloat platforms. PEO C4I’s Digital Twin effort is exploring how to create accurate replications of afloat network architectures to support in-service fault detection, isolation and restoral processes for the network and applications. Digital Twin technologies are key tenets in the Information Warfare Digital Execution Plan.
The working group meeting included a deep dive into ACS, with presentations about the architecture and detailed use cases for ACS, along with a live demonstration of the application of artificial intelligence/machine learning using the ACS Data Analytics infrastructure. PMW 160 presented the CANES AI, complete with a detailed development roadmap for CANES and ACS and details on the AI testing timelines, processes and schedule. Cloud-based testing in the CANES Collaborative Staging Environment also was discussed.
Other presentations focused on the vision and major efforts in progress to revamp the network and software architecture to support delivering new and enhanced capability to the fleet quickly and affordably. A major Navy initiative to bring this vision to fruition is Compile to Combat in 24 Hours (C2C24), in which CANES/ACS is a prime participant. C2C24 is focused on modernizing the afloat end-to-end architecture and allowing the Navy to deploy new software capabilities in less than 24 hours.
“We conducted several afloat pilots to demonstrate the ability to deploy rapidly. It is great to be moving beyond pilots and be implementing the tenets of Compile to Combat in 24 Hours across the Navy via CANES,” said Delores Washburn, C2C24 afloat pilots execution lead and SSC Pacific chief engineer.
Supporting efforts for C2C24 briefed during the working group include the Collaborative Software Armory, which provides a common Navy platform for accelerated application development, including tools and processes for continuous integration and continuous delivery. Additionally, the Rapid Assess and Incorporate for Software Engineering in a Day, or RAISED, effort focuses on streamlining the Risk Management Framework process to rapidly assess and incorporate containerized applications into the PaaS Authorization to Operate.
Jamie Thayer, OPNAV N2N6F4 and CANES resource sponsor, said, “The working group provided a superb environment in which Navy developers were able to break down barriers to provide interoperable capability to the warfighter more expeditiously. It was reassuring to see such a large group of developers from such a diverse group of commands work together on behalf of the afloat Navy.”