The U.S. Navy has published a request for information (RFI) to develop a “hardware factory and hardware pipeline” that will continue modernization and enhancements of the service branch’s computing platforms, C4ISRNet reported on Friday.
“The Navy envisions a transition to a HW Factory and HW Pipeline Process continuously delivering IaaS to pace technology, eliminate obsolescence, and enable continuous design and development of [computing infrastructure] solutions that meet ship needs with minimal deviation from commercial standards and practices,” the RFI states.
Posted by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the division expressed that the factory would be integrated as part of a broader effort to architect, implement and migrate to a universally managed, infrastructure as a service environment for the sea service’s surface fleet. NAVSEA has projected that the pipeline and factory will be ready for use by fiscal year 2023.
The Navy will use the hardware factory and hardware pipeline concept to leverage agile development to accelerate the development of its computing infrastructure. The new model is part of the Navy’s effort to transition away from technology insertions and move toward continuous hardware refreshes aboard its current and future surface fleet.
The request is for a program called Future Integrated Combat System Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Computing Infrastructure (FICS-CI), managed by NAVSEA’s Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS), and is part of an effort by the NAVSEA’s PEO IWS to migrate systems to a “common, scalable intermittently connected edge cloud architecture” using IaaS to enable platform as a service.
“The HW Factory and HW Pipeline will streamline component selection, qualification, integration, life cycle support and training for the Fleet, leading to accelerated infrastructure development and fielding,” the RFI states. “The Navy envisions a continuous CI refresh cycle rapidly delivering improved Lethality, Combat Capability and Capacity to the Surface Navy Fleet to confront an increasing array of Strategic, Operational, and Tactical Challenges.”
James Geurts, Assistant Secretary for Research, Development, and Acquisition with the U.S. Navy and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient will serve as a keynote speaker during the event. Geurts will discuss how the U.S. Navy has continually worked to decentralize, differentialize and digitize the service branch’s work as well as develop its talent in the field.
The Navy has also accelerated acquisition channels, modernized emerging technologies and increased research and development to become more effective in warfare. As the Navy continues to evolve to meet the growing demands, challenges still remain.
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