Before spending precious acquisition dollars on the latest C5I technology, the Navy must carefully evaluate whether or not it will work with pre-existing surface combat systems.
The authors were fortunate to serve as numbered fleet and type commander N-6s during the rapid technology insertion through the “Information Technology for the 21st Century” program in the Fleet and during the early to mid-2000s as we recovered from some significant challenges with surface combat systems. We both were nuclear trained, so we were accustomed to the propulsion plant’s highly structured modernization process in which the reliability, maintainability, interoperability, and sustainability of new technology was thoroughly planned and vetted prior to shipboard installation. But we quickly learned that the command, control, communications, combat systems, and intelligence (C5I) world lacked the same level of focus on preparedness. Unfortunately, the speed of delivery of the latest and greatest technology often exceeded the emphasis on quality and mission assurance.