The US Navy has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman for the development phase of the its consolidated afloat networks and enterprise services (CANES) programme.

Under the $17.4m contract, a team led by Northrop Grumman will provide command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) infrastructure capabilities for the CANES programme.

The CANES programme is designed to create a modernised C4ISR architecture that will increase security while significantly reducing development, deployment and life-cycle costs.

Northrop Grumman Information Systems president Linda A Mills said that as the navy elevated information to a core warfighting capability and effected full maritime domain awareness, the foundational infrastructure must be based on a secure, reliable and interoperable network.

Using MOSA-C, Northrop has verified and tested the plug-and-play modularity and the ability of multiple commercial-off-the-shelf components and software to meet current and future requirements of CANES.

Northrop also integrated service-oriented architecture and C4ISR applications with its CANES approach, reducing the risk in deploying the next generation of C4ISR solutions for the navy.

The Northrop Grumman-led team includes IBM Global Business in Maryland, Atlas Technologies, Beatty and Company Computing, Juno Technologies and Syzygy Technologies.

The contract has options including system production to September 2014, which, if exercised, would make the value $775m.

Work will be carried out at Northrop Grumman’s CANES programme office in San Diego.