Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by the US Navy for production and a limited deployment phase of the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) programme, intended to provide common computing environment infrastructure.

Under the contract, the company will produce the initial CANES shipsets for planned installation in fiscal 2012.

The $37m modification contract follows the contract previously awarded to Northrop in 2010 and has options which are valued up to $638m, if all options are exercised.

Northrop will also assist the Navy in the deployment of next generation tactical afloat information systems networks into one modern shipboard computing system, minimising infrastructure size and operational costs.

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By GlobalData

The CANES aims to eliminate many legacy, standalone computing networks and install a common infrastructure for dozens of command, control, intelligence and logistics applications.

Northrop Information Systems president and corporate vice president Linda Mills said: "CANES will enable critical C4I capabilities with integrated, flexible cybersecurity capacity to quickly address evolving threats and missions using our adaptable information technology platform."

The company used MOSA-C, a strategic business and engineering process to verify plug-and-play modularity, and demonstrated the ability of multiple commercial off-the-shelf and open source products to meet current and future requirements of CANES.

The programme is designed to create a modernised C4ISR architecture and aims to provide streamlined and updated shipboard network systems for improved interoperability and affordability across the fleet.

The Navy initiative also provides an adaptable and responsive information technology platform to rapidly meet changing warfighter needs with enhanced security while significantly reducing development, deployment and lifecycle costs.

The CANES programme has received Milestone B approval, validating its ability to meet key cost, schedule and performance criteria in early 2011 and will be deployed on more than 190 ships, submarines and maritime operations centres by 2021.