Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by the US Navy to upgrade the cyber security, command and control, communications and intelligence (C4I) systems across the vessel fleet.

The company is one of five contractors selected for the eight-year, $2.5bn IDIQ Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) full-deployment production contract.

"CANES is a significantly faster, more secure and flexible network."

Northrop Grumman Information Systems command and control unit vice-president and general manager Sam Abbate said: "Northrop Grumman is deeply committed to helping the navy transform its afloat C4I computers and networks into a single, integrated, cyber-protected computing network.

"We look forward to continued collaboration with the navy to deploy this crucial system to the fleet."

Mainly aimed at eliminating the legacy, standalone networks, the CANES programme delivers a common computing environment for several C4I applications, further bolstering the network infrastructure and enhancing security, while trimming down existing hardware footprint and total ownership expenses.

Furthermore, the CANES initiative augments operational effectiveness and quality of life for sailors deployed aboard vessels.

Northrop Grumman Information Systems maritime command and control systems director Dave Wegmann said: "CANES is a significantly faster, more secure and flexible network.

"Our original network design remains important to ensure CANES [delivers] affordability and agility in delivering the next generation of C4I capabilities."

The company was selected by the US Navy in early 2012 for the design, development and limited deployment phase of CANES.

Other firms involved in the project include BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services, General Dynamics C4 Systems, Global Technical Systems and Serco.

SPAWAR C4I programme executive officer rear admiral Christian Becker said: "The operating systems that exist today on some of those legacy networks are not sustainable.

"CANES allows us to deploy current operating systems and then upgrade or stay current with future changes to those operating systems in a more cost effective and timely way.

"As we deploy CANES, we create a platform where we can increase our speed to capability, and where we can control more effectively our cost of capabilities that ride on top of that platform.

"And then, of course, that brings with it our ability to defend our capabilities – our cyber security posture – in ways that are more effective both for cost and the mission."

Defence Technology