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November 2011 Issue

As Roughead Retires, Greenert Takes Helm
After 38 years of service, Adm. Gary Roughead stepped down from the position of Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) during a change of command ceremony in September.

Roughead's career milestones include being one of only two admirals in the U.S. Navy to command both the Pacific and Atlantic fleets. He spoke at the ceremony about his experiences in the armed service, especially in the relationships he built, offering a final summary. "To echo what another Navy man said nearly five decades ago at this academy, when asked what I did to make my life worthwhile I will respond with a great deal of pride and satisfaction, 'I served in the United States Navy.'"

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the newly appointed CNO, said there were three tenets he would focus on during his tenure: warfighting first, operate forward and be ready.

ONR Pursues Affordable Common Radar for Ships
To upgrade the U.S. Navy's fleet of aging combat ship radar systems, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) is working to develop technologies that will combat the obsolescence of surveillance systems at a more affordable cost.

The Affordable Common Radar Architecture is an ONR future naval capability designed to replace multiple legacy systems. Its open design enables hardware and software reuse and fosters competition of commercially available technologies, ONR said.

A major concern for the Navy and Marine Corps is the rate at which shipboard surveillance radars are becoming obsolete. ONR said it can be difficult to change the software and hardware interfaces of these legacy systems, designed and built more than four decades ago, to meet forward-fit, net-centric requirements.

The five-year initiative calls for an affordable advanced development model risk-reduction prototype, which can be fielded either as rotating or fixed-array variant, depending on ship requirements.

The radar's architecture has a novel design, which contains two separate antennas to control cost and improve upgradeability. In contrast to the typical transmit-receive array set up, the new design features a full-size receiver array and a reduced-size transmit array. The ONR said this should lower the cost of the overall system by reducing integration density and maximizing the use of digital technologies.

The radar is built upon the ONR's prior digital array radar concept, which is focused on developing a modular, loosely-coupled system to reduce costs and take advantage of commercial technologies. Oversight, technical direction and development, as well as the integration and demonstration activities, are taking place at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.

US Navy Transitions to Building Two Virginia-Class Submarines Per Year
The U.S. Navy began in September construction of its 13th Virginia-class submarine, the unnamed SSN 787, marking the first time in 22 years that two submarines of the same class have started construction in the same year.

"To get to this important point, our Navy-industry shipbuilding team executed a very successful design for affordability program that yielded significant cost savings and has allowed the Navy to increase production in a fiscally-responsible manner," said RAdm. David Johnson, program executive officer for submarines.

The affordability program involved redesigning portions of the Virginia class to reduce costs and construction time. The Navy said the program has yielded significant cost savings for the Virginia class, reducing its per-submarine acquisition costs by nearly 20 percent while shortening their construction span from 84 months to 60.

Online Wargames Explored as Way to Save Energy
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced in October that it will launch a second scenario for its online wargame to address energy-related problems.

ONR's Office of Innovation will use its massively multiplayer online wargame platform, named MMOWGLI, as a way to bring together players to reduce the U.S. Navy's reliance on fossil fuels.

Potential scenarios for the second storyline, titled Energy MMOWGLI, include working toward efficient power conversion, portability and durability in harsh environments and lower costs.

The MMOWGLI pilot launched in June with a fast-paced piracy scenario set off the coast of Somalia. Round two of the original scenario is expected to resume gameplay later this fall. Player registration is available at www.onr.navy.mil/energymmowgli.


2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2011:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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