Congresswoman Luria passes amendment to require Secretary of the Navy to report challenges among combatant ships

Virginia Politics

Virginia Congresswoman Elaine Luria bids fair winds and following seas to USNS Comfort, her crew, and medical personnel as they head to NYC. March 28, 2020

WASHINGTON (WAVY) – The House Armed Services Committee passed Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday.

The act, which was passed unanimously, will require the Secretary of the Navy to report to Congress on interoperability challenges among combatant ships and between AEGIS combatants and 5th Generation tactical aircraft.

“As the Navy invests in new technologies and upgrades their existing systems, we must ensure that they can easily and effectively integrate into our existing networks,” said Congresswoman Luria in a press release.

The Navy has over 200 ships and submarines that need to work in tactical data networks to quickly and share sensor and weapon information so time-critical decisions can be made.

With a variety of sensors and computer hardware even within ships of the same class, the Navy has noted problems that cause different ships and aircraft to be unable to effectively work together.

The Navy has conducted studies about the challenges and has attempted a variety of initiatives to address these interoperability problems such as the Fire Control Loop Improvement Program and Accelerated Mid-Term Interoperability Improvement Project. In addition, the Navy has created and assigned Strike Force Interoperability Officers to mitigate the problem.

Luria says yet year after year, the quantity of issues grows, and the complexity increases. Sailors cannot overcome the current problems while standing watch.

The Navy’s newest tactical fighter, the F-35 brings a new generation of sensor capability; however, much of this information cannot be shared with the other units in the strike group.

According to Congresswomen Elaine Luria’s amendment, the Navy must accurately report these gaps and enable Congress to help find solutions to better engineer the combat systems and correct these interoperability problems.

For additional information on the amendment click here.

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