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The U.S. Navy is moving toward an open architecture concept for its information technology systems. The Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (PEO C4I) is spearheading this effort. A review of Navy documentation on costs and requirements and a series of interviews with subject-matter experts from various Navy program offices supported a study intended to support PEO C4I in its initiative by proposing a set of ideal system characteristics and evaluating the utility and development and support costs of the available options. The study also examined challenges associated with uptake and use of service-oriented architecture, as well as the implications for enterprises endeavoring to pursue such systems. A desirable long-term goal would be for the Navy to support a collection of services or an overall shared architecture that can span a ship, the entire Navy, or joint forces. If PEO C4I can successfully integrate service-oriented architecture in its own functional area, it will be contributing to this vision.

The research described in this report was prepared for the United States Navy. The research was conducted within the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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